Physical  –   Occupational  –  Speech

Thayer County Health Services (TCHS) Rehabilitation Department is located on the north side of the hospital, where it has been recently updated and expanded and has been a part of TCHS since 1985. The rehab staff, dedicated to the mission of TCHS, works to provide services countywide and throughout the surrounding communities. The rehabilitation department services include physical, occupational, and speech therapies.

We are so much more than rehabilitation. We work to provide our patients with an atmosphere where they don’t have to come to see us but want to come. See what our patients are saying here!  To schedule an appointment for any of our rehabilitation services, please call 402-768-4633. If you have questions, please call or email us at

Currently, the rehab department provides a multitude of services in many locations:

  • Onsite Outpatient Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy
  • In-Hospital Therapy for acute and swing bed patients
  • Home Health Therapy

The rehabilitation department provides work screens for various organizations in the community, can test for body fat composition via impedance, and is available for presentations on multiple topics privately or to the public.

Physical therapists treat individuals with diagnoses, such as orthopedic dysfunction and neurological impairments. A continuum of care is provided as patients progress from an inpatient to an outpatient setting. The goal for our patients is to achieve a smooth transition for those whose diagnosis allows them to maximize their rehabilitation potential. Educating families and patients about the impairments that challenge them enhances their ability to return to employment, school, and independent living.

Bradley D. Cooper, PT, DPT, OCS joined the rehabilitation staff as the department head in June of 2000. He received his Master’s and Doctorate of Physical therapy from the University of NE Medical Center, Omaha. Brad became board certified as an Orthopeadic Specialist by the APTA in 2007.

Steven E Williams, PT, DPT, CCI joined the Rehabilitation staff in July of 2010. He received his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Clarke University in Dubuque, IA. He was credentialed as an Advanced Clinical Instructor by the APTA in July 2011 and is certified in Dry Needling. For more information on Dry Needling, please click here.

Traci Zelenka, CPTA, has worked in the rehabilitation department of the hospital since 1998. She received her Physical therapy assistant diploma at Colby, Kansas, and is certified in the state of Nebraska. Traci has been recognized by the American Physical Therapy Association with certification in advance clinical knowledge in the area of orthopedics.

Shelby Schardt, PTA, joined the TCHS rehab staff in September 2016. Shelby graduated with distinction from the Physical Therapist Assistant program at Southeast Community College in Lincoln, NE in March of 2015.  Shelby is also a Certified Pharmacy Technician, earning her degree from Southeast Community College in Beatrice, NE, in 2013.

Occupational therapy can help patients maximize their abilities in everyday aspects of life and maintain their quality of life. An Occupational Therapist can advise patients about techniques they can use to reduce fatigue and increase independence. They can also suggest equipment, in-home alterations, and individual programs that would enable our patients to improve their function in specific areas.

Abby Walters, MOT, OTR/L, joined the rehabilitation staff in August of 2018. Abby received her Masters’s in Occupational Therapy from the College of Saint Mary’s in Omaha, Nebraska. Abby is certified in Interactive Metronome, Physical Agent Modalities, and LSVT-BIG. Abby has also completed advanced, specialized training for pelvic floor conditions.

Shelly Barton, COTA/L, joined the TCHS Rehab department in September 2019. Shelly graduated from the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Clarkson College in Omaha. She is originally from the Hebron area and brings over 20 years of Occupational Therapy experience to her position. Shelly is certified in LSVT-BIG for Parkinson’s Disease and other neurological conditions.

A speech therapist, also called a speech-language pathologist, evaluates, diagnoses, and treats difficulties involving speech, language, voice, fluency, and swallowing. Speech therapists work with children and adults who cannot produce sounds clearly, who have rhythm and fluency difficulties, or who have voice disorders. Individuals who have problems producing or understanding language, as well as those who want to modify an accent, can be helped by speech therapy.

Amanda Carlson, Speech & Language Therapist, joined the TCHS rehab staff in August 2018 as a Speech Language Pathologist. She attended the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Education and Human Sciences. Amanda then attended Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas, where she received her Master’s Degree in Speech Pathology in 2015. Amanda is certified in VitalStim Therapy, PROMPT, and LSVT-LOUD. She is a member of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). Amanda lives in Shickley, NE with her husband and daughter.

Courtney Turan- Office Manager, joined TCHS in 2007 and has 16 years of healthcare experience. To schedule an appointment, please call Courtney at 402.768.4633.