Employee Heartbeat – Heart and Soul

Employee Heartbeat – Heart and Soul

At The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital, our employees truly are the heartbeat that drives the organization. Every day, through the care and service they provide, they live our mission of maximizing the potential of every child and exemplify our core values of compassion, integrity, excellence, service and stewardship. We hope you enjoy getting to know our amazing employees through our Heartbeat profiles.

Director of Respiratory Therapy Services, Dawn Ayala, shares the gift of working with children and families

When Dawn Ayala was in college, she was working as a veterinary technician and aspired to be a veterinarian. But when her mother came down with a respiratory illness and was on a ventilator, Dawn was fascinated by the management of the ventilator and changed career paths.

In 2016, she interviewed for the first Respiratory Therapy Educator position at the hospital. While on her tour, she instantly felt love for the organization. “I feel like this hospital is God’s true definition of love and compassion,” she shares. “I truly feel a continued calling to work in such a great faith-based organization.”

Dawn brings her own positive energy to the position of Respiratory Therapy Director every day, saying she puts her heart and soul into everything she does. “I love that I work in a place that serves God in a way by providing hope, healing and love to the patients and staff of TCCRH,” she says. Her responsibilities are wide-ranging, including serving on the hospital’s COVID Task Force, working with the Pediatric Complex Care Association on updating their clinical practice guidelines for respiratory care, and participating in recruiting events by attending respiratory therapy programs throughout the state.

respiratory therapistWorking with children and their families is what truly touches Dawn’s heart.  She appreciates the resiliency of children, and the ways they continue to move forward despite their situations. Working closely with parents, hearing their children’s stories and training family members to care for their children has had an impact on Dawn. “I realized that families trusted me and relied on me to help them take care of their loved one. That is a gift,” she says. “I really appreciate those relationships. They have helped me grow professionally and as a person.”

Outside of work, Dawn’s warm heart and love for animals keeps her busy as she frequently rescues animals in addition to caring for her own family. “I currently have a zoo that consists of one African Fat-Tailed Gecko, two Boston Terriers, one Boxer mix, one beta fish, two sons, one husband, and a partridge in a pear tree!”

Fun Facts:

First job: Babysitting kids in the neighborhood from age 12, hostess at Black Eyed Pea at age 15

Favorite ways to spend time: “I like to hike, travel and spend time with my kids.”

Favorite food: Sushi

Favorite actor: Denzel Washington

Favorite inspirational saying: “Look for something positive in each day, even if some days you have to look a little harder.”

Dream weekend: “Hiking in the rainforest one day and then relaxing at the beach the next day.”

From the bucket list: Go on an African Safari

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