Since Dynamic Strides Therapy Inc. opened at its new facility a year and a half ago, Brandi O’Reilly has been wearing three different hats for the nonprofit organization – owner, executive director and physical therapist.
DST is a nonprofit organization designed to increase accessibility to pediatric therapy services in southwest Missouri. From 2010 to 2018, it operated as Dynamic Strides, a seasonal equine therapy nonprofit, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.
O’Reilly opened the therapy center in 2018 along with Marge Cheesman, Jennifer Garner and a now nine-member board of directors.
As executive director, O’Reilly says she’s an advocate for those in need of therapy services.
“My passion is to help all children in this community have the best options in life, with my primary focus being on helping children with special needs get what they need to thrive,” she says.
She says DST offers a wide range of therapy services in the same facility. She also works to provide insurance cap assistance.
“I work daily with the families, insurance companies and other resources to make sure families are getting what they need,” O’Reilly says. “It is important that children are given the tools to succeed as early in life as possible.”
She says about half of the center’s caseload is funded through Medicaid, and in order to accept the government plan, the nonprofit has to fundraise the difference.
O’Reilly leads the fundraising through the Opening More Doors program, which is an ongoing community service project of DST that allows the nonprofit to provide greater access to therapy services.
“There are patients who are underinsured, uninsured and on Medicaid,” she says. “Doors get shut in their faces all the time.”
She also works to fill other funding gaps with resources like grants for community donations.
“I spend time in the community working with donors and various organizations to educate them on the limitations many families in our community are facing,” she says.
When she wears her physical therapist hat, O’Reilly works with patients throughout DST’s facility, which is located on a farm in Republic.
There, clients can utilize the center’s occupational, speech, physical and aquatic therapies, as well as hippotherapy – the use of horseback riding as a form of therapy or rehabilitation.
DST has 11 therapy horses on-site for hippotherapy in its indoor arena, O’Reilly says.
A sensory gym is also available to patients, and O’Reilly says that it will be available for public use within the next year, noting the need to fundraise for additional pieces of equipment. So far, she says the nonprofit has raised $150,000 toward the gym.
DST also supports a variety of local charities, including Isabel’s House, Diaper Bank of the Ozarks, Child Advocacy Center and Include Ozarks. O’Reilly formerly served on the Isabel’s House board and Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks distribution committee.
Before her career with DST, O’Reilly was a physical therapist at Ozark Therapy Institute and CoxHealth.
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