Meet Danielle Taibi
Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
I grew up in lower Westchester County, lived in Manhattan for 9 years and Los Angeles for 3 years. I’ve lived in Ridgefield for 6 years now.
How long have you been at RVNA?
Going on 3 years.
What brought you here?
I knew the industry was moving towards a homecare/ community-based model and had the pleasure of meeting Melissa Woodhouse, Director of Homecare and Client Services. I loved the idea of treating clients in their natural environments and after picking Melissa’s brain, I knew RVNA was a great match for me.
Describe your role at RVNA
As an occupational therapist, I’m responsible for helping clients get back to their lives after injury, surgery, or illness. For some, that may mean getting back to being able to perform their basic daily tasks, such as dressing themselves or grooming. For others, the focus may be on tasks that prepare them to return to work or school, care for a child or pets, or return to activities they once enjoyed in the community.
When did you decide you wanted to be a OT?
People say things happen in threes and to pay attention when they do. I had a career in the entertainment industry for many years and while I was living a wonderfully interesting life in NY and LA, I experienced 3 life-changing moments that altered my path. Within a year, my brother was diagnosed with cancer, the September 11 attack had occurred several blocks from where I was working, and my father had a brain aneurysm and died while operating on a patient. I’m not sure things happen for a reason, however, I do believe in assigning reason to the things we experience as human beings in order to be able to cope and recover. These moments played a role in reminding me that life and health are precious and that our struggles are universal and bonding. Helping people assign meaning to moments in their lives that seem insurmountable and overcoming health challenges led me to become an OT.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Running into clients who were once homebound in grocery stores while out in the community in Ridgefield, Wilton, and Redding and seeing them engaged in life. I’m incredibly inspired when I see that.
What do you love to do when you’re not working?
I am currently the head coach for a grade 3-5 girls running group at Ridgefield Elementary School, I chase after my 4-year-old son Luca, and volunteer for various activities at my daughter Amelia’s school. I take SPIN classes at Joyride and run with one of my best friends… both of which keep me sane! I ski with my husband and kids. I throw s’ mores parties at my house and I attend shows around town such as The Playhouse to keep me connected to music. On occasion, I make it back down to NYC only to be reminded it’s too loud for me now!
What is your hidden talent?
Getting people to laugh when they want to cry.
What would you do if you won the lottery?
Travel a lot more. Buy medical equipment for patients who can’t afford it. Pamper my husband, kids, mother, and brothers to whom I owe the world.
Do you have a favorite RVNA moment or story?
I was part of a team that treated a child with developmental delays who was non-ambulatory. We told her mom that our goal was for her to go to school. She thought we were over-reaching. That child went to school within a year and is now walking. Whenever I feel I can’t overcome something, I think of that beautiful family.