York Hospital’s Pediatric Therapy team provides innovative and exceptional treatment in occupational, physical and speech therapy. Our child and family focused team provides comprehensive evaluations and ongoing therapy to children of all ages to enhance and restore function and mobility; and to encourage independence at home, school and in the community. The team strives to make the development of skills fun through play-based activities where children learn to move, communicate and interact with their environments in a meaningful and natural manner. We offer a strong collaborative team approach with treatment and consultation to homes, schools and community programs.
Call our South Berwick team for questions and scheduling at (207) 384-7260.
Meet the Staff
KAREN BENSLEY, PT, DPT, MS, PCS
Karen is passionate about working with children of all ages! She has been a pediatric Physical Therapist for almost 30 years. She is a clinical specialist in pediatric PT as recognized by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Board of PT Specialties, since 1994. She recently completed her clinical doctor in pediatric physical therapy, with a specialty concentration in pediatrics, from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. Previously, she obtained a BS in PT and an advanced clinical Masters in PT (with a specialization in pediatrics/neurology).
Karen has been an active member of the APTA and is currently working with leadership on developing clinical guidelines for the evaluation and treatment of infants with torticollis. She was a writer for the American Board of PT Specialties Specialist Certification Examinations team for 2011-2012. In addition to being a part of the Pediatric Rehab team, Karen is the core faculty member at the UNH LEND program, where she trains post-graduate students to be leaders in the neurodevelopmental disabilities field and is a member of their Seacoast Developmental Clinic team. She also guest lectures at local colleges and universities in Maine and New Hampshire; and for the Maine APTA, as well as hosting graduate and undergraduate students. She is NDT (neurodevelopmental treatment) certified, and has extensive experience in designing and implementing orthotics, mobility and seating for children, PT in the aquatic setting, assistive technology, evidence-based evaluation and treatment of torticollis and plagiocephaly, kinesiotaping, and comprehensive motor function assessments and treatments.
Karen is passionate about providing family-centered, comprehensive pediatric therapy services in a manner that allows families and children to integrate therapy into their daily lives, respecting their individual priorities and preferences. Helping kids to enjoy movement and play is her goal, and she greatly appreciates working collaboratively with the team at York Hospital in South Berwick.
KIRSTEN BERTHIAUME, PT
Kirsten Bertiaume is a Pediatric Physical Therapist that has worked in pediatrics for 21 years. She has worked in a variety of pediatric settings, including Crotched Mountain Rehab Center; Connecticut Children’s Medical Center; Shriners Hospital for Children gait laboratory; Portsmouth Hospital and currently at York Hospital in South Berwick. She has experience treating a multitude of diagnoses including: cerebral palsy, down syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, spina bifida, hypotonia, developmental delay, post orthopedic surgery, torticollis, plagiocephaly, adaptive equipment assessment, and gait analysis.
TOBI K. CARTMILL, COTA/L
Tobi is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. She has been a COTA for 14 years with York Hospital. Tobi received her AS degree from North Shore Community College in 1997. Previously she earned her BS in Administration from the University of New Hampshire. Tobi is passionate about working with children of all ages. She has experience with early intervention, school based therapy, sensory processing, and fine and gross motor skill development. Tobi, along with her Pediatric team, provides family-centered therapeutic services to assist with the enrichment of the child.
JILL FARWELL, OTR/L
Jill has been a Pediatric Occupational Therapist at York Hospital since 1996. She has worked in early intervention, outpatient, school and pre-school settings. Jill graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1995. She is currently licensed in both Maine and New Hampshire Jill has recently been selected as a member of the National Association of Professional Women. Recent continuing education courses have included content on Sensory Integration, Dyslexia, Autism Spectrum Disorders and Oral motor and feeding and nutrition.
KELSEY ISHAM, PT
Kelsey Isham joined York Hospital after graduating in 2013 from the University of New England. While training to be an Occupational Therapist, she provided in-home care to children with autism, ADHD, and cerebal palsy. Kelsey started working in Pediatric Occupational Therapy immediately upon graduation, providing comprehensive evaluations and care plans for children with Autism, ADHD, anxiety, Rett syndrome, global delays, impulse disorder, cerebral palsy, apraxia, and sensory processing disorder. She provides an individualized perspective on each child’s sensory processing needs to develop safe and health play skills. Kelsey provides a unique perspective on behavior and sensory processing and how to use behaviors as insight into sensory processing needs.
JACQUELINE LIPSKY, MS, CCC/SLP
Jacqueline Lipsky MS CCC/SLP attended Nazareth College of Rochester, NY where she received a B.S. in Communication Science and Disorders in 2002 and the Student Leadership Award in 2003. At the University of New Hampshire, she received a M.S. in Communication Science and Disorders, a graduate certificate in College Teaching as well as a graduate certificate in MCH-LEND (leadership and training for children with special needs). Jackie holds national certification through the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA). Prior work experience as an SLP includes early intervention, integrated preschool, Head Start, special needs classroom as well as school experience pre-kindergarten through 8th grade. Recent continuing education include Hanen: It takes Two to Talk; Hanen: More than Words; Baby Signs: Independent Certified Instructor, Oral Motor and Feeding, Oral Language and Apraxia.
ELIZABETH STRAKA, PH. D., CCC-SLP
Elizabeth completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin in 1986. She completed her doctoral studies in 1995 at the University of Oregon. In addition to providing direct care, Elizabeth has taught and conducted research specific to family-centered services and naturalistic interventions while at the University of Oregon and the University of Georgia- Athens. She has been a national speaker specific to team collaboration and functional treatment-evaluation strategies. Elizabeth has over 20 years of experience working with children who have a wide variety of challenges, ranging from developmental speech-language delays, apraxia, social-communication delays and disorders, cognitive-language delays, and feeding disorders.
She works from a relationship-based model ensuring each child’s social-emotional development is fostered across all treatment activities. Over the years she has utilized an integrative approach into her treatment services, drawing heavily from evidenced-based practices to individualize treatment programs for each child. Elizabeth is enthusiastic about helping children improve their communication skills and believes that effective and efficient communication is crucial for social, emotional, and academic success. She enjoys partnering with team members and caregivers to help a child become a successful social-communication partner.