Nursing Department

The Nursing Department at Pate Rehabilitation is dedicated to providing excellence in patient care. They work with patients from the time of admission through the time they discharge from Pate. In addition to patient evaluation and treatment, the nursing team provides education and support to patients and their families, and is highly involved in training for the staff who care for patients in the residences.

Nurses are part of the multidisciplinary team which provides evidence-based treatment and care for the individual needs and goals of each person, and are devoted to helping all patients achieve their goals, one step at a time. We’re grateful and wanted to share their stories with you.

Meet members of the nursing team

Natalie Ward, RN, BSN, CRRN, CBIS, Director of Nursing for the Dallas, Anna and Fort Worth locations

Natalie has been a Registered Nurse since 2002. Natalie joined the Pate team in 2008 as the Nurse Educator/Nurse Manager. In 2011, she became the Director of Nursing. Natalie obtained an Associate of Arts degree from Kilgore College and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Texas at Tyler. Natalie is certified as a Brain Injury Specialist and is a Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse.

“Watching patients improve and be able get back to their lives is very encouraging and inspiring. I truly enjoy working with my coworkers every day, as well. Pate has the greatest group of kind and caring people.”


Melody Dodson, RN, CCM, CBIS, EAGALA Certified Team Leader, Anna, TX

Melody joined the Pate team in 2009.  She received her Associate of Science in Nursing from Lake Michigan College in 1988.  She became a Certified Case Manager over 10 years ago and received her certification as a Brain Injury Specialist in 2011 (CBIS). In 2012, Melody became certified as an Equine Specialist through the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association.

“I believe in looking beyond the surface and making every effort to meet all of our patients’ needs.  I have seen one miracle after another since I came to Pate, and I am looking forward to seeing many more.  I count it a blessing to be a part of a team that has the opportunity to help people.”


Taurean “Tory” Pender, LVN, Anna, TX

Tory attended Practical Nursing School at Great Plains Area Vocational Technical School in Lawton, Oklahoma, and graduated in 1996.

Before joining the Pate team, Tory worked critical care nursing on a Neuro ICU Step-Down unit.  For almost three years now, she has been part of the Pate team as a treatment LVN.

“I really love seeing patients who come to Pate in wheelchairs and leave the program able to WALK out. The fact that I may be a part of that in any way, shape, or form is very inspirational and makes me love what I do.”


Melodee Chandler, Medication Coordinator, Anna, TX

Melodee started at Pate as a rehabilitation technician almost eight years ago and moved into the nursing department as the Medication Coordinator in 2008.

“I truly love getting up and coming to work every day.  It is very rewarding to see the patients come in and know that you have helped them get better in some way.”