Nursing scholarship recipient returns to Cass County
Peculiar, Missouri native Lisa Everhart always planned to work and live in Cass County so she could influence the development of her own community.
“Belton Regional Medical Center might be a small hospital, but we are evolving,” Lisa said. “The teamwork in our department is outstanding. We have a lot of great resources and the hospital is beginning to work with our community more and more.”
Lisa is a registered nurse in the emergency department at Belton Regional Medical Center and the first Cass Community Health Foundation (CCHF) nursing scholarship recipient to return to Cass County for their career. While she was a student at Raymore-Peculiar High School, she volunteered and worked at Belton Regional, where she first heard of the CCHF scholarship program.
Lisa's mother, Barbie Everhart, a Research College of Nursing graduate and former Belton Regional nurse, encouraged her to apply. Lisa was awarded scholarship funds for four consecutive years as she attended the University of Central Missouri (UCM) to obtain her bachelor of science in nursing.
“The scholarships gave me the extra motivation to go to school for nursing. If I needed books, a stethoscope or supplies, I had it. Without the extra money, I would just be paying back loans to a bank. Receiving a scholarship to become a nurse felt like a way to start giving back to my community while I was in school.”
Her sense of community has been a constant throughout her nursing career. Growing up just eight miles from Belton, Missouri, she said she knew she would return to her small, rural town where the people are the most important part of the job.
“This area is what I know, but I love meeting new people here.”
She goes to the hospital every day so that she can help community members of Cass County.
“There are hard days as a nurse, but the good ones are so satisfying. There is a sort of instant gratification when someone thanks you for helping their parents or their kids.”
Lisa's passion for nursing and its significance to Cass County’s progress has continued to grow. She plans to graduate with her master of science in nursing from UCM in May to become a nurse practitioner. Her goal is to stay in Cass County and join a family practice at a rural clinic.
“I want to build relationships. I really love caring for people. And you never know; I could end up treating someone who contributed to my scholarship.”
CCHF scholarships are available to high school seniors in the Cass County area. Students should apply by March 1. Call 816-276-4218 to learn more about CCHF scholarship opportunities.