Lab Scholarships Offer Aid to Local Students
Catherine Ryan, Neumann University
medical technology student and a
recipient of this year's Medical
Technology Student Scholarship from
Crozer-Keystone Health System.
Crozer-Keystone Health System Hospital Laboratories once again offered their Medical Technology Student Scholarship Program for the 2010-2011 academic year.
Scholarships were recently presented to Catherine Ryan of Neumann University, and Heather Gaffigan and Hallie Owens, both of the University of Delaware, to financially assist them as they pursue a career in medical technology. The scholarship is payable toward their senior year of tuition and requires that the students commit a minimum of one year of employment as a medical technologist with CKHS Laboratories.
The scholarship was established nine years ago when laboratories everywhere began experiencing a significant shortage of laboratory professionals. CKHS Hospital Laboratories founded this scholarship to create opportunities for both the recipient and CKHS. A few years later, Neumann College (now Neumann University) became the scholarship’s second affiliate.
“Since there are only a few medical technology programs in the Philadelphia area, and the programs are small, we needed a mechanism to attract the few graduates each year to CKHS,” says Nancy Bristol, administrative director of CKHS Laboratories. “We have found that, by offering scholarships, we not only have been able to select the best candidates, but most recipients have remained at CKHS well beyond the employment requirement. The program has also strengthened our relationships with the University of Delaware and Neumann University. It is a win-win for everyone.”
For years now, CKHS Hospital Laboratories, and laboratories all over the country, have used different techniques to attract skilled medical technologists. But unfortunately, there has been a shortage of workers for nearly two decades.
The shortage of medical technologists is directly linked to the rapidly decreasing workforce that is largely made up of an older generation, many of whom are approaching retirement. In addition, laboratories will soon face the challenge of treating a larger-than-usual generation of older patients as the Baby Boomer generation ages and requires increased access to healthcare services.
The purpose of the Medical Technology Student Scholarship is to help defray education costs for students, promote medical laboratory science, and address the current and future workforce shortage. CKHS Hospital Laboratories’ scholarships give students the opportunity to enter a field of employment that offers exceptional pay and relatively unlimited room to grow and advance within the field.
Each year, in the spring, CKHS Laboratory representatives visit junior medical technology students to give an on-campus presentation about the scholarship opportunity.
Maria Batter, education coordinator for CKHS Hospital Laboratories, says, “Crozer-Keystone’s Hospital Laboratories hope to continue to offer this scholarship to students pursuing a career in medical laboratory science. This is one course of action in our continuing effort to combat the laboratory workforce shortage due to limited collegiate programs and the advancing age of our staff. The average age of medical laboratory scientists nationally was recently reported in Advance News for Laboratory Professionals as 44 and rising. Offering scholarships demonstrates our commitment to seek out the top educational performers who can then provide the highest quality diagnostic testing for our patients.”
For more information about CKHS Hospital Laboratories’ Medical Technology Student Scholarship, contact Maria Batter, education coordinator, CKHS Hospital Laboratories, at (610) 447-2987 (15-2987).