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‘The co-worker you go to’

Knudson picked as June’s Fire Starter

Published: Saturday, July 6, 2013 7:00 a.m. CDT
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Jennifer Knudson, an occupational therapist in the Rehabilitation Services department, was honored as the Fire Starter of the Month for June at Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers.

Jennifer Knudson of Morris was honored as Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers’ June Fire Starter of the Month.

An occupational therapist in the Rehabilitation Services department, Knudson is highly regarded by her co-workers and patients.

“Jen is the co-worker you go to again and again because she respects each inquiry, each request,” wrote one of Knudson’s co-workers in nominating her for the award.

“She is the staff member you go to as a visitor because of her warm, friendly smile. She is the OT you go to because she tirelessly strives for excellent execution of treatment to get an excellent outcome.”

When Knudson started her career search, she hadn’t even considered occupational therapy. In fact, she wanted to go into psychology, but her love for science, coupled with her desire to help people, caused her to stumble upon occupational therapy.

She said that once she found OT, she knew it was a good fit for her and she could work in the field for years.

Knudson’s desire to help people influences her personal work philosophy. She says, “I want to give my patients the care I would want my family to receive.”

Knudson carries her work philosophy into all aspects of her life. Having lived in Morris most of her life, she knows that a sense of community is important. Through her work, she is able to build a family with her patients, and she believes those relationships allow her to give her patients the best care.

While she enjoys the relationships she creates, Knudson says her favorite thing about being an occupational therapist is seeing her patients regain a skill they thought they had lost.

“It’s rewarding to see someone recover a skill that is important to them, whether it’s driving, walking, or simply making dinner,” she says.

At Morris Hospital, Knudson’s job has her working with both inpatients and outpatients, doing evaluations, developing new programs, and updating policies. No matter what she is doing, her passion to help others never wanes.

“Jennifer leads from the front,” wrote another co-worker. “She doesn’t expect behavior from anyone that she wouldn’t subscribe to or demonstrate herself. She always communicates and shows compassion, always is accountable, always demonstrates respect, and always strives for excellence.”

In early civilizations, fire starters were the individuals who had the important job of keeping the flame alive.

As Fire Starter of the Month, Knudson received a Grundy County Chamber of Commerce gift certificate, a special “Fire Starter” lapel pin, and a designated parking spot for the month.

Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers is one of the largest employers in Grundy County with over 960 employees.

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