Employee Success Stories
Rachel Kommit -- Board Certified Behavior Analyst
Lauren Weichman -- Occupational Therapist/Brand Director
Dana Pais - Occupational Therapist/Branch Director
Maureen Evans -- Director of Client Experience
I joined North Shore Pediatric Therapy as a member of the Family-Child Advocate team and quickly learned that this position is a “calling” and not just a career. Family Child Advocates are the first touch point families receive when they call NSPT seeking services for their child. The FCA must be warmly supportive, knowledgeable and empathetic. Each family that comes through our doors receives specialized individual attention, which instills confidence and confirms their decision to select NSPT to provide services for their child. North Shore Pediatric Therapy is unique in the world of therapy as we offer eight different therapeutic disciplines and are considered the thought leaders in pediatric therapy. More than 96% of our referrals come from physicians and our growth reflects the satisfaction of parents who refer their friends for our expert therapeutic services and personalized attention.
Every day is very busy and full of challenges–yet our core values of being client-centric, providing operational excellence and passion for children is infectious! Our employees are highly trained and mentored through a training program that champions professional and personal growth. We also push promotion which contributes to the happiness of staff by working with a team that is supportive and full of positive energy! Therapists are encouraged to be innovative and inspirational in their work, to embrace challenges, and to learn and share with their colleagues. It is exciting to see a team in action working to develop the best possible treatment plan for a child.
My role as Family-Child Advocate fully prepared me for my new position of Director of Client Experience. I am in constant contact with our NSPT families, working to ensure that they have the superior client service they deserve and expect from North Shore Pediatric Therapy. I am filled with a strong sense of purpose, enthusiasm, and responsibility for the children whose lives we have the privilege to help reach their full potential. This is a clarion call to action, not a career and it is my joy to work with colleagues who are talented and whose compassion and skills I deeply respect. I am humbled by this experience and inspired by our leadership and our very bright future.
Maria Hammer -- Chief "Energizing" Officer
My amazing journey begins in October 2010. NSPT is not in network with any insurance companies at this time, so everyone pays out of pocket for all services. I am impressed that a company (that has already been paid in full by their client) is willing to work so hard to help get their clients reimbursed by their insurance company! I join the team and eagerly enjoy going head-to-head with insurance companies, verifying insurance coverage, conducting appeals and helping to get our kiddos covered. I have such a sense of accomplishment and a great feeling in my heart knowing that I am making a difference in these families’ lives by advocating for their children with the insurance companies. I am proud to be a part of this challenge that the families face on a daily basis! I am establishing a close, trusted relationship with our families. Eight months later, an opportunity becomes available for the Family Child Advocate role. This role is unique to NSPT only. The family child advocate is someone who advocates for the family in every possible way. They are responsible for the client’s entire experience from the first phone call to months and years after they meet their goals. They know all of the clients personally and even know about the siblings and the family dog. Every one of our clinics have an incredibly well trained Family Child Advocate that are strong pillars for our families and staff.
These are very large shoes to fill, but I am very excited that I am being considered for this amazing position. It allows me to reinforce my bond with my families who I have already grown very close to. I connect with them daily, monthly and whenever they need any support and assistance in any aspect of the client experience. Approximately a year later, I am offered the position of Director of Client Experience. I am managing an incredible group of Family Child Advocates and handling challenging client issues. I am able to reach out to the community in various sales and marketing roles to be able to help more children and families. I truly feel I am making a difference in these children’s lives on a daily basis. The culture at NSPT is very client-centric and I am again impressed at how much they care about their clients and employees. NSPT gives me incredible opportunities to grow and be developed to help me reach my potential, so I could consistently deliver the best possible client experience. I continue to grow with our families and feel deeply connected to both our employees and clients. I feel so fortunate to be working for a company that has such talented therapists. They are constantly trained and developed to be the best that they can be. After having a change in management, I am given the opportunity to become the CEO of North Shore Pediatric Therapy. I am deeply entrenched in our company culture and have the opportunity to take our company to the next level. I am able to reach and help so many families and I am looking forward to finding new ways to help more children and give the families peace of mind that they are in the best hands at NSPT. I continue to lead our company today and constantly look for ways to enhance our client’s experience, give peace of mind to our families and develop our employees. We continue to grow in leaps and bounds as a company and I continue my incredible journey with NSPT.
NSPT is a unique company that will give opportunities to people who have a passion for what they do. They are thought leaders in the profession of pediatric therapy! Join them… Be them! You will never have an opportunity to encounter another company quite like this one.
Marissa Edwards, MS, OTR/L -- Pediatric Occupational Therapist
It was September, 2006, I had just graduated with my master’s degree in occupational therapy (OT), and I knew that the only population I wanted to work with was pediatrics. I was fortunate enough to get an interview with North Shore Pediatric Therapy, and right from my initial interview with Deborah Michael, NSPT’s owner (and also an OT), I was hooked. Deborah shared some of her plans and aspirations for the growth of NSPT, I wanted to be a part of the growth, and I wanted to be a part of the NSPT team! I was offered a position as an occupational therapist in our Bucktown clinic and dedicated myself to providing the best services I could to the families on my caseload, and to the organization. I was promoted to Branch Director of the Bucktown clinic, and later became the Regional Director of Therapies for the organization (all while continuing to manage my own caseload). My managers have supported me all along the way and have been dedicated to teaching me and developing me in order to be the best that I can be in every “hat” that I wear within the organization.
One of the many things that sets NSPT apart from other pediatric facilities that I appreciate is the drive for growth and improvement, and the opportunities offered to its employees that go along with growth and improvement. Another quality of NSPT that keeps me coming back for more every day is our culture. The culture that NSPT fosters is fun, supportive, positive, energetic, hard working, passionate, and compassionate. Those clinicians who are the most successful at NSPT are those who take initiative, are flexible, are confident, are committed to excellent service, want to go above and beyond, have good time management skills, love to be busy, desire to develop professionally and personally, want a challenge, and want to have fun at work.
I feel so fortunate be a part of the NSPT family. I work with the highest quality coworkers, and I develop meaningful relationships with the families on my caseload. I watch the kids that I work with every day blossom, as well as the people that I work with. I believe that I have been offered opportunities at NSPT that I would not have been offered at other organizations. This was my first job out of OT school, I’ve been here for more than seven years now, and can’t imagine working anywhere else! NSPT is my family away from my family.
Meghan Grant, MS CCC-SLP -- Pediatric Speech Therapist
When I first joined the NSPT family more than seven years ago, I knew that I wanted to be part of a team that focused on the entire child, while improving the quality of life for the child’s whole family as well. NSPT offered such unique and extensive services, and I knew that I wanted to be part of such a dynamic team after learning about the vision of the company. I initially started as a clinician, but quickly became a supervisor to students, mentor to new employees, and eventually became the leader of our fabulous Highland Park clinic. I have been able to participate in various continuing education conferences and seminars to help sharpen my clinical skill set, and have been afforded the opportunity to participate in management workshops to advance my management skills as well. As the Branch Director of Highland Park, it has been incredible to see how the company has evolved over the years, and I have been privileged to be part of the growth that has continued. The original three clinics have now nearly tripled in size, and we have added an entirely new Neuropsychology center to further offer support to our families. NSPT is also looking to open more clinics in the very near future, and more growth equates to new opportunities and roles for current and new employees.
While there are many aspects of my job that I love, one of the features I hold near and dear is watching the therapists themselves grow. It is truly such an empowering feeling mentoring new therapists, and being a part of their transition into various leadership roles. NSPT is the perfect platform to help therapists grow, personally and professionally, because of all of the opportunities that are provided. Therapists are always given their creative license to develop new programs that would be beneficial to our clients, their families, and the entire NSPT staff. The NSPT team has adopted the idea of thought leadership, and also stresses the importance of culture. While each clinic has its own distinct atmosphere, the clinics work to create a fun, energetic, and positive environment where the employees are excited to come to work. I have been honored to work with such amazing clients, families, and coworkers over the years, and I remain excited about being on this journey with such an incredible company.
Julie Paskar, MA, CCC-SLP -- Pediatric Speech Therapist
When I began working at NSPT, I was excited for a new adventure and new opportunities. After eight years working as a speech pathologist, I felt that I was ready for the next phase of my career and was eager to expand my role. NSPT believed in me and my potential for growth and leadership when they developed and offered me the position of Assistant Branch Director, even though I had no previous management experience. This past year and a half has been one of significant growth and knowledge as I have been immersed in learning about business, management, and communication within the company. I could not have asked for a more supportive upper management team. They have guided me and taught me how to have a successful team. The most exciting part of being at NSPT is the growth of our company, specifically the expansion of our current clinics and the plans for opening additional clinics. I have recently been promoted to Branch Director, a role I feel well prepared for because of the last year and a half of experience I have had at NSPT.
Personally, I am excited for the opportunity to expand my management role, the opportunity to run the Glenview clinic, and the plans for opening the next clinic in Skokie which I have the honor and privilege of being a part of. NSPT has such a positive and collaborative company culture. For me the people I work with are truly my NSPT family. I enjoy going to work each day to be a part of this organization, work with amazing therapists, and work with families and children who blossom before our eyes. NSPT encourages therapists to develop both clinically and in leadership roles. I know that I have been successful at NSPT because we are a team. What makes us unique and a leader in the Chicago area, is our culture which places transparency, honesty, and positivity as primary components. I am proud and honored to be a part of the NSPT team.
Carole Dunning -- Family Child Advocate
I am so excited to once again be part of the NSPT team. Having worked for the company eight years ago as the first “office girl” and now having returned in the spring of 2013 as a Family Child Advocate, I am amazed at the growth and gains NSPT has made over the years. I am honored to be back on board and when I look back and remember the size of the staff, clients and even the clinics back then, it makes me value so much more what NSPT has grown to be now.
I am thankful for the opportunity I have here at NSPT to use my life experiences of being a mother of children that have received therapy themselves to help other families. I feel it is very reassuring to parents who call in knowing the person on the other end of the line can personally relate to the concerns that they are having for their child.
The fact that the administration staff values and respects the specific qualities that each and every employee brings to the company is the main reason for my return to NSPT. The positive energy and environment of NSPT is also a great feeling and is quite contagious, it makes coming to work each day enjoyable. Every employee is a valuable part of the NSPT Team. I am glad to be a part of it.
NSPT is always growing, and I can’t wait to see what’s next!
Brett Siegel, MSW, LCSW -- Licensed Clinical Social Worker
When I first looked at new teams to join, NSPT caught my eye due to the multi-disciplinary approach that was used here. When I first arrived, I was blown away by the warm welcome that I received from everyone I was in contact with. In the first nine months that I have been here, I have been given the tools and the freedom to succeed and grow. NSPT allows for ongoing growth that is helpful in the social work field by understanding of the need for trainings and education. One aspect that I have noticed while at NSPT is the open and warm feeling that everyone is equal and important. I look forward to what the future brings for myself at NSPT.
Greg Stasi, Ph.D. -- Neuropsychologist
This coming July will mark my fifth year at North Shore Pediatric Therapy. In that time, I have had an amazing time growing as a professional, as well as with regard to my role in the company. I started out as the first Neuropsychologist. The path of my career here was not set, and in fact was created as I moved along. I have had ample opportunity to develop myself in that I went from being a ‘one man’ show to running a department consisting of many amazing colleagues and students.
Part of the growth of the neuropsychology department is due to our creation of a comprehensive training and research program. We have students from graduate schools throughout Chicagoland training here. They are able to receive hands on experience while participating in an intensive weekly didactics program. We also have a research department which has produced six poster presentations, two professional articles, and currently working on several projects including the dissertations of three graduate students.
The company culture is amazing. All my initial training and vocational experience has been at hospital and medical settings. In those settings, I only got to really know a few of my immediate colleagues. Here at NSPT, the focus is on developing relationships with all team members from individuals in the billing office to therapists at one of the remote clinics.
For me, the most important factor that led me to NSPT, instead of staying within the hospital setting, is the ability to truly work as a multidisciplinary team. One of the greatest satisfactions is being able to help create the blue print of intervention needed for a child and also being able to have hands on experience with that child’s progression through the various therapies and interventions. It is an overwhelming experience to be able to work so closely with so many expert professionals. Advice from an occupational therapist, speech-language therapist, or behaviorist is only a phone call or short walk away.
Summar Jonas -- Director of Training
I am proud to be a part of North Shore Pediatric Therapy! I jumped on board in October of 2009 to join a team of professionals that is dedicated to helping children blossom. I knew from the minute I arrived that I was already aligned with the mission of NSPT, but I was in for an awesome surprise when I discovered the level of commitment this company has to its children, families and employees, alike!
Working for NSPT has provided a wonderful opportunity to grow personally and professionally. I have had a chance to work directly with our children and families as a Family Child Advocate, then transition to working behind the scenes with our employees as the Director of Training. It is inspiring to work for a company that embraces a culture of acknowledging and celebrating each other’s talents and successes. NSPT believes in promoting from within, which gives employees a chance to share with others and gain new skills while developing as leaders. I am comfortable communicating openly with all levels of management and I am empowered to take actions to improve our processes and procedures. I know I am making a difference and it feels great!