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Rock Valley Physical Therapy Mother-Daughter Duo Works Together for Women’s Health and More

Publish Date: Thu, October 19, 2017 - 9:17:00


Michelle Kadavy and her daughter Liz Kadavy are a team—and physical therapy is in their blood. Michelle’s mother (Liz's grandmother) had also worked in physical therapy part time while Michelle was growing up, and Michelle noticed how rewarding the position was for her.

Michelle attended Marquette University and transferred to physical therapy a year into her education. “It was the best decision of my life,” she said.

Now, Michelle has been working in physical therapy for more than 30 years in a variety of areas. Currently, she is a senior therapist at Rock Valley Physical Therapy, and her specialty is in geriatric therapy, working with the older adult population.

“They are so appreciative,” she said of her patients. “It is so important in health care to address falls and balance. Especially as people live longer and live healthier lives, this will grow in importance.”

Like her mother, Liz had a physical therapy role model growing up and is now an occupational therapist.

“I knew that I wanted to grow up and do something to help people,” she said. “I always saw my mom and my family working, and I knew it was the career for me.” Along with her mother and grandmother, Liz also has two aunts that work as occupational therapists.

After graduating from St. Ambrose University, Liz began work at Rock Valley Physical Therapy, specializing in hand therapy. To become a certified hand therapist, physical and occupational therapists must work closely with hand related injuries for at least five years before they can sit for a board to become a certified hand therapist, so Liz is working toward that certification, treating hand, wrist and elbow injuries.

Both Michelle and Liz love doing their best for their patients, especially when it comes to women’s health.

Michelle treats women with osteoporosis or Parkinson’s disease and, as a woman, can relate to them and understands what might make them more comfortable.

The business is run by therapists who care!” said Michelle. “The staff and the patients work together to make it a better experience, and it’s great to be a part of a group that is so engaged in the community. I’m so proud of Rock Valley Physical Therapy and the care we provide.”

From a female patient’s standpoint,” added Liz, "one of the hardest things to do for women after surgery can be putting on a bra. It can be uncomfortable for patients to express this, however, I can relate to this. They may feel more comfortable and potentially talk about more intimate issues because I’m a woman, too.”

Rock Valley Physical Therapy is flexible and able to accommodate specific women’s needs, and the overall atmosphere makes it a place that both Michelle and Liz love coming to for work.

“I love the atmosphere,” said Liz. “There’s such a willingness to help coach, teach and mentor. There’s so much collaboration because the patient’s health is really the priority.”

While some mother-daughter duos might find it frustrating to work in such close proximity, that is not the case with the Kadavys. In fact, they reap a lot of benefits from working together.

“I really enjoy it!” said Liz. “Many patients will recognize me as ‘Michelle’s daughter,’ and I get to learn from my mom and see her interact with patients. It’s created a great internal network and support system.”

“I am so proud to have a daughter that has done so well and makes me so happy!” said Michelle. “She will carry on the Rock Valley Physical Therapy tradition.”

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