WMC Auxiliary investing in the future of health care with scholarship program

Released: 01/28/16

Megan Lyon received a $1000 Health Care Career Scholarship from the WMC Auxiliary in 2009. After completing her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in 2012, Megan returned to WMC to provide patient care. She is pictured below working with patient Ali Graves who is recovering from a recent hip surgery.

Seven years ago, Megan (Reutlinger) Lyon received a $1000 Health Care Career Scholarship from the WMC Auxiliary. “I applied for the (health care career) scholarship to assist with the costs of attending graduate school,” she says. At the time, Megan, a Decorah native, was finishing her senior year at Luther College in the Biology program. She had her sights set on becoming a physical therapist, a profession that requires extensive education beyond a four-year degree, and had been accepted to Des Moines University’s Physical Therapy Program.

“My parents both have careers in health care and I knew I also wanted to work in the health care field so that I would be able to give back to the community in which I grew up. I wanted to make a difference in peoples’ lives and help them improve their quality of life,” says Megan.

The Winneshiek Medical Center Auxiliary offers their annual Health Care Career Scholarship to residents of Winneshiek County interested in pursuing a health care profession. The applicant must be accepted into an accredited health career program to be eligible.

Since the scholarship program began in 1973, the WMC Auxiliary has awarded over $85,000 to 125 future health care professionals from Winneshiek County. Sharon Huber, member of the WMC Auxiliary Scholarship Committee is pleased that so many of the scholarship recipients have returned to Winneshiek County to provide patient care. Sharon says, “The scholarship committee specifically looks for talented individuals who are dedicated to the community in which they are raised. The Auxiliary feels that our scholarship program is an investment in the future of health care for our region.”

With the WMC Auxiliary’s help Megan was able to complete her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in 2012. She was soon hired back at home – at Winneshiek Medical Center – to begin her career as a physical therapist. She says, “I enjoy seeing the little improvements that my patients make every day, and in the end, seeing the great improvements they have made to help them achieve their goals. It’s very rewarding to see my patients succeed and to be able to help them return to their daily activities with fewer difficulties.”

Megan is thankful to the WMC Auxiliary, saying, “I am so appreciative of the Auxiliary’s assistance is covering part of the expenses of graduate school. I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to return to WMC to begin my career as a physical therapist and give back to those who have helped me along the way.”

Anyone interested in applying for WMC Auxiliary Health Care Career Scholarship should visit www.winmedical.org/auxiliary for the application, or contact Winneshiek Medical Center at 563-387-3036. The deadline for this year’s applications is March 18, 2016.

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