Grand River Health awards medical career scholarships to Rifle, Coal Ridge students

From left, Grand River Health CEO Jim Coombs and scholarship recipients Michelle Marquez, Merlene Vargas and Rachel Opstein (missing are Ethan Poland, Keyla Ruiz, Emi Otsuki and Alyssa Wenzel).
Submitted / Dee Warwick

Grand River Health recently awarded $9,000 in medical career scholarships to seven local students, a news release states.

In conjunction with the Grand River Hospital District Volunteer Association, the Rifle hospital used profits made from its gift shop and donations made by the Sally Brands family to help award the scholarships.

“Winners of the $2,000 GRH Volunteer/Healthcare Career scholarship are Merlene Vargas (Rifle High School) and Rachel Opstein (Weber State University),” the release states. “The $1,000 recipients of the Grand River Health Scholarships are Michelle Marquez and Ethan Poland — both of Coal Ridge High School, Keyla Ruiz (RHS) and Emi Otsuki and Alyssa Wenzel of Colorado Mesa University.”

Grand River Health’s Medical Career Scholarships began in 2006, the release states. The effort has amassed more than $160,000 in scholarships, which have been given to 125 students across the Western Slope.

“Many of those students are currently employed in health care careers and many are working at health care facilities in the area,” the release states.

Grand River Health and the Grand River Hospital District Volunteer Association wish these students well as they pursue their medical career dreams, the release states.

“We need health care workers more than ever,” the release states.

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