Nursing Student Kimberly Coffland Earns National Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship‏

Montgomery County Community College student and Phi Theta Kappa Frank Lanza Memorial Scholarship recipient Kimberly Coffland works with a simulated mannequin in the College’s Nursing Lab. Photo by Sandi Yanisko.

Montgomery County Community College student and Phi Theta Kappa Frank Lanza Memorial Scholarship recipient Kimberly Coffland works with a simulated mannequin in the College’s Nursing Lab. Photo by Sandi Yanisko.

Blue Bell, PA — Kimberly Coffland has been on a 14-year journey. Since she was 10 years old, the Lansdale resident has been working toward becoming a nurse. She took a detour between 2010 and 2012 because of the need to move frequently as her husband was transferred and deployed.

“I recently returned to the area in July 2012 following my husband’s discharge from the Marine Corps and started attending Montgomery County Community College,” she said. “I chose to attend this school primarily because of its affordability, but I also was excited to hear that the College has a reputable nursing program.”

Along the way, Coffland was selected as one of only 20 students to receive Phi Theta Kappa’s 2014 Frank Lanza Memorial Scholarship, which recognizes the outstanding academic and leadership accomplishments of students enrolled in registered nursing, respiratory care, or emergency medical services associate degree programs. A total of $50,000 was awarded in 2014 to assist students in the attainment of these associate degrees.

“The Frank Lanza scholarship means so much to me,” Coffland said. “Because of this scholarship, I will be able to graduate nursing school without using student loans, and there are no words to describe the joy that that brings to my life!”

The Frank Lanza Memorial Scholarship is named in honor of the founder of L-3 Communications, a defense contractor that comprises more than 73 operating units, including Medical Education Technologies Inc. (METI), now known as CAE Healthcare. Lou Oberndorf, founder and retired chairman of METI, endowed the Frank Lanza Memorial Scholarship, which is also funded by L-3 Communications, CAE Healthcare, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

In addition to the Frank Lanza scholarship, Coffland received a Pell grant and qualified for the PHEAA state grant. “These grants have been a huge blessing, allowing me to only work part-time during the nursing program.”

Coffland started her nursing coursework in 2009 and married in 2010.

“I transferred from the school where I was taking classes to the local community college in North Carolina where my husband was stationed,” Coffland said. “I took a few classes, then he was deployed, so I moved back near family, and I had to transfer schools again. Online classes were a wonderful blessing during this phase of my life, as I moved several times in a couple years.

Her husband was discharged in 2012, and Coffland transferred to Montgomery County Community College “to settle down, finish my prerequisites, and begin the clinical portion of nursing program.

“Anyone who has transferred schools knows what a pain it is, and with moving, enduring deployments, and the school transfers, I was ready to give up at times. However, with the support of my family and especially my husband, I have been able to reach the point of being close to graduation — so close to becoming an RN!” she said.

Coffland balances her roles of wife, student, and nursing assistant with the support of her husband and her faith.

“It’s been a long road, but I feel so blessed to be able to get a good nursing education at an affordable price here,” she said. “This past summer, many of my classmates and I participated in the PA Hero Walk. This event’s proceeds benefited various Pennsylvania veteran associations. It is definitely one of my fondest memories of my time at the College thus far.”

After graduation, Coffland plans to work as a registered nurse while pursuing her bachelor’s degree online, but she has not decided where yet.

“Also, within a few years of graduating, I plan to go on a medical missions trip to a country where standard medical care is not readily available. This has been a goal of mine since I decided to be a nurse at age 10, and I am so looking forward to finally being able to contribute in such a way,” she said.

How VA Clinics Falsified Appointment Records

WASHINGTON — Fake appointments, unofficial logs kept on the sly and appointments made without telling the patient are among tricks used to disguise delays in seeing and treating veterans at Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics.

They’re not a new phenomenon. VA officials, veteran service organizations and members of Congress have known about them for years.

The “gaming strategies” were used to make it appear veterans were getting appointments within target times set by the department, according to a 2010 department memo to VA facility managers aimed at fighting the practices.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1424666/How-VA-clinics-falsified-appointment-records

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Chester Rite Aid Manager Shot And Killed, Patrons Hear Loud Bang

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Delaware County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Delaware County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Patrons fled after a store manager hoping to get out in time to watch the Eagles-Chiefs game was shot and killed inside a Chester City Rite Aid late last night. Police are seeking a man and woman in connection with the homicide.

Chester police say they were dispatched shortly before 10 p.m. to the Rite Aid on the 2000 block of West 9th Street, near Highland Avenue. Upon arrival, they found the store manager suffering from a fatal gunshot wound to the head. He was pronounced at the scene, according a police department press release.

The release said that, just prior to closing, patrons and employees heard a loud bang and rushed outside.

Police are seeking a white or light skinned woman in her mid to late twenties, wearing a red hooded jacket with white stripes down the sleeves, blue jeans and grey sneakers.  She was accompanied by a black male in his late twenties to mid thirties wearing a white tee shirt over a black long sleeve top, rolled up blue jeans and black boots.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Chester_Rite_Aid_employee_shot_and_killed.html#7O1tzfQFoBDHZAWS.99

Memories of Vietnam – ArtFusion’s Next Show Looking For Mementos

POTTSTOWN, PA – ArtFusion 19464 is hard at work on their next educational show, scheduled for September 2013. Following in the footsteps of their successfulThreads show in 2012, When We Were Soldiers will focus on the personal recollections of veterans of the Vietnam War. The show will run through Veterans Day.

The non-profit community art center is asking the greater Pottstown community to become a part of this interactive educational exhibit. They are looking for letters and photos from the era to include in gallery displays. These mementos will also be used in educational field trips for local schools. Mementos can be dropped off at 254 E. High St. during regular business hours: Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 5pm and Saturdays from 10am to 3pm. Photos and letters will be returned after the exhibit closes.

ArtFusion is also looking for veterans who are willing to share their stories. Local writers Sue Repko and Parker Blaney will meet with the vets and record their personal journeys for the exhibit. Veterans interested in being interviewed can call 610-326-2506 or email info@artfusion19464. Interviews are being scheduled now.

There is also a need for old military uniforms to be used in an exciting fiber arts project that will become part of When We Were Soldiers. They are able to use any size, condition or clothing item (pants, shirts, etc.).  While Vietnam era items are preferred, items from any era are acceptable. Please note that these uniforms will be cut up for the project and cannot be returned.

ArtFusion 19464 is a 501(c)3 non-profit community art center located at 254 E. High St. in downtown Pottstown. The school offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages. The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence. ArtFusion’s gallery hosts rotating shows featuring local artists. The gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items.  The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm. The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.