Kimberly Proulx receives Visiting Nurse scholarship

CONWAY — Kimberly Proulx has already accomplished many things. She's a certified health and wellness coach, a cardiac and pulmonary exercise specialist, a runner, teacher, wife and mom of two. Now she's on her way to one more goal. One she's dreamed of for a very long time. She's going to become a nurse.

Proulx is the recipient of the Kathleen Sheehan Memorial Scholarship, presented annually by Visiting Nurse, Home Care & Hospice. Director Sandy Ruka said the $1,000 annual award program was established in honor of the late Kathleen Sheehan, RN, a dedicated nurse and long-time member of the agency's staff.
"I love the idea of nurses being the backbone of the health-care field," Proulx wrote in her scholarship essay. "Nurses take on so many roles, working independently and as part of a team."
Ruka said the scholarship committee was extremely impressed with Proulx. "Kim wrote passionately about her lifelong commitment to health and wellness," Ruka said. "She's learned so much already and we're excited to help her realize her lifelong dream of becoming a nurse."
Proulx's career has followed her strong interest in fitness and training. She has an undergraduate degree in movement science, sport and leisure studies and a master's in athletic training. She taught health at Kennett High School for six years and worked as an athletic trainer around the area. After having children, Proulx took her skills as an exercise specialist to Memorial Hospital's Heart Health & Wellness Department where she has worked for five years.
Proulx is entering the nursing program at White Mountains Community College this fall. "Receiving the acceptance letter was such a highlight for me," she wrote. "I could finally see my dream coming true." She plans to have her RN certification in two years and then complete a bachelor's in nursing (BSN).
"We feel Kim exemplifies the values Kathy Sheehan thought were important," Ruka said of the selection. "Like Kathy, Kim has a strong connection to the local community and a sincere commitment to nursing."
Gail Boucher, Anita Nitz and Rosalie Miles, all of whom worked with Sheehan during her time at Visiting Nurse, make up the scholarship selection committee.
Visiting Nurse, Home Care & Hospice is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization licensed by the states of New Hampshire and Maine, a Medicare-certified home health agency and a Medicare-certified hospice. For more information about the agency's services, call (603) 356-7006 or visit


  • Category: Health

Diet Detective: Hooping and jump rope: Fun activities that can get you in shape

By Charles Platkin
Here are a two inexpensive, fun ways to get in shape.
Benefits: "Great transverse (rotational) and frontal (side-to-side) plane movement, which are important for reducing injury. Develops static balance (a foundation for the more important dynamic balance), improves core/trunk conditioning and flexibility," says Fabio Comana, an exercise physiologist and faculty instructor for the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Hooping also helps with core muscle development, balance and pelvic flexibility. Only problem is that it's not much of a cardio challenge unless you do it for a sustained period (e.g., 10 minutes or more).
What You Need: A hula hoop.
How you play: Get the right size hoop, says Ron Klint, the founder of Canyon Hoops ( "Adults need adult-size hoops that are larger in diameter and heavier. The measurement from the floor to the top of the hoop should be between 36 and 42 inches, or more for larger men and extremely overweight individuals. Anything from as little as 1 pound up to 5 pounds is common for adult hoops." You can get a lighter hoop to make your work a bit harder.
  • Category: Health

Vaccinations protect children — and the community

By Ross Emery, MD
August is National Immunization Awareness Month, and Saco River Medical Group is pleased to say that in our 2016 New Hampshire Immunization Survey of our vaccine rates for children ages 24 to 35 months, we exceeded all New Hampshire rates by an average of 5.5 percent and exceeded U.S. rates on average by 10.5 percent for the eight vaccines surveyed.
  • Category: Health

No-cost flu shots offered at schools

Children in grades K-12 are eligible to receive flu shots at school again this year, as a part of a collaborative school-based vaccinations program in Carroll County. The program is offered at no cost to families by the Carroll County Coalition for Public Health, in partnership with the New Hampshire Immunization Program. Last year, clinics were held at 19 schools throughout Carroll County, and nearly 1,000 children were vaccinated who might otherwise not had access to the protection of the flu shot.
Schelley Rondeau, RN, is the lead public health nurse for Carroll County Coalition for Public Health. She works with the school nurses to schedule the clinics, distribute and collect consent forms, and ensure a safe clinic environment. The N.H. Immunization Program provides the vaccines along with financial and technical support.
Getting your child vaccinated through the free school-based vaccination program greatly reduces the likelihood of illness, and absentee rates can be expected to greatly decrease. With the in-school program, parents won't have to miss work to get their children immunized. School nurses like it because their schools had less illness overall during the 2015-2016 seasons.
Parents in participating school districts should look for a letter and permission form sent home from the school nurse. If you have questions about the program or about the flu shot, call the Carroll County Coalition for Public Health at (603) 301-1252.
For more on Granite United Way, visit
For more on the Carroll County Coalition for Public Health, go to

  • Category: Health

Memorial Hospital introduces healthy aging exercise program

CONWAY — It seems science has found the long-sought-after Fountain of Youth. It's called exercise, and Memorial Hospital is introducing a new program that promotes healthy aging for those 50 and older.

Scheduled to begin Monday, Sept. 12, the six-week series includes education, health coaching and exercise. The class will meet Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on the second floor of the physical therapy building, just north of the hospital. Series cost is $69, and class size is limited.
Developed by certified health and wellness coach Kimberly Proulx, the program is part of the hospital's Population Health focus on healthy aging. Director Susan Ruka, RN, believes this kind of community outreach is critically important.
  • Category: Health