Letters to the Editor
Dreams come true, with help
To the Editor:
I want to congratulate the LPN Class of 2009, which graduated on Friday, June 19, at the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs.
Over the past year you have balanced school, family responsibilities, and work. It is both your dream and our dream coming true. This day could not have happened without the support of many in our community.
For the past five years, we struggled mightily to put an LPN program on the Island. We needed funding and an educational institution willing to come to the Island. We also needed an instructor, space, mentors, and clinical sites.
Funding has come from two sources: a grant from the state work force initiative program, coordinated by Michael Cochran, and from the Lennar foundation of Miami, based on the recommendation of Allen and Audrey Pekor as a worthy project.
We would not be here today without the resources of the Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School. They crossed the pond from the Cape to provide our island with the LPN program. Many thanks to Kevin Farr and Pat Gales for their vision and leadership.
We have the great fortune of having a very committed, dedicated, and effective instructor, Deb Herlihy, who moved to the Vineyard to teach the program over the past two years.
This year, space for the program was at a crisis. Last year, the LPN program used an empty room at Windemere. This year, all of the rooms were full, so we scrambled to come up with an alternative. Paul Watts, Mike Perry, and Joan Shemit came forward with a plan to use Sovereign Bank's training room at the Triangle. Paul Watts, in his very persuasive way, was able to get corporate to approve use of the room. Our only restriction was that since we were inside the bank, we were limited to banking hours for the LPN program.
When the new president of Sovereign came to inspect the bank at the Triangle, his only question was, "who was the lady in the bed in the training room?" I can safely say that we are the only LPN program in the country that operates inside a bank.
I would like to thank the nursing leadership at both Windemere and Martha's Vineyard Hospital: Marie Zadeh, Marie Araujo, Carol Bardwell, Laura Hillard, and Donna Enos, for being mentors to the 2009 class. The Island provided clinical sites at Windemere, Martha's Vineyard Hospital, Island House, MV Community Services, the VNA, Vineyard Pediatrics at Dr. Goldfein's office, and the Oak Bluffs Elementary school.
We have had nine students, each with a story of balancing work, family, and the educational program. I would like to highlight one student's odyssey.