AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – People from around the community gathered at the Augusta Country Club for the University Hospital Nurse Alumni Scholarship Luncheon.

“This is a really fun event, it’s also a really meaningful event for us at Piedmont Augusta Foundation because this is the time of year where we hand out scholarships to our existing employees who are furthering their existing nursing education,” said President of the Piedmont Augusta Foundation, Laurie Ott.

The scholarships are a way to honor nurses, and celebrate the excellence in the service that they’ve provided in the community.

“We’re handing out thirty seven, two thousand dollar scholarships to our employees that are furthering their education. We’re able to do this because people make contributions to our endowments and funds and we’re able to turn around and help our employees in furthering their education whether they’re getting their bachelor’s degree in nursing, their masters in nursing, some of them even their DNP in nursing which is really awesome,” said Ott.

“It’s very important because we know that there’s a demand for health care and in that demand right now there’s a shortage of nurses. At the bedside and any clinical environment it is about safe and quality care and our nurses deliver that every day,” said Director of Operations for Piedmont Augusta, Velvette Myles.

“Anything we can do to keep them bedside and keep them educated and certified with the highest level of information and education possible, that’s a big help too. Not only our system but especially our patients” said Ott.

Recipients of the scholarships were excited to be honored.

“I think it’s a privilege and I would just like to say thank you to those that laid the foundation for this award. I just like helping people, I’m a nurturing person, that’s just my personality, and I like caring for people and If I can make someone feel good that’s what I want to do,” said Latonja Rivers, who’s a LPN of twenty two years.

The Piedmont Augusta Foundation is thankful for everything that nurses have done over the years, and hope to continue helping them for years to come.

“This is one of my favorite events of the year because we get to see the recipients who are getting those scholarships and we have endowments and funds representatives who come and get to see where their support went, so it’s just a nice way to connect those two and it’s really a great way to celebrate nurses, it’s a great way to celebrate nursing at Piedmont Augusta,” said Ott.