A new Easterseals clinic will provide the organization's great special needs services closer to families in east-central Alabama when it opens it's new Springville office later this month in St. Clair County.
Published: October 25, 2017
By: Carol Evans
“Outpatient pediatric services such as speech, occupational and physical therapy are (currently) minimal with the exception of those therapies provided by the school system,” says David Higgins, executive director of Easterseals of the Birmingham Area. “Often, children need additional therapy to be successful and overcome developmental deficits. Easterseals of the Birmingham Area’s goal is to work diligently to bring services to needed areas in our priority service area.”
As a non-profit, Easterseals accepts Medicaid and offers charity care to ensure that everyone who needs their services has an opportunity to receive them, Higgins adds.
At the clinic, patients can find speech-language therapy, followed soon by occupational therapy and physical therapy, based on demand, Higgins says. Patients must have a referral from their doctor, and once referred, their therapists evaluate the patient to determine the child’s individualized treatment plan. When open, the hours will be from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, but by appointment only.
Since Easterseals has operated an outpatient pediatric therapy clinic successfully in its Pelham location since 2005, Higgins says they expect this clinic to grow as it serves St. Clair County, Blount County and east Jefferson County. “We do not limit our service area and will serve anyone who can make it to the clinic,” Higgins adds.
Higgins says that St. Clair County was chosen as the new clinic location, because it is within a 22.5-mile radius of every major city in St. Clair, Blount and east Jefferson County, making it convenient for the target service area. Interestingly, The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 1 in 12 children have a disorder related to voice, speech, language or swallowing, Higgins says.
Given the number of children in St. Clair County alone (based on the 2014 census, this is approximately 21,659 children, ages 0-19), that translates to 1,084 children potentially requiring speech therapy alone. “While there are opportunities in Birmingham and a new clinic in Oneonta, the choice is limited,” Higgins adds.
Easterseals Pediatric Therapy East
300 Springville Station Suite 1300
Springville, AL 35146