Lauren Ritchie of Lancaster NY, the first winner of the Arlayne & Stephen D. Rogoff Scholarship, learned to prevent injuries through a very personal experience: caring for her beloved grandmother.
The Rogoff Scholarship application requires an essay outlining the candidate’s personal experience with a preventable injury or in-home danger and their plans to generate awareness or educate others on such risks. In her essay, Ritchie wrote of her close relationship with her grandmother, “my first true friend.” When a near-fatal infection and multiple surgeries left her grandmother needing assistance, prone to falls, and vulnerable to injuries in her own home, “She became more dependent on me and our roles were reversed.”
The steps that Ritchie and her family took to protect her grandmother make a good checklist for anyone: They reviewed her home for tripping hazards and removed them, placed night lights, and bought grab bars, non-slip mat, and a shower seat for the bathroom. They installed smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in main areas and the bedroom, and, crucially, put reminders in family member’s calendars to regularly change each detector’s battery.
With these devices and prevention measures in place, Ritchie wrote, “I began to see her life return to normal again.” Now 91, her grandmother continues to live independently.
Ritchie plans to continue to spread awareness of preventable injuries as a Physician Assistant specializing in gerontology.
The Arlayne & Stephen D. Rogoff Scholarship was established by their children — Scott, Brett and Robyn — along with their families and the Prevention 1st Board of Directors. Mr. Rogoff was a tremendous friend to Prevention 1st, and co-founded the organization’s first major fund raiser, a Golf Tournament in 2013. The $1,000 scholarships are awarded to recipients who best demonstrate Stephen’s empathetic and actionable character. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.