Employees Who Make a Difference: Rhonda Flores – Longevity, a Culture of Caring and Making Brooks “Shine”Beyond Magazine
Dec 6, 2021
Rhonda Flores, PT, left Howard University as a new physical therapist and came to Brooks in July 1994. And, 27 years later, she’s still here. Today, as Therapy Manager of Clinical Work, her focus – and her passion – lies in the creation of best-in-class, innovative clinical program enhancements and employee development. This includes leading the new Brooks Recovery Pathways program, which will ensure that the highest quality and caliber of care exists throughout the entire Brooks system.
The obvious question to Flores is, what has made her stay 27 years (and counting)? “I love what Brooks stands for,” said Flores. “I love the culture, the quality of care that we consistently strive to provide our patients. We never stand still. And that is why I’m still here. I love challenge, and we have never stood still with anything that we provide our patients. We consistently look for what is out there that is going to be the best for our patients, we’re always looking for that.”
For a number of years Flores treated all diagnoses as a physical therapist, before becoming therapy manager for stroke. As manager, she shared her knowledge, skills and passion for quality care with both therapy and nursing teams. She also improved the level of the stroke program to help with Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) accreditation and outcome-based marketing. “I grew tremendously in my manager role, building a team that became linked to the community,” said Flores. “Yet, one of the biggest things I realized is that, as a manager, you get so concerned with day-to-day operations that it’s often hard to focus on how to make the program better.”
And while the day-to-day is clearly critical, Brooks and Flores realized her true talents lie in the “how do I improve the program” category, leading to her position as Therapy Manager of Clinical Work. “You need people looking at that every day – and that is what I’m doing now, said Flores. “Brooks commits to it, and that is why you are going to continually see programs get better and better. It’s like Brooks gave me this golden role – ‘This is what you’re going to be doing now, Rhonda, find things that are going to make us shine’ – and I love it. And that’s a reason why I stay, too, because anything that is going to keep Brooks shining is what I want to do.”
Flores’s role as Therapy Manager of Clinical Work will allow her to extend her expertise to all programs throughout the system. Her goal is to find and implement ways for programs to grow together, while always focusing on the Brooks culture of quality care.