Vales said she enjoys being in a career where she can “help people achieve their goals and regain their independence.”
Occupational Therapy is a specialized therapy, which focusses on helping people in the things they do every day – enjoying life, pursuing hobbies and interests, taking care of their self cares and activities of daily life. The goal is to “get them back to doing things that are of value and interest to them,” she said.
Vales and her husband, Jim, live in Swanton. She grew up in the Swanton/DeWitt area, the daughter of Lovelle and Connie Deke.
She received her bachelor of science degree in rehab studies in 2011 from the College of St. Mary in Omaha, and her Masters in Occupational Therapy in 2012. She worked at Beatrice Health and Rehab (formerly Beatrice Manor) prior to accepting the position with JCHC Rehab and Sports Clinic.
Her new position is an opportunity for her to continue to enhance her skills, and to give back to the community, she said. She started her new position Feb. 9, and is soon going to a training session to become certified in lymphedema treatment.
“Helping those who suffer from lymphedema is a passion of mine – something I’ve wanted to pursue,” Vales said.
“JCHC Rehab and Sports Clinic has seen a real need for help with lymphedema from patients in this area,” said Justin Schardt P.T., D.P.T., director of JCHC Rehab and Sports Clinic.
“We have seen a real growth in lymphedema patients in the past year, and want to be able to continue to serve them. We are pleased that Megan is excited to continue her education with this certification,” Schardt said.
Outside of work, Vales enjoys being outdoors, gardening and spending time with family and friends.
Vales takes the position previously held by Occupational Therapist Danielle Dailey, who accepted a position in Hastings to be closer to family.
Vales joins the staff which includes: Physical Therapists Schardt; Travis Kostal P.T., D.P.T.; Amy Martin, M.P.T.; Speech Therapist Amy Nash, M.S., CCC-SLP; Rehab Aides Jasmine Schwisow and Dave Summers; and PRN Speech Therapist Brenda Mannschreck, M.S., CCC-SLP; and PRN Occupational Therapist Danielle Dailey. Physical Therapy Assistant Matthew Johnson has recently left the department for another therapy position. Schardt said an additional therapist or assistant will be hired.
For more information on JCHC Rehab and Sports Clinic or any of the services it offers, please call (402) 729-6140.More