After being a professional carer for over 5 years, Hamish completed his studies in Bristol, United Kingdom. Hamish started his practice as a community Occupational Therapist in his home county of Wiltshire. Hamish worked closely with young people in schools, homes, hospitals and out in the community, using his experience and professional knowledge to help them reach their full potential. Hamish loves the opportunity to work closely with young people and seeing their development as they learn to engage and interact with the world around them. When not at NAPA, Hamish enjoys taking part in amateur theatre and playing basketball and badminton.
Now having moved to Melbourne, Hamish has been warmed by the kind welcome of both the NAPA therapists and the families they work alongside and is very excited to be part of the team.
Anusha is a creative and enthusiastic Occupational Therapist from Sydney who moved to Melbourne in early 2022. She has always been passionate about paediatric occupational therapy as she enjoys the family-centred, holistic, problem solving approach where she has the opportunity to create individualised approaches for each client. Anusha has a genuine sense of happiness when she sees the smiles on the children and their family’s faces as they blossom through therapy. Anusha was ecstatic about having the opportunity to work alongside children and their families to achieve their goals at NAPA. When Anusha is not working at NAPA, she enjoys completing jigsaw puzzles and Lego, drawing, painting, baking, and playing board games with her friends and family.
MS Occupational Therapy & BS Psychology, Sacred Heart University
Katie always knew she would enter a field centered around taking care of others. She enjoys learning, being active, and constantly being challenged. Occupational therapy was an immediate draw due to OT’s holistic views and opportunities for individualized treatment. Prior to becoming an occupational therapist, Katie worked as a behavioral technician with home based early intervention. During this time, her love for helping children and their families took flight.
Katie enjoys being creative and working with those around her. She never tires of taking her dog on a hike or planning her next travel destination. She adores her nieces and nephews and will jump at the chance to be silly and spend quality time with her family and friends.
Masters of Occupational Therapy
Cherelle chose the field of OT after trying out both education and social services roles as a student of Psychology. After a few years experience she realized she wanted to be hands on in making a difference to individual children not with a whole classroom or behind a computer. Cherelle is full to the brim with love for the world of disability and positivity, and absolutely loves helping kids feel the same.
Cherelle’s special interests areas are DMI, early intervention and sensory play. You always know if Cherelle has been doing messy play! When not working you will find Cherelle clinging to the side of a cliff in
the mountains, camping or competing in bouldering competitions
Doctor of Physiotherapy, Macquarie University
Daniel was born and raised in Southern California, where he was always involved in sports and exercise. This led him to travel across the globe to Sydney to pursue a degree in physiotherapy with the intention to work in a sports related field. However, his intention changed when he fell in love with his pediatric placements during his studies. Once he realized the impact he could have on the lives of children and their families, he knew he had found his true calling. Daniel has experience working with children in team sports and gym settings, and he has organized exercise classes that focused on dynamic movements for all ages, but more importantly, on having fun!
When he is not at NAPA, Daniel can usually be found working out at the gym, playing basketball, or indulging in his new passion for Latin dance (so please don’t be alarmed if you see him dancing around the clinic!)
Master of Occupational Therapy
Nimesha completed her Master of Occupational Therapy degree at Swinburne University and her Bachelor’s degree in Science at Monash University. Nimesha chose to become an occupational therapist as she always knew she wanted to work with children and connected with the way occupational therapists can help children in all stages of their development. Nimesha always looks at the strengths in children and utilises these in therapy sessions. She also believes in a family-centred approach and collaborates with families to support their child’s needs. When not working at NAPA, Nimesha enjoys spending time with her family, watching TV, and on sunny days you’ll be sure to find her at the beach. Her guilty pleasures are chocolate, cheese and anything yummy really!
Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (current)
Inspired by her experience of open-heart surgery at the age of eight Catherine knew she wanted to work with children. This passion continued as she progressed in her martial arts journey where Catherine now shares her experiences of martial arts as a senior instructor specialised in working with children. Catherine has also had the fortune of representing Australia as an elite Taekwondo athlete. She combines this passion with her Occupational Therapy studies and brings her kind-hearted nature. Outside of her administration work she always welcomes the opportunity to get to know the children and their immediate network. More importantly, what lightens her heart is to see a smile on a pure face.
When Catherine is not behind the desk, she is either enjoying a sweaty training session or singing and dancing in front a mirror. Catherine’s biggest nemesis is a bar of chocolate which she really tries to avoid at all costs.
Emily graduated from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston in 2018 with a Masters in Occupational Therapy. Emily was drawn to this field because of the possibility to help children achieve their highest level of potential. She has been interested in working with children with neurological conditions and has received training in NDT handling and facilitation. She also has received training in the SOS Program and has experience treating feeding disorders. Outside of the clinic, Emily enjoys hiking, exploring new food spots with friends, playing volleyball, and going to dance classes.
Undergraduate studying Exercise Physiology at The University of Sydney
Since beginning her university degree Bella has always known that her career path was to work in pediatric rehabilitation and when meeting the NAPA team realised that this was the ideal job for her. Bella loves empowering children and seeing the happiness it brings to not only them but their family when they reach their goals.
When Bella is not at NAPA, she is playing touch football and training in the gym, spending time with her friends, coaching, studying and going to the beach.
Claire earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from New York University in 2021. She is passionate about putting smiles on children’s faces as they learn new mobility skills and ways of being independent. She also enjoys working closely with parents and caregivers to support families along their unique journeys.
Outside of NAPA, Claire loves being active and spending time in the gym or taking a fitness class. She also likes tackling a challenging recipe in the kitchen, working on a puzzle, and reading way too many books at the same time.
MS Occupational Therapy, New York University
Niki chose occupational therapy because of her passion for human psychology, child development, and advocacy. She loves being part of a profession that promotes independence and inclusion for all people. Witnessing children reach milestones and master skills, inspires her to continue growing as a clinician. Niki appreciates that NAPA is a hub for innovation, creativity, and learning. Her special interests include feeding therapy; she hopes to become a feeding specialist to work with children with sensory and oral motor challenges. Cooking, hot yoga, running, live music, and discovering new restaurants around Los Angeles are how she sparks joy.
Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (HONS), University of Queensland 2018
Nichola discovered Occupational Therapy during a university open day in high school and has never looked back. Working in a profession founded in independence, engagement in meaningful activities, community and advocacy is the perfect fit for Nichola and fuels her passion for the profession. Nichola has experience working with children with a range of diagnoses including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and sensory processing differences, to name a few. Her goal is to champion each child and their family to ensure they know she is in their corner – cheering them on, advocating for them and supporting them to reach their highest potential. Outside of work, Nichola spends time out in nature, at the beach, on the hunt for good coffee or trying her hand at different creative activities.
Doctor of Physiotherapy, The University of Melbourne
Jenn grew up in Tasmania and came to Melbourne in 2012 to study physio. She has always had a passion for working with children. Whilst at university, Jenn volunteered running dance and exercise classes for children with disabilities and worked part-time at after school care programs, weekend camps and holiday programs for children. Jenn has experience working in hospital rehabilitation as well as community-based therapy where she supported children and families to achieve their goals through everyday roles and routines. She is so excited to join the NAPA team so she can continue to support children to achieve their potential in new, fun and engaging ways. Outside of work, she loves being outdoors, going skiing, trying new café’s with friends, running and exploring Melbourne’s parks with her dog Ted.
Bachelors degree of Occupational Therapy (Australian Catholic University)
Madeline is passionate about connecting children and families with the resources and tools to empower and support those living with disabilities to meet their goals and have a positive impact on their life. She enjoys getting creative with children and finding unique ways to individualise therapy. Madeline is inspired by being in a profession where she can enable independence and allow children to engage in the tasks they find meaningful.
In her spare time, Madeline loves any chance to get out in nature whether it’s riding her bike or going for an ocean swim and spending time with family and friends.
Before working at NAPA Madeline worked as an Occupational Therapy assistant at a paediatric clinic. Madeline has experience in delivering small group programs to support children with social skills, communication and play.
Masters of Occupational Therapy – University of Queensland 2015
Lisa is a creative and enthusiastic Occupational Therapist who is passionate about working with children with physical disabilities. Lisa grew up in sunny Queensland and moved to (not so sunny) Melbourne when she graduated from her Masters of Occupational Therapy degree. Lisa has worked in both private practice and school-based settings to support children with diverse physical, intellectual, communication, sensory and behavioural needs. Lisa loves finding fun and playful ways to support children to engage in therapy. She also likes coming up with creative and practical ways for families to support their children’s goals outside of therapy.
When not at work, Lisa spends her time finding some sort adventure; hiking, camping or hanging out with her friends or partner. She may also be found completing a creative project like home renovation or making things for her sewing side hustle….and drinking lots of coffee.
Master of Clinical Rehabilitation (Flinders University, Australia)
Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Calcutta University, India)
Prad has been working as a Paediatric Occupational Therapist in various private and public settings in Singapore since 2004 before moving to Australia in 2023. Ever since he was a teenager, Prad wanted to pursue a career in the health sector and when the opportunity arose, he immediately took it. After venturing into different areas in Occupational Therapy Prad found that his true passion lies in helping children and their families and then never looked back. He believes that every child has his own strength and potential, and as an Occupational Therapist we should make the best use of it to maximise their skill. Prad is trained in NDT, Sensory Integration, Handwriting without tears, DIR floor time, Seating and Mobility, and DMI (Introductory Level A).
In his free time, Prad likes to go for long nature walks with his wife, binge-watch Netflix or Amazon Prime series. Quality family time with his two boys (a tween and a teen) is always his priority.
M.S. Occupational Therapy, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
Jordyn knew she wanted to enter the field of Occupational Therapy after working as a rehab aide for a young girl with a traumatic brain injury. She believes there is no greater joy than celebrating with an individual who has reached their goals. From there, she continued working as a caregiver for children and adults with disabilities throughout college and graduate school.
Jordyn always envisioned herself working in pediatrics, but never thought she would end up moving across the country to do so. While not a California native, Jordyn has quickly adapted to the LA lifestyle. In her free time, you can find her working out, biking along the beach, exploring new restaurants, or indulging in an endless supply of mint chocolate-chip ice cream. Jordyn’s lively personality adds value when providing treatment to any individual that enters NAPA’s doors.
Cara is currently studying to be an Occupational Therapist at Australian Catholic University. She was driven to pursue this career path when inspired by the work she saw other Occupational Therapists do with her sister and the help and confidence they gave her. Cara wishes to help other families in a similar way. Being a positive presence in their lives who can help and support others in whatever way she can. Cara enjoys training at the gym, spending time with her puppy and going out with friends.
Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology), The University of Sydney
Helena is an empathic and energetic Speech Pathologist who loves seeing people grow and transform, particularly when provided with the ‘just right’ supports. Helena has had experience as a Speech Pathologist and Key Worker within community disability, and previously as a support worker. She is passionate about the paediatrics disability space as she sees the immense benefits with early intervention, and shift within families as they start to realise a child’s potential. Helena has a special interest in Augmentative and Alternative Communication, early language development and pragmatics/social language skills. Outside of work, Helena loves making funky earrings, getting into nature, and enjoys trying out new cafes (with yummy vegan food)!
Su-hwei thrives on connecting with children and is a strong advocate for a family-centered practice. She chose the field of speech pathology because of the many wonderful opportunities to help to discover and nurture a child’s potential and to celebrate their achievements. She enjoys making her sessions fun and is passionate about empowering parents and caregivers to best support the needs of their children. Su-hwei’s areas of interest include early intervention, speech and language disorders, literacy, feeding/swallowing disorders, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and social communication difficulties. Su-hwei loves a nice sunny day and can be found exploring the outdoors, running and going on hikes. When not out and about, she loves reading and getting crafty.
Bachelor of Occupational Therapy
Taylah always knew that she wanted to be in an area where she could help people, so when she discovered occupational therapy, she knew it was the perfect profession for her. She studied her Bachelor of Occupational Therapy at Griffith University. During her time studying she worked as a support worker working with children who have a disability. This is where she first discovered her passion and talent for working with children.
Taylah is a kind and caring occupational therapist with an enthusiastic attitude. She thoroughly enjoys working through the therapeutic process with children and their families to achieve their goals. It is one of Taylah’s greatest joy’s to be a part of children’s journey towards reaching their amazing potential and understands what a privilege it is.
When Taylah is not at NAPA you will likely find her riding her horse, on an adventure outdoors, doing arts and crafts or eating some delicious food somewhere.
Baylee is a physical therapist who received her Bachelor’s in Biology from Illinois Wesleyan and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Bradley University in 2020. She spent two years working in early intervention and the school system and is excited to start at NAPA and learn about a new setting and environment. She loves pediatrics because it brings her joy to watch kids achieve goals and surpass expectations. She especially enjoys getting to know families and helping kids work toward goals that make them more functional in their family’s day to day life. Outside of work, Baylee enjoys hanging out with her yellow Labrador, Hank, reading all kinds of books, and spending time at the beach on Lake Michigan.
MS Speech and Language Pathology, Northeastern University
Mei-li is a California native returning after six years from the East Coast after finishing her Master’s at Northeastern University. It’s easy to see, Mei-Li is passionate about pediatrics and is excited to help support families communication and feeding needs. Prior to speech therapy, her background includes Applied Behavior Analysis, where she worked with children on the Autism Spectrum supporting communication and behaviors. In addition, she served as a developmental specialist in the field of Early Intervention, where she learned to collaborate with other disciplines and work with families as a whole. Mei-Li worked for three years in NAPA Los Angeles before transferring to her new home here in Melbourne. Her areas of interest include AAC, social language skills, and oral motor/feeding. Free time is spent at the beach playing volleyball, cooking, and traveling.
Doctor of Physical Therapy, MGH Institute of Health Professions
Sasha has always loved working with children, being active, and learning from others. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a concentration in Neuroscience from Elon University and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from MGH Institute of Health Professions. Since her first internship at a pediatric clinic, Sasha knew she had found her passion. She is excited to combine her love for pediatrics and neurology here at NAPA.
On a weekend, you can find her playing ice hockey, taking dance classes, or spending time with her friends and family!
University of Queensland- Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Hons) 2020
Jade is a physiotherapist from Brisbane who has always been passionate about helping children achieve their goals. While in high school Jade discovered her love for working with children through assisting teaching dance. Her passion for paediatrics was reinforced in one of her final year university placements. Since graduating, Jade has worked within the paediatric community sector and has gained so much satisfaction from watching children surpass expectations and achieve their goals. Jade is very excited to continue this journey at NAPA!
Jade grew up on Bribie Island in sunny Queensland. She is the youngest of three and has two older sisters. In her spare time Jade can be found exercising in the gym, exploring the outdoors or spending time with family and friends.
Bachelor of Business Commerce, Accounting and Business Management, CPA
George is excited to be part of the NAPA team as he sees NAPA as being a crucial part of development for children with the highest care needs. George has a brother-in-law that was diagnosed with autism and can relate with parents that love their children but require assistance with understanding the condition that a child may need in order to reach their full potential. George has had an extensive career in accounting, with his main focus around management accounting, finance, and tax compliance. George is a full member of the TSA and IPA and associate of the CPA.
When not at work, George loves socialising at dinner parties and indulging in a Netflix bingefest/marathon. He considers himself a tech hobbyist and loves getting new gadgets (that can get a bit pricey).
Doctor of Physiotherapy, Bond University
Simon was born and raised in Eastern Canada. He travelled to Australia in 2019 to begin his physiotherapy journey, graduating with his Doctor of Physiotherapy from Bond in 2021. Simon has worked with children of all ages in various settings – summer camps, after school programs and sports teams. He has known for a long time that he wanted to work in the area of paediatrics, and his time at Queensland Children’s Hospital during one of his clinical placements solidified this.
Upon completion of his 6-week clinical internship with Napa Sydney, Simon knew that he could not pass up the opportunity to join the Napa team.
Simon is a committed and passionate team member who is eager to meet with families, set goals and create a safe, fun-filled environment for children to reach their full potential.
When not working, you will find Simon in the outdoors hiking to lookouts to find a view or searching for waterfalls to swim in. Simon is also active in the running community and has completed three half marathons.
Bachelor degree of Occupational Therapy (Honours), student at Monash University
Aya joined the NAPA team as she acquires a passion to help families and children through their therapy journey as well as build her skills and knowledge as a future occupational therapist. Aya’s paediatric interest comes from having two younger sisters with special needs and she feels that through her personal experience she has further understanding of some of the challenges they may experience. Aya loves working at NAPA as she gets to be a part of a great and supportive team, that thrives in helping children gain independence and achieve their goals.
Aya’s hobbies and interests include spending time with friends and family, has a love of music and exploring new places & experiences. She also has a love for food, especially her favourite which is pasta and sushi!
Completed Bachelor of Physiotherapy in 2014 at the Australian Catholic University.
Over her career as a physiotherapist she has worked and gained experience in many different areas, including private practice, sports medicine, youth development (specifically snow sports) and paediatrics. Her love for paediatrics (even if she may not have known) started during her 6 week placement at the Sydney children’s hospital during her final year of placements, from there it has been through the clinical, practical and voluntary work that streamlined Sara’s career to what it is today – Paediatric physiotherapy.
Sara believes there is nothing better than giving everyone the opportunity to feel confident and comfortable participating in school, sport and everyday life. Improving participation and physical activity but also social skills, emotional regulation, coordination and sensory processing is a must for all developing children.
When not at work you will find Sara outside chasing after her son Isaac, running, surfing, or on the ski fields shredding down the mountain on her snowboard.
Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours), University of Newcastle, 2019.
Joe grew up in the Hunter Valley and is an avid sports fan, which is why he decided to study Physiotherapy. As such, he always expected to work in the sports physiotherapy field when he graduated. Joe worked as a therapy assistant at a paediatric disability clinic in Maitland for two years during his studies and saw the important impact which therapy can have on the lives of children and their families. After undertaking a clinical placement at NAPA during his final year of study, he fell in love with the big NAPA family and knew that this was where he wanted to be.
A good coffee helps Joe have as much energy as all the awesome kids he gets to work with! When he’s not at NAPA, you’ll probably find Joe out socialising with friends over a couple of sneaky beverages, or unwinding at home with a good Netflix binge-session. On the weekends he’s normally out and about somewhere across Sydney or the rest of NSW/ACT, umpiring AFL!
A South Bay resident and parent of three adult children, Rosalinda’s career in leadership began as a local business owner supporting the foodservice industry for over 15 years. A parent, mentor, advocate and leader, her 20+ year journey into the developmental disabilities world was first ignited by her personal quest to support her own neurodiverse son. Her drive to guide and mentor others fueled her mission and a career transition to support the disabled community.
Rosalinda has been employed professionally for ten years as Chief Programs Officer of a non- profit pediatric clinic. She brings several years of experience having supported the execution of various projects related to pediatric therapy services. Blending her passion and professional mission, she has a deep desire to support and empower employees with daily challenges, and help in the formation of new services. Rosalinda is intentional in seeking opportunities to collaborate with parents and staff to best support the needs of our clients.
Bachelor of Physiotherapy (BPhty) – University of Otago, New Zealand
Since a very young age, Yazmin has had a passion for working with children, and began her journey working as a ballet teacher aide and eventually teacher throughout high school and university. In her final year of her physiotherapy degree, while Yazmin was on placement at a special education school for children with high and very-high needs she realised her true passion for paediatric neurological physiotherapy. Yazmin made the move to Melbourne, Australia in 2018 and has since spent time in the wider private practice field of neurological rehabilitation. Yazmin is very enthusiastic about returning to a solely paediatric environment at NAPA, she works hard to empower every individual child to meet their goals, dream big and be an active leader in their own lives both physically and holistically.
When Yazmin is not at NAPA she can be found running, at a bikram yoga class, cooking for family and friends and exploring the outdoors!
Bach. Of Business (Human Resources Management & Management)
Mitch has worked in Recruitment now for just over four years in Disability and Aged Care. Before that, customer service was his bread and butter across a variety of industries both here and in Scotland. Mitch thrives off making connections with people at all levels and extracting the most out of every engagement. Some of Mitch’s most recent projects have included ensuring the recruitment process was as accessible as possible in becoming Disability Confident Recruiters, liaising with talent sourcing partners as part of federal government-funded workforce programs and sourcing and onboarding across an area that included Brisbane, Sydney Metro, Melbourne, and as far West as Broken Hill.
Outside of work, Mitch is the youngest of 5. Mitch is looking forward to building on an already incredible foundation at NAPA. Mitch resonates strongly with the impact therapy services can have in a child’s development because he was born with a Cleft Lip and Palate and had to undergo a lot of Speech Therapy to improve his speech the what it is today. Mitch is also diabetic so loves being active in most areas except housework. He is a passionate Liverpool FC supporter and will be awake at crazy hours cheering when things go well, if not, then offering much needed advice and coaching to the TV. Being a Penrith local, he is also a Panthers supporter despite several years away from NRL.
Ana knew that she wanted to be a Physiotherapist since her early years after becoming fascinated with the rehabilitation process and the body’s ability to heal. Since her graduation as Bachelor of Physiotherapy at University Santa Cecilia (UNISANTA) in Brazil, she worked in many different physiotherapy areas such as Neurological, Orthopaedics, Sports and Geriatrics. In 2010 she moved with her family to Australia and more recently joined NAPA, initially as a volunteer and then as Therapy Aide where she fulfils her passion for working with kids rehabilitation. Outside of working she enjoys life being a mother of two kids and practicing yoga and pilates.
Master of Physiotherapy, University of Sydney
Started as a NAPA volunteer then a therapy aide, and now a physiotherapist, Pauline is passionate towards empowering kids to reach their fullest potential. Prior to moving from Canada to pursue her Master of Physiotherapy in Australia, Pauline has had 5 years of experience working with children in adapted sports, hydrotherapy, and clinical settings. This sparked her interest in making her passion her career.
As a creative and dedicated physiotherapist, Pauline always strives to create a supportive environment for kids to develop the confidence and competence to reach their goals. She believes in making therapy fun, interactive, and individualized so that it is enjoyable and meaningful to each child.
You can spot Pauline at NAPA with the biggest smile, colorful socks, and contagious enthusiasm & positivity. When not at NAPA, you can find her indulging in some ice cream or wine, embracing her sweatiness at the gym, attempting to surf, and exploring another coastal walk.
Nicole is a passionate and hardworking paediatric physiotherapist with a wealth of experience in helping children reaching their fullest potential. She brings a deep understanding of the unique challenges and needs of young patients, coupled with a personalised approach to care. Originally from Canada, Nicole completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology, specialising in Rehabilitation Sciences, which ignited an interest in the field of Physiotherapy. Looking to escape the snow, Nicole decided to pack her bags and move to Australia where she completed her Master’s Degree in Physiotherapy in 2018.
Beyond the clinic, Nicole likes to focus on developing her own body and mind and can often be found lifting weights at the gym, going on hikes or hanging out at the beach.
Bachelor of Physiotherapy, The Australian Catholic University
Sarah has always had a love of working with children. She worked as a junior school sports coach and a nanny whilst studying physiotherapy at university. Sarah affirmed her passion for working with children after a paediatric placement at Royal North Shore Hospital. To further grow her physiotherapy knowledge she completed a Graduate programme at Royal North Shore Hospital. Her experience in working with a variety of neurological conditions combined with her love of paediatrics saw her transition to the NAPA centre as the perfect fit!
Sarah is a caring team member eager to be involved in an energetic, inclusive and passionate environment. She is driven to making a positive impact in the lives of children and their families. Sarah is very excited to be involved with our supportive NAPA team!
If Sarah isn’t at work, you most likely find her playing hockey. Sarah is also a keen baker, enjoys going to the beach or watching Grey’s Anatomy!
MS Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Vermont
Erika chose to pursue speech language pathology after an inspiring pitch from a professor in an undergraduate course entitled, “Major Decisions.” Since then, she has developed a passion and enthusiasm for working with children to help them achieve their highest potential. Erika has widespread evaluation and treatment experience with children of all ages, including childhood apraxia of speech, expressive and receptive language, speech sound disorders, fluency, pragmatics and social skills, and feeding and swallowing. She enjoys the fun, challenge, and diversity that comes with working with children, and she strives to create a constructive and trusting relationship with her clients and their families. She is committed to creating engaging, functional, and innovative treatment activities to best address each client’s unique goals and promote success in and out of therapy. Outside of work, Erika enjoys long walks with her dog, Lucy, going to the gym, and exploring the local food scene.
Undergraduate of Exercise Science and Sport / Masters of Occupational Therapy
Tamara is an energetic and motivated OT who became passionate about helping children with disabilities after watching her gymnastics coach run an adaptive gym program for kids with down syndrome. Seeing kids empowered and engaged was what drove her to become an occupational therapist. Tamara has previous experience working in the community sector as a paediatric OT, working mainly with children with autism spectrum disorder and developmental delays. When Tamara isn’t at work, she can be found down the beach with a coffee in hand or finding somewhere new to explore.
Master of Physiotherapy, University of Technology Sydney
During Georgia’s undergraduate degree at university, she started working here at NAPA as a therapy aide. Working with all the incredible children and their families inspired her to study for her master’s degree in physiotherapy and she hasn’t looked back since! Georgia is passionate about working with children and strives to encourage empowerment and independence for all the children she works alongside. Her experience as a disability support worker and here at NAPA has taught her about the importance of goal setting and celebrating every achievement made.
When Georgia isn’t at NAPA, you will usually find her doing something outdoors. She loves to surf and rock-climb.
MSc Physiotherapy, Robert Gordon University, Scotland. MSc Clinical Neuroscience, Kings College London
Jess’s background in neuroscience and passion for helping people led to her pursuing a career in physiotherapy, always knowing she wanted to work in neurological rehab. Jess qualified as a physio in 2014 and spent several years working in the NHS covering all aspects of physiotherapy, which cemented her passion for neuro rehab. During this time Jess worked with children across many specialities and ages; and being from a big family and having young children herself she knew she wanted to focus her career in paediatrics. Jess moved to Australia in 2020 with her young family and originally worked in private practice before discovering NAPA, she knew it was perfect for her to combine her love of children and all things Neuro.
While she is not at Napa her kids keep her pretty busy, she can usually be found either running around after them at the beach or (hopefully!) in the surf.
Kristen received her Bachelor of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Texas Christian University in 2007 and her Master of Science in Communication Disorders from The University of Texas at Dallas in 2009. Kristen holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence awarded by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist in the state of Texas. She is trained in the following: Hanen parent training program ‘It Takes Two to Talk,’ PROMPT, Vital Stim (NMES), AEIOU Approach to Feeding, and Beckman Oral Motor Protocol. Kristen’s clinical experiences include working in the public school system with the Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) program, Early Childhood Intervention (ECI), and private practice. Her professional interests include infant and toddler language acquisition, pediatric language disorders, articulation and phonological disorders, Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS), developmental delays, and feeding and swallowing disorders. Kristen is happy to be living in her hometown of Austin and close to family after living in Dallas for 13 years. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, attending church services, watching TCU football, volunteering, traveling, and trying new restaurants.
Kylie has over 20 years’ experience in Hospital Administration and is also a NAPA mum. She has travelled to both NAPA Sydney and LA clinics with her daughter Lily and knew from the moment she first walked through the doors at NAPA she had found “her people”. Kylie’s family believe that Lily has made lifechanging progress thanks to NAPA. Kylie is so excited to be part of the NAPA team, to be able to give parents and their children the NAPA experience having truly understand the journey our parents are on. Watching each child’s journey and the positive changes it brings to their whole families make her heart so happy. She feels so lucky to be working with the most talented team of therapists, meeting so many wonderful kiddos and their families. Kylie is a born Melbournite, living here with her husband Chris and children Jack, Harry and Lily. When not at NAPA Kylie’s happy place is at the beach with family and friends, loves traveling, shopping, coffee and wine.
Zaina Daoud earned her Bachelor of Science in Health Care Leadership at National Louis University and will soon pursue her Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership. Although she has served over 5 years in health care, Zaina’s passion to help others began at a young age by volunteering within the community and serving others in non-for-profit organizations. Her passion to help others led her to a career in education, where she taught young children as a school teacher for over 7 years. Helping the young discover and grow has been a rewarding experience for her. With the wonderful opportunity of working with children, Zaina came to an understanding that children thrive in nurturing environments that encompass structure. She brings those educational values to the health care setting to ensure all kids have the opportunity to thrive and be the best version of themselves.
University of Notre Dame, Fremantle – Bachelor of Physiotherapy, 2016
Kate has always been passionate about supporting children, working as a nanny whilst she completed her physiotherapy degree. Her interest in the area further developed during a placement at a community paediatric therapy provider. Kate has experience working as a physiotherapist with children and their families across Perth, London, and Brisbane. Kate is motivated by working collaboratively with families and children to use their interests and strengths to pursue their goals in fun and exciting ways.
Away from work, Kate enjoys the beach, camping, baking, and spending time with friends
Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology), The University of Sydney
Laura always knew she wanted to help others, and this sparked her journey into Speech Pathology. She grew up with a large family by her side and has always been considered the ‘mum’ of the group. Her love for paediatrics and disability came from her family as her two younger cousins were diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as she finished her degree. Laura’s passion to support her relatives started her career in early intervention and supporting children and young adolescents with a diagnosis of ASD. She joins NAPA with a passion to learn more about the field of disability and to support families to be their child’s best teacher (wearing leggings and crazy socks was a bonus!). Laura is practicing as a Certified Speech Pathologist (CPSP) and certified Hanen therapist who holds great importance in building capacity within families. She has a keen interest with Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), social skills, sensory and emotional regulation, and Positive Behaviour Support. Laura is a big animal lover and will always be talking about her pets! She is most active when the sun is out and will explore the outdoors, go on walks and hikes, be at the beach but when the cold and rain hit, Laura will hibernate!
Doctor of Physical Therapy, University of Colorado
Jason was inspired to become a Physical Therapist after being a camp counselor and volunteer for children with physical and intellectual disabilities over 10 years. Jason enjoyed promoting inclusion through creative camp activities, watching campers grow physically and socially, and collaborating with parents to understand their child’s unique needs, equipment, and interests. Jason is excited to join the NAPA Center team to continue supporting the growth and potential of children of all abilities. Outside of work, Jason advocates for people with disabilities through local and national leadership roles, and he has presented on topics such as 24-hour postural care, assistive technologies, and adult transition. Jason’s hobbies include running, cooking, eating, and traveling with his wife. Growing up his favorite TV show was Sesame Street, and today he loves anything to do with Pete the Cat.
Caroline was born and raised in Austin, TX. After attending the University of Arizona and earning a degree in Family Studies and Human Development, she graduated from the University of Southern California with a doctorate in occupational therapy. Caroline was drawn to NAPA due to her passion for working with children and their families to address their physical and developmental needs. In her spare time Caroline enjoys hiking, snowboarding, watching her favorite Disney movies and traveling to new places. You can also find her exploring the wonders of Austin’s food truck scene!
Silvia had her Bachelor degree in tourism management and extended her knowledge by studying business administration in Australia. She constantly studies different courses for self-development as she believes it’s important to always continue to grow and learn.
She is friendly, approachable, and compassionate. She volunteers in activities within her community which involves dealing with people who have disabilities from different ages which gave her a wide experience in how to deal and communicate with people considering their different needs. She is excited about being a part of the NAPA team where she can be a witness of so many wonderful moments seeing beautiful unique kids succeed in reaching their individual goals from their very little first step.
When Silvia is not busy at Napa, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, taking her dog for a walk, she also loves drawing, doing outdoor activities. Silvia loves travelling as she enjoys learning more about the different cultures, she’s already been to a few different cities around the world and she can’t wait to tick more cities off her list.
Sara is a Physical Therapist from the Chicagoland! Since she was little, she knew she wanted to have a career that would challenge her and allow her to make a difference. Fortunately for her, she has an amazing role model, her mother, who is an occupational therapist. She attended undergrad at Augustana College in Rock Island, IL and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Biology with a Psychology Minor. She then attended graduate school at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL and earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy.
She has always been fascinated with the neurological and pediatric population and was fortunate to have had four clinical rotations in neurological/pediatric settings. Amongst all these rotations, she was able to strengthen her problem-solving skills, adaptability, creative mind, communication skills with patients and families…all while being a kid at heart! Sara is the oldest of three and comes from a very big extended family. Currently, she has been working as a fitness trainer and has had the opportunity to train individuals in private sessions as well as small and large group sessions. Outside of work, she loves staying active whether that includes working out, hiking, playing soccer/sports, cooking, and spending time with her family, friends, and pups!
Kristen graduated from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan with a double Bachelor’s in Spanish and Health Science followed by a Master’s in Occupational Therapy where her desire for helping others continued to flourish. Following graduation with fieldwork placements at the University of Michigan pediatric facility and a brain injury rehabilitation clinic, she continued her passion for providing learning and movement opportunities for children with neurological conditions and developmental delays at a pediatric clinic within the Las Vegas area.
Kristen takes pride in promoting positive and fun therapeutic environments for patients and their families so each child can achieve their highest potential across a variety of environments. While Kristen is ecstatic to be a part of the NAPA team, she looks forward to seeing each child become stronger, empowered, and confident through play based activities inside and outside of the clinic. When Kristen is not occupied at the NAPA center, she enjoys learning new hobbies, such as surfing and snowboarding, traveling, spending time with her dog Diego, and meeting new people!
M.S. Occupational Therapy, Stanbridge University, Irvine, CA.
Before becoming an OT, Miranda spent years working as a nanny, gymnastics coach, and respite care provider for children. Her love of working with children and her search for a career that balances science, creativity, and fun lead her right to OT. Prior to NAPA, Miranda has experience in outpatient pediatric settings and inpatient settings. What she loves most about being an OT is connecting with the children and families, guiding them through challenges, and celebrating their well-earned achievements! Miranda enjoys hiking, camping, and learning how to snowboard. On slower weekends, you can catch her practicing yoga, exploring her artistic side, or exploring her new city of Boston!
Rhiannon is a passionate and fun-loving speech pathologist, who is driven to support children with complex communication needs to live active and meaningful lives. Through volunteering for disability organisations, she fell in love with the paediatric disability community and knew that she had chosen the right career path. Since graduating Rhiannon has continued to build her skills in supporting children with complex communication needs and has developed a special interest in Augmentative and Alternative Communication. She is continuously inspired by the determination and resilience of the children and families she works with and is grateful to be a part of their therapy journey. Outside of work, she can be found attending creative (and unusual) workshops, on her hunt to find a hobby. Some of her favourite workshops have been blacksmithing, pottery and earring making.
Val is a people focused person. One of her many appreciations she enjoys in her role is the people, culture & the organisation. What attracted Val to working at NAPA is the opportunity to interact with the beautiful children, the parents, & the environment NAPA creates. Being the 2nd to youngest in a family of 8 brothers & 1 sister, & raised on a farm in New Zealand (a bit like a Dolly Parton family), meant she was brought up with a lot of love, laughter & respect. Val has held a variety of administrative positions in various industries, & has travelled, lived & worked not only in her home country New Zealand, but also the U.K. twice & now here in Australia. Val is known to enjoy the odd glass of wine, coffee & cake (especially likes home baking) keeping fit, being out on the water & has been a learner skier for many years. What is closet to Val’s heart is her family, friends & the people in her life.
Bachelor of Physiotherapy, Australian Catholic University
Jasmin had known quite quickly want she wanted to be when she grew up after being treated herself from a young age by physiotherapists. She loved the idea of helping people in an environment that was fun, energetic and inclusive. Jasmin also loved the idea of helping those with neurological disabilities in some way, as she was fascinated by the brain and the ways that we can train it to get the best out of our bodies. It wasn’t until her very final university placement at a children’s hospital in Sydney that she found her passion – working with children!
Jasmin started her career gaining experience in a private practice treating in musculoskeletal, sports and neurological caseloads, but she knew every time she was lucky enough to treat a child that she belonged in paediatrics. So she made the big leap to NAPA and has been very excited ever since!
When she isn’t at NAPA having fun, Jasmin is found challenging her own skills with sport – she competes in triathlons and has been playing soccer for years now. She also enjoys baking and hanging out with dogs.
Bachelor of Speech Pathology from Australian Catholic University
Sarah’s passion has always been and continues to be working with children with physical disabilities and complex communication needs. She always says the most enriching part of her job is watching the sheer determination and resilience these children have in working towards their goals. Sarah has worked previously in Special schools and private practice gaining experience and training in the areas of AAC, literacy, dysphagia management and speech and language disorders. She strives to work with families to create positive, fun and supportive environments in all her sessions. When not at work, Sarah’s creativity expands into the world of amateur theatre where she volunteers her time working with Scouts and Guides of Melbourne in developing and realising their theatrical skills and putting on a show for all to enjoy.
Masters of Occupational Therapy, University of Sydney
Zoraida is a dedicated and enthusiastic Occupational Therapist, that has worked and volunteered in a variety of settings including wildlife rehabilitation and community research. Zoraida’s greatest passion is exploring the world and she was even lucky enough to volunteer with children in the Dominican Republic. Zoraida came to Sydney from the USA to study her Masters in Occupational therapy in 2016. Having quickly fallen in love with Sydney and tiramisu gelato from Messina, she hasn’t looked back since.
Zoraida Ioves seeing kids fulfill their potential and this drives her to go the extra mile whenever possible. Zoraida started off by volunteering at NAPA. She knew straight away that NAPA’s unique approach truly makes a difference in people’s lives and wanted to be a part of the team.
When not in the NAPA centre, Zoraida can be found rock climbing, hiking, attempting beach volleyball, or playing laser tag. Being half Iranian and half Mexican, she also enjoys cooking a wide variety of dishes!
Thais has over 10 years of experience as a physiotherapist working in hospitals, clinics as well as her own practice in Brazil. Since arriving in Australia she has been working in the disability sector as a support worker whilst studying for her full physiotherapist licence for Australia. It was whilst visiting NAPA Centre with one of her clients that she fell in love with the clinic and felt that she needed to be a part of it!
She started her journey with NAPA as a Therapy Aide and is now treating as a Physiotherapist under limited registration, working under the supervision of qualified physiotherapists.
M.Ed. Speech-Language Pathology, Valdosta State University
Katie is a Southern California native who loves all things outdoors. Her passion for speech-language pathology stems from the belief that every child deserves a voice. Katie’s clinical experience has been focused on the early intervention and school age population, working as a speech-language pathology assistant prior to completing her master’s degree. Her interests include Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC), early intervention, parent coaching, and feeding. Our kids love hanging out with Ms. Katie. One parent reported “my kid likes Katie more than me!”
BBC Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations, University of Western Sydney
Lisa has worked in the HR field for almost 20 years in the Finance, Insurance, Retail and Health Services Industries. Lisa comes from Northcott Disability Services where she developed a passion for supporting Therapy Services, seeing the positive difference being made in the lives of clients and even her own family. Driven by the belief that organisations are only as good as the people they have working in them, her areas of special interest include employee engagement, professional development and organisational development.
When not working, you will find Lisa at the beach with her family, entertaining friends and family or if the TV is able to be switched off “Bluey” episodes, indulging in terrible flip or flop renovations shows from all over the world.
Doctorate of PT, Loma Linda University
In 2012, Tso-Hsien (Geoffrey) received his Bachelor in Physical Therapy in Taiwan. He worked in post-acute hospital as a physical therapist for both geriatric and pediatric population which then encouraged him to pursue higher education in the US. He attended Loma Linda University and received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2017.
Tso-Hsien grew up in Taiwan and has always enjoyed working with kids. After working two years in hospitals in Taiwan, he found there wasn’t enough recourses nor techniques available in pediatric rehab field, so he decided to travel to the US to gain more knowledge and training. He found out about NAPA Center and instantly fell in love with this big family and feels like it’s a one-stop shop of all contemporary therapies.
When Tso-Hsien is not at work, he enjoys spending his time with his dog Gucci and his husband Wissanu. They love exploring different restaurants and never says no to good food, and will travel to a different state just for a nice medium-rare steak.
Originally from the PNW, Ben & his wife moved to Texas in 2017 and quickly fell in love with the surrounding Austin area, making it their home. He completed his DPT program through the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in Austin, Texas, in December 2019.
Being a kid at heart, he strives to empower and provide joy to his patients and their families, through tailored, engaging and playful treatment sessions while employing the most current evidence-informed practices.
When he’s not at work, he loves spending time with his wife of 6 years and their 5-year-old GSP/Collie mix, Faith. They love the outdoors and are always looking for new places to camp, hike, fish, kayak and swim. They also devote their time to attending and serving at their church, seeking out community with the families with young children.
Bachelor of Physiotherapy, University of Sydney
Yvonne grew up in Hong Kong and moved to Sydney to study physiotherapy, intrigued by the idea of using movement and therapy to help others get better. She’s always loved being around children and when she went on some paediatric placements during university, she realised that paediatrics was for her. She loves the complexity and the diversity of this field and enjoys working closely with families to help children reach their goals. After graduating university, she worked at a paediatrics clinic before making her move to NAPA. Outside of work, Yvonne loves sketching and watercolour painting, meeting up with friends, playing badminton and discovering new sights to see while soaking up the sun.
Bachelor of Physiotherapy 2020, University of Sydney.
Nicole found her passion with kids through her clinical placement at the Children’s’ Hospital and doing volunteer work with children performing physical assessment and treating a variety of conditions. She enjoys building rapport with kids, involving their family in the therapy, and designing various fun and engaging interventions to help kids achieve their therapeutic goals. She is kind, caring and always puts a smile on others with her positivity. She is eager and driven to make a positive impact on the kid’s quality of life and wellbeing. Outside of NAPA, you will very likely find Nicole at the beach with an Acai bowl in her hands or at gelato Messina. She enjoys baking, listening to music, and traveling.
Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Distinction), University of Otago
Olivia decided to study physiotherapy as she wanted an active job where she could help people and thought it aligned well with her love of sports. As she progressed through her studies, she discovered her love for neurorehabilitation and paediatrics. A paediatric placement and volunteering with a few young boys with Autism, Global Developmental Delay, and Cerebral Palsy lead her to a role working in a Special school after graduating. After three years, Olivia moved over from New Zealand to work at NAPA Melbourne. Olivia loves working in paediatric therapy as it requires creativity, problem solving, and to be a little bit silly. Outside of NAPA Olivia can be found playing all sorts of sports. As a former soccer player, she has recently changed codes and is now training for her next boxing match. She is also a bit of a foodie, plant mum, and loves adventuring and exploring the outdoors, especially anything to do with water.
Bio coming soon!
BS Criminal Justice & Minor in Sociology, Texas State University
Kelsey always knew she wanted to make a difference in the world no matter how big, but never imagined having the wonderful opportunity to help amazing families along the way at NAPA. With a true passion for poetry and books, she enjoys spoken word and cannot pass up a bookstore. Although most of her day is spent behind a desk, she will never turn down an opportunity to interact with the cute kids and families that come into NAPA.
When Kelsey is not writing, she most likely can be found reading, hanging with her cat, or finding new recipes to whip up. Living in Austin for the past year and a half, she enjoys a nice picnic at Zilker Park, as well as exploring any hiking trails discovered along the way.
Currently studying a Bachelor of Speech Pathology at Australian Catholic University, Kaitlin has always had a passion to help others.
She also has completed a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care and has worked with a range of children aged from 3 months to 5years!
Kaitlin enjoys supporting children to facilitate their growth and development and ultimately having fun through play. In her spare time Kaitlin enjoys going to the gym, travelling and spending quality time with her friends, family and 2 dogs!
Doctor of Physical Therapy, University of St. Augustine
Kristen graduated with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of St. Augustine in San Marcos, CA. During her internships and clinical experience working with different patient populations, she realized she wanted to pursue a career in pediatrics. The vibrant atmosphere, amazing kids, and constant learning environment made NAPA the perfect place to make those dreams a reality. Kristen enjoys her time with family and friends, all while taking advantage of the perks of being an LA native. From exploring new restaurants, repping Dodger blue, and trips to the happiest place on earth Kristen is living her best life every day!
Zack chose the field of Physical Therapy in order to help other people. While he was able to work with various ages in this field, Zach found he most enjoyed working with kids! To see the progression and impact Physical Therapy has on children and their families is what Zack strives to continually pursue and accomplish in his medical career. Helping families meet their full capabilities and obtain the goals they never thought were possible is why Zach is proud to put on his NAPA shirt each morning. When Zack is not working at NAPA, he likes to be outdoors on hikes or bike rides with his girlfriend. He also enjoys playing sports, but primarily enjoys golf! On rainy days, he likes to play video games or watch a streaming series. He also loves to watch sporting events on TV such as football, golf, hockey, and F1.
Bachelor of Physiotherapy, Charles Sturt University (Orange).
Asrita’s passion for paediatrics began in her university days, where she first learnt about paediatric conditions, clinical presentations and interventions. She loved the creative and fun approach, and was inspired by the impact physiotherapy can have on child development. During her clinical placements, she was able to experience working with children aged 1-18, and this is when her dream of becoming a paediatric physiotherapist became clear. Her beautiful nieces and nephews also of course sealed the deal.
In her free time, Asrita enjoys spending time with her dog, Arthur. She is passionate about fitness and health, and is always open to trying different sports/activities. Her open and curious approach to life also carries through in her work here at NAPA, where she will always take an opportunity to grow and explore what’s out there for your child.
Currently studying Bachelor of Science at the University of Melbourne
Nell is currently in her final year of a Bachelor of Science at the University of Melbourne, where she is majoring in physiology and pharmacology. Nell is still undecided which avenue she will take upon completion of her degree, however is certain she will be working in the paediatric health industry. Nell is excited to be working at NAPA to help guide her career path and extend her knowledge and love for allied health.
Since an early age Nell has loved working with children and her passion lays in ensuring children are the happiest and healthiest they can be. Nell has worked with children as an outdoor education instructor, nanny and coach of grassroots netball.
When Nell is not at NAPA, she enjoys spending time outdoors, with friends and family, practicing yoga or indulging in a good book.
CBD College Los Angeles, CA
Chelsea is a Los Angeles native who loves the outdoors making her the intensive family guru for fun weekend ideas. Her passion for working with kids and making an impact in families lives drives her smile every day at NAPA. Being a kid at heart, Chelsea, not only knows how to be the silliest therapist but also the biggest cheerleader. The growth she gets to be a part of, in her patients and their families, is what she describes as “one of the best feelings in the world.”
Lauren attended Australian Catholic University where she completed her Bachelor of Occupational Therapy. While in High School Lauren discovered her love and passion for working and surrounding herself with children, which led her to studying Occupational Therapy. Throughout university Lauren volunteered at over night and day camps for children with disabilities and worked as a support worker where she further developed her passion. Lauren is committed to working alongside other therapists and families to help children reach their goals in a fun environment. When she is not at work Lauren loves being outdoors especially at the beach and hanging out with her friends.
Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology), University of Sydney
Having grown up as the youngest amongst all his extended family, Harrison was the fortunate recipient of all the toys and attention. When he discovered that he could play all day as a paediatric speech pathologist, he was sold! Harrison enjoys finding creative ways to work on communication and feeding in fun and functional activities. He is passionate about working with the child’s family and other multi-disciplinary team members – through collaboration and evidence-based practice – to bring about meaningful change.
Harrison’s post-graduate experience has centred around working with children with disabilities and behaviours of concern within the non-profit sector. He has also previously worked as an ABA therapist and has delivered behaviour support programs as part of a trans-disciplinary team. Harrison has a special interest in working with children with complex communication needs, early language development, social skills, and fussy eating. He is committed to ongoing learning, and has completed additional training in AAC systems (such as LAMP and PODD), PROMPT for motor speech disorders, and Social Thinking. When not at work, you will most likely find him trying to chase the sunrise, play tennis, and rock-climbing – all with variable success.
Nicole loves working at NAPA because she has the opportunity to learn from an amazing team of therapists. Inspired by her eldest daughter Nicole is motivated to utilise the acquired skills to benefit her daughter and the children she will be supporting at the centre. Nicole loves the fun, friendly and supportive environment that NAPA provides and has always had a passion to work with kids.
Nicole’s hobbies consists of spending time with her dog Mack and Cat Pixie and exploring the outdoors with her family. Nicole’s guilty pleasure is Reality Tv, The Kardashians, The Real housewives of Beverly Hills just to name a few.
Alyssa fell in love with speech-language pathology because it combines the joy of working with children with her love of communication. While originally from Oklahoma, USA, she relocated to Australia for the sake of adventure and to be a part of NAPA’s innovative multidisciplinary team. Previously, Alyssa worked in a variety of settings with the pediatric population. At NAPA, she is excited to expand her skills in motor speech disorders, feeding therapy, and augmentative alternative communication. When she’s not at NAPA, Alyssa can usually be found reading, baking chocolate chip cookies, listening to Taylor Swift, or calling home to share stories of all her Australian adventures!
Bachelor of Arts/Graduate Diploma of Psychology (Developmental Psychology)/Masters of Occupational Therapy Practice (Monash)
Since graduating from her OT degree, Stephanie has worked in a variety of Paediatric settings, including private practice and at a Specialist Education school. She began her OT career in London, UK and travelled to 26 countries before returning home to Australia. She loves working in Paediatrics as she loves being able to see children progress and develop. She absolutely loves to play and is super passionate about using play to develop children’s skills and functional ability. Her favourite part of working at NAPA is being able to meet so many amazing clients and working collaboratively with other health professionals to enable the kids to reach their potential. When she’s not at NAPA, she’s most likely spending time with her gorgeous rescue greyhound Gus or doing a yoga or pilates class.
Natalie graduated from Bates College in 2021 with a major in Neuroscience and a minor in Dance. Prior to working at NAPA, Natalie worked as an EMT where she found a love for working directly with patients and their families. Natalie hopes to pursue a degree in Occupational Therapy in the near future. Outside of work, Natalie enjoys hanging out with friends and family, dancing, taking photos, and skiing.
BS Special Education, University of Iowa
Lynette LaScala grew up in Iowa and moved to California to fulfill her lifelong dream of living a life by the beach with lots of sunshine and outdoor fun. While preparing to celebrate her son’s first birthday, her life changed forever. Cody and his nanny were playing in his bedroom when she thought he crawled back to her. However, he crawled out the sliding door into the newly added family pool. Doctors gave Cody a very poor diagnosis and told Lynette and her husband they should leave the hospital and go on with their lives. Lynette was pregnant with their second child Bryan. Cody was still alive and leaving him was never an option.
After hearing time and time again that there was no hope for Cody, Lynette researched to find an intensive home therapy program. As a parent of a child with a disability, you will try anything to give your child or loved one the best life possible. It became her passion to teach children with disabilities while traveling around the world to find the best therapies to help her son with Cerebral Palsy.
Lynette became the US Parent Representative for the Euromed Rehabilitation Center in Mielno, Poland. She traveled from city to city spreading the word to doctors, parents, caregivers, etc on what intensive therapy entailed and how it changed her son’s life.
As the founder and CEO of NAPA Center, Lynette shares her knowledge and experience with other families, while giving back to the community. NAPA Center’s therapists travel around the world to be trained in the best therapies one can find. Lynette’s dream of sharing all the therapies she found for Cody has become a reality. When you walk inside the doors you know….you have arrived to the place you were looking for. Welcome to our NAPA Family…..
Bachelor of Occupational Therapy, The Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University
Since childhood Kesheka loved playing and associating with kids and feels happiest when she is simply around kids. Kesheka always wanted a fun, energetic, dynamic, and a physically involved job and believes that being an occupational therapist covers it all! She loves to spread smiles, bring out the best in each individual and likes to see the bright side of things no matter how hard a situation can be.
In her spare time, you can mostly see Kesheka drawing, designing handmade cards, bookmarks or playing around with diamond painting or some form of artwork. Colors and patterns really excite Kesheka which is just another excuse for her to do craftwork with kids. The library is another place where you can find her, where she loves to lose herself in the lines of the author!
MA of Speech Language Pathology, The University of Sydney
Lena has always enjoyed working with children, even before she started her career in Speech Pathology. While completing her undergraduate studies in Linguistics, Lena coached rugby for children, and taught arts and craft for children’s enrichment classes. From there, Lena developed a greater passion for working with children and a strong interest in early speech and language development. Hailing from Singapore, Lena made the move to Sydney to complete her Masters in Speech Language Pathology and has never looked back since. Lena has mostly worked with children with special needs and communication difficulties, and frequently reads up on her special interests in Augmentative and Alternative Communication and feeding.
When Lena is not busy at work, you can find her at the gym or going out for runs and walks. She enjoys doing yoga and barre in her free time. Lena also enjoys indulging herself in art-related activities (doodling included) and is a massive footy fan.
University of Sydney – Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) Honours
Emily is a motivated and creative Occupational Therapist who is passionate about working with children. Emily’s love for working with children grew from her large family and was further established after a placement at the Children’s Hospital in Westmead. Emily has experience working as an OT with a range of children and families in both Perth and Sydney. Emily is committed to supporting children to meet their goals in a fun and creative way. Emily values collaboration with all the important people in a child’s life to support children to reach their potential.
When Emily is not working she enjoys spending time with family and friends, running and completing art projects!
Katherine has known from a young age that she wanted to support children and their families – she could always be found “caring” for her baby dolls in-hand throughout childhood, and nannied all through graduate school. Katherine earned her Doctorate in Occupational Therapy degree from MGH Institute of Health Professions in 2020, and has clinical experience in outpatient pediatrics and in acute pediatric and adolescent psychiatry. During graduate school, Katherine contributed to research examining the effects of robot-assisted therapy on functional performance for children with hemiparesis. When Katherine discovered NAPA, she instantly knew that NAPA’s passion for innovative therapy approaches and techniques was equivalent to that of her own. Katherine is ecstatic to help her clients at NAPA discover and achieve their full potential. Outside of the office, Katherine enjoys traveling and exploring new neighborhoods, taking spin classes, hiking or going for long walks, and spending time with friends and family.
BA Occupational Therapy, University of Sydney
Alice chose to become an Occupational Therapist because she always wanted to work in a profession that contributes to her community and wouldn’t keep her behind a desk. She loves working in the field of paediatric disability, working with clients who are imaginative, spirited and wonderfully unique. Alice loves that she can learn something new every day when working with kids with different abilities and is especially passionate about making strong, collaborative connections with the children and their families. Alice has extensive experience working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Disabilities and Sensory Processing Disorder.
When she is not at work, Alice is usually outdoors; at the beach, playing netball or bushwalking with friends. She loves baking and has a Diploma of Floristry which keeps her busy on the weekends. She loves travel and can spend hours reading travel guides and planning her future holidays.
Tara developed a passion in physical therapy specializing in pediatrics volunteering at a local hippotherapy therapeutic riding organization in high school. Since then, she has achieved this goal as a physical therapist and continues this passion treating children of all ages and needs. Tara strongly believes bonding with families and collaborating with other disciplines is an integral part in the entire treatment process and strives for this in her daily practice. Tara enjoys making therapy a fun place with silly faces and showing off everyone’s best dance moves! Outside of Napa, Tara can be found hanging out with her dog and friends, binge watching reality T.V. or alternating between a puzzle and a good book. She loves traveling by car, plane or boat and would love any recommendations near or afar!
Alex received her undergraduate degree in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Northwestern University. After graduating, she worked in a multidisciplinary outpatient pediatric clinic and through the Illinois Early Intervention program, where she was able to treat children with a variety of neurological, orthopedic and genetic conditions. Alex has always been passionate about working with children, especially through the intensive model of therapy. Her experience as a therapy aide during her undergraduate years involved working with an intensive program, and her research project during graduate school involved exploring caregiver attitudes towards intensive models of therapy. Outside of work, Alex loves to cook, ski, sail and explore new places!
Details coming soon
Savanna Newton, DPT graduated from the Medical University of South Carolina in 2020. Following graduation, Savanna immediately began working as a PT in early intervention with a wide range of diagnoses including, cerebral palsy, hypotonia/hypertonia, Down syndrome, torticollis, delayed motor milestones, various genetic disorders, etc. It brings her so much joy to help a child reach their next motor milestone or bring a smile to their faces. When she’s not helping her young friends, she enjoys traveling with her husband, trying new restaurants, talking to her plants, or binging the newest Netflix series.
Shabana completed her Bachelors degree in Psychology, English Literature and Law and loves to study and learn new things. She adores travelling and has spent time living in several different countries learning different customs and values. As a taphophile and lover of art she especially enjoys visiting ossuaries, art and natural history museums and constantly marveling at the architectural wonders of every city she’s been to. A voracious reader, she’s thrilled to finally live in a home with a dedicated library that can house up to 3000 books and vows to fill up her shelves as soon as she is able. A fervent fibre enthusiast, she taught herself garment construction, crochet and knitting and her hands are constantly busy making garments for herself and her loved ones.
Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours, First Class), Australia Catholic University
Amelia is passionate about empowering families and children to be independent, confident and develop in their everyday life. She believes children learn best when they are having fun and working towards their goals. When Amelia began her studies in physiotherapy, she knew right away she wanted to work with children and their families, leading her to complete her honours project with children with neuromuscular disorders. She has experience in working with children and adults with disabilities in the community, and in hospital rehabilitation.
When she’s not working, you can find Amelia enjoying the outdoors, catching up with friends, having a drop of good coffee and hanging out with her dog, Alfie.
Dianne is a passionate and fun-loving occupational therapist who believes in the importance of forming supportive relationships with families and achieving goals through strengths. Inspired by growth, adventure, and learning from people of all walks of life, Dianne decided to move Hong Kong after graduating from her OT degree. There she began her OT career at a large early intervention organisation, and completed a Masters degree to further her knowledge in the world of rehabilitation for children with developmental disabilities. She loves being a paediatric OT as she is able to keep learning, be creative, and help children and their families feel empowered – which led her to NAPA.
Having missed family, Red Rock Deli chips, road trips and the infectious Aussie friendliness, Dianne decided to move back to home to Sydney. In her spare time Dianne can also be found exploring different restaurants, creative activities and the occasional attempt to get fit.
Kayla Stewart received her Master’s degree in occupational therapy from the University of Southern California, her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from University of California, San Diego, and also has an associate’s degree in child development. Kayla has experience working with children in a variety of settings including leading after school programs, tutoring children of all ages, and teaching preschool. While completing her bachelor’s degree at UCSD, Kayla interned at the Autism Center of Excellence and Healthy Infant Development Laboratory, a research laboratory focused on identifying the causes of autism and finding effective treatments to support children and their families. Kayla has previous experience working in an outpatient pediatric setting, early intervention, and aquatic therapy. She is passionate about educating and supporting families in the areas of feeding and sensory integration. Kayla strongly believes in collaborating with families to discover and understand each child’s unique strengths and needs in order to increase participation in everyday life. Kayla enjoys spending her time traveling, reading books on the beach, and playing with her pup.
Master of Speech Language Pathology, University of Sydney
During her studies, Denielle has been working as a disability support worker to clients of all ages but has grown to love working alongside younger children and their families. As she continues to work as a Speech Pathologist, she remains driven in helping children reach their goals so that they can get the most out of life.
Denielle’s experience working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Global Developmental Delay, Intellectual Delays has led to interests in Alternative Augmentative Communication, social/pragmatic language skills and early language development. Understanding the nature of communication, Denielle prioritises working collaboratively with families to best support them in achieving their goals.
In her spare time, Denielle loves to get active, go hiking or cook new foods. She considers herself a lifelong learner and loves to learn from and share her skills with the people she meets!
Highest Degree: BSc (Hons) Speech and Language Sciences, Newcastle University (UK)
Emma chose the field of Speech Pathology as it aligned with her academic interests in linguistics and biology, alongside the fundamental act of helping others to achieve their fullest potential. Originally from the UK, Emma made the move to Sydney in 2020 and has continued to expand her established clinical skills in the areas of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), feeding and motor speech production – alongside making the most of the warmer weather!
Throughout her career in the UK and Australia, Emma has always felt at home working in the field of disability and has experience providing intervention to children with a variety of developmental and neurological needs. Emma is committed to her continued professional development and has recently become accredited to provide the PROMPT and SOS Approach to Feeding interventions. Emma joins the NAPA Sydney team with a drive to further expand her practice and challenge her belief that socks should be worn and not seen (cue a new sock wardrobe!).
Emma is passionate about supporting paediatrics and their families to thrive, and it is that determination that motivates Emma to return to work each day. When not at the NAPA base, Emma enjoys exploring the beautiful National Parks that NSW has to offer and is especially excited to spot Australian wildlife! Alongside her animal interests, Emma is a serious Disney fan and you might catch her breaking into song during your next therapy session.
Bachelor Occupational Therapy (Honours), University of Newcastle, 2022.
Sam was born and raised in a small country town in the Hunter Valley of Australia. From a young age, he always knew that he wanted to give back to others and enable all people to thrive. Through work experience in a neurological paediatric clinic, Sam was inspired to begin his journey into Occupational Therapy and has never looked back. He discovered his true passion and joy for working with children in his final clinical placement in Sydney, and a year of paediatric OT assistant work in Newcastle. He strives to incorporate a mixture fun, enthusiasm, and a high-quality of care in his practice as an OT. Sam believes every child deserves the opportunity to grow and thrive as a person, no matter the cards they’re dealt. He finds immeasurable joy seeing kids reshuffle these cards, and reach their full potential, in all aspects of their life. Sam witnessed the high-quality care, innovative and individualised therapy programs for children while volunteering at NAPA, and was beyond excited to join the team.
When he’s not at work, you’ll find him missing every single shot on a basketball court or consuming as much Italian food as he can get his hands on, and a few beverages (fizzy drink). Sam loves socialising, playing games, exploring the city, binging movies and TV, Lego, and cooking especially when he’s not burning it.
Bachelor of Physiotherapy, University of Sao Paulo City, Brazil.
Since the beginning of her undergraduate studies, Claudia realised that she wanted to help children reaching their potential goals. Claudia graduated in Paediatrics Physiotherapy in 2005 and gained experience at a hospital and private practice working with children. She travelled to Canada, USA and Chile, to improve her skills and was trained directly from the creator of the Cuevas Medek Exercise Method (CME). She became the first CME therapist in Brazil and has worked as a level III therapist in the CME method since 2009.
Following her move to Australia in 2019, Claudia loves to spend time with her family, exploring the amazing playgrounds around Sydney. She treats children at NAPA Centre as a Allied Health Assistant, under the supervision of qualified physiotherapists.
Masters in Occupational Therapy, Ithaca College
Before entering school to become an OT, Courtney had been helping children and families while working as a babysitter and special education teachers aide in her community. Subsequently, her love for helping people, grew throughout her formative years and steered her directly into a profession in which her passion is met by her fulfillment. Courtney has worked in various school settings, inpatient and outpatient pediatric rehabilitation, gaining valuable knowledge and skills throughout her career, especially in the areas of visual deficits, neurodevelopmental impairments and feeding difficulties. She has learned to welcome challenges, even look forward to them, because she knows the joy she feels from meeting goals is only surpassed by the sense of accomplishment her clients experience as they gain greater function and independence.
In Courtney’s free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and her dog Kolana. She is often caught overpacking for many weekend getaways and adventures. But if staying local, she enjoys long distance runs along the Charles River, keeping up with the sport she participated in through high school and college. Courtney has only run one marathon but is already looking forward to her next.
Wendy graduated from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, in 2002 with a B.A. in Psychology. From there, she went on to pursue a Master of Arts in Recreation Therapy from the University of Nebraska, Omaha. As a certified therapeutic recreation specialist(CTRS), Wendy has worked through the CLASS program for the past 13 years providing home health services. Wendy also ran an adaptive gymnastics program at K2 Academy of Kids sports for 10 years, in Cypress, Texas.In 2014, Wendy completed her Masters in Occupational Therapy at Texas Woman’s University, Houston Campus. She is certified through the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy and licensed through the Texas Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners. Wendy has completed the Handwriting Without Tears course, NDT Pediatric Course, Pediatric Kinesio Taping Course, and Cortical Vision Impairment course. She attends continuing education courses to remain current on occupational therapy techniques and approaches.In her free time, Wendy is the mother of 2 young children and enjoys running and reading. She also has two dogs and a very supportive husband. She is from the Houston area, most recently Tomball, and looks forward to her time in the Austin area.
Bachelor of Physiotherapy, Australian Catholic University.
Originally from Brisbane, Emily only recently moved to Melbourne to join the NAPA community in providing fun, effective family centred therapy. Emily is passionate about advocating for the child and building their abilities to foster independence and quality of life. Not only does she love seeing children progress and meet their goals, but also understands the importance of involving the family in the therapy journey. Emily has experience working with children in a private practice setting as well as schools, in the home and hydrotherapy. Emily has also continued on with additional training in Paediatric Physiotherapy levels 1 and 2. When Emily isn’t at work she is either watching or playing AFL, camping or hiking around Victoria.
Bio Coming Soon!
Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours)
Originally from the Hunter Valley with a Polish heritage, Connor graduated from the University of Newcastle in 2022 and moved to Sydney to pursue a career in Paediatric Physiotherapy. Connor always wanted to help kids as he was inspired by his mother who worked as a teacher’s aide for disabled children at his local primary school. Once commencing his Physiotherapy degree, he became extremely interested in paediatrics, instantly knowing this what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. At the beginning of Connor’s final year, he attended the Sydney NAPA Centre for his first ever placement and fell in love with the field, his colleagues, and most importantly, the children! To this date he still remembers stating on his last day of placement “this isn’t the last you’ve seen of me”.
When Connor finds some spare time, he likes to remain physically active by going rock climbing or to the gym. However, Connor also loves to go on random adventures with his Fiancé, camping trips with his friends, or visiting his family back home.
Bachelor of Elementary Education, Cert IV Allied Health Assistance
Cheryl grew up in the Philippines, close to the world famous Boracay Island. She has been actively involved in helping children throughout her whole career. She is the mother of 2 cheeky, young girls, 1 of whom has a rare condition called Pitt Hopkins syndrome, which has inspired her to work at NAPA and assist other kids in need. Outside of work Cheryl loves to cook, rollerskate and she can eat rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
Jess is passionate about working with children, young adults and families to promote development, inclusion, hope and meaningful participation in everyday life. Growing up in a neuro-divergent family, Jess has always been keen on working with children and young adults who experience barriers to their health and well-being, including physical, cognitive, sensory, social, self-care and communication difficulties.
After completing a placement in neurological and physical rehabilitation whilst studying, Jess knew this was an area she wanted to pursue, which inspired her to apply for an occupational therapy role at NAPA. When Jess isn’t at NAPA, she’s usually drawing or painting, listening to music or seeing a new movie at the cinemas. Jess also loves playing soccer, and exploringoutdoors or going on adventures.
BS Occupational Sciences & MS Occupational Therapy, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
Maria always knew that she wanted to be an occupational therapist and work with children. At 6 years old, she witnessed firsthand the power of client/family-centered therapy when her younger sister had to receive extensive therapy services at birth. Maria strives to provide client/family-centered therapy to all of her families that she gets the opportunity to work with. Her areas of special interest include intensive therapy, stroke and cerebral palsy rehab, feeding therapy, early development, developmental delays, and collaboration with families.
When Maria is not working at NAPA, you can find her babysitting her nieces and nephews, cooking with her family, watching sports, being outdoors or hanging out with her friends. Maria grew up in Illinois but has spent the past 10 years in Wisconsin. She is excited to be back in Chicagoland where she can safely cheer for her favorite sports teams: Da Bears, Cubs and Blackhawks!
M.S., CCC-SLP, Master of Science in Communication Science and Disorders, University of Texas at Dallas
Ann is a certified member of the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). She received her Bachelor’s degree in Speech Language Hearing Sciences from the University of Texas at Dallas and her Master’s degree in Communication Disorders from the University of Texas. Working extensively with preschoolers and school-aged children in the public schools, she specializes in the evaluation and treatment of a variety of communication disorders. For example, articulation and phonological disorders, receptive/expressive language disorders, fluency/stuttering, autism spectrum disorders, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, pragmatics/social skills, and other developmental delays. Ann is passionate about building relationships with her patients and families and loves being a part of the Napa team!
Masters of Speech and Language Pathology, Macquarie University.
Hannah’s experience working with children with intellectual and physical disabilities has led to her interests in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and Early Language Development. Hannah always had a passion for working in the disability community, even prior to becoming a Speech Pathologist. She has had experience in early language, AAC, motor speech, and many other elements of the profession. Hannah loves an integrated approach across multiple disciplines to allow collaborative plans with families and caregivers to achieve the best outcomes for clients. In her spare time, you’ll find at the beach or exploring a new bushwalk with her dog Patch.
Susana is a Registered Counsellor who brings to NAPA 25 years of experience working in educational and school settings. She specialises in anxiety disorders, ADHD, mood disorders, stress management, grief and loss, self-esteem, peer relationships, school issues, trauma, and bullying. She is passionate about working with children with special needs, working alongside their families and carers to ensure everyone is supported to reach their potential.
Susana adopts a warm, person-centred, collaborative approach to developing a solid therapeutic alliance to assist clients in achieving their goals and desired outcomes. Therapy is an opportunity to discuss any concerns or worries in a validating, non-judgmental, supportive environment. Susana is driven to support her clients to live a life worth living
From a young age, Chelsea was nannying, teaching, and working at a recreational therapy summer camp. She always knew her career path would include working with the pediatric population, but it wasn’t until her mother was diagnosed with cancer that she knew occupational therapy was her calling. After watching her mother’s OT guide her on alternative ways to accomplish everyday tasks, provide support, and be an open ear, she knew she wanted to make the same sort of impact in other’s lives. She earned a master’s degree in occupational therapy from Sage College and after various clinical fieldwork experiences, she landed at NAPA Boston!
In Chelsea’s free time, she enjoys reading, biking and relaxing on the beach. You might also find her spending time with loved ones at one of Boston’s many restaurants!
Laura chose the field of speech-language pathology when she was in high school, after working at a summer camp for children with disabilities at her local park district. She completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Nebraska Omaha. Since becoming a speech-language pathologist, Laura has worked with children ages birth to thirteen years. She has spent most of her career working as an SLP in the field of applied behavior analysis (ABA), where she obtained a certification as a registered behavior technician. In addition to behavior, Laura is passionate about collaborating with families to empower them to best support their loved ones’ communication abilities.
When she is not working, Laura enjoys spending time with her dog, Pepper who is a toy Australian Shepherd. She also loves being active outdoors, doing yoga, and watching reality TV series.
With over 11 years experience working with a disability funding body and being a part of making a positive difference to the lives of people living with a permanent disability, Marisa brings with her an enormous level of passion driven from seeing the change made in the lives of her clients. Marisa is very excited to be a part of this experience with NAPA families.
When Marisa isn’t working she is kept busy exploring the world with her husband Adam, and making memories with their children, Callum, Charlotte and Isaac. Marisa loves all things related to good food, whether this is cooking up a gourmet meal for family and friends or searching for the next gastronomic experience across Sydney.
Bachelor of Occupational Therapy, Western Sydney University
Monique knew throughout her schooling that she wanted to pursue a career that would enable her to fulfill her passion of making a difference in the lives of children. She found this in the occupational therapy profession. During her studies, Monique was fortunate enough to have placement experience in a range of clinical areas which included mental health. She may be a familiar face as Monique had her 6-week university placement at the NAPA Centre, an experience that she has held onto since! She has had previous experience as an allied health assistant working mainly with children living with autism spectrum disorder. Monique comes from a Lebanese background and has grown up in a big amazing family, therefore she knows and values the importance of families in the lives of children. Monique is enthusiastic, vibrant and will make each interaction a fun and valuable one through integrating play in therapy. She is dedicated to constantly updating her knowledge through research and learning to ensure the best outcomes for your children! When Monique is not at the NAPA Centre, you will find her taking on a new outdoor adventure or spending some quality time with her family.
Bio Coming Soon!
Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Class I Honours) 2022, The University of Queensland
Hailing from Brisbane, Kate recently relocated to Sydney to work at NAPA Centre. With a background in dance, Kate has always been passionate about finding joy in movement and helping others to do the same. Having worked with children as an assistant dance teacher, school tutor, and support worker during her studies, Kate knows that a little bit of fun and laughter is the key to getting the job done. After seeing the benefits of intensive therapy firsthand, Kate is keen to help make a difference in the lives of NAPA kids and their families.
Outside of NAPA, you might find Kate taking a dance class, relaxing at the beach, or working on her Bakery Bucket List.
Ale discovered her love for working with children during her time coaching gymnastics. She received her undergraduate degree at Long Beach State University before entering her Doctorate degree at University of California, San Francisco and San Francisco State University. During her last clinical rotation, she was placed at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles where she had the pleasure to work with amazing kiddos and families to help them overcome life changing events. It was here that she further solidified that she wanted to explore the pediatric setting after school. She is incredibility excited to become part of the NAPA team and ready to continue to learn in order to provide great care to kiddos. Ale is born and raised in Los Angeles, but did find a new found love for the Bay area during her schooling. During her free time, she enjoys tennis, swimming, surfing, and running. But additionally, loves being a couch potato and binge-watching shows along with trying new foods.
Rush joins NAPA Center as the Vice President of Finance and Business Intelligence where he’ll oversee all reporting, finance, accounting, and billing functions. Rush brings over 15 years of experience in healthcare, previously as the Director of Finance at Providence. Prior to that, Rush was a Finance Director at Kaiser Permanente.
Rush holds a B.A in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin, and a MBA from San Francisco State University.
In his spare time, you’ll find Rush on the golf course, at the beach, or traveling with his family. Rush lives in Playa Vista with his wife and 2 kids (son age 5 and daughter age 7).
NAPA is excited to introduce our new partnered dietician Kerri Louati MS, RD, LDN, CDE who will be supporting our Intensive Feeding Program as well as our traditional weekly patients in our US based clinics.
Kerri is a registered dietitian with a background in integrative and functional medicine. She focuses on addressing the root causes of chronic health issues and implementing a Nutrient and Food-as-Medicine approach in her protocols. Professionally, Kerri has extensive experience working with all types of patients but specializes in the pediatric population with a focus on gut-related disorders, G-tube feeding, and complex medical cases. Kerri is the founder of Foodicinal LLC, a nutrition practice built on the philosophy that food-is-medicinal. She practices evidence-based medicine, using the most up-to-date research in her treatment plans.
Personally, Kerri also has extensive experience with pediatrics and G-tube feedings with her twin micro-preemies with G-tubes. She is passionate about implementing a homemade blenderized diet, as she has seen its significant benefits in her children and her patients, which is also manifested in the medical literature. Having gone through it herself, Kerri understands the challenges and difficulties many families go through when their children have health and feeding issues. Due to her background, she practices with a unique synergy of professional and personal experience.
Klarissa is currently attending Los Angeles Harbor College. She plans to transfer to California State University, Dominguez Hills where she aspires to obtain a BA in Sociology. Her goal is to become a social worker and to be able to enhance the well-being of children in need. From a very young age, Klarissa knew she had a passion for mentoring children. With experience working in an after-school programs and at summer day camps. Klarissa finds great joy in helping children reach their full potential. Make Karissa’s day by sharing your secret coffee shops in LA.
Bachelor of Physiotherapy, University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
Jess knew growing up that she wanted a career in helping people, and physiotherapy has been a great way of combining her love for this with her passion for understanding the human body and nervous system. She qualified in physiotherapy in South Africa and has done further courses in the assessment and treatment of kids and adults with neurological disorders. She realised she wanted to work with kids in her second year of studies, while doing a paediatric clinical block, and found that there is so much hope in helping them achieve goals that can often seem difficult to reach. The best part of working with kids is that you can have so much fun while working hard. Jess’s favourite part of working at NAPA is the team spirit and great diversity of larger-than-life personalities she has the joy of working with on a daily basis.
When Jess is not at NAPA, you can find her exploring beaches and coffee spots with her husband and little girl. She loves a catch up with friends and going for a good run.
Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours), The University of Queensland.
Following an interest in physiotherapy since primary school, Lisa’s passion for neurological and paediatric physio has only grown since completing her university courses and placements. Lisa is a strong believer in making therapy a fun and enjoyable experience and thinks there isn’t a better place to do that than NAPA! She loves being able to share the joy and excitement kids and their families receive when they achieve their goals. In her spare time, you’ll likely find Lisa in the garden tending to her flowers and plants, out for a walk, or curled up on the couch with her two cats and a book – though, she is sometimes found in the park doing some very wobbly rollerskating!
Jack joined the NAPA team to help bring a smile to the NAPA superstars. He enjoys entertaining kids and inspiring them to complete their daily exercises and reach their goals. Jack was born in Melbourne and grew up with two younger siblings, brother Harry and sister Lily. Jack knows about the magic NAPA can bring to families as his younger sister Lily has had life changing experiences at NAPA. He enjoys working with a supportive crew that love helping and supporting children in gaining new skills and sense of independence. Jack enjoys hanging out with his friends on the weekend, listening to music, and watching Netflix. He loves drinking coffee and his favorite food is tacos!
Growing up the eldest of her 20+ cousins, Zoe has always been surrounded by kids and enjoys teaching and inspiring them to pursue their own passions, as she did with artistic gymnastics. Her commitment to the sport taught her the value of discipline, determination and sheer belief; and the positive effect of movement on the developing body.
Zoe grew her passion for paediatrics as she rotated through her new-graduate year at a large tertiary hospital in Sydney. It was here that Zoe was involved with treating acutely unwell children with a variety of medical backgrounds which inspired her to seek opportunities to help maximise the potential of these children when they were well – hence her big move to NAPA.
In her spare time, you will usually find Zoe at the gym or experimenting in the kitchen – any delicious recipe suggestions are welcome!
Ajeta is an enthusiastic and dedicated Therapy Aide. Having arrived in Sydney from Germany in October 2020, where she completed her certification in Occupational Therapy in Berlin. Ajeta enjoys working with children and loves seeing them succeed in reaching their individual goals. She is excited to be part of the NAPA team and to be able to contribute to the children’s development.
Ajeta aims to achieve her certification as an OT in Australia and to continue her development within the profession.
When Ajeta is not working, you can find her making art with mosaic stones, creating flower embroidery patterns, watching Lord of the Rings, hiking or exploring Sydney with her husband to find the perfect coffee.
Bio coming soon!
Ashley is a graduate of Loyola University Maryland where she earned her Master’s degree in Speech- Language Pathology. She has practiced in a variety of pediatric settings such as private practice, schools, daycare/Head Start centers, and home-based early intervention, but truly enjoys working in outpatient as she strives to incorporate family connections and collaboration throughout treatment. She has a strong clinical interest in childhood apraxia of speech and pediatric feeding disorders and is trained in the SOS Approach to Feeding. Most recently, Ashley became a Natural Language Acquisition (NLA) Trained Clinician. Ashley is also a proud recipient of the ASHA ACE award demonstrating her exceptional commitment to continuing professional education. In addition to her clinical interests, Ashley enjoys mentoring and supervising SLP undergrad and graduate students as well as clinical fellows. Outside of work, Ashley practices all things wellness and mindfulness and loves reading, going to the beach, and traveling with family and friends.
B.Physiotherapy (Hons), The University of Melbourne
MSc Public Health (Health Promotion), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Jackie is a physiotherapist who has dedicated her career to supporting people with disabilities and has a passion for supporting the paediatric population. She believes strongly in health empowerment and supporting families with the tools and skills optimise their children’s wellbeing, as well as their inclusion in the community. Through her years of experience, Jackie has worked with children and adults with disabilities in community health in Melbourne, rural Victoria, London, and has also volunteered in Ecuador. Jackie has also earned her Master’s in Public Health, completing her publication of research on nutrition for children with cerebral palsy in Ghana.
Outside of NAPA, Jackie is an avid climber in the gym and outdoors, loves doing DIY renovation products, and is volunteering to raise her Seeing Eye Dog Australia puppy, Klil.
Bachelor of Physiotherapy, Australia Catholic University
Anneka grew up in Sydney but after graduating University in 2016, she went off to Melbourne to pursue a career in Paediatric Physiotherapy. Her ‘2 or so’ year stint in Melbourne turned out to be longer! She fell in love with the city, it’s lifestyle, culture and sport! She has since worked in early intervention, specialising in paediatric equipment as well with children and adults in the community.
Anneka is an enthusiastic, fun therapist who believes it’s important for all children to reach their full potential. She loves seeing the look on a child’s face (and everyone around them!) when they achieve something new and amazing.
When she’s not at NAPA, you’ll probably find Anneka out socialising with friends, watching the AFL (Go Swans!) or out on an adventure with her dog, Parsley.
Bio coming soon!
Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Honours I), The University of Queensland
Anna-Marie knew that she wanted to become a Speech Pathologist from a high school work experience where she was amazed by the improvement observed in a speech pathology session. Through University and career experience, Anna-Marie has developed strong clinical skills that support her in her areas of interest of Alternative and Augmentative Communication, early language development and social/pragmatic skills. Through working in paediatrics in a regional private practice, as well as having experience working overseas in London, Anna-Marie enjoys working closely with her clients and their families to attain their goals. Time away from work consists of playing sport and walking her family dog, Happi.
BBA Marketing, University of Iowa
Growing up as the brother of Cody LaScala, now 32 with cerebral palsy, Bryan has developed a strong passion for serving children with disabilities. Tagging along to Cody’s therapy sessions, doctors appointments, surgeries, emergency room visits, and many of the out of state/country programs Cody attended, Bryan was exposed to the healthcare industry at a very young age.
During his high school years, Bryan began working in respite care and had intentions of going to college to pursue his degree in physical therapy. After entering college at The University of Iowa, Bryan switched his major to business and graduated with his Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree in Marketing. Promptly after graduation, Bryan joined the NAPA team and also devotes his time to the NAPA Center Kids Foundation.
OTD, OTR/L, SWC
Lisa is a Doctor of Occupational Therapy and the Director of Rehabilitation at the NAPA Center. She received her Occupational Therapy Doctorate and Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy degrees from the University of Southern California in 2007 and 2008 and has been practicing in pediatrics in a variety of settings since then.
Lisa’s dedicated work in occupational therapy has enabled her to travel worldwide from Ghana to Singapore to Australia aiding children with disabilities. Lisa has a strong passion for working with children and enjoys the help and support the NAPA Center Kids Foundation offers.
B.Business, University of Technology, Sydney
Paul has a passion for the work of NAPA having been affiliated as a client for six years for his son Max, who was born with Cerebellar Ataxia – a condition that affects his general motor skills and ability to balance. Max has attended in excess of 15 NAPA intensive sessions, both in the Sydney and Los Angeles locations, and continues to make great gains through these regular sessions. When Paul and his wife Sally first came into contact with NAPA in 2013, they knew they had “finally found a family that truly understood what we were going through and that could design a program with the specific needs of our son in mind.”
Paul has been a Sydneysider for his entire life, and resides there with his wife Sally (also a previous team member at NAPA Sydney), and children Jack, Lucy, and Max. Paul joins NAPA following an extensive career in retail operations and marketing, most recently being the National Marketing Manager for Australian property companies Mirvac and Lend Lease. Paul looks forward to bringing his areas of expertise to the NAPA Australia business, ultimately striving to ensure that NAPA and its unique range of services, is available to more kids more often, so that all families can see the benefits he has experienced with his son Max.
Rebecca Weiss has worked at NAPA Center as a physical therapist since interning here in 2008. She graduated with a Bachelors degree in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley and a Masters of Physical Therapy from Cal State University Northridge. Rebecca has had an interest in pediatrics since volunteering at the Children’s Hospital of Oakland while in undergrad.
Rebecca has dedicated her practice to Cuevas Medek Exercises (CME) since studying under Ramon Cuevas in Santiago, Chile three times since November 2011. She believes that CME has enabled her to facilitate countless improvements in the lives of children and families at NAPA Center, and is so grateful she discovered CME.
When not working, Rebecca and her husband are busy running around with three small children – Aviv, Benjamin, and Talia. Never a dull moment in the Weiss household!
From therapy options, scheduling, to listening to a parent’s concerns and worries, Louise understands the NAPA journey in its entirety, as she is Mum to Georgia, who has Cerebral Palsy (dystonic/spastic quad GMFCS V). Georgia’s birth resulted in a catastrophic brain injury, and she was diagnosed with severe brain damage and HIE at seven days old. Because of this, Georgia started rehab therapy at four weeks old. At the time, Louise and husband Mick were based in Singapore, where therapy options were limited. Louise searched the globe for effective and different therapy programs for Georgia and discovered NAPA Center in the US. They took the plunge and flew with Georgia to Los Angeles to do a three-week intensive. Before the first week ended, they knew they had found not only a great therapy centre, but also a place of support, hope, friendship and positivity. They extended their stay in LA for an extra two months certain that NAPA Center had the potential to make a real difference for Georgia’s future. Georgia has completed well over 50 Intensive therapy sessions with NAPA Centre and is a regular fixture on the NAPA gym floor.
From initially travelling to LA, hosting NAPA pop-ups in Singapore, Sydney and Gold Coast through to eventually helping to establish the permanent clinic in Sydney, Louise has seen it all! Her journey began as the Intensive Co-ordinator working alongside an original team of 3 therapists in 2016 and 5 years later, Louise is now the Director of Client Services Australia. She answers thousands of questions and emails from families and intimately understands the struggles and stresses families face on the special needs journey (and the funny bits too!). Louise is the first of point of contact for most NAPA families and co-ordinates their program and schedules with the therapy teams, ensuring that your child’s unique needs are met by having the best team and right schedule for their NAPA programs. She is the ultimate waitlist juggler and is always willing to listen and to go the extra mile to ensure each family is supported. Louise is on the FACC reference board for the Children’s Hospital network in NSW, mum of 2, and for her sins, the Vice president of her girl’s school. Louise is also a fan of yoga, the beach, live music, podcasts, coffee, and wine, all essentials to special needs parenting – but wishes there were more hours in the day to make this all happen more regularly.
Doctor of Physiotherapy, Idaho State University
Liz relocated to Los Angeles from Idaho specifically to work at NAPA Center. Liz has always loved being around children, especially when she began coaching youth football as a teenager. She still enjoys coaching, and even spent a winter as a youth ski instructor. In her spare time, she likes to spend time with her family and friends, ski, and snowboard. Liz was introduced to physiotherapy when she was injured playing football in her senior year of high school. Soon after learning more about the profession, she shadowed a pediatric physiotherapist, and knew immediately that she wanted to pursue it as a career. After graduating with her Doctor of Physiotherapy degree from Idaho State University in 2010, she spent her first two years working at the Infant-Toddler Program in Idaho in early intervention. She then spent two years in Utah working for The Learning Centre for Families, as well as teaching Sports Medicine and Anatomy, before moving to Los Angeles with her husband, Adam.
Liz is a member of the Pediatric section of the American Physical Therapy Association, has completed her CME Level 2 training, has attended numerous continuing education conferences and courses, and has had formal training with children’s orthotics. One of Liz’s ambitions is to organize and run a football camp for children with special needs. Liz has spent the last 5 years working in NAPA Sydney and has recently started with us at NAPA Denver.
Ali graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) from the University of Sydney in 2008. It was there she discovered her interest in working with children, and what a huge need there was in the community for specialists in the field. Since graduating, Ali has gained extensive and highly specialised skills working with children who have diverse needs and disabilities. Ali has a passion to see her clients exceed not only everyone else’s expectations, but the child’s own expectations of themselves. In 2015, Ali’s skills, knowledge, work history, and commitment to children’s development set her apart and was selected to be the first Australian occupational therapist to be sent to NAPA in Los Angeles and learn about the specialised therapy provided at NAPA. Ali was one of three therapists who set up NAPA in Australia from the ground. Since then, Ali has developed the occupational therapy department, moved into the role as the occupational therapy manager, and in 2021, has taken on the role of clinical director of NAPA Sydney. She believes that NAPA offers something very special to children with neurological disabilities.
Ali has completed a number of courses focusing on sensory and movement/ developmental therapy techniques. Ali is a qualified DMI Intermediate B and CME (MEDEK) Level 2 trained therapist. Ali has also completed training in CIMT and bimanual therapy, Kinesiotaping Method, Wilbarger Brushing Protocol, Therapeutic Listening Program, Astronaut training, DIR®/FloortimeTM therapy approach, The Alert Program, NDT and many more.
Ali is an enthusiastic, fun, and active therapist who believes that it is important for all children to reach their full potential in all aspects of life. Ali has worked as a part of a multidisciplinary team previously, and believes that there is nothing else world-wide quite like the ‘NAPA family’.
Working with children of all abilities has always been a passion for Tara. During high school and college she worked in a variety of after school recreational programs for children with disabilities as well as a summer camp program. After college, she moved on to the insurance industry and for the past 10 years has been working in underwriting and management in the professional liability insurance sector. When Tara’s first child Kate was born, she suffered a hypoxic event at birth and was ultimately diagnosed with cerebral palsy. This brought Tara back into the world of disabilities. Like many parents, she searched everywhere for the most effective treatments for her daughter including traditional and alternative therapies. She found NAPA in 2016 when Kate was three years old and flew to LA with her family to complete her first intensive. Tara told us “I knew immediately that I had found the right place for Kate. The expertise, therapies, knowledge, and community at NAPA is unlike anything I have experienced before.” Tara is a lifelong Connecticut resident and excited to be in the Greater Boston area with the NAPA family. As a Red Sox fan, the idea of moving to Boston was a natural fit as well as a great community to bring NAPA to.
Nikki graduated from Ithaca College with her Doctorate of Physical Therapy. While at Ithaca, she played for the women’s varsity soccer team. She has enjoyed both playing and coaching sports since she was a little girl, which eventually helped clinch her decision to pursue a physical therapy degree to helping children. Her physical therapy career has been solely in the pediatric field, and she has experience in both the outpatient and inpatient settings. She has worked for several years as a clinical supervisor, teaching graduate students of different universities. In May 2015, she became an American board pediatric certified specialist. Nikki has experience treating a wide range of pediatric diagnoses, ranging from children with developmental delay to those with neurologic impairments, orthopedic conditions, and rare diseases. Furthermore, she has extensive training in evaluating and treating infants with torticollis as well as recommending orthotics for children. Nikki is a CME level II clinician, and has trained several times under the creator, Ramon Cuevas. Since becoming certified in CME, Nikki truly believes her therapeutic approach has been further polished and more importantly, life-changing.
Background: Current Student at Los Angeles Valley College
Ms. Sarah adores children so much that decided to make it her lifelong career path. She is currently wrapping up some prerequisites before transferring to CSU to earn her degree in child and adolescent development. Right now, we are keeping her mind sharp by putting her to work in both the billing department and preschool. Her favorite part of the day is reading to her preschoolers. It takes no time to notice everything Sarah does is with great enthusiasm and spirit. In fact, Sarah is so passionate about a good read she once traveled all the way to Oregon to check out one of the top 10 bookstores in the country. Talk about commitment!
Rhonda is the first port of call at NAPA Sydney, always has a smile unless she hasn’t had her morning cup of coffee! She enjoys working with people and loves seeing the kids shine while they work hard at NAPA. Rhonda has a passion for travel, cheese, and cider, and loves nothing more than spending time with family and friends cooking up a storm.
Cecilia, also known as Cece, is the friendly face you first see when you walk into NAPA Center. When she is not answering phones, scheduling appointments, or working with insurance, you can find her completing one of her many home improvement projects. CeCe amazes us daily with her incredible ability to multitask.
Note to Parents: Cece is now accepting donuts, chips, or candy for anyone who wishes to reschedule for a same day appointment.
M.A. of Education specialization in Early Childhood Education from National University
Glenda has been working in the field of Early Intervention and special education for over 10 years. As a child, Glenda worked alongside her great aunt who owned a family daycare. She would call Glenda her “little teacher,” which inspired Glenda to eventually become an educator.
Glenda enjoys helping everyone in the Kidz Academy reach their developmental goals in an environment that is both creative and structural. She continues to be a great resource for both parents and staff as she has taught preschool for five years and has 13 years experience working as a behavioral therapist implementing ABA practices.
Glenda is active participant in her sons travel basketball team and is well known as ‘the loudest mom on the court.’ Along with perfecting her game day cheers, she has also mastered play therapy, with over three years of experience using a floor-time therapy approach.
B.S. Health Sciences, Masters in Occupational Therapy; Quinnipiac University; Clinical Doctorate, New York University
Kathryn attended Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, earning a Bachelors degree in Health Sciences and a Masters in Occupational Therapy. She recently earned her post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree from New York University.
A born and raised New Yorker, Kathryn has enjoyed the opportunity to live and work on both east coast and west, during her time in California and with NAPA Boston. A love for travel coupled with a passion for new adventure, had her excited to move abroad to join NAPA Melbourne! (New York may have the best pizza, but this caffeine-lover couldn’t pass up the opportunity to live in the coffee capital!)
Kathryn has dedicated her professional career to paediatrics and developed a true love for working with the pediatric neuromotor populations and children with feeding and eating difficulties, since joining NAPA. A lifelong learner with a passion for clinical research and education, Kathryn recently served as the primary author on several peer-reviewed presentations and article publications.
Kathryn is passionate about working with children, and first became interested in OT while volunteering in college as an adaptive ski instructor for children with disabilities. Her favorite part of NAPA is “Every day I come to work, I learn something new and see something exciting. The energy, dedication and magic that happens here is unparalled”. When not working, you’ll find Kathryn at yoga, the beach or ski trips, trying out new restaurants with friends and family, and enjoying long walks around the city in search of the best cup of coffee! She also hopes to pick up some new surfing skills, while down under!
Maggie is an LA native who decided on a career in occupational therapy while in high school after years of volunteering at Pediatric Therapy Network. As an undergraduate, she attended the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2010 (with a minor in snowboarding). She spent several years teaching in Japan before returning to LA to pursue her masters and doctorate degrees in occupational therapy from University of Southern California (USC 16 and 17). Maggie is passionate about sensory integration, mental health, and body work. She is certified in Level I Craniosacral Therapy and is in progress with her Certificate in Sensory Integration. Maggie is also a certified CME therapist. In her free time, you might find Maggie hiking, meditating, or playing a round of disc golf.
Therese earned her Masters of Occupational Therapy and her Bachelors in psychology in Iowa at St. Ambrose University. Therese always knew she wanted to work in a health and human service profession with children. She thought about a variety of careers in both education and health care but nothing seemed like a good fit until she discovered occupational therapy. At the time, she was working as a nanny for a family who was researching all sorts of therapies for their son. Nothing sparked Therese’s imagination and interest like OT, and she is still excited to learn as much as she can to support the children and families she now serves. She has taken a special interest in Dynamic Movement Intervention, visual-vestibular rehabilitation, and assistive technologies. Therese has been able to combine her love of traveling with OT in the past, she finished her OT degree in Ireland, taught as an adjust professor of occupational therapy in Ecuador, and now she’ll be joining the NAPA team in Melbourne! Therese and her husband are looking forward to exploring their new home and Therese is especially looking forward to ordering her first flat white.
Masters in Occupational Therapy, University of St. Augustine, San Diego, CA
Katie found her way to occupational therapy through her love of children and passion for helping them achieve therapeutic goals. Before NAPA, Katie spent seven years practicing in a variety of pediatric settings including sensory integration clinics, the home, and schools. Katie enjoys working with both neuromotor and sensory based populations. She is SIPT (Sensory Integration Praxis Test) certified, trained in CME and has experience with Sensory Integration and Neuro Developmental Approach.
She lives outside of Boston with her husband, two kids, and a retired therapy dog. When she is not at NAPA or in the kitchen cooking for her family, you can find her in the gym or having dance parties with her kids. In the winter, she loves to ski with her family and in the summer she spends the weekends on the beaches of Cape Cod. Take us with you Katie!
Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology)
Beatrice has been working in pediatrics since she can remember, and she has always had a particular interest in the field of disability. The pure focus on providing health care for children with a variety of neurological and developmental needs in one of the world’s leading and unique rehabilitation clinics, prompted her to work at NAPA. She has worked with children who have a variety of needs, including those within the areas of speech, language, voice, feeding and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). During her time studying at the University of Sydney and practicing as a Certified Speech Pathologist (CPSP), she developed a special interest in feeding and swallowing, which is why she recently became accredited to provide the SOS Feeding approach. Her passion in this area of speech therapy is also shown in her love for trying new restaurants with friends and family. Beatrice also loves a good conversation about travelling and the outdoors, especially recommendations for new coastal and bush walks.
Beatrice is currently on leave from treating at NAPA as she has relocated to another state, but continues to work with NAPA in a mentoring and supervising capacity for our Speech Therapy team.
Bio coming soon!
BS Sports Rehab Therapy, Fremont College
Geoff feels that being a therapist for kids gives him a sense of accomplishment. “Hard work pays off!” It is also a very rewarding job that keeps him grounded. He enjoys weight lifting and watching Green Bay football games with friends and family.
Emily graduated from Western University of Health Sciences with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Since then, she has been working at NAPA Center, Los Angeles where she has had the opportunity to work with children and their families from across the world and gain extensive experience with diagnoses from Developmental Delay, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Kleefstra Syndrome, CDG, Seizure Disorders, and many more neurological, chromosomal, and genetic disorders. She is trained in Neurosuit, Medek, Universal Exercise Unit, Kinesiotaping, Theratogs, Trexo, NDT, and has seen great benefits from using whole body vibration (Galileo training) with her patients.
Emily is no stranger to cross country moves, she moved from Minnesota to California for her undergraduate work. While she enjoyed her time at the beach for 12 years, she is excited to get back to the lake life in Austin, TX just like she grew up with in Minnesota, “the land of 10,000 lakes”!
BS Human Development and Family Sciences, The University of Texas
AAS Physical Therapy, Houston Community College
From coaching little league cheerleaders to volunteering at pediatric therapy clinics throughout her undergrad, Lauren knew she wanted to pursue a career focused on helping children become strong and independent. Lauren moved from Houston, Texas to become part of the NAPA family after seeing the substantial gains a fellow patient of hers received after attending our intensive program. And yes, “ya’ll” is a permanent part of her vocabulary. It only takes one conversation to learn that Lauren is dedicated to three things: The Texas Longhorns, helping kids, and brunch.
Doctor of Physical Therapy, University of St. Augustine
After interning in a pediatric setting during graduate school, Katie found working with children to be the most rewarding! We admire her go for it attitude, adventurous sprit, and superhuman ability to turn down anything with sugar in the therapist lounge. Katie is a diligent worker and notoriously the first one into the clinic to prepare for the day ahead. Along with completing CME training, she continues to enroll in education courses to stay current in the world of physiotherapy.
Jenn is excited to be a part of the NAPA Center Boston team! She earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Northeastern University. While at Northeastern, Jenn swam on the varsity swim and dive team. Her experience with her own injuries as an athlete spurred her interest in pursuing a physical therapy degree. While in PT school, Jenn found her true passion in working with children. Since graduating, Jenn has worked in a variety of settings, including a school system for children with visual impairments and outpatient pediatrics, treating a wide range of diagnoses including cerebral palsy, developmental delays, genetic disorders, torticollis, and amputees. Outside the clinic Jenn enjoys beach days, learning to ski, and traveling every chance she gets.
Bachelor of Physical Therapy 2017, Australian Catholic University
Georgia has a life long history of working with children. She worked in childcare and as a nanny while studying physical therapy, but it was during one of her PT placements that Georgia knew pediatric physical therapy was for her. She also has experience in sports and musculoskeletal PT in a private practice clinic.
Georgia is a keen hockey player, loves to go to the beach, and is a proud aunty of an ever-expanding number of nieces and nephews.
Lindsey became part of the NAPA team when Boston opened its doors back in 2018. She is thrilled to join the Chicago team and open the next amazing NAPA clinic! She grew up in Northern New Jersey and moved to Boston to attend Northeastern University to get her Doctorate in Physical Therapy and Early Intervention Certification. Her enthusiasm for learning led her to be trained in CME, DMI, and receive certifications in NeuroDevelopment Treatment and KinesioTaping techniques. At NAPA, Lindsey grew to take on the role of PT manager and IMOT trainer. Teaching is one of her passions and she enjoys supporting the NAPA team. Lindsey is known for her friendliness and compassion with the children and families she works with, always pushing them to reach their highest potential. She is also a certified yoga instructor and practices yoga regularly. She has seen the benefits of the mind/body connection in her own life as well as in those of her students. Lindsey’s favorite activities are walking, spin class, HIIT classes, swimming, and paddle boarding, but also enjoys reading and relaxing by the water.
Jenny graduated with a Masters in Occupational Therapy from the University of Southern California where she was born and raised. She has always wanted to work with kids, but wasn’t sure what field to go into until she found occupational therapy. Jenny started at NAPA as a student and decided to never leave! Jenny is a total foodie and makes all the other therapists jealous of the gourmet feasts she brings in for lunch. When she is not cooking, she spends her free time practicing martial arts, going dancing, and eating good food.
MOT, OTR/L, University of St. Augustine
Tiffany has been passionate about working with children from a young age. While teaching special education, Tiffany discovered the effectiveness of occupational therapy for students with sensory processing difficulties. This inspired her to move across the country to receive her degree in OT and work in both school and clinic-based settings.
In her spare time, Tiffany enjoys spending time with friends, traveling, and cheering on The Ohio State University Buckeyes!
Ali graduated with a Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy from CSU Dominguez Hills in 2013. Her passion for working in the pediatric setting started when she was an assistant in an early intervention program where she embraced the unpredictable, yet rewarding nature of working with children. Prior to joining the NAPA team, Ali gained experience as a school based therapist, working closely with children, families, and interdisciplinary teams. Born and raised in the South Bay, Ali loves going to the beach, running, watching sports, and spending time with family and friends. During college football season you can catch her cheering for her Arizona State Sun Devils!
Katharine graduated with a masters in occupational therapy from San Jose State University, but really we think she has a masters in flattery. She loves to tell us “NAPA is a clinic unlike any other” and a welcome surprise in her career. Katharine pursues areas of intervention and is continually seeking opportunities to learn and grow as a therapist. She does a fantastic job sharing this information and helping the NAPA team navigate tricky and unique patient goals. She believes her journey as a therapist enriches her life, both personally and professionally, and she is privileged to be a part of a network that cares for and serves amazing families. Her work experiences in multiple settings (clinics, homes, schools) and personal experience as a caregiver, have expanded her capacity and increased her empathy, which she hopes is evident in her work as a therapist and in her life.
OTD, OTR/L, SWC, PAM
Mara graduated with a combine bachelors and masters degree in Occupational Therapy from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2013. She immediately moved to Southern California to get as far away from the cold as possible! Before joining the amazing team at NAPA, Mara worked with children in the public and nonpublic school system, as well as in an outpatient pediatric clinic. Mara has always known she wanted to work with children, and decided to become an OT when she saw how much it helped her younger brother who is autistic. She feels empowered that every day is a new opportunity to make a difference for her clients and their families. When not at NAPA, you’ll probably find Mara playing one of the board games in her giant collection (she owns more than 70) or marathoning Netflix shows.
AA, Cerritos College
Julie comes from an elementary school based environment. She works predominately with children who have Autism. Her background includes Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy and Picture Exchange Communications Systems. She is passionate about working in Early Intervention and celebrating success big or small with parents.
Everyone at NAPA loves being around Julie. She brings a fun and vibrant energy with her wherever she goes. Sometimes we catch her on the the trampoline or in the ball pit after all of the kids leave.
BS Communication Disorders, California State University Long Beach
Jamie is a board game playing, amusement park going, cooking, and exercising queen, who also happens to be a mom of two! While researching different ways to help her children, both of whom needed speech services, Jamie discovered a love for the world of speech and language. Like many moms, she relies on and appreciates how her kid’s therapists have transformed her family’s life and overall wellbeing. It’s absolutely apparent to us that Jamie loves getting to give back. She continues to research and find different ways to reach each child. “There is no better feeling than working with a child and seeing them grow with their speech, language and communication.”
MA Speech-Language Pathology, California State University, Long Beach
The extensive impact that communication and feeding have on a child’s everyday quality of life are deep passions that drew Miki to the field of speech-language pathology. Miki loves working together with parents to support a child’s gains in therapy. Her prior clinical experience includes ABA therapy, feeding therapy in a pediatric hospital setting, early intervention, and in school-based settings. Miki’s areas of special interest involve feeding/swallowing disorders, language disorders, early language acquisition, and intervention with severe/medically complex diagnoses. This outdoors enthusiast loves to travel and explore new places, read, and eat delicious food!
BSc of Occupational Therapy, University of Cape Town
Sarah is a passionate and creative occupational therapist who enjoys coming up with new and inventive solutions to problems for her clients. Originally from South Africa, she has had experience in a number of settings here, including a rural community hospital, a primary remedial school, and sensory-integrative focused private practice. Sarah moved to Australia in 2017 and has embraced Australian life and now eats vegemite on her toast and owns a pair of Uggs. Sarah loves working with children and their families and joining them on their journey as they work towards more independence for their child. Sarah’s favourite part of the job is the opportunity to develop close relationships with the families that she is working with over the 3-week intensive blocks. Sarah loves to learn and is continually trying to increase her knowledge so that she can better help her clients. She has done specific training in Sensory Integration with many additional courses adding to this knowledge, transforming the way she works with children. Other interests include getting outdoors and being active in nature. Weekends often include yoga, camping, hiking and long days on the beach.
Current Student at Santa Monica Community College
Meet Daisy, a woman who truly doesn’t hesitate when it comes to helping others. This super sweet mom stood by her nephew’s side everyday of his intensive therapy program, as well as during traditional therapy before she took on a job at NAPA. She quickly developed a way of drawing out just what kids need and are trying to express. With over three years of experience with disabilities, Daisy is never short on great advice. She inspires her tiny tots to try something new everyday and lives by the mantra: “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” -Albert Einstein.
Perla is passionate about children and their developmental growth which is why she is currently attending college and looking forward to transferring to CSUN next fall. In a nutshell, Perla is always looking for ways to help children as well as others. She explained “I understand what is like to need help from others, therefore it feels great when I am able to be of any service.” Perla started her career at a rehab facility, assisting patients with daily living activities, but feels extremely excited to be able to work with young children. As a mother of two, she finds it effortless to relate to the families at NAPA. Like many California parents, she enjoys taking her kids to the beach and hiking. She also enjoys reading, painting, and listening to music making her a perfect fit for the NAPA Kids Academy.
Background: Hyperbaric Medicine Certified, Long Beach Memorial Medical Center
Barbara came to NAPA in 2010 and is a true jack-of-all-trades. From martial arts to brewing the best cup of coffee, Barbara truly does it all. She is well known for making hyperbaric oxygen experience a comfortable one for both patients and parents. Coined as the Mother Bear of NAPA, you can most likely find her running around, making sure everything is in order and that everyone is happy and content. Barbara explains, “It’s all about the children getting better.”
Her current projects include remodeling her home and helping with her autistic great-grandson. They are working on saying simple words because It’s her dream for him to speak.
Background: MBIC, American Career College
Behind the scenes at NAPA, Jessie is working hard to help insurance cover as much therapy as possible! Like all parents, Jessie has been trying to teach her daughter the value of a dollar. Despite her efforts, she let us know “Toddlers don’t care about your budget.” Jessie gets the best of both worlds working in billing. She can say hi to all of the cute kids but retreat to her desk if they happen to have a meltdown. Ultimately, her favorite part about coming to work each day is getting to help families navigate the tricky world of insurance.
Doctorate of Physical Therapy, MGH Institute of Health Professions
Kerri graduated from Amherst College with a bachelor’s in Biology before pursuing her physical therapy degree at the MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston. One of her earliest introductions to physical therapy was an observation of her younger cousin’s hippotherapy session. While she still can’t ride a horse, she found and has maintained a passion for using her knowledge of movement to help children reach their functional potential. Kerri developed a specific interest in the rehabilitation of neuromuscular disorders as a student at a pediatric hospital followed by a year spent working at an inpatient rehabilitation hospital on Cape Cod. She is excited to combine her passion for pediatrics and neurology while serving the children and families at NAPA Center. When not at NAPA Center, you’ll likely find Kerri in a hockey rink, waterskiing, or chasing after her golden retriever.
Jonathan always knew that his life purpose was to help people. An avid surfer, Jonathan discovered occupational therapy through the Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation (a therapy organization that surfs with at-risk youth and Veterans who have PTSD using an occupational therapy framework.) To be able to do something he loves to do as a means to help people solidified his career path.
Jonathan is passionate about pediatric mental health, family centered practice, and learning more about innovative evidence-based therapies. Jonathan refers to himself as an “oversized child” and loves the process of families working together to maximize a child’s full potential. In his free time, Jonathan plays basketball and music, dances, travels, watches his teams play “Go Lakers, Dodgers, Rams, and Trojans” and hangs out with his friends and family (most especially his dog.)
Doctor of Physiotherapy, Bond University
Jennifer was born and raised in Sugar Land, Texas. GO HOUSTON TEXANS! She moved across the world to Gold Coast, QLD to pursue a degree in physiotherapy. From teaching swim lessons, volunteering at paediatric therapy clinics to completing a paediatric physiotherapy placement in Vietnam, Jennifer knew she wanted to pursue a career working with children.
Jennifer enjoys visiting the beach, playing tennis, drinking coffee and searching for the best Mexican food.
Doctor of Physical Therapy, Washington University of St. Louis
Cait received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Washington University in St. Louis and a Bachelor’s degree in Pediatric Health and Motor Development from Pepperdine. During her 10-week clinical rotation at NAPA, we fell in love with Cait (and the feeling was mutual.) Cait is passionate about the power of play and strives to educate and empower all of her families. When she’s not working with the superstar NAPA kids, Cait enjoys swimming, surfing, traveling, and organizing/leading physical therapy service trips.
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