St. Luke's Hospital Auxiliary Awards Health Career Scholarships


The St. Luke's Hospital Auxiliary sheds light on a growing problem-the nation is facing a major shortage of trained and qualified healthcare professionals to care for an aging population and meet an increased need for medical services. Compounding the problem is the fact that many colleges and universities are struggling to expand their programs to increase enrollment levels to meet the growing demand for nurses and allied health professionals.

St. Luke's Hospital Auxiliary has announced its 2012- 2013 scholarship awards. These awards are given twice-yearly to students pursuing a career in the health care field.

Taylor Ayres, daughter of Michelle Ayers of Landrum and Andy Ayers of Hendersonville, has been awarded a St. Luke's Hospital Auxiliary Scholarship to assist in her pursuit of a nursing degree at Lander University.

A graduate of Landrum High School, Taylor was a member of the Beta Club, National Honor Society and the Technical Honor Society. She lettered in varsity softball for three years. She has volunteered at Tryon Estates and LaurelHurst, as well as working a part-time job.

Meagan Birch, daughter of Lena Birch of Spartanburg and David Birch of Campobello, will apply her St. Luke's Hospital Auxiliary Scholarship to tuition at USC Upstate as she studies toward a nursing degree.

Megan is a graduate of Landrum High School. While there, she was a member of the Beta Club and the National Honor Society. She has received the highest academic award and high GPA award. She has volunteered at LaurelWoods and has participated in food drives and Toys for Tots campaigns. She works part-time at Chick-fil-A.

Tonda Champion is also the recipient of a St. Luke's Hospital Auxiliary Scholarship. She is employed at St. Luke's Hospital as a CNAII, and plans to study at Isothermal Community College to become a Licensed Practical Nurse. Tonda is the wife of Eric Champion and mother of three children. She resides in Tryon.

Emily Hardin, daughter of Steve and Deanna Hardin of Columbus, has been awarded a St. Luke's Hospital Auxiliary Scholarship. She will attend Isothermal Community College to study nursing.

Emily is a graduate of Polk County High School where she was a member of Health Occupations Students of America. She received a varsity letter award for Cross Country. She is a member of her church youth group and works part-time at White Oak in Tryon.

Chelsea Kelly, daughter of Ricky and Jill Kelly of Mill Spring, is also a recipient of a St. Luke's Hospital Auxiliary Scholarship. She plans to study nursing at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Chelsea is a graduate of Polk County High School where she was president of Health Occupations Students of America. She was also a member of Future Farmers of America, SkillsUSA, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She was in the top 10 in the Health Occupations Students of America regional competition in Medical Math. Chelsea has accrued a number of hours in various volunteer activities and holds more than one part-time job.

McKayla Mullis, daughter of Robert and Michelle Mullis of Columbus, has received a St. Luke's Hospital Auxiliary Scholarship to assist her in studying for a nursing degree at Isothermal Community College.

McKayla is a graduate of Polk County High School where she was a member of Health Occupations Students of America, Future Farmers of America, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Key Club and Interact. She was cheerleading captain for two years. She works part-time at White Oak Manor and is an active youth member in her church.

Lauren Searcy, daughter of Mark Searcy and Susie Kimbrell, will use her St. Luke's Hospital Auxiliary Scholarship to study for a nursing degree at Western Carolina University.

A graduate of Polk County High School, Lauren participated in Interact, Health Occupations Students of America (as Treasurer), Photography Club (as Secretary), and Future Farmers of America. She works part-time at Tryon Estates. She is also active in the youth group at her church.

Lakeyah Simpson, daughter of Michelle Simpson of Mill Spring, plans to apply her St. Luke's Hospital Auxiliary Scholarship to the study of nursing at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

A graduate of Polk County High School, Lakeyah was a member of Health Occupations Students of America and the National Honor Society. She received the New Century Scholar Award. She has volunteered at blood drives and vision screenings.

Abigail Hall, a 2012 graduate of Polk County High School, has received a renewal of her St. Luke's Hospital Katherine Kirby Nursing Scholarship. She is continuing her studies in nursing at Western Carolina University.

Ashley Monk, a 2010 graduate of Polk County High School, has also received a renewal of her St. Luke's Hospital Katherine Kirby Nursing Scholarship. She is continuing her studies in nursing at Gardner-Webb University.

Gail Parres, a St. Luke's Hospital volunteer, was awarded a renewal of her Auxiliary scholarship to aid in her completion of a degree in Occupational Therapy Assisting at Greenville Technical College.

Many thanks to the St. Luke's Hospital Auxiliary, whose Scholarship Committee is chaired by Anne Laubengeiger, for their dedication and commitment to patient care by providing $8,750 in scholarships in 2012-2013 for medical and nursing programs.

The Auxiliary is proud to have 150 members who assist with varying needs of St. Luke's Hospital, a private, not-for-profit community hospital. With their support, we continue to provide exceptional care, close to home.