The Columbia Basin Care Foundation has awarded $16,000 in scholarships to seven area students pursuing careers in health care.

Scholarships of $1,500 to $3,000 were awarded in two categories: Residents of the Columbia River Gorge and employees of Columbia Basin Care, a skilled nursing facility located in The Dalles.

Recipients of the 2020 Columbia Basin Care Foundation Scholarships are: Travis Fritz, Karen Jesch, Robin Jackson, Kylie Moltzen, Athena Miller, Hayley Woods and Caitlyn Smith.

Fritz, a Certified Nursing Assistant at Columbia Basin Care, was awarded $2,500 to pursue training as an Emergency Medical Technician. He’s served over six years as a firefighter for Mid Columbia Fire & Rescue, where he was named “Volunteer of the Year.”

Jesch, a Certified Nursing Assistant at Columbia Basin Care, was awarded $2,500 toward her nursing education. She begins her first term at Columbia Gorge Community College this fall and is considering a career as a Nurse Practitioner.

Jackson, a Certified Nursing Assistant at Columbia Basin Care for nearly 20 years, was awarded the Asher Anderson Award, a scholarship of $3,000 that is given in memory of Asher who passed in 2008 and for whom Columbia Basin Care established a scholarship tribute.

Moltzen of The Dalles was awarded $2,500 to continue her studies at Columbia Gorge Community College, where she is enrolled in the nursing program. She is working toward a career as a labor and delivery nurse.

Miller of White Salmon was awarded $2,500 for her studies at Columbia Gorge Community College, where she is enrolled in the nursing program. This is a second career for Miller, who previously worked as marketing manager at Mid-Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles.

In addition, two scholarships of $1,500 were awarded to previous Columbia Basin Care Foundation recipients, Hayley Woods and Caitlyn Smith, who demonstrated continued commitment to a career in healthcare.

Woods is an honors student who recently completed her first year in the nursing program at Columbia Gorge Community College. Woods aspires to work in neurology or surgery.

Smith is an honors student who recently completed her first year in the nursing program at Columbia Gorge Community College, and is working to become a nurse anesthetist with an emphasis on pediatrics.

The foundation is the charitable arm of Columbia Basin Care. Located in The Dalles, Columbia Basin Care is the region’s only independent, nonprofit facility for short-stay rehabilitation and long-term care. “We were astounded with the number of applicants. That there are so many caring, compassionate and skilled people speaks well for the future of health care in the Gorge,” said John Hutchison, member of the Columbia Basin Care board of directors. “Thanks to the generosity of those who donate, we are able to improve the lives of those we serve and support the education of those who care for others.”

Columbia Basin Care is located at 1015 Webber St. in The Dalles. To learn more or to donate to the Foundation, go to colbasin.com/foundation, or contact Drew Myron, marketing director, at 541-296-2156.

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