What Made Desarae Johnson, the Des We Know and Love?

Please meet our Gilbert manager, Desarae Johnson MS, OTR/L, CHT!

Desarae was in an accident while in college leading her to a career in therapy, a love for creative treatment of traumatic injuries, and a deep connection to her family. See what makes Desarae the Desarae that we all know and love.

Please share your injury story.

I was a freshman in college at NAU, driving back to Flagstaff after spending Thanksgiving weekend here in the valley with friends and family. I fell asleep driving and rolled my car 5 times. They assume my arm went out the window and was degloved. 

Did you have any therapists that changed your outlook on your injury process? How so?

One of my first visits to therapy the therapist heard that I was thinking about pharmacy and encouraged me to be a hand therapist. Over the next few months, I decided I loved the environment and the knowledge base.

What positives did you take from your injury that led to your choice of career field?

I always wanted to be in the medical field. Having my injury led me to discover hand therapy. I love anatomy and that I understand what people are going through.

How has your life been made better by DHPT? What motivates you to continue your career here and with outpatient hands?

I have had opportunities that I never thought would be for me, like teaching students/new grads as well as becoming a manager. I LOVE my job. I love getting to see patients progress and helping them get back to their prized occupations. 

How does being a mom change your outlook on your injury?

I’m glad I had therapists that really cared about my outcome, that would be very important to me as a mom, and I think that I do that for my patients. I also realize that parents may have a difficult time adapting their demands of caring for a child after an injury and helping them come up with ways to adapt essential tasks. 



Check out our Gilbert clinic. Stop in, thank Desarae for her service to the field of occupational therapy and mommy-hood, and seek information on becoming a patient if you need some upper extremity treatment or help! Click the link HERE if you would like more information on scheduling an appointment.

New Patient Scheduling Call or Text: (602) 231-8511