The Wallowa Valley Health Care Foundation named Kristen Ruckdashel, a Behavioral Health Coach at Winding Waters Medical Clinic, as the recipient of the first annual Edgar and Francis Boyd Burbridge Scholarship. Ruckdashel applied for the $2,000 scholarship to help her pursue her education to become a licensed clinical social worker.
The Foundation received a $231,557 gift from the estate of Edgar Eli and Frances Lorene Boyd Burbridge in 2018. A portion of these funds have been allocated for an annual scholarship to be awarded to someone in their second year or beyond of education or training that will significantly affect health care in Wallowa County.
The Gwen & Gladys Coffin Memorial Scholarship was founded in 2012 in honor of Gwen and Gladys Coffin, who helped put the fledgling Foundation on solid financial ground when they donated a $500,000 irrevocable gift in 1995. The Coffins continued to contribute to the Foundation throughout the years, through their attendance at the annual Healthy Futures Dinner Auction. One of their three children, Gail Swart, is an active member of the Wallowa Valley Health Care Foundation, and has served on the board since 1996. The recipient of the $2,000 Coffin Memorial Scholarship for 2019 is Robin Hopkins. Hopkins, a Human Resources Generalist at Wallowa Memorial Hospital is working on her bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in human resources.
The Foundation received seven worthy applications, according to board president Dave Smyth. “It was a challenge to choose these winners, but we feel both recipients show a commitment to excellence, and health care in the county.” One of the requirements of both scholarships is that the recipient stay in the county and put their new skills to work locally.