South County Health awards scholarships to 18 high school grads

Published 06/17/2019

On June 7, South County Health awarded scholarships totaling $11,970 to 18 high school students, most of whom will be seeking careers in the medical field. For more than 30 years, South County Health’s Conrad Nestor Scholarship and Medical Staff Scholarship have been helping high school students pursue their passions.

The Medical Staff Scholarship is awarded to students who are interested in pursuing a career in the medical field. To begin the process, guidance counselors from high schools in Washington County are asked to nominate two students for consideration. The scholarships are awarded to students who are entering post-secondary training and who demonstrate a combination of academic achievement and financial need. These awards were presented by Eleni Pappas, DPM, the Scholarship Committee Chair.

The Medical Staff Scholarship awardees (along with their high school, intended college, and major) are:

Domenic Arouth, North Kingstown High School, Clemson University, Biomedical Engineering, (Pre-Med); Maura Beaudreau, Chariho High School, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Physician Assistant Program; Claire Jalbert, The Prout School, University of Connecticut, Physiology and Neurobiology; Erin McGreevy, Narragansett High School, University of Rhode Island, Nursing; Nathan Tellier, North Kingstown High School, Salve Regina University, Nursing; Gabriella Huzyk, Chariho High School, University of Tennessee – Knoxville, Nursing; Natalie Kimmerlein, South Kingstown High School, Temple University, Biology (Pre-Med); Olivia Kelly, South Kingstown High School, University of Rhode Island, Pharmacy; Alexandra Miko-Rydzaj, The Prout School, Fairfield University, Nursing; Emily Taylor, Exeter-West Greenwich High School, University of New England, Physician Assistant Program, and Alexandra Provost, Narragansett High School, University of Alabama, Physical Therapy

The Conrad Nestor Scholarship is open to dependents of South County Health employees who plan to further their education in any field. The scholarship committee reviews each student’s application that includes academic experience, extracurricular and civic involvement, and a personal essay on why he or she should receive the award. David Chronley, MD, a pediatrician who oversees the Conrad-Nestor Scholarship, presented these awards to the students. Mrs. Marty Conrad, the widow of Dr. Conrad, attended the scholarship event along with family members.

The Conrad-Nestor Scholarship awardees (along with their high school, intended college, and major) are:

Abigail Hedglen, South Kingston High School, either Texas A&M University or George Washington University, Public Health; Mallorie Link, Toll Gate High School, University of New Hampshire, Nursing; Olivia Jardin, Exeter-West Greenwich High School, University of Rhode Island, Heath Studies (pre-Physician Assistant); Annaliese Kenney, Chariho High School, University of Rhode Island, Nursing; Robert Petrarca, III, Coventry High School, Rhode Island College, Journalism; Kendra Smith, North Kingstown High School, Simmons University, International Relations; Peter Spencer, Burrillville, University of Rhode Island or University of Maine, Wildlife and Conservation Biology; and Emily Taylor, Exeter-West Greenwich High School, University of New England, Physician Assistant Program.

The Medical Staff Scholarship is funded by membership dues collected from South County Health’s medical staff. The Conrad Nestor scholarship is funded through donations. Both are managed by the Rhode Island Foundation.

Dr. Pappas, DPM, is a member of the South County Health medical staff and has been on the scholarship committee since its inception.

“Throughout the decades, we have given scholarships to students who are now physicians, pharmacists, physical therapists, nurses, medical technology researchers, dentists, and sports medicine trainers,” Dr. Pappas said. “We see this as an important way for South County Health to continue contributing to a healthier community.”

In 1999, the Conrad-Nestor Scholarship was created by Dr. David Chronley to honor two doctors from South County Hospital. Robert L. Conrad, a general surgeon, was on staff from 1965 to 2000 and was instrumental in improving the facilities, staff, and patient care at South County Hospital. He served as both President of the Medical Staff and Chief of Surgery. During his tenure, he established the first EMT training in the state, the first radio communication between South County Hospital and rescue squads, and the first FAA-approved hospital heliport in New England. Thomas A. Nestor, MD, a surgeon and family doctor, was on staff at South County from 1946 to 1986 and was known for his formidable schedule and compassion for his patients. He made house calls until his retirement. As a Major in WWII Parachute Infantry, Dr. Nestor made numerous jumps under fire to care for wounded soldiers on the battlefields of the South Pacific.