The mission of The Kathi Ward Foundation is to support the Professional Practice of Nursing in the greater Olean community.

• To provide funding on a charitable basis for nursing education.

• To conduct international programs in the field of nursing for continuing education of nursing students and practicing nurses.

Who among you has visited a doctor's office because your blood pressure was too high or the pain in your side wouldn't go away? Filled with worry, sat in a room as you waited for a brother during his surgery? Held your grandmother's frail hand in a nursing home as you talked about your children? Celebrated the birth of your nephew? Heard the words: You are in remission?

Many people get you through these emotionally trying events - family, friends and, of course, the entire healthcare team, ranging from registration clerks to med-tech staff, to doctors, and the myriad of nurses that tend to the care of the patient.

As a nurse, my colleagues and I serve you and the community at large. We are your healers, advocates, educators and supporters. We are there for you when you need us the most. And, the trend towards that need is rising.

According to the American Nursing Association, the future presents unique trends for both providers and patients:

  • Increasing access to healthcare services for more individuals.
  • Reform initiatives are increasing emphasis on primary care, prevention, wellness and chronic disease management.
  • Baby Boomers are swelling Medicare rolls.
  • Community-based care is growing.
  • Specialties, such as geriatrics, informatics, and care coordinators, are blossoming.
  • This presents many opportunities for those new to nursing or continuing their professional development. But, nurses, as students, need your help.

    The Kathi Ward Foundation for Nursing Practice provides funding to support and educate nurses within a thirty mile radius of Olean. These student nurses attend various institutions here in our community and are taking care of our families and friends during their educational journey. You are helping to create future nurses.

    The need for nurses is not going away. Trained, competent professionals in our communities are a priority. In fact, there are far more registered nurse jobs available through 2022 than any other profession, at more than 100,000 per year. With more than 500,000 seasoned RNs anticipated to retire by 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the need to produce 1.1 million new RNs for expansion and replacement of retirees, and avoid a nursing shortage.

    In our area, nurses of all levels are a predominant portion of the workforce. We serve you and your loved ones at hospitals, ambulatory care centers, assisted and independent living facilities, nursing homes, homecare, hospice, private duty, office care, and as educators.

    Thank you for considering a donation to the future of your healthcare. Together, we can meet the changing needs of healthcare by helping to fund nursing education.

    Warm regards,
    Karen McGovern-Graham, BSN, RN
    President, The Kathi Ward Foundation


    Karen McGovern-Graham, RN, president

    C. Chris Henzel, vice president

    Mary Anne Power, RN, secretary

    Dennis P. Wymer, CPA, treasurer

    Cathy Engel, Tricia Henzel, Kim Howard, Jen Lowe, Jen Lyons, Dottie Oakley, Melody Stuckey, Marge Walsh, Laura Williams, Cheryl Wintermantel

    Welcome to the official website of the Kathi Ward Foundation. We are a 501c3 charitable organization dedicated to assisting as many as possible in achieving their goals to become nurses in our area through scholarships.

    While the Kathi Ward Foundation helps keep the memories our co-workers, friends and family members who have been lost to cancer, the group has also become a valuable resource for continuing education and scholarships for nurses.

    Anyone from the greater Olean area who intends to pursue a nursing career at any level, may qualify for a scholarship or a grant for continuing education. Applications may be found by clicking here.