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news News Monday, February 10, 2020 Wednesday, January 29, 2020 3:38 PM - Wednesday, January 29, 2020 3:38 PM

Kristen Carroll, M.D., surprises two recipients with Blake A. Carroll Scholarship award

Kristen Carroll, M.D., surprises two recipients with Blake A. Carroll Scholarship award

“My brother was an amazing human being, a wonderful man,” said Kristen Carroll, M.D. The orthopaedic surgeon and chief of staff at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Salt Lake City was addressing a room full of staff members and guests at the annual holiday party. “He taught me about unconditional love. When he passed away a number of years ago, I thought how I could honor his memory best would be with a scholarship. One that would benefit the people I admire, who are trying to do the best thing for children.” Dr. Carroll was moments away from announcing the recipient of the 2019 Blake A. Carroll scholarship. This year’s advertised scholarship amount was the highest yet at $1,800, increasing each year from $1,000 when it started four years ago.

“This scholarship is for the person who’s trying to advance themselves through education to do more to care for our kids,” said Dr. Carroll, referring to the patients of the Salt Lake City Shriners Hospital. “This year I had some sort of a record.” The number of nominations among Shriners Hospitals for Children staff was an all-time high. Ten people nominated one staff member and eight nominations came in for another staff member. Dr. Carroll struggled to select just one in the face of so much talent. “I thought, what am I going to do with this? Both of these people are amazing human beings. So I decided instead of $1,800 this year, I would donate $2,000 and I would give two awards.” Dr. Carroll was all smiles as she announced the first-time double awardees. “I’m giving this scholarship, in my sweet brother’s name, to people who are joyous and funny and smart and have huge hearts and big dreams and are doing things every single day to make the lives of our children better.”

Sam Babcock, MA, and Angela Contreras, MA, are this year’s winners. The medical assistants who both work in the outpatient clinic made their way to the stage in shock and with joy. They are both studying at the University of Utah working to further their careers in the medical field.

Angela is studying kinesiology. “I’m so grateful,” said Angela. “As a full-time student, full-time employee and mother, this scholarship is a big help to finance my education.” Angela loves working at Shriners Hospitals for Children and particularly enjoys interacting with the patients and their families. “Being able to play a role in their clinic visits allows me to see their progression.”

Sam is studying Spanish at the University of Utah with the goal of becoming a physician’s assistant. “It means a lot that eight co-workers nominated me for the scholarship,” said Sam. “I didn’t even nominate myself thinking I wouldn’t be considered an option. I’m happy to have the support of my co-workers when it comes to furthering my education.”

Sam recalled that when he first interviewed for a job at the Salt Lake City Shriners Hospital, he didn’t expect a job as there were no openings. He was just grateful for the interview practice. A week later, he got a call that there was an opening, and was offered the job. “It really has been a huge blessing,” said Sam. “I love working with kids and interacting with their families to try and help out the best we can.” Sam is extremely grateful to those who nominated him and Dr. Carroll for making room for him to be included in the honor.

If you know a Shriners Hospitals for Children — Salt Lake City staff member you think is worthy of the 2020 scholarship, please send an email explaining why they deserve the honor.