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Jul 07, 2021

Making Better Lives: It’s always “we’’ and never “me’’ in Amanda Crouch’s world

“Me,’’ you see, has no place in Amanda “Mandy’’ Crouch’s world.

“We’’ is everything.

Crouch, for the sake of introduction, is the high-character, high-energy and forever-caring assistant clinic manager at Rock Valley Physical Therapy’s Muscatine, Iowa-based Cedarwood outlet.

Crouch is a manager’s manager, an example-setting, stand-in-everyone’s-corner type, who says grace, compassion and care — examples shown to her by her parents and family growing up on a farm near Starved Rock (LaSalle, County, Ill.) State Park — is the only way by which she can live — and lead.

Those traits — those Golden Rule standbys — along with love, care and dedication toward her Rock Valley family — has earned Crouch (Level II PT, DPT), Rock Valley Physical Therapy’s Making Better Lives honor for June of 2021.
The philanthropic arm of Rock Valley Physical Therapy, will donate $200 in Crouch’s name to Saints Mary and Mathias Catholic School Library at Muscatine, Iowa.
“My parents, my family, that’s how you treat people,’’ Crouch said when asked where her give-back, always-understanding and caring nature comes from. “There isn’t anybody that has ever been a role model, it’s just the way I was raised.’’

A graduate of St. Ambrose University, Crouch lives “we’’ each and every day. There is no magic switch that gets turned on when the work day begins, her genuine care and compassion for those around her, is always at the ready.

“She is a great example of a kind, dedicated and loving leader. She is making us all better humans by simply showing up to work and loving us through our chaos and individual needs,’’ said Rock Valley’s Angie Hunter, a Physical Therapy Assistant at the Cedarwood clinic.

It was Hunter — in light of a series of deep family setbacks — who nominated Crouch for the Making Better Lives honor.

Recently, Hunter’ mother passed, news she received while on duty at Cedarwood, a hustling, bustling building filled with greatness, nestled neatly on the outer fringe of Muscatine. It was Crouch, without hesitation, who gave comfort and care to Hunter when the news of her mother’s passing was delivered.

“Immediately, I found Mandy,’’ Hunter said. “I could barely talk, let alone think about what I had to do next. Mandy gathered my belongings so I wouldn’t have to walk my way back through the clinic by co-workers or patients. She made sure I had the privacy I needed at that moment without saying a word. She knew what I needed more at that point than I did.’’

Hunter says Crouch is everyone’s sounding board at Cedarwood, treating each staffer as family, living — and sharing — the Rock Valley values.
On this particular occasion, it was Crouch coming to Hunter’s aide, but it could have been anyone at Cedarwood.
Everyone there is family to Crouch.
“She has consistently shown up for me throughout my family’s tough times,’’ Hunter said. “ She has shown up to work multiple times with ready-to-bake meals for my family (this being even weeks after my sister’s death) because she could see the struggle without me even having to verbalize it.
“My mom was hospitalized a few weeks after my sister’s death and Mandy showed up with food that I could take to my dad so he wouldn’t have to worry about making lunch/dinner while my mom was away,’’ added Hunter. “I cannot express my gratitude for her generosity. It’s truly a gift to me/us. I’m super thankful for Mandy. She makes the lives of everyone at our clinic better.’’

Drawn to the family atmosphere that is Rock Valley Physical Therapy, Crouch, in her 10th year at Cedarwood, says she — and the entire Rock Valley family — are part of something special.

“I wanted a profession where you can help people, but a profession where you can take the time to help people,’’ said Crouch, diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at age 2. “Rock Valley is amazing, there is nothing like it. This is my family here at Cedarwood. No discredit to other clinics, but I drive past two others to get to this one each day. Every new person we bring into this clinic they find out we are family. And there is no divorcing us.’’

Making Better Lives… It is alive and well in so many ways at Cedarwood.

By: Johnny Marx, Storyteller