Lewis-Clark State Student Studying Radiographic Science Earns Scholarship from Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health
When Ellea Uhlenkott sets her on mind on something, expect it to get her full attention.
“She doesn’t stop at mediocre,” said Jamie Scheffler, a physical therapist at St. Mary’s Health Center in Cottonwood who has known Uhlenkott for years. “If she picks something, she is going to do the best she can at it.”
Uhlenkott is a junior at Lewis-Clark State College majoring in radiographic sciences. She’s a 2021 graduate from Prairie High School in Cottonwood who enrolled at the Lewiston college as a sophomore because of credits she earned in high school. She chose a field in healthcare for two reasons.
“I have always loved helping others, and I think that the anatomy and physiology of the human body is one of the coolest things,” Uhlenkott said. “I love continuing to learn about all of it, especially through radiology.”
Uhlenkott is a recipient of a scholarship funded by the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health. The scholarships are awarded to deserving students pursuing healthcare-related fields at LCSC. Idaho has a shortage of healthcare workers, especially in rural areas such as Cottonwood. She hopes to return to the area after she graduates.
“I love the people there and can’t wait to help them all,” Uhlenkott said.
Uhlenkott was a three-sport athlete in high school — volleyball, basketball and track. She was a member of a state championship relay team in her senior year. She also was involved in 4-H.
Sports was how Uhlenkott met Scheffler, who she views as a mentor. Scheffler became Uhlenkott’s physical therapist when she had injury problems associated with running, but that wasn’t their first interaction. Years earlier, Uhlenkott approached Scheffler and her husband, Tim, about basketball. Both played the sport at Eastern Washington University. Uhlenkott later became a babysitter for the Scheffler’s children. Uhlenkott’s grandmother is a physical therapy technician who works with Scheffler at the hospital, so the relationship is a close one.
“Elle has a heart of gold and truly cares about the people around her,” Scheffler said. “She wants to make a difference and be in position to make an impact. She’s also curious, which in the healthcare world, drives development.”
Scheffler is happy to hear that Uhlenkott wants to return to Idaho County.
“She’s not only going to make a difference in healthcare, but I can see her mentoring students and other people to make an impact in the community,” she said. “She has the drive to make a positive impact, no matter what realm.”
“I have always loved helping others, and I think that the anatomy and physiology of the human body is one of the coolest things. “I love continuing to learn about all of it, especially through radiology.”Ellea UhlenkottLewis-Clark State College student