Ellie Nevarez, a Creighton orthopedic physical therapy resident, is especially drawn to working with members of the U.S. military who are recovering from amputation.
Growing up in San Diego, an area with a sizable military population, Nevarez was surrounded by family members and friends in the service. From a young age, she says her parents instilled in her a respect for those who serve and their families.
As Nevarez completed her physical therapy degree, she turned her respect for military personnel into action. During her third year of physical therapy school, Nevarez completed a rotation at the Center for the Intrepid (CFI) at Brooks Army Medical Center. The CFI is a renowned facility that specializes in caring for service members with amputations.
“Assisting service men and women and helping them enjoy the way of life they fought so hard to protect,” said Nevarez, “is the ultimate reward.”
In 2016, Creighton welcomed Nevarez into its physical therapy residency program. As an orthopedic resident, Nevarez has many roles. She not only receives regular mentorship from faculty members, but also works closely with patients and physical therapy students.
Nevarez says during her time at Creighton she has learned to apply the most current practice guidelines in the field of orthopedics to be better able to treat her patients.
Looking to the future, Nevarez plans to continue working with military men and women who are recovering from amputation, and hopes to start a program that works with patients from the beginning of their rehab through their end goals. Nevarez is also exploring joining the military herself.
“Being able to give back to those who are willing to give it all,” Nevarez says, “just feels right.”