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Jamie Tridico - Community Caretaker, Woman of Achievement

Growing up in the northern panhandle, Jamie Tridico always knew she wanted to help and take care of others. After sadly losing her mother at a young age, she, her father, and her younger brother found solace from her small community of Follansbee.


Family and friends jumped in to help care for her and her brother, allowing her dad to continue working. “Having that sense of community is perhaps why I feel so strongly about community engagement and partnership,” Jamie said of her childhood.


That altruistic spirit inclined her to volunteer at her local hospital as a candy striper while still in high school. It was there that Jamie was first exposed to the practice of physical therapy. “People always looked happy,” she said. “They may have not come in happy, but they always left in a better mood and feeling more confident.”


Seeing the positive impact physical therapy could have on people’s lives served as a catalyst for Jamie to pursue it as her profession. She graduated from Wheeling Jesuit University in their first official physical therapy program. Following graduation, she worked in several clinical settings, including 11 years at St. Francis Hospital, as well as at Charleston Area Medical Center, Teays Physical Therapy in St. Albans and working per diem in nursing homes, home health, and hospice care.  She also went on to obtain her doctoral degree in 2012 from Chatham University with the support and encouragement of two of her friends who also have leadership roles in physical therapy.


During this time of career growth, Jamie was experiencing a personal hardship. Her father developed Alzheimer’s disease and his decline over the years took its toll. He passed away in 2006. Though painful, the relationships she was able to develop through her professional and personal life helped ease the blow. “Having the support of another great community of passionate people strengthened me, protected me, supported me,” Jamie said. “During those dark and difficult days when my dad was ill, I feel that my work and relationships were my salvation. It allowed me to focus on the needs of others and not on what I was going through.”


In 2012, she took over as owner of Advanced Physical Therapy in Charleston, WV. Since then, she’s continued to expand the business. APT has added more therapists and more programs and moved to their current location on MacCorkle Avenue in 2016.


Advanced Physical Therapy has been voted Best Physical Therapy in the Valley for the last 8 years, a testament to the care and dedication of its remarkable team. “All of the employees at APT have helped make the reputation a positive one,” Jamie says of her team. “We strive to offer compassionate care, but also in a fun and encouraging environment.”

While growing her practice, Jamie has always made a concerted effort to stay involved in the community. One shining example is her work helping patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD). She sought out certifications that allow her to teach classes specific to patients with PD. What started was a once-weekly exercise class, called “Delay the Disease.” After earning that certification, Jamie also became certified in a “Rock Steady Boxing” exercise program that uses boxing techniques to help PD patients with balance, strength, and other skills. The classes have expanded significantly and are now held at the YMCA in Charleston twice a week.


“Jamie is the most selfless person I know,” says George Manahan, a friend who’s worked with Jamie through his involvement with the WV Parkinson’s Support Group. “She’s always there to lend a helping hand and supportive comment to both our Parkinson’s community and many other not-for-profit organizations in the area.”

In addition to her work with patients with Parkinson’s Disease, Jamie is also co-founder of “Girls on the Run Charleston” — an after-school program designed to inspire fitness and build healthy habits. Working closely with Cathy Wallace with Child Law services, along with her daughter, Rachel, Jamie helped secure the volunteers, help, funding and other requirements needed to bring “Girls on the Run” to West Virginia. The program is designed for young girls in grades 3-5 and 6-8 to focus on building social, emotional and physical skills in participants while encouraging healthy habits for life.


“The GOTR program allowed girls to be in a safe environment, with volunteer coaches, where they learn meaningful life lessons, and build confidence and other important life skills through dynamic, interactive lessons and physical activity.  At the end of their 12-week session, they complete a 5k run with a running buddy.  Girls on the Run has now transitioned to “Kids Run the Nation,” a program that includes both boys and girls and continues under the direction of Child Law services and is offered in several communities around the state.


Building community relationships is important to Jamie and is evident through her practice’s many sponsorships, student affiliations for PT/PTA schools and volunteer opportunities. “We offer free classes and free sports screenings, we support community events, we aim to be a true community partner,” Jamie said.


In addition to her practice, Jamie is adjunct faculty at Marshall University. She is also currently serving as Vice President of the American Physical Association WV Chapter. “I would like to see an increase in physical therapists, assistants and students being proud members of the state and national chapters, raising awareness of the PT profession, and the profound impact physical therapists have on those seeking our care.” In her spare time, she enjoys playing tennis, hiking, traveling and spending time with family and friends. One of her goals is to return to Italy to explore the areas from which her family originated.


“I feel very fortunate to have such a rewarding career,” Jamie said. “I have a great support system from family, friends, coworkers and the community. The relationships we make are what lead us along our path, and I’m glad that my path has been this one.”


“My emphasis in life has always been about caring for others,” Jamie said. "I’ve always been a caretaker. I’ve tried to be the person who is helpful, caring, supportive, encouraging, and I feel like I’m in the right profession to be able to deliver those qualities to others."

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