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23D AGO

Hoag Classic Newport Beach, Kingston Technology change lives with education program

8 Min Read

Impact

Rosa Fields (middle) receives a donation to support her education. (Courtesy Hoag Classic)

Rosa Fields (middle) receives a donation to support her education. (Courtesy Hoag Classic)



    Written by Doug Milne @PGATOUR

    “Indeed, this life is a test. It is a test of many things - of our convictions and priorities, our faith and our faithfulness, our patience, resilience, and in the end, our ultimate desires.”

    Sheri L. Dew (author)


    Rosa Fields, by virtue of her own experiences, agrees as well as anyone with the words above. And, courtesy of Hoag Hospital and last week’s Hoag Classic Newport Beach in California, one of those desires for Fields recently became a lot easier to pursue.

    Born 48 years ago in Monterey County, California, Fields grew up knowing little more than what her immediate surroundings allowed her mind to soak up. Growing up in an agricultural county, getting an education was not a priority nor a financial reality for many people.

    As one of three kids, Fields learned enough about the restaurant industry through her parents, who owned restaurants, to where it would serve her well later in life as the general manager for a restaurant in Monterey County.

    But when Fields was just 14 years old, her father, Raphael, took ill. Having to let the restaurant go, Field's mother turned her focus entirely to her husband and three kids. Raphael and his family would endure four long years of struggle before things changed.

    “For four years, he hung in there,” Fields said. “But, when I was 18, my dad passed away. By helping my mom, I can say that my father was my first patient.”

    Fields made it through high school and junior college before becoming a mother herself which brought her pursuit of an education to a halt. Ultimately becoming a single mom, Fields was responsible for the health, wealth and well-being of four girls and a boy.

    “Being a single mom was very difficult, but I insisted on being present for and involved with them,” Fields said of her kids. “At the time, I had three jobs, I was going to school, and I had all my kids’ sports activities to navigate.”

    Fields admitted that something had to give for her to be there, invested and involved with them. To her, kids thrive more when a parent is present and involved, more so than just dropping them off for school and/or picking them up at day’s end.

    “I had to set boundaries. Latin culture is very tough if you don’t follow tradition, and I broke that tradition by allowing my kids to go after education. That was big on my part,” Fields said. “Everything is about agriculture where I came from and it’s a hard industry to get in and be successful with. Not that there is anything wrong with agriculture or the restaurant industry, but I just wanted something bigger and better for them. To me, that was education. So, I had to go about it and do it all on my own.”

    Fields did, in fact, break that cycle of not going to school and getting a degree. It was something she worked extremely hard at. One of the ways she did that was by keeping them involved in sports. That tactic proved so effective that one of her children even received a track scholarship to attend college in New Mexico.

    “It was a big struggle because after my dad passed away, there was no help,” Fields explained. “The family just kind of went their own way. I had different beliefs and dreams. I wanted education and more in life. Rather than just staying in a box, I kind of stood out.”

    In her quest to achieve her ultimate professional desire while raising her kids, Fields worked at a Monterey County hospital.

    “I’ve always wanted to be a nurse,” Fields said. “But it’s very difficult in that you have to be very present in nursing and clinical studies. It was hard to do that and be a single mom raising kids on my own. I had to put my passion for nursing on hold. I did that and now I am returning to that education.”

    In 2022, Fields first came to Hoag Hospital in Irvine, California, to be a part of the birth of her grandchild. While nothing elated her more than becoming a grandmother, Fields was quite moved by her surroundings.

    “When I walked into Hoag Hospital there in Irvine, I said to the lady at the front desk, Ms. Patty, ‘I love this place so much that I am going to work here one day’.”

    Ten months later, Fields was, in fact, working at Hoag Hospital and keeps Ms. Patty near and dear to her heart.

    “Ms. Patty is amazing,” Fields said. “She is the true meaning of what being a 'Hoagie' is all about.”

    These days, Fields serves as a scheduling specialist in the post-anesthesia care unit at Hoag Hospital in Irvine. In that role, she deals with operating rooms, the post-anesthesia care unit and gastrointestinal cases.

    “Working in the hospital industry after COVID was very difficult for a lot of people,” Fields explained. “But, when I walked into Hoag Hospital that first time, Ms. Patty, who worked there at the front desk welcomed me with open arms. She knew I had just driven five hours to get there, so she made me feel so comfortable by walking me around and showing me things. I was permitted to go in and see my grandson being born.”

    Fields achieved her Associate in Arts degree in 2022 and is now working towards her Bachelor's degree in healthcare administration while working at Hoag.

    Rosa Fields with loved ones after receiving her Associate's degree in 2022. (Courtesy Rosa Fields)

    Rosa Fields with loved ones after receiving her Associate's degree in 2022. (Courtesy Rosa Fields)

    Not only did Hoag Hospital open the door of employment for Fields, but it went a step further with its Hoag Employee Education Scholarship Program, which provides scholarships up to $5,000 for non-nursing employees actively pursuing education to advance their careers at Hoag.

    As part of its partnership to help further the education of students, the Hoag Classic partnered with Kingston Technology to fund $70,000 in scholarships for the initiative.

    “I remember hearing a few of the nurses talking about the program,” Fields said. “I really wanted to become a nurse, but still had a teenager at home and also knew the nursing programs were also really expensive.”

    Encouraged by one of her co-workers at the Hospital to at least look into the scholarship program, Fields learned she could even start by taking one class at a time and move ahead at her own pace if she still wanted to go that route later on down the line.

    Everything fell into place with Fields being awarded scholarship funds and, as she is proud to share, is in class six of 60.

    “I aspire to further my education in the field of healthcare administration,” Fields said. “The Kingston Technology Scholarship is enabling me to pursue this goal, and after raising five children, I can now focus on realizing my dream. I’m also on the Dean’s List by keeping a 3.8 GPA and, I’m doing it all while working full time.”

    “People like Rosa are a shining example of what makes Hoag so special,” said Andrew Guarni, executive vice president and CFO of Hoag. “Her perseverance and ability to overcome life’s challenges serve as an inspiration to everyone around her. Thanks to the generosity of Kingston Technology, we are honored to help her advance her education.”

    “It is a great honor to have been chosen as a recipient of the Kingston Technology Scholarship,” Fields said. “The scholarship has greatly assisted in funding my education at Grand Canyon University. I am extremely grateful for their support and for selecting me for this opportunity.”

    A typical daily schedule for Fields these days includes a full-time job at Hoag, classes, studying through lunch breaks, attending her daughter’s track meets and then studying again each night until midnight.

    Because she places equal significance on good physical and mental health, somewhere in that tight daily schedule of hers, Fields also manages to remain active in the gym.

    “I am a big advocate for people going after their dreams,” Fields said. “One of those dreams very important for me, personally, and for me to provide for my kids is education. Education opened a lot of doors for me and my kids. It allowed us to see the world differently.”

    And, while that more expansive view of the world does provide Fields with a clearer picture of how far she has come, more importantly, it serves as inspiration for how far she can go and all she can continue to become.

    “More than anything, I think I’d like to be remembered as someone who was truly passionate about helping people,” she said. “My father – my first patient when I was 14 – showed me compassion and how to be patient with people. Working in a hospital requires patience. There are people that are hurting. There are people who don’t understand what’s going on. So, being compassionate and patient with people across all levels is really how I would like most to be remembered.”

    Fields is quick to own up to many failed attempts of trying to open doors for her and her kids. But, she’s also quick – and, understandably proud – for having learned from the error of her ways, rather than being marginalized by them.

    “I learned of the patience that needs to result from failure. I teach that to my kids, even in sports. They don’t have to make every basket. It’s how one thrives through consistency that the coaches will notice. Show up and keep trying, I tell them. That’s it. Continuing to try is how we move forward in life with anything we want to achieve.”

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