The WellSpan Spotlight

Awards and recognitions

Future nurses receive scholarships to carry on legacy of Kristin Runyon

Future nurses receive scholarships to carry on legacy of Kristin Runyon

Kristin Runyon exemplified strength, resilience, and compassion as a nurse.

Though her tragic death in 2010 cut her nursing career far too short, her legacy strengthens with each passing year.

Abigail Fischer of Needmore; Caroline Hance of Orrstown; Madison Barnhart of Greencastle; and Sarah Goodman of Elkridge, Maryland were recently awarded the Kristin Runyon Memorial Scholarship to support their nursing education and carry the torch of exceptional care that Kristin embodied.

"What goes into becoming a nurse is taken for granted sometimes," said Barb Runyon, Kristin's mom. "Beyond the investment these nursing students make into learning and preparing for their careers, they must balance financial challenges as well."

The scholarship was created in memory of Kristin, a nurse at WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital, for students enrolled full time in a registered nurse education program. Applicants must have a minimum grade-point average of 2.8 and live in Franklin County or the surrounding area.

"The money from this scholarship will put me closer to my goal of becoming a nurse and serving my community," said Madison, who is interested in becoming a labor and delivery nurse.

"I am honored to be a recipient of the Kristin Runyon scholarship."

Since its inception in 2011, the scholarship fund has supplied $96,000 to assist 31 nursing students. The fund is fueled by generous contributions from family, friends, co-workers, former patients and the community at large.

Caroline is also eager to seize the opportunity offered by the scholarship. Her inspiration dates back to the fall of 2018, when she participated in the Healthcare Career Institute at WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital.

"That program solidified my passion for pursuing a career in nursing," Caroline said. "This scholarship will allow me to fully focus on my studies, enabling me to maximize my potential and contribute meaningfully to my nursing degree."

Meanwhile, Abigail never saw herself working in health care until she was inspired to care for others during the pandemic. Her future nursing plans include working on a cardiac unit.

"The financial support from this scholarship is allowing me to focus on my career aspirations," Abigail said.

And Sarah believes her empathy and ability to understand her patients' needs will help her provide the best care possible as a registered nurse.

"I think this scholarship is a great way to keep Kristin's spirit alive," Sarah said.