Golisano Foundation Leadership Award Recipient: Amy Pete
Posted at: 09/06/2012 7:08 AM
| Updated at: 10/15/2012 7:04 PM
By: Amanda Ciavarri | WHEC.com
It may look like all fun and games, but for physical therapist Amy Pete who works at the University of Rochester Medical Center, this is work. “I work with children from a couple days out to 19. So I have a really wide variety of ages. I work with children with orthopedic issues, pain and neurological and developmental disabilities."
If you ask her about her job, her passion is clear. “I love my work. It’s fun for one thing. I get to play with the kids but it tremendously rewarding.”
Will has cerebral palsy. He first started seeing Pete after he had major surgery. “When I met him, he couldn't crawl, he could barely sit and he couldn't walk with his walker anymore because he was recovering from surgery."
They worked together for a year and he still comes in from time to time. Now he is able to walk with a little assistance and play.
Pete also volunteers at the Special Olympics. This year, she was a clinical coordinator for the Fun Fitness Area of the Healthy Athletes Program. “We work with the Special Olympic athletes to access their flexibility, their strength, their endurance and their balance."
Pete says being a part of the Special Olympics is something she'd recommend to anyone. “They are all individuals with intellectual disabilities who may not have been able to participate in little league or in rec soccer because they couldn't keep up and here they can be part of a team they can train hard. They can really be part of that team and be valued which is wonderful."
That is just a part of the reason she has been chosen as one of this year's Golisano Foundation Leadership Award winners. It was something that Pete didn't expect. “I was surprised and honored I participate in the Special Olympics because I like to and I do my job because I love it."
Pete, a physical therapist at the University of Rochester Medical Center, specializes in working with children and families, and works in the Department of Rehabilitation, Kirch Developmental Services Center and the Infant and Toddler Developmental Program. She helps children with neurological, orthopedic and developmental issues including torticollis, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, head injuries, scoliosis, developmental delay and orthopaedic injuries, among others. Pete was trained as a Clinical Director in the Healthy Athlete’s FUNfitness program, which assesses flexibility, strength, balance and aerobic fitness, and teaches exercises. She has organized and led screenings at the 2012 Special Olympics Winter Games in Rochester.