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Jennie Edmundson Students Named IHERF Scholarship Winners

Published: June 21, 2018

From left: Steve Baumert, Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital, president and CEO; Meg Kinney; Madi Benson; Lisa Palermo; and Peggy Helget, chief nursing officer and vice president of patient services.

Council Bluffs, Iowa – Three Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital employees were each awarded $3,500 scholarships from the Iowa Hospital Education and Research Foundation (IHERF), which is supported by the Iowa Hospital Association (IHA). They were among 52 outstanding students from across Iowa selected to receive assistance this year from the IHERF Health Care Careers Scholarship Program.

Omaha native Lisa Palermo was awarded a scholarship for the second consecutive year. Palermo serves as a certified nursing assistant in Jennie’s Outpatient Surgery and Endoscopy department and is studying to become a registered nurse.

“I am very grateful to the IHA for allowing me the opportunity to really help people,” said Palermo. “Every dollar helps me achieve my goal of providing great health care to others.”

Joe Poore, Director of Outpatient Surgery at Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital, says Palermo is a great addition to the care team at Jennie Edmundson.

“We are proud to have Lisa as part of our team,” Poore said. “She gives wonderful patient care with a fantastic attitude and energy.”

Meg Kinney is in her fifth year as a nurse practitioner in the cardiology department. The Rockford, Ill., native and Creighton University student, received her first IHERF scholarship as she works towards her Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP).

“This award is very helpful as I close in on obtaining my Doctorate,” Kinney said. “The generosity of the IHA helps make this journey possible.”

Stacey Tams, Director of Practice Operations for Methodist Physicians Clinic Council Bluffs has been impressed with Kinney’s knowledge and the ability to build patient relationships.

“Meg is a natural in the health care field,” Tams said. “She is incredibly knowledgeable and the patients just love her. We are lucky to have someone with her combination of skill and compassion at Jennie.”

The final Jennie recipient is Madi Benson, a first year certified nursing assistant on fourth floor. Benson is from Underwood, Iowa, and attends Iowa Western Community College where she is studying to become an OB/GYN Nurse.

“I’m very appreciative of this scholarship and the IHA for helping me further my healthcare education,” Benson said. “I still have years to go before I accomplish my goal, but this helps me get that much closer.”

Mary Jane Colburn, Director of Nursing on Jennie’s fourth floor and Benson’s supervisor has been quick learner of proving The Meaning of Care to patients.

“Madi is a rockstar,” Colburn said. “Madi already understands the need to give exceptional patient care while always being kind and compassionate. She gets how valuable that is and will be an excellent nurse for years to come.”

Iowa hospitals established the scholarship program in 2004 to help address the ongoing shortage of health care professionals and encourage young Iowans to remain in the state as they establish their careers.  Since its inception, 450 students have benefited from the program and over $1.4 million have been awarded.

In exchange for financial support, scholarship-receiving students agree to work one year in an Iowa hospital for each year they receive an award, helping stabilize and enhance Iowa’s hospital workforce.

“We are very proud to support these high-achieving students who help Iowa hospitals continue their tradition of high-quality health care throughout the state,” said IHA President and CEO Kirk Norris.

Hospital leaders from all parts of the state evaluated scholarship applications from hundreds of students, who were judged on grade-point average, a written personal statement, letters of reference, and extracurricular, community and health care-related activities.