Donald A. Perry Memorial Scholarship and Wage Increases Reflect Gratitude to Staff

Thanks to an extraordinary donation from Kay Taylor of Charlottesville, Hospice of the Piedmont is pleased to announce the establishment of the Donald A. Perry Memorial Scholarship, awarding annual academic scholarships to nursing staff, and enabling them to pursue advanced degrees. The Donald A. Perry Memorial Scholarship at Hospice of the Piedmont provides Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) the opportunity to pursue Registered Nursing (RN) degrees, with all tuition and fees paid in full, as well as a nursing mentorship to realize the full potential of each student’s professional growth. Additionally, this generous gift provided Hospice of the Piedmont the opportunity to increase staff compensation so every member of the team is paid a living wage.

“It’s an investment in our future,” said Ron Cottrell, CEO of Hospice of the Piedmont. “These scholarships will not just benefit Hospice of the Piedmont, they will benefit our community,” said Cottrell. “When our CNAs and LPNs become RNs with new skills and new talents, they’re better able to support patients and families at the end of life. We’re absolutely committed to expanding our staff’s knowledge and education in order to deliver the very best care to our patients and families,” said Cottrell.

When Kay Taylor looks back on her husband Don’s last days, she feels tremendous gratitude for the loving care provided by Hospice of the Piedmont’s clinical and medical staff.  “I gave to Hospice of the Piedmont because I love this community, and because I am so grateful for the care my family received during my husband’s illness. Hospice of the Piedmont was so good to us, and especially to Don. This was one way I could give back to Hospice of the Piedmont, the aides and nurses that cared for our family, and the community. I wanted to make a difference for those who work so hard every day to care for those in our community who cannot care for themselves.”

For the scholarship recipients, it means they can further their education. “This scholarship for me means that I can finish something that I started back in high school,” said Billie Brent, LPN at Hospice of the Piedmont’s Center for Acute Hospice Care. For Hospice of the Piedmont, it means we not only retain and train high-quality staff, but we’re also helping to enrich our local service area.

Hospice of the Piedmont board member Cathy Campbell, PhD, RN, an Associate Professor at the University of Virginia’s School of Nursing and a Fulbright Global Scholar 2017-2019, said that this scholarship will have a lasting and far-reaching impact. “I know that many people do not dare to dream about becoming a nurse because they cannot see a way to pay for school and meet their other financial commitments,” Dr. Campbell said. ”This scholarship removes that barrier and helps them to step into their future as a nurse while having a long-term impact as this nurse goes on to touch thousands of lives.” 

Hospice of the Piedmont is deeply grateful to Kay Taylor for her generous and transformative gift.