Trisha believes “with all of my heart” that God puts situations in our lives to teach us so that we can, intern, help others. During the summer of her freshman year as an undergraduate at TAMUCC (2005), she was involved in a significant car accident near Bandera as she was going home from Camp (C.A.M.P.). She suffered multiple broken bones, underwent multiple surgeries, and was in a wheelchair for six months. She says that she had to learn to walk again, and that experience is what led to her interest in becoming a physical therapist.
The Camp of which Trisha speaks is one where she has volunteered since high school, continuing to this day, serving as a volunteer for children and adults with disabilities. This camp is named the Children’s Association for Maximum Potential, or Camp ~ C.A.M.P. Trisha began as a counselor there in 2001 and has been going almost every year since. Today, she is a volunteer as part of the healthcare staff.
Trisha, the daughter of David and Martha Knight, graduated from DHS in 2004. She attended Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi where she received her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology. She also earned her teaching certification for physical education, grades K -12 and grades 4-8, Generalist, a certification which she maintains today. In 2008, Trisha graduated from TAMUCC on a Saturday and started graduate school on that Monday at UT Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. She received her doctorate in physical therapy (DPT) and graduated in December 2010.
Subsequently, Trisha became a licensed Physical Therapist in January 2011 and worked in Dallas at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas for five years as a physical therapist, treating patients who were admitted to the hospital.
In October 2018, in a six-month period, Trisha achieved her Masters in Business Administration with an emphasis on healthcare management from WGU. Her next position was to begin working at University Hospital in 2016. An interesting note is that this was the same hospital to which she was flown via Air Life after her car accident and where she was treated and attended inpatient rehab. Trisha shares that she chose to work at this hospital because it is not a for-profit hospital but truly helps every patient, regardless of that patient’s ability to pay. She believes that patients should get everything they need in one way or another and should not be denied care because of an inability to pay.
Currently, Trisha works at University Hospital in San Antonio as a PPS coordinator and for the inpatient rehabilitation unit (where she was treated in 2005). She handles most of the Medicare regulatory reporting for the unit, trains the staff on Medicare guidelines and regulations, and treats patients as a physical therapist as needed.
In addition to being a physical therapist, since 2018, Trisha has served as an Adjunct Professor at St. Phillip’s College in San Antonio, Texas, for the Physical Therapist Assistant Program.
Believing that “there is a reason for everything“, as a result of her accident, Trisha recognized the appreciation of what physical therapists do, not only for the physical rehabilitation of a patient, but for the mental rehabilitation as well. She sees that her role is to help patients regain their functional independence, and she says she really enjoys seeing her patients succeed with this. “I feel like I am able to relate to the patients on a different level since I have gone through this process as well.”
Trisha’s experience helps her to relate not only to the patients, but to their families. “Many lives are turned upside down when a medical event occurs, and I like to be able to help them cope and adapt as much as I can.” Throughout this process, she says she enjoys making her interactions with her patients, families, nurses, and physicians a fun experience. “I am a firm believer that laughter and smiling are some of the best medicines, and I feel like if I can provide a few minutes of fun and laughter during their day, it really helps them to heal as well.”
Aside from the great satisfaction Trisha gains from her work, she enjoys being with family and friends. She met her husband, Andrew Rivera, while in college. They married in 2013 and moved back to San Antonio in 2016. Then, they started building their home in Bigfoot and moved there in 2017. One of her pastimes include exercising at Reign Strength and Conditioning in Devine, volunteering, cooking, and grilling. She also enjoys traveling and owns a travel agency, Travel by Trish, LLC. But, among her greatest accomplishments, Trisha says that her daughter is “by far the best blessing from God.”
“I have tried to make grand plans for my life,” Trisha shares. “But, each time I make a plan, God kind of chuckles and guides me down a different path.” She does have a goal to move up into a leadership role within the hospital in order to help guide and shape the staff to be the best clinicians possible for the patients.