Elevations to generate support for children’s therapy at LL event By Mary Anne Ruddis Splash Correspondent If you don’t have a mustache, one will be provided. Of course, a mustache is not mandatory just a whole lot of fun. The first-ever “Stache Dash” 5K walk/run is set for June 3 in Liberty Lake. The event begins and ends at Pavilion Park. Starting time is 9 a.m. The Stache Dash is a benefit for Elevations: A Children’s Therapy Resource Foundation and is being sponsored by Inland Group and Youthful Horizons. Elevations mission statement is: “Elevating children with special needs to reach their full potential by providing access to the resources and support they need to improve their families’ overall quality of life.” By providing access to care, Elevations works with physical, occupational, speech and other therapy providers to identify and qualify children who can be helped by therapy and special equipment but lack the resources to obtain it. They may have insurance coverage but still lack access. Imagine knowing that there are proven therapies that can help your child but your insurance company only covers a portion and you are unable to afford the necessary interventions that you have witnessed benefitting your child. Insurance can be limited to insufficient numbers of visits, subject to high deductibles, multiple co-pays that are rising each year, and services and equipment not covered. Coral Van Dyne has received assistance from Elevations for her son, Eli, in the past. She received an iPad with a special speech program, the same program that Eli used at school. He was then able to practice at home. Eli also received assistance towards out-of-pocket therapy programs. Their insurance covers only 45 rehabilitation visits a year and those can be used up quickly, sometimes in the first four months. Those rehabilitation visits include multiple types of therapy. “Middle class families are really hurt,” Van Dyne says. “We pay insurance premiums, co-pay, coinsurance, up to the out-of pocket amount. When the annual cap on visits is hit, they are no longer covered and it is all out-of-pocket.”
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Eli is receiving occupational therapy, feeding therapy, speech language therapy and physical therapy that are subject to the insurance cap as well as other therapies not subject to a cap. Eli started receiving services at 4 months old and is now 4 years old. “It is always a struggle,” said Van Dyne, “We are a one-income family and we cannot do day-care (due to Eli’s therapy schedule and needs) and have many therapy visits. Grants are super important. He wouldn’t be getting help without them. We can’t not do (therapy). You can see the improvement. I can’t imagine where he would be without therapy.” Elevations could imagine where Eli and many other children would be without therapy. The foundation was founded to create a safety net for children with special needs to access the care they needed. “I would have parents in my office in tears on a regular basis trying to figure out how to get their child the help they need,” said Elevations founder David Owan, owner of Youthful Horizons. Owan helped many families as much as he could but realized that the problem was just too big for one clinic to address. There were too many children being left out, not only his clinic but also other clinics in Spokane. He brought together therapists, other clinic owners, parents of special needs children and community members to start Elevations in 2012. “It makes such a difference for the whole family,” Owan said. “Even just a little bit of help can really reduce stress and allow parents some breathing room.” Julie Hannan is the Stache Dash event organizer. She wanted to do something to help the families she serves. Hannan is a therapist as well as a founding board member of Elevations. “I have patients whose families are forced to choose between therapy services or groceries/ gas,” she said. “The Stache Dash was born from a desire to help fund Elevations programs, raise awareness about the need, and have a fun time bringing people together in Liberty Lake to build community.” Jessica Watt has a 4 year old, Michael, and three other children at home. Michael was receiving speech therapy twice a week before they discovered that insurance only covered a limited number of visits. They tried to work with the insurance company but by the time
Eli Van Dyne has benefited from support through Elevations: A Children’s Therapy Resource Foundation which provides funding for local special needs kids. On June 3, the foundation will host the inaugural “Stache Dash” in Liberty Lake to raise funds and awareness for the cause. Contributed photo things were settled, they found out they had quite a bit of back pay due. “We didn’t know what we were going to do,” Watt said. Even though Watt worked a great deal at home utilizing the tools she and Michael learned in therapy, she knew his progress would slow. “A grant enabled him to get caught up,” she said. “His progress was continuous and not interrupted. As a parent, what a relief.” Michael is now close to being done with his therapy. If he was not able to receive the recommended interventions, that most likely would not be the case. Funds are awarded on behalf of families twice a year, in the spring and fall. Children with special needs must be in treatment and require a recommendation from a licensed professional. This month, Elevations committed $30,000 to provide funding for therapies, equipment, help with co-pays,
deductibles, and services covered by insurance.
“This is our largest funding cycle to date,” said Elevations President Kelly Lynch. “We are very thankful to our committed community that knows that children with special needs must have our help if they are to live up to their fullest potential.” Funding from the Stache Dash will directly benefit children with special needs and families in Spokane County. Registration is $15 with an optional entry fee of $10 for a t-shirt. Downloadable registration forms, as well as an online registration link, can be found at Elevations website – www. elevationsspokane.org. Registration is also available at the event. Come out, get your “stache” on, have a great time, and help kids in our community. For more information, please contact Julie Hannan, event organizer, at 509-370-1356 or julieh@ elevationsspokane.org.
Greetings from Liberty Lake: Summer capital of the Inland Northwest