25th Annual

Our 2017 Speakers

Ohio Institute for OT/PT School-Based Practice - Copyright 2016

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Jessica Dawso, Associate Director, Office for Exceptional Children, Ohio Department of Education


Jessica began her career at the Ohio Department of Education nearly five years ago as Assistant Legal Counsel working with the Office for Exceptional Children, and later moving into her current position as Associate Director of the office, focusing specifically on special education and gifted education related matters.


Jessica is originally from Steubenville, Ohio and began her career working with individuals with disabilities through her work with the Jefferson County Board of Developmental Disabilities. Through her work at the County, as well as with The Arc of Greater Cleveland, Jessica made the decision to pursue a law degree with a focus in the area of special education law.


Susan Aebker DHS, OTR/L, CAS is an Associate Professor at Kettering College in their Occupational Therapy Doctoral Program and also consults on the Autism Coaching Team through Montgomery County Educational Service Center. She has over 24 years of experience working as an occupational therapist and 14 working specifically with students identified with a disability. She is a Certified Autism Specialist and completed her doctoral residency studying sensory modulation. Susan is a nationally known speaker, consultant, and published author through AAPC.


Teresa Borghese-Lang RN, MS, CPNP-AC/PC, CLC is an acute care and primary care pediatric nurse practitioner certified through OSU and PNCB. She is currently working in the Neonatal Follow-up Clinic at Nationwide Children’s Hospital as a lead APN helping with direct patient care, research, standardization of care, organizing and creating new clinics, outreach, templates, and integrating new specialties, including NAS clinic. She annually travels to underserved countries, such as Honduras, Haiti, and the Philippines, to provide healthcare and training in medical pediatric clinics.


Tere Bowen-Irish OTR/L has practiced Occupational Therapy for 40 years in pediatrics and psychiatry. Her primary focus for the past 35 years has been school system delivery of Occupational Therapy services. Ms. Bowen-Irish works part-time in public schools and has her own private practice, All the Possibilities Inc. Ms. Bowen-Irish has completed her Life Coach, intermediate training through Coaches Training Institute, San Raphael, CA. She is a Certified Yogakids teacher (CYKT), incorporating yoga, movement, mindfulness and relaxation techniques into her practice with children. She has completed the K-12 Educators course via Mindful Schools. She currently provides workshops for parents, therapists and educators. Emphasis is on prevention and wellness for all school age children. She has authored The Drive Thru Menu Series (Therapro Inc. Publications) and a self-published book that can be adapted for all children called “Yoga and Me, Come be a Tree”.

Helen Carey PT, DHSc, PCS is a physical therapist at The Nisonger Center/The Ohio State University and Nationwide Children’s Hospital. She holds various academic and clinical positions and has over 23 years of experience working with infants and children with developmental disabilities across multiple practice settings. Dr. Carey is an APTA board certified pediatric clinical specialist. She is a published author and has presented at local and national levels on topics relative to pediatric physical therapy, including clinical outcome measurement tools. Dr. Carey is a member of the APTA Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy and serves on various committees and workgroups within the APTA.

Molly Dodge, OTR/L is a licensed occupational therapist practicing in the school systems with over 35 years of experience working with infants, children and young adults with developmental disabilities. Molly’s school based practice focuses on sensory processes, fine motor development, visual perception and motor acquisition. She has practiced as an employee, independent contractor and contracted therapist. Molly received her BS in Occupational Therapy from Mount Mary College, Milwaukee, WI. She has been both a clinical instructor and guest lecturer throughout her career.


Molly has served as the AOTA Student Occupational Therapy Association secretary, AOTA Commission on Education field work representative for Lourdes College, and the Ohio OOTA Northwest District secretary. Molly is currently Co-Chairman of the Ohio Institute for OT/PT School-Based Practice.

Erin Iverson PT, DPT, PCS is an outpatient pediatric physical therapist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC). She earned her DPT from Ohio University in 2010 and her Pediatric Specialist Certification in 2015. Erin is contributing to the development of the Clinical Practice Guideline for Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) sponsored by the APTA. She is active in DCD work at CCHMC as a member of the DCD Community of Practice as well as formerly co-leading the Developmental Conditions Clinical Specialty Committee’s work with DCD.

Michael Kiefer PT, DPT is a physical therapist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital who practices in outpatient developmental pediatrics. He has clinical experience in inpatient acute care, inpatient rehabilitation and sports medicine in both adult and pediatrics. Michael is part of the rheumatology team providing care in the multidisciplinary Hypermobility and Ehlers Danlos Clinic and also treats juvenile idiopathic arthritis and other rheumatic disease. Michael is also part of the multidisciplinary Comprehensive Neuromuscular Center team, clinical evaluator for neuromuscular research trials, and part of the inpatient to outpatient transition team.

Jason Kovalcik, MD is a Pediatric Hospitalist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. He has worked in the Neonatal Follow-up Clinic and currently works in the NICU providing care to infants in these specialized settings. He is also a clinical assistant professor in pediatrics at The Ohio State University. He has experience presenting on topics such as neonatal abstinence syndrome, newborns in urgent care, and investigating child physical abuse.

Jessica Lewis PT, DPT, PCS is a developmental pediatric physical therapist in the outpatient physical therapy department at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. She completed a post-doctoral pediatric residency program at The Ohio State University and she is a board-certified pediatric clinical specialist. She works in the outpatient clinic serving patients with a variety of diagnoses. She is also a physical therapist in the Neonatology Follow Up Clinic where she completes developmental assessments on infants and toddlers.

Kathryn Martin PT, DHSc is a full professor and Interim DPT Program Director at the Krannert School of Physical Therapy at the University of Indianapolis. She has over 20 years of experience with children with special needs in both early intervention and in a regional children’s hospital with the acute care team. Dr. Martin’s research interests center around children with hypotonia and orthotic efficacy, and she has spoken nationally and published multiple papers on these topics, including the PTNow Clinical Summary on Down syndrome.

Michelle McGuire PT, MPT is a physical therapist and coordinator for outpatient staff at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Michelle has nine years of pediatric clinical experience practicing in the outpatient setting and on the Comprehensive Neuromuscular Center multidisciplinary team. Michelle is contracted out to the Cincinnati Ballet Company to develop, support and sustain the Ballet Moves Program. Michelle is a mentor for the CCHMC Credentialed Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency program, as well as a trainer for the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Training Program, from which she also graduated.

Cindy Miles PT, PhD. PCS, CNDT established her pediatric private practice in 1981. Dr. Miles is Board Certified by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties as a Pediatric Clinical Specialist, specializing in treating children; birth through young adulthood. Presently, she serves as President of the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy (APPT) and as Chair and Meeting Planner of the APPT Annual Conference. Dr. Miles presents nationally on pediatric private practice and reimbursement as well as nationally and internationally on Torticollis and Plagiocephaly, and Fitness for All Abilities. She has published in peer review journals and books on topics related to pediatric physical therapy.

Lesleigh Ryan Nicoll MSW, LISW-S is a clinical social worker who has worked in pediatric medical settings since 2005. She specializes in working with families of children with a history of prematurity, NAS, congenital anomalies and genetic disorders. She has worked in both the inpatient and outpatient settings and recently developed a new social work care coordination role focusing on transitioning families from the NICU to outpatient neurodevelopmental follow up.

Athena Oden PT is the author of Ready Bodies, Learning Minds: Cultivating the Complete Child (3rd ed., 2016) and provides consulting and training across the US. With over 35 years of experience in pediatrics and school environments, she is an engaging speaker and a knowledgeable therapist with a clear mission: To help children perform at their peak, and to help therapists, teachers, and parents understand the fundamental matters involved with sensory integration, motor skills, behavior, and academic success.

Kim Scott PT, DPT, PCS is a neonatal PT at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. She received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Duke University. She graduated from The Nisonger Center Pediatric Residency Program in 2010. Kim is the Nationwide Children's Hospital Neonatal PT Fellowship Program Director. Her professional interests include the infant-parent relationship in the NICU and impact of that relationship on developmental outcomes, post-professional training and education, and quality improvement that reflects best practice.

Patti Sharp OTD, MS, OTR/L is an Occupational Therapist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. She has over 15 years experience working with children with a wide variety of conditions, including burns, TBI, CP, congenital or birth-related conditions and traumas, and coordination disorders. She is a Certified Brain Injury Specialist. Patti is a nationally known speaker, published author, and passionate clinician.

Mark Smith CPM, MPA is the Program Coordinator of the Ohio Medicaid Schools Program (MSP) at the Ohio Department of Education (ODE). Mark’s responsibilities include program development, technical assistance, and training. In addition to Mark’s programmatic duties, he also oversees the Random Moment Time Study contractors and coordinates the development of the MSP Cost Report and Agreed Upon Procedures (AUP) fiscal components. Mark also serves as an agency advisor to the Ohio School Based Healthcare Association board (OSBHCA), the Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services Planning Council, and the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Planning Council. Beginning in October 2013, Mark began his term as President of the National Alliance for Medicaid in Education (NAME).

Katherine Steingass MD is a Developmental Behavioral pediatrician at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Her clinical activities include neonatal follow up, evaluation and care of children with developmental delays and disabilities including cerebral palsy, autism, and genetic conditions, and care of children with complex medical conditions. She is also the associate Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics Fellowship Director at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Kelly Tanner PhD, OTR/L is Director of Occupational Therapy Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Clinical Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy at The Ohio State University. In addition, she is a LEND Faculty member at The Ohio State University Nisonger Center. Dr. Tanner has presented numerous times at the state and national levels, and has authored several peer-reviewed publications. Her interests include autism spectrum disorder, feeding disorders, constraint induced movement therapy, and knowledge translation.

Jill Tonneman OTR/L is a pediatric OT at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. She received her Bachelors of Science from The Ohio State University. Jill is the Outpatient Clinical Lead at Main Campus at Nationwide Children's Hospital. Her professional interests include Neonatal Follow-Up, Constraint-induced movement therapy and intensive therapy for children with neurological disorders, Developing the Occupational Therapy Residency Program at Nationwide Children's Hospital, post- professional training and education, and quality improvement that reflects best practice.

Christine A. Urig MS, OTR/L is a graduate of The Ohio State University and in 2012 obtained her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy with A. T. Still University in conjunction with Arizona School of Health Sciences. She is currently an Occupational Therapy Supervisor at the Miami Valley Regional Center (MCESC). In her role as a supervisor, she manages district assignments and workloads for staff, mentors and orients new staff, fields questions from therapists and school districts related to OT/PT services, and assists therapists with the integration of licensure, IDEA, and Medicaid policies and documentation. Ms. Urig has recently presented training regarding Medicaid reimbursement in the school-based environment to the West Central District Ohio Occupational Therapy Association and presented during the 2016 Ohio Institute for OT/PT School- Based Practice. She has served as a school-based therapist for over 18 years. Her past experience also includes clinical supervision for both the in-patient and out-patient units at Upper Valley Medical Center, staff occupational therapist in the adult rehabilitation unit at St. Elizabeth Hospital, and staff member at Akron General Hospital mental health units.

Cheryl Van Hoose MHS, PT is presently the coordinator of the OT/PT Cooperative Coordinator at the Miami Valley Special Education Center which includes seventy-seven occupational and physical therapists. She has been a physical therapist for 35 years working primarily in the pediatric arena. She has been involved in school based practice for 32 years and has been active in the Ohio Physical Therapy Association’s Pediatric Special Interest Group. Cheryl has been the OPTA representative for the Ohio Department of Education’s Steering Committee for Caseloads and Ratios and for the Ohio Medicaid School’s Program (OMSP) Stakeholder Committee. She was formerly a member of the Ohio Motor and Sensory Coalition also known as the Ohio Motor Task Force. She presently serves as an adjunct faculty member for the University of Dayton’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program and has been an adjunct faculty member for Andrews University and the University of Findlay. She originally obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Therapy and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from West Virginia University. She later earned a Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Indianapolis and her Ohio Educational Administrators License through Wright State University.

Kim Wiggins OTR/L is an experienced occupational therapist specializing in the treatment of children for 15 years. Kim is a full-time therapist at a City School District in upstate NY and the owner of www.OTKimWiggins.com. Kim has been a nationally known speaker for 6 years and is certified in Mobile Devices for Children with Disabilities, Puzzle Art Therapy, Handwriting Without Tears, Zaner Bloser, The Listening Program, and as an Irlen Screener.

Jennifer Wissinger PT, DPT, PCS obtained her physical therapy degree from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania in 2002, following her BS in Biological Sciences from Ohio University in 1999. As a clinician, she has practiced in schools, home care, Early Intervention, and programs for adults with developmental disabilities. She became a board certified specialist in pediatric physical therapy in 2008. As an instructor, she has taught in the pediatric content at the Ohio State University’s physical therapy program since 2006. Dr. Wissinger has actively served the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy of the American Physical Therapy Association in several leadership positions including Regional Director for the Great Lakes Region and Membership Chair, receiving the Emerging Leader Award in 2009. She is a faculty mentor for The Nisonger Center’s Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency Program, as well as an officer on the Pediatric Special Interest Group of the Ohio Physical Therapy Association. Committed to lifelong learning, Dr. Wissinger regularly attends and presents continuing education opportunities as well as serves on the conference planning committee for The Ohio Institute for OT/PT School-Based Practice. She currently works at the Ohio State University Nisonger Center, Early Childhood Education Program.


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