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Media Contact: Emily Dubyoski / 216-931-1302 

Meet the Winners of the Belle Sherwin Scholarship Award 

Four VNA Employees Discuss Plans to Further Clinical Education Thanks to Sherwin-Williams Women’s Club’s $30,000 Scholarship

CLEVELAND, Ohio (March 26, 2018) – 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.

Four applicants were selected to receive an annual $2,500 gift to fund tuition, textbooks and other materials needed for the courses. Hear each of the award-winners discuss what it meant to receive the award and how they are using it to further their clinical education. 


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, 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 Visiting Nurse Association of Ohio
With close to 400 healthcare and administrative professionals, VNA of Ohio serves thousands of individuals throughout Northeast, Northwest, Central, and Mid-Ohio. Since 1902, VNA of Ohio has offered the largest scope of home-based health services in the state, focusing on home healthcare and personal care private-duty services. Home healthcare services extend to include medical/surgical nursing care, behavioral health services, TeleHealth chronic disease management, and rehabilitation therapy services. More information at

VNA of Ohio joined New Jersey-based VNA Health Group in 2017 to advance high quality and innovative home-based care services. To obtain more information about VNA Health Group or to find a local service, please visit


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