Message From The CEO:
I recently had a very dear friend of mine confide in me that her child needed some serious therapeutic help. Her child was in a very dark place at the time and I could tell it was very painful for her to mention it to me. She did not want to go into detail, and she explained her reason for telling me, was because she was referred by her pediatrician to get treatment for her child at NSPT. She had also heard me rave about our excellent therapists and client experience. At the same time, she did not want me to know about her child’s situation. My friend said she knew we were the best in what we do, which was why she wanted to head in the right direction and not take a chance anywhere else.
I thought, Wow! She really did not want me to know the nature of her child’s concerns, yet she was going to come to NSPT because of the excellent care she knew we would provide. The fact that she did not want to risk going somewhere other than NSPT really resonated with me, and made me proud of our amazing reputation in the world of Pediatric Therapy. Instead, she took the uncomfortable chance of me recognizing her child in one of our clinics.
I felt so relieved that she turned to us for help. It gave ME peace of mind.
People speak about referrals all the time. We love to help others, which is why we enjoy referring people to places we trust and know they would benefit from. How many times do you refer someone somewhere and then can’t wait to ask them about their experience? There is something fulfilling about referring someone to something you trust that will deliver an excellent experience. You feel very good about your choices and want to share them with people. You want people to respect your opinions and recommendations.
Did you know that our primary source of referrals are pediatricians? We have many pediatricians who not only refer their patients to us, but also refer their own children to our clinics for services. What an amazing feeling to know that our pediatricians are so confident in our services that they bring their own children to us! We also have many employees who have brought their children and other family members to be seen by our amazing therapists. What better honor is there than to have a pediatrician or employee refer their own children to us. We also have therapists from outside of our company who bring their children to our clinics to be treated. People who are familiar with the great service, care and results that NSPT gives our clients, want the same great experience for their own children!
These are the greatest referrals of all.
Thank you for always striving to be the very best! That’s what has helped make NSPT into what it has grown into today!
(as told by Marissa Edwards)
NSPT HEROES!!!!! I want to share the HUGEST plus one forand . Last Thursday, during LW’s huddle, we all heard lots of crashing noises from outside, and after we all stood up to see what was going on, witnessed a horrific car accident on Touhy. In LITERALLY the blink of any eye, before anyone else could process what was going on, Julie told the person next to her to call 911, and she was out the door, with Rachel and Jamie running behind her, to help the people in the accident! While waiting for police and medical personnel to arrive, our NSPT therapists helped the people trapped in one of the cars to know that they weren’t alone and help was on its way. Thank you Julie, Jamie and Rachel for your selflessness, and your bravery. Your quickness to action was absolutely remarkable, and your actions that day were tremendously powerful!
LW First Responder Team
(as told by Julie Paskar)
Magic Moment Alert: Huge thank you to Lindsey, Corinne and Mary Kate! I stepped off the elevator today and saw that an older man had fallen and was unable to get up. I ran to the office to get help for him and all three ladies immediately ran out to his aid. Thank goodness for three amazing OTs who helped this man get back to a standing position as well as get situated with his walker. We then helped get him to his office on the floor above. I am so proud to be part of a team that cares so much!
Megan’s SLP Grad Gift
(as told by Dana Pais)
I’d like to recognize Megan Siekkinen who created a Magic Moment for one of her clients. Megan purchased a special gift for her client to give him upon graduation from SLP. Since he loves animals, she wrapped up an animal set which included a gorilla that he calls Baby Bella and is a favorite of his. Needless to say, he LOVED the gift! Megan’s client and his mom were so appreciative of the Magic Moment!
(As told by Eve Partouche)
Thank you Faith Champ and the ABA Dept. for my Starbucks eGift! What a unexpected yet wonderful surprise! I appreciate all that YOU do for me (in terms of helping with scheduling) and the EV clients. I have seen/experienced first hand the difference you have made in the lives of children and their families’. Crazy to think I had no idea what ABA was until working with NSPT! Just goes to show that life really is a journey into the unknown.
(as told by Dana Pais)
I’d like to recognize Traci Hayes who created a magic moment for her client. One of Traci’s client’s LOVES playdough. During the session closest to his birthday, she coordinated a playdough birthday party. She and her client made a playdough birthday cake with playdough candles. Her client even blew out the playdough candles on the cake after they sang “Happy Birthday.” Her client was so excited about this special party and felt very special.
Highland Park Fire Department
(as told by Antonia Russin)
“We had a crazy situation that our amazing OT, Holly, turned into a Magic Moment! Our fire alarm went off for no reason, and the fire fighters arrived to check things out and turn off the alarm. Holly’s client was so excited to see the fire fighters pull up in their truck! He asked one of them a question, and the fire fighter talked with him while the rest of his team investigated. After the alarm was turned off, everyone went inside, and the fire fighters were double checking things. The friendly fire fighter was still talking to Holly’s client, and she had her client show the fire fighter how he can climb, crawl, and jump in the ball pit. He even climbed up the slide and slid down our fire pole– with some tips from the pros! It was so cute to see how excited he was! Holly did a great job of letting him show off for his heroes while working on his OT skills. What a great Magic Moment!”
Judy’s Farewell Message
(as told by Judy Wang)
“This will be my very last Yammer post. I cleaned out my desk yesterday and it’s almost time to say goodbye. But I just wanted to share the very first FOR I ever received and the very last one I will get here at NSPT. (I obviously have a hard time throwing things away). It’s amazing that so much has changed and so much has stayed the same. Thank you for being the best group of people I have ever worked with and giving me the opportunity to work with these wonderful parents and kiddos!”
I was in Chicago recently for our quarterly company meetings, and also to say goodbye to my dear first cousin, Jay Michael. He had five days left in this world upon my arrival, so I was able to visit him before his passing at the age of 34. He was diagnosed with late stage, advanced lymphoma, and fought for nearly a year. I thought I might share just a few of the many great lessons I learned from Jay, that I could relate back to NSPT, and life in general. Jay was an innovative real estate developer, and prolific writer, and chronicled his battle in local magazines and newspapers.
This is what his company posted about Jay:
“On Friday evening we lost our dear friend and colleague, Jay Michael. Jay was a visionary in the truest sense of the word; he only saw possibility and he was steadfast in bringing his ideas to life. Jay led by example, fighting feverishly each and every day for all of the things in this world that he wanted to improve. As the co-founder of CEDARst, he was constantly bucking real estate and design conventions, religiously following only his intuition as he developed new and better ways to live. After all, Jay wasn’t merely developing real estate, he was creating spaces that fostered community and platforms for creative spirits to thrive.
Over the last year, Jay approached his fight against lymphoma in the same way that he tackled everything else, with perseverance, humor, and more than a little chutzpah. We may have lost our Jay Michael, but Jay did not lose to cancer. As he said many times, upon his diagnosis he made a decisive choice to live. This past year was the year that he embraced living the hardest, which was the truest testament to his character, and perhaps his greatest lesson to us all. During this difficult time, his example pushed us to become better coworkers, better friends, and better people, lessons we are grateful to carry with us into this next chapter as we deeply miss having him by our sides. Jay’s vibrant personality and bravado touched the lives of everyone around him, and we vow to keep his innovative and tenacious spirit alive in his legacy, our ongoing work here at CEDARst”
Push past the boundaries:
Anyone can choose to be a visionary. You just have to embrace the challenges, and know that exciting opportunities are hidden within each challenge. Know that the naysayers will try to talk you out of your next bright idea. Jay created the things that people did not even know they wanted, nor existed. Jay had a higher purpose in mind, “to create platforms for spirits to thrive.”
Be generous of spirit
Jay made everyone feel like he was their best friend. Over 1,000 people attended his funeral on a freezing Tuesday, and we hear story after story about how Jay made everyone around him feel special through his kind words and thoughtful acts. His spirit was one that always wanted to give, rather than to receive. He gave gifts when they were not expected. Nurses from the hospital came to his funeral, and told us how Jay never came to hospital visits without bringing food for all the hospital staff. Just a short time before his passing, Jay wanted yogurt as a healthier alternative to hospital Jell-O. However, since Jay was always thinking of everyone else, he wanted the entire cancer floor to also have yogurt. So he purchased a yogurt machine for $12,000 and contacted the CEO of Lifeway Foods and convinced them to provide yogurt as a donation for the next 10 years! Once again, we see how a visionary changes the world for those around him. You can read for yourself here: http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2016/01/14/802144/0/en/Lifeway-Honors-Chicago-Developer-Jay-Michael-With-Sponsorship-of-Probiotic-Kefir-Treats-at-Northwestern-Medicine.html
Value family and friends
Finally, Jay knew how important it was to cherish time with family and friends. He blocked time for his family on a weekly basis. Life can get hectic, especially for an entrepreneur bursting with ideas and opportunities. Jay did not let his work passions get the best of him, by also staying passionate about family and close relationships. As is typically when a loved one passes and you learn even more about their prolific lives, you wish you had spent more time with them, and gotten to know them better. I will try to reach out to my family and cherished friends more often, and that is another great lesson that I learned from Jay.
I appreciate Jay for bringing so much kindness and happiness into this world. His presence will continue to be felt as people who learned from him will continue to influence the world through his inspirational lessons. I hope that his spirit will also further enhance my leadership, and therefore benefit everyone at NSPT.
Organize CEU Course
Amanda Cunningham has completed registration with ASHA, AOTA, and IPTA. Pending approval of the course, then the registration page will go live! Robyn has worked tirelessly on our microsite, and secured a unique URL for registration: www.AutismConferenceChicago.com. Registration will open once IPTA and ASHA approve the course for credit. NSPT team members will be able to attend this course, taught by Laura Wald with an appearance by Jessica Jamicich and Stephanie Jones. “It Takes a Village”- Working with Families with Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults on the Autism Spectrum will be held on 3/20/16 at the beautiful Crystal Ballroom & Lounge.
Update SEO for Website
Tim is managing this project, with many therapists helping to offer content updates to our website so that it’s more “searchable” and will result in more search engine results. Content has been provided by Megan Pearson, Meghan Grant, Rebecca Kieffer, Annie Goldberg, Dana Pais, and Deanna Ligas. Brett Siegel will be providing content soon. This project should be completed by the end of the month. Thank you to all who participated!
Robyn has worked diligently at organizing this webinar, that was presented on 1/26. Thank you to our presenters Shannon Taurozzi, Bridget Fleming, and Carolyn Houze. Robyn, Tim and Julie have all helped to market this presentation and make it a huge success, with over 600 registrants.
Social Work Video with Brett
Julie is working with Brett to coordinate a SW video, on the heels of our successful ABA video with Rachel Kommit. Expected completion will be late March.
Megan Summer is working on developing a dashboard for appointment cancellations. This will be used to help identify trends with our families and cancellations. Expected completion is end of February.
Convert FOR Tracking to Salesforce
Megan Summer is working with Victoria Bierman on this large process improvement which will allow us to better track FORs received, the last time a client submitted a FOR, etc.
Integrate Net Promoter Score (NPS) to Salesforce
Another great Salesforce initiative to help us track our metrics better! Megan Summer and Robyn are working on a system to e-mail current clients periodically to ask for feedback and our Net Promoter Score (How likely are you to refer NSPT to a friend?) Expected completion is end of February.
Robyn Ackerman and Tim Mucha are working on our next infographic on W-Sitting. Infographics are always a huge success, looking forward to adding another success. Expected completion is April.
ABA Employment Page
Robyn is working with Annie, Julie Hrdlicka and Summar Jonas to develop a special ABA webpage used for employment opportunities. The hope is to have a more specific webpage for this rapidly growing department and attract potential hires. Expected completion is end of February.
Julie is working on updating our branded Neuropsych materials to include our fabulous team with Dr. Greg Stasi, Dr. Nina Goudis and Dr. Cindy Kane. Tim has also helped out to update our website to reflect our growing staff.
Converting PTO from Time Off Manager (TOM) to Paylocity
Steve Chang has helped to spearhead our PTO conversion and ensure accuracy with our 2016 PTO hours. We just had our first salaried payroll completed 1/22/16, so we hope everyone has enjoyed seeing their PTO bank displayed on their paystubs.
Dr. Nina Goudis is teaming up with Megan Pearson to pilot a Behavior 911 program for behavior modification for kids who are not on the Autism Spectrum. Two families have been chosen to pilot. Nina and Megan are continuing to develop the programming and materials, and hope to have additional people trained in a few months. Nina and Megan are very passionate about this project!
Julie and Robyn want to help set up our team for a successful year of presentations. They are improving our processes, developing training, and providing lots of helpful tools to our staff to ensure our presentations are top notch!
Get to Know NSPT Staff Member:
The marketing team is excited to now include our very own Megan Summer! She already works on so many projects and tasks that are marketing related, that it made sense to have her officially join our team. As our way of welcoming her, we made her participate in our initiation video to greet the cold winter.
Love this video? Don’t worry – we have an opportunity for you to create your own fun “DubSmash” video with your co-workers and win some prizes! Stay tuned to Yammer for more details!
Look Who’s New:
Marti Conrad | Behavior Therapist-Highland Park & Lake Bluff
Marti Conrad has been hired as a behavior therapist. Her start date was 1/11/16. Marti recently received her MA in early childhood education from the University of Colorado. She had an opportunity to work as an ABA line therapist last summer at an intensive therapeutic summer camp program. This experience lead her to want to pursue behavior therapy further. Marti lives in Lake Bluff and is really excited to start!
Holly Hamel | Behavior Therapist - Lake Bluff
Holly Hamel has been hired as a behavior therapist for the Lake Bluff clinic. Her official start date was 1/20/16. Holly is an experienced behavior therapist who has worked as a line therapist to provide in home therapy. She is familiar with Catalyst Data Collection and is excited to continue working with children at NSPT. When she is not treating, she will be studying – as she is currently pursuing an online masters in SLP from Nova Southeastern University. Holly received her BA in Communicative Sciences and Disorders from Michigan State. We are delighted to welcome her to NSPT!
Erin Marsh | Behavior Therapist - Solomon Schechter School
Erin Marsh has been hired as a behavior therapist for Solomon Schechter. Her official start date was 1/22/16. Erin received her BS in Communications Disorders from the University of Toledo. After graduating, she went on to complete one more year of graduate studies in Communication Disorders. Erin is looking for additional opportunities to work closely with children and learn more about behavior and ABA. She is extremely enthusiastic about the opportunity to help a child in a school setting and cannot wait to get started! We are delighted to welcome her NSPT!
Laurie Sharp | LCSW-Highland Park
Laurie Sharp has been hired as a part time LCSW. Her official start date was 1/12/16. Laurie has had many years of experience in a variety of settings. She currently works at Apollo Elementary School in Des Plaines and has been looking for opportunities to continue working with pediatrics in an outpatient setting. She is really excited to join the HP clinic and will be an awesome addition to the team. Laurie will be working Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings.
We are delighted to welcome her to NSPT!
Jaclyn Stillmaker | Occupational Therapist-Lake Bluff
Jaclyn Stillmaker (Jackie) has been hired as a full time OT. Her official start date was 1/26/16. Jackie graduated from Saint Louis University In May 2015. She has spent the last 3 months working on a contract basis at a pediatric outpatient facility in Arlington Heights. This experience has prepared her well for a role at NSPT, as she has gained valuable experience assisting children with a variety of diagnoses and concerns including ADHD, sensory processing disorders, autism, and developmental delays. Jackie “lights up” when speaking about the kiddos she treats. She is warm and energetic and was referred to us by our very own, Ashlen Meyer. Thank you for the wonderful referral!!! Jackie will be working a Tuesday – Saturday schedule.
We are delighted to welcome her to NSPT!
Paayal Surani | Behavior Therapist-Highland Park & Lake Bluff
Paayal Surani has been hired as a BT. Her official start date was 1/18/16. Paayal is a recent graduate of Purdue with a BS in Speech, Language and Hearing. She plans to attend graduate school next fall and is eager to increase her knowledge of ABA to help her as she continues on her career path to become an SLP.
We are delighted to welcome her to NSPT!
Dina Vinisky | Behavior Therapist - Arie Crown
Dina Vinisky has been hired as a behavior therapist for Arie Crown. Her orientation was on 1/25/16, and her official start date will be 2/15/16. Dina has worked with children for many years and has substituted at Arie Crown in other classrooms. In 2007, Dina created and served as the director of a summer camp for children ages 3-5 years. Through this camp, she had a chance to closely with parents, therapists and educators to plan activities designed to enhance physical development, communication skills and problem solving abilities. Dina gained a lot of experience assisting various therapies, observing and documenting skills and behaviors, and implementing specific therapies. We are delighted to welcome her to NSPT!