Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center Foundation recently awarded three $2,500 scholarships to Ethan Coit, Poppy Thorpe and Caleb Richardson via the Charles J. Forster Scholarship program.

Ethan Coit is a Salida High School graduate and currently attends medical school at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora. Coit has been involved with ongoing research on inflammation of the lungs, and also volunteers at a student-run health clinic in Denver.

Poppy Thorpe currently works as a medical assistant at First Street Family Health in Salida while also pursuing a nursing degree. The scholarship committee was impressed with her commitment to healthcare and her dedication to advancing her career while working full time and raising a family.

Caleb Richardson of Salida is a molecular biology major at Grove City College in Pennsylvania. He has shown great initiative in becoming a physician by creating opportunities to observe or work in healthcare clinics and hospital departments. He is currently beginning his own research project with a peer on ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

The Charles J. Forster Scholarship was previously known as the HRRMC Foundation Scholarship until this year, when the HRRMC Foundation board renamed it in honor of Charlie Forster, who was deeply involved in the expansion of HRRMC as a healthcare facility, and as an HRRMC and Foundation board member. The scholarship is available to any college or university student who lives or has lived within the Salida Hospital District, encompassing Chaffee, western Fremont and northern Saguache counties. Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to the healthcare field with a minimum of 24 college credit hours and a minimum grade point average of 3.2.