Knee Injury Leads Gina Thokar to Physical Therapy Career
Gina Thokar injured her knee during a soccer game her senior year in high school, ending her competitive playing years.
But that unfortunate injury sparked Gina’s curiosity with physical therapy. Having to rehab her knee, Gina found the topic interesting and decided to pursue a career in physical therapy after high school.
“It got me thinking about it,” she said. “I knew that physical therapy was the field I wanted to get into.”
Gina attended Potomac State College in Keyser, WV, then transferred to West Virginia University to earn her undergraduate degree in exercise physiology. She started working for Healthworks Rehab and Fitness after graduating, before going back to school at Allegany College of Maryland. Gina continued to work for Healthworks during her graduate schooling.
Gina has worked at Mon Health Medical Center for 7 years as a physical therapy assistant. She assists hospital patients with mobility exercises to help with their recovery from an illness or surgery. Gina leads each patient through a series of exercises specifically designed for that individual.
“Each patient has a different level of mobility and balance,” she said. “We have to create a plan for each patient that fits their specific needs and limitations.”
Gina knows that sitting up in a bed or taking a short walk down the hall could be the highlight of a patient’s day. She encourages her patients to complete their physical therapy to better their recovery. She said the exercises get their blood flowing and increase their heart rates just enough to build up endurance.
“My goal for each patient is to have them progress with each visit,” said Gina. “I love meeting new people and caring for them. This position has me meeting new people every day and seeing them advance in their recovery to the point where they don’t have to be at the hospital anymore.”
Taking her job to the next level, Gina always makes sure she leaves the patient knowing their needs have been met. She’s also checking the patient’s room to make sure everything is running correctly.
Gina was named a Mon Health Champion Award winner in August. The award recognizes employees who exemplify Mon Health’s mission, vision and values every day.
“I truly enjoy doing what I do and working with the people I work with,” she said.
Outside of work, Gina backs up what she tells patients about the importance of exercise. She and her husband Ian take Taekwondo classes together in Bridgeport, WV. Gina herself is a black belt in the field while her husband recently was named a master black belt.