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Transition to Rehab Management

A New Role

Published January 10, 2013 1:02 PM by Karen Schiff

"A New Beginning" was a topic I covered over the past few weeks. As a firm believer in rapid, positive change with unbridled energy, I decided to apply for a higher position within my healthcare system. As of this week, I was honored with the offering of this position, as manager of outpatient rehabilitation services for Memorial Regional Hospital and Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital.

I've worked at Memorial Hospital West for the past 20 years, and will miss the staff I've worked with over the years. On the positive side, our healthcare system fosters teamwork across the entire system, and soon we'll all join together to become The Rehabilitation Institute of South Florida. This will provide an even closer relationship of peers, as we share our specialized knowledge with each other and provide comprehensive care to the community we serve.

As I sit in human resources of the main hospital, I'm watching a seven-minute video reviewing our mission and vision, with employees and patient interaction from several of our facilities. Interestingly enough, much of the video contains excerpts from physical, occupational and speech therapy.

I'm having a moment of silence, as I call it, when I recognize therapists from my current position at Memorial West, as well as therapists from my new position at Regional (with plenty more from other facilities as well). I recognize that we are a major part of our healthcare system, and during this video, I realize that we play an even larger role than previously thought. So why haven't I seen this video before? Probably because I haven't changed roles (permanently) in quite some time.

I look forward with great enthusiasm to this new role, listening, supporting and mentoring new staff and growing with them. I've been prepared by an incredible leader and supported by the best clinical manager. Additionally, I've learned invaluable lessons from physical, occupational and speech therapists over the past 20 years; this is what I will bring with me, as well as the knowledge of a DPT in the making.

My schedule remains full, with raising my daughters, my zoo, playing tennis, having somewhat of a personal life and of course, studying for my DPT (for which my classes start tomorrow). Yes, it can (and will) be done. Most importantly, pursuing my DPT has provided me with the opportunity to take on this role in the system. I will end this blog with a quote that sums it up for me, from William Butler Yeats: "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." Let it be yours, too!


Oh hello Orlagh!!  Thank you for your kind words!  You were always such an inspiration to me, as an intern and as a co-worker at Michael Reese.  There is no doubt in my mind that you would excel and succeed in pursuing your DPT, let alone anything else you set your mind to.  Keep me updated with your decision :)

Thank you, Dean....  I truly appreciate your wishes!

Karen :)

Karen Schiff January 14, 2013 10:04 PM

Karen, that is one of the most incredible pieces of writing I have read in a long time! As an old colleague of yours from our days in Chicago it gives me great enthusiasm and renewed drive for a career I love and for my work I see as a refuge and never a drudge, Thank God! I am lucky for that and for the tremendous gift we have been given as Physical Therapists.

I wish you every success in your new role and with your DPT, spurs me on to maybe think of doing mine at this stage in my professional career...!

Best wishes always,


Orlagh , Physical Therapist - Owner, Private practise January 12, 2013 4:10 PM
Dublin, Ireland

Congratulations on your new post! Best wishes for success.

Dean Metz January 10, 2013 10:51 PM

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