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September Spotlight: Joe Reitan, DPT

Through our Monthly Spotlight Series, we are taking the time to highlight the staff at KidsCare Home Health. Whether you’re an aspiring therapist or current therapist looking for your next big move, we hope you gain inspiration and valuable advice from these successful individuals and their stories.

This month we were excited to interview, Joe Reitan, DPT, Clinical Manager/Administrator at KidsCare Home Health Boise.

Where did you grow-up and what is special about your hometown?

I was born in Elmhurst, Illinois and at 4 yrs old moved to Crown Point, Indiana where I lived until I moved away for college in 2002. My hometown had the jail where John Dillinger escaped from with the bar of soap carved into a gun, covered in shoe polish.

Why did you decide to become a physical therapist?

I always wanted to be a pediatrician or pediatric surgeon, but in college I raced collegiate road cycling at Indiana University and saw several friends get injured and go through rehab. I enjoyed being involved in many groups in college and in med school shifted to physical therapy, because I could be more active,

Where did you go to school for college and your doctorate?

For undergrad, I went to Indiana University Bloomington where I received my degree in B.S. Kinesiology, Exercise Science. I received my DPT from the University of Hartford.

What is your favorite thing about working in pediatric therapy?

In some settings, the day to day can become very repetitive for every patient based on the diagnosis. In pediatrics, there is never a dull moment, and therapy can be different daily depending on the kid.

How do you like to relax?

I train for Ironman distance triathlons and go camping with my family.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

I’d say there are two. In August 2011, I finished my first Ironman 70.3 and 4 weeks later was hit by a truck riding my bike to work. I shattered my wrist, broke my left leg and pelvis, tore up my left ankle and ruptured my right quadriceps. In June 2012, I finished a full 140.6 mile Ironman Triathlon (Swim 2.4mi, Bike 112mi, Run 26.2mi) in 12:40:21 after multiple surgeries and not being able to run, bike or kick in the pool until March 2012. The second one is my children. I have a 3.5 yr old daughter and a 1.5 yr old son.

What makes KidsCare Home Health different from other agencies?

I have worked in over 75 clinics/companies over the last 9 years, mostly as a traveler/float therapist. KidsCare is a therapist run company and they really try to allow you to have a good work life balance.

What is the best advice you’ve received for your career?

Never stop learning, and never accept that there is only one way to do something. Just because you were taught how to do something one way, your body might not allow you to get it done that way and you have to adjust. Others may tell you that is wrong because it wasn’t how they were taught, but you were able to get the same results.

How do you make pediatric physical therapy fun?

How can you not make it fun? Kids are fun, and you basically are playing at every session. The only difference is the kids think it’s play, but you are doing specific things to get the desired results.

What advice would you share with someone looking to become a physical therapist?

It is a very rewarding career. I recommend that when you come out of school, find a job that will mentor you so you can really get your skills tailored in the real world with a full caseload.

What is the best part of working at KidsCare?

The Team. Even though the company is in Texas, Colorado and Idaho, everyone is easily accessible, available and willing to help.

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