Baptist Golden Triangle donates $100k for EMCC nursing scholarships


COLUMBUS — Baptist Memorial Health Care Foundation is donating $100,000 to fund scholar­ships for students enrolled in East Mississippi Commu­nity College’s Division of Nursing and Allied Health nursing programs who agree to work for Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle in Columbus after they graduate.

The period of time a stu­dent will be required to work for the hospital will be based on the total amount of the scholarship they re­ceive.

Students enrolled in nurs­ing programs at EMCC’s Golden Triangle and Scooba campuses who are interested in pursuing the scholarships will need to go through an application and interview process with offi­cials at Baptist Golden Tri­angle, who will select the students to whom they would like to make a schol­arship offer.

Scholarship disburse­ments will be handled through EMCC’s Develop­ment Foundation.

“These scholarships will make a significant differ­ence in the lives of many of our Division of Nursing and Allied Health students,” EMCC Dean of Scooba / College Advancement Tony Montgomery said.

“We are grateful to Bap­tist Golden Triangle and the Baptist Memorial Health Care Foundation for this tremendous contribution.” EMCC Executive Director of Alumni Affairs and Foun­dation Operations Gina Cotton said.

“We appreciate the long-standing relationship we have with EMCC and the emphasis they place on their nursing program. Now more than ever, we depend on our area nursing programs to provide our hospital with graduate nurses who are prepared for the clinical setting and eager to work,” Baptist Golden Triangle Adminis­trator Paul Cade said. “We hope this donation from our Baptist Foundation will provide scholarships to help more students achieve their goal of a career in nursing,” he added.

“This is a great opportu­nity for Baptist and EMCC students. Data shows that nursing turnover is 30 per­cent during the first year of employment and up to 57 percent during the second year,” said Baptist Golden Triangle Chief Nursing Offi­cer Alicia Grant.

“One reason for the high turnover rates is due to re­lationships with peers and leadership. Through this donation, we hope to iden­tify students that want to stay and work in our com­munity and begin building relationships by providing mentorship opportunities that will facilitate their tran­sition from college to ca­reer. We want our scholarship recipients to feel they are part of the Baptist family on their first day of employment.”

EMCC President Dr. Scott Alsobrooks initially ap­proached Cade to see how EMCC could help serve the hospital’s need for addi­tional employees in the medical fields. The idea of scholarships was broached and Cade reached out to Baptist Memorial Health Care Foundation, the non­profit fundraising arm of Baptist Memorial Health Care.

After meeting with offi­cials at EMCC, the Baptist Foundation agreed to fund a $100,000 scholarship fund, which will be fun­neled through the EMCC Development Foundation, EMCC’s nonprofit arm that benefits students and ath­letic programs.

“We have always had a great partnership with Bap­tist Golden Triangle, and we are thankful for the do­nation to create these scholarships,” Alsobrooks said. “This is a win-win situ­ation for everyone. Stu­dents awarded these scholarships will work lo­cally in well-paying jobs after they graduate, which will benefit both the stu­dents and the community at large. Baptist Golden Tri­angle will be able to em­ploy additional workers needed to address a short­age of nurses and Allied Health workers and we will continue to grow our pro­grams at EMCC.”

“This is a wonderful op­portunity to help offset the educational costs for some of our students, while pro­viding them with the op­portunity to gain invaluable work experience at Baptist Golden Triangle’s excellent medical facilities after they graduate,” EMCC Division of Nursing and Allied Health Dr. Tonsha Emerson said.

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