Crook County students honored with scholarships to pursue health care careers

BEND, Ore. – St. Charles Health System and Cascades East Area Health Education Center (AHEC) have awarded scholarships to 10 high school seniors and college students from Crook County who are pursuing careers in health care.

Awards are based on students’ grade point averages and activities, but the most compelling factor is their commitment to returning to a rural location upon completion of their education. Several of the students have participated in St. Charles’ job shadowing program and credit it with inspiring them to pursue a health care career. 

“In this difficult time, it is more important than ever to recognize the efforts and commitment of these students to pursue a career in health care,” said Cascades East AHEC Director Debbie Cole. “We look forward to their returning to Central Oregon as valuable partners in our community’s health.” 

Crook County High school students awarded a $1,000 scholarship from Cascades East AHEC include:

  • Lily Cooper
  • Rebecca Cooper
  • Kara Hurt
  • Jillian Nguyen
  • Carmen Parmelee
  • Miranda Vargas
  • Patsy Wagner 

College students awarded a scholarship include:

  • Shane Kessi and Gwyneth Ptomey, who are each receiving a scholarship from the Mary Ann Thomas Hosier endowment. This scholarship is awarded to exceptional students pursuing a career in nursing
  • Esmerelda Ortiz Ventura, who will receive $1,000 from Cascades East AHEC to continue her studies in radiology at Oregon Institute of Technology

About St. Charles Health System

St. Charles Health System, Inc., headquartered in Bend, Ore., owns and operates St. Charles Bend, Madras, Prineville and Redmond. It also owns family care clinics in Bend, Madras, Prineville, Redmond and Sisters. St. Charles is a private, not-for-profit Oregon corporation and is the largest employer in Central Oregon with more than 4,200 caregivers. In addition, there are more than 350 active medical staff members and nearly 200 visiting medical staff members who partner with the health system to provide a wide range of care and service to our communities.


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