Rend Lake College President Charley D. Holstein (LEFT) and RLC Foundation CEO Pat Kern (RIGHT) presented Crossroads Community Hospital with a Foundation Gold Major Gift Award at the RLCF's Annual Dinner Meeting, Dec. 3, in Mt. Vernon. Accepting the award on behalf of the hospital were, FROM LEFT, CCH Board of Trustees Member Mark Kabat, Chairwoman Kathy Withers and CEO Ed Cunningham. CLICK HERE for a larger image.
MT. VERNON, Ill. – Crossroads Community Hospital has built a pipeline from Rend Lake College through its scholarship program for qualified nursing students.
CCH’s Registered Nurse Scholarship Loan Program provides a student scholarship loan which pays for the cost of attending RLC programs in Licensed Practical Nursing, Associate Degree Nursing, or both. It’s a value of over $10,000 for both years of education at Rend Lake College.
In return, nursing students agree to maintain a 2.5 GPA, pass the state nursing exam, and work at the hospital for a specified amount of time. Essentially, the duration RLC nurses work for the hospital is equal to the hours of education Crossroads covers. The loan is forgiven after the employment commitment is complete. To date, five students have or are currently participating in this program.
One of those students is Woodlawn resident Lea Schulte – a current ADN student who saw her stars align in this scholarship opportunity. Schulte, who has worked at Crossroads since before entering the program, spoke at the RLCF Annual Dinner Meeting, Thursday night, at the Mt. Vernon Holiday Inn, where RLC President Charley D. Holstein presented the Foundation’s Gold Major Gift Award to Crossroads CEO Ed Cunningham. Schulte talked about how receiving the scholarship has helped her afford a nursing education.
She said from the time she was 14 and started helping an elderly neighbor she knew what she wanted to do. While working at Crossroads, she always wanted to go after a nursing degree, but the expense was a big hurdle, she said.
“There are no words to describe the difference RLC and Crossroads have meant in my life,” Schulte said. “They have given me the opportunity to give something back to my patients, my husband and my family. Thank you everyone ... especially those at Crossroads who saw something in me I never saw in myself.”
“Lea earned everything she’s getting,” Cunningham said. “There is nothing better than to see a patient’s face light up because she’s there. Every one of these young people like Lea are going to make a difference. ... I take my hat off to every one of them. You are the shining stars in Southern Illinois.”
“The Rend Lake College Foundation is so proud to work with Crossroads on this extremely worthwhile endeavor,” said RLCF Chief Executive Officer Pat Kern. “Not only does it benefit our students, but it helps shore up a local nursing shortage. Along with this win-win commitment to helping nursing students and obtaining good nurses for their patients, Crossroads Hospital has donated hospital beds valued at $3,500, which are being used now by our students in the nursing programs at RLC. Through its continued commitment, Crossroads Community Hospital has reached the Gold
Major Gift Award level this year.”