Manhattan physical therapist awarded for ‘inspiring excellence’

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Photo from Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan

MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) — A Manhattan man is being recognized for his passion for getting people back on their feet.

Eric Melander has worked at Ascension Via Christi for about 10 years as a physical therapist. He’s helped many people on their road to recovery reach their goals.

“Some of the most gratifying parts are when I’m working with young children and I get to witness their very first steps.”

One of his clients, Bruce, has had many surgeries on his knee from a motorcycle accident. He’s working with Eric through physical therapy to get back on a motorcycle again.

For Eric, his number one job isn’t just to get his clients on the right foot but to make their dreams come true to reaching their goals.

“My biggest goal is to deliver what they find important,” Melander said. “You have some people who want to get back to sports and some people just want to stay safe in their homes and live there independently. One of our big goals is to empower people to take charge of their lives again, regain control that they have lost for one reason or another.”

Eric’s hard work is being honored as he’s the 2020 recipient of the Jackie Rawlings award. The award is named after a the former Director of Rehabilitation Services for the hospital. The award is given to a teammate who inspires excellence.

“I feel very fortunate in the fact that I can be a part of those solutions sometimes,” Melander said. “But it takes a lot of emotional energy to that.”

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