Get to Know Our Therapists: Gillian Haskell, DPT, MPH
See how Luna is reimagining physical therapy with a behind-the-scenes look at our team of physical therapists.
By Lily Beltran
What’s your personal and professional background?
I’m originally from the east coast and grew up in Connecticut. After I got my undergraduate degree from the University of Vermont, I got my Doctorate in Physical Therapy as well as a Masters in Public Health from New York Medical College.
I’ve been practicing now for about six years. I started my career in acute rehab in New York and then decided to travel a bit. I eventually made my way out to San Francisco and have been working at UCSF for about four years now. I’m currently in the intensive care unit in medical and surgical. I never thought this is where I’d end up, but I absolutely love it.
I’ve dabbled in independent work on the side to supplement my income, but it was always a pain dealing with insurance and such. I came across Luna a few months ago and realized it could give me the flexibility to pick up more patients in my area without having to deal with the administrative aspects of the work. I’ve been with Luna since October and it’s been a great team to be a part of.
What drew you to become a physical therapist?
When I was younger, I was always an athlete and often found myself in physical therapy. It sparked a curiosity in me to learn more about how to get people back to doing what they love. I also watched my grandmother go through a stroke which inspired me to pursue the neuro world. I love the idea of giving people the tools, skills, and care they need to live a happier, more independent life.
What's the greatest reward of your work?
Wow, there are so many things. If I had to choose just one, it would probably be the one-on-one interactions. Many of my patients in the clinical setting have experienced a life-altering event that will affect them for the rest of their lives. I love having the ability to build lasting relationships with my patients and their families. It’s incredibly rewarding.
What's the greatest challenge?
Sometimes you meet patients who are very receptive to your feedback, but then there are the more challenging patients who need an extra push to make the therapy work for them. In this profession, we rely heavily on our patients to do the work. It has to be a 50/50 partnership and patients need to meet their therapists halfway in order to succeed.
What’s the best part of being a part of Lunaverse?
The financial component is what initially drove me to Luna—after all, I live in San Francisco, and the bills need to be paid—but there are so many other things that I love about Luna. The diversity of patients is one example. I’ve been in an acute setting for a long time now and can get stuck in a routine. Working with Luna has stimulated my brain back to the outpatient setting that I loved doing in the past but simply haven’t had the opportunity to do in the last few years.
Luna has truly re-inspired my love for outpatient and orthopedic care. #physicaltherapy #PTlife
What do you like to do for fun?
We have a place up in Tahoe and I’m a big skier. I also love to hike, run, and exercise. I’m a very social person and enjoy being with friends and family as much as possible.