Ashley Keenan, SLP, Therapy Recruiting Resource-Keystone West, North, and Northeast, TX
My brother and I were raised by a single mom on 400 acres in central Texas, 30 minutes from the nearest gas station/grocery store. Though my mom worked full-time as a nurse, she also homeschooled me until high school. Even though she was already very busy, she drove me 45 miles one way, several days a week for five years to take art lessons, one of my passions in life.
I was in high school when a coach suggested to me that I should go to school to be a “speech therapist,” the first time I had ever heard of this profession. I honestly thought he was referencing how much I talked in his class, but he was serious. I am so thankful to this day because he introduced me to an amazing field. I also met and fell in love with my husband, Lane, in high school. We got engaged our senior year, in the middle of a severe storm during his family’s annual “Keenan Olympics.”
I received a small art scholarship and a small pageant scholarship to help with my first couple of semesters of school, but I worked full-time as a server/bartender the majority of my college career in order to pay my bills at Texas State University. During graduate school, when it became difficult for me to continue work, my husband worked full-time for Texas State, driving the tram, while also attending school full-time.
I first met our Keystone Therapy Recruiter, Richard Johnson, at the Texas Speech and Hearing Association conference in Austin, Texas during graduate school. I was inspired by Richard’s enthusiasm, but there were no facilities accepting SLP clinical fellows in my area at that time. So, I completed my CFY with another company. As soon as I saw the position pop up at San Marcos Rehabilitation and Healthcare for a full-time SLP, I contacted Richard, who connected me with Shaun Baldwin, DOR at the time.
SMRH has had a huge impact on who I am as a clinician, leader, and person in general. In my time there, I had two sweet babies, received multiple certifications in my field, followed after Shaun as Director of the Rehabilitation department, grew our team from seven to 18 full-time therapy staff members, and met many wonderful friends/colleagues. I honestly thought I would never leave.
However, when the Therapy Recruiting Resource position opened up, I knew I had to express my interest. My husband and I, being religious, felt a calling to move in a different direction with both of our careers, at the same time, as well as geographically to be closer to family. We are currently searching for our new home in the DFW area. Our family now consists of a 3-year-old (our son, Dean), a 4-month-old (our daughter, Caroline), one cat named Daphne, and a dog named Kait. We all enjoy the outdoors, spending time together as a family, “doing chores” (as my son refers to it) on my in-laws’ farm, and weekend adventures to new places. We are ecstatic to start our new life here in the DFW area, and I am so happy to get to know everyone in my new role as Keystone Therapy Recruiting Resource.