Henry Welch Scholarship in Aging

The Henry W. Welch Scholarship in Aging honors one of the Colorado Gerontological Society founders, whose commitment and dedication to the field of aging and human services spanned more than forty years. Dr. Welch was a forerunner and pioneer in the field of aging. He served as the first treasurer of The Society, helped to write the articles of incorporation and the by-laws, and providing parliamentarian support. For most of his career, Dr. Welch served the Denver community and Colorado, at the Metropolitan Council for Community Services, which is now the planning division of Mile High United Way. He excelled at community organization. Dr. Welch helped to found the Institute of Gerontology at the University of Denver in 1977 with support from the Administration on Aging. The Scholarship Fund was established to continue his vision of educating professionals in the field of aging.

The Awards Committee of the Board of Directors is pleased to present the 2021 Henry Welch Scholarship on Aging Award jointly to Doran Tregathen and Katie Grainer.

Doran Tregathen is a student at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction pursuing a master’s degree in nursing with the goal of being a family nurse practitioner.  He started his nursing degree as a certified nursing assistant in 2006 working in long term care.  In 2013, he earned his LPN continuing to work at Horizon Care Center in direct patient care finding more and more ways to be a patient advocate. After earning his RN, he was able to return to geriatric care with HopeWest as a hospice primary care nurse.  He is now the triage and admission nurse for HopeWest helping patients to choose either hospice or palliative care and helping to develop the initial hospice care plan.  His role in the community includes partnerships with other long term care and acute care facilities.  In addition, he is responsible for staff education, support and working closely with the other HopeWest offices on the west slope.  Doran enjoys working with the multi-disciplinary areas of the hospice care team.  His goal is to continue to work in rural health care as a nurse practitioner with the geriatric population. His planned graduation date is May 2024.

Katie Grainer is studying Clinical Psychology with a Geropsychology concentration at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.  She is active with national psychology and geriatric trade associations including the Gerontological Society of America. She has volunteered with Rocky Mountain PACE, the UCCS Center on Aging, and Peak View Behavioral Health.  She has a special interest in conducting research with older adults focusing on long-term care and mental health with opportunities to serve older adults directly as a clinical neuropsychologist.  She is also looking to expand her knowledge and expertise to become a strong advocate for policy changes in housing and access to services for older adults. Her planned graduation date is May 2024. 

Applications for scholarship for calendar year 2021 are now open. Applications are due by November 27, 2021 5:00 PM Mountain Time.

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This scholarship is designed to encourage academic studies in the field of aging, including gerontology, social work, public policy or various medical fields with emphasis in aging such as geriatrics, pharmacy, physical therapy, psychology or nursing. Applicants from other fields are welcome to apply, but should have a focus or concentration on working with or for the elderly. Each award is for $1000 per academic year. Applicants must be full-time matriculated students at an accredited Colorado college or university.

Applicants must complete a two-page essay in addition to the application addressing your ability to work with the elderly emphasizing your (1) previous experience with geriatrics/gerontology; (2) leadership qualities including initiative, organizational skills, and ability to influence others; (3) your ability to meet people and your interest in working with the elderly; (4) your current or previous involvement in school, community, churches or other venues where you interact with the elderly; and (5) your plans for the future including specific involvement with geriatrics/gerontology, and working with the elderly.

Awardees will be notified by telephone and mail contact. Awardees may be expected to virtually attend the 42st Annual Meeting of the Colorado Gerontological Society to receive the scholarship award. The Annual Meeting will be held on December 2, 2021 at 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm.