People of the U: Leah RossPublished on Wednesday, March 25, 2020By: Kate RoyalsLeah Ross is a physical therapist with some pep in her step.Ross, who attended PT school at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and began working here after graduation, works with the University Pavilion’s outpatient physical therapy team. She sees mostly pediatric patients dealing with fractures and other orthopaedic issues, as well as some adult patients.As a mother of two, she also knows how to interact with children and brings those skills daily to her job.“I treat a lot of kids, and some people say I am a kid,” she said, laughing. “With treating kids, you have to have a lot of joy and a lot of pep in your step.”She’s always been passionate about what she does, but a recent experience with her oldest son reignited her passion. At only six months old, he was hospitalized for over a week with RSV. She did her best to be an advocate for him, but there were times when other caregivers “were an advocate where I couldn’t step in,” she said.The experience made her realize another way in which she can help her patients as a physical therapist.“There’s a way for me to be an advocate for the kids as well as encourage the parents to be advocates … Some people don’t think you have a say (in your medical care),” she said. “I personally think it’s important to know you can ask questions and if they’re too nervous or scared, I can be their advocate.”She said she’s realized lately working here is “a calling.”“There’s been time and time again there’ve been outlets I’ve tried to pursue, but God’s pulled me back … within a week,” she said. “I think if you’re working here, there’s a reason why, and I think that these patients need someone to show care.”Jeffrey Hodges, Ross’ supervisor and assistant director of rehabilitation services, confirms Ross’ passion for providing the best care for her patients.“Leah is very concerned for the overall well-being of all of her patients, not just for their physical therapy issues,” he said.Even as a mother of two children under two years old, Ross always maintains an upbeat and energetic attitude. This, she says, helps when the job gets tough – which it does.“There are definitely complicated days but approaching it with the joy I talked about earlier and with grace, that’s what gets me through day to day and it’s what patients remember.”Every institution is rich with personal stories. We want to know ours.Do you know a student, staff, volunteer or faculty member at the University of Mississippi Medical Center whose story would make an interesting feature or deserves to be recognized?Know someone who you think more people should know about because of his or her commitment to his or her job and/or the people he or she works with or for? Who has a fascinating hobby? Who participates in a remarkable group? Who has accomplished something amazing?We want to learn more about each individual who makes up our extraordinary UMMC Family, and we want to share what makes each person unique and special in the Front and Center section of our dynamic new UMMC Intranet.To nominate someone to be considered for a Front and Center feature, just complete and submit this short form. If that person is picked for a feature, a member of the Communications and Marketing staff will contact him or her to learn more about his or her personal story.Soon, the rest of the Medical Center will know why your nominee is an outstanding reminder of what makes this place so special – the Front and Center.