PT Assistant Profile: Mary Snavely

Mary Snavely, PTAMary Snavely, PTA started her career with Tidewater Physical Therapy in 2008 in the Gloucester Point clinic as a physical therapy technician. By April 2012, Mary had earned her Physical Therapy Assistant degree from the Medical Careers Institute and was back on Virginia’s Middle Peninsula and with Tidewater Physical Therapy in its Gloucester Courthouse location, where she continues to treat patients.

Mary accomplished going back to school at 35-years-old, while married to an active duty military man and raising three teenagers.

She was inspired by Karen Kovacs, MPT, OCS, Tidewater’s clinical director at Gloucester Point.

“I was her tech and saw the relationships she built with her patients,” Mary said, recalling one patient in particular who came in with back pain so terrible that he couldn’t stand up straight. Within an hour of working with Karen, Mary said, he was able to stand tall with reduced pain.

“He was definitely not 100 percent, but I could see the relief in his face and I thought to myself, ‘I want to be able to do that.’”

At Tidewater Physical Therapy, Mary said, “we join manual therapy with exercise rehab. You need to do manual, hands-on therapy to correct dysfunction and then exercise to keep things moving correction.”

The patients Mary loves working with the most? The motivated ones, she said.

“I recently worked with a patient who had suffered a traumatic brain injury 23 years ago and the assisted living home that he was in told him he was no longer allowed to walk with his walker and to only use his wheelchair. We were able to safely get him back to using his walker.”

Mary isn’t done with school. She hopes to continue her physical therapy education and become a certified lymphedema therapist.

When Mary’s not in the clinic, you’ll likely find her training at the Gloucester Tidewater Performance Center or on the sidelines of a sporting event with her three children and husband. For nearly a decade, Mary has served on the Board of Directors for Gloucester Youth Wrestling and volunteered for eight years on the Board for Gloucester Youth Football.