DeCurtis, Ortiz and Verrier receive 2017 Forfar Nursing Scholarship


SEPTEMBER 19, 2017 (BRICK, NJ) - The scholarship advisory committee of the Barbara Forfar Nursing Scholarship Fund is pleased to announce that they have awarded 2017 nursing scholarships totaling $1,500 to three nurses and nursing students on the Ocean Medical Center staff.

Kristina DeCurtis (Point Pleasant), Gabriella Ortiz (Toms River) and Karin Verrier(Lavallette) were presented three individual $500 scholarships during an award ceremony held Tuesday afternoon, September 19 on the Ocean Medical Center main campus in Brick.

The 2017 ceremony marks the seventh consecutive year that scholarships have been awarded to Ocean Medical Center team members from the scholarship fund.

The three 2017 scholarship recipients were selected by the Barbara Forfar Nursing Scholarship Fund Scholarship Advisory Committee after the committee members reviewed all scholarship applications and supporting documents from every candidate who applied.

Kristina DeCurtis has been employed with the Hackensack Meridian Health System for twenty-four years. She began her career in healthcare as a surgical scrub technician and now is the Robotics Service Line Leader in the Operating Room. DeCurtis is a member of the Association of Operating Room Nurses (AORN), became certified as a CNOR in 2010 and has achieved Scholar Status in the Clinical Ladder at Ocean Medical Center. In June of 2013, she helped launch the Robotics Program in the Operating Room and then supervised the first robotic surgery in December that year. Kristina is pursuing her BSN Degree at Chamberlain College of Nursing with an expected completion date in January 2019.

Gabriella Ortiz is pursuing her RN Certification in Nursing at Ocean County College with an anticipated completion date in December 2017. After her graduation from Toms River High School East in 2014, Ortiz started employment at Ocean Medical Center in October that year as a Unit Secretary of the Medical-Surgical Unit of 4 North having keen interests in the Medical-Surgical field. Currently she is a valuable team member assigned to the 3 South Nursing Unit.

Karin Verrier has been a member in the Hackensack Meridian Health System for twenty-eight years beginning her career in the Medical Records Department in Point Pleasant Hospital. In 1995 she transferred to the Operating Room team at Ocean Medical Center where she currently is assigned at present. Verrier has received the Florence Nightingale Award for Nursing Excellence and holds Fellow Status in the Clinical Ladder CARE program at Ocean Medical Center. Verrier also is a member of the Association of Operating Room Nurses (AORN) as well as the American Nurses Association (ANA). Karin is pursuing her BSN Degree at Kean University with an anticipated completion date later this year.

Both DeCurtis and Verrier worked alongside and were mentored by scholarship namesake Barbara Forfar in the Operating Rooms at Point Pleasant Hospital, Brick Hospital and Ocean Medical Center and Ortiz is the daughter of Nicole Ortiz who was a recipient of The Barbara Forfar Nursing Scholarship in 2012.

“On behalf of the entire scholarship committee, I want to congratulate these three exceptional individuals who truly have a sincere desire and compassion for the Nursing profession and Nursing education just like Barbara did. Kristina and Karin actually worked alongside my sister in the operating room. It was fantastic to hear their memories of her. And it is truly amazing that Gabriella is the second generation from her family to receive the scholarship. All three recipients have an exceptional drive to gain as much knowledge as they can to help their staff, fellow team members and patients and have placed a priority on their own personal Nursing education to help serve all of us better. We wish all of them the best of success in their nursing careers” mentioned Walt Konopka, Chairperson of the Barbara Forfar Nursing Scholarship Fund.

“I have worked with many amazing mentors in all specialties over the years, one of them being Barbara Forfar, and pride myself for being a valuable asset to the nursing profession because of her. She was an exceptional teacher, always showing me the correct techniques for the procedure we were performing that day. Her knowledge in the operating room was incredible” mentioned DeCurtis.

“I had the pleasure of working with Barbara [Foof] Forfar for many years. As a new nurse, I gained excellent skills, knowledge and experience from working alongside such an innovative, intelligent women. Foof shared her knowledge openly with me. She was a wealth of information, from her skills in ENT, GYN and general surgeries just to name a few. She was all about education and having a voice in new policies. Barbara practiced with compassion and respect for not only her patients but also her colleagues” added Verrier.

In addition to the scholarship recipients, their family members and friends, Ocean Medical Center physicians, nurses and administrative staff, other guests of note in attendance at the award presentation included Ellen Angelo, Vice President of Ocean Medical Center; Dr. Teri Wurmser, Executive Director of the Ann May Center for Nursing at Meridian Health and Matthew Lang, Executive Director of the Ocean Medical Center Foundation.

During its short seven-year history, The Barbara Forfar Nursing Scholarship Fund has awarded $15,500 total to 27 nurses and nursing students of Ocean Medical Center.

The 2017 scholarship application due date was July 19th.


ABOUT THE BARBARA FORFAR NURSING SCHOLARSHIP FUND:
The Barbara Forfar Nursing Scholarship Fund was established on January 15, 2011 and is part of the Ocean Medical Center Foundation family of funds.

The fund provides monetary assistance to qualified nurses and nursing students of Ocean Medical Center who desire to continue their formal education in nursing profession in the form of scholarships and awards one (or more) nursing scholarship during September of each year to eligible applicants.

The Barbara Forfar Nursing Scholarship Fund was established to honor the memory of long-time Point Pleasant resident Barbara Forfar or “Foof” as she was called by her fellow nurses and other colleagues in the operating room, and her forty-four years of dedication to the nursing profession with all but three years of her service associated with the Ocean Medical Center or its predecessor hospitals.

To qualify for the scholarship, the applicant must be an employee or nursing student at Ocean Medical Center and must be enrolled in a RN program, an upper division program (RN to BSN) or advanced degree program (MSN, PhD) in nursing.

All Ocean Medical Center nurses and nursing students from all OMC practice areas are eligible to apply. The scholarship must be used to supplement tuition, fees, lab costs, books or educational supply expenses.

The Barbara Forfar Nursing Scholarship Fund awards one (or more) nursing scholarship during September of each year to eligible applicants.


NEED MORE INFORMATION:
For more information about The Barbara Forfar Nursing Scholarship Fund, including how to make a donation to the fund, log on to the official website at www.forfarscholarship.org or connect with The Barbara Forfar Nursing Scholarship Fund on Facebook or Twitter.



The Barbara Forfar Nursing Scholarship Fund was established on January 15, 2011. The Fund is a member of the Ocean Medical Center Foundation family of funds. The fund awards one (or more) nursing scholarship during September of each year to eligible applicants as selected by the fund’s Scholarship Advisory Committee. The Ocean Medical Center Foundation is the tax-exempt charity providing philanthropic support for Ocean Medical Center, a member of Hackensack Meridian Health. The Ocean Medical Center Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, which means your donation is tax-deductible to the full extent provided by law.


"Rock For The Nurses", "#Rock4Nurses" and all related marks and logos are trademarks of The Barbara Forfar Nursing Scholarship Fund. All rights reserved.