Applications are open for the annual Bonnyville Health Centre Auxiliary bursaries.

Every year the Auxiliary presents two $1,000 bursaries to area students in their second year of a health-related field of study. The program began in 1990.

“It can be any kind of medical study, whether it be dentistry to physiotherapy, nurses’ aides, nurses, doctors or whatever—it doesn’t matter.” said Beatrice Fotty, the Auxiliary’s president. 

Fotty says the Auxiliary wants to encourage young people who are pursuing careers in healthcare. And, she says, it’s a bonus for the community when bursary recipients find careers back in the region.

“A lot of these young people who have received scholarships have been able to come back and work here at the Bonnyville Health Centre,” she said.

Fundraising has been curtailed over the past year because of Covid pandemic restrictions, but the Auxiliary is able to fund the bursaries as well as providing support for the hospital.

“We basically only have two ways of getting money this year. And they are through our hospital gift shop, which is in the hospital, of course,” Fotty said. “And secondly, we have vending machines in the hospital and so all the proceeds from the vending machines and even the bottles that we collect from the vending machines fund our bursaries.”

The deadline for applications is June 10. Students from Bonnyville or elsewhere in the Lakeland are eligible.

Applicants will need to provide two current references, from a current or former employer, an instructor, or a health care professional. They will be asked to give a presentation to the Auxiliary board in June.

“We’ll just go outside where we can socially distance and follow Covid protocols, and have them do a little presentation about what their plans are for the future,” Fotty said. “We’ll want to know why they’re applying for their bursary; their academic status, like if they’re in their second year or first year; and of course the program they’re in. And what are their health care career plans?

Recipients will be announced early in July.

Students can contact Beatrice Fotty at to have an application package sent to them.