Four selected applicants have received the Dr. J. Elmer Harp Family Memorial Scholarships and the Gloria M. “Stretch” Grossnickle Scholarship Fund for the 2020 school year.

To be eligible for these scholarships the applicants must be pursuing a degree in the medical field, must be a resident of the Middletown Valley geographical area, and be a graduating high school senior, a nontraditional student, or be enrolled in a college or university.

Four scholarships are awarded on a yearly basis. Currently, three of the scholarships are awarded on merit basis and one scholarship is awarded on a need basis.

This year the board of directors of the Dr. J. Elmer Harp Medical Center awarded a grand total of $36,000 in scholarships.

The 2020 recipientsEsther Shafer is currently studying nursing at the Pennsylvania College of Health Science. Shafer received an associate degree in the field of Applied Science: Medical Assisting, an associate degree in general studies at Frederick Community College in 2017 and graduated from Middletown High School in 2014. Shafer dreamed of becoming a nurse since she was a little girl. She was able to jump-start her journey at the Frederick County Career and Technology Center while also studying at Middletown High School. In the past, Shafer has been able to help an extremely under-privileged population on an Indian Reservation in Arizona; this experience solidified Shafer’s desire to become a great nurse.

Rachel Washart is a graduating senior from Middletown High School with a cumulative GPA of 4.78. Washart will be attending Duke University in the fall to study epidemiology. She hopes to earn a dual M.D./Ph.D degree, where she can combine her love of helping others and her interest in the mechanics of diseases. Many say that Washart is the complete package — incredibly intelligent, powerfully driven, creative, optimistic and kind. During her senior year, she was able to gain hands-on experience in infectious disease research at the United States Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases held on Fort Detrick.

Emily Bare is a graduating senior from Middletown High School with a cumulative GPA of 4.12. Bare will be attending West Virginia University in the fall to study forensic pathology. She decided to pursue this career pathway due to her passion and love for crime television shows and documentaries. Even though Bare just moved to the Middletown area in 2019, she has volunteered at the Thurmont Sportsman Club, competes in Cowboy Action Shooting, and participated in many extracurriculars at school.

Amy Hoffman is currently enrolled in the Penn State College of Medicine working on her medical doctorate degree. Hoffman received a bachelor’s in biological studies, a bachelor’s in health administration and policy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and graduated from Middletown High School in 2013. Hoffman decided to study medicine because for her it’s the perfect blend of scientific reasoning, service and building relationships with others. She plans to pursue a career in family medicine and to work and help in an underserved area to advocate for society’s most vulnerable population. Hoffman has served her community a multitude of different ways such as helping with COVID-19 contract tracing, implementation of culinary medicine curriculum, and global health scholars program. Many people will say that Hoffman has a rock-solid moral compass, impeccable integrity, and a gift of intellect and civil dialogue.

For more information on the scholarships, go to, email J.C. Gladhill at, or write to: Scholarship Committee, Board of Directors of the Harp Medical Center, P.O. Box 856, Middletown, MD., 21769.

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