VNA Scholarship Award
BY KAAREN VALENTA
The Newtown Visiting Nurse Association has awarded its $1,000 Mary M. Holian
Scholarship for Returning Students to Jennifer Ober for her master's degree
studies in nursing at Western Connecticut State University.
"Jennifer Ober is one of our outstanding young women of today," said VNA
second vice president Margareta Kotch, who presented the award with Sally
Schwerdtle, VNA scholarship chairman.
Mrs Ober is enrolled in the second year of the master's degree program and
plans to become a nurse practitioner. She is a graduate of Fairfield
University, where she earned a bachelor of science degree in nursing. She has
worked at Greenwich Hospital, the Danbury VNA, Family Health Care Center in
She is now the well child clinic coordinator and pediatric community health
nurse for the Bethel and Newtown VNAs.
Mrs Ober lives in Newtown with her husband, Gary, and three daughters,
Bethany, Mary Grace and Claire.
The Newtown VNA-Mary M. Holian Scholarship is awarded annually to individuals
who live in Newtown and who are returning to school for a nursing degree,
either an associate or BSN. The applicant must be entering the second year of
training, provided he or she has completed the first year within the last five
years. Selection is based on interest in the nursing profession, personality,
scholarship, financial need and upon the recommendation of a faculty adviser
The scholarship was established in 1988 in honor and appreciation of Mary M.
Holian for her dedication and leadership in the field of public health nursing
in Newtown and in the state of Connecticut. She has served on the Newtown VNA
Board for 30 years, nine of those as president. She is a charter member and
past president of the state organization, the Association of Community Health
Care Service Agencies.
She was responsible for the establishment of many of the Newtown VNA programs,
including the well-child conferences, the scholarship programs, and the
consortium with the Danbury VNA to provide nursing services to Newtown.
Mrs Holian continues to be an active member of the Newtown VNA board and is an
active contributor and observer of legislation on the state and federal levels
pertaining to non-profit home health agencies. Mrs Holian is a graduate of
Albertus Magnus College, and was a teacher for many years in area schools.
The VNA also awards a $2,000 Anna E. Clow Scholarship to graduating seniors
from Newtown who intend to pursue nursing studies. Information about the
scholarships also is available by writing to Sally Schwerdtle, 447 North Park
Avenue, Easton, Conn. 06612, or by calling her at 203/268-8333.