By LOIS KINDLE
Ivory Jones-Jennings has a passion for serving others.
After graduating high school in 2000, the Jacksonville native immediately joined the U.S. Army as a reservist and became a military police officer. After 9/11, she went active duty and stayed in the military until 2008.
During that time, Jones-Jennings enrolled at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va., and graduated in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree cum laude in clinical exercise science, then returned to Florida to pursue a doctorate in physical therapy at the University of St. Augustine. She graduated in 2010 and relocated to Bradenton to be closer to family.
The following year she moved to Apollo Beach and just recently to Ruskin, where she lives with her husband, Breon, and daughters Harmony, 6, and Journey, 3.
Some folks in the area may know Jones-Jennings for her work at Palm Gardens and Sun Towers rehabilitation centers.
Norma Rodriguez is one of them.
In March, the 75-year-old Riverview resident was sent to Palm Gardens for three weeks to rehabilitate a broken bone. Jones-Jennings was her physical therapist.
“I can’t say enough about Ivory,” Rodriguez said. “She took such good care of me. She’s very professional and knowledgeable, very patient, gentle and caring. You can really tell she likes what she does. She’s always smiling.
“Ivory treated me with such kindness and respect,” Rodriguez continued. “I feel fantastic now, and I’m still doing the exercises she taught me. I would definitely go back to her again.”
Now more people in the area will have the opportunity to seek Jones-Jennings’ help. On Jan. 29, she opened Journey to Harmony Physical Therapy, a private clinic off Shell Point Road West, at 207 Fourth St. N.W., Ruskin.
“My job is to help patients improve their flexibility and mobility, decrease pain and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities of those with injuries or disease,” she said.
Patients may include the elderly, accident victims, folks with pre- or post-operative needs and those with disabling conditions like acute and chronic pain (including sciatica and arthritis), bone fractures, head injuries, arthritis, heart disease, Parkinson’s Disease, multiple sclerosis and more.
“Working with aging adults is one of my specialties, but I enjoy working with people of all ages, including children,” Jones-Jennings said.
Other specialties include helping folks with neurological and orthopedic conditions and movement disorders.
“I want to help people improve the way they move (balance, flexibility and gait) and the overall quality of their lives.
“Some people think of physical therapy as a last straw,” she added. “But it’s important to recognize that it can help them improve before they ever reach that point. It’s never too late.”
Jones-Jennings said physical therapy can help people get to the underlying cause of their physical issues.
“Many times, we can get to the root of a problem during an initial evaluation. We individually teach each patient what’s going on, how to restore function and how to maintain mobility,” she said.
Journey to Harmony Physical Therapy is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Journey to Harmony Physical Therapy is now offering free, no-obligation balance screening. To arrange one or to schedule an appointment for an initial evaluation, call 813-641-3900. Medicare, Medicaid and several major health insurances are accepted.
More information is available at www.startyourptjourney.com.