Business

ProActive Pediatric Therapy aims for 'intimate' space

Suzie Johannes works with Lily Canfield, 21 mos., on standing from a seated position and reaching up for a physical ther
Suzie Johannes works with Lily Canfield, 21 mos., on standing from a seated position and reaching up for a physical therapy appointment at ProActive Pediatric Therapy in Hiawatha on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Lily has Downs Syndrome and had worked with Johannes and co-owner Lisa Dolphin for her physical and occupational therapy for several months before the two opened the new practice. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
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HIAWATHA — Lisa Dolphin and Suzie Johannes say they are on a mission to help families.

They opened ProActive Pediatric Therapy back in November on 2019 to give families living in the Corridor more options when it comes to out-patient physical, occupational and speech therapy for their children.

With more than 45 years combined experience, Dolphin is an occupational therapist and Johannes is a physical therapist.

“We had both worked for bigger clinics and felt some of the constraints that come with that,” said Dolphin. “We were excited to create a space that felt more like home for families, a space that was more intimate.”

While they see children of all ages at their facility, the therapists said they really strive to serve families with infants through five-year-olds.

“That’s really what we created this place for,” Johannes said. “We want to help those kiddos so that once they become school age they can thrive and not simply be in survival mode. And we are able to dig deeper and see kids more frequently.”

And she noted their approach is a bit different, as well.

“We don’t just focus on a development checklist. We look at having quality of movement,” Dolphin said. “It may be an infant having difficulties with transitional moves.

“The research is showing that what you may see is that those kiddos have troubles with transitions as they get older. These are critical developmental stages.”

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So far the two owners have figured out a way to split up the duties of running their business beyond working with their patients.

“Lisa is fabulous at taking on insurance and credentialing with Medicaid,” Johannes said.

“And Suzie does a lot of our human resources and finance work,” Dolphin added. “Plus, Suzie really thinks outside the box, which enhances our collaboration.”

They also work with a full-time office manager and a speech pathologist.

“There aren’t many private, women-owned pediatric clinics,” said Dolphin. “Our mission is so important to us. There are options now and we are helping families know that seeking our expertise is OK.

“And our business name is intentional. We want to be proactive in working with kids. And we want to be proactive in getting out into our community in sharing the importance of early detection and intervention for best outcomes for kids.

“The earlier we see kid, the shorter our intervention can be,” Johannes continued.

The duo also wants to encourage parents to go with their gut.

“Your mom instinct is usually right,” Johannes said. “We want to be a resource for families. If you are wondering about something, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.”

“Figuring out what’s holding kids back and helping them get to that point of seeing them thrive,” Johannes said, makes the work worthwhile.

Dolphin agreed. “Those celebration moments are so special. And we’ve had patients say that this clinic makes them feel calm, and from our older patients that’s rewarding to hear.”

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At a glance

• Co-owners: Lisa Dolphin and Suzie Johannes

• Business: ProActive Pediatric Therapy

• Address: 1717 Boyson Rd., Hiawatha

• Phone: (319) 200-2004

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