Shaheen, Carrier Named Partners Healthcare Scholars

August 2, 2012
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Partners HealthCare Charlestown Merit Scholarship recipients Caitlin Carrier, left, and Sarah Shaheen, center, with Charlestown Neighborhood Council member Dave Whalen.

Two Charlestown residents have been named as recipients of the 2012 Partners HealthCare Charlestown Merit Scholarship.

Caitlee Carrier, a life-long resident of Charlestown, is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in health care management at Elms College in Chicopee, where she will be entering her junior year in September. Carrier received a $3,500 scholarship.

Sarah Shaheen, a new resident to the neighborhood, is attending MGH Institute of Health Professions where she is in the graduate school’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program. She received a $2,500 scholarship.
The two women were awarded the scholarships during a July 25 event at the MGH Institute’s Charlestown Navy Yard campus.

This is the third year that three Partners HealthCare affiliates—the MGH Institute, MGHCharlestown HealthCare Center, and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital—have collaborated to present these awards. The scholarship has been given for the past nine years to Charlestown residents who have completed at least two semesters in a program of study leading to a non-MD health career at the associate degree level or higher, and who have demonstrated leadership qualities through community service. It has grown from one $1,500 award to two awards totaling $6,000.

Carrier decided to pursue a health care career after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer while she was attending Mount St. Joseph Academy in Brighton. After helping her mother, Pauline (O’Brien) Carrier, during chemotherapy, she knew going into health care was the right decision for her.

“I was meant to be in health care,” Carrier said.

Carrier has been involved in the Charlestown community for years. Her involvement has included alter serving at St. Francis de Sales Parish, umpiring for Charlestown Little League, walking for five years with a team of Charlestown residents in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, and being a camp counselor at the Charlestown Boys and Girls Club.

Once she completes her bachelor’s, she plans to stay a fifth year at Elms to get her Master’s in health care management, and then begin a career working in a hospital.

Like many students who are in direct-entry programs at the MGH Institute, Shaheen discovered her passion after receiving her undergraduate degree, in this case from Fairfield University. She originally thought she would become an editor.

Shaheen was inspired to pursue a health care career after helping a friend recover from an injury. She saw how physical therapy helped transform him back to the outgoing person he was prior to the injury, and decided she wanted to have the chance to make an impact in peoples’ lives on a regular basis.