Juliann Friess is named Therapist of the Year for the local Ambucs organization. Friess is an Occupational Therapist at Western Plains Medical Complex.

Each year, Ambucs recognizes and honors local colleagues who have made significant contributions to the profession of therapy and to the community. Past recipients include Holly Deutsch and Misty Ontiberos, both Physical Therapists at Western Plains Medical Complex.

Friess has been with Western Plains for four years and has continued to serve both inpatients and outpatients since.

Friess graduated from Dodge City High School in 2007, where she attended Dodge City Community College for one year receiving an associates degree in general studies.

From there she went to Kansas University in Lawrence and was accepted into the occupational therapy program and completed her masters degree in occupational therapy in 2012.

"Juliann is an excellent employee and occupational therapist, she has grown over the years, expanding her knowledge and skills," says Amy Dunn, Director of Physical Therapy Services at Western Plains. "She has taken on roles in the hospital such as co-chair of the Quality Council, which meets and finds ways to improve processes within the hospital.

"She also is an integral part of the IDT (Interdisciplinary Team) which meets daily to discuss patients’ plans of care. This team meets to discuss the current patient progress and discharge plans for the patient."

The personal attributes that make Friess a good nominee for this award are her passion to reach goals and do everything possible to help her patients.

She sees all types of patients with all kinds of diagnoses- treating each and every one with the upmost kindness and respect. She individualizes her treatment plans to each patient’s needs and personal goals.

Her communication skills and ability to make her treatments useful, meaningful and even fun - help her patients to trust her and enjoy their therapy sessions.

"We, at Western Plains, feel very fortunate to have Juliann on our team," said Dunn. "She is honest, hard-working and thorough. Juliann has passion for the work she does and does everything possible to help those in need in our community."