ASTRA Awards Scholarships to Aging Services Professionals

TOPEKA – The Aging Services Transformation Alliance (ASTRA) will award 7 scholarships totaling over $9,100 to individuals working in the field of aging services in Kansas on September 28, 2016. The winners include.

  • Skylar Hansen with Bethany Home in Lindsborg
  • Jeffery Ritcha with Schowalter Villa in Hesston
  • Taylor Rodriguez with Good Samaritan Society in Ellsworth
  • Larry Nichols with Bethany Home in Lindsborg
  • Laura Peterson with Presbyterian Manor in Wichita
  • Priscilla Salinas with Villa St. Francis in Olathe
  • Robert Scott with Parkside Homes in Hillsboro

The ASTRA Scholarship Program was developed in 2012 to help promote an educated aging services workforce in Kansas that will ultimately provide a better quality of life for Kansas seniors. Since that time nearly $30,000 in scholarships has been awarded to 32 individuals who are making a difference in the field every day.

“We are thrilled to support a workforce of excellence in aging services professionals in Kansas”, stated Debra Zehr, president/CEO. “The recipients are committed to lifelong learning and providing the best service and care to the residents they serve.”



ASTRA is the 501 (c)(3) research and training arm of LeadingAge Kansas. ASTRA’s mission is to advance the health and well-being of older adults by providing research, education, training and the dissemination of information for providers of long-term supports and services. The organization has been the recipient of millions of dollars in grant funding from diverse organizations and agencies. It has provided cutting edge training to thousands of aging services professionals which have resulted in measurable improvement and change in long term care practice around the state. It has produced a wide range of groundbreaking reports on trends in aging and disability demographics, the economic impact of not-for-profit retirement communities in Kansas, the root causes of staff turnover in Kansas nursing homes and other topics. Learn more at