Johnston Memorial Hospital awards scholarships to local students


ABINGDON, Va. – Johnston Memorial Hospital has awarded scholarships totaling $8,000 to eight outstanding Washington County, Va., high school graduates who excelled in athletics and academics or are planning to pursue careers in health care.

“Investing in and supporting the youth of our community is something we are committed to doing here at Johnston Memorial”, said hospital CEO Sean McMurray. “We are thrilled to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of these students as well as to be able to offer some assistance as they further their academic careers.”

Four seniors received a Johnston Memorial Health Career Scholarship. Tyler M. Whitt, Jessika Lynn Haga, Brady Bernard Ratliff and Eryn Leigh Hayes each were awarded a $500 grant to be applied toward college tuition for the 2014 fall semester. Following completion of their first year of college, each recipient will be eligible for an additional $500 grant if they remain in good academic standing. Students awarded this scholarship intend to pursue a medical related career and have demonstrated characteristics necessary for becoming a successful worker in the health care industry.  Such traits include outstanding academic performance, a caring attitude, dependability and a strong work ethic.

Tyler M. Whitt of Abingdon High School plans to attend East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, and aspires to become a physical therapist. He has been an active volunteer with the Boys & Girl Club, Feeding America, United Way, Second Harvest Food Bank and his church.  He was a member of the National Honor Society, Pre-Med Club, Contemporary Band Club and the Republican Club.  Whitt also was an accomplished member of the Abingdon High wrestling team.

Holston High School’s Jessika Lynn Haga plans to become a cardiologist and will attend either King University or University of Virginia.  She served as a member of the National Honor Society, scholastic bowl team, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and was a Washington County Community Scholar.  She participated in volleyball and softball.  She is a committee member of the Washington County Fair Grounds Horse Show, a member of Phi Theta Kappa and a hospital volunteer.

Brady Bernard Ratliff of John S. Battle High School plans to pursue a career as a pharmacist and will attend Emory & Henry College. In high school he was a Washington County Community Scholar, a Junior Marshall for the 2013 graduation ceremony and a member of National Honor Society.  He was a member of the tennis and golf teams and co-editor-in-chief of the Phoenix yearbook staff.

Eryn Leigh Hayes of Holston High School is the scholarship recipient for William N. Neff Center for Science and Technology. Hayes will attend Virginia Highlands Community College and aspires to be a registered nurse specializing in geriatrics. She was the vice president of Health Occupations Students of America, a member of co-ed Hi-Y and an ambassador for the Washington County Career and Technical Education Center.   She also was an A Honor Roll student who has already received her certified nursing assistant credentials.

Four seniors received the Johnston Memorial Ed Hill Scholar Athlete Award.  Emily Katherine Greear, Devin Joel Keith, Noah Seth Carter and Chrisann E. Tipton each received a one-time $1,000 grant. This award was established in honor of Ed Hill, a long-time physical therapist at Johnston Memorial Hospital and an active community advocate of high school athletics. To be a candidate for the award, students must have excelled in both academics and athletics during high school. 

Emily Katherine Greear of Abingdon High School plans to pursue a degree in health sciences with a focus on pre-dental at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.  She excelled in basketball and tennis while participating in various other school organizations. Greear was a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Club, Key Club and was president of the Distributive Education Club of America (DECA). She was involved in the American Heart Association Queen of Hearts program and is an active volunteer for Pleasant View United Methodist Church. 

Holston High School’s Devin Joel Keith hopes to become a nurse anesthetist at Virginia Highlands Community College and King University. He served as a member of the National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Washington County Community Scholars program. Keith was an active member of the golf, basketball, baseball and football teams; marching and concert bands; and the Student Council Association.  He is an active volunteer for Beulah Baptist Church.

Noah Seth Carter of John S. Battle High School will attend East Tennessee State University in the fall with plans to complete a degree in accounting.  He is an avid runner, served as vice president of the National Honor Society and was a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes.  He has been a member of the Washington County, Va., Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee and has volunteered with several community and church programs.

Patrick Henry High School’s Chrisann E. Tipton plans to attend The University of Tennessee to pursue a degree in supply chain management.  She excelled in volleyball, basketball and softball while participating in several scholastic and community activities. She was president of the Key Club, secretary of the Senior Class and a member of Future Teachers of America and Future Business Leaders of America.  Tipton was a Washington County Community Scholar and a member of the National Honor Society.

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