by Jolie Koesters
RehabVisions’ clinic manager and speech-language pathologist Jean Herauf has announced her retirement from RehabVisions. Her final day was December 29, 2021.
Jean served the Dickinson community for over four decades — with 27 of those years spent at RehabVisions. She will be greatly missed by staff and patients alike.
Jean didn’t realize she wanted to become a speech-language pathologist until after having studied medical technology for two years.
“I knew it just wasn’t the right fit for me,” said Jean. “In my junior year, a friend of mine was in the same situation and talked me into taking an Introduction to Speech Corrections class — and I was immediately hooked.”
At the time, Jean said she had “no idea of the scope of practice or the medical aspects of a career in speech-language pathology.” But in hindsight, she said it was one of the best decisions she ever made.
Jean came to Dickinson as a new graduate from the University of North Dakota. She worked for St. Joseph’s Hospital (now CHI St. Alexius) for seven years before joining RehabVisions.
Having already built strong relationships at the hospital, Jean became an excellent choice to lead RehabVisions’ efforts to build a highly-skilled and cohesive contract therapy team for the hospital.
“We were soon providing quality care and we built a very successful rehab team,” said Jean.
After a decade, the hospital decided to take its rehab therapy services in-house again — so Jean and her team adjusted their course.
“We shut our doors at the hospital on a Friday, drove a Fiat convertible with a big RehabVisions sign on the side in the Independence Day parade on Saturday — and then opened the doors of our outpatient clinic the following week,” said Jean.
Jean and her RehabVisions team built the new outpatient clinic into such a successful practice that eventually a new location and further renovations for additional space became necessary to handle the growth. Within a decade, RehabVisions was invited back to run the hospital’s rehab therapy department again, while continuing to provide services at the outpatient clinic location.
“I have always been well-supported by RehabVisions,” says Jean. “I am so grateful for all the opportunities I have had here.”
When asked what she enjoyed most about her time at RehabVisions, Jean noted the tremendous support she’s received over the years from Dickinson’s healthcare providers and the many patients who trusted the clinic with their care.
“I’ve also appreciated working with our great therapists and office staff,” said Jean. “Through the years, it seems we always had the right folks at the right time — and even though we’ve had challenges at times, we’ve always had a collaborative and skilled team.”
With Jean’s departure, Dr. Vanessa Hoff, PT has been named the new clinic manager. She has worked at RehabVisions since 2017 and previously served as lead pediatric therapist.
“Knowing the clinic will be in capable hands has made the decision to retire much easier,” said Jean.
What’s Next for Jean
Jean said she will cherish the many memories she has made at RehabVisions.
“One of the best parts of being a speech-language pathologist is that we work on communication,” said Jean. “In doing so, we really get to know our patients.” Jean said she has learned as much from her patients as they did from her.
In her well-deserved retirement, Jean looks forward to spending her winters attending hockey games and visiting warmer climates in her motorhome, her summers working in her garden, camping and hiking — and the rest of her time with family and friends, especially her beautiful grandchildren.
“Making a difference in the lives of others is the best,” said Jean. “So many times we don’t realize the impact we can have.”
Although Jean Herauf bids farewell to our clinic, Dr. Vanessa Hoff, PT and team will continue serving Dickinson’s rehab therapy needs.
To schedule an evaluation for physical, occupational or speech therapy, please call RehabVisions’ State Street outpatient clinic at 701-483-9400 or CHI St. Alexius at 701-456-4387.