Sanford Bemidji announces 2021 Friends of Sanford Health scholarship recipients
May 20, 2021
BEMIDJI, Minn. - Sanford Bemidji is proud to announce the ten Friends of Sanford Health 2021 scholarship recipients.
The ten $1,500 FOSH scholarships are available to students in the Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota service region and to present employees of Sanford Bemidji every year. To be considered for one of these scholarships, applicants must be pursuing a career in a health-related field and cannot be a previous recipient.
These scholarships are funded by the Friends of Sanford Health, formerly known as the North Country Health Services Auxiliary. This group of Sanford Bemidji volunteers uses the profits of the Sanford Bemidji Medical Center Gift Shop and other fundraisers to fund these awards. Over the last 25 years, more than $238,000 has been given to local high school and college students and Sanford/North Country employees seeking to further their healthcare education.
This year’s scholarship recipients are:
Macey Gish will be graduating from Bemidji High School this spring. She currently works at Neilson Place as a CAN serving as a preceptor for new CNAs who join her unit. Macey plans to attend college this fall for nursing.
Jarret Merschman is a graduate from Bagley High School. He is currently attending the University of North Dakota studying pre-med. Jarret is employed at Sanford within the inpatient rehabilitation unit at the Neilson Place assisted living community. He also works at UND as an epigenetics researcher with a focus on breast cancer research.
Emily Wade is graduating from Bemidji High School this spring. She is planning to study nursing at BSU’s nursing program this fall. Working as a CNA at Woodsedge, Emily cares for residents within the assisted living and memory care units. Also a Sanford volunteer, she has assisted at the Joe Lueken Cancer Center. Her long-term career goals are to earn her master’s in nursing to work as a family nurse practitioner.
Patricia Valenzuela earned her high school degree from her high school in the Philippines. In 2012, she also obtained her CNA. Worked at Neilson Place senior living community initially, Patricia is currently caring for patients on the OB/GYN and children’s units within the Sanford Bemidji Medical Center where she also serves as ward secretary. She is returning to NTC to complete her RN.
Megan Bellefy graduated from Bagley High School. Currently, she is a RN student at NTC. At Sanford Health, she has worked within guest services as well as a phlebotomist with other assisted living facilities.
Nicole Jaranson is a graduate of Bemidji High School and NTC. She currently works for Sanford Eye Clinic. She started her career in registration and eventually moved into an ophthalmic assistant position. This past year, Nicole has been a volunteer in the Special Care Unit helping care for patients admitted with COVID-19. She plans to continue her career by completing her RN at NTC.
Aria Gish is graduating from Bemidji High School this spring. She plans to attend UND’s pre-med program later this fall.
Grace Kaupang is graduating from Win-E-Mac High School this spring. She plans to attend NDSU this fall with a career goal of becoming an OB nurse.
Johanna Swedberg is graduating from Blackduck High School. Later this year, she plans to attend Alexandria Technical and Community College to study speech language pathology.
Annika Knudson is graduating from Bemidji High School this spring and plans to attend St. Olaf College in the fall. A Sanford volunteer at the east desk of the Bemidji Medical Center, Annika’s career goals include attending medical school to become a child and adolescent psychiatrist.