Callaway Community Hospital holding scholarship competition

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FULTON - Callaway Community Hospital is offering scholarships to three legal residents.

The scholarships will be worth $1,000 each and are open to seniors graduating from one of the five Callaway County high schools, or an employee of the hospital who will be enrolled in a health related field of study.

The Callaway Community Hospital Auxiliary Scholarship Committee is reviewing 20 applications.  The Auxiliary Scholarship Committee will award the scholarships based on merit.

The scholarship funds are coming from the committee's annual card party, where those who attend play card games raising money for the scholarships. The rest of the money comes from the gift shop at the hospital.

Scholarship Chairperson Bonnie Shiverdecker said the scholarship will help encourage students to go forward with health related studies.

Two of the scholarships will go to graduating seniors, and the other to an employee of the hospital that will be announced at the end of this school year. The recipients of the scholarships will have the payment paid in two installments, one at the beginning of each semester.

According to AARP, the United States is short about 16,000 primary care physicians. It cited large medical school debts, long hours and underpayment as reasons for the shortage.

Shiverdecker said trying to bring back these students to Callaway Community Hospital has never been the focus of awarding the scholarships.

"Sometimes they come back and serve in this community. That isn't particularly necessary, but education these days is expensive," Shiverdecker said. "It would be nice, and we've had several applicants who desire to come back and be a doctor in Callaway County."

Shiverdecker said the committee could possibly add a fourth scholarship this year before the announcement.