Recently, the Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson and Robert A. Ferguson Fund for Education scholarship award was presented at Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home. Scholarships of $2,500 each were granted to Jennifer Elmendorf, RN, and Danielle McDuffee, LPN, both employees at Littauer.
Jennifer Elmendorf serves Nathan Littauer Hospital as an assistant manager and registered nurse in the Emergency Care Center. With her family present, Elmendorf explained how honored she felt to receive the Ferguson Scholarship. She is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in nursing.
Danielle McDuffee is an LPN who also works in Littauer’s Emergency Care Center. “I am so honored to receive the scholarship this year,” said McDuffee. “I reapplied for the award this year, and I’m so happy I remained persistent. The scholarship is going to be a big help in furthering my health care career.” McDuffee is pursuing her RN through Mohawk Valley Community College.
“We are honored by the Fergusons commitment to this scholarship fund,” said Nathan Littauer Foundation Executive Director Geoffrey Peck. He added that the Fergusons enjoy the opportunity to personally present the awards. “They meet the scholars, learn about their families, their work and how advancing their education will impact patient care.”
Dr. Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson is a Gloversville native and a recently retired Professor of the Department of Sociology at Columbia University. Her husband, Dr. Robert A. Ferguson, is the George Edward Woodberry Professor in Law, Literature and Criticism at Columbia Law School. They own a home in Gloversville and are active in community. The Ferguson Fund continues a family tradition of support to the hospital. Priscilla’s father, Richard B. Parkhurst, served as a longtime member and officer on the Nathan Littauer Hospital Board of Directors.
“It was inspiring to meet the two scholarship recipients this year” said Priscilla. “Both of these local young ladies are extremely hardworking, and have chosen to further their careers, all while raising a family.”
Inspired by the diligence of the two scholarship recipients, Robert added, “We are great supporters of Gloversville, and of Nathan Littauer as a key institution in Fulton County. We hope that by giving back to this community, others will recognize the importance and do the same.”
As educators, Priscilla and Robert appreciate that learning never ends, and they know that the need for incremental learning is especially important and exciting in the medical field where necessary advances in health care take place. They also feel it is a good way to serve the community generally. Just as Littauer employees are the heart and soul of the hospital, so the hospital itself helps sustain Gloversville as a vital and desirable place to live. Priscilla and Robert expect to grow the Ferguson Fund to the point where it can help many employees advance their careers through continuing education while furthering the goals of ever better and safer patient care.
“We need the best and brightest minds to enter and remain in the field of healthcare,” said Littauer President and CEO Laurence Kelly. “The field of healthcare must have our finest and most prepared people. This scholarship ensures that its recipients will have the support to do so. It is hard to anticipate the demands that will be placed on hospitals in the future, but this scholarship helps us prepare our workforce for whatever that future will be.”