• March 23, 2023

news therapist of the year award recipient

On Monday, March 27, 2023, it was announced, AMBER NICHOLS, PT, DPT, received the prestigious LUBBOCK MONTEREY AMBUCS THERAPIST OF THE YEAR AWARD for the fiscal year 2022-2023. Presentation took place at the Monday luncheon meeting at the McKenzie/Merket Alumni Center on Texas Tech Campus at 12:00 noon.

Educational Background and Oath:

Graduated, May 2012 from Texas Tech University, Majored in Exercise and Sports Science with a minor in health.

Graduated, May 2018 from Texas Tech Health Sciences Center -- Amarillo Campus, with a Doctoral Degree in Physical Therapy.

When Amber graduated with her Doctoral in Physical Therapy, she took an oath: Practice Physical Therapy with compassion for the vulnerabilities in each of her patients and work to preserve their dignity and promote their health and welfare. To value the lives of her patients as she values her own life, through her concern for their significance and with respect for them and the confidential natures of their relationship. To work toward the improvement of the quality of life for all her patients.

Workplace Accomplishments:

  • Since 2018, Amber consistently shows to be a dedicated therapist for the UMC Team Rehab: Neuro and Pediatric Center, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
  • She demonstrates great ownership of her role as co-lead for their technician team.
  • Co-chair of their Team Rehab Committee, their Team Building Committee for the entire department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
  • During crucial times, she is committed to their team in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, working weekends in Acute PT.
  • She is an outstanding clinical instructor for their students in the professional PT Programs, for their residents on their pediatric rotations, and to their volunteers.
  • Amber has tremendous work ethics, a wonderful positive attitude, and makes their clinic a better place to work and a better place for their patients to receive care.
  • She goes the extra mile to ensure she is providing the best care for her patients and in building relationships with them, while making their therapy fun.
  • To be at the top of her abilities, she takes the time to research treatment ideas and tools to help her patients and assists in purchasing needed equipment and toys for the clinic.
  • She shares what she learns, and gladly trains and educates other staff members.
  • Amber demonstrates COMPASSION by going beyond the norm in helping her kiddos reach their highest potential and for them to enjoy being a child or pre-teen.

Therapy Accomplishments: (Note--only listed a few. Please refer to the pamphlet for all accomplishments)

  1. A pre-teen with CP, was struggling with being in a wheelchair and reluctant to receive and use a power wheelchair. Going a step above, Amber demonstrated outstanding compassion with the young man when she and her husband (who is a wheelchair user) met with him and his family to visit on how life could be good in a wheelchair. The family was excited about this meeting and had many of their questions answered. Amber's supervisor, Melinda Davis, thought Amber should have received the UMC AllStar, as this was AllStar behavior.
  2. Amber was recognized when she put a patient first and ahead of her personal plans to attend a special event with her mother-in-law. Earlier that day, Amber serial casted a young man. His mom called saying he was in pain. Amber took great care of them, by seeing them when his mom could bring him in. Once there, she removed the cast, replacing it to make sure he did not lose any ground with the range of motion gains he had made.
  3. Amber was recognized for setting up a moving graduation ceremony for one of her kids: having pomp and circumstance, giving her a diploma, a present, and encouraging staff to participate. The child was so excited, she ran to her mom saying, "Can you believe it?! This child was one of the children she referred to LUBBOCK MONTEREY AMBUCS AMTRYKE PROGRAM to help her continue exercising her body, particularly her legs, while having fun. On the day this little one received her AMTRYKE, she walked up to the podium, asked for the microphone, and gave our AMBUC members a moving speech about receiving an AMTRYKE and thanking them for all their hard work so she could have one at no cost. Her parents stated they had looked and looked for a bid for her but were unable to find an appropriate bike due to the weakness of her legs. When informed she would be receiving an AMTRYKE, this little one responded, "I've always wanted a bike my entire life!" This was so special for this little one to receive an AMTRYKE; especially when they thought it would not be possible!

Those were a few of the outstanding examples where Amber compassionately demonstrates by going above the norm and providing absolute positive care for her patients and consistently continues this throughout her dailiness of life. Amber Nichols demonstrates the true sense of being a physical therapist.


In addition of Amber providing outstanding skilled therapy to her patients, she plays an integral part in referring recipients for an AMTRYKE. Since the beginning of her first referral to March 20, 2023, Amber has referred 10 kids for AMTRYKES...and she hasn't stopped there, as we recently received another referral from her. You see, she truly cares about her patients and realizes those receiving an AMTRYKE, can have another way to increase muscular strengthening, coordination, and just having fun in being able to ride a AMTRYKE with family and friends.

During AMTRYKE fittings, there are times when a referral might exhibit some hesitation to the therapeutic AMTRYKE just positioned beside them. Amber models how to get on the AMTRYKE, rides it around, while smiling and telling the child, "See how MUCH FUN this is! This is yours." Needless to say, after she models, her kids are ready to get on the AMTRYKE, have their fitting completed, and get excited about their RIDE!!!

Amber is the ideal therapist for this award, as she demonstrates outstanding therapeutic achievements, facilitates mobility and functional independence with delivery of excellent patient care, provides service to the Community, is a compassionately, committed therapy professional to the LUBBOCK MONTEREY AMBUCS.

President Bobby Sanders - Amber Nichols Award Presentation:

It goes without saying how special Amber Nichols is to the LUBBOCK MONTEREY AMBUCS. She is so deserving of this acknowledgement, and it is with great pleasure we present her with this celebration luncheon and award. When looking at her oath you see her workings to improve quality of life and to inspire her patients to create an independent lifestyle for those with disabilities. The oath you took describes you to a tee.

In addition, we thank you Amber, for believing in AMBUCS and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for bringing your patients to us, allowing our Ambility Team to fit these patients on their very own AMTRYKE.

And now on behalf of this body of AMBUCS, it is our honor to present you with this plaque that signifies your passion, commitment, and dedication to AMBUCS. Let us leave no child, adult, veteran, anybody requiring mobility behind. Amber, please come forward and accept your well-deserved award.

Closing Statement:

Amber, when you look at your award and remember this day, know you have rightly earned this award. Our wishes are for you to continue being the best of the best physical therapists and continue cherishing your patients. Thank you for those special times when referrals receive their first AMTRYKE...making their dreams come true and creating a wonderful life for them! Congratulations and thank you!!

Copy of Pamphlet: