By Jamie Funk, Director of Therapy Recruiting
Jay has joined the Northeast Texas market as a therapy recruiter. While he is working directly for the market, my team and I are supporting him in any way possible, and he will be partnering closely with Ashley Keenan, our new Therapy Recruiting Resource.
From a young age, my father has always instilled in me to never stop learning. Because of this foundation, I have had an eclectic life. I was born in the Philippines and came to live in California when I was 2 years old. I then spent the majority of my life in Orange County. I attended Loara High School and received Autocad certifications in mechanical and architectural drafting. I then attended Fullerton College and received a certification in metallurgy and welding (to facilitate my intrigue in fabrication). Having a childhood desire to become a soldier, I then joined the U.S. Army (Reservist). When I returned from training, I married my girlfriend of seven years, transferred to Cal State University Fullerton, and received my BFA in Animation and Design.
By now, I was already working at Home Depot and had experience in customer service, management and HR and was ready for a career move. I knew that I did not want to pursue animation. My brother- in-law and sister were both already OT clinicians, and they felt that I would enjoy that career due to the use of art, imagination and working with people. So I enrolled in the COTA program at Stanbridge University in Irvine, then in 2014 I started my OT career (they were right). This career has been my passion. I love thinking outside the typical treatment session and having my residents do something totally different but functional.
In 2017, I applied for a COTA position at Seacliff Health and Rehab in Huntington Beach, California; a recruiter, Paul connected me with the DOR, Jenny Farley. That was the beginning of my career in an Ensign-affiliated facility. . Then in early 2019, when I mentioned to Jenny that we planned on moving to Texas, she then invited me to meet these loud Texans at the Newport Beach DOR meeting. That’s where I met Casey, the DOR for the Plano Resort. Two months later, my family and I moved to Plano, Texas. And we love it here. I’ve had the pleasure of working PRN at various facilities: Plano Resort, Lake Village, Heritage Gardens, Golden Acres, Beacon Harbor, and Rowlett Health and Rehab. Dana was the DOR at the time and took me in with open arms as her full-time COTA/ADOR. At the same time, I became an instructor at Mountain View College for the new COTA program. It’s been 18 years since I joined the Army, and I’m now a communications Sergeant for the 490th Civil Affairs Company.
I must say that moving to and living in Texas has been such a blessing. I have the opportunity to spend more time with my family. We took up fishing, kayaking, boating, archery and just enjoying the outdoors. I have two children; Jolie, my daughter, is 8 and loves school and Kung Fu. Kamren, my son, is 12 (going on 16) and enjoys all of our outdoor activities and is excelling in school. Sarah, our golden retriever, is a licensed therapy dog that has followed me in many facilities and continues to bring smiles and love to staff and residents. Roscoe, our dachshund, sadly passed away from old age but is always with us in spirit. My lovely wife works at UTD in HR and is a Recreational Therapist PRN. She has always been my greatest support.
Now that I have accepted the position as the Keystone Northeast Resource Recruiter, I look forward to meeting you all and building our Ensign family with great therapists.