When opportunity knocks, listen.
For David Shank, DPT, the chance to use his physical therapy expertise to help patients near his hometown came sooner than expected. But, he knew the opportunity was something he couldn’t let slip by.
The community where he spent many years as a young adult had an appeal he couldn’t resist.
“I feel Fort Scott is a gem and I like the small-town atmosphere,” said Shank.
“I had been working as a traveling physical therapist since graduating from Kansas University Medical School in May 2017. My plan was to continue this for a few years. When the job opportunity came available at Mercy Health for Life, my plans were put on fast forward.”
Shank, a 2009 Uniontown High School graduate, attended Fort Scott Community College where he played football for two years. He then transferred to Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri, and earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology in 2013. He began doctorate work in physical therapy later that year.
Life experiences have helped Shank appreciate and understand the importance of physical therapy. From personal football injuries to the physically demanding work as a welder, Shank has lived it.
“My interest in rehabilitating an injury progressed more as I dove deeper into the profession. I learned that physical therapy is about more that the human body; it’s about the whole person – physical, mental, spiritual – and helping to make a positive impact on someone’s life.”
“I know I’ve made the right career choice when my patients are able to walk again, say they are able to get out of bed without pain or they’ve been able to avoid surgery and yet feel 100 percent.”
Shank will care for physical therapy patients in the inpatient and outpatient setting as well as the occupational health environment.
“I hope to be a good resource for companies in our area because not only do I have the medical training in worksite occupational health, but I have the personal experience that can be beneficial in treatment, too.”
Shank joins a veteran Mercy Health for Life therapy team that includes physical therapists Denny Gillard and Janet Smith; occupational therapist Hugo Dahlstrom; speech therapist Afton Hyer; and physical therapy assistants Lisa Proctor and Rebecca Zimmerman.
For more information about Mercy Therapy Services, call 620-223-7073.