Community Memorial Health System, Where Excellence Begins With Caring
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Articles / 2007

Two college nursing students win scholarships

Ventura County Star
Thursday, 06/28/2007

Julia Durr, who is in her final year in Ventura College's associate degree nursing program, and Evie Arauz, who recently completed her first semester in the program, are the first recipients of the Meister Family Foundation Nursing Scholarship, offered through Community Memorial Health System.

The scholarship winners each receive $5,000. They were chosen by a four-member Community Memorial Health System nursing committee based on grade-point average, community service, financial needs, a 500-word personal statement focusing on career goals and a letter of reference from a Ventura College nursing faculty member. Scholarship applicants also commit to working for Community Memorial Health System upon earning their nursing degrees.

Both winners come from families with medical backgrounds.

Durr is a lifelong Ventura resident and a 1992 graduate from Ventura High. Her grandfather, Dr. Joseph Gstettenbauer, was formerly a staff physician at Community Memorial Hospital, and her mother is manager of CMH's intensive care/critical care units.

Durr has worked part time at CMH for six years, and presently works as a surgical scrub technician in CMH's labor and delivery ward. She plans to be a surgical nurse.

Arauz, a Glendale native, has been a medical assistant for five years at the system's Center for Family Health office on Telegraph Road in Ventura. Her grandmother was a nurse, and her mother provides homecare services for patients.

Upon earning her degree, Arauz would like to work in the emergency room.

Barbara Meister, president and chief executive officer of the Barber Automotive Group in Ventura, has served on the board of the Community Memorial Healthcare Foundation since its inception in 1984. A longtime Ventura County supporter and philanthropist, she approached Community Memorial Health System and Ventura College about establishing a yearly $10,000 nursing scholarship as her way of doing something about the nursing shortage and to show her gratitude for the caring treatment her late husband, Larry, received during his stays at the hospital.

"It's a great hospital with great nurses," Meister said. "This is something I've thought about doing for some time; it was just a matter of following through with it."