The Maryland DC Chapter of the Society of Otorhinolaryngology Head-Neck Nurses has been chartered since 1985. Chapter membership enables ORL nurses to network with colleagues to participate in community outreach and enhance their knowledge of ORL practice. In the past few years, economic issues have forced health care facilities to significantly reduce or eliminate financial assistance to nurses who wish to attend continuing education seminars. This funding is important for participation in continuing education programs or maintains board certification in ORL nursing.
The Vondersmith fund is a scholarship fund for active members of the Maryland/DC Chapters of SOHN that provides financial assistance to those who wish to attend ORL related educational programs or to achieve certification in ORL Head and Neck Nursing.
The fund was established in 2001 following a generous donation by a grateful patient, Bernard Vondersmith. Bernie was diagnosed and treated for hypopharyngeal cancer. He wanted to recognize the expertise of Joyce McAdoo, RN, CORLN who had been assigned to care for him. Bernie understood the importance of ORL Head and Neck specialty nursing and wanted to enable other nurses to achieve expertise in the specialty by facilitating educational opportunities.
Bernie died of his cancer in 2005, leaving a legacy that will be long remembered and appreciated.
The MD/DC chapter has established a policy to guide the use of the Vondersmith Fund. This policy included eligibility criteria, the application process, and guidelines for record-keeping.
Vondersmith Scholarship Fund Use and Management
To provide financial assistance to the members of the MD/DC Chapter of Society of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Nurses (SOHN) who wish to attend Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck related educational programs or to achieve certification or recertification in the Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck specialty.
II. Eligibility Criteria
- Must be a current member of MD/DC Chapter of SOHN
- Must have been a paid member for at least one year
- Must have attended three of the five-yearly meetings of the MD/DC Chapter of SOHN.
- Must submit a completed application for the scholarship funds to the chairperson of the Educational Committee three weeks prior to the program date.
- Must provide a brief report of the attended program at the following SOHN Chapter meeting or submit a synopsis for the following newsletter.
- Must be employed in Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck specialty.
- Must disclose if receiving other funds for this educational program.
III. Funding Criteria
a. Educational Programs
- The President of the MD/DC Chapter may receive a full SOHN congress registration fee grant per the calendar year (January to December).
- A member may receive only one educational grant, not to exceed $350.00 per the calendar year.
- A member may wait to be reimbursed for the conference if they plan on attending several conferences in one year. This may not exceed $350.00.
b. Specialty Certification
- A member may be reimbursed for CORLN certification upon submission of their certificate.
- A member who meets the eligibility criteria may access the fund for recertification upon submission of their certificate if they do not receive reimbursement from their employer.
IV. Application Process
- Eligible members must submit a completed application for the scholarship funds to the President and the Treasurer at least three weeks prior to the program date.
- The President, the Treasurer, and the Financial Advisor of the Vondersmith Fund will review the application for eligibility.
- The Treasurer will draft the check and send it to the applicant.
V. Record Keeping/Reporting
- The MD/DC Chapter Treasurer will manage the funds
- The funds will be kept in a bank account.
- The Chapter Treasurer will prepare a financial report in collaboration with the Financial Advisor and give a financial report at each SOHN meeting.
- An annual report will be given by the Chapter Treasurer at the annual business meeting.
- Every December, a “Thank You” note will be sent to the Vondersmith Family by the Financial Advisor listing how the funds have been spent for that year.
- The transfer or withdrawal of funds will require two signatures.
- Cash withdrawal is not allowed for any purposes.
VI. Fund Replenishment
- Each December, money in excess of $1,500 in the Chapter checking account will be transferred to the Vondersmith’s savings account.
- The fund may be replenished through fundraising and donations to the Chapter.
New 7/02 revised 5/03, 6/03, 2/10, 05/16