Ashley Malone: An ABJ Team Member Worth Betting On!

Growing up as one of four girls, clinic manager Ashley Malone learned at an early age why being a leader involves more than just interfering when needed, but more importantly, strong leadership entails compassion and assessing the situation from all perspectives.

“My parents instilled a work-ethic in us that I treasure every day; I have strived to do the same with my children. That work-ethic, coupled with our faith, has been the cornerstone of everything I do – both in my professional and personal lives,” states Ashley. “Since my father was a Methodist preacher, we moved a bit. My sisters were, and still are, my permanent ‘friends’ regardless of where we are living. I cherish every one of my childhood memories with my family and especially my sisters,” explains Ashley. “My sisters and I are still close, and we see each other as often as we can.”

Ashley and her husband, Marcus, are both graduates of Abilene’s McMurry University. Their love for sports was a prominent aspect of their college lifestyle and their respective careers. Ashley began her post-college career as a coach and Marcus did too. Marcus is head coach of the varsity baseball program at Merkel. But the Malone family is not new to the Merkel community. A native of Merkel, Marcus grew up there and is now working in the same town. The Malone’s have made Merkel home for their family. Ashley even shared when they first married and were living in Merkel, she was only known as “Marcus’ wife and not ‘Ashley.’ Their family includes two sons: 14-year-old Logan and Easton, age 11 and their 3 labs – Shiloh, Remi and Burrow. And to no one’s surprise, sports and the outdoors are a regular feature for the family of four.

If one was to watch the Malone’s oldest son, Logan, they’d never suspect Logan is a cancer survivor. Logan has not only beat cancer, but he also beat his competition in 2019 at the infamous San Antonio Stock Show with his dark crossbred pig. ‘Tequila’ was named Reserve Grand Champion.

“Our boys have been fortunate to have the knowledge and insight of Future Farmers of America (FFA) in their lives. The foundation of hard work, dedication and responsibility is a great benefit the organization has infused into both Logan and Easton,” states Ashley. “They’ve learned to set goals, work hard to develop a plan to achieve those goals and not to give up – even when things aren’t going according to their respective plans. What a blessing it is to have these attributes; Logan and Easton will use them in all aspects of their lives.”

When asked about Easton and his activities, Ashley was quick to answer. “During Logan’s cancer journey, Easton was such a phenomenal source of support for not just Logan, but Marcus and me; it’s a ‘job’ he embraced with such compassion and empathy. Now that we are past the cancer treatment/journey, Easton is doing what any 11-year-old boy needs to do – playing sports and fishing.”

Ashley’s work at Abilene Bone & Joint mimics her upbringing of working closely with others. Ashley has worked for many years throughout the Abilene Bone & Joint practice in various roles. Starting in casting/bracing, then as a member of the team to assure a positive patient experience with the patient’s first interaction via the front desk.

These roles led Ashley to her role as Dr. Britten’s ‘scribe’ since he joined the practice in 2015. Working in collaboration with Dr. Britten, his nurse practitioner, Chris Vaughan, and many patients over the course of her daily work, Ashley’s attention to detail is paramount to the patient’s experience regardless of where they are within the orthopedic journey. Ashley managed Dr. Britten and Chris’ clinic, patient load and the related aspects.

“I loved working with him,” expresses Ashley. “I have been blessed by him (Britten) and Chris. There’s a great deal of time, sweat, and tears that have transpired working side-by-side with them. My time with Britten and Chris has been amazing and a complete honor. Although ‘Team Red’ will look different, it’s where my heart will always be.”

It just wasn’t Ashley embracing her role with Dr. Britten; Logan also made a statement of the role Dr. Britten has played with the entire family. Logan named a different pig, a Duroc breed, ‘Dr. Britten’. For those of us not familiar with that breed, they sport red hair…the common denominator between Dr. Britten and the Duroc.

As a 17-year Abilene Bone & Joint team veteran, Ashley embraces her role and her colleagues. When asked what surprises her the most of ABJ, she talks about the growth she has experienced. She was even an ABJ team member when their offices were on Pine Street.

The growth has also been beneficial to Ashley. Having most recently been named clinical manager, Ashley is now managing the practice’s clinical staff. When asked about her new role and respective duties, Ashley answers solemnly. “It’s a bit of a double-edged sword. I’m no longer working closely with Dr. Britten and Chris. It was at Dr. Britten’s recommendation and urging for me to consider this new opportunity. And on the other end, I’m excited and honored to have this new responsibility.”

Ashley readily admits any free time she and Marcus have is spent with their boys. In addition to their respective sports, the Malone family enjoys supporting the MLB’s Texas Rangers, the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, and camping. “Time with our kids is what we live for. It’s why we work…to spend quality time as a family,” explains Ashley.

Any additional time Ashley has, is spent on something many may not know or realize about her. Ashley loves to play her favorite ‘Three-Card Poker’ – a gambling table-game at many casinos.

We think it’s a pretty safe bet that Ashley’s role within both her own family and her Abilene Bone & Joint work family, yields tremendous winnings.