Lacey Langer Announced as First Recipient of Scholarship
In 2020, Virginia Lewis’s husband, Marvin, alongside their three children created a health care scholarship fund to honor Virginia’s memory and legacy as a nurse. Virginia Lewis of Ruskin, Nebraska, became a licensed registered professional nurse in 1954. Additionally, she received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and completed her post graduate program in Operating Room Management in 1959. Initially, Virginia worked as the school nurse in Superior, Nebraska. In 1962, she began her 46-year career at Brodstone Memorial Hospital where she worked in numerous roles. In addition to her work as a floor nurse, she was the Director of Nurses for a number of years and when the need arose, she became the interim administrator of the hospital. Her absolute favorite role was that of a surgical nurse. She enjoyed cooking, baking pies, volunteering, crocheting, quilting and spending time with her family outside of her professional life. Virginia lost her battle with cancer on June 10, 2019.
Virginia’s legacy continues to be remembered by current Brodstone staff. A few of those staff shared characteristics of her leadership throughout the years. Virginia was a quiet leader who led by example, always loyal and dedicated with outstanding work ethic. She would never ask her staff to do tasks that she wasn’t willing to do and she always went above and beyond to provide a high level of patient care for the community. Balancing her personal and professional life was very important to her.
“She would have been very pleased to know this legacy scholarship was set up in her honor. The nursing profession meant a lot to her and she was proud of being a nurse. She was an advocate of higher education to achieve a career in health care.” a former co-worker added about Virginia.
Lacey Langer, a 2020 Graduate of Superior High School, was the first recipient of the Virginia Lewis Scholarship. This fall, Lacey will be attending the University of Nebraska-Kearney majoring in Biology. Her future goal is to become a Physician’s Assistant with hopes of specializing in dermatology or oncology. Lacey will be a part of the KHOP (Kearney Health Opportunity Program), which is a unique opportunity for her as the program aims to recruit and educate students from rural Nebraska who are committed to returning to rural Nebraska to practice healthcare. Being involved in this program will open up new opportunities, professional development and unique experiences in rural healthcare settings, which is ultimately where she would like to practice in the future.
When asked what it meant to Lacey to receive this scholarship in Virginia’s memory she said, “Virginia Lewis helped so many people before and after working at Brodstone. I have already felt the overwhelming feeling of love and support from our amazing community during a very difficult time in my life. So, combining the amazing work Virginia did, and the support of this community into one amazing scholarship, it is an understatement to say it’s an honor to receive. I only hope I can touch half as many lives as Virginia did.”
Virginia’s legacy scholarship fund will be a recurring, yearly opportunity that will impact future generations of health care professionals from Nuckolls County. The Nebraska Community Foundation, alongside Brodstone Memorial Hospital Foundation, will be administering the program.