Joshua Shepherd

Winning ARH Scholars Award Just a First Step

Breathitt Co. native Shepherd hails from Lost Creek

Joshua Shepherd of Lost Creek has been named a 2017 Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) Scholar and will be receiving a financial award of $2,500 each year for the next two years to be used for tuition and living expenses while attending college. To be selected as an ARH Scholar, the applicant must either be an employee of ARH or be sponsored by a relative who is an employee. Shepherd was sponsored by his sister, Tammie Shepherd-Smith, who works for Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center.

Shepherd currently works for the Veterans Health Administration (VA) in Hazard as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) and says he is proud of helping those individuals who have served in the military. “This one guy I was treating had been a mechanic on Air Force One. He knew personally that Marilyn Monroe had been a passenger aboard that plane and he was very interesting,” said Shepherd, who will be studying to obtain his registered nursing (RN) degree in the fall at Galen School of Nursing, Hazard. “I believe the veterans deserve the best possible care so I take my role very seriously.”

“My ultimate goal is to become a nurse anesthetist,” he said explaining that obtaining his RN licensure is just the next step. “I want to be the best at what I am doing, so that will mean more study. I’m up for it. I want to help my patients get back to being the best they can possibly be physically.”

Shepherd said he was grateful for his sister’s recommendation since he is not currently an ARH employee. “I’ll end up working for ARH,” said Shepherd, “but it was good she got me in. This award means the world for me because it takes a lot of the financial burden off of me and my family.”

Shepherd is also looking ahead to maybe his wife winning an ARH Scholars award one day soon. “My wife is an LPN so she needs to step up next,” he said while adding, “and we have three children! We’d love it if we were all part of the ARH family.”

Credit: Special to the Jackson-Breahitt County Times-Voice