Kim Grubbs

Preventative health

“Preventative health” is relatively dull topic compared to the drama of a medical emergency. But for Kim Grubbs, it’s not all about the drama. It’s about saving lives. 

In the last few years, Grubbs, professor, emergency medical science, has cultivated a professional and personal interest in how to get people healthier. 

Grubbs, a paramedic and registered nurse, said he spent “the better part of a career in the back of an ambulance and in the emergency department” and realized that many of those life-or-death calls didn’t have become emergencies if only the patients had taken better care of themselves. 

“I realized I was seeing these catastrophic illnesses that had disastrous consequences. So much of it was preventable, but the patients didn’t realize that,” he said. 

He set out to be a resource for education, and he’s given lectures at JCCC as part of College Now classes, staff development days and the Nell Mitchell wellness series.  His tips for better health include:

  • Lose weight if you need to. In the last 3-1/2 years, Grubbs has lost almost 40 pounds. “The fundamental issues of weight gain are behavioral, and they’re hard, hard, hard to change,” he said. 
  • Identify your health risks. Grubbs uses his background as an EMS instructor to help people understand the complicated world of anatomy and biology in layman’s terms. He’s also created a website for health coaching, consulting and wellness education, and he hopes to add to the site as time allows. 
  • Eat a diet of foods low on the glycemic index (whole-grain, protein-rich foods that do not easily spike blood sugars).
  • Exercise. Grubbs quoted a study that showed that participants who exercised 150 minutes a week had a 14 percent decrease in coronary events. 
  • Stop smoking.
“To become successful, you have to ask yourself, ‘Who is responsible for my health?’ Some people will say their doctor or insurance company is responsible,” Grubbs said. “Only when you take responsibility and say ‘I am responsible for my health’ will you see any true change.”