We are celebrating Occupational Therapy month at Milemarkers!
The College of St. Scholastica published an excellent article describing the role of a Pediatric Occupational Therapist:
"Occupational therapists play an important role in our communities as they work to enable patients to engage in the meaningful activities of daily life. They step in when a person’s ability to live independently is disrupted by illness or injury. With the goal of helping their patients lead more independent and active lives, occupational therapists will often specialize in working with a specific patient group, such as older adults, individuals with mental illness or children and youth.
The children and youth focus area of occupational therapy centers on helping children develop the skills they need to grow into high functioning, independent adults. The variables that may be hindering a child’s ability to progress normally will vary depending on the child, and it can at times be the duty of an occupational therapist to help determine the underlying causes of delayed social or cognitive development. They can then explore potential solutions and design a suitable therapy plan.
The skills of pediatric occupational therapy practitioners are viewed as critical, since the longer a child goes without mastering the skills required for success and independence, the more the problem can compound as they get older. Some of the general developmental areas they address include cognitive skills, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, self-care tasks and social skills." (https://www.css.edu/about/blog/everything-you-need-to-know-about-pediatric-occupational-therapy/)
Milemarker's is proud to have several wonderful Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants on our team:
Wendy Lewin, OTR, Graduated from Concordia University Milwaukee WI with Masters of OT. She is from a small town called Freedom, WI just outside of Green Bay, WI. Wendy had a bad experience with PT in her high school years so she decided to be an OT instead. Wendy was looking for a massive change in her career and an email came through from Milemarkers that was bright and colorful – it just caught her! Wendy loves working with the brain and muscles. She wishes she could do functional mapping while people are engaged in activities and figure out the WHY. Wendy’s favorite things to do in her free time are mountain biking, hiking, and scuba diving. Wendy recently became the Race Director for the Rattler TINKER Route 66 Mountain Bike Race in Kingman, AZ hosted by C.R.A.T.A. It is her first time ever doing anything of this nature. So, 2022 is full of challenges and many firsts!
My name is Chelsea Bailey and I am an occupational therapist and therapy manager. I graduated from Utica College in New York with my Bachelors in Health Studies in 2014 and my Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy in 2015. I was born and raised in New York and moved to Arizona after graduation to start my career as an Occupational Therapist here at Milemarkers! I always knew I wanted to work with kids but didn’t necessarily want to be a teacher. I was also always interested in helping others with disabilities so becoming an OT only seemed natural! I chose to work at Milemarkers because I loved the interdisciplinary team approach that is utilized to best serve our members, that it was therapist-owned, and the fun environment! I love working with kids with all sorts of abilities but really love teaching families about sensory processing strategies, working with the kids to find their “ah HA” moment, and I am certified in the SOS approach to feeding method that is utilized for feeding therapy. In my free time, I love to spend it with my husband and two little boys. We love to be outside or finding fun new activities and experiences.
I am Jill Gilbank, OTR/L. I graduated from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine in 1981. I originally got interested in Occupational Therapy volunteering in my home town in Canada, while volunteering at the largest institution a the time for individuals with Developmental Disabilities. I got some excellent exposure there to individuals with very rare syndromes as well as those with severe behavioral issues and multi-sensory disabilities. I have always been interested in Pediatrics and was excited to participate in Milemarkers from the beginning as an organization devoted to meeting the needs of this population. I enjoy the ongoing participation in a dynamic team and look forward to continued opportunities.
My name is Elizabeth (Beth) Smith and I am a certified occupational therapy assistant with aquatic accreditations. Before completing an associates of science in occupational therapy assisting, I attended and graduated from college with degrees in Communications and Hospitality Management from the University of Akron in Ohio. I Spent 10 years of my life as a retail manger for Walgreens before I decided it was time for a change. As someone who has always considered themselves as empathic and intuitive I often attended psychic/enlightening workshops and fairs. It just so happened that year I was looking for some guidance . The reader told me finding work in the medical field was something I should look into. Then she uttered the phrase that changed my whole course "Have you ever considered doing occupational therapy?" At that moment I had no idea what that was, but I went home and did some research. The holistic approach of its care and therapeutic use of self is was what struck a chord with me the most and the rest is history. Fast-forward two years later here I am in Havasu with the best job I could have ever imagined. In my free time I enjoy swimming, cooking, playing with my dogs, and period piece shows/movies.
My name is Katie Crum COTA/L. I graduated from Northern Virginia Community College in 2018. I am originally from Colorado, but have also lived in Arizona, Virginia and California. I learned about Occupational therapy from a family friend who was working as an OT, it sounded like a perfect fit for me. I was drawn to Milemarkers because I love working/playing with children. My greatest passion when doing therapy is that aha moment when the child or the family "gets it." In my free time I enjoy reading, traveling, spending time at the lake and spending time with my 6 year old daughter.
I am Jessica Sabbara. I am an Occupational Therapist. I graduated from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in April 2021 with a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy. I am from California. I was exposed to therapy early on (my dad is an SLP and I was in speech most of my childhood). I knew that I wanted a career in healthcare and specifically in a therapy field. I found out about occupational therapy when I was 14 and I followed that path ever since. Going into OT, I knew that I wanted to go into pediatrics. My dad worked with Catie in the schools and I found out about Milemarkers through the two of them. The more that I learned about Milemarkers, the more amazed I was. I am so happy that I have the opportunity to be part of this wonderful company. I have a passion for psychology and neurology. I love knowing how the brain works. I am also very interested in sensory processing as a whole and how that impacts our overall functioning. My doctorate was focused on using occupations to support individuals experiencing food insecurity. Occupational justice and health promotion have always been interests of mine. In my free time, I like to hang out with my family, swim, read, and work on art projects.
My name is Stephanie Kent, I graduated from Colorado State University for OT. I was raised in Indiana, moved to Colorado for the beautiful mountains. I was inspired to become an OT when my aunt was seriously injured in a head on car accident leaving her with a head injury, paraplegic and w/c dependent. I was not afraid of the all the machines she was hooked up to or the noise and only focused on her and then the therapists. I loved working with kids. I was drawn to Milemarkers because of the owners Catie and Colleen, they are awesome people, visionaries, and full of support and resources. In my free time I love hanging out with family, playing games, hiking, and camping. I love being a grandma! God has blessed me with two great children and grandchildren.
My name is Jared Stuck. In 2018, I graduated from Midwestern University located in Chicago, with a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy. I am from a small city in Northwest Ohio, called Defiance. What inspired me to become a therapist is I am passionate about helping others and making a positive, lasting impact in people’s lives! As a Pediatric Occupational Therapist, I am able to do all these things and have fun in the process! What drew me to Milemarkers is they share the same passion for helping others and providing high quality care. It is also a place where I can learn and grow my skills as a therapist. Milemarkers has an incredible staff and tons of awesome treatment tools/equipment; it’s a place where I can do the most good for the most people! I love the water and I plan on someday having an adaptive water sports program! Occupational Justice is a passion of mine. It is the right of every person to be able to meet their needs and have equal opportunities to reach their full potential, through the engagement in diverse and meaningful activities. My favorite things to do in my free time are going to the beach or being on the water. I grew up on a lake and lived on a sailboat for a few months exploring the Caribbean; so, I love the water! Traveling is another hobby I enjoy, whether it be visiting another state or another country, I love to explore, learn new things, and meet new people!
Catie Sondrol, MOTR/L, Masters of Occupational Therapy from the University of North Dakota in 2004. I am originally from Madison, WI, but moved here from Grand Forks, ND. I was inspired to become an occupational therapist because I appreciated the ability to use my creativity and reflectively look at an individual as a whole including their physical, mental, spiritual, and cultural self to help the individual be as functional and independent as possible. My passion areas with in occupational therapy include energy/body work and sensory processing difficulties. I enjoy running, hiking, camping, shopping, walking my dogs with my family, playing card games, and making Pinterest inspired projects. Fun Fact: Colleen and I started Milemarkers in 2006 as we saw the need for a comprehensive, interdisciplinary service center in this rural area of Mohave County.