Featured in Pulse Magazine's 2011 "People to Watch"

Generally, I like it.

There were a few discrepancies - the major one being I'm aiming for Family Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, not to become a psychologist. Its NSNA/MASNA not MSNA. And I don't know if I would describe myself as a relief worker..

The Article

01.11 People to Watch in 2011

By Tine Roycroft, Rachel Bryson-Brockmann, and Jennifer Russo

It’s that time of year again ~ resolutions, fresh starts, and Pulse’s “People to Watch” issue. This year, we’re featuring 11 exemplary local individuals who are making a name for themselves and for Worcester County itself ~ they are students, artists, entrepreneurs, musicians, visionaries and more, all working towards making our community a stronger, more united, more vibrant one. Choosing these individuals was not an easy task, as we received so many nominations for outstanding people doing outstanding things. But please join us now in congratulating “The Eleven” we did choose for their contributions thus far and in looking forward to what this exceptional group is sure to accomplish in the future. What better way to start off the new year?


Rhiannon Doherty

29, Relief Worker, Worcester

It took going across the world to find her true purpose in life.

After a stint in the Peace Corps, stationed in Ba, Fiji, Rhiannon Doherty realized she wanted to help take care of people.

“People kept coming up to me and asking, ‘What’s wrong with me?’”

She wanted to know the answers, and she wanted to help.

Doherty, 29, came home to Worcester and enrolled in the nursing program at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Science.

Though she had experimented in a number of different careers ~ including acting, modeling, and teaching theatre ~ she felt strongly that she needed to reach out to those in need.

“I needed to do more to make a difference, to do something concrete,” she said.

Now, she’s the community outreach chair for the Massachusetts Student Nurses Association, where she encourages individual chapters of the MSNA to be more active in their communities through health fairs, screenings, fundraisers, awareness campaigns, and the like.

She’s also a member of the Red Cross’s disaster action team. Trained in relief work, she responds to local disasters, helping to provide food and shelter. “We are the first to the scene of a disaster to provide immediate relief assistance,” she explained. “This could be a small house fire in the middle of the night or assisting with a shelter for many during a local ice storm.” Her personal interest is mental health medical care in shelter situations, as one day she hopes to become a psychologist.

Doherty also has plans to continue doing relief work, either nationally or internationally.

Doherty stresses it doesn’t take a lot to make someone feel a little better. “With a sense of humor, you can make patients smile and feel normal again,” she said. “It’s important to act with compassion and think of the whole person.”