The video is filled with compassion, energy and grace.
From the heart, it covers the many ups and downs of 2020.
It touches on how a company — a family in every sense of the word — has battled — and maintained — its values and principles while fighting through a pandemic. There is even a dose of self-deprecating humor in the well-thought out sililiquee.
The man in the movie is Danny Fleener, first-rate therapist, clinic manager and even better person. Like most inside the Rock Valley Physical Therapy family, Fleener is a gamer, a doer, forever passionate about his calling.
And he’s a good dude.
In the video, Fleener speaks glowingly about the annual honor he is sharing. How this year’s recipient and those before her — many cornerstones of Rock Valley Physical Therapy — represent all that is right and good about what happens inside and outside clinic walls.
Fleener also laments the fact there will be no Rock Valley Christmas party this year, a company staple, where thank yous flow and gratitude shines as bright as the North Star. It is here, the annual “Christmas Tie’’ is awarded, going to someone — picked by the previous year’s recipient — who exemplifies all that Rock Valley Physical Therapy stands for.
“The Christmas Tie means something,’’ said Rock Valley co-founder Steve Layer. “It’s just another one if those “things’’ that makes us different. It’s really special to me. This year’s recipient will do it proud. She is one of the best who is receiving the tie from one of the best.’’
In keeping with all that is unique about Rock Valley Physical Therapy, Fleener presented this year’s Christmas Tie to Emily Pospischil, (Senior Physical Therapist), clinic manager at the PCI-29th Street location in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Fleener said Pospischil lives all the qualities — compassion, care, dedication to those we serve and stand with — that made her worthy of such a unique honor.
“I was Danny’s first resident,’’ Pospischil said of the St. Ambrose University Program. “He is awesome. It was a humbling experience. I switched over to (Davenport’s) 35th and worked under Todd and Kelly (Kersten). I have had the best professional career. I have learned from the best. Ten years with Rock Valley. It has been an amazing experience.’’
Emily Pospischil moved from the Quad-Cities to Cedar Rapids in November of 2019, to guide the fortunes of one Rock Valley clinic in that city. Her husband, Kyle (PCI Ortho), leads the other Rock Valley clinic in Cedar Rapids.
“There are so many things that are great about working for Rock Valley, but it starts with the people,’’ Pospischil said. “That includes everyone we work with, that includes the patients that we serve and the people we touch in the community. It’s not like it’s coming to work when you work with great people.’’
The Christmas Tie was first gifted to Layer by a dear and caring patient from Moline, Illinois, where Rock Valley first set down roots. Verna Trevor was so taken with Layer’s care and compassion, that she surprised him one day — during the holiday season — with a red, Christmas-themed tie.
“Verna was such an amazing woman and committed to her community,’’ Layer said. “All the Trveors are that way. Her husband, Jack, was such a good man and Verna was bright, she was caring and such a kind woman. I looked forward to our time together. I was so happy that we were able to help her with a shoulder issue.’’
Layer said he wore the tie for a couple of years and received a bevy of compliments from staff and patients alike.
“It really seemed like it wasn’t Christmas until I showed up wearing the tie,’’ Layer said with a chuckle. “People loved it. And you couldn’t just wear it once.’’
Soon after, Layer decided he would pass along the tie to the Rock Valley staffer that best exemplified the values and standards of Rock Valley in and away from company clinics. The ceremony was held at the annual Christmas party. Greg Blaske (Senior Physical Therapist ) was the first person other than Layer to receive the Rock Valley Christmas Tie.
“First of all, the Christmas party was a wonderful event we all looked forward to,’’ Layer said. “Great planning, everyone dressed and people enjoying the company of those they might not get a chance to talk at length with during the workday. We recognized years of service, had great food and shared an amazing night together. It’s too bad about this year, but you push forward.’’
Fleener was touched at his being awarded the tie in 2019 from Kevin Kelley (Level Two Physical Therapist and clinic manager/Geneseo).
“I was honored last year with the tie,’’ Fleener said. “It is my duty to pass it on to the next person at this Christmas party..Due to Covid we will not be having a Christmas party this year. However, I plan on keeping the tradition alive.’’
Pospischil said things are done differently at Rock Valley.
“The support you get from the company, from your co-workers is special,’’ she said, noting that doing her graduate work at St. Ambrose University helped pave the way to her Rock Valley career. “The resources. There are people you can always call if there is something you need to work through or talk about. People are always willing to give of themselves and their time. I could go on and on when talking about it. It’s what makes it special. I/we are so fortunate we found a good home.’’
So did a time-honored Rock Valley tradition.
By: Johnny Marx, Storyteller