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Through scholarships, a nurse’s dedication lives on

  • Scott Becker lost his wife, Jane, to cancer decades ago, just as she was starting her career as a nurse at Abbott Northwestern. 

    She had worked hard to become a nurse, and by all accounts, was dedicated to her profession.

    That’s why, in the difficult months following her death, Becker made a decision that helps others advance in the profession that Jane loved. He established the Jane Wachtler Becker fund through the Abbott Northwestern Hospital Foundation to provide scholarship funds for nurses to continue their education.

    “It was the idea of trying to turn Jane’s illness and passing into something positive and to honor her life,” said Becker. “We were newly married and didn’t have much money, so it was a struggle to pay for school. I think Jane would be happy to see other nurses benefiting from this fund.”

    The Jane Wachtler Becker scholarships are announced each May as part of the Nursing Excellence Awards given out during the National Nurses Week celebration at Abbott Northwestern. More than 100 nurses have benefited from the award since it was started in 1990. Over the years, Becker and other generous donors have contributed approximately $100,000 to launch and sustain the fund.

    Now, twenty-six years later, Becker is remarried and has grown children, but he continues to attend the Nurses Week event each May. “Every year, I’ll meet someone at the event who worked with Jane and will let me know that they remember her,” he said. “It’s always meaningful to me.” 

    Give today to support nurses

    Donate to the Jane Wachtler Becker Nursing Fund or to the Nursing Excellence Fund to support nursing research and professional development at Abbott Northwestern. For help with your giving, please contact the Abbott Northwestern Hospital Foundation at 612-863-4126. 

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    Scott Becker

    Scott Becker