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.
Physical Therapist, Jenna Anderson, uses play to help her patients achieve their goals
When a child needs physical therapy, you might think that they’ll receive the same therapy that an adult would. Physical Therapist, Jenna Anderson, says that’s one of the biggest misconceptions about pediatric physical therapy. She credits her co-worker, Lauren Snolis, PT, with coming up with the perfect description of pediatric physical therapy, “In reality, pediatric PT is all about playing with a purpose to help kids learn specific movements and skills.”
Jenna uses play to support patients through all the little steps that lead to achieving big dreams. “It can be hard in the day-to-day grind to remember how much these kids are achieving,” she shares, “But when those big moments happen, it makes it all worth it in the end.”
Jenna has been pursuing those moments since she fell in love with the profession while volunteering at a physical therapy clinic in college. Coming from a family where most of the women are teachers, she knew she wanted to work with children and build deep relationships over time with kids and their families.
As she went through the interview and shadowing process at the hospital in 2017, she was excited by the amount of passion she encountered in everyone she met. “You know it’s a good place to work when people have been here for over 20 years and still love what they do!” she says.
Her co-workers continue to inspire her daily. “I hope they all know how thankful I am to be a part of this incredible team,” Jenna says. “I am constantly inspired by the excellence and compassion each of them demonstrates in their work – they give all of themselves to each of the kids we serve.”
Patients’ stories and accomplishments, big and small, stay with Jenna. She remembers a teenager who had sustained a cervical spinal cord injury in a car crash during Jenna’s first year as a physical therapist.
“She showed me a new ‘trick’ she had figured out the night before to independently reposition her elbow,” Jenna recalls. “She then told me, ‘I just decided that I am not going to let something that wasn’t my fault keep me from doing the things I want to do.’ Her spirit and determination still stick with me to this day.”
Something people might not know: “I was a dancer for 26 years. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a Radio City Rockette! I even minored in dance performance in undergrad at Texas Tech.”
Favorite hobbies/ways to spend free time: Running, game nights with friends, traveling
Favorite food: “Currently Mediterranean foods would be on the top of my list.”
Favorite inspirational quote: “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” – Nelson Mandela
Favorite music genre, performer or song: “Red Dirt Country always reminds me of home and the good ol’ days.”
How would you spend a dream weekend? “In the mountains, outside of cell phone reception range with friends.”
From the bucket list: Backpacking through Europe