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Molly Zern-Hehir, ’05

I work at People Inc., and have since my internship with Villa Maria in 2005. I am celebrating 18 Years next month. I began my career as the first PTA ever hired by the agency. Throughout my tenure I have grown professionally. I was promoted from:  

  • PTA to Rehab Coordinator in 2015, 
  • Then in 2018, I accepted a Rehab Operations Manager position 
  • Followed by a promotion to Rehab Director in 2021 
  • I returned to college to earn a BS in Healthcare Administration in 2022 from Purdue Global University.  
  • Currently I hold the position of Associate Vice President of Rehabilitation Health Services which I was promoted to in 2023.  

I currently lead a team of Occupational Therapists, Occupational Therapist Assistants, Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants and Speech and Language Pathologists.     

What I love most about being a PTA is the opportunity to help so many people in many different aspects of their lives. To give someone the opportunity to increase their functional independence with walking, transferring, and other ADLs is so rewarding. The people who we serve at People Inc., have so many different physical and cognitive deficits. However, we are able to show others and themselves, the endless possibilities of increasing their function.  I have witnessed adults taking their first steps, what a privilege. The resources and equipment that People Inc. provides truly makes it possible for life changing interventions.  

Villa Maria…Speaking of life changing!! Jim and Kim gave 110% of themselves during our learning. Their dedication to our success was something I had never witnessed before or thought was possible. They prepared us with all the knowledge and experience we needed to become successful professionals. Their standards were set so high and provided individualized attention to each and every one of us. Being able to practice on the nuns in the infirmary was a great opportunity.

Over the years, Kim and I continued our professional relationship by making a yearly neurologically-based education forum for the upcoming graduates. We provided (and still do) an opportunity for the students to meet patients diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, Progressive Muscular Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injuries, etc. with a goal of not only for the students to understand the impact that physical therapy can provide, but also to educate on misconceptions of people diagnosed with a Developmental Disability and that their diagnosis does not define them.  

Reach for the stars, future PTAs!! The only thing that will limit you, is yourself! Physical therapy has so many opportunities to grow professionally and clinically. Find what you are most passionate about and go help as many people as you can. I promise, you will gain so much more than the patients ever will,  as the job is so rewarding!! You are not only a clinician but also an advocate!!