Cassandra Fisher and June Hutsky have been named the winners of the Marjorie Farabaugh Nurse Practitioner Scholarships by the Laurel Highland Nurse Practitioners Association (LHNPA). The scholarships are awarded annually from a fund administered by 1889 Foundation.

Nurse practitioners are registered nurses who have completed a master’s or doctoral degree program and have advanced clinical training beyond their nursing training. They are nationally certified and can serve as primary care providers in many settings.

Cassandra Fisher

“The American Association of Medical Colleges has estimated that there will be a shortage of up to 35,000 primary care physicians by 2025, predominantly in rural and underserved areas like ours, which is why the LHNPA is lobbying to change Pennsylvania law to make it possible for nurse practitioners to practice independently,” noted Molly Sambor, president of the LHNPA. “We are delighted to support Cassandra Fisher and June Hutsky as they complete their educations and join the ranks of nurse practitioners here in the Laurel Highlands.”

Cassandra Fisher, who received a scholarship award of $2,000, was born and raised in Bedford, Pennsylvania. She is currently enrolled in the family nurse practitioner program at Frostburg State University with an expected graduation date of August 2021. She currently works full-time as a registered nurse on the front lines at her community emergency department in Bedford.

June Hutsky

June Hutsky, who also received $2,000, is currently enrolled in the family nurse practitioner specialty track program at Chamberlain University with an expected graduation date of July 2022. She has 27 years of experience working as a registered nurse, specializing in the field of obstetrics and gynecology care.

The scholarship fund is named for Marjorie Farabaugh, the region’s first family nurse practitioner. A Carrolltown native who spent much of her career serving rural Cambria County, Farabaugh paved the way for future nurse practitioners, who increasingly fill the critical need for primary care providers in rural areas.

The Laurel Highlands Nurse Practitioners Association has 63 members across Cambria, Somerset, Bedford and surrounding counties. It promotes networking and continued educational opportunities for nurse practitioners in the region, including an annual conference supported by 1889 Foundation.