As a Physical Therapist with Rainbows’ Infant/Toddler Services, Jamee Funk normally sees between 4-7 families a day. She works with families in their homes and sometimes daycare facilities, teaching and coaching family members how to help their child in a playful manner.
During COVID-19, Rainbows continues to provide services to children with special needs and their families. Right now, it just looks a little different. Jamee now works with her families via tele-therapy. “I am still teaching and coaching families, helping them help their child achieve milestones,” said Jamee. “I see everything on the screen and offer professional recommendations, guidance and suggestions to the family member working with their child.”
“Tele-therapy has given me the opportunity to be more specific and detailed with my recommendations,” said Jamee. “Tele-therapy reinforces the Rainbows’ model of therapy. As therapists, we Coach. We don’t Do. I love seeing parents connect with their kids. I like telling parents, ‘You could be a PT! You’re doing wonderful with that .....’ I just helped them help their child. It’s pretty awesome.”
Jamee joined Rainbows 4 years ago. She has a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Wichita State University. “I worked at a small rural hospital for two years before I came here,” said Jamee. “I worked in acute care, long term care, home health, and outpatient therapy. I enjoyed working with people young and old but the kiddos were my favorite population to work with.”
“My last school clinical rotation was with Rainbows’ therapist Pam Chiles in Infant/ Toddler Services,” said Jamee. “I wanted to help families help their children. The relationships I saw between Pam and her clients were something I wanted with my future clients.”
“Sometimes a tele-therapy call is not a coaching moment, but a check-in to say ‘You’re not alone’ and I’m still here to give you support,” said Jamee. “I try every day to spread kindness and silliness to my coworkers and the families I work with. If I can help my families help their kids by increasing their confidence in playing with and caring for their child and his or her needs, I’m having a good day.”
“Jamee Funk is an amazing physical therapist, an even better early interventionist and one of the best Primary Service Providers I can think of,” said Alexia Foster, Infant/Toddler Services Coordinator. “Her calm demeanor and her commitment to listening mean that the children on her caseload make progress because Jamee has built the capacity of parents to meet their child’s needs. She makes a difference for kids because she listens to parents first.”
While temporarily working from home, Jamee is also homeschooling her 4 and 7-year- old children. Going outside and watching the kids play is one of the ways she takes care of herself. “Crafting is an outlet of mine. I make shirts and signs. I do some painting. I want to learn to make furniture,” she said.
Jamee also belongs to Bayneville Grange #1810, a nonprofit, rural organization. “We do many community service projects including making weighted blankets for children in Rainbows’ Infant/Toddler Services,” she said. “My parents have sewn most of the blankets. We’ve made over 60 blankets the past 3 years. Each blanket takes about 6 hours from start to finish.”