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222 South Warren Street
Trenton, NJ 08625
Contact: (609) 292-3703

RELEASE: August 2, 2007

Commissioner Velez Congratulates Graduates of the Department's Clinical Scholarship Program
TRENTON — Commissioner Jennifer Velez today congratulated 49 employees who recently earned degrees in nursing, practical nursing and occupational therapy and will work in department facilities as part of the department's Clinical Scholarship Program.

“ All of you are part of a unique group of employees, and we are very proud of you,” Commissioner Velez said at a reception honoring the recent graduates at the department's central office in Trenton .

“You were chosen for this program because of your work ethic and personal drive. We believe that each of you are an asset to this department, our institutions and the people we serve as you continue your careers at DHS.”

In the Clinical Scholarship Program, department employees who are in full-time, permanent positions and in good standing can take an educational leave with pay for up to two years, and choose to study professional nursing; physical, occupational, or speech therapy or sign language interpreting.

Upon graduation, scholarship recipients must work one full day for each day of leave they are afforded, thus an employee who is given a two-year educational leave is required to work for the department for two years.

Of those honored at the department reception, 19 graduated with nursing degrees, 29 graduated from Licensed Practical Nursing programs and one received a master's degree in Occupational Therapy.

The Clinical Scholarship Program was established in 2000; the combination of two programs, the Nursing Scholarship Program established more than 40 years ago and the Rehabilitation Services Scholarship Program established in 1988.

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