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Auxiliary Awards $5,000 in Scholarships to Area Students

The UVM Health Network - Elizabethtown Community Hospital Auxiliary Awards $5,000 in Scholarships to Area Students

Second year for region’s only NYS DOH accredited paramedic certification program

Elizabethtown, NY – Earlier this month, the UVM Health Network - Elizabethtown Community Hospital welcomed fifteen new students to its paramedic education program, now in its second year. The hospital auxiliary awarded $1,000 scholarships to five of the incoming students through a newly-established scholarship fund.

Laura Sells-Doyle, president of the UVM Health Network - Elizabethtown Community Hospital Auxiliary, said the scholarship fund was created in 2018. “Shortly after the paramedic education program began, we set aside dollars to support it. This is an investment not only in the future of these students but also in our community’s emergency medical services.”

“For more than a decade, our dedicated members have worked to raise money to improve the patient experience and promote the health of our community,” said Ms. Sells-Doyle. The Auxiliary has a long tradition of supporting a range of hospital departments and programs. In recent years, funds raised through annual events like the Dinner@8 and the Doc Lopez Run for Health, have helped to sponsor community health clinics and support the purchase of equipment for patients.

2019 Scholarship Recipients Committed to their Communities

For Nabeel Hameed, of Lewis, New York, the auxiliary scholarship award will help defray the cost of tuition, which totals $5,200 per student. The auxiliary scholarship, says Mr. Hameed, is helping to support the next generation of pre-hospital providers.

“It’s a comfort to patients when they know their paramedic,” said Mr. Hameed. “I want to become a paramedic so I can give back to the community that raised me – and the Auxiliary is helping me do just that.”

As an auxiliary scholarship recipient, Mr. Hameed is joined by four area students, each of whom was selected by paramedic education program staff for a demonstrated commitment to their community.

Shannon Dunklee, who has seven years’ experience as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) in Fort Edward, New York, hopes to become a flight paramedic in the region. Richard Long and Allison Vrooman, from Whitehall, New York, are actively engaged in sustaining and expanding local emergency services.

For North Creek native, Michelle SanAntonio, becoming a paramedic will be the next step in a career change inspired by her, “love of caring for the community.”

Each of the recipients also received support from the Richard Beebe Memorial Scholarship Fund. Mr. Beebe was a paramedic, registered nurse, author and educator from Albany, New York who was a mentor to many paramedics in the region.

Year Two for New Paramedic Education Program

“Before we started this program, students would have to travel more than a hundred miles to participate in a paramedic certificate program,” said Bruce Barry, director of the paramedic program at the UVM Health Network - Elizabethtown Community Hospital. The program, launched in 2018 to address a shortage of local paramedic education opportunities, is the region’s first New York State Department of Health accredited program.

“Many of these students also juggle part- or full-time jobs,” added Mr. Barry, “so a local program makes this next career step for EMTs a possibility.” Paramedics build on their EMT training to develop advanced skills to carry out procedures such as such as administering medications, orally and intravenously; performing airway management; and learning to resuscitate and support patients with life-threatening problems such as heart attacks and traumatic injuries.

The UVM Health Network - Elizabethtown Community Hospital designed the program to minimize tuition and travel costs, offering classrooms in Lewis, Malone and Queensbury and a virtual classroom online. The course prepares students to sit for the New York State Paramedic Certification exam and to go on to offer high-quality pre-hospital care.

“Graduates of the paramedic program are ready to respond to a range of emergencies from heart attacks to traumatic injuries,” said Mr. Barry. “There is a growing need for paramedics in our region and across New York State. With this program, we have been able to grow our own paramedics to help meet this need.”

Donations to the Paramedic Education Program Scholarship Fund may be made by mail to the UVM Health Network - Elizabethtown Community Hospital Auxiliary, 75 Park Street, Elizabethtown, NY 12932. For more information please visit or call (518) 873-3003.


About Elizabethtown Community Hospital

The University of Vermont Health Network - Elizabethtown Community Hospital is a designated critical access hospital and the primary health care provider serving the 39,000 people who live, work and vacation in Essex County, NY and the surrounding region.

Elizabethtown Community Hospital is transforming rural health care at its main campus in Elizabethtown, NY, at a new emergency department and outpatient center at the former Moses Ludington Hospital in Ticonderoga, NY, and at six community-based primary health care centers located throughout the region.  The hospital is one of the community’s largest employers with 383 employees.

Across the Elizabethtown and Ticonderoga campuses, the hospital maintains two 24-hour emergency rooms, a 25-bed inpatient unit, physical therapy, laboratory, and digital radiology departments, and a variety of specialty physician clinics on a weekly and monthly basis.  

Elizabethtown Community Hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission and is licensed and certified by the New York State Department of Health and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

About The University of Vermont Health Network
The University of Vermont Health Network is an academic health system that is comprised of six affiliate hospitals, a multi-specialty medical group, and a home health agency. We serve the residents of Vermont and northern New York with a shared mission: working together, we improve people’s lives.  Our partners include:

Our 4,000 health care professionals are driven to provide high quality, cost-efficient care as close to home as possible. Strengthened by our academic connection to the University of Vermont, each of our hospitals remains committed to its local community by providing compassionate, personal care shaped by the latest medical advances and delivered by highly skilled experts.