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Recipients of this year’s Healthcare Professionals of Tomorrow scholarships are, clockwise from top left: Amy Quan, Hunter Johnson, Saffren Colbourne and Vinura Abeysekara.

Recipients of this year’s Healthcare Professionals of Tomorrow scholarships are, clockwise from top left: Amy Quan, Hunter Johnson, Saffren Colbourne and Vinura Abeysekara.

The Friends of Chinook Regional Hospital (CRH) together with Alberta Health Services  Volunteer Resources, award four Healthcare Professionals of Tomorrow scholarships to  exceptional volunteers each year. 

Two scholarships of $2,000 and two of $1,500 have been awarded to young people pursuing a  career in healthcare, who live within the hospital’s service area, and who have volunteered with  patients at CRH. 

Recipients of the $1,500 scholarships are Saffren Coulbourne and Hunter Johnson. 

Vinura Abeysekara, selected to receive a $2,000 scholarship, has volunteered at CRH since  2019 while pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry at the University of Lethbridge.  

“I volunteer as a way to give back to the community,” says Abeysekara. “It’s also a good first  step into healthcare, which I have always wanted to pursue a career in. Receiving this  scholarship will help me a lot in my goal of pursuing a career as a family physician, and is a  reminder that giving back to the community is always appreciated.” 

Amy Quan, a recent high school graduate who will receive a $2,000 scholarship, will attend the  University of British Columbia with the goal of attending medical school to become a radiologist. 

“Volunteering not only gives me the opportunity to spread kindness and make people’s day but  it also gives me a chance to work in a healthcare setting,” says Quan. “I’d like to thank the  volunteer coordinators at CRH especially Filomena Laporte-Packer and Hilary Holt for providing  a diverse range of opportunities, and inspired me to fully commit to pursuing a career in  healthcare.” 

Saffren Colbourne, an aspiring medical student, will use the $1,500 scholarship to pursue a  career in nursing because he admires the compassionate and thorough care that nurses  provide. He has been a volunteer in Wayfinding and Diagnostics & Imaging since 2019. 

“I became a volunteer because I wanted to get more exposure to the realities of the hospital setting and wanted to give back to my local community,” says Colbourne. “I am extremely lucky  to be able to make people’s hospital visit less daunting. Putting a smile on their faces makes  volunteering all worth it.”  

Hunter Johnson, recipient of a $1500 scholarship, began volunteering at CRH while completing  a Master of Science degree at the University of Lethbridge.  

“Volunteering has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life,” says Johnson.  “Volunteering has allowed me to surround myself with like-minded people who strive to make a  positive impact on everything they do, giving me a sense of purpose, involvement, and  determination.  

“Receiving this award will alleviate some of the financial stress associated with post-secondary  schooling, allowing me to completely focus on my research, future schooling, and other volunteer  activities.”

Friends of CRH supports programs important to the patient experience, enhancing the hospital  community through the efforts of dedicated staff and volunteers. The society recognizes and  gives back to the volunteers who make their efforts possible.  

“Each year, we get the opportunity to work with and support hard-working future healthcare  professionals through these scholarships,” says Executive Director Daniel Erickson. ”This year’s  recipients continue to go above and beyond in their volunteerism here at CRH, with a true  passion for a future career in healthcare. I look forward to seeing what they achieve next.”