UAMS Alumnus Named Clinician of the Year at Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital in Memphis

By David Wise

While at Encompass Health, Kristen received training and is now a Certified Lymphedema Therapist. To further her professional knowledge and technical skills in treating a diverse patient population, Kristen also pursued certifications in both ReWalk Robotics and Parkinson’s LSVT BIG. Additionally, Kristen participated in an Encompass Health patient interaction video concerning stroke success. Kristen and some of her patients have been featured on local and national news media outlets, including Susie Espinosa who nearly lost her life to COVID. Espinosa, while unconscious, delivered a healthy baby boy who she would meet for the first time some two weeks later. Espinosa suffered severe nerve damage on the right sight of her body, which initially precluded her from walking and using her right arm. After three long months of intensive therapy under the direction of Kristen, Espinosa finally regained strength and movement and was reunited with her family and friends.

Kristen has served as a mentor for interning college students and was selected by Encompass Health as Site Coordinator for Clinical Education. Kristen was asked by to speak to employees and students at Methodist University Hospital, also located in Memphis, about the role and importance of physical therapy in healthcare. Kristen was also recently invited back to her alma matter at Marion Junior High School to speak to a group of impressionable junior high school students about a career in physical therapy on their career day.

Mark Jones, outpatient therapy manager reports, “Kristen has proven herself to be a great asset to the therapy department over the past year. She presents in a very professional manner, with a positive and enthusiastic attitude and an excellent rapport with both her co-workers and patients. She is always willing to help in addressing department needs, is well organized, completes all documentation in a timely manner and collaborates well with other therapists in encouraging interdisciplinary teamwork for appropriate patients to achieve good outcomes and patient satisfaction. When given constructive criticism, Kristen approaches it with a positive attitude, implements suggestions into her daily routine and encourages feedback regarding positive change. Kristen shows great respect to all, continues to achieve great patient satisfaction and outcomes, inspires others and is a true asset to Encompass Health.”

Kristen is also a 2015 graduate of the University of Arkansas, where she majored in Kinesiology. She makes her home in Marion, Ark., and is the daughter of the late Floyd Holmes and Reena Holmes of Turrell, Ark. Kristen is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, the William R. Golden Alumni Committee, and the Union Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Gilmore, Ark., where she sings in the choir.