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MHSC awards three scholarships

  • Category: Awards & Recognitions
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Deb Sutton, Sweetwater Memorial Marketing Director
MHSC awards three scholarships

High school graduates will pursue careers in healthcare

Three Sweetwater County high school graduates are Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County scholarship recipients.

Rikki Cozad, Delaney Gardea, and Abby Hautala all received scholarships.

Two of the scholarships were awarded by the MHSC General Medical staff. Cozad, a Rock Springs High School student, and Gardea, a Green River High School student, each received a scholarship for $3,000. The hospital contributes $1,500 and the medical staff contributes $1,500 to each scholarship.

Hautala received a $1,500 scholarship from Sweetwater Memorial. The hospital, through its Marketing Department and a committee of four hospital department directors, awards the scholarship annually to an RSHS Health Academy student on behalf of the entire MHSC staff.

All three have chosen fields of study in healthcare:

Rikki Cozad plans to attend Western Wyoming Community College and begin working toward a career as a physician. The 18-year-old is the daughter of Rick and Misty Cozad of Rock Springs. She ranks seventh in her class of 310 graduates.

She hopes to complete a Humanities degree at Western and work as a wildland firefighter and EMT in the summers. After completing prerequisites at the University of Wyoming, she will pursue a medical doctorate at the University of Washington Medical School.

“As long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a doctor,” she said in her scholarship application essay. “It has inspired me to push beyond my comfort zone.

“I love to spend my free time learning anything I can about medicine. This is my calling. It’s way more than a future career to me,” Cozad said. “I’ve spent time far away from home attending nationally recognized medical conferences in my own free time.”

She has attended the National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF) and the Congress of Future Medical Leaders (CFML). This summer, she plans to follow a CFML program, Future Docs Abroad, to Hue, Vietnam. She will spend a couple weeks there, shadowing doctors and working in a hospital setting. She also plans to attend the NYLF for Advanced Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.

Delaney Gardea plans to attend Western Wyoming Community College in the fall and pursue a nursing career. Gardea, 17, is the daughter of Hope Gardea and Jeff Gardea, both of Green River. She ranks 29th in her class of 169.

“Being a healthcare worker takes someone special,” she said in her scholarship application essay. “I am a caring person who loves to help people. Being a healthcare worker, I feel is an awesome option for me.”

Her grandfather inspired her to pursue a career in nursing.

“His health for the past three years has declined greatly,” Gardea said. “Watching how the nurses interact with my grandfather’s care has impacted me greatly. They are very caring and kind superheroes.

“I feel that I would be a great fit for an RN,” she said. “Nursing is a hard and underrated job, but I believe that I can do it. I have a huge passion for caring for people, as well as a passion for human anatomy and physiology.”

Abby Hautala plans to attend Western Wyoming Community College where she will major in pre-medical sciences. Ranking 11th in her class of 310, the 18-year-old is the daughter of Pat and Lisa Hautala of Rock Springs. She plans to attend medical school, specializing in neurology.

“For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a doctor,” Hautala said. “I can remember my twin sister and I ripping our stuffed animals apart so that we could do ‘emergency surgery’ on them. Once I started getting older, I wasn’t sure what in the medial field I wanted to do, but I knew medicine was calling my name.”

Hautala says neurology intrigues her.

“Being the curious person that I am, I have the motivation to learn and understand why our brains work in such mysterious ways,” she said in her scholarship application essay. “I have the dedication and drive to be successful, whether as a psychologist or a neuroscientist.”

The scholarship awards were announced Thursday, May 6, during the regular meeting of the Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County Board of Trustees.