Meet Our Team

Occupational Therapists

 

Emily Worth, OTD, OTR/L

Emily is a graduate of the Doctor of Occupational Therapy program of Creighton University. She completed her beginning years of practice in Boston, Massachusetts, with focus on pediatrics and sensory integrative therapy. She has received certification in advanced treatment tools in the areas of Therapeutic Listening, Craniosacral Therapy, and Interactive Metronome.  This additional education has increased the quality and efficiency of her deliverance of pediatric therapy.  In 2007, she founded a private practice Stones Worth Stepping, P.C. so that she can share her knowledge and experience with families of special needs children. Her passion for pediatrics and the sensory integration treatment approach is focused toward the progress and development of patients and their goals to achieve the maximum potential for quality of life.

Company Owner and Occupational Therapist

Emily Smith, MOT, OTR/L

Emily is a graduate of the Masters of Occupational Therapy Program from Rockhurst University.  She enjoys working with children in a variety of skill areas including fine motor, gross motor, sensory, and motor planning.  She is certified in multiple areas including Astronaut Training, Advanced Therapeutic Listening, and Myofascial Release Training.  Her love of sports and game activities assist her creative methods to combine therapeutic techniques into fun motivating activities for the kids. Emily has experience working with children with a variety of developmental disabilities and diagnoses such as Autism, ADHD, ADD, Cerebral Palsy, and Down syndrome. She is able to collaborate with peers, parents and teachers in the home and school settings to best carry over therapeutic strategies and goals.  Emily’s goal is for therapy to be like play and challenge kids to achieve their highest potential and level of independence.

Erika Blankenau, MOT, OTR/L

Erika graduated from Rockhurst University, in Kansas City, Missouri, with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology before graduating with a Masters in Occupational Therapy. Erika has experience working with adults with neurological trauma, heart conditions, orthopedic injuries and cognitive impairments. Additionally, Erika advocates for the importance of trauma-informed care and has experience working with young children suffering from neglect, abuse and trauma. Erika enjoys working with children and emerging adults with Autism, Down Syndrome, sensory processing disorders, Cerebral Palsy, ADHD and developmental delays. She is certified in Therapeutic Listening and Interactive Metronome. Her greatest joy is helping children find their strengths to enhance their performance and confidence in everyday activities.

Occupational Therapist

Carrie Griffin, OTR/L, MBA

Carrie graduated from Buena Vista University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, but decided to continue her education. She then attended College of Saint Mary where she received her Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy.  She began her career in Liberal, Kansas where she was introduced to all areas of Occupational Therapy but knew her heart was to work with children.  This led her to South Texas where she was able to develop her skills specific to pediatrics.  In 2008, she returned to the Midwest where she has been working with a mixture of both adults and children in the home and in the clinic.  Carrie has specialized in vision skills and enjoys educating others about vision and how it affects our ability to learn.  She is also certified in Handwriting Without Tears®, has experience with Interactive Metronome®, sensory integration therapy and reflex integration.  Carrie’s goal is to facilitate growth and development of all children because she believes every child has potential if we give them the tools to grow. 

Lead Occupational Therapist

Corina Debates, MOT, OTR/L

Corina began her journey as a Political Science major at Benedictine College, but decided to change her life track from becoming a lawyer to becoming an Occupational Therapist. She then attended College of Saint Mary where she received her Bachelor of Rehabilitative Studies before graduating with a Masters in Occupational Therapy. Corina has experience working with a mixture of both adults and children across multiple practice settings, however her love of children comes from having a large family which gave her additional practice with pediatrics from a young age. Corina hopes to continue to learn and collaborate with families to ensure that all of her clients have the skills necessary to become successful, confident, and independent individuals throughout the lifespan and across all environments.

Occupational Therapist

Kristen Pearson, MOT, OTR/L

Kristen is a graduate of the Masters of Occupational Therapy program at Loma Linda University. During graduate school, Kristen completed rotations with various populations including inpatient acute care, mental health rehabilitation, and outpatient pediatrics. She has worked in a private outpatient setting in southern California, and now resides in Omaha. She has experience with children of many diagnoses, including Autism, ADHD, Down Syndrome, sensory processing, and Cerebral Palsy. Additionally, Kristen has experience in the area of feeding, including the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach to feeding. She loves working with children and enjoys watching them grow to their highest potential and quality of life.

Occupational Therapist

Ella Vazquez, MOT, OTR/L

Ella graduated in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in rehabilitative studies then a master's degree in occupational therapy in 2017 from College of Saint Mary. She has worked in various environments, including mental health, geriatrics, and inpatient rehabilitation. She enjoys working for Munroe Meyer Institute occasionally, a continued position since her undergraduate days in recreational therapy.  

Occupational Therapist

Shannon Trippier, MOT, OTR/L

Shannon graduated with a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Mary in Bismarck ND. Shannon has been practicing occupational therapy for 14 years with a primary focus in pediatrics. She began her career as a traveling therapist allowing her to experience a variety of settings and parts of the country such as CA, OH, and IL. Shannon resided in Texas for 5 years before moving to Nebraska. She has experience working with children of all ages in a home and outpatient setting. Shannon is certified in Therapeutic Listening and Handwriting Without Tears and has extensive experience working with children with sensory processing challenges. She continues to be open to learning new strategies that may help her clients achieve their goals. Shannon feels that a child can be successful in all environments if given the right support and enjoys helping children and families achieve this success

Occupational Therapist

Laura Haley, MOT, OTR/L

Laura is a transplant from the San Francisco Bay Area. She graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and a minor in Psychology before continuing on to graduate with a Master's of Occupational Therapy from Nebraska Methodist College. During graduate school, Laura gained experience in school-based pediatrics and hospital-based adult care. Laura has always been passionate about working with children, gaining experience starting in high school as a ballet teacher. Laura is excited to continue to learn and grow as a therapist while helping children do the same in a safe and fun environment.

Occupational Therapist

Physical Therapists

 

Sarah Hotovy, PT, DPT

Sarah received her Bachelors of Science in Psychology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha before graduating with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She has prior experience in both pediatrics and outpatient orthopedics. She has always had a passion for working with children, working part time as a dance teacher for children ages 3-18 for 8 years and volunteering for a program that teaches dance to children with special needs. She has worked with children with a variety of diagnoses such as Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Autism, and motor incoordination. She believes in tailoring each therapy session to each child’s unique interests and needs and enjoys seeing them progress as they learn new skills.

Physical Therapist

Ashley Hill, PTA

Ashley attended University of Nebraska at Lincoln and Southeast Community College where she studied Athletic Training and Physical Therapy to obtain her degree as a Physical Therapist Assistant. Growing up, Ashley was very involved with Volleyball, Gymnastics, Swimming and Track. Along with that came injuries which interested her in Physical Therapy. As the oldest cousin of thirty she grew up fast and loved helping her younger cousins and siblings flourish in all activities and has become a great role model to each; two of which are following in her footsteps with a path in Physical Therapy education. This is what drew her to become a Pediatric Therapist. Ashley has worked closely with children who have Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome, Ehlers Danlos Sydrome, Hypermobility Syndrome and Torticollis. She also has experience with orthopedics, aquatic therapy and excels with learning and teaching others in taping techniques. Ashley looks forward to advancing in Pediatric Therapy to help improve the quality of life of all the children she encounters at Stones Worth Stepping!

Physical Therapy Assistant

Steven Campbell, PTA

Steven Campbell, PTA. Steve attended college here in Omaha, NE at Clarkson College and graduated in 2016. He has been practicing Pediatric Physical Therapy since early 2017. Before beginning his career in Pediatrics, he experienced working with people of all ages in a wide variety of settings. Steve has known that he wanted to work with kids since he was a teenager while working at a day-care facility after school. He loves Pediatric PT because it is challenging, rewarding, and he has a lot of fun with his patients in the process. Steve has experience with a wide range of neurological and orthopedic conditions including, but not limited to: Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Spina Bifida, Developmental Delay, Hemiplegia, Quadriplegia, Torticollis, Autism, Downs Syndrome and other Chromosomal Abnormalities, Trisomy, Sport's-Injuries, and many more. Throughout his career he has worked very closely with Pediatric therapy specialists and has picked up various skills and techniques along the way to help his patients. Steve treats each of his patients with love and compassion while pushing them to become the best that they can be. 

Physical Therapist Assistant

Speech-Language Pathologists

 

Cassie Rose, MS, CCC-SLP

Cassie is a graduate from the University of NE-Lincoln with her Bachelor's Degree and received her Master's Degree in Speech Language Pathology from the University of NE-Kearney.  Cassie's clinical experiences range from working with individuals of any age in a variety of settings including home-based, LTC, schools, outpatient clinics, acute rehab, and post-acute rehab.  Her experiences include working with a variety of developmental disabilities, autism, apraxia, stroke, TBI, dementia, dysphagia, articulation, language disorders, and many more.  Cassie focuses on individual needs and strived to provide positive and fun environment during sessions.  Her goals include providing individuals wit the tools necessary to effectively communicate in all environments and to meet hydration and nutritional needs to be successful individuals with the greatest amount of independence.

Lead Speech Language Pathologist

Kendra Suiter, MA, CCC-SLP

Kendra Suiter is a bilingual speech-language pathologist with pediatric experience ranging from birth to teens with various needs including: articulation, phonology, expressive and receptive language disorders, auditory processing, social pragmatic disorders, fluency/stuttering, English-Language Learners, autism, apraxia, Asperger's, cleft-palate, deaf and hard of hearing, emotionally disturbed and other developmental delays.

 

Kendra earned her BS from Western Illinois University and her MA in Speech Pathology at St. Ambrose University. During her college experience she had the opportunity to travel to the University of Alicante, Spain and Cuenca, Ecuador where she worked in schools with children with cerebral palsy, orphanages with severely handicapped children with dysphagia (swallowing and feeding disorders) and a center for adults with stroke, TBI and dementia.

Kendra has worked in school based and private settings in Los Angeles, Chicago and now resides Omaha. Kendra believes parents play a significant role in the success of their children at school, at home and in the community. Kendra knows the importance of collaboration with other therapists and a child's family in order to achieve significant gains in the quality of life for both the parent and child.

Speech-Language Pathologist

Tabitha Reuter, MS, CCC-SLP

Tabitha graduated from Minnesota State University-Mankato with a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology.  She has pediatric experience in both clinical and educational settings.  Within the educational setting, Tabitha worked predominately in early childhood programs, elementary schools, and birth to 3 home intervention, but she has also worked with middle and high school students.  Tabitha treated pediatrics in clinics and hospitals (as outpatients).  She enjoyed collaborating with other healthcare professionals including, but not limited to: OTs, PTs, physicians, nurses, dieticians, social workers, case managers, and counselors.  Tabitha’s special interests are in the areas of: early childhood speech and language development, Autism, and swallowing disorders.  Tabitha completed training in The SOS Approach to Feeding, Beckman Oral Motor Assessment and Intervention, and DIR®/Floortime.  She has completed continuing education courses in Diagnosis and Treatment of Severe Speech Sound Disorders Including Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Autism, swallowing, and more. Tabitha loves working with children to help them reach their highest potential. 

Speech-Language Pathologist

Julia Smith, CCC-SLP

Julia graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with her Bachelor of Science in Education & Human Sciences, minoring in Child, Youth, and Family Studies. Following her undergraduate degree, Julia received her Master of Science degree in Speech and Language Pathology from the University of Nebraska Omaha. Throughout her academics, Julia was a member of The National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) and the Nebraska Speech-Language Hearing Association (NSLHA). Prior research experience includes working at both Boys Town National Research Hospital and the Link N Literacy Lab, in which she was a research assistant. Specialty areas of interest include: dysphagia, cognition, augmentative and alternative forms of communication, speech sound production, and aphasia. Julia's passion has always been to work with the pediatric population , however she also works full time as a Speech-Language Pathologist in a Skilled Nursing Facility. Julia strives to provide her patients the best plan of care possible to support each individuals needs and ability to communicate with others. Other interests include: traveling, animals, staying active, as well as being surrounded by family and friends.

Speech Pathologist

Amy Bowman, MS, CCC-SLP

Amy graduated from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas with her Bachelor’s degree in Child Professional Services and received her Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Texas at Dallas. Her clinical experiences include outpatient pediatrics and adults, school-based pediatrics, and pediatric home health. She has enjoyed gaining experience working with a wide variety of speech and language impairments leading to work targeting articulation, phonology, expressive and receptive language, pragmatic language, augmentative and alternative communication, and complex communication needs. Amy strives to create treatment goals and activities that allow individuals to better participate in their everyday environments by obtaining the ability to effectively interact with those around them. She loves working with children, their families, and other professionals to pursue the ideal course of therapy for each child in order to give them the best opportunity to thrive. 

Speech-Language Pathologist

Administrative Team

Andrea Mach, BA

Andrea graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bellevue University, with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.  She has also completed post-graduate work in Special Education at The College of St. Mary.  Andrea has worked with a variety of age groups in school-based, hospital and clinical settings.  Andrea has experience working with children with various diagnoses, including Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Down syndrome.  She has received specialized training in many sensory techniques, SRA Corrective Reading series and Handwriting Without Tears.  Andrea strives to make a positive difference in the life of each child and family she works with.

Office Manager

LaRene Walker, RN-BSN, Paramedic

LaRene is a Registered Nurse who graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree of Science from College of St. Mary.  She worked previously as an Emergency and Pre Auth Nurse.  She has been a CPR instructor for over 30 years.  She is a volunteer firefighter and paramedic with Gretna Fire and Rescue.  She is married and has 3 children, 8 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren.  She is proud to be a part of her new family at Stones Worth Stepping, processing pre-authorizations for the patient’s insurance and checking on the patient’s benefits.

Benefits Coordinator

Jodi Swirczek

Jodi has extensive experience in administrative healthcare and she has found Stones Worth Stepping to be an excellent fit. She enjoys her role as Communications Coordinator and finds the ever changing dynamics of the clinic a welcome challenge. In her spare time, she loves to cook, travel and spend time with family and friends.

Communications Coordinator

Becky Aden

     Becky graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Rockhurst University and a Masters of Science in Curriculum Development and Instruction from Peru State College. She is a “retired” teacher who spent twenty years in the classroom teaching fourth graders. Becky is always ready to take your phone calls, answer your questions, and get you checked in for your appointments. She will do all she can to make you feel comfortable and welcome in our office! She truly enjoys greeting the patients each day!

Receptionist

Techs

Christina Ridge

Christina graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work with minors in Psychology and Spanish, and she is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy at College of Saint Mary. Christina has worked with children of various ages and ability levels in recreational, educational, and therapeutic settings through many programs in the Omaha community. These experiences have made her passionate about working with kids and families to achieve their goals.

Rehab Tech

Monica Barajas, B.S. Ed

I am a senior at UNO majoring in Exercise Science, with a minor in psychology and nonprofit management. I conduct research at UNO with the Biomechanics Department as an undergraduate research assistant, my team focuses on the gait effects on total knee replacement in older adults and I am currently leading a study on how people adjust their walking pattern when using a single point cane in relationship to post-stroke rehabilitation. My career goal is to become a pediatric physical therapist. I previously worked in a daycare setting for three years and I had the opportunity work with children from varying ages. I have also taught swimming and biking lessons to children with disabilities as a volunteer of different community programs. I am bilingual in Spanish, and on my free time I practice martial arts and enjoy going out for walks. 

Rehab Tech

Jessica Jenson

Jessica is currently attending the University of Nebraska at Omaha. In May of 2019, she will graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and a minor in Gerontology. She plans to begin Occupational Therapy school in the fall of 2020. Jessica has worked with people of all ages in a variety of settings. From her previous jobs at nursing homes and being an active volunteer with several organizations like Autism Speaks and Alzheimer’s Association, she has become very passionate about helping individuals live their best possible life. She is excited to gain more knowledge and experience through this position at Stones Worth Stepping!

Rehab Tech

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