Image caption: Members of the Sullivan family with former Director of Social Services Mary Ellen Walsh at her retirement party. July 2021.


Our certified nursing technicians (known as CNAs elsewhere in the industry) are the backbone of our frontline team. Unfortunately, however, those interested in this rewarding career path are often met with barriers to entry, including costly training and testing requirements. At Deutsches Altenheim, and across the Legacy Lifecare family of affiliate organizations, we are hoping to fix that by providing on-site, paid training opportunities through a new Trained Nursing Assistant (TNA) Program.


Members of the Sullivan family—whose mother Barbara Sullivan called the Altenheim home for more than a decade—are supporting Deutsches Altenheim in this important work. They have generously established the Sullivan-Walsh Trained Nursing Assistant Scholarship Fund to sponsor scholarships for two TNAs, each year. The scholarships will cover the costs of training and testing, which will not only help eliminate a barrier to entry for a would-be CNT, but also help the Altenheim recruit and retain the best rising talent in the City of Boston during an increasingly challenging time for hiring across the sector.


They have chosen to name one of the scholarships the Barbara P. Sullivan Memorial Nursing Assistant Scholarship, in memory of their mother and an in honor of her 38-year career as a nurse at the former St. Margaret’s Hospital in Dorchester.


“When our mother passed away last year, we knew we wanted to do something as a family to honor her and ensure her legacy of compassion and generosity lived on” said a member of the Sullivan family. “We also wanted to do something to show our deep appreciation to the dedicated team at the Altenheim who gave our mother and us so much love and support during a very challenging time.”


The Sullivan family chose to name the second scholarship The Mary Ellen Walsh Honorary Nursing Assistant Scholarship in honor of Mary Ellen and her 22 years of dedication to the Altenheim and its residents, including her kind and compassionate support of their mother and their entire family. The Sullivan family was able to announce the establishment of the two scholarships and surprise Walsh with the honor at her recent retirement party.


Mary Ellen Walsh, who retired from her role as director of social services in July, would be the first to recognize just how important our CNTs are. Walsh said “CNTs are an integral part of our team, as they are the providers of our resident care, ensuring that each individual is safe and comfortable. The Altenheim owes its reputation to their unmatched dedication. I am honored to be a part of the Sullivan family’s scholarship, as a great stepping-stone financially for those who want a rewarding career in healthcare at the Altenheim.”


Deutsches Altenheim will award the scholarships annually to at least two TNAs who reflect the values of compassion, integrity, commitment, and humility that both Barbara P. Sullivan and Mary Ellen Walsh embodied throughout their careers. As the fund grows through investment returns and additional contributions, the Altenheim will be able to award even more scholarships.


Stay tuned for news about an award ceremony announcing the scholarship winners next spring. In the meantime, if you wish to join the Sullivan family by investing in training for our frontline healthcare heroes, you can give online to the Sullivan-Walsh Trained Nursing Assistant Scholarship Fund or contact the Foundation’s executive director Michael Jugenheimer about how you can give to the fund or sponsor your own rising CNT.