Independent Living Inc. Pediatric Therapy was established in 1996 by Stephanie Harris, Occupational Therapist (OTR). Her goal was to provide home-based, pediatric therapy then slowly hire additional therapists as the demand for services increased. The company began obtaining contracts with home health agencies to provide therapy for geriatric patients as well as marketing services to potential pediatric referral sources. Independent Living Inc. was initially run out of a small home office.
In 1999, three years after starting the company, five former colleagues and friends of Stephanie saw how well the company was doing and decided to work with her, some of which still work for us today. New pediatric referrals were coming in rapidly as there were not many home-based pediatric companies within the Tampa Bay area at that time. There was also a high demand for speech therapy and she was in pursuit of adding this important service to the company.
As soon as speech therapy was added, we were providing pediatric occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech-language therapy services in the client’s home and the business began to prosper. Independent Living Inc. Pediatric Therapy was building a great reputation in the community. Our home-based services were very convenient for the parents and the children were comfortable in their home environment. In 2000, Stephanie and her first office employee were working out of the living room.
In 2003, we established our first pediatric, outpatient clinic located in the Citrus Park area of Tampa, Florida. In October 2009, we established our second pediatric outpatient clinic in Wesley Chapel. As recently as February 2011, we have established our third clinic in Saint Petersburg, Florida.
Independent Living Inc. Pediatric Therapy has been providing speech, occupational and physical therapy services for children and schools in Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota counties for the last 15 years. We have grown from one therapist to contributing to Florida’s economy by employing over 150 therapists and staff. The company has grown to be the largest pediatric, community based therapy provider in the Tampa Bay area. Community based therapy includes clinic based therapy, home based therapy and school based therapy.
Independent Living Inc. Pediatric Therapy has faced many challenges that have helped us grow into the company we are today. We have implemented internal auditing procedures to ensure that therapists conduct themselves appropriately in the field. We require mandatory parent/caregiver signatures to verify both date and times of services. Random chart audits are completed during annual reviews. These audits include phone calls to family members/caregivers, daycares and schools to verify therapists schedule, timeliness and accuracy of documentation. With each unique situation, our policy and procedure manual is constantly improving. We have also discovered that as the company progresses, it is even more important to maintain and update policies to serve two purposes: (1) improve the quality of services that we provide to clients and (2) support the therapists while they are in the field working on our behalf.
We continue to strive to make the company’s future as bright as our past.