WATERLOO – MercyOne Friends of Waterloo Medical Center has selected eight fellows for 2021.

These local students pursuing a medical degree each received $ 1,000 through generous donations and matching funds from the RJ McElroy Trust.

The winners are:

Caitlin heine of Waterloo is in the University of Iowa School of Nursing. She graduated from Columbus High School in 2019. Working and excelling at a local pharmacy helped Caitlin make the decision to get into nursing. She works in the emergency department of hospitals and clinics at the University of Iowa as a unit assistant. Her goal is to become a travel nurse so that she can travel across the country to help and serve.

Joshua Merrifield of Waterloo graduated from Columbus High School in May 2021. He is studying at the University of Iowa as an undergraduate student and plans to attend Palmer College of Chiropractic for a doctorate. Joshua’s extracurricular activities include participating in several sports and volunteering at the ReStore in Waterloo.

Sarah pech of Winthrop graduated from Starmont High School in 2020. She is attending Mount Mercy University at Cedar Rapids for a nursing degree. Sarah works as a CNA in a retirement community. Sarah has raised over $ 4,000 to purchase 200 baby dolls and cuddly dogs that will serve as companions for 17 memory-care facilities whose patients suffer from dementia.

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Luke Ragsdale graduated from Waverly-Shell Rock High School in May 2021. He is now attending Iowa State University with the goal of becoming a doctor. Luke has maintained a 4.0 GPA and has completed four years of Spanish which will allow him to travel abroad and experience diversity and people-to-people relationships.

Bailey Rustad from Tripoli graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in May 2021 with a degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and a minor in Gerontology. She is now working on her master’s degree in speech therapy. Bailey volunteers at MercyOne Waterloo Medical Center as well as for many campus activities.

Josephine Sagan attends Vinton-Shellsburg High School and graduated in May 2021. She attends the University of Northern Iowa and then plans to go to Allen College for a nursing degree. Josephine is a CNA at Virginia Gay Hospital and is an occupational therapy intern.

Ethan Schellhorn de Sumner graduated from Tripoli High School in May 2021. He attends Wartburg College and hopes to become a physiotherapist. Ethan is inspired by his brother, Grant, who has benefited greatly from physiotherapy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ethan was able to raise $ 17,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in six weeks.

Thalia Torres Guzman of Waterloo graduated from Columbus High School in May 2021. She attended the University of Northern Iowa and earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry before attending medical school to become a pediatric endocrinologist. In addition to having obtained her CNA in 2019, she already has a significant number of college credits and has been accepted into the UNI specialization program.


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