Heroes in Healthcare – Schlyon Atkins

Congratulations to our very own Schlyon Atkins for being named to the Ingram’s Kansas City Business Magazine 2018 Heroes in Healthcare list.

Thank you for your work in supporting thousands of individuals and families on their journey to achieve their greatest ability possible!

From the Ingram’s Heros in Healthcare 2018 Article:

“My problems,” says Schylon Atkins, “pale in comparison to some of the individuals that I have the pleasure to serve on a daily basis.” She does that as a speech-therapy pathologist for AbilityKC, created by the merger of the Rehabilitation Institute of Kansas City and the Children’s Therapeutic Learning Center. Many of those patients have suffered acute trauma, including brain injuries, and face long roads back to a new normalcy in their lives.

“The spirit of resilience in the face of some of the most devastating loses in their lives makes the clients I work with the real heroes,” Atkins says. “The joy of seeing someone return to school, work, community activities, and their families makes it all worthwhile.” It’s a joy she was able to discern, in part, while still in high school, volunteering as a hospital candy-striper.

Small acts of kindness, she observed, had profound impact on patients. “I was drawn to the care and concern for others that was exhibited by the nursing staff to those who were in need of care,” she says.  “These images still resonate within me.”

She learned about speech therapy watching a member of her family being treated, and “I became more aware of the role that communication plays in navigating through life,” she says. “I wanted to be a part of making someone’s life better.” That she’s done, as with a young patient who recovered, graduated from college, and has a career and family today. “There’s no better reward than having someone achieve their goals and dreams after life-altering circumstances,” she says, adding with only a trace of irony, “to be included in this journey leaves me speechless to this day.”

Success like that breeds a special kind of motivation to keep at it. “The smiles, hugs, handshakes, and words of thanks, are truly a blessing to me,” Atkins says. “Knowing that I can play a small part in making someone’s life a little better, and seeing them reap the rewards of their effort, is what keeps me going back to work every day.”