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Fueling the medical profession

KAPAA — The Mahelona Hospital Auxiliary celebrated high school graduation by awarding three $1,000 scholarships Tuesday during its meeting, where scholarship recipients and their families were celebrated at a luncheon at Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital.

The awards were made to graduating seniors from Kauai’s public high schools who are planning on pursuing careers in the medical profession.

Joseph Hedstrom Jr., a graduate of Waimea High School, was the sole male earning the scholarship, joining Tierney Beadle, a senior at Kauai High School, and Kiara Dolino, graduating from Kapaa High School with the JROTC program.

“I plan on attending the University of Northern Colorado to study nursing,” said Dolino, the daughter of Connie Laborte, a nurse at Mahelona. “Then, I’ll enter the military and eventually become a nurse in an emergency room.”

Beadle, the daughter of Carol Ragasa-Beadle, a Same Day Surgery nurse at Wilcox Health, said she is also planning on becoming a nurse.

“I grew up in the hospitals,” the Kauai High School graduate said. “My mom is a nurse, and I love helping people. I’ll be going to Creighton University, where I’ve already been accepted in the direct-entry nursing program. That means no waiting. I get to study nursing from the time I get there.”

Hedstrom, one of four valedictorians at Waimea, was unable to attend the meeting.

“We’re really happy to be able to increase the amounts of the scholarships to $1,000 each,” said Ann Hamamura, the auxiliary’s vice president. “It used to be just $500 each, but we enjoyed success in both the hospital’s Thrift Store and the recent bon dance to be able to give more.”

Proceeds from the Mahelona Hospital Thrift Store, currently offering a half-off clothing campaign through Friday, and other special events like the community bon dance are the primary source of the scholarship funds.

Claire Alfiler is the Mahelona Hospital Auxiliary president, with Doris Sugahara as secretary and Mae Sekiya as treasurer. The group boasts a membership of about three dozen members.


Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or
Source: The Garden Island

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