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Nursing students win Gamble, Shaw scholarships from Latrobe foundation

| Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
From left, Latrobe Area Hospital Charitable Foundation manager Norma Samide, Rebecca Findle, Stephanie Stiles and Lauren Love. submitted

The Latrobe Area Hospital Charitable Foundation presented three scholarships related to nursing careers.

Two awardees received the Elizabeth Shaw Gamble Nursing Scholarship for graduating high school students. The third is the beneficiary of the Walter C. Shaw Memorial Scholarship for Latrobe Hospital registered nurses, which is reserved for nurses employed by the hospital who are enrolled in an accredited school of nursing for an advanced clinical degree.

Stephanie Stiles, 20, a junior at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, was the first recipient of the Gamble scholarship in 2010 and continues to receive support from funds set aside by the late Gamble, a resident of the Ligonier Valley who died in 2012. Eligible students must be graduates of the Ligonier Valley, Greater Latrobe or Derry Area school districts, have an outstanding academic record and demonstrate financial need.

The daughter of Gary and Beth Stiles of Ligonier Borough is completing clinical rotations that will help her identify an area of nursing specialty. She is considering a career in obstetrics or pediatrics.

Rebecca Findle, 19, the daughter of Kevin and Bonnie Findle of Unity, is a new recipient of the Gamble scholarship. The 2012 graduate of Greater Latrobe is attending the main campus of the University of Pittsburgh in Oakland, with hope of earning an advanced degree as a family health certified nurse practitioner.

Nursing is a family legacy. Findle's grandmother, Joann “Jody” Boettner, was a pediatric nurse at Latrobe Hospital for more than 40 years. Findle's mother has been a nurse at Latrobe Hospital for more than 25 years, first in oncology, then in women's health.

Like Stiles, Findle participated in the Allied Health program through Eastern Westmoreland Career and Technology Center, in which she shadowed various health professionals.

“My mother told me that a nursing career involves many aspects of other medical fields,” Findle said. “A nurse takes on the role of dietitian, social worker, psychologist, pharmacist and physical therapist. I find this to be both exciting and challenging.”

Health education and wellness are important to the teenager, who has served as a lifeguard and swimming instructor at her community pool, a school study buddy and a mentor to children in her church.

Lauren Love, a critical care nurse at Excela Health Latrobe Hospital, is the recipient of the Walter C. Shaw Memorial Scholarship. In 2012, she was awarded the Thomas P. Gessner Healthcare Scholarship administered by the foundation.

Love, a Unity resident, is completing a master's degree in nursing at Penn State University. At the conclusion of her program, she will become a certified nurse practitioner with dual qualifications in family practice and acute care.

Walter Carlyle Shaw, Elizabeth Shaw Gamble's father, was one of the founders of G.C. Murphy Co. and played a major role in the business and civic life of McKeesport for decades. Under his leadership, G.C. Murphy grew into one of the nation's major retail chains, with more than 500 stores in 22 states and the District of Columbia. Shaw, a generous benefactor to McKeesport Hospital and many community-based organizations, died in January 1962.

Elizabeth Shaw Gamble relocated to the Ligonier area in 1971 and wished to follow in her father's footsteps by supporting her community. She believed that contributing in some way to further the nursing profession would have been something her father would have endorsed.

Information and application forms for the Gamble scholarship are available through the participating high schools. Applications for the scholarship program for Latrobe Hospital nurses are available through the Excela Health Human Resources department.