WF outpatient therapies a ‘one-stop’ shop

August 19, 2019

Charity Pinkston and Karissa Riter work with Edie Lindsey during a therapy session at Wendell Foster. | Photo by Marlys Mason

Wendell Foster’s Comprehensive Outpatient Rehabilitation Facility (CORF) houses all outpatient therapies including physical, occupational and speech therapies.

Edie Lindsey began physical therapy at Wendell Foster in 2015 when First Steps, a statewide early intervention system for children with developmental disabilities aged birth to age 3, did not have a physical therapist they could send to her house in McLean County. Since her referral for physical therapy, she also sees occupational and speech therapists at Wendall Foster one day a week.

Lindsey, who will turn five in September, spends over two hours moving through the different therapies at CORF.


“They are all so nice, and she knows most of the therapists because they always greet everyone, so she is comfortable if she has to be seen by someone other than her regular therapists,” said Lindsey’s mother, Tonya.

Lindsey’s speech therapist, Karissa Riter said that patients of CORF enjoy the convenience of having all therapies housed together.

“We have multiple patients who combine therapies on specific days, especially those living out of town,” Riter said. “The more you can take off their plate, the better. We try to make therapy as less invasive as possible and embed it into what they already normally do.”

Lindsey’s therapy is a group effort among her therapists, family and teachers, Riter said, adding that Lindsey soaks it all in like a sponge.

“We are just a snapshot of time,” Riter said of the therapy service exercises that are then reiterated through home and preschool teachers efforts. “She has spent three years going up that continuum of care and meeting milestones.”

Ritter said that all three of Lindsey’s therapists are cognizant of the other therapies and they try to incorporate what is happening in one area of therapy into another.

For example, Riter said that most of Lindsey’s speech therapy is play-based, but while working on words and phrasing for speech therapy, Riter has her use movements required in other areas.

“We embed it in what we are doing, but it is something her family can do with her as well,” Riter said. “In 30 minutes, I try to reach the maximum potential without an added burden.”

Sorting socks by color, following directions on setting the table and using the correct grasp to pick things up are all ways that Riter said therapists are “thinking outside the box” when working with patients.

“We make it a little easier, a little more fun,” said Riter.

With eight full-time speech therapists, seven full-time physical therapists and six full-time occupational therapists, Wendell Foster is accepting new patients with a doctor’s referral in all areas and is increasing its social media presence to get the word out about its “one-stop shop,” Riter said.

The therapies include the evaluation and treatment of people of all ages, birth through adulthood. Services are offered both on-site and within the school setting through contractual arrangements with some area school systems.

Depending on coverage, Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance may pay for expenses related to the services.

For more information contact Wendell Foster at 270-689-1738.

August 19, 2019

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