Joseph “Joe” McGhee always knew he wanted to be a physical therapist. “Before college, my grandfather, who had a prosthetic leg, would share with me how PT helped him walk again,” he said. “That’s what led me into long term care, too. My grandfather learned how to walk with a cane and told me how PT improved his quality of life. I wanted to help people like that.”
Joe earned his Healthcare Management degree and his masters in Physical Therapy from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). After graduating from college, he and his high school sweetheart Hailey moved to Asheville, North Carolina. “It was the mountains that drew us to Asheville,” he said. As avid hikers and mountain bikers, the two enjoyed spending time on the trails, in the rivers and the waterfalls. “Asheville is a tough place to leave, but it’s easy to go there,” he said. While in Asheville, Joe specialized in working with individuals with Parkinson’s and other neurological conditions.
As Hailey and Joe began discussing growing their family, they knew they wanted to be back in Birmingham close to relatives. “I met Hailey at her aunt’s house for a Fourth of July party I was going to with a friend in high school,” Joe said. “We’ve been together ever since.”
Hailey, who is a social worker, and Joe have a two-year-old daughter named Lily. “We’ve traded some of our hiking and mountain biking in for reading and watching Blippi,” Joe said. “But as a family, we still love to get outdoors.”
Joe is one of four full-time therapists on staff at Kirkwood. We also have two part-time therapists. Their offices are in the rehab gym on our Riverview Short-term Rehab floor. “I get to work with folks from across the community,” Joe said. “There’s a lot of variety in our work, and we get the chance to meet a lot of different people. We treat everything from shoulder and knee pain to balance trouble. Our role is to help our residents improve mobility to live their best life doing the things they enjoy doing,” he said.
Along with Lily, Hailey and Joe round out their family with three dogs – Lola, Winnie, and Riley. When asked what he enjoys about Kirkwood, Joe explained, “It’s a family here. It’s not just a place to stay, you get to be a part of something really special.”
For more information about our rehab services, visit kirkwoodbytheriver.com.