2013 Nominees Section
Position: Physical Therapist
Organization: AltaMed Health Services
Why should this person be nominated? (What makes nominee unique; why should they be selected the winner of this category?
Denise has been a physical therapist for more than ten years for various age groups. She began working at an adult day health center in Los Angeles three years ago and has been with AltaMed’s Program for All Inclusive Care for the Elderly in Huntington Park for a year and a half.
What is this nominee’s involvement in senior care or senior issues
Denise is full of energy and it seems that she has worked with seniors her whole life. Physical therapy to Denise isn’t just about strengthening the body, but strengthening the soul of her patients. Her energy and compassion is infectious and her patients love her for that. Even when she is not conducting therapy sessions, Denise spends time dancing with patients to keep them in good spirits.
Denise is very creative in motivating seniors to participate in the therapy, using balloons and other fun exercise tools. Since she joined our PACE program, seniors line up and are eager to get into her classes. The population Denise works with at our PACE centers are extremely frail, low-income, Spanish speaking seniors. Denise does not speak Spanish, but she makes the effort to communicate with them. Denise is taking Spanish language courses to help patients even more.
After noticing that patients sometimes arrive to the center stressed from life at home, she introduced mediation as a form of physical therapy to help the seniors de-stress. She took a step further and brought in aroma therapy for our Alzheimer’s patients. The seniors absolutely loved it and look forward to each therapy. “What do you do at the center that mom now comes home so relaxed? She’s a happier person!” one family member exclaimed.
Denise loves working with seniors and she goes out of their way to help them recover, relax and remain safe. She is a wonderful asset to our PACE team in Huntington Park.