At Capital Region Sam B. Cook Healthplex, we realize that children with
special needs require very special care. That's why our outpatient pediatric therapy
program is dedicated to children with special needs, from birth to adolescence.
Our team works closely with families and primary caregivers
to help each child enrolled in the program reach their maximum potential physically,
mentally, socially and emotionally. Each member of our team has completed extensive training giving them the most appropriate tools for treating our most extraordinary patients.
Physical therapist assistant
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant
Adrienne Wilde A 1998 graduate of Central Missouri State University (now University of Central Missouri) with a Masters of Science in Speech-Language Pathology, Adrienne Wilde has worked at Capital Region Medical Center as a therapist since 1998. Adrienne's main areas of interest include dysphagia, oral aversion, apraxia, articulation, auditory processing disorder and child language disorders. She works with the pediatric through the geriatric population improving their communication, language and/or swallowing deficits. She holds certifications in First Aid, CPR and is a First Steps Provider.
Jennifer (Nikki) Gaylord Nikki Gaylord is a 1999 graduate of Southeast Missouri State University with a Master of Arts in Communication Disorders. She has worked in the field of Speech-Language Pathology for over 15 years with pediatric and adult populations. Nikki has worked at Capital Region Medical Center since 2010. Nikki’s primary areas of interest include neurological disorders, augmentative/alternative communication, child language disorders, dysphagia and sensory processing/praxis disorders. She has extensive experience in sign language, therapeutic listening and sensory integration. Nikki holds certifications in First Aid and CPR.
Carolyn is a Physical Therapy Assistant with a degree from Linn State Technical College Physical Therapy Assistant Program. She has been working at Capital Region Medical Center since 2005, providing services for pediatrics through geriatrics. Therapy techniques include neuromuscular reeducation, therapeutic exercise, aquatic therapy exercise, pediatrics, strain counterstrain techniques and Kinesio taping. She has additional training with childhood developmental disorders, ambulation intervention including hip and gait biomechanics and study of orthotic management, pre –gait for the 0-3 population and sports safety for children. She is certified in First Steps and CPR.
Charles "Justin" Lewis Justin graduated from Maryville University in St. Louis in 2001 with a Bachelor’s degree in Occupational therapy. He specializes in rehab of the hand and upper extremity, and sees patients of all ages. He has experience with sensory integration, motor learning, constraint induced movement therapy and neuro-rehab with children, as well as handwriting skills and education. He holds certifications in First Aid and CPR. Justin has been with Capital Region Medical Center since 2007 and has over 10 years overall experience as an OT.
Michelle is a 2011 graduate of Missouri State University with a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology. She has worked at Capital Region Medical Center since 2013, where she has experience evaluating and treating a variety of communication disorders and interacting with a multidisciplinary team. She enjoys working with patients of all ages. Michelle's areas of interest are child language disorders, hearing impairment, apraxia and language processing disorders. She holds a teaching certificate and is certified in CPR.
Abby is a 2012 graduate from Saint Louis University with her Masters in Occupational Therapy. She has experience working with medically complicated pediatric patients. She provides services to a variety of patients from pediatrics to geriatrics. Abby has interest in sensory integration, fine motor coordination, motor learning and neuro-rehab. She is CPR and First Aid certified. Abby has worked at Capital Region Medical Center since 2012.
Megan Alphin Megan graduated with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Missouri, and has worked at Capital Region Medical Center since 2012. She has had diverse patient experience including evaluation and treatment of patients diagnosed with brain and neurological injuries, autism, Down Syndrome, developmental delay, seizure disorders, musculoskeletal injuries, torticollis, cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus, cancer, genetic disorders, chromosomal abnormalities and dystonia. She has treated patients from birth throughout the lifespan and is trained in using the Pediatric Walkaide. She works closely with orthotists and durable medical equipment companies to obtain appropriate orthotics and medical devices for patients. Megan enjoys working with children of all ages to facilitate improved mobility, gross motor skills and overall childhood function.
Crista Parker Crista Parker is an Occupational Therapist who has been working at Capital Region Medical Center since 2008. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2008. Since then, she has enjoyed working with children and adults of all ages and medical needs, including (but not limited to): cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, developmental delay, spinal cord injury, traumatic bran injury, stroke and autism. Some of her areas of interest include motor learning, sensory integration, neuro-motor rehabilitation, fine motor coordination, handwriting and self-feeding. She has certifications in First Aide, CPR and is a First Steps Provider.
April Szmiot April received a Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2009 and a Doctorate of Physical Therapy with a certificate in Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2013. She has experience working with children with a wide variety of diagnoses in inpatient, outpatient and school settings. April has attended continuing education courses on pediatric toe walking, vestibular integration, NDT handling techniques and therapeutic taping and is a credentialed clinical instructor through the American Physical Therapy Association. She is a member of the APTAs Section on Pediatrics and is passionate about working with patients and their families in order to further mobility and independence. April has been working at Capital Region Medical Center since 2014.
Brianna Cowley Brianna graduated with her Doctor of Physical Therapy from the University of Kansas Medical Center and received her BS in Exercise Science from Truman State University. She has a background in research, receiving an NIH Training grant during her time in graduate school to fund investigating pain-induced cortical changes in the brain. She works with a variety of patients and diagnoses and has an interest in youth sports and orthopedic injures, developmental delays and facilitating gross motor skills and healthy child development.Brianna began working at Capital Region Medical Center in 2014.
A 2015 graduate of Missouri State University with a Masters of Science in Speech-Language Pathology, Meghan Buschjost has worked at Capital Region Medical Center as a therapist since 2015. Meghan provides services to a variety of patients, from pediatrics to geriatrics. She has interests in dysphagia, acquired and developmental language disorders, augmentative/alternative communication, auditory processing disorder and hearing impairment. She is certified in CPR.
Jessi Koestner Jessica Koestner is a 2014 graduate of Missouri State University with a Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She has worked in the field of Speech-Language Pathology in various settings like schools, nursing homes and with First Steps families. Jessica has worked at Capital Region Medical Center since June of 2015, where she has acquired experience evaluating and treating a variety of communication disorders and interacting with a multidisciplinary team. Her primary areas of interest include neurological disorders, child language disorders, augmentative and alternative communication, dysphagia, hearing impairment and language processing disorders. She has experience in sign language and holds certificates in First Aid and CPR.
The staff focuses on the developmental requirements of
children with a variety of diagnoses and treatment needs, including:
Auditory Processing disorders
Autism Spectrum disorders
Cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy & other neuromuscular diseases
Congenital hand abnormalities
Fine motor weaknesses
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
Oral motor/feeding problems
Phonological awareness (articulation)
Pre-speech communication skills
Self care and daily living activities
Sensory integration and processing dysfunction
Speech disorders (voice, fluency & articulation)
Strength, endurance and coordination training
Traumatic brain injury
Upper extremity splinting
Use of assistive devices
Visual perceptual training
After an initial evaluation, the therapy team makes treatment
recommendations based on each child's individual needs. Since families and primary
caregivers play an important role in child development, they receive education
and support from our staff regarding each child's needs.
Pediatric therapy is different from adult therapy in
that it incorporates play as a therapeutic tool to promote adjustment, growth
and development. Play makes therapy enjoyable and effective, the two keys for
State-of-the-Art Therapy Aquatic therapy at Capital Region Healthplex West is one of a kind in Central Missouri. The professional staff uses the pool for patients who need to increase range of motion strength, balance and gait training. Aquatic therapy allows for individuals with weight-bearing restrictions to start a rehabilitation program sooner. This is the same type of therapy pool used for rehabilitation and fitness purposes by the Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia Eagles and Cincinnati Bengals.
Pediatric patients are especially fond of aquatic therapy. It helps to give them a sense of play while they are actually working to improve their condition.
In addition to helping families access needed equipment
through various community resources, the following equipment is available on loan
prior to purchase:
Move and Sit
Referrals are accepted from a number of sources including
parents, physicians and community agencies. To initiate a referral, please call
(573)632-5633, or email Adrienne Wilde at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pediatric therapy services are covered by most health care plans; however, pre-authorization
and pre-certification are often required. In addition, we also accept funding
through Medicaid, state sources and school districts.
Outpatient pediatric therapy is offered in the following
Outpatient Pediatric Clinic in the Sam B. Cook Healthplex at the Capital Region Southwest Campus
Public or private schools in cooperation with school