MARCIE RHEE (OWNER AND DIRECTOR)
Marcie Rhee, PT, DPT, PCS is a Doctor of Physical Therapy. She graduated from the University of Southern California in 1999 with a clinical doctorate in Physical Therapy. Marcie is a board certified Clinical Specialist in Pediatric physical therapy, a distinction she earned in 2005. She started her Pediatrics career at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center evaluating and treating children on the acute rehabilitation service primarily with brain injuries and spinal cord injuries and broadened her Pediatric experience while at Miller Children’s Hospital in Long Beach on the inpatient acute service, acute rehabilitation service and outpatient clinics including the rehabilitation clinic and cystic fibrosis clinics. She spent 6 years working exclusively in early intervention during which time she completed comprehensive developmental evaluations for thousands of infants and toddlers to assist with eligibility determination for the Early Start program. Marcie has been dedicated to working with children for her entire career and is the founder and director of Kids in Motion Pediatric Therapy. She is exceptionally proud of the dedicated and talented group of Kids in Motion therapists and Admin team she has assembled. She is passionate about helping every child meet his or her full potential using an evidence based, family centered approach that focuses on parent participation and an emphasis on play. Marcie has two sons and in her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and children, traveling and experiencing life’s adventures, and enjoying the company of friends and family.
MONICA BRAGANZA (OFFICE MANAGER AND SCHOOL BASED SERVICES COORDINATOR)
Monica Braganza is the Office Manager and School Based Services Coordinator at Kids in Motion. She graduated as a Licensed Vocational Nurse in 2008, where she developed a strong passion for working with children. She joined Kids in Motion in 2012 and is proud to be a part of a team that helps promote continual growth and progress to children in the community. Outside the office, she loves going to the movies, going on trips and experiencing outdoors with friends and family.
SILVIA GUTIERREZ (BILLING MANAGER)
Silvia Gutierrez is the Billing and Collections Manager at Kids in Motion. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Human Development with a Minor in Child Development from California State University Long Beach. She first joined Kids in Motion in 2010 as a volunteer, becoming an Administrative Assistant shortly after that. Through hard work and dedication she has worked her way up to Billing and Collections Manager, a position she has held since 2012. Her motivation to start volunteering at Kids in Motion came from having a younger brother with special needs. She is the mother of an adorable little girl. When she is not at Kids in Motion, Silvia enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, playing soccer, and watching movies.
TIFFANY GALLEGOS (SCHEDULING MANAGER)
Tiffany Gallegos is the Scheduling Manager at Kids in Motion. She has been with Kids in Motion for the past three years. Prior to Kids in Motion, she worked in an Urgent Care facility near LAX as the physical therapy clerk. That is where she became interested in Physical Therapy and decided to start pursuing a career as a Physical Therapy Assistant. She is currently attending Long Beach City College and plans to transfer to Cerritos College for the Physical Therapy assistant program. Tiffany loves working in a pediatric setting and seeing the amazing impact therapy has on children and their families. When Tiffany is not at Kids in Motion,she enjoys spending time with her niece and socializing with friends.
TIFFANY “TJ” LORENZANA (INTAKE COORDINATOR)
Tiffany “TJ” Lorenzana has been a part of the Kids in Motion family since January 2017. She graduated from Marymount California University with a Bachelor of Arts in Biomedical and Behavioral Sciences. TJ has previous experience in customer service/management and strives to make each and every family served at Kids in Motion feel at home. Her favorite part of the job is seeing the kids each day and getting to know all the amazing families.
YESENIA MARTINEZ (BILLING AND COLLECTIONS SPECIALIST)
Yesenia Martinez is the Billing and Collections Specialist at Kids in Motion. She earned her Medical Billing Certification from SoCal Roc in 2012. She has worked in different Medical offices but Pediatrics has been her absolute favorite. She is has been dedicated in getting claims process correctly for our Kids in Motion families. When she is not at Kids in Motion, Yesenia enjoys spending time with her husband and son, going on camping trips, and enjoys doing outdoor activities.
JOSLYNN TOGIOLA (FRONT OFFICE RECEPTIONIST)
Joslynn Togiola is the newest member to join our admin team as our Front Office Receptionist. She has previous experience in customer service, including working at a children’s club. Joslynn is looking forward to growing in this new work field and is excited to learn more about pediatric therapy. In her free time, Joslynn loves spending time with her nephew and spending time with her loved ones.
ESMERALDA RIVAS (BILLING AND COLLECTIONS ASSISTANT)
Esmeralda Rivas joined Kids in Motion in 2018 as an Assistant to the Billing and Collections team. She is currently attending college to pursue her degree in Health Care Administration. She is excited to continue her education and work experience in this field. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, friends and dogs.
MARIAN DENNIS (ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT)
TIFFANY POE (SCHOOL BASED PHYSICAL THERAPY CLINICAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE LEAD)
Tiffany Yu, PT, DPT, is a Doctor of Physical Therapy. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine and her clinical doctorate in physical therapy from Chapman University. She has pediatric clinical experience in the outpatient clinic and early intervention settings working with children from 18 months to adolescence. She has also worked with children through her experience as a swimming instructor in Orange County. She enjoys working with each child and their family in a fun, interactive environment to help each child achieve their goals and greatest potential.
THÉRÈSE WILLIS (CLINIC BASED PHYSICAL THERAPY CLINICAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE LEAD)
Thérèse Willis, PT, DPT is a Doctor of Physical Therapy. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sports Science with an emphasis in Pre-Physical Therapy from the University of Kansas in 1995 and her clinical doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California in 2000. She has been working in the pediatric setting throughout her career. She has worked with infants, toddlers, children and adolescents with varying developmental, neuromuscular, orthopedic, genetic and cardiopulmonary diagnoses in a clinic setting and as a staff physical therapist with California Children Services. In addition, she has provided in-home physical therapy intervention to infants and toddlers through Regional Center’s Early Start Program. She joined the Kids in Motion Pediatric Therapy team with enthusiasm to work closely with children and their families to assist each child in achieving his or her optimal potential.
Elena Absalon PT, DPT earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Regis University in Denver, CO. She earned a Bachelor of Arts studying Spanish and Human Physiology in the Robert Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon. Elena has practiced in a variety of settings, including working as the physical therapist on a multidisciplinary team for an intensive early intervention program. She enjoys the creativity, challenge, and collaboration inherent to the field of pediatrics. Elena is dedicated to supporting children and families so that they can more fully participate in their communities.
Sarah Curiel, PT, DPT, is a Doctor of Physical Therapy. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Integrative Biology and Psychology from the University of California Berkeley and her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Southern California. She has experience in inpatient rehabilitation and outpatient clinic setting and received training at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Kids in Motion during her graduate studies. Sarah was a competitive gymnast from elementary school through college, and also has over 8 years of experience coaching children and young adults of all ages in the sport. This was how she first discovered her passion for helping kids reach their dreams. She is very excited to be at Kids in Motion and contribute to such a positive, inspiring, and fun environment geared towards helping every child achieve their goals!
Michelle Farley, PT, DPT, PCS is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and a Board Certified Pediatric Clinical Specialist. She completed her undergraduate degree with a major in Kinesiology and an emphasis in Physical Therapy, at Humboldt State University. She received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Chapman University. Recently in 2016, Michelle received her Pediatric Clinical Specialist title, a distinction that has allowed her to further her knowledge of pediatrics. Her passion has been providing physical therapy services over the past few years in the Early Intervention setting to help each child achieve and grow. She joins the Kids In Motion team with positive energy and empathy to promote encouraging connections with each child.
Carly Francis, PT, DPT is a Doctor of Physical Therapy. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California. She has pediatric experience in the outpatient clinic and school settings, working with kiddos between the ages of 1 month to 18 years of age. Carly discovered her passion for working with children during high school, while volunteering at a camp for children with special needs. She is excited to be a part of the Kids in Motion team and to help children reach their full potential while having a lot of fun!
Alysia Grimes, PT, DPT earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Azusa Pacific University. She received her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Science from California State Polytechnic University Pomona. Her passion to work with children began at a young age as a softball pitching instructor and continued to grow through her involvement in various pediatric organizations including Make-A-Wish Foundation, Special Olympics, and the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation. Her pediatric clinic experience consists of Early Intervention and outpatient therapy for children of various ages and diagnoses. She is excited to be a part of the fun, family-centered Kids in Motion team and is dedicated to helping children reach their greatest potential.
Sara McMillan, PT, DPT is a Doctor of Physical Therapy. She earned her BS in Biomedical Science at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, MO and her clinical doctorate in physical therapy from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, MO. Sara first fell in love with helping children as a figure skating coach in St. Louis, MO, where she worked with children aged 2 and older. Sara has experience working in the outpatient clinic, early intervention, and school based settings. Sara is excited to be working with children and families in the Southern California area and is dedicated to helping children gain confidence and reach their goals.
Samantha Ostrow, PT, DPT is a Doctor of Physical Therapy. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, and her clinical doctorate in physical therapy from New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury, New York. Samantha has clinical experience working with a variety of children and adults in the outpatient and inpatient settings. Years of volunteer work with children and a clinical affiliation at the NAPA Center in Hawthorne, CA lead her to find her true calling as a pediatric therapist. Samantha has worked with children with various neurological diagnoses, such as Cerebral Palsy, Autism Spectrum Disorder , Down Syndrome, and rare genetic disorders. She finds joy working with children to improve their functional abilities while implementing the most up-to-date evidence-based practice in conjunction with the child’s unique interests. Samantha comes to the Kids in Motion team with a desire to help each and every child succeed to the best of their abilities and have fun while doing so!
Eva Ciccodicola, PT, DPT is a Doctor of Physical Therapy. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences from Boston University and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California. She has experience in inpatient rehabilitation and outpatient clinic settings working with children of varying diagnoses and ages. Eva shares her time between clinical treatment at Kids in Motion and completing research at the Motion and Sports Analysis Lab at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She is excited to be part of the Kids in Motion team to help children and families return to the things they love!
JACKIE BRESNAHAN (OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY CLINICAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE LEAD)
Jackie Bresnahan, M.S., OTR/L earned her Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy 2012 from Tufts University. She has practiced occupational therapy in a variety of settings, including three years as a school-based therapist. Jackie has worked with children with a wide array of diagnoses, including significant experience working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. She has a passion for continuing to expand her knowledge-base in the field of occupational therapy, and has completed courses in the Handwriting Without Tears Curriculum, visual rehabilitation, and the Get Permission approach to feeding. She is also an AOTA certified fieldwork educator. Jackie is committed to a team approach to help children succeed.
ELIZABETH PAULY (OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY PROJECT LEAD)
Elizabeth Pauly, OTD, OTR/L, ATS is a Doctor of Occupational Therapy, earning her master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Southern California. She is the proud sister of an individual with autism, and her experiences fuel her dedication to holistic and family-centered care. Elizabeth has extensive clinical experience in school-based practice, sensory integration and outpatient pediatrics, in addition to her being certified as an Assistive Technology Specialist, Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI) Certified Instructor, Integrated Listening Systems (iLS) Practitioner. She has also received training and mentorship in the area of Ayres Sensory Integration and received her SIPT certification in 2016. She is also trained in Handwriting Without Tears and the SOS Approach to Feeding. She is passionate about play; her doctorate focused on designing a playground and play program that would facilitate social play for children with autism, and she loves bringing that same creativity and fun to her everyday practice. She is thrilled to be a part of the Kids in Motion team!
Elizabeth Borre, MSOT, OTR/L, CTRS, earned her Masters in Occupational Therapy from Stanbridge University in Irvine CA. Prior to her masters degree, she worked as a Recreational Therapist working with both children and adults with a variety of diagnosis. She spent multiple years working alongside and shadowing occupational therapists in different settings, including school-based, outpatient hand therapy, community based programming and inpatient hospital. Elizabeth strives to empower her clients to find their inner strength and prove they can do whatever they want to do. Elizabeth is excited to be a part of the Kids in Motion team and looks forward to working with all the kiddos and families.
Taryn Erickson, MS, OTR/L, earned her Masters of Science degree from California State University, Dominguez Hills, where she received the “Academic Excellence Award” upon her graduation. Before beginning her career as a Pediatric Occupational Therapist, Taryn spent over 9 years working with children and their families in a variety of roles including as a behavioral therapist, preschool teacher, infant and toddler program coordinator, toddler ballet teacher, and handwriting/ letter readiness teacher. Her experience working in so many settings with both typically developing children and children with special needs, gives her a unique and global perspective when designing intervention plans and therapeutic activities. Taryn values strong therapeutic relationships with her clients and families and is passionate about building confidence and independence in every child she works with. She is thrilled to join the Kids in Motion team and looks forward to getting to ‘play’ with her clients every day!
Aileen Imai, OTD, OTR/L earned both her Master’s Degree and Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from the University of Southern California. She is also a certified Child Life Specialist, a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician, and a certified Rhythm Works Integrative Dance Instructor. Aileen has experience working with children of all ages in a variety of settings, including outpatient clinic, inpatient, and community-based settings. Aileen utilizes a holistic and evidence-based approach to guide her treatment sessions and is committed to providing patient-family centered care. Aileen is excited to join the Kids in Motion team and looks forward to working with children and families to help them reach their greatest potential to live life to the fullest!
Ryann MacMurdo, received her bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from the University of California Santa Barbara where she studied in Spain and Italy. Ryann received her Master’s and Doctorate degree in Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science from the University of Southern California. Ryann was inspired to become a pediatric occupational therapist after years of working with special needs children, including her younger brother. She is a certified yoga instructor and loves teaching adults as well as adaptive yoga for children. As a Doctoral Resident at USC’s Brain and Creativity Institute, Ryann gained neuroscience research experience. Her team studied children on the Autism Spectrum via neuroimaging and microbiata to better understand the Gut-Brain Axis and its relation to social and motor abilities of those on the spectrum. She is passionate about helping all children live their best quality of life. She hopes to inspire families and each child’s team to celebrate along the journey to reach goals both big and small! When she is not at Kids in Motion, she enjoys paddle boarding, camping, hiking, and exploring with her fiance and their pup, named Nala.
Elaine Ray, OT/L, graduated from University of Illinois, Chicago, and has always specialized in the area of Pediatrics. She has experience working with children of all ages, including many years in the public school system. As even very young children understand and appreciate the feel of success, Elaine believes in mindfully guiding children to recognize their own individual areas of strength and how to use those strengths to reach their goals. Working as part of a team is especially important to Elaine and she looks forward to collaborating with family members, teachers and caregivers to help every child succeed.
Audrey Trewin, MS, OTR/L, RYT, graduated with a Master’s in Occupational Therapy in 2002. Audrey has worked with children from infants to adolescents throughout her career, specializing in children who have sensory integration and praxis-related difficulties. She has extensive training in sensory integration and completed her Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT) certification in 2006. Audrey is trained in Therapeutic Listening, the SOS Approach to Feeding, and the Beckman Oral Motor Assessment/Intervention. She has taken continuing education courses on using yoga with children and became a certified yoga teacher in 2012. Audrey firmly believes in the importance of a child-centered, holistic and multidisciplinary approach to therapy as well as the value of parent education and involvement. Audrey finds great joy in helping children develop confidence and gain independence.
Lauren Wederich, M.S., OTR/L earned her Master’s of Science Degree in Occupational Therapy from California State University, Dominguez Hills. Lauren pursued a career in occupational therapy after shadowing school-based occupational therapists. Inspired to facilitate pediatric therapy through play,she focused her studies on sensory integration and gained hands-on experience during her clinical internships in a variety of settings. As part of her graduate education, Lauren traveled to Mazatlan, Mexico to provide therapeutic services to children with cerebral palsy in a pediatric clinic. Prior to starting her professional career as an occupational therapist, she enjoyed working with children of all abilities as a swim instructor and spent 10 months on a Fulbright grant teaching English in Malaysia.
ANI ANDERSON (SPEECH THERAPY CLINICAL LEAD)
Andrea Anderson, MS, CCC-SLP, earned her Master’s degree in Communication Disorders from the University of Redlands in 1995. Her pediatric speech therapy experience has been gained across varied settings including a pediatric internship at Rancho-Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center. Andrea has provided clinic based therapy for children to adults and home based therapy as a part of early intervention programs for many families in Santa Monica and the South Bay since 2001. She has been a presenter for the Infant Development Association, “Edu-play”, and Regional Center on the topic of Language and Play. She developed a social skills program for children with Autism and emphasizes targeting functional communication exchanges across settings. Andrea’s therapeutic approach focuses on each child’s unique profile of strengths and needs while incorporating evidence based practices. She finds joy working with children and supporting them in reaching their greatest communicative potential.
MEI SHIOTSU (SPEECH THERAPY ADMINISTRATIVE LEAD)
Mei Shiotsu, M.A., CCC-SLP, earned both her Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from California State University, Long Beach. Throughout her academic career, she gained pediatric experience in private practice and school settings. Mei has completed assessments and implemented individual and group therapy for children with a variety of diagnoses and speech/language disorders including Autism, Down syndrome, phonology and articulation disorders, expressive/receptive language delays, fluency and social skills. She has also worked with children and adolescents affected by disability in family camp and church settings. Mei loves working with children and their families, and she enjoys creating a fun learning environment for each child.
Maria Merwin, M.S., CCC-SLP, received her Master’s Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the State University of New York at New Paltz. Her passion for pediatric speech pathology began in graduate school while working with children from birth – 5th grade during internships in both school and pediatric hospital settings. She has provided speech and language therapy in a variety of settings that includes home care, pre-school, daycare, and schools. Her clinical decisions are rooted in evidence based practice and she believes in looking at the whole child when tailoring goals to the individual child. She is PROMPT (PROMPTS for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets) level I Trained, is trained in the Kaufman Speech to Language Protocol: Evaluation and Treatment of Childhood Apraxia of Speech, and the SOS Approach to Feeding. She is thrilled to work with the caring, professional, and passionate team of therapists at Kids in Motion to support kids and their families reach their fullest potential! In her free time, Maria loves to cook healthy food, enjoy the outdoors, practice yoga, hike, and spend time with family and friends.
Bianca Minniti, M.S., CCC-SLP, received her bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a minor in Psychology from the University of Iowa and her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Idaho State University. Bianca was inspired to become a pediatric speech pathologist after experiencing the positive ways speech therapy helped her younger brother. During her academic career she gained experience working with children in a variety of settings including a hospital, private practice, schools, and an Indian Reservation. Bianca gained research experience as an undergraduate assistant in a stuttering research lab and worked in the ISU Multisensory Language Processing Lab in graduate school. She is passionate about equipping children with the tools and techniques to achieve their goals and celebrating their success along the way! When she is not at Kids in Motion, she enjoys mountain biking, hiking, rollerblading, and exploring sunny Southern California.
ANDREINA “INA” PITARQUE
Ina Pitarque McGuiness, M.S., CCC-SLP, received her bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from The Pennsylvania State University and her Master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Howard University. Throughout her professional career, she has worked with children, adolescents, and adults with a variety of diagnoses and speech and language disorders such as articulation and phonological disorders, fluency disorders, expressive/receptive delays, pragmatic disorders, Autism, Down Syndrome, cleft palate, stroke, traumatic brain injuries, and Cerebral Palsy. She has worked at private clinics as well as outpatient rehabilitation centers alongside therapists from other disciplines and is excited to be able to continue to do so here at Kids in Motion. She is passionate about creating a safe and fun environment where children can find their voice and reach their full potential by using functional therapy programs while also making sure families/caregivers are involved every step of the way. In her free time, Ina likes to travel, take pictures, make crafts, and spend time with friends and family!
Whitney Reese, M.Ed., CCC-SLP earned her Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from North Carolina Central University in 2014. After graduate school, she worked for two years at a private practice focused on early intervention services in North Carolina. She decided to move across country to sunny California in April 2016 and landed here at Kids in Motion. Throughout graduate school and her professional career she has treated children and adolescents with a variety of diagnoses and speech/language disorders: including Autism, Down syndrome, phonology and articulation disorders, expressive/receptive language delays, fluency and social skills. She deeply enjoys working with the clients, families and staff here at Kids in Motion.
Samantha Wermers, M.Ed., CCC-SLP received her Master’s Degree from the University of Virginia. She has previous professional experience as a speech-language pathologist in the pediatric private practice setting and is passionate about providing one-on-one, specialized services for a wide variety of ages and abilities. Samantha enjoys the fun environment that kids naturally create and is driven to help them live their best lives! She believes that functional communication is the key to success. In her free time, Samantha likes to travel, cook, play with dogs, and spend time at the beach here in sunny California!