The Friends of Chinook Regional Hospital, together with Alberta Health Services Volunteer
Resources, award scholarships to some exceptional volunteers each year.
An organization that has long supported patients, their visitors and staff at Chinook Regional
Hospital (CRH) through the operation of a gift shop and TV/phone program, is recognizing and
giving back to the volunteers who make their efforts possible.
Two scholarships of $2,000 and two of $1,500 are awarded to young people pursuing a career
in healthcare, who live within the hospital’s service area and who have volunteered with patients
Having begun volunteering at CRH in July 2015, Kush Patel appreciates each day how
influential the experience has been on his sense of community and personal development.
“My commitment to CRH and dedication to education have played a profound role in guiding mydecision towards becoming a physician,” says Patel, currently a student at the University of
Haley Shade, a fourth year Biological Sciences major at the University of Lethbridge, aspires to
be a physician and to serve as a role model for First Nations youth. “My generation has increased potential to move forward and achieve our dreams while
maintaining our Indigenous identity, bridging cultures to enable the learning of Indigenous
culture for non-Indigenous peoples and importantly committed to giving back to our
communities,” says Shade, a member of the Blood Tribe First Nation.
A volunteer mentor, Udari Walgama found that volunteering helped to build her character and
taught her the importance of discipline and teamwork, which will help her to succeed in the field
of healthcare moving forward. “Volunteering not only benefits the patient, it helps me gain a sense of purpose,” says Walgama,
a recent high school graduate and aspiring registered nurse beginning her studies at Lethbridge
College in the fall.
Twin sisters Elizabeth and Gabriella Szabo will be sharing an award this year. They are recent
graduates of Catholic Central High School who are also beginning studies at Lethbridge
College, and are quick to offer a smile, a fresh glass of water or an invitation to play with a sick
child during their time volunteering at CRH.
“Volunteering at Chinook Regional Hospital has literally changed my life, given me direction and
made me appreciate the life I have,” says Elizabeth Szabo. “It has made me a better person and
shown me how to be even more compassionate, kind and giving towards others,” Gabriella
Their outstanding passion for volunteerism, community service and plans to establish
healthcare careers sets these volunteers apart. Each student is worthy of congratulations on
this achievement as they journey towards their career in healthcare.