Meet Jill Cox-Woodall – Occupational Therapist, Owner
Jill received her bachelors degree in psychology and English from Bellarmine University in 2007 before moving on to obtain her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Spalding University. Prior to becoming an occupational therapist, Jill worked with children and young adults at Our Lady of Peace, Maryhurst, Realizations, and Seven Counties. During these seven years her various roles allowed her the opportunity to provide therapeutic services including daily living and emotion management skills acquisition, customized employment facilitation, and supportive community integration.While in OT school, Jill completed pediatric fieldwork opportunities at Cardinal Hill Easter Seals and The Academy at St. Andrews. She also completed an extensive research project on the effective use of sensory integration with school-aged children and the benefits of therapeutic gardening for school-aged children with sensory integration difficulties. After graduating she went on to work in outpatient pediatric setting and in the Henry County school system. She has experience working with diagnoses including autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, brain injury, fetal alcohol syndrome, down syndrome, developmental delay, coordination disorders, sensory processing disorder, learning disorders, and attention deficit disorders.
Jill is an active member of the American Occupational Therapy Association, World Federation of Occupational Therapy, and Kentucky Occupational Therapy Association. She has completed additional training in sensory processing disorder and visual processing therapy. Jill is a certified provider of Interactive Metronome (IM), with an additional, specialized certification in Interactive Metronome Pediatric Best Practices. Jill is also a certified IM Home provider. She is also certified in the provision of deep physical agent modalities (DPAMs). Jill has also completed individualized training in Cognitive Development Curriculum under Carol Brown, founder of the Academic Success Center of Kentucky. She is CPR and First Aid certified for adults and children. Jill is also a handwriting specialist with a Level One Certification from Handwriting Without Tears.
Jill lives Southern Indiana where she lives on a small farm with her husband and their children: Australian shepherds, cats, goats, donkeys, and chickens. In her free time, Jill enjoys gardening, spending time outdoors, doing crafts, reading, and planning what animal to add to the family next.
Meet Alicia – Occupational Therapist Department Head
Alicia attended the University of Louisville for two years before transferring to Spalding University where she received her Bachelor of Science in Health Science as well as her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree. Alicia has had a passion for working with kids in various ways since the age of 13, and has taught ballet and tap to children ages 3-18 for the past 7 years.
While in OT school, Alicia completed a pediatric fieldwork rotation at Greenhill Therapy where she combined traditional treatment with Hippotherapy in order to utilize various unique therapeutic factors that horses can provide. While working on her Master’s degree, Alicia completed an extensive research project on the effectiveness of aquatic therapy used with children with disabilities. She is very excited to now be able use her research to serve her clients at TheraPLACE with aquatic therapy intervention one day a week. She also provides services to children in the dance studio to increase motor function, daily living skills and play skills in a meaningful way. She has experience working with children with many diagnoses including cerebral palsy, down syndrome, developmental delay, autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit disorder, sensory processing disorder, coordination disorder, fetal alcohol syndrome, hydrocephalus, angelman syndrome, and rett syndrome. In addition, she has completed intensive training for working with children with feeding issues and believes that using an integrated approach is the key to success.
In her spare time, Alicia enjoys spending time with her husband, travelling around the country as a magician’s assistant, playing the violin, piano, dancing, hiking, camping, and spending time with her family and friends.
Alicia is an active member of the American Occupational Therapy Association, as well as the Kentucky Occupational Therapy Association. She is a certified Interactive Metronome (IM) provider and completed additional training on IM Pediatric Best Practices. Alicia is CPR and First Aid certified for adults and children.
Meet Katie – Occupational Therapist
Katie, occupational therapist, graduated from Xavier University in 2005 with her Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy. Since then she has worked as a pediatric occupational therapist both in the outpatient clinic setting and through Kentucky’s First Steps program. Katie also has 7 years experience providing hippotherapy to children and has completed Level 1 Training in Equine Skills and Hippotherapy Treatment Principles through the American Hippotherapy Association.
Meet Emily – Occupational Therapist
Emily received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky before moving on to her Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy from Kean University in New Jersey. She completed fieldwork placements at JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute, focusing on adults with neurological impairments, and at The Newgrange School, for children with learning disorders and Autism Spectrum Disorder. She has experience working as an OT in several pediatric settings, including outpatient clinics and First Steps, Kentucky’s early intervention program for children birth to 3. Emily also has experience utilizing hippotherapy as a treatment strategy, and has completed the American Hippotherapy Association’s Level I certification course.
Emily has completed continuing education in sensory processing, visual disorders and deficits, the Zones of Regulation program, feeding disorders, neurodevelopmental treatment strategies, and is a certified Integrated Listening Systems practitioner. She has experience working with children with a wide variety of diagnoses, including Autism spectrum disorder, sensory processing disorder, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, down syndrome, learning disorders, chromosomal and genetic disorders, and attention deficit disorders. She utilizes a strengths based approach and treats each child as an individual, not a diagnosis. Emily is an active member of the American Occupational Therapy Association and American Hippotherapy Association. She is CPR certified for children and adults.
In her free time, Emily enjoys spending time outdoors with her dogs, hiking, rock climbing, traveling, riding horses, practicing yoga, and watching basketball. Emily has always been passionate about working with children and their families, and she is excited to be back in her hometown of Louisville and part of the TheraPLACE team!
Meet Dustin – Occupational Therapy Assistant
Dustin is a certified occupational therapy assistant that has worked with children in clinic, home and community settings. He completed his associate’s degree at Brown Mackie College. He has worked with ages as young as 5 years and up to 60 years, with varying diagnosis including but not limited to traumatic brain injuries, autism, and Down syndrome. He is a certified Interactive Metronome provider, and is CPR and First aid certified for children and adults.
In his spare time, Dustin enjoys outdoor sports, fishing, and going to the lake. He is thrilled to be a part of the wonderful team of therapists at TheraPLACE Learning Center and is excited to serve the kids of our community.
Meet Yoshi – Occupational Therapy Assistant
Yoshimi is a certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, and graduated from Jefferson Technical and Community College in 2010. She also attended The University of Southern Mississippi to learn English as a Second Language. Yoshi has 5 years of experience working with children with special needs at Kid SpOt Center in Elizabethtown, KY. During that experience, Yoshi worked with children diagnosed with Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Seizure Disorder, Mitochondrial Disease, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, ADHD, ADD, Sensory Processing Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Phenylketonuria(PKU), and others. She is trained in Handwriting Without Tears, Kinesiotaping(course 1-3), Sequenced Oral Sensory Approach for feeding/eating, Interactive Metronome, and Sensory Integration approach in the classroom and home settings. Yoshi is passionate about making a positive impact on children’s lives, and believes strongly that every child is talented in various ways.
In the past, Yoshi worked for a long term care facility for adults with mental disabilities, and understands the importance of early intervention to aid individuals in overcoming various obstacles. She has also taught elementary English to non-English speaking children from ages 4-12 in Japan.
She is an active member of American Occupational Therapy Association(AOTA) and Kentucky Occupational Therapy Association(KOTA).
In her free time, Yoshi enjoys spending time with her husband Tim, 2-year-old son Kaeshi, and 3-month-old daughter Kaylee. She also loves cooking ethnic Japanese food since she is a native of Japan.
Meet Kellie – Physical Therapist Department Head
Kellie Robinson is a physical therapist who graduated from Indiana University Bloomington with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science with a minor in Psychology. Kellie went on to graduate from Bellarmine University’s Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program in December 2012.
Kellie has gained direct pediatric experience through observations, internships, clinicals, and employment opportunities that allowed her to treat a variety of diagnoses in both clinic settings as well as in homes and child care facilities through both Kentucky and Indiana First Steps Programs. These settings included Adaptive Physical Education, The Rehab Institute of Chicago, a local outpatient pediatric facility, and most recently a pediatric clinic in Madison, Indiana. The diagnoses and symptoms she has treated includes but is not limited to hypotonia, Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorders, developmental delay, neurological disorders, and toe walking.
Kellie has spent several hours on continued education courses including one certifying her in the AEPS evaluation tool. Kellie is married to her husband, Jonathon. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Kellie loves to play with her golden-doodle Izzy, and enjoys lots of outdoor activities like biking and wakeboarding!
She has always known she wanted to be a pediatric physical therapist and enjoys working with the team of therapists at TheraPLACE Learning Center.
Meet Shannon – Physical Therapist
Shannon Stenger is a physical therapist who graduated from Bellarmine University with a bachelor’s degree in Health Science in May 2015. Shannon then went on to graduate from Bellarmine University’s Doctorate of Physical Therapy program in May 2017. During graduate school, Shannon completed one of her four clinical rotations at TheraPLACE Learning Center and fell in love with the TheraPLACE team, as well as the families they serve. Shannon was also given the opportunity to gain experience within the school system during another clinical rotation through CHC Medical Center of Bowling Green.
While in Physical Therapy School, Shannon completed a research project that gave her the opportunity to work with children with Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) in the pool. Her research focused around improving respiratory muscle function and quality of life in children with DMD through the use of aquatic physical therapy. Throughout her schooling and clinical rotations, the diagnoses and symptoms she has treated includes, but is not limited to, hypotonia, Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorders, developmental delay, neurological disorders, Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy, and toe walking.
In her spare time, Shannon enjoys playing with her dog, Pius, playing/watching sports,(especially soccer), reading, watching movies, outside activities, and spending time with her friends and family. Shannon has always known she wanted to work with the pediatric population and is excited to serve families in the Louisville community by being a part of the TheraPLACE Learning Center team.
Meet Sarah H – Physical Therapist
Sarah Hutton is a physical therapist who received her bachelor’s degree in Health Science from Bellarmine University in May 2015. She then went on to complete her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Bellarmine University in May 2017.
During her time at Bellarmine University, Sarah completed a 3-month internship at TheraPLACE Learning Center. She was thrilled to later accept an invitation to return as a full time therapist! At Bellarmine, Sarah also participated in several pediatric aquatic therapy research studies including a case report and case study on the use of aquatic therapy to improve lung function and quality of life in children with Duchennes Muscular Dystrophy. Sarah and the rest of her research team were proud to represent Bellarmine University in presenting this research at the Combined Section Meeting 2017 in San Antonio, Texas as an aquatic therapy platform presentation. They were later asked to submit their research for publication in the National Aquatic Therapy Journal.
Sarah has two younger brothers who helped foster her love of pediatric therapy as they have an Autism and Down syndrome diagnosis. Her love for pediatric therapy continued to grow after she received physical therapy before and after having her own spinal fusion surgery for scoliosis in 2007.
In her free time, Sarah loves spending time with her miniature goldendoodle (Nala), working out, running, boxing, reading, playing video games, and spending time with her friends & family. Sarah is also extremely passionate about traveling the world. So far her travels have taken her all around the United States, Bahamas, Austria, Germany, Italy, Mexico, South Korea, and Japan. She hopes to continue her adventures and learn more about other places and their cultures.
Meet Sarah D – Physical Therapy Assistant
Sarah DeWitt is a physical therapist assistant who graduated from Western Kentucky University with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science in December 2013. Sarah went on to graduate from Madisonville Community College’s PTA program in May 2017. Throughout school, Sarah gained experience in many different populations including outpatient orthopedics, inpatient rehab, inpatient hospital, and pediatrics. Sarah completed one of her three clinical rotations here at TheraPLACE where she enjoyed spending time with children of all ages and seeing each child progress in their therapy and in their daily activities.
In her free time, Sarah enjoys being with her husband, family, and friends. Sarah loves spending time outdoors and getting involved with any sporting activity. She also enjoys listening to music and playing her ukulele and drums. Sarah is an active member at her church where she leads the youth department and plays the drums for the church praise band.
Sarah is beyond excited to bring her fun and outgoing personality to the TheraPLACE team!
Meet Rachel – Physical Therapy Assistant
Rachel is a Physical Therapist Assistant who graduated from Jefferson Community & Technical College in 2011. Prior to attending the PTA program, she attended Bellarmine University where she earn her bachelor’s degree in Psychology.
As a PTA, Rachel has worked with many different patient populations, from pediatrics to inpatient rehab to outpatient orthopedics. Through all her experience gained, her heart has remained in pediatrics. Rachel has gained pediatric experience through observation, clinicals, and previous employment in the First Steps program.
In her spare time, Rachel works and teaches at a dance studio. She enjoys sharing her passion and experience with her students. Tap is her favorite form of dance!
Rachel has missed working with the pediatric population and is looking forward to joining the TheraPLACE team and making a difference in the life of the families!
Meet Emily – Speech Language Pathologist Department Head
Emily received her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders in 2008 from WKU. She received her Master’s degree in Communication Disorders from SIUC in 2011. From 2011 to 2017, Emily worked at Southern Indiana Rehab Hospital working with children and adults in the inpatient and outpatient setting. She had spent 1 year as a speech therapy assistant in Henderson County Schools serving children from preschool to middle school. Emily‘s passion is pediatrics and has had experience working with children in the areas of: AAC, swallowing/feeding, apraxia, TBI, neurological deficits, non-verbal, developmental delays, autism, ADHD, FAS, and articulation covering an array of diagnoses.
Meet Lauren S – Speech Language Pathologist
Lauren Simmons is a speech-language pathologist who graduated from Ball State University with a bachelor’s degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology in December 2014. Lauren went on to graduate with her master’s degree in speech-language pathology from Ball State University in December 2016. During graduate school, Lauren completed her fieldwork at Meridian Pediatric Rehabilitation, IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Signature Healthcare, and within the Anderson Community School system. Her fieldwork experience provided Lauren with the opportunity to work with children with many different diagnosis including, but not limited to autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, cerebral palsy, developmental delay, feeding difficulties, and fetal alcohol syndrome.
Lauren is CPR and First Aid certified for children and adults.
In her spare time, Lauren enjoys reading, doing crafts, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends. Lauren is excited to be a part of the TheraPLACE Learning Center team and to serve families in the Louisville community.
Meet Mary Gwen – Speech Language Pathologist
Mary Gwen Walker is a speech-language pathologist who graduated from the University of Kentucky with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2015. Mary Gwen went on to graduate with her master’s degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Kentucky in May of 2017. During graduate school, Mary Gwen completed her fieldwork at The Chatter Box, Frazier NeuroRehab Institute, and Feltz Therapy Services in Nashville, TN. Her fieldwork experience provided Mary Gwen with the opportunity to work in various settings with children with many different diagnosis including, but not limited to autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, cerebral palsy, developmental delay, and feeding difficulties.
Mary Gwen is CPR and First Aid certified for children and adults.
In her free time, Mary Gwen enjoys running and spending time with her husband and family. Mary Gwen is a Louisville native and is excited to be back in her hometown, serving families in the Louisville community as a member of the TheraPLACE team.
Meet Jenn – Speech Language Pathologist
Jenn received her Bachelor’s degree in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences in 2010 from Purdue University, West Lafayette. She received her Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology from Indiana University in 2012. From 2012 to 2014, Jenn worked in Anchorage, Alaska at a Montessori Elementary school where she worked with children with a variety of speech and language disorders. She then moved to Louisville, KY in 2014. She helped in starting a speech and language program within a Behavior Clinic at Meaningful Day Services and worked there for 3 years. Jenn’s passion is pediatrics and she has had experience working with children in the areas of: Autism, Down Syndrome, AAC, apraxia, non-verbal, developmental delays, ADHD, FAS, articulation and school aged language covering an array of diagnoses.
Meet Trisha – Behavioral Supports
Trisha attended the University of Louisville to obtain her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and then moved on to receive her Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Ball State University. She has certificate of specialization in Autism. Trisha has been interested in working with children and adults since the age of 14, when she began volunteering for Special Olympics.
Upon completion of her Bachelor’s Degree, she began working for Our Lady of Peace gaining experience working with a children autism, fetal alcohol syndrome, ADD/ADHD, cerebral palsy, bi-polar disorder, down syndrome, and developmental delay from ages 10-18. At Our Lady of Peace, Applied Behavior Analysis was introduced, and that is when Trisha decided to get her Master’s degree in this field. While obtaining her Master’s, Trisha began working 1:1 with children ages 3-15 under supervision. This allowed her to gain experience working with families, in-homes, school and the community, to run programs, take data, understand functions of behavior and implement behavior support plans so skills of the children are increased and negative behaviors are decreased. After obtaining her degree, she moved to California where she provided services as a behavior consultant and supervised behavior staff on implementing plans and taking data, provided parent trainings for caregivers, and developed functional behavior assessments, behavior support plans, programs, and analyzed data to provide the best recommendations for the children to be successful. Upon the realizing that Kentucky was her forever home, she moved back to Kentucky and began working as Behavior Specialist in this area providing services to children in-home, community, other therapist offices, and at schools.
Trisha is CPR and First Aid Certified for Adults and Children and is a member of Kentucky Association of Behavior Analysis.
In her spare time, Trisha enjoys travelling to various destinations, gardening, hiking, camping, swimming, biking, reading and spending time with her family and friends.
Meet Jessica – Behavioral Supports
Jessica attended Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. She worked in environmental education in Eleuthera, Bahamas, and in Key Largo, FL. She taught special education in Eleuthera, Bahamas before moving to Kailua, HI, where she provided 1:1 Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services in schools & in the community to clients with autism.
Jessica then returned to Louisville, where she earned a Masters of Education in Learning & Behavior Disorders from the University of Louisville. She taught special education at Shawnee High School, working with students with mild to moderate disabilities. She then returned to graduate school, this time for a Masters of Arts in ABA at Spalding University.
Jessica is a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA). She is a licensed behavior analyst in Kentucky & in Hawai’i, where she provides telehealth ABA services. She is certified in CPR & Basic Life Support. She is a member of the Kentucky Association of Behavior Analysis, having attended its first meeting in 2010, in a hotel room in San Antonio at the Association for Behavior Analysis International conference. She is also a SCUBA diver. When she can’t be in the ocean, she swims laps, does yoga, and spoils her dogs.