“I’ve known I wanted to be in medicine since I was a little kid.” – Tiffany Willis
Tiffany Willis grew up down the road from Wickenburg Community Hospital & Clinics (WCH) fascinated by the sounds of the air ambulance taking off and landing. “Every time that flight helicopter starts up, I know that means that team is going to help someone in need. I want that to be me,” wrote Willis in a scholarship application.
Willis, a recent graduate of Wickenburg High School (WHS), is the recipient of two healthcare scholarships from Wickenburg Community Hospital Foundation (WCHF). The Foundation is committed to supplying financial aid to educate the next generation of rural healthcare providers.
“I’ve known I wanted to be in medicine since I was a little kid,” says Willis. She had issues as a child that needed specialty care from cardiologists, allergists, podiatrists, and ear, nose, and throat doctors. She feels lucky to grow up in Wickenburg because her medical team became more than care providers, they cared about her as a person.
Willis heads to Northern Arizona University in the fall to study nursing. She wants to practice in a rural community like Wickenburg. “My goal is to be a flight nurse to respond and help people in rural communities like mine in times of crisis.”
“They say it’s a small, western town, that really means we value relationships and connections and I think that is what good medicine is supposed to be about.”
Willis received $1,000 from WCH employees who contributed to a scholarship fund through the Jeans for Charity Program. She also received $1,000 from the family of William J. Firth III, M.D. She was selected for both scholarships based on her academic achievement, history of volunteering, and leadership skills. Willis was on the student council, she was captain of the soccer team, and vice president of the Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates Program (JAG) at WHS.
Dr. Firth was a kind and compassionate physician who dedicated himself to the service of others. Each year his family grants a scholarship to a graduating senior at Wickenburg High School with plans to pursue education in rural medicine. Three applicants impressed the family so much that it decided to award scholarships to each of them!
In addition to Willis, the Firths awarded scholarships to:
Brianna Fornoff is attending an accelerated program at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences to become a licensed ultrasound technician. Fornoff served as a volunteer at WCH during the COVID-19 pandemic. She also received the Rotary Youth Leadership Award twice.
Neva Boyle is attending Utah Tech University to become a dental hygienist. She was on the honor roll at WHS and received awards from Rotary Youth Leadership and the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State Program. Boyle volunteers at the Wickenburg Chamber of Commerce and the Wickenburg Elks Lodge #2160.
Financial aid from WCHF helps high school students, college students, and hospital employees. Our scholarship funds educate the next generation of rural healthcare providers and allow students of all ages to get the education and training necessary to best serve Wickenburg and surrounding communities. You can learn more about our scholarship funds at bit.ly/WCHFScholarshipFunds