Improving Care by Supporting Education

Blacks establish an endowed scholarship to support those seeking advanced training in emergency services

Scholarship Recipient is 'Fueled by others...'

The 2021 Mary Ann and Jim Black Emergency Services Scholarship recipient is Hunter Crawford. Crawford is an Emergency Medical Technician with MICS at Mary Greeley Medical Center and will use the scholarship as he pursues his paramedic certificate degree from Des Moines Area Community College.

“I am fueled by others in all that I do,” Crawford says. “As a future paramedic, I plan to continue providing a personal touch to all my interactions and I hope to provide even better specialized care as I advance my career in the emergency medical field.”

The endowed scholarship was established in 2020 and Crawford is the first recipient.

Mary Ann and Jim Black with the first scholarship winner, Hunter Crawford. In thumbing through a recent publication from Mary Greeley Medical Center, an article caught Mary Ann Black’s eye. It was a piece detailing several of the scholarships awarded by the Mary Greeley Foundation in support of continuing education for employees.

In sharing it with her husband, Jim, the couple noticed that most of the scholarships were established to support continuing nursing education. Impressed by the breadth of those offerings, the Blacks were inspired to establish a scholarship aimed at supporting those in emergency services positions—including those in non-nursing positions—looking to further their education and expand their skill base.

Named the Mary Ann and Jim Black Emergency Services Scholarship, the endowment that funds the award was established in October 2020. The Black’s made the gift, specifically, in honor of Mary Greeley Mobile Intensive Care Services (MICS) receiving the Career EMS Service of the Year Award, presented by the Iowa Emergency Medical Services Association (IEMSA), in 2019. Because the need for educated and trained personnel in this field is critical to Ames and surrounding communities, the Black’s scholarship supports employees pursuing a degree related to emergency services.

This year’s inaugural $1,000 award was presented to Hunter Crawford, an EMT who is pursuing a Paramedic Associate degree.

“We've been rather intentional about thinking of ways to give back to our community,” Jim says. “We wanted to do something that would contribute to making Ames an even better community. This was one way we were confident we could help improve health care, and maybe make the kind of gift that would start something.”

“I'm hoping that more scholarships materialize,” Jim continues, “for nurses and for emergency personnel.”

Mary Ann and Jim have lived in Ames since the late-1980s. Mary Ann worked for years at Ames businesses, including 15 years at Iowa State University Research Park. After working in manufacturing for more than 25 years, Jim served for 15 years as a manufacturing consultant, sharing his knowledge of Lean Manufacturing Principles for CIRAS at Iowa State and for his own consulting business out of state. In retirement, the couple has volunteered in a variety of capacities at Mary Greeley.

They are both impressed with the quality of the Mary Greeley organization and the excellence of the staff. It is their appreciation for the role the medical center plays in the community that made establishing the scholarship an easy decision.

“We're thankful to live in a community that is served by the only hospital in the state to receive the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award,” Jim says. “In addition to having a hospital that is patient-centric with staff that really empathizes with patients, Mary Greeley has been recognized for excellence based on objective quality criteria. We are so lucky to have such a fine facility in our community.”

Mary Ann says she and Jim couldn’t be happier to see an ambitious student like Hunter benefit from the scholarship.

“Hunter is top notch. His parents must be so proud of him,” Mary Ann says. “It is amazing to think about how many people he is going to help in his lifetime. Knowing how much satisfaction he gets from helping make people’s lives better gives us a great feeling.”

The Mary Greeley Foundation awards more than a dozen scholarships for employees and area students pursuing advanced healthcare education. To learn more about establishing a scholarship, please email or call 515-239-2147.

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