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New scholarship named for Memorial employee

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May 17, 2012]  SPRINGFIELD -- Leonia Cole, a surgical technologist at Memorial Medical Center for more than 55 years, was recognized on May 3 for her contributions to the careers of residents, other surgical technologists and nurses with the establishment of the Leonia Cole Surgical Technologist Scholarship Fund.

The fund, which will be administered by the Memorial Medical Center Foundation, will award a grant of $2,500 to a qualified candidate pursuing an associate degree in surgical technology at Lincoln Land Community College.

Cole began her career at Memorial on Jan. 26, 1954, as a nursing assistant. After 15 years, she was promoted to surgical technologist following completion of Memorial's first on-the-job training program for surgical technology.

"Leonia's dedication and commitment to helping others learn is exemplary," said Dave Joerger, administrator for Memorial's surgery department.

To apply for the scholarship, applicants must complete an educational grant application and the Leonia Cole Surgical Technologist Scholarship application, which are available by visiting and clicking on the link to the Educational Assistance page. The application and all supporting documentation must be turned in by June 1. For more information, call 217-757-2125 or email

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