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In 2009, Nancy Matus, MD, and Bernard Matus moved from Connecticut to Leonardtown, Maryland to be closer to their daughter. Nancy, a retired physician, and Bernie, a retired educator, had been fortunate over the course of their lives and were looking to express their gratitude through philanthropic opportunities.
Their combined interests in medicine and education led them to MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital, where they learned about a scholarship program the hospital had started in 2001. “Having a skilled support staff that the doctors can rely on is essential,” Nancy says. “So, deciding to share our gratitude and give to that program was really a no-brainer.”
Designed to support current staff at MedStar St. Mary’s in advancing their careers as nurses, nurse technicians, imaging technicians, speech and physical therapists, and more, the scholarship program has enabled 176 associates to grow and thrive since it was established. Many of these individuals have since advanced to leadership.
“We know that the cost of education is prohibitive for many,” Bernie notes. “Being able to help individuals wanting to enhance their skills by providing them with the resources to do so, is one of the main reasons we support the program.”
In addition to making annual philanthropic gifts to the scholarship program, the Matus’ are strong proponents of a new initiative intended to expand the program….a scholarship endowment. Created to assist future healthcare workers pursuing careers in nursing and other allied health professions, individuals receiving tuition support through the endowment agree to become an associate of MedStar St. Mary’s for a predetermined length of time after completing their studies.
To sustain the program for years to come, the hospital is seeking philanthropic partnerships of $2.5 million with investments from the endowment conservatively allowing the hospital to offer $125,000 in scholarships to an average of six to eight individuals each spring.
“We are excited about this program and hope more people will jump on board,” Nancy adds. “It is so important to have an educated hospital staff and we are so grateful to be a part of this new effort that will uplift our hospital and our community.”