Heidi Wills, OT, CHT
Heidi grew up minutes from the Great Lakes in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the birthplace of her appreciation for outdoors adventure and wanderlust. She graduated from Western Michigan University’s Occupational Therapy program in 2000 and achieved her 2nd board certification 9 years later as a Certified Hand and Upper Extremity Therapist. Having achieved proficiency in two niche areas, hand therapy and industrial rehab, Heidi began to satiate her quest for travel by taking assignments as a traveling therapist in rural and urban communities throughout the US. This period afforded her invaluable mentorship from surgeons and colleagues while working with injuries sustained from industrial and agricultural environments as well as outdoor recreation and sports.
While spending nearly a decade living in NE Wyoming, Heidi enjoyed frequent trips to the nearby Black Hills and Big Horn Mountains for camping and world class rock climbing, canyoneering and historic sight-seeing. These days Heidi appreciates the simplicity of rooting-down in southern Oregon with her partner and his 2 teenage daughters, 4 cats, 2 parakeets, 19 chickens, and a rooster named Marilyn. On the weekend you’ll likely find her with a hammer in hand or on the skid steer moving earth, improving their home and the 2.5 acres of they share here in Medford. Relaxation to Heidi is sitting on the patio watching the sun set over a nearby vineyard with a handful of family and friends, or rewarding herself with a good book.
Heidi's decision to become an occupational therapist came naturally as it paired aspects of both teaching and nursing, the public service occupations her parents retired from a few years ago. "I always knew I would be in a helping profession, but I steered away from addressing large numbers in a classroom setting. I prefer small group or 1 on 1 contact with patients and their family members so I can be confident I've connected with them." Upper extremity rehabilitation is the perfect avenue for her to her due to its variety of diagnoses and fast paced advancement of surgical procedures and new therapy protocols. She especially appreciates the close working relationships she shares with the 3 excellent hand surgeons at Southern Oregon Orthopedics for their attention to detail and understanding the value of open surgeon/therapist communication, which ultimately results in superior patient outcomes.