OT Spotlight: Danielle Keyser, Director of Education

As we kick off the month of June, we would like to take a minute and brag about one of our own and an instrumental player in the upcoming Gulf Coast OT conference. The fact is that we work with a world class group of therapists—each of them unique and amazing in their own ways. Thank you all for being a part of our team!

Danielle Keyser, Occupational Therapist, Geriatric CertifiedDanielle is an occupational therapist by trade. She also happens to be the president of the Louisiana Occupational Therapy Association. She is the only geriatric certified OT in the state, and one of 2 in the country. She’s a rock star and we’re lucky that for the last 11 years we’ve had her as an integral part of our family.

As the Director of Education, Danielle travels around the state to educate our therapists with in house CEU courses. She designs them specifically to aid our patient’s needs. She orients our new hires and covers for our OTs when they are out. She is constantly researching new codes, and new therapy techniques to share with our team. Just yesterday one of our PTs was saying how thankful she was for Danielle. She said Danielle has a way of motivating and inspiring her to be a better therapist. How many people can go to work every day and say they have a colleague that can do that for them?

Below is a letter written about Danielle that I felt compelled to share:

Good Afternoon,

We reached out to Danielle regarding a patient that was admitted to our partner nursing home under dire circumstances this past year. The resident was severely malnourished and came from questionable if not deplorable circumstances. Upon being admitted to SNF, this 60 year resident was weighing in at a whopping 46 lbs. The new admit had diagnoses of cerebral palsy, mental retardation, among others. As a collaborative team we were stunned, stumped and heartbroken. We had confidence that Danielle could potentially offer us some guidance and treatment options in order to both benefit the patient as well as provide us with emotional support in order to ensure that we maintained a positive outlook for the grim situation we were facing.  Danielle not only came through in a prompt and efficient manner, but showed true compassion, respect and empathy for the patient as well as for us as a therapy team. To sum up the overall consensus that day, we would describe this resident as that of a feral child, with severe sensory deprivation due to years of neglect. Patient was not even able to tolerate the slightest touch, sound, light, smell, etc. Danielle approached this situation from many angles and was able to provide not only OT but PT and ST with specific treatment recommendations.


We are happy to report that because of her knowledge and dedication to both her profession and supporting other therapists, our patient was recently discharged from services weighing in at ~65lbs with ability to tolerate not only light, sound, and touch, but also prolonged periods out of her room interacting with other residents with reduced tactile defensiveness. Patient is even able to take showers and assist CNAs with ADLs. The staff here at the nursing home has commended her efforts and progress on multiple occasions. Not only have we grown as therapists but this patient now is facing a much improved quality of life. If not for Danielle’s guidance we would never have been able to accomplish all that we did. Our faith in humanity was restored as well as our faith in ourselves as an integral part in changing a life. Thanks for taking time to read this!!! We love Danielle and are very lucky to have access to such a knowledgeable, caring, compassionate, and hardworking colleague.


Danielle Kidder PTA; Samantha Coontz SLP; Jennifer Gremillion COTA; Travis Houser DPT; Mark Gremillion OT


What this letter doesn’t disclose is that when Danielle arrived at the facility that day she climbed into bed with this patient. She held the patient, and as the therapy team sat around the bed, through their tears, they began to discuss what steps needed to be taken to change a life.

As our Director of Education she sets out daily to inspire OUR team of therapists. I know that I speak on behalf of all of our teams in saying that her heart, her enthusiasm, and her dedication are unparalleled.

Here is what other teammates had to say about Danielle…

“It’s rare to find a human so graceful, so confident, and so unapologetically comfortable in her own skin who can inadvertently motivate you to be better; and I’m just talking about the impact she has had on me.”

“There is no person on the planet more passionate than Danielle Keyser. That woman can light up a room, make you laugh, make you cry, and make you grateful that there are healthcare professionals out there who truly care for their patients. Simply put, she’s inspiring.”

“The passion and excitement that Danielle exudes on a daily basis is contagious to all of those around her! She has taught me so much about the geriatric population. Her integrity on ensuring that they get the absolute BEST care during some of the most precious and vulnerable years of their life is what inspires me the most. We are lucky to be able to work side by side with such a skilled and compassionate human being.”


“Life isn’t just about living. It’s about loving the life we live. OT will help make that happen. I’m thankful for, humbled by, and more in love with my profession every day—with every patient.”  -Danielle Keyser

Register for the Occupational Therapy Gulf Coast Educational Symposium today!

Learn more about occupational therapy interventions on the OT section of our blog.

Read more about Danielle on the leadership section of our website.

Watch a video bio of Danielle at www.greatseminarsonline.com/faculty/keyser/

Kayla Stansbury2Article Written by Kayla Stansbury, Recruiter for Therapy Center.




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