“[Kristy] is truly a “jack of all trades” for IMH. For the past 20 years she has been juggling pediatrics, outpatient, home health, and occasionally the resident home and inpatients on 3rd floor. Kristy can fabricate a complicated splint one hour and the next hour have the patience to work with a difficult child or conduct a powered wheelchair evaluation… She has advocated for IMH and occupational therapy during school or park district events for kids and their parents and when talking to people from the community at church and on the streets.” -Laura
Kristy grew up on a small dairy farm east of Onarga. While she was attending high school, she had the opportunity to observe physical therapy and occupational therapy and she fell in love with OT. She loved the idea of working patients in such a one-on-one setting and having the opportunity to get to know them personally. She graduated salutatorian from Iroquois West High School and, then graduated with honors from Parkland College in Champaign with an Associates degree in occupational therapy. Fresh out of college, she began her career at IMH, working for 11 years under her COTA (Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant) degree, growing and learning as she worked. Continuing to work, Kristy went back to school and attended Governor’s State University to acquire her Bachelor’s and then Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy. Some say that she did things “the hard way”, but Kristy says she is very happy she completed her schooling this way. She feels it was easier to learn the techniques and practices, because she could relate them back to patients she had worked with over the years at IMH. In addition, IMH houses all the three specialties – Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech Therapy – under one unit, therefore she had practical and close working knowledge of all aspects of therapy. As of June 8, 2018 – Kristy has been a member of the IMH family for 20 years.
When Kristy is not helping patients, she is running – not necessarily in the literal sense, but with her 13 year old son Ethan active in just about every sport and scholastic bowl, it probably feels like literal running. Luckily, her daughter Paige is the book worm, so she isn’t pulled in too many directions. Kristy and her husband Dan have been married 18 years and still live outside of Onarga – no longer on a dairy farm though. She loves watching sports, whether it is Ethan’s games or Cubs baseball. Growing up playing sports it’s in her blood (and apparently Ethan’s too). In addition to all of the running, Kristy is also musically inclined! She plays the organ for her church and the triangle and bass drum for the Buckley Community Band!
When we asked Kristy what she liked about working at IMH, she said “I love the variety – I get to work with all ages, from kids to adults. I love the work environment too, it’s like family.” Others have said that Kristy is always willing to go above and beyond for anyone – going as far as researching and sending letters to insurance companies to help patients get treatment, teaching/training co-workers and students, and taking on extra projects to help others out. She is open-minded and always willing to learn something new from anyone. She is one of the most dedicated employees and her patients just “love her”.
From all of us at IMH – Thank you Kristy for your ongoing service, positivity, and dedication. You are a true Superstar in Healthcare!