Tamara Sayers Awarded VNHCH’s Kathleen Sheehan Memorial Scholarship

August 8, 2023

CONWAY, NH – Visiting Nurse Homecare and Hospice of Carroll County announced they have awarded Tamara Sayers of Tamworth the 2023 Kathleen Sheehan Memorial Scholarship. Sayers serves as LNA for the agency and is now working on her nursing degree at White Mountain Community College to become an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse).

The $2,000 scholarship award is given each year to a college student currently enrolled in an accredited health-related field of study program focusing on nursing, physical therapy, or occupational therapy. The student must reside in Carroll County, NH or Western Maine. 

Executive Director Sandy Ruka stated, “We are so happy that Tamara is studying for her nursing degree and that we are able to support her academic efforts financially. She has been a shining star working for us as an LNA for 15 years. We know she will be successful as an LPN in homecare. We can’t wait to see her complete her studies and work with us in this new capacity.”

In Tamara’s scholarship essay, she shared how she’s long tried to answer the question, “what do I want to be when I grow up?” She has always been passionate about helping others and putting a smile on the faces of those in her care. She became interested in pursuing a nursing degree when Sarah Baillargeon MSN, RN, Nursing Program Coordinator from White Mountain Community College (WMCC) visited the VNHCH offices and talked about their LPN program. This program makes it possible for students to work and go to school. Sayers stated, “I was intrigued and wanted to start that journey. I realized I finally had an answer … I wanted to be a nurse. I have finished my first semester, and though it hasn’t been easy, it’s worth it, and I can’t wait to one day be a nurse going into homes.”

The scholarship award is invaluable for this adult learner who is continuing to work while pursuing a degree. Sayers stated, “It’s nice to be appreciated. It’s a lot harder than I thought it would be working full-time and taking out loans. This scholarship makes it less stressful for me. Having this help will allow me to choose a job after graduation that I’ll enjoy versus the job with the biggest sign-on bonus to help me pay off student loans.” 

VNHCH also offers employees tuition reimbursement, another way of supporting staff who wish to further their career development options such as the WMCC program. 

The scholarship is in honor of Kathleen Sheehan, a long-time nurse for VNHCH. She was also the agency’s first hospice administrator and was influential in starting the program.

After Kathleen passed away from cancer, VNHCH staff wanted to honor her memory and all she did for the agency and the community. They came up with the idea of the scholarship. This idea was approved by the VNHCH board and has been in place since then.

Applications for the 2024 scholarship will be announced next spring. Look for updated information at www.vnhch.org/scholarship

For more information on VNHCH visit them online at www.vnhch.org. For more information on the nursing program at White Mountain Community College, go to https://www.wmcc.edu/program/nursing-licensed-practical-nurse-lpn/

Visiting Nurse Home Care & Hospice of Carroll County and Western Maine 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, visit their website at www.vnhch.org or call 603-356-7006.