The new physical therapist at St. Rose Ambulatory & Surgery Center has taken the long way to Great Bend, and she is glad to be here.
Estrelle Diaz is originally from the Philippines where she earned a university degree in physical therapy in 2000. Her next career move was to Saudi Arabia where she lived and worked for more than four years before returning home and later moving to Coral Springs, Fla.
While working as a physical therapist in Florida, Diaz learned about the job opportunity at St. Rose.
"After I received my bachelor’s degree, I began studying to meet the requirements for licensure in the United States," Diaz said. "This was extensive study over about five years while I continued to work. I knew I wanted to have the proper credentials for the United States."
Diaz acknowledged that her work environment is much different here than in the Philippines and Saudi Arabia.
"In those countries, the doctors think of physical therapy as only getting a massage," Diaz explained. "But here in the states, doctors understand it is a specialty that is invaluable to many patients."
Physical therapists help patients with a wide range of conditions that can be the result of injury or disease.
"We evaluate our patients and provide rehabilitative treatments for many medical conditions," Diaz said. "When someone has been injured or suffers the effects of illnesses such as stroke, we can help them with strength, balance and coordination.
"The goal is always to allow them to get back to their everyday activities as soon as possible," she added. "Everyone here at St. Rose Rehab knows how important this is to our patients."
In addition to seeing outpatients at St. Rose, Diaz also works with Golden Belt Home Health & Hospice to provide in-home services. GBHH&H is part of the St. Rose family.