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General News
Posted August 23, 2012
Lee Ann Tripepi - August Employee of the Month

Lee Ann Tripepi is the August 2012 Employee of the Month. Lee Ann works at All Children's Outpatient Care, East Lake as an Occupational Therapist and has been with All Children's since 1997. Lee Ann was recognized for her Service Excellence by a patient's mother who said:

Lee Ann Tripepi - August 2012 Employee of the MonthLee Ann has been an amazing support to our son and our family. My son is 3 1/2 years old and has been diagnosed with a rare chromosome disorder - in fact, his geneticist could not find any other cases like it. I am a stay-at-home mom and take care of him full time. I wanted to start him in swim lessons at the Long Center in Clearwater (ACH leases swimming pool space to do Aquatic Therapy for our patients) because he loves the water and it is a great motivator for him. I took him for an evaluation and was recommended Aquatic Therapy rather then traditional swim lessons due to his disability. 

I had never thought to try Aquatic Therapy, but I was very interested in getting him started with this therapy. I called that same day and set up an appointment to have him evaluated. I was told that Lee Ann would do his initial evaluation at All Children's Outpatient Care, East Lake.  When I took my son to East Lake, I was very impressed with the facility and with Lee Ann's knowledge and compassion. She was so good with him. When I found out she would be able to see him both at the center and in pool I was thrilled. Lee Ann has taught me so much about how to help my son deal with his extensive sensory integration problems. At every session, she provides me with suggestions and techniques that I can do at home with him. We are so pleased to have seen so much improvement since we started taking him to see Lee Ann.  Our family and friends have noticed a difference in him too!  Lee Ann is always willing to problem solve with me and help come up with creative solutions to whatever issues we are having. 

My son has a lot of difficulty eating and he does not chew well. Lee Ann has helped me understand that he needs to be introduced to a lot of foods with strong flavors. She explained that due to his low tone he was not getting enough input and to our excitement he has responded so well to the new flavorful foods Lee Ann recommended and his eating has been improving.  My son had a bad habit of kicking his highchair, Lee Ann was able to help come up with a solution that would help keep him safe and prevent him from hurting himself while he is in his highchair.  Lee Ann's unique ability to think outside of the box has been a wonderful asset for him.  My son has started using a compression suit and compression hand braces thanks to Lee Ann. This has made a huge difference for him and I am so happy to see him start to know where his body is in space!  The compression hand braces have also really helped him use his hands more and he is even attending to cause and effect toys for longer periods of time.

We have found Lee Ann to be a wonderful resource. She has gone above and beyond for my son. She has even offered to talk to his doctors and pre-school teachers. Lee Ann scheduled a conference call with his doctor to discuss treatment plans for him and to make sure they were on the same page. The doctor told me how impressed she was with her call to Lee Ann.  Also, my son's teachers at his preschool didn't know what type of chair would work best for him and Lee Ann offered to set up a time to talk with his teachers to figure out how best to accommodate him in the classroom. 

In the pool, Lee Ann has endless patience and is always so encouraging.  He loves his time every week in the pool with Lee Ann.  We are so thankful to have such a caring and knowledgeable therapist working with our son.

Lee Ann, thank you for your wonderful Service Excellence and all you do for our patients and their families.  Congratulations for receiving the All Children's Hospital Employee of the Month honors!