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Morning Pointe Foundation, Walters State Community College announce clinical and culinary scholarship partnership

Photo of Mark Wills, Dean of the Niswonger Campus at Walters State Community College, and Delora Bennett, Executive Director at Morning Pointe of Greeneville

The Morning Pointe Foundation has added Walters State Community College in Morristown as a partner college. It is working to provide scholarship support for more students in East Tennessee.

The Morning Pointe Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Morning Pointe Senior Living and was founded in 2014. The 501(c)(3) non-profit organization provides scholarship opportunities, forms community partnerships and supports caregivers in its mission to advance the care of seniors.

As a result of the partnership with Walters State, the Foundation will fund a nursing scholarship at the college each year worth $2,000 per year, as well as a culinary scholarship each year worth $1,000 per year. The latter is the first culinary scholarship ever presented by the Morning Pointe Foundation. It marks an expansion from clinical-only support.

“Partners like Walters State Community College are critical to the success of the Morning Pointe Foundation as we strive to provide financial support for nursing students pursuing a career in senior care,” said Miranda Perez, executive director. “We have been focused on nursing scholarships since the Foundation was started, and we are still committed to contributing to helping rebuild the nursing workforce. We are excited to be able to expand our support into the dining services field, allowing students who are passionate about cooking with a way forward to do what they love and fill a need in the workforce.”

The Foundation also recently donated $2,500 to fund needed items for Walter State’s Certified Nursing Assistant program. The college used the funds to purchase a special medical bed for students to use to practice.

“Walters State is grateful for the support of the Morning Pointe Foundation,” said Dr. Tony Miksa, president of Walters State. “The scholarships for nursing and culinary arts students will assist our students in reaching their educational goals. While the connection between Morning Pointe and nursing may be obvious, culinary arts students are prepared to provide quality dining services in residential settings such as retirement communities.”

Miksa said the Synergy 100 bed purchased with grant funds will make more class time available for future nursing assistants by turning a classroom into a patient room. Included are side rails, IV poles and the standard three-drawer bedside cabinet. Previous training was completed in the college’s nursing clinical area, where access was limited.

“Especially in our post-pandemic healthcare environment, skilled caregivers like our Morning Pointe Foundation scholars are an incredibly precious resource,” said Greg A. Vital, president of Morning Pointe Senior Living. “Nothing can replace their compassionate care and clinical knowledge. It is our privilege to assist in bringing new and passionate caregivers into the field.”

Since its inception, the Morning Pointe Foundation has funded over 75 scholarships at partner community colleges.

Founded in 1997 by healthcare entrepreneurs Greg A. Vital and Franklin Farrow, Morning Pointe Senior Living owns and operates 37 senior living and Alzheimer’s memory care communities in five southeastern states. Morning Pointe Senior Living manages nine locations serving the Eastern Tennessee region in Knoxville, Hardin Valley, Powell, Clinton, Lenoir City and Greeneville.

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