Strategic Alliance Employee Excellence award

August 31st, 2018

The purpose of the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab’s Strategic Alliance Employee Excellence award is to recognize an alliance employee who works in rehabilitation services and contributes, directly or indirectly to ensuring the highest quality of patient care. The individual’s actions consistently demonstrate the SRALab values of hope, compassion, discovery, collaboration and commitment to excellence, particularly when those actions are beyond the scope of his/her immediate responsibilities.

Jay Pardus, Physical Therapist, is the 2018 Shirley Ryan AbilityLab Strategic Alliance Employee Excellence award winner. Pardus is proud to be “the oldest living therapist in West Frankfort!” He turned seventy-five years young this year and has been practicing therapy for over fifty years. He greets his patients in song as patients who are happy to respond better to treatments. Pardus’ infectious smile helps lighten the mood during therapy for patients who are not feeling well. During his acceptance speech, Jay commented, “You walk into the office every day because it’s fun because you feel like you have something to contribute… Right now it’s fun every day.”

He also donates his time to chaperone the Veterans Honor Flights to Washington D.C. During the trips, Pardus pushes Veterans in wheelchairs for 12-16 hours around Washington D.C. to ensure they are able to receive the full experience. He was concerned that a local Veteran was not receiving any letters of appreciation and reached out to his colleagues to ask for help. The Veteran was overwhelmed with the abundance of mail he received after Pardus’ kind gesture.


Additionally, for the past thirty years, he has donated his time and expertise to local athletes to help them return to play after an injury. The majority of the hours were not during his scheduled shifts.

Most recently, the Administrative Director’s father, who is undergoing cancer treatment and requires assistance with transfers and ambulation, needed assistance to attend his granddaughter’s wedding. Pardus volunteered his assistance to ensure the grandfather was able to witness the celebration and the Director would be able to enjoy her daughter’s special day.

Jay Pardus continues to go above and beyond the call of duty and demonstrates flexibility and exceptional customer service to benefit the patients at SIH. His willingness to go the extra mile for patients and colleagues deserves to be recognized as he earns the honor of winning the 2018 Shirley Ryan AbilityLab Strategic Alliance Employee Excellence Award.

Pardus was very surprised to win the award. Fifteen SIH Rehabilitation employees were nominated for the Strategic Alliance Employee Excellence award. His humble acceptance speech truly showed his dedication and commitment to the patients and citizens of southern Illinois.

“This (SIH) is a great organization to work for; it really is. I am ecstatically happy to work with the crew I work with; the supervision I work with. We can communicate and look for what is best for the patients. It makes the delivery of healthcare pleasurable. SIH is a fine organization to work for. I am deeply appreciative of this award.”