Four residents with connections to Pender Community Hospital are being remembered with scholarships that will be awarded to local and area students who want to pursue degrees in the medical field.

Applications are currently being accepted for the Gloria Vollers, Merlin Brondum, Trisha Kinnaman and Justin Slama Memorial Scholarships.

Gloria Vollers
Memorial Scholarship

The Gloria Vollers Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually by Dr. Cyrus Beye of Yankton, S.D. Beye was a general surgeon who traveled to Pender Community Hospital from 1959-1981 from Sioux City.

While in Pender, he had many fond memories of working with Vollers. He found her compassion and dedication to nursing an inspiration and wanted to honor her memory through a community gift. A registered nurse, Vollers worked at the local hospital for more than 30 years as a staff nurse, surgery supervisor and director of nursing. She is remembered and admired for her leadership, caring spirit and professionalism.

The $2,000 academic scholarship will be awarded to a student who has been accepted into a registered nursing program of study who is a resident of Burt, Cuming, Dakota, Dixon, Thurston or Wayne counties.


Merlin Brondum
Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship is established in memory of Merlin Brondum’s dedication to rural healthcare. The $2,500 scholarship is available to anyone residing in Thurston and the five adjoining counties currently enrolled in an allied healthcare course of study.

Merlin Brondum died March 15, 2003 after a brief illness at the age of 49. He worked at the Pender hospital for 27 years, most of which as director of the laboratory. He was a dedicated professional who will best be remembered by the hospital staff as a friend and family member.  


Trisha Kinnaman
Memorial Scholarship

Before her untimely death, Trisha Kinnaman was an integral part in building the physical therapy department at Pender Community Hospital and spent the majority of her 12 years as the sole physical therapist on staff.

The scholarship was established in memory of Kinnaman’s eager determination to become a physical therapist and her passion for helping others. She

shared her love of the profession by serving as a mentor for other therapy staff as well as area
students aspiring to become physical therapists or assistants. Kinnaman was well respected by all of her colleagues, medical staff and patients and will be remembered by her family, friends and co-workers for her outstanding work ethic, kindness towards patients, compassion and infectious laugh.    

Her $2,000 scholarship will be awarded to a student currently enrolled in a school of physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology, physical therapy assistant or occupational therapy assistant program.

The applicant must be a resident of Nebraska or Iowa. 

Justin J. Slama
Memorial Scholarship

Justin Slama was a young man who impacted many lives, young and old, and was always looking to help others. The $1,000 scholarship in his name is available to anyone currently accepted into a school of medicine program of study.  Criteria for all four scholarships include academic performance, healthcare experience, financial need, career objective in rural health and school/community involvement.

Application forms are available at or 402-385-4005. They are due April 30 and will be announced in May. All applications should be sent to Pender Community Hospital, Attn: Kelly Kaup, 100 Hospital Drive, P.O. Box 100, Pender, NE  68047.