Caromont Health Honors Scholarship Recipients

Scholarship Recipients 1st Step: Ashley Triplett, Kacee Griffin, Leann Richard 2nd Step: Teresa Pruett 3rd Step: Cora Robb, Karin Okonski 4th Step: Erica Marquard, Taylor Courtney 5th Step: Leah Cupp, Navreet Singh 6th Step: Callie Vellers, Catherine Campbell 7th Step: Courtney Bumgarner, Lisa Wilbanks 8th Step: Blair Gibson, Todd Friday 9th Step: Brittany Parker

The CaroMont Health Foundation and Hospice of Gaston County recently honored 19 recipients of scholarships from four scholarship funds: theLee Bucci Professional Nursing Scholarship, the Lonnie and Rachel Waggoner Nursing Education Fund Scholarship, the Mr. and Mrs. Joe R. Hudson Nursing Scholarship, and the Wayne F. Shovelin Scholarship. The scholarships, which this year total more than $111,000, provide tuition and support for student community members who are pursuing careers in health care.

Recipients of the scholarships:

  • Lee Bucci Professional Nursing Scholarship: Leann Richard
  • Lonnie and Rachel Waggoner Nursing Education Fund Scholarship: Callie Vellers
  • Mr. and Mrs. Joe R. Hudson Nursing Scholarship: Todd Friday, Dawn Hawkins, Karin Okonski, Teresa Pruett, Cora Robb and Ashley Triplett
  • Wayne F. Shovelin Scholarship: Courtney Bumgarner, Catherine Campbell, Taylor Courtney, Leah Cupp, Blair Gibson, Kacee Griffin, Erica Marquard, Andrew Nguyen, Brittany Parker, Navreet Singh and Lisa Wilbanks

“Our scholarship recipients embody the values that CaroMont Health and the CaroMont Health Foundation hold in highest regard, including dedication, hard work and community service,” said James Beam, CaroMont Health Foundation Board of Directors Chairperson. “We are proud to help these individuals achieve their goals and hope their success will continue. Our investment in them, and in the community, is a reflection of our goal to provide benefit to the area we serve.”

Recipients were chosen based on individual financial needs, future career aspirations in health care and current scholastic standing. Each scholarship candidate was interviewed and selected by the CaroMont Health Foundation Board of Directors.

About the Lee Bucci Professional Nursing Scholarship: The Lee Bucci Professional Nursing Scholarship was created to honor Lee Bucci, Executive Director of Gaston Hospice. This scholarship is given to honor the spirit of “living each day as a gift,” a belief shared by Bucci and Gaston Hospice. The Lee Bucci Professional Nursing Scholarship is for residents of Gaston County, NC who are enrolled in a nursing program.

About the Lonnie and Rachel Waggoner Nursing Education Fund Scholarship: A permanent endowment to honor the professional and community service contributions of Dr. Lonnie Waggoner, funded by gifts from friends and professional associates. Annual scholarship grants are made to students seeking an accredited degree in the field of nursing. Selection criteria include major emphasis on need and evidence of good character, as well as the applicant’s caring and compassionate attitude consistent with the needs of the nursing profession.

About the Mr. and Mrs. Joe R. Hudson Nursing Scholarship: Mr. & Mrs. Joe R. Hudson of Lowell, NC established The Hudson Scholarship in 1974 to support students and help staff the new Gaston Memorial Hospital. Mr. Hudson was a former trustee and board member of Gaston Memorial Hospital. The scholarship helps support the education of selected students in the nursing field. Upon receipt of the scholarship and completion of degree, recipients commit to employment with CaroMont Health for the period of time the nursing education scholarship was awarded.

About the Wayne F. Shovelin Scholarship: Wayne Shovelin made many contributions in positioning CaroMont Health as a prominent health care provider in North Carolina. Shovelin retired in September 2009, concluding 23 years as President and Chief Executive Officer of CaroMont Health. That year, CaroMont Health supporter, Duke Kimbrell, pledged a generous endowment of $2.25 million to establish the Wayne F. Shovelin Scholarship Fund in order to promote higher education and engage learning for CaroMont Health employees, volunteers and families. As a token of appreciation, CaroMont Health dedicated the fourth floor Critical Care Unit wall to the Kimbrell family in December 2010 for their generosity in helping to institute the scholarship.

About CaroMont Health – CaroMont Health, parent company for Gaston Memorial Hospital, has more than 3,800 employees, 43 medical practices, and eight affiliates. A Magnet hospital for nursing excellence and quality patient care, Gaston Memorial Hospital, is a 435-bed acute care facility supported by a medical staff of more than 300 physicians.


“I applied for the scholarship and found out I was a recipient, but I still needed to go through the interview process. Once I completed the interview, I was contacted by CaroMont to let me know that I received the scholarship, and also to see if it was possible to expedite my classes and finish my degree to be able to come to work here within the year. This was also important because the scholarship would cover my entire education during that year process.

Once I finish my education, I plan to go into the Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner field, and go to work at CaroMont Health as an outpatient or inpatient Family Nurse Practitioner in the Psychiatric department. I absolutely love Psych. Ever since I was in clinicals, I’ve known that’s what I want to do. It’s been a seven-year process to get to this point. I’ve been in school for seven years already, and I’m finally obtaining this goal.

Without the money from this scholarship, going back to school for an advanced degree would have never happened. I am a single person, and I would not have been able to support myself financially while returning to school. This has really helped me to get to where I am today. I will graduate next summer, and I’m very excited about my future.”
– Ashley Triplett, RN


For additional information contact CaroMont Health at 704-834-2000. or