Applications available for scholarship fund

CONWAY — Applications are now available for Memorial Hospital's annual scholarship fund, including the Memorial Hospital Scholarship; the Memorial Hospital Volunteers Scholarship Program; and the Visiting Nurse Home Care and Hospice of Carroll County Kathleen Sheehan Memorial Award.

The hospital's scholarship awards are designed to support students pursuing careers in health-related fields. The Memorial Hospital Foundation will once again offer a scholarship in honor of Miranda Leavitt for students with diabetes or who are studying health care, nutrition or exercise physiology.
The scholarship program specifically seeks to assist those students within the hospital's service area (towns served by SAU 9, SAU 13 and MSAD 72) who have already demonstrated the successful completion of part of a higher education degree. Adult learners returning to school, changing careers or seeking additional education are encouraged to apply. Students must be accepted into an accredited course of study in a health-related field on at least a half-time basis, and demonstrate successful completion of some earlier portion of their program of study. Each scholarship has its own criteria, and interested students are encouraged to view the application online for specifics.
The Miranda Leavitt Diabetes Scholarship is funded through the Miranda Leavitt Diabetes Fund, part of the Memorial Hospital Foundation. In honor of the daughter of Brenda and Rich Leavitt after whom Memorial's diabetes center is named, this new scholarship supports the Miranda Leavitt Diabetes Fund's mission of providing education, outreach and resources for those with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Miranda Leavitt passed away from complications of Type 1 diabetes at the age of 22.
  • Category: Health

Diet Detective: How to get strong shoulders to avoid pain

By Charles Platkin

Almost 10 percent of Americans live with chronic shoulder pain, and that doesn't include those who have shoulder pain caused by an injury. According to American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, "What most people call the shoulder is really several joints that combine with tendons and muscles to allow a wide range of motion in the arm ­ from scratching your back to throwing the perfect pitch."

Shoulder problems can be debilitating and are often caused by tissue breakdown from overuse and/or aging. According to the AAOS, "It may lead to increasing problems with instability or impingement of the soft tissue or bony structures in your shoulder, resulting in pain. You may feel pain only when you move your shoulder, or all of the time. The pain may be temporary or it may continue and require medical diagnosis and treatment."

The most common issues include rotator cuff problems (tears or disease), fracture, arthritis, separation, dislocation, and frozen shoulder (very restricted usage). Strong shoulders are the best defense against injury. Here are a few exercises to help.

Always talk to your healthcare provider before beginning any exercise program.

Front Arm Raise
Equipment: None or dumbbells
Start: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold light dumbbells (or start with none) with your arms straight down at your sides, palms facing backward.
Movement: Keeping arms straight, raise both arms in front of you to shoulder height. Hold that position for 1 second. Lower your arms, and repeat.
How many: 7-10 times.

Lateral Raises
Equipment: Resistance bands, tubes or dumbbells
Start: While standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, center the resistance band or tube beneath both feet (or grab the dumbbells). Keep your knees soft and slightly bent. Grasp the handles and bring your hands to your sides with your arms hanging straight down and your palms facing inward toward your sides. Keep your chest up and shoulders back and upright.
Movement: Inhale, then exhale and move your arms straight out from your sides until they are at shoulder level and parallel to the ground. Lower your arms back down to your sides and repeat. Make sure to tighten your trunk by contracting your core muscles (midsection), and keep your back straight.
How many: Two sets of 10 repetitions.

Shoulder Stretch
Equipment: None
Start: Stand with your back against a wall and your feet shoulder-width apart. Put your hands in a "stick-em-up" position, elbows bent, fingertips pointing toward the ceiling, and arms against the wall. with your arms against the wall. Movement: Keeping your elbows bent, let your arms slowly roll forward so that your fingertips and pointing toward the floor and touching the wall. Hold for 15 seconds and return to your starting position. How many: 5 times.

Arm Circles
Equipment: None
Start: Sit or stand with your arms extended straight out and parallel to the floor.
Movement: With both arms outstretched, make circles of about 1 foot in diameter. Continue the circular motion for about ten seconds. Then reverse directions and do the same thing for another 10 seconds. How many: 3-5 sets in each direction ( 10 seconds per set)

Shoulder Shrug
Equipment: None or dumbbells
Starting position: Sit or stand up straight. Let your arms fall to your sides with your palms facing towards your body.
Movement: Bring your shoulders up towards your ears. Hold for a count of 3, then release. You can also do this while holding lightweight dumbbells (3-5 pounds).
How many: 5 - 7 shrugs

Bird Dog
Equipment: None or exercise mat
Start: Support yourself on your hands and knees with your back flat as a board.
Movement: Raise and straighten your left leg to the rear and your right arm to the front. Hold for a few seconds, then return to your starting position and do the same thing with your opposite arm and leg. Make sure to control the rest of your body movements.
How many: Do 10 reps on each arm/leg.

Additional Resources and Exercises for Your Shoulder

• What Are Shoulder Problems? Fast Facts: An Easy-to-Read Series of Publications for the Public
• Flexibility Exercises (National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases):
• Exercise & Physical Activity: Your Everyday Guide from the National Institute on Aging Sample Exercises — Strength:
• Exercises to reduce musculoskeletal discomfort for people doing a range of static and repetitive work:
• ACE Fitness Shoulders and Arms Workout:

Charles Platkin, PhD is a nutrition and public health advocate and founder of, and the Director of the New York City Food Policy Center at Hunter College. Copyright 2017 by Charles Platkin. All rights reserved. Sign up for the free Diet Detective newsletter at www


  • Category: Health

The mindfulness of healing

By Olivia Ducasse
We are all familiar with the benefits of exercising our bodies. No matter what the degree, accelerated movement seems to be a key component of our overall health.
One of the effective parts of regular exercise is the rest and recovery period following a physical activity. Imagine, however, if we never allowed our bodies that time to recuperate, if we ALWAYS kept going without rest.
Seems crazy, right? I mean, how could we possibly sustain that level of motion? Yet this is exactly what we do to our minds. Overcome by daily stressors, we often find ourselves sleep deprived, literally worried sick about bills, kids, work and all the pressures that come from modern adult existence.
When in the course of the day do we allow ourselves to "power down" and "restart" like the electronic devices we all hold so dear? In the same way that eventually the batteries on our phones, tablets and devices dwindle and run low, our bodies and mind can become overwhelmed by the accumulation of chronic stress.
  • Category: Health

Visiting Nurse Home Care, Hospice, Memorial Hospital, Community Health Collaborative to present Five Wishes workshop


acp-group---vnhch-march-2017Join the Advance Care Planning Committee for their free event, Five Wishes Workshop on Wednesday, March 15, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Tech Village in Conway. (COURTESY PHOTO)CONWAY — Visiting Nurse Home Care and Hospice, Memorial Hospital, and the Community Health Collaborative will be presenting a workshop on Five Wishes, a document that will further help clarify specific end of life wishes on Wednesday, March 15, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Tech Village in Conway.

In conjunction with an Advance Directive, Five Wishes provides the means to identify and put in writing personal, spiritual, and emotional issues everyone will face when experiencing serious illness or end of life. This Five Wishes workshop complements the on-going initiative that provides assistance with advance care planning and completing Advance Directives.

"We are committed to helping people get started with those important but difficult family conversations," said Sandy Ruka, MS RN, executive director of Visiting Nurse, Home Care & Hospice and chair of the advance care planning committee. "We want people to know about the choices they have and learn how to successfully convey that information to their families."

  • Category: Health