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Spectrum Health Lakeland Foundation awards $75,000 in scholarships, grants

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN — During the recent Allied Health Careers Scholarship program, Spectrum Health Lakeland Foundation awarded a total of $26,750 in the form of 26 scholarships to Spectrum Health Lakeland team members and area students pursuing a career in health care. In addition, more than $48,000 in department grants were awarded to support continuing education opportunities for Lakeland team members.

For more than 25 years, Spectrum Health Lakeland Foundation has awarded more than $1.5 million in scholarships and grants to Lakeland team members, departments, and volunteers. This has been made possible largely through endowments from community members designed with the sole purpose of investing in health care education and training.

“This year’s virtual event was a great opportunity to recognize many of our team members who are pursuing additional education and training that will ultimately benefit our patients and community,” said Melinda Gruber, interim president of the Spectrum Health Lakeland Foundation. “It was also a wonderful way to continue to recognize our generous donors who have created the endowments by which we provide these scholarships.”

During the ceremony, Gruber and Loren B. Hamel, MD, president, Spectrum Health Lakeland, presented the Leo Soorus Leadership Award to Bridget Demler, MHA, MSN, RN, intensive care unit (ICU) nurse manager at Spectrum Health Lakeland Medical Center. The award honored Demler’s outstanding leadership throughout the COVID-19 pandemic including her work to engage her team to plan, coordinate, staff, and rapidly deploy workflows to accept and care for critically ill, COVID-19 patients. Demler also played a key role in moving patients and clinical teams into the new ICU within the Pavilion while continuing to manage the former ICU space for COVID-19 patient overflow. The Leo Soorus Leadership Award was established in honor of Soorus’ many contributions to Southwest Michigan as a Spectrum Health Lakeland Foundation executive and leader of multiple community and professional organizations.

Spectrum Health Lakeland team members and students from Leader Publications’ coverage area, who received scholarships through the foundation include:

  • Annelise Bedell, of Niles, Niles College Scholarship
  • Marshall Grathwohl, of Niles, Norman P. Beebe Memorial Allied Health Careers Scholarship
  • Kristen Johnson, of Buchanan, Lucille Beebe Coles Healthcare Educational Endowment
  • Miriam Karengo, of Niles, The Walter B. Laetz Memorial Allied Health Careers Scholarship
  • Madison Millar, of Niles, Niles College Scholarship

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