Media Contact: Emily Blackie
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (June 29, 2017) – Visiting Nurse Association of Ohio was proud to receive a generous gift of $30,000 from The Sherwin-Williams Women’s Club in October, 2016, to fund the inaugural Belle Sherwin Scholarship Award, and additional funds from U.S. Bank. The purpose of the award is to reduce barriers to education for female VNA employees who are interested in pursuing or furthering their clinical education.
VNA of Ohio received many qualified applications for the award. Ultimately, four were selected to receive an annual $2,500 gift to fund tuition, textbooks and other materials needed for the courses.
These employees are full-time staff members who wrote compelling 300-word essays expressing their professional goals and an overview of why they chose the nursing profession.
Award Winners - 2017
Kawhana James, LPN, has been a Nurse Liaison at VNA since 2015. She plans to attend Kent State University to pursue an Associate Degree in Nursing RN. “Returning to school has always been a goal of mine and I want to challenge myself to improve as well as to be a role model to my children,” she wrote. “It is important to me that my children know that women of color can succeed by the same opportunities given to any other if they stay focused and are willing to sacrifice to achieve their goals.”
Laura Liaskos, a Home Health Assistant at VNA of Ohio, will pursue her bachelor’s degree in social work. “For weeks I went straight from work to night classes to receive my STNA in hopes of having a better life for my children,” Liaskos wrote in her essay. “Soon after, I was certified in Mental Health First Aide and Suicide Prevention Care from Lorain County Board of Mental Health. The passion I have for this field makes me excited to learn all I can.”
Julie Mack, LPN, is a full-time nurse scheduler for VNA of Ohio’s Home Assist. She is currently pursuing her AAD, RN degree from Cuyahoga Community College. “Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be a positive influence in peoples’ lives,” she wrote. “It’s always been my goal to obtain my RN and BSN.”
Lisa Padro Baire, RN for VNA’s Mental Health program will attend Kent State University for a degree as a Mental Health Nurse Practitioner starting in January. “I desire to continue working in the field of mental health,” she wrote. “Even in 2017, society still refers to the mentally ill as ‘those people.’ While I continue to maintain a strong fondness for the field of pediatrics and women’s health, I am compelled to care for the mentally ill with a passion I would not have thought possible in my early career as a nurse.”
About Belle Sherwin
VNA of Ohio, in partnership with the Women’s Club, announced the details of the scholarship on what would have been Belle Sherwin’s 148th birthday. The scholarship is named for Belle, the daughter of Henry Sherwin, founder of The Sherwin-Williams Company. Belle was a founding member of the Visiting Nurse Association of Cleveland Board of Trustees from 1902 to 1924. She was an active Board member serving as the chair for several committees, as well as the Board President.
In her many roles throughout Greater Cleveland’s health and human services, Belle is credited with establishing the philosophy and guiding principles for nursing services at the Visiting Nurse Association. Beyond her civic duties, Belle was a pioneer for women in education.
About The Sherwin-Williams Women’s Club
The Sherwin-Williams Women’s Club was created in 1911; engages in philanthropic endeavors and promotes the business and social welfare of its members through educational activities, training, acquaintances and friendships. Their motto is “Ever Forward.”
About U.S. Bank
U.S. Bank has the right business model to generate and sustain its industry-leading financial performance. Our four core businesses are the engines of growth: Consumer & Small Business Banking, Wholesale Banking, Payment Services and Wealth Management & Securities Services. Working together to bring the power of the whole bank to every customer, every single day. More information at www.usbank.com.
About Visiting Nurse Association of Ohio
VNA of Ohio is a non-profit, community-based healthcare organization that has been helping patients for more than 100 years. The organization works with hospitals, doctors, community agencies and companies to provide services for patients in their homes. Services include skilled nursing care, mental healthcare, social work services, rehabilitation therapies, hospice and personal care assistance.
VNA of Ohio provides high-quality, comprehensive home health and hospice care to promote health, independence and dignity to those living in our communities. Learn more at vnaohio.org.