Diversity: This year’s BHB/GSKIL scholarship recipients. *Photo supplied
Diversity: This year’s BHB/GSKIL scholarship recipients. *Photo supplied

Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) has been encouraging young Bermudians to pursue careers in healthcare for decades.

It offers annual scholarships to students studying subjects in demand by medical institutions.

Last month, BHB awarded $120,000 in scholarships to 13 students who are studying nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, sonography/radiology, medical technology and pharmacy.

GlaxoSmithKline Insurance Ltd (GSKIL) — a Bermuda-based subsidiary of GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) — has also partnered with BHB for the past 18 years, offering scholarships to outstanding students with financial need.

GSKIL has donated a total $120,000 in scholarship funds since 1994. It awards $30,000 in scholarships each year.

Ian Fox, GSKIL president, said the company has a long history of encouraging Bermudian students to consider healthcare as a career.

“GlaxoSmithKline plc is a world-leading pharmaceutical and healthcare company and the Bermuda subsidiary, GlaxoSmithKline Insurance Ltd, is very pleased to financially assist local students pursuing university studies in healthcare careers,” he said.

“BHB does an admirable job interviewing candidates and awarding our scholarships each year.

“We’d like to congratulate this year’s GSK Scholar, Kelly Savery, who is studying for a doctorate in counselling psychology at the University of Manchester in the UK.”

Kareema Sharrieff received the GSK award in 2000 and completed her studies with a doctorate in pharmacology from Northeastern University in Boston in 2003.

She is currently the manager of pharmacy services at the hospital and says when she received her scholarship, GSK’s mission was improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.

“The committed team at GSK defined and reinforced for me the idea of compassion, wholehearted generosity and conviction to positive outcomes for their patients and customers,” she said.

“Their mission statement resonated and reminded me why I had committed to a profession in pharmacy and why I have remained devoted and passionate about this field ever since.

“As a result of the scholarship award, I continued my studies and became part of a larger, meaningful healthcare workforce.

“I have also come to realize that only with purpose in our professional lives can we be productive.

“I am deeply grateful for GSK’s generosity and belief that I was a worthy recipient of their award.”

Keenan VanPutten, 2009’s GSK scholarship recipient, studied nursing at Hampton University in Virginia and graduated in 2011with a Bachelor of Science degree.

Now employed at BHB as a registered nurse, he says the scholarship award helped tremendously in pursuing his career goal.

 “Receiving the additional funding really assisted me in completing my studies,” he said.

“I love my job because it brings such an immense sense of satisfaction. I take great pride in my work and give 100 per cent to my patients.

“It’s the human touch and interaction that shows we care.

“Helping patients is so rewarding — I encourage young Bermudians to consider careers in healthcare. It’s a great way to give back to our community.”

Lynae Joseph, BHB career development coordinator said: “Scholarship recipients will one day join our team as fully qualified healthcare workers.

“Because we are competing in a global market with a shortage of medical professionals, we recognize the value young people will bring to Bermuda by choosing career paths that are projected as being needed at the hospitals.

“BHB offers more than 450 positions that are as diverse as surgical nursing, accounting, diagnostic technology and landscaping.

“If you are a young Bermudian looking for a rewarding, challenging and exciting career, we encourage you to consider pursuing a path in healthcare.

“And we extend appreciation to our partners, GlaxoSmithKline, for their financial support of our young and eager students.”

For more information on BHB scholarships to go www.bermudahospitals.bm/bhb/student-services/scholarship-programme.asp.

Scholarship Recipients 2012