Why did you choose this profession?
I was working at the Rome YMCA as a personal trainer when I met an older couple who I really connected with. The husband recently had a stroke and could no longer feed himself. I started donating an hour 3 days a week to work with him until he could feed himself again. After several months, when he did get back the ability to feed himself, he told me “Now whatever you do, DO NOT TELL MY WIFE!” and then he laughed. When I asked him “Why?”. He stated “it was because he’d been sneaking food in the middle of the night”. From there I was invited to their anniversary dinner which was at the Emerald lounge at the Turning Stone Casino. Their favorite band, The Roots, were playing that night and they were very excited. It was half way through the night when the band cleared the floor and had them come out for a dance. Now this gentleman had been walking with a limp ever since he suffered his stroke. Yet, that night he walked out onto the dance floor as if he never had a stroke and danced the most beautiful dance with his wife which left me in tears. It was at this moment I started thinking about physical therapy and started applying to local colleges.
What is your best quality as a professional?
I will work in and out of the clinic to ensure that my patients are getting the best evidenced-based care possible. When I get home from work I go over the latest evidence-based practice methods for my current patients and then when I wake up in the morning I go over my patients for the day to make sure I have the best plan possible for them.
Interests and Hobbies?
I really enjoy playing piano, guitar, working out, bettering myself and practicing mind-fullness.
Did you know?
I grew up on a farm with 60 horses!
What do you find most challenging/compelling/interesting about your job?
That every day is an opportunity to learn something new and better my practice. In the clinic you never know how each day will unfold and this keeps my job interesting in that every day is different.
Though I do not watch a lot of TV. I really enjoy watching the News every day, Science Channel programs, History Channel, Sweet Tooth, Ancient Aliens, anything alien-related, and anything related to Star Wars!
What are you doing in the Community?
Recently, I have won several awards for my hard work and passion helping Utica College get their R.I.S.E. Pro Bono Clinic up and running. This is a free clinic that takes on underserved populations and helps individuals who otherwise could not afford PT. These awards were: Certificate of Proficiency: Addressing Health Disparities, Award Certificate: Completion of 50+ hours of pro bono PT services, Certificate of Proficiency: Project-Based Collaboration
When COVID-19 hit we were worried that the pro bono clinic would have to stop, but I and several of my classmates convened to create The Telehealth Taskforce to create the Telehealth extension of our pro bono clinic. We wrote the policies and procedures, as well as researched the legalities and interviewed multiple local PTs for guidance.
Through my fraternity, Alpha Chi Rho, I am involved in American Cancer Society. Every year we put on what is known as “The Deep Freeze” which is where the active members sleep for one week outside of the main campus building at Utica College. During which they host weekly activities to raise awareness and collect donations for the American Cancer Society and the Relay for Life. At the end of the week, they complete the Heart Run and Walk; as well as, donate money to their organization. I currently do not participate in these activities anymore, but I do donate to their cause.