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VNA & Hospice of the Southwest Region Nurses Win 2019 Betsy Gardner Scholarship

RUTLAND, VT — Nicolette R. Beagle, RN, CHPN, COS-C Hospice Clinical Manager and Alexandra Sands, RN Hospice are recipients of the 2019 Betsy Gardner Scholarship, an initiative of the Madison-Deane Education fund that provides educational funding for hospice and palliative care nurses.

Alexandra Sands, RN
Nicolette Beagle, RN, CHPN COS-c

The scholarship provides financial support for nurses to attend the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) annual assembly in March. Each scholarship recipient includes a year membership to AAHPM, full conference registration and a stipend for airfare and hotel accommodations.

Nicole Moran, MSN, BA, RN, and Director of Palliative Care & Hospice Services noted the significance of the Betsy Gardner Scholarship to hospice nurses, “Educational support for hospice nurses is critical to promote excellence in end-of-life and palliative care. We are thrilled that two of our highly skilled nurses will be able to participate in the conference that brings together more than 3,400 hospice and palliative care professionals to share research, clinical best practices, and continue to improve patient care.”

For Nicolette Beagle, who views hospice as her life’s work, the chance to enhance her skills is crucial, “My goal receiving this scholarship is to better my practice as a hospice nurse and hospice clinical manager, and to improve my team and the care we provide to so many families here in Vermont,” said Beagle. “My hope is to increase initiatives to reach more people in my community and state with information, education, and support around hospice and palliative care. I am so grateful to be chosen to receive this scholarship, to attend the Annual Assembly, and to spread the knowledge and conversation about good quality end-of-life care in the state I love.”

Alex Sands, added “I’m excited to have been awarded the Gardner Scholarship…so I can broaden my skills and knowledge specifically in symptom management for different disease processes, populations and age groups. I look forward to meeting and learning with other hospice and palliative nurses, nurse practitioners, chaplains, social workers and physicians from around the country. I know I’ll be excited to put the latest ideas in hospice care into practice when I return to my patients in beautiful Vermont.”

About the Scholarship

The Madison-Deane Education Fund (formerly the Madison-Deane Initiative) provides education around end-of-life care for healthcare professionals as well as support and advocacy for raising awareness and making high-quality hospice care available to all Vermonters.

During its commemorative event in the fall of 2017, a nursing scholarship program was established by MDEF in honor of Betsy Gardner, RN, the skilled, compassionate hospice nurse who cared for and transformed the end-of-life experience for Dr. James Madison and his family.

The Betsy Garner Scholarship will provide up to four scholarships annually for Vermont nurses to attend national conferences to expand their professional knowledge and skills in the areas of hospice and palliative care.

Scholarship recipients must have a minimum of four years’ experience working in a hospice and palliative care setting and commit to providing poster presentations to clinicians across the state of knowledge gained at annual conference.

About the VNA & Hospice of the Southwest Region

Founded in Rutland, Vermont, the VNAHSR has grown to include locations throughout Bennington and Rutland Counties. VNAHSR is a non-profit, Medicare-certified home health and hospice agency delivering a wide-range of advanced medical care with compassion, dependability, and expertise to people of all ages.

With office locations in Bennington, Dorset, Manchester and Rutland, we have nearly 350 trusted health professionals and caregivers committed to providing exceptional care to patients and families.

Proud of our national reputation for quality care, VNAHSR is highly rated for Quality of Patient Care and Patient Satisfaction from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and is recognized as one of the nation’s top 100 performing home health agencies, by HomeCare Elite, a market-leading review that identifies top Medicare-certified agencies.