Family connections played an important role in Ashley's decision to seek a career in healthcare.
"I was drawn to healthcare at an early age. My grandmother was a nurse and my mother a respiratory therapist. Occupational therapy is a great mixture of many aspects of healthcare and that was very appealing to me."
Ashley has practiced as a licensed Occupational Therapist in the specialty of hand therapy since her graduation from the University of Central Arkansas. She became a Certified Hand Therapist in 1993.
"During OT school, I became intrigued with hand therapy, due to how small and delicate everything in the hand is and how complicated recovery from an injury here can be."
A native of Little Rock, Ashley volunteers as a mentor in outreach ministries at her church. She also enjoys listening to music and spending time with husband, Scott, and their three children.
Lauren first became interested in occupational therapy when she worked with special needs children in high school. Once in college, she was intrigued by the anatomy and rehabilitation of the upper extremity. "The greatest satisfaction of my job is seeing patients progress each week in therapy, until eventually feeling confident in returning to work, sports and life in general.
While pursuing her degree from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, she studied under a certified hand therapist. It was this experience that solidified her choice in orthopedics. Her special interests include making splints as an aid to the rehabilitation process.
In her spare time, Lauren enjoys spending time with her husband, family and friends. Lauren enjoys running, playing golf and being in the outdoors.
Sports plus science equaled a career in physical therapy for Barbara.
"Growing up, I always enjoyed exercise and sports. Plus, one of my favorite subjects in school was science. Physical therapy seemed to be a good way to combine these interests."
Barbara says orthopedic physical therapy offers her the opportunity to treat injuries that involve both muscles and joints. "I enjoy working with athletic injuries and helping people rehab after total knee replacements. People are very appreciative when they are able to return to the things they enjoy, whether it's playing a sport or simply holding a grandchild."
She holds a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from Tennessee Technological University, and taught school before becoming a physical therapist. She received a Master's degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Central Arkansas.
Barbara is an active member of Benton First Baptist Church and a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. She enjoys bicycling, tennis, softball, reading and photography, but quickly adds, "my most enjoyable time is spent with my husband, kids and grandkids."
The opportunity to help individuals return to a life of independence brought Mike to the field of occupational therapy.
"Impacting lives in a positive way fits my personality and talents. It is a wonderful feeling to see our patients recover and regain the active, independent lifestyle they seek."
At OrthoArkansas' North Little Rock office, where Mike is Clinic Manager, he specializes in hand therapy, splinting and sport medicine. He is a graduate of University of Central Arkansas and is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association.
Leisure time will find Mike spending time with his family and friends or engaged in one of his many outdoor interests.
A trip to a physical therapist after being injured playing softball prompted Lisa to investigate a career in the field.
"I decided therapy would be a rewarding profession to pursue, and the job is never boring. I really enjoy working with older clients, because they often teach me as much as I do them."
A graduate of the University of Central Arkansas, Lisa is Director of Therapy Services at OrthoArkansas. She is a licensed physical therapist.
Lisa is a volunteer with CareLink, delivering meals to home bound clients. She enjoys outdoor activities including golfing and biking.
Because of his love of sports and physical fitness, Chris says it just made sense to combine those into a career in physical therapy. "I find great satisfaction in helping everyone that comes to us get back to their normal work and leisure time activities. It's rewarding to see the progress people make from the time they first come to us and then when they leave and return to their normal lives."
Chris works with individuals who need therapy for sports-related injuries, such as ACL reconstructions, total knee replacements and rotator cuff injuries. He earned his AAS degree from Arkansas State University in 2006.
When he's not assisting patients, Chris spends his leisure with his wife, Holly, and daughter, Isabel. He enjoys baseball, softball, football and time at the lake.
Jessica first found her interest in physical therapy as a young athlete playing high school basketball. “I was more concerned with what treatment my injured team mates were receiving on the sideline, than the instructions my coach was giving me”. Because of this experience, Jessica has a fondness of helping athletes return to the sport they love.
“I love helping patients return to their normal activities. Injuries often steal patients self identity. I enjoy assisting them in regaining their pre-injury identity”.
In her spare time, Jessica enjoys working out, playing basketball, disc golf and spending time with friends. She enjoys attending her church in Conway.
Ellen Austin is a senior physiotherapist who is passionate about working with people to maximize their ability to move and manage pain. In her treatment she draws eclectically from her ongoing continuing education, 15 plus years of physiotherapy work in the United States and England in acute inpatient rehabilitation and sports rehabilitation, her training as a massage therapist, her years of national competitive rowing and yoga practice. She is also a cycling enthusiast, having crossed the United States on a bicycle twice.
Sydney treats a variety of musculoskeletal conditions in an outpatient orthopedic setting. Physical therapy allows Sydney to combine and put to use, several of her personal interests. She enjoys interacting with and helping people while challenging her knowledge as a movement specialist. She also appreciates the opportunity to be creative with interventions to achieve patient goals. The most rewarding part of her job is watching the progression of patients and striving for their optimal performance.
Outside of her role at OrthoArkansas, Sydney enjoys spending time with friends and family and being outdoors exploring the great state of Arkansas!
During her time as an athletic trainer at the University of Miami, Mishka knew she had found her calling and chose to continue with a career in sports medicine and rehabilitation. She enjoys interacting with people and inspiring them to live more active lifestyles. Her greatest satisfaction is found in helping patients relearn to walk and the independence it brings. In her spare time, Mishka enjoys running, hiking, traveling and supporting Miami Hurricane sports.
Alaina had an interest in the world of healthcare at a very young age. A graduate of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville with a Bachelor’s in Exercise Science, Alaina went on to complete her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. She chose physical therapy because it combines her passions of caring for people and pursuing a healthy and active lifestyle. She enjoys the daily patient interaction and helping them reach personal goals whether it be playing with grandchildren or training for a marathon. Alaina works with patients of all physical abilities and capabilities.
In her leisure time she enjoys being outdoors, specifically running. She is currently pursuing a goal of completing a race in every state and hopes to one day qualify for the Boston Marathon. Alaina and her husband, a dentist at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, moved to Little Rock in 2014, the same year she joined the Physical Therapy team at OrthoArkansas.
Physical Therapy: Physical therapists at OrthoArkansas know how to treat all types of orthopedic injuries and disorders. Our therapists and orthopedic surgeons work closely in care related to:
Occupational Therapy: Our occupational therapists are trained in the latest treatment techniques and stay current on the most recent advances in sports medicine, orthopedic physical therapy, manual therapy, and evaluation of industrial injuries.
Hand Therapy: OrthoArkansas hand physicians and occupational and physical therapists work as a team to treat traumatic and cumulative injuries to the hand and upper extremities. They guide patients through rehab using customstatic and dynamic splinting and the latest therapeutic techniques. As function is restored, the athlete, worker, or senior can return to the "playing field."
Proper hand therapy is essential to reduce risk of re-injury following treatment for: