What is your name?
What is your role at ARC Physical Therapy+?
Staff Occupational Therapist at Lee’s Summit
Where are you from?
Born in Brockton, Massachusetts but grew up between San Antonio, Texas and Lawrence, Kansas.
Where did you go to school?
Graduated from University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy. Rotations were completed in Detroit, Michigan, Dallas, Texas and Kansas City.
Who or what inspired you to get into the physical therapy space?
My family has a strong medical/healthcare influence. My grandfather was a surgeon before and during WWII. He was commanding officer of the 109th Evacuation Hospital and was our hero. He retired as a dermatologist.
What do you like most about your work in the physical therapy space?
I love to learn about the human body and to educate my patients. I started in therapy because I wanted to work with children/pediatrics.
What is one thing you wish everyone knew about the body or physical therapy?
The mind and body connection to healing. How important it is for the patient to remain positive and motivated with their recovery. If you don’t feel you are going to get better or that therapy won’t help, it probably won’t.
Are you involved with any outside organizations?
Kansas City Hand Special Interest Group. All area hand therapists meet on a monthly basis to continue with education and networking.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Family time with my 5 and soon-to-be-6 grandchildren all 5-years-old and under. I love time in the kitchen and experimenting with different types of food/cuisine.
How do you like to celebrate a win or a good day?
A nice glass of Pinot Noir and time with family and friends.
What is your favorite quote or saying?
If you want to change the world, go home and love your family. — Mother Teresa
Favorite Sports Team?
Michigan Football and KU basketball (and recently, football). I love to watch NCAA tournament in girls volleyball. Of course, the mighty Chiefs.
Sweet or salty?
Coffee or tea?
Both — Chai Tea (with 7 pumps! Spicy!)
Beach or mountains?
Beach for relaxation and mountains for skiing.
Go out or stay in?
Anything else you’d like to share?
Most of my training was my experience working within a large hospital in Detroit, Michigan at Henry Ford Hospital. We worked closely with the doctors and residents because they were all in-house. We saw all types of traumatic injuries and diagnoses, both inpatient and outpatient.
What patients/diagnoses are you most excited about treating?
I love treating tendon injuries and acute or post-op injuries or surgeries.
Can you share a patient success story?
I have had two patients that really influenced me:
- I had a 4-year-old near-drowning after being submerged in an apartment pool in the winter where his mother did drown trying to save him. Treated him for over a year and could not believe the plasticity of the brain and recovery from how dire he started to making a full recovery.
- My second patient was a terrible degloving accident where he had very limited function and poor-to-no sensation with his hand. He had intractable pain and was a recovering drug user. He had been sober for two years and was fearful he would become addicted again. He struggled with severe depression. He opted for an elective hand amputation. We had him fitted with a body-powered hook prosthetic for heavy-duty work and myoelectric hand option for light- and fine-motor activity. He returned to full-duty work and would visit often in great spirits and no regrets. I really learned how to treat the entire patient from a mental/physical component and consider all his social and comorbidities.