Meet the Therapists

Julie Bemus Ortiz, M.S., CCC-SLP/Director, Speech Language Pathologist

Julie Bemus Ortiz

Julie Bemus Ortiz, M.S., CCC/SLP received a Master's degree from the University of Nevada, Reno. Julie has an established background in autism spectrum disorders, Down syndrome, non-verbal children, sign language, communication and literacy with assistive technology, and specific language based learning disabilities. Julie is a Hanen certified speech-language pathologist with emphasis on early intervention parent training (It Takes Two To Talk) and autism spectrum disorders (More Than Words). Julie is also certified by Lindamood to teach the LIPs program for reading, spelling and speech. Julie has provided services in acute medical care settings, preschools, public schools and private clinic. Julie has been the owner and director of Advanced Pediatric Therapies, LLC since 2003 and is passionate about a family centered clinic with naturalistic learning opportunities for children of all ages, developmental levels and communicative needs.

Maria Ramiro, M.S., CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist

Maria Molino

Maria was born and raised in the Philippines and moved to the United States in 2001. Maria received her Bachelor's degree and Master's Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Nevada, Reno. She has a varied background of providing services in private clinic, elementary, rehabilitation, and skilled nursing settings. Maria is fluent in both Filipino and English. Maria is passionate about childhood communication and language learning disabilities. Maria has attended a number of seminars related to sensory processing disorders and autism. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her two year old son.

Kelly Galvan, M.S., CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist, Speech Supervisor

Kelly Galvan

Kelly received her Bachelor's degree in speech-language pathology from Northern Arizona University. Upon receiving her BS degree, Kelly worked as a speech therapy aide for a private pediatric practice in southern California, which is where she is originally from. Kelly then fulfilled her Master level educational & clinical requirements in the field of Speech Pathology at University of Nevada, Reno graduating in 2000. Kelly has since then been living in the Reno/Tahoe area. She enjoys the challenges and rewards of treating speech-language delayed and non-verbal children. She also is passionate about educating parents and helping families understand their child's communicative needs. Her hobbies outside of work include: skiing, running, scrap booking, and enjoying family time.

Irena Poskute Rodriquez, M.S. CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist

Irena Poskute Rodriquez

Irena was born in Lithuania and moved to the United States in 2007. She earned her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Nevada, Reno. Irena enjoys working with school aged children and is passionate about working with children and their families that come from bilingual backgrounds. Irena's primary language is Lithuanian, but she grew up learning Russian and English. Irena learned Spanish when she came to the US and she is happy to use her cultural and language rich background in therapy.

Kelley Pisciotta, M.S., CCC-SLP, Speech-Language Pathologist

Kelley Schott

Kelley was born and raised in Reno, and earned her Bachelor's degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Nevada, Reno. She earned her Master of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Chapman University in Orange, CA. Upon receiving her degree she moved to San Diego, CA where she worked in the Poway Unified School District as a Speech-Language Pathologist at an Elementary School and High School. Kelley has experience working with children with Autism, childhood Apraxia of speech, AD/HD, articulation delays, and language disorders and delays. She moved back home to Reno to broaden her experience in Speech-Language Pathology and be closer to family and friends. In her off time she enjoys playing with her Golden Retriever Lily, watching football, and being outdoors.

Pamela Victoria, M.S., CCC-SLP Speech Language Pathologist

Pamela Victoria

Pamela earned her Bachelor's degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology with a minor in Developmental Disabilities from the University of Nevada, Reno and her Master’s degree from California State University, Northridge. She has a strong background in Early Childhood Education and over 10 years of experience working with young children and their families. She enjoys collaborating with families and other professionals to provide the best learning opportunities and experiences possible.

Megan Marble, M.S., CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist

Megan earned her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Nevada, Reno following a Bachelor’s degree in print journalism with an English writing minor. She is a northern California native, but has lived in various corners of the country, practicing speech pathology in both Washington state and New York prior to returning to the Reno area. Megan has experience working with children and adults in private practices, schools, hospitals, and skilled nursing facilities. She spent three years helping grow a small private practice on Bainbridge Island, WA, working with both children and adults with a wide range of speech and language diagnoses. Megan is PROMPT-trained (Level 1) and has received advanced training and experience with the S.O.S. Approach to Feeding. She is also very interested in utilizing and training clients and families on augmentative communication devices to support speech and language goals. As a therapist, Megan is constantly seeking creative ways to engage her clients in meaningful therapy and to provide continuous improvement. In her free time, Megan enjoys traveling, skiing, dabbling in various artistic pursuits, and spending time with her family, friends, and Shiba Inu pup.

Adriana Ferguson, M.S., CFY-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist

Adriana graduated from the University of Nevada – Reno (UNR) earning her Bachelor of Science in Speech Language Pathology, and a Masters of Science in Speech Pathology and Audiology. She is from South America. Adriana is fluent in English and Spanish. Adriana has been working in Early Intervention with children and their families, especially for those from non-English speaking countries. She has experience working with a wide variety of pediatric populations including children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Cerebral Palsy, Down syndrome, Receptive and Expressive Language Disorders, and Language Delays. Adriana enjoys working with children, and collaborating with their families as she strongly believes in the importance of Early Intervention, and its positive outcomes. In collaboration with the Clinic of Autism at UNR, she is involved in the research on “The Influence of Culture in Obtaining a Diagnosis of ASD in the Latino Families”.

Kaitlyn Kelhetter M.S., CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist

Kaitlyn received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Speech-Language Pathology from University of Arizona. Upon receiving her degree, she moved back home to Reno where she worked in the Washoe County School District as a Speech-Language Pathologist at an elementary school.  Kaitlyn has experience working with children with Autism, hearing loss, phonological and articulation delays, and receptive and expressive language delays.  In her time off she enjoys spending time at the lake in the summer and playing with her puppy Cooper.

Heather Karchefski, M.S., CF-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist

Heather Karchefski received her Bachelor’s in 2015 and Master’s degree in 2017, both in Speech- Language Pathology from the University of Nevada, Reno. During her studies, Heather developed a passion for pediatrics and completed clinical externships at the Washoe County School District and at Advanced Pediatrics. While at Advanced Pediatrics, Heather enjoyed the impact she had on her clients’ lives and sought to continue working in private practice. Heather has evaluated and treated children in speech and language disorders and is excited to continue working in pediatrics. Heather grew up in Reno and in her free time enjoys hiking, spending time with family, and playing with her cat, Pete.

Tanya Glass, MOT, OTR/L, Occupational Therapy, Motor Supervisor

Tanya Glass

I received my bachelor of science degree in 1996 from California State University in Sacramento. I then received my Master's degree in Occupational Therapy in 1998 from Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, California. I have worked in a variety of different settings including early intervention, schools, hospitals, and private practice. I have received advanced training in the areas of Autism, sensory integration, and feeding disorders. I am very passionate in working with these special populations. I have completed training in therapeutic listening programs including The Listening Program through Advanced Brain Technologies and Therapeutic Listening through Vital Links. I have also completed training in administering the Autism Diagnostic and Observation Scale, the SOS Approach to Feeding, and teaching kids yoga.

Matthew Steadman-MOT, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist

Matthew Steadman

Matthew received his Bachelor of Science degree in 2008 from Brigham Young University-Idaho in Rexburg, Idaho. He went on to receive his Master's degree in Occupational Therapy in the summer of 2013 from Touro University Nevada in Henderson, NV. He is fluent in both English and Spanish, having lived in the Dominican Republic for two years. Matthew also minored in Spanish at BYU-Idaho. Matthew has varied experience working with families and children in a variety of different settings and is passionate about helping children become as independent as possible with their activities of daily living. When not at work, Matt enjoys spending time camping and exploring with his wife and two young daughters.

Kyndra O'Riley, MOT, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist

Kyndra O'Riley

Kyndra received both her Bachelors of Science in Child Development and her Masters of Occupational Therapy degrees at Texas Woman's University. She moved to the Reno area from Texas in 2008 with her husband. She has experience working in pediatrics in a variety of settings, including schools, in-patient rehabilitation, out patient clinics, and in a children's grieving center. She has completed the first class for SIPT certification training, and enjoys working with children who have sensory integration issues. Kyndra is a compassionate therapist who values and respects each child she treats. When not at work, Kyndra enjoys spending time with her family and two boston terriers.

Whitney Tostenson, MOT, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist

Whitney Tostenson

I received my Bachelor's of Occupational Science degree in 2011 from the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine. I went on to receive my Master's of Occupational Therapy degree in 2012 from the University of New England in Portland, Maine. While in school, I had the pleasure of working with wonderful professors that helped to create the ideas of Sensory Integration Theory and Sensory Processing Disorder. As a child, I myself suffered from sensory processing difficulties that affected my academic and social abilities. During my last year in school, I highly specialized in pediatric and school based therapies to learn ways to help similar children and their families with the difficulties I experienced. I strongly focused on Sensory Processing Disorder, Reflex Integration Therapy, The Wilbarger Brushing Protocol, Therapeutic Listening, and the Astronaut Training Protocol. In professional practice, I have continued to focus on these areas and have built upon them greatly. I have had the opportunity to work with many children with varying diagnoses to include Autism, Down syndrome, Williams syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, and Sensory Processing Disorder. I am a passionate therapist with the desire to facilitate the development of all the children I work with. My hope is that the skills my clients learn will transition to all environments, for more successful academics experiences and social relationships, throughout the lifespan."

Andrea Morrow, MSOT, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist

Andrea was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota and earned her Bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She earned her Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from A.T. Still University in Phoenix, AZ. Andrea has varied experience working with families and children in a variety of different settings and is passionate about helping children become as independent as possible with their activities of daily living. Andrea moved to Reno with her husband in August 2016 to broaden her experience in occupational therapy and be closer to family. In her free time she enjoys skiing, rafting, running, and enjoying the outdoors with her husband and friends.

Lesley Marcacci, DPT, Physical Therapist

Lesley Marcacci

Lesley Marcacci has a background in biology and exercise science from The College of Idaho as well as a Doctoral degree in Physical Therapy from Eastern Washington University. Lesley has experience in working with kids with visual impairment, congenital and traumatic limb loss, as well as sensory integration disorder. She is very passionate about working with the birth-3 population, but enjoys working with kids of all ages and abilities. Lesley has also been involved in hippotherapy for children and has coached women's lacrosse at both the high school and college levels. Lesley is certified in the Intensive Therapy Thera-Suit® Method and enjoys seeing the progress children make while participating in this program. As a born and raised Tahoe local, you will probably find Lesley skiing the slopes on the weekends

Jillian Johnson, DPT, Physical Therapist

Jillian Johnson

Jillian Johnson received her bachelor’s degree in Health Ecology from UNR and a doctoral degree in Physical Therapy from Western University of Health Sciences. She has worked in a variety of settings with her most recent experience in an outpatient manual therapy clinic, prior to joining Advanced Pediatrics. Jillian has a background in working with children with orthopedic conditions, Torticollis, Down syndrome, and Cerebral Palsy. She is extremely passionate about working with children of all ages and abilities, and strives each day to help her patients reach their maximum functional potential. Jillian feels the best part about her job, is being able to see the joy that children and families exude when a child masters a new skill for the first time. She is a native Nevadan that enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, traveling, listening to music, and working out.

Kim Nunley, DPT, Physical Therapist

Kim Nunley

I received my BA in Human Biology at Stanford University and my MSPT from Columbia University in NY. I have enjoyed working with the pediatric population since I graduated in '98, but I also love being kept busy with my own 3 boys.

Rachel Wilde, DPT, Physical Therapist

Rachel Wilde

Rachel Wilde attended UNR for her bachelor’s degree in Community Health Sciences and received her doctoral degree in Physical Therapy from UNLV. Rachel has worked in a variety of settings during her clinical internships, including pediatrics here at Advanced Pediatrics. She has experience working with children with neurological conditions, genetic condition, and orthopedic conditions. Rachel grew to love working with children during her internship and greatly enjoys helping kids gain the confidence to play and be active. Rachel was born and raised in the Reno area and enjoys the local outdoors at the lake or hiking in Tahoe/Truckee.

Jenna Borrego, B.S. CFD, Developmental Specialist

Jenna Stewart

Jenna graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor's of Science in Child and Family Development and a Minor in Recreation. She has over 10 years' experience working with children ages 0 to 13, but has become very passionate about working with the 0-3 population and has just completed her Early Childhood Special Education Endorsement at the University of Nevada, Reno. Jenna has worked with families and their children in multiple settings, including outdoor camps on the San Diego Bay, preschools, home visitation, and in a Therapeutic Learning Center. She wants to assist families and their children in achieving their full potential, as well as improving their quality of life. Jenna is a very compassionate and dedicated individual who loves working with children in any capacity and is happy to be doing so in her home town of Reno.

Vicki Moloney, B.S. CFD, Developmental Specialist

Vicki Moloney

Vicki has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nevada Reno, in Child Development and Family life. She began her career working with children ages birth to three years old with special needs over 20 years ago, driving to the rural parts of Nevada. She has the privilege of working with families in their home and loves working with "her" kids. Vicki grew up in and around Detroit, Michigan, but has lived in Nevada for almost 30 years. In her spare time, Vicki enjoys doing genealogy research on her family.

Melissa Martin, M.A. Ed, Developmental Specialist

Melissa Martin

Melissa received her Bachelor's Degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Nevada Reno, and her Master's of Arts in Elementary from Sierra Nevada College. Melissa has worked with children, ages two through twelve in various setting for twenty years. She is committed providing dynamic support for children and families throughout her community. Melissa believes:

“Children things to be molded but people to be unfolded.” Anonymous

Stasi Taylor, M.Ed, Developmental Specialist

Stasi Taylor

Stasi received her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and Master's Degree in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Nevada, Reno. Stasi began working with children diagnosed with Autism as a student and continued to work with children and adults with various disabilities, providing in-home supports to further independence with the goal of independent living. Before joining the Advanced Pediatric team, Stasi spent 10 years working for the State of Nevada as a service coordinator in the family support department for children and adults with disabilities. Stasi has been thrilled to have the opportunity to work with children 0-3 years old to use her creativity to help families learn to embed teaching and learning opportunities into their everyday activities. Outside of work, Stasi enjoys traveling and skiing.

Amy Artman, B.S. HDFS, Developmental Specialist

Amy Artmant

Amy received her bachelor's degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Nevada, Reno. Amy has experience working with children with different diagnoses such as: Down Syndrome, Autism, Angleman Syndrome, and Ceberal Palsy. Amy enjoys working with children and making a difference in a child's life. In her spare time, Amy enjoys spending time with her dogs and doing outdoor activities.

Vivian Bolanos, M.Ed., Developmental Specialist

Vivian Bolanos

Vivian graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with her Bachelor of Science in Biology. After working the in the school district as a teacher assistant for several years, she decided to get her Master of Education in Early Childhood Special Education. Vivian loves working with young children and families in both the educational setting and Early Intervention programs.

Vivian has worked with children ages birth to eighteen through early intervention, Autism Strategies, pre-school and daycare programs, as well as elementary school class rooms, Upward Bound, and TRiO Scholars.

Vivian enjoys spending time with her husband, trying new foods, traveling, and kickboxing.

Hillary Weiss, M.A, Human Development, Developmental Specialist

I was born and raised in Reno, Nevada and graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a Bachelor’s degree in General Studies. I then attended Pacific Oaks College where I received a Master’s Degree in Human Development with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education and Development. I spent four years working as a full time nanny for toddler with a physical disability.  Through my work with her, I discovered a true passion for working with children with special needs. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.

Heidi Shoemaker Registered Dietician

Heidi Shoemaker

Heidi has been a Registered Dietitian since 1997.  She primarily works in the hospital setting, and has been working in Pediatrics and the Pediatric ICU since 2004.  Heidi has been consulting for the Early Intervention programs since 2010.  She is also a Certified Personal Trainer with NASM.  When she is not at work, Heidi loves to explore the beautiful mountains and Lake Tahoe area.  She enjoys hiking, biking, camping, kayaking, SUP, and skiing.  

Mario Gaspar de Alba, M.D., FAAP

Assistant Professor in Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics

Mario J Gaspar de Alba is Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician and Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He is currently serving as an Assistant Professor and Division Chief of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics in the Department of Pediatrics at the University Of Nevada School Of Medicine. He is devoted to educating residents and medical students about appropriate early child development, recognition of deviance from expected, and the vital importance of early intervention and its impact on future quality of life issues. His main interests within the field of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics include autism, learning disabilities, and ADHD. Dr. Gaspar de Alba completed his pediatrics residency at the University of New Mexico Children's Hospital in Albuquerque, NM during which time he became interested in the field of child development. He went on to complete his subspecialty in Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at the Center for Development and Learning/Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As part of his subspecialty training he had the opportunity to participate in and complete the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) training program and believes strongly that children with special health care needs are best served through interdisciplinary collaboration and a family focused approach. In the past he has been a speaker at several professional development and community meetings as well as parent organizations in an effort to improve interdisciplinary collaboration and strengthen family support. He continues to strive to create a culture of collaboration in his teaching responsibilities at the school of medicine and in the community.

Dr. Gaspar de Alba will be participating in monthly pediatric clinics at our facility! Dr. Gaspar de Alba will be seeing our children for autism assessment, FAS diagnoses, developmental delay, medically fragile, helping facilitate outside referrals to specialty out of state clinics, as well as collaborating with genetic clinics.

Please see Dr. Mario Gaspar de Alba's article featured in Synapse Magazine

Araitz Ceberio, Medical Spanish Interpreter

Araitz Ceberio

Araitz graduated from the University of the Basque Country in 2006. She is a native Basque and Spanish speaker. Languages have always been her passion and she started learning English at a young age. In addition to Spain and the U.S., Araitz has also lived in Rome, Italy. She is a Trained Medical Interpreter (English<->Spanish) with experience in hospital settings and outpatient visits as well as translating medical documents. She is also a Certified Court Interpreter (English<->Spanish) both in the state of Nevada and California. In addition to providing services in the legal and medical fields, she has interpreted in the field of education and for community programs. She currently serves as Secretary for NITA (Nevada Interpreters and Translators Association).

Julia Page - Medical Spanish Interpreter

Julie Page

Julia was raised in Sonora, Mexico. She graduated from the University of Arizona in 2000 with a Bachelor's of Science in Business Administration, Marketing & International Business Majors and a Minor in French. Julia has 15 years experience working at various industries such as, healthcare, tourism and Import/Export. Before moving to Reno she lived in Tucson, AZ where she spent seven years at Tucson Medical Center, southern Arizona's largest acute healthcare system. She developed and managed the first International/Language Services Department serving the needs of the Limited English Proficiency (LEP), American Sign Language patients, their families, and the clinical staff through face-to-face, over the phone, video remote interpretation and translation services. She also marketed TMC's services to physicians and consumers in Mexico (Inbound Medical Tourism) and coordinated international patient care. In 2012 she became a National, Spanish/English Certified Healthcare Interpreter through CCHI. Her passion is to facilitate communication for the LEP populations. She loves travelling, meeting people from different cultures and flamenco.

Colleen Baker, Office and Billing Manager

Colleen Baker

Colleen joined the APT team during the summer of 2009. She has over 32 years of experience in the medical field as a dental assistant and a dental office manager. Colleen does an exceptional job at scheduling, new patient authorization, insurance claims and staff coordination! Colleen enjoys greeting all of the children and their families as they enter the clinic each day! Outside of work, Colleen enjoys spending all of her time with her family. During the Fall, you will be sure to see Colleen cheering at all of the Nevada football games. Go Pack!

Jeanice Almaraz, Office Staff

Jeanice Almarez

Jeanice joined our APT team in August 2011. She has had over 19 years experience in Medical working in the Dental field, regarding insurance billing and scheduling. Jeanice is also part of our Birth to Three program, scheduling and organizing parent information for their first appointment, as well as our Clinic new patients.

Jeanice spends her free time with her family, and 5 grandsons.

Susan Bemus, Part C Manager

Susan Bemus

Susan has been working with Advanced Pediatric Therapies since the day we opened our doors! With over 35 years of experience in the medical office managing field she keeps us organized! Susan is in charge of payroll, account receivable and eligiblity and scheduling for our birth to three program. When Susan is not at work she is busy playing with her grandchildren, fishing at her cabin and gardening in her yard!

Brooke Lombard, HR/PR Manager

Brooke Lombard

Brooke Lombard received her Bachelor of the Arts in Criminal Justice from the University of Nevada, Reno with a minor in Photography. She worked for three years in a private security firm as an office manager and bookkeeper before she joined the Advanced Pediatric Therapies team as the HR/PR Manager. She enjoys being around children and working in such a rewarding field. Brooke is currently loving being a new mom to her baby girl and spends her spare time with her family and taking many pictures of her baby and watching her grow and change.

Riley, Certified Therapy Dog

Riley, Therapy Dog

Riley, our Certified Therapy Dog, is an Australian Labradoodle. He is non-shredding & hypoallergenic. Riley has completed many hours of obedience training & is also a registered therapy dog with Therapy Dogs Incorporated. When Riley is not at our clinic he likes to spend time with Paws4Love at the Spanish Springs Library and other places around town! Riley has many tricks and he likes to show them off to all the children at our clinic. He can jump through hoops and even play some music! Riley leads a reading center in our preschool program on Wednesdays. The children at the clinic all love Riley in a special way! Stop by for some Riley love when you are in the clinic!