YC Scholarship honors Sedona woman and her “family” at care center where she spent much of her life
A tragic accident at the age of 25 prevented Barbara Gehring from living a full life, but it didn’t prevent her from knowing the love of two families – her biological kin and the nurses and staff at Haven Health Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Sedona.
Barbara lived at Haven Health Sedona for more than 25 years before passing away on Christmas Day 2020. To honor Barbara and at the same time thank her Haven “family” for their caring and kindness, her brother, Douglas, of Mountain Home, Idaho, and mother, Gertrude, of Sedona, established the Barbara Gehring Endowed Scholarship with the Yavapai College Foundation. Proceeds from the endowment will help fund the educations of Haven Health Sedona employees and their family members pursuing healthcare careers through Yavapai College. “This is something we wanted to do to honor her,” Douglas said, choking up as he said “her” and every time he spoke of his sister.
“This money is going to help so many people,” said Haven Health Sedona Nursing Director Amanda Vivanco. A YC Nursing Program alumna, Amanda said she knows of Haven Health kitchen and maintenance staff and Certified Nursing Assistants who want to go to nursing school, but can’t afford it.
Mary Talosi, executive director of the YC Foundation, said she was deeply moved by the Mayne family’s story, their kindness and generosity. “We are truly honored that they chose to set up this scholarship and partner with the Foundation and Yavapai College to assist students in furthering their careers for many years to come.”
During an informal celebration of the Barbara Gehring Endowed Scholarship — funded with an initial contribution of just over $202,000 — Douglas recalled Haven Health nurses and staff playing his sister’s favorite music – classic rock and the Sound of Music soundtrack – repairing her wheelchair and taking great care with her nutritional needs.
“The professional nursing staff, the CNAs, the maintenance people — I mean everybody here has always been so wonderful to work with,” Douglas said. “Over the years, for the type of care she received, it was just the right thing to do.”
Douglas, the owner-operator of an HVAC business in southwestern Idaho, knows something about caring service. He said he thinks about retirement, but can’t abandon his longtime customers – many on remote ranches – who have relied on his skills and expertise for more than 25 years.
Douglas’ wife, Judy, a retired community college-trained nurse and U.S. Air Force Lt. Colonel, echoed her husband’s praise of the care his sister received at Haven Health Sedona. “I recognize good care obviously. I was so delighted that (Barbara) was in a place like this, that she got good care and that she was loved.”
The desire to help future generations of healthcare workers – hopefully compassionate people like those Barbara Gehring experienced, also factored into the Mayne’s decision to create a scholarship to in Barbara’s honor. “Sooner or later we’re all going to have to have some help. It’s just the way life goes,” Douglas said.