Worrel named state’s PTA of year

By STAFF REPORTS,

Lauren Worrel of Hattiesburg cherishes the time she spent in Pearl River Community College’s Physical Therapist Assistant program at the Forrest County Center in Hattiesburg.

She was a 2009 graduate of the two-year program.

“The program was incredible,” she said. “I am proud to have been a part of that program. I am still on the (advisory) board and I help them with interviews. I am proud to be able to help them.”

Today, Worrel is a PTA and rehab director for Bedford Care Center. Last month she was named PTA of the Year for the state of Mississippi at a conference in Biloxi. She was nominated by Karinna Lee, PTA department chair at PRCC.

“Lauren gives freely of her time to mentor our PTA students,” said Lee. “She serves on our advisory board and is a frequent guest lecturer for the program. She is a favorite amongst the program’s clinical instructors with students frequently asking for her.”

Worrel is a Hattiesburg native. She graduated from Mississippi State University in 2004 and returned to Hattiesburg.

“When I came home, I really wasn’t sure what I was going to do,” she said. “I decided to start working as a pharmacy tech. Then I heard about the PTA program. I started there in the fall of 2007. It was an interesting class. I was 26 at the time and we had classmates with different ages, some a lot younger.

“Going back to college after graduating from State, well, my work ethic was a little different, a little better than what it was before. Even though it was different, it’s not considered hard work when you enjoy it.”