In honor of physical therapy month, which is observed each October, meet three dedicated members of the UTMB Physical Therapy team and learn why they do what they do.
Each in varying stages of their careers, wearing slightly different hats, these individuals have an infectious passion for what they do that comes through in every patient encounter they have.
A physical therapist assistant with UTMB since 2016, Gardner supports patients in the Clear Lake area.
Tovar is a senior physical therapist assistant with a decade's worth of experience caring for patients in Galveston.
Dr. Kaitlyn Lozano
Lozano is a senior physical therapist who has been on full time with UTMB since 2021. She works in Galveston.
Why did you go into Physical Therapy?
I always wanted to help people out but did not know
at the time what I wanted to do. Then after I graduated from high school, I got a job as a physical therapy tech at an outpatient clinic. I fell in love. I loved watching the patients improve from day one. I also enjoyed watching the therapist interact
with each patient. I realized I could do this every day. That is when I realized I wanted to be a physical therapist assistant.
My lovely wife, who is a PTA/OTR, suggested I see what she did
and what the therapy world looked like. I spent the day with her and was immediately hooked! I absolutely fell in love with it. I looked up the PTA program and door after door opened for me and as they say, 'the rest is history...'
I chose Physical Therapy because I wanted to help people regain their function and participate in the things that they love.
Why did you choose to deliver this care at UTMB Health?
I did my first clinical here at UTMB on the Galveston Campus when I was in PTA school. I fell in love right away. I never thought I would do the acute care setting at the time, but I loved just working with all the patients there.
I was very blessed when my boss called me and asked for an interview in my last month of school. I was so excited because I really wanted to work at UTMB. I love the atmosphere here and the institution's core values. I also just love all my coworkers
in the rehab department. Everyone is so caring for everyone. We are all a family here, especially at the Clear Lake Campus. It seriously is an amazing place to work.
I have worked for multiple hospitals throughout my career and this facility by far has been the most educational and rewarding for me. It has helped me grow leaps and bounds and become the successful therapist I am today. I can honestly say that this
is where I truly learned how to be a therapist. This is a Level 1 trauma center and I have pretty much seen everything on God’s green earth walk in through those doors. This hospital, a teaching institution, truly is that.
I chose UTMB because I love the variety of patients that we see from pediatrics, to orthopedics, neurosciences and more.
Best part of the job?
Seeing patients improve!
I get to serve and bless people daily with not only educational experiences but personal experiences, as well, which I believe work together to impact successful sessions and ultimately a successful career. We have to remember
that no one is perfect and that all are humans at the end of the day regardless of where they are.
The best part of this job is seeing patients improve
and meet their goals.
Most memorable moment(s) on the job?
I can’t just think of one memorable moment because I have too many. However, I did realize all my memorable moments are with my stroke patients. I love working with stroke patients and seeing them improve while they
are here in the acute care setting. I had some patients that only had trace movement in their leg and by the time they left they were able to stand and take a few steps with me. I just love seeing them improve daily. That is why I became a therapist: to help people get back to their baseline.
Having three of my former PTA students pass their boards and then join our UTMB team. I love to teach and also love to see people succeed.
Some of my most memorable moments on this job were collaborating with my colleagues from Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy when treating our more challenging patients and seeing the benefits of our work.
What’s one piece of advice you’d love to share with all patients?
GardnerNever give up. Keep fighting and doing your exercises.
That 'we can do all things in Christ who strengthens us.' Don’t ever quit; just keep trying.
One thing I’d love to share with my patients is that, though Physical Therapy can be challenging at times, our goal and purpose in this hospital is to ensure a safe discharge—whether that be
to home or a facility. We are working toward a discharge that will allow the patient to thrive and continue to improve functionally.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I’m so grateful to be appointed to a position where there is so much need, and I get to continuously bless people every day as an ambassador of Christ. Whether it’s getting them a pair of socks, a warm blanket, giving
them a warm hug, a firm handshake, praying for them, or simply lending them a listening ear, I will continue to do my job with excellence until God directs me to do otherwise.
I am thankful for all UTMB employees who work together to provide excellent care to the people of our community.
More information on physical and orthopedic services is available on this page.