Employee committee members Ashley Sassi, Alanis Bishop, Dannica Avendano and Jodi Huntley share some of the hand-decorated treats that the committee created for an end-of-summer employee celebration. Ashley, Dannica and Jodi have all benefited from the Employee Education Assistance Fund.
Three Newton Presbyterian Manor employees have received scholarships from the Employee Education Assistance Fund, continuing a long and strong tradition among our staff members of continuing education.
Executive Director Marc Kessinger said Presbyterian Manor strongly urges employees to take their education further and to take advantage of the fund. “We feel it’s pretty important to encourage it, because we see a lot of scholarship recipients who work their way up through Newton Presbyterian Manor. Probably half of our nurses have been scholarship recipients who have stayed with us,” he added. “We feel like that’s a big key to our success. We’ve got that longevity and familiarity with our campus, and our residents, and each other.”
The awards supplement an employee’s own funds or school loans. This year’s recipients are:
Dannica (Woeppel) Avendano, LPN. This is Dannica’s third award from the employee education program. She’s been part of our staff for more than five years. Dannica first earned her LPN certification from Hutchinson Community College. She has earned her RN certification and is now pursuing a bachelor of science in nursing degree, or BSN.
Phil Abongo, RN. Phil has started working toward a BSN degree at Wichita State University. He started as an LPN with us in 2010. In 2013, Phil earned his RN certification with the help of a scholarship from the Kansas State Nursing Board of Regents.
Kelly McGee. Kelly used her scholarship to take a summer course to become a certified medication assistant (CMA) through Hutchinson Community College. Kelly is also a certified nursing assistant.
They are among 33 Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America employees who received education awards for the 2016-17 school year. Since it was created 38 years ago by the Charles Koehn family of Koehn Construction in Newton, the assistance fund has helped more than 700 PMMA employees achieve professional degrees and certifications, from skilled nursing to finance to advanced degrees such as Master of Healthcare Leadership.
The scholarship program is a key reason employees stay with Presbyterian Manor, Kessinger said. A high retention rate means that upper level staff aren’t constantly training new people. The employees who advance their education and careers are good role models for less experienced staff. “They set good examples of what can be accomplished, because the other employees know they started from the same place,” he said.