The Sharkey Foundation Supports School Nurse Program

Awards $10,000 grant for the 2021-2022 academic year

Laurel Kiichli, Pat Wolfe, Carl Wolfe

ACHF board member Laurel Kiichli and her husband Carl Wolfe understand the impact donations have on vital programs like the School Nurse program. The Sharkey Foundation, established in 1994 by Carl’s grandfather Albert Sharkey, has been supporting the School Nurse program by donating to the Ashland Community Hospital Foundation since 1999 and the family is proud to see the program flourishing. “When we moved to Ashland to be closer to Carl’s mom Pat Wolfe in 2016, we were looking for ways to plug into the community and to be of service,” explains Laurel. “Growing up in small towns, my family always relied on our community hospitals. Ashland’s little hospital is so vibrant, we want to do all we can to offer our time and resources to see the health of our community thrive.” 

Pat and her family moved to Ashland in 1967 and fell in love with the community immediately. “My father (Albert) was committed to supporting causes that encouraged the well-being of children,” says Pat. “Continuing the work he began by donating in support of the School Nurse program is a logical extension of that mission.” The Sharkey Foundation has donated a total of $61,000 over the past 21 years and the School Nurse program wouldn’t be the same without their consistent support. “Ashland is such a delightful place to live,” says Pat. “We’re just happy to be doing what we can to help.”

Children are at the heart and soul of what the Sharkey Foundation stands for and in many ways, school nurses are the heart and soul of the health of our community’s children. “There was a time when school nurses were commonplace and spent a lot of time bandaging scraped knees and nursing tummy aches,” reflects Laurel. “Sadly, it’s a completely different story today.” Currently, school nurses care for almost 5,000 K-12 school children in the Ashland and Phoenix-Talent School Districts. “These nurses are much more likely to be treating a population of students and their families coping with nutritional issues, childhood diabetes, attention disorders, and a myriad of other health issues. They are the real heroes for our children.”