The UAB School of Health Professions has a proven track record of students being hired before they graduate and Jamie Heidel is no exception. She landed her first job as a full-time physical therapist at Agile Physical Therapy in Birmingham weeks before graduation and in plenty of time to relax during the Thanksgiving holiday.
Heidel has always been active in dance and sports. In 1996, she began volunteering for the Special Olympics in Brevard County, Fla.
“I loved seeing people with special needs and their families having fun and achieving their dreams through physical activity,” said Heidel. “Physical therapists try to help people of all age levels, physical abilities, and walks of life live independent, meaningful lives through physical activity and mobility. “
Heidel became immersed in the physical therapy outreach community as a PT student at UAB including volunteering at the Birmingham Chapter of AMBUCS, a non-profit organization creating mobility and independence for people with disabilities.
“The organization installs ramps, initiates respite care centers and raises money to fund Amtrykes (therapeutic tricycles) for people with special needs,” said Heidel. “The organization relies on physical therapists to connect patients and families to their services.”
It was during her outreach that she became involved with her future employer, Agile, the forerunners of Dance Medicine in Alabama. Working at Agile allows her to use her former dance background with her physical therapy education.
“Some of our treatment modalities include manual therapy, pre- and post-operative therapy protocols, Pilates and functional dance analysis,” said Heidel. “Ultimately, we plan to give you the tools of fitness and wellness that can be practiced throughout your life span utilizing your own body and basic equipment to improve function, strength and flexibility.”