Staff Bios

Carmen Rathert, M.S. CCC-SLP, COM®

Carmen was honored to receive her first job with the Warrensburg Public School District as Speech-Language Pathologist for the Early Childhood Special Education Program. Carmen worked closely with students, parents, teachers, and therapists over the next six years assessing and treating a variety of speech and language disorders, developing and implementing Individualized Education Plans, and learning how to manage student behaviors. It was here that she developed her passion for working with this population. 

Carmen left the Warrensburg Public Schools in search of part-time employment due to the birth of her first son, Nolan. Carmen accepted a part-time position with Western Missouri Medical Center in Warrensburg, Missouri, as a pediatric outpatient Speech-Language Pathologist.  Carmen immensely enjoyed working one-on-one with pediatric patients and their families and quickly saw the importance and effectiveness of parental involvement within the treatment setting as well as in the home environment.  

In 2012, Carmen and her husband were delighted to find out they were expecting identical twin boys; however, at 20 weeks, they discovered their boys were suffering from Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS). (www.tttsfoundation.org) Tyson and Carmen lost their son, Luke, due to the disease that April. Carmen was monitored closely at the University of Kansas Hospital and welcomed the birth of their son, Lane, at 32.6 weeks. Lane spent 9 weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Carmen gained a lot of perspective through this experience about pediatric feeding and swallowing and the emotional roller-coaster of having a child in the NICU. Lane received occupation and physical therapy through the Missouri First Steps program from the first 6 months he was home. The family was responsible for following through with Lane's home programming.

Carmen continued at Western Missouri Medial Center for three years before returning to the public school system. In 2014, Carmen and her family moved to her home town of Clinton, Missouri. She became the Speech-Language Pathologist for the Early Childhood Program and served for one year before opening her private practice. 

 Carmen immensely enjoyed working one-on-one with pediatric patients and their families and quickly saw the importance and effectiveness of parental involvement within the treatment setting as well as in the home environment. Carmen has a strong clinical background in early childhood speech and language development which includes phonological processing disorders, articulation, childhood apraxia of speech, receptive language and auditory comprehension and memory, expressive language, and Autism Spectrum Disorders. She enjoys challenging patients and loves working with families. Carmen never stops learning and is always looking for new tools/strategies for her therapy toolbox.

Carmen has completed her certification in Orofacial Myology (COM) through the International Association of Orofacial Myology (IAOM) in March of 2019.

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Hannah Witt, M.S. CCC-SLP

Hannah began her career working at Golden Living Center in Clinton, Missouri as well as at Windsor Healthcare and Rehab. Throughout her time there, she had the opportunity to serve the geriatric population by evaluating, treating and providing supplies and strategies to facilitate greater independence. Working in skilled nursing allowed her to work closely alongside physical and occupational therapists, allowing for greater collaboration and success for patients. 

In December 2015, Hannah was given a chance to join Chatterbox Speech Therapy, LLC., as a part-time therapist working with children. Hannah was thrilled as she began seeking 1-2 kiddos a week, slowly progressing to 7-8 a week. Working with children had always been a desire for Hannah. Through Chatterbox, she was given the opportunity to continue working with children not only at the Chatterbox clinic but also throughout the Knob Noster School District. 

Hannah has experience working with a variety of diagnosis with ages ranging from pediatric to geriatric and everything in between. Hannah loves trying new techniques and learning strategies to see greater growth in her clients. Hannah is going into her third year as a speech pathology and is excited to see what this next year holds.

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Amanda Littrell, M.S. CCC-SLP

Amanda began her career working for the Warrensburg School District in 2012 as an early childhood speech language pathologist. While working there, she evaluated, treated, and provided materials to children 3-5 years old with a wide range of diagnoses. She was blessed to have the opportunity to collaborate with a wonderful team of teachers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and an educational interpreter, which allowed her to implement various modes of communication for her students to include assistive technology devices, pictures exchange systems, and sign language.

While she loved working for the school district, Amanda found herself looking for part-time work following the birth of her son. She was soon blessed with the opportunity to work part-time for Carmen at Chatterbox Speech Therapy, LLC in April of 2016. Amanda has enjoyed the challenge of expanding her repertoire from only serving early childhood to serving children from birth to 18 years old. She enjoys learning and tailoring new techniques and strategies to meet the individual needs of her clients.  Amanda is pursuing certification in Orofacial Myology (COM).

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Megan Hilsabeck, M.S. CCC-SLP

Megan began her career at the Missouri Veterans Home in Warrensburg, MO. In her short time there, she had the opportunity to serve local veterans by ensuring comfortable and safe eating and swallowing.
While she enjoyed working for and interacting with the gentlemen, she found that she longed for a greater variety in her caseload and missed working with children. 

Soon after her realization, Megan was blessed with the opportunity to accept a position as Speech-Language Pathologist at Western Missouri Medical Center at the beginning of 2013. Here, Megan has broadened her scope of experience by working with children and adults, and training in videofluoroscopic swallow study. She also gained immense appreciation in working closely with families, speech language pathologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and nursing staff. It was also here that Megan first met Carmen, where Carmen recognized her learning style and fostered her clinical skills by encouraging open communication and collaboration in treatment approaches.  

In 2015, Megan was thrilled to join her friend and mentor, Carmen Rathert, as a contract therapist for Carmen’s new practice. Through Chatterbox, Megan is able to provide accessible services within the Warrensburg and Whiteman Air Force Base communities. She is enjoying the opportunity to gain experience in new settings, and is pleased to provide convenient therapy services for the busy lifestyles
of today’s families.

Megan considers herself a “generalist” and has experience in working with a wide variety of diagnoses across the lifespan. Megan particularly enjoys working with pediatric language delays and disorders, phonological processing disorders, childhood apraxia of speech, literacy and dyslexia, and adult dysphagia. Megan enjoys thinking outside of the box and incorporating learning input strategies she has
learned in collaboration with physical therapists and occupational therapists. Megan feels that it is important to offer learning opportunities through a variety of input channels, including tactile, auditory, and visual experiences.

Megan is anxiously awaiting her fifth year as a Speech-Language Pathologist so that she can begin to pursue her Clinical Specialty Certification in Child Language and Language Disorders. In the meantime, Megan hopes to participate in PROMPT training courses to obtain her PROMPT certification. Megan has experience in error-less learning and discrete trial training through her time as an ABA tutor while in Graduate School. Megan has also been trained in the Institute of Multi-Sensory Education’s Orton-Gillingham literacy and dyslexia treatment program. 

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Kim Shields, M.S. CCC-SLP

 

Kim obtained a Bachelors in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and a minor in Early Childhood Education from Central Missouri State University (now University of Central Missouri). Following graduation, Kim pursued her Masters in Speech-Language Pathology from CMSU. Upon graduation, Kim began her career at the Clay County Health Department in Liberty, Missouri. During her time there, Kim provided speech and language services to children and adults with various cognitive-communicative disorders. Although she enjoyed working at the health department, she knew her passion was in the school setting. She spent the last 29 years in the public-school system, 25 of which were with the Clinton School District. 

During her tenure in the Clinton School District, Kim was honored to be recognized by her peers and community by receiving Optimist Educator of the Year, CSD Educator of the Year, Outstanding Service Award, and CSD PTO Kindness Award. 

Kim strongly believes communication is the golden thread that runs through everything. Because of this belief, her 29 years in public education were spent with early childhood and early elementary students and included a variety of diagnoses, such as articulation and phonology, language disorders, social communication, autism spectrum disorders, fluency, and chromosomal anomalies. While in public education, Kim worked collaboratively with parents, teachers, and colleagues to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat communication disorders in children. She also provided training and education to families and caregivers to promote generalization and carryover into natural settings. Kim also had the privilege to supervise several speech-language pathology practicum students from UCM. Kim is trained in Orton Gillingham dyslexia treatment program, Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), and regularly attends continuing education conferences to remain current in the ever-changing field of speech pathology.

Kim is excited to work at Chatterbox and continue serving communicatively impaired children!

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Lauren O'Hare, M.S. SLP-CFY

Lauren was blessed to begin her career working as a Speech Language Pathology Assistant at Chatterbox Speech Therapy in the summer of 2018. There she has had the opportunity to work closely with students, parents, and a variety of therapists and professionals dedicated to supporting the development of children with a variety of diagnoses. She recently earned her Master’s in Communication Disorders in December of 2018 and continues to work with Chatterbox to provide speech and language therapy to students at Chilhowee R-IV and Knob Noster Middle and High School. Lauren has been trained in the Institute of Multi-Sensory Education’s Orton-Gillingham literacy and dyslexia treatment program. She loves researching and finding new ways to provide successful and evidence-based treatment to her clients. Lauren is excited to begin her first year as a speech pathologist and the opportunity to help her clients meet their communication goals. 

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Jami Voelmeck, M.S. CCC-SLP

Upon  graduating from college Jami began her career working in the rehabilitation field working for rehabilitation therapy companies for two years in the hospitals and nursing homes.  Jami loved performing video swallows and working with diet changes for patients  that had suffered strokes. Upon returning to Clinton Jami was blessed to interview for a position in the Clinton School District where she had grown up and attended school.  Jami has now been working for the Clinton School District for 20 years. She has had  the privilege of working with students aged preschool through high school. Jami currently works at the intermediate school and works with students in grades 3-5. Her students have a wide range of diagnoses that she learns from everyday.  She has had the privilege  and opportunity to work with students that have been diagnosed with Autism, ADD, ADHD, Downs Syndrome, and Retts Syndrome. 

She  works with students that have been identified with speech and/or language deficits, as well as, some augmentative communication devices.  Jami had the opportunity to work part-time for Carmen Rathert at Chatterbox Speech Therapy , LLC in November of 2018.  This has been a wonderful experience to widen her scope of practice and learn the differences between private practice and educational speech therapy services.

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LeeAnn Gooding

LeeAnne is the billing administrator for both Chatterbox And Child's Play therapies.  She has over 20 years experience working with insurance companies and patient accounts covering a variety of areas of medical practice.

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Dana Vanmeter-Patton, M.S. CCC-SLP

Dana graduated with BS and MS from Central MO State University.  She has been practicing speech language pathology for over 20 years in public schools, private practice, hospital and skilled nursing facilities.  Dana worked in Warrensburg and Holden Public Schools for 11 years working with early childhood special education through high school students with emphasis on autism, developmental delays,social skills, language and speech delays. She  was the in-district autism consultant for one year following intensive training through DESE.  She owned a private practice for six years and served children birth to three  through MO First Steps program. Dana then started working for rehab companies in skilled nursing facilities with emphasis on aphasia, dysphagia, cognitive reorganization and use of Vital Stim for swallowing rehabilitation. She worked at Western MO Medical Center with outpatient pediatric patients with autism, developmental delays, and speech and language delays and adult clients with swallowing, voice and cognitive deficits. 


"I am looking forward to serving the pediatric population at Chatterbox Speech Therapy! -Dana 

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Katelee Miller

Katelee Miller graduated from the University of Central Missouri with a Masters in Speech-Language Pathology. She started her career at Mosaic Life Care, working in the hospital setting with the geriatric population. But her true passion came forward when she began working with children with an array of communication and speech difficulties. She is excited to start this new chapter in her career and is ready to see what new experiences and opportunities she can obtain through Chatterbox Speech Therapy!


Go Chiefs!! 

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Jessi Frencken, MPT

 Jessi Frencken, MPT is a licensed physical therapist and owner of Child’s Play Therapy, LLC. She received her Masters in physical therapy from the University of Missouri Columbia in 2005. Jessi has owned her business for over 10 years now and Child’s Play Therapy currently offers early intervention services in 10 counties, school based therapy in 10 districts and outpatient services based out of Clinton, MO. Jessi enjoys evaluating and treating children of all ages with a multitude of diagnoses; but mostly enjoys educating and empowering parents and caregivers to make a difference in children’s lives. 

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Paige Foster, DPT

Paige Foster is a licensed physical therapist. She received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Rockhurst University. Paige has experience in many settings serving both adults and children but personally finds working with children and their families to be the most rewarding. Her pediatric experience includes school-based, early intervention and outpatient therapy services.  

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Jessica Diermann, DPT

 Jessica Diermann is a licensed physical therapist with a passion for working with children and their families. She earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Missouri. She completed a pediatric physical therapy residency at Creighton University, where she gained experience working with pediatric patients in a variety of settings, including outpatient, school-based, aquatics, and the NICU. Jessica is dedicated to helping families to improve their children’s quality of life through gross motor skills and functional mobility. 

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Kim Moore, PTA

 Kim Moore is a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant with 30 years of experience. She graduated from Penn Valley Community College with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Physical Therapy in 1988. She has worked in many settings with adult and pediatric populations. Kim finds pediatric therapy to be challenging and rewarding and enjoys serving children and their families. Her pediatric experience includes school-based therapy, home and outpatient settings. Kim and her husband Randy have 5 children and 2 grandchildren. In her free time, Kim sings professionally, teaches in her church’s youth group and enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and dogs. 

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Amy Tracy, PTA

 Amy Tracy graduated from Penn Valley Community College. She has worked in almost all areas of physical therapy. The last 12 years have primarily focused on pediatrics working in first steps and school settings. Amy works hard to meet each child and families individual needs. When not at work Amy is usually spending her time with her family at ball games or being a “dance mom. 

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Lauren Helmig, COTA

Lauren Helmig is a licensed and certified occupational therapy assistant with experience in a variety of settings. Previously Lauren was serving the geriatric population when she got the opportunity to provide services to the pediatric population through Child’s Play Therapy. She couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work with the pediatric population as her younger brother with physical and mental disabilities is the driving force behind her career choice and initial interest in the pediatric population. 

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Jeanni Kanzler, OTR/L

 Jeanni Kanzler is a licensed occupational therapist with over 20 years experience.  She has worked in a variety of settings developing fine motor, visual motor/perceptual motor, reflex integration, and sensory processing skills in all populations. 

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Courtney Van Alstine, OTR/L

Courtney Van Alstine is a licensed and registered occupational therapist with a passion for pediatric therapy. She received her Masters in occupational therapy from the University of Missouri-Columbia and completed a graduate assistantship at the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders.   

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Emily Stocking, LPC

 Emily Stocking is a Licensed Professional Counselor, who is specializing in Play Therapy.  She has 11 years experience working in community mental health, she held several positions and worked with numerous populations during that time.  Emily has also worked in school settings with grades K-12.  Emily also has experience teaching graduate level courses in ethics, consultation, and crisis intervention for the university of Central Missouri.  In her free time Emily enjoys spending time with her 2 children and husband, usually crappie fishing on Truman Lake. 

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Remington

 Remington is a certified therapy dog and probably the most popular therapist we have on staff. He is a very sweet chocolate lab that works in our outpatient and school based settings. A therapy dog is designed to provide affection, comfort and motivation to others. Animal assisted activities have proven to help clients improve motor skills, mobility, balance, verbal skills, mental skills, attention, socialization and trust. Working with therapy dogs decreases anxiety while improving participation. Therapy dogs provide unconditional acceptance to those they visit and studies have shown a 76% more positive response in treatment sessions with therapy dogs than without them. Remington loves his job and comes to work every day eager to meet new people and reunite with old friends. 

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