Freida Poag, MS, OTR/L
Freida graduated from the Occupational Science Program at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1997. Freida began her career working at Gaston Memorial Hospital. She then began working for Gaston County Schools. Freida started Pediatric Hands on Therapy, PC in 2004. She opened a small clinic in 2008 off of New Hope Road. In 2015, she moved her clinic to Pembroke Road to accommodate the growing needs in Gaston County. Freida enjoys working with children of all ages. She specializes in sensory processing disorders, feeding disorders and prematurity. Freida is certified in the Sensory Integration Praxis Test. She has been trained in Beckman Oral Motor Protocol, Myofascial Release, SOS Approach to feeding, Thera-pressure Brushing Protocol, Therapeutic Listening, Handwriting with Tears, and various courses in NDT. As the owner of Pediatric Hands on Therapy, PC, her goal is for parents to have trust in the therapists to provide the best possible treatment. She wants therapy to be an enjoyable experience for the families and patients. Freida enjoys spending time with her husband, two children and dogs in her spare time.
Cathryn Beasley, Office Manager
Cathryn has been married for 25 years and has 3 wonderful children. Rebecca, Cullen and Greyson. In 1990, she graduated from Meredith College with a degree in Early Childhood Education and used her degree teaching preschool for many years before coming to Pediatric Hands on Therapy in 2008. Besides traveling with her family, she enjoys cooking, knitting and reading.
Kara Smith , COTA/L
Kara graduated with an Associates Degree in Applied Science at Central Piedmont Community College. Her combined love for children and the field of occupational therapy constitutes the perfect job working as a pediatric COTA. She lives in Mount Holly and enjoys spending free time listening to live music, traveling and spending time with her dogs, friends and family.
Trina Mingus, OTR/L
Trina was born in New Zealand and graduated from Occupational Therapy school there in 1993. Trina came to Charlotte in 1994 to work as an OT with plans to return to New Zealand. However she soon met her husband and they now have 2 very active, sports crazy boys together. Trina has worked as an OT in a variety of settings including nursing home, home health and output adults and a Head Injury unit and was a traveling therapist and a OT manager for a previous facility. Trina started working full time with pediatric clients in 2000 and has found this to be her true passion. Trina is adult NDT certified and has attended training for Beckman and SOS feeding. Myofascial Release, pediatric NDT, Vision Therapy and a number of other specialized skills. She has experience in working with children with a wide variety of needs in school, home & clinic settings. Trina values spending time with her family and enjoys travel, a variety of sports & spending time in their home in the NC mountains.
Caroline Miller, OTR/L
Caroline attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, earning a degree in Early Childhood Education in 2008. She received her Master’s of Occupational Therapy also from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2012. Caroline practiced inpatient spinal cord rehab in Chapel Hill and home-based pediatric therapy in Morganton before returning to the Charlotte area to work in outpatient pediatrics. Caroline has been with Pediatric Hands on Therapy since 2013 and enjoys working with a variety of patients of all different ages and abilities. She has attended training for pediatric NDT, myofascial release, vision therapy, pediatric feeding, and other skill sets. Caroline lives in Mount Holly, NC with her husband, son Ezra and fur baby Tar. She enjoys running, swimming, watching college sports, interior design, and spending time with friends and family.
Summer Merritt, MS, OTR/L
Summer Gaddis graduated from UNC Charlotte with a BA in special education in 2003. She taught special education for 5 years before deciding to return to school to study occupational therapy. Summer graduated from Lenoir Rhyne University with an M.S. in Occupational therapy. She completed her pediatric fieldwork rotation with Pediatric Hands On Therapy and has been working there ever since. Summer has also practiced in the inpatient rehabilitation setting with both adults and the pediatric population. She has a special interest in treating patients with severe and profound intellectual disabilities. Summer lives in Lowell with her two girls Merritt and Molly.
Meredith Dixon, PT, DPT
Meredith grew up in Shelby, NC. She attended East Carolina University in Greenville, NC, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Physiology in 2013 and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2015. She has aspired to work with children since she personally had a bout of physical therapy in high school. Meredith completed her pediatric clinical rotation at Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Greenville, SC where she evaluated and treated patients with orthopedic conditions from all over the world. Meredith has special interests in developmental delay, gait deviations, toe walking and Cerebral Palsy; with additional training in Kinesiotaping, pediatric bracing and Torticollis. She lives with her husband, daughter Emily and their dog Molly. In her spare time she enjoys running, traveling, taking her dog on walks, watching movies and baking.
Raechel Reynolds, DPT
Raechel attended Valdosta State University in Valdosta, GA earning a degree in Exercise Physiology in 2006. She received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of St. Augustine in St. Augustine, FL in 2008. Raechel practiced in the outpatient adult setting before moving to the Charlotte area to work in pediatrics. Raechel has been with Pediatric Hands on Therapy since 2013 and enjoys working with a variety of patients. She has additional training and special interest in Myofascial release, Kinesiotaping and NDT protocol. Raechel lives in Belmont, NC with her husband and daughter Ava. She enjoys running and spending time with friends and family.
Madison Harkey, MS, OTR/L
Madison graduated from Lenior-Rhyne University with a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy. She has worked in healthcare since 2012 as a certified nursing assistant. She lives in Lake Wylie, SC and enjoys going to the beach, the lake and spending time with family and friend. She has two dogs, Mocha and Pumbaa.
Lisa Millspaw, M.S. CCC-SLP
Lisa received her Master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from James Madison University in VA. She has been working with children with speech and language disorders in home, clinic, and school settings for almost 20 years. She joined our team in 2015 and enjoys working with toddlers and preschoolers on early language skills. Lisa also has extensive experience working with patients on fluency. She lives in Belmont with her husband and two sons. She enjoys spending time with family, hiking, and traveling.
Tricia VanGastle, COTA/L
Tricia is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant who graduated from Cabarrus College of Health Sciences in Spring of 2017. She started working at Pediatric Hands on Therapy, PC after completing her Level II fieldwork rotation. Prior to making the decision to pursue Occupational Therapy, Tricia owned a printing business. She found her calling to Occupational Therapy through a series of events. She feels very fortunate to be a part of the PHOT team and loves the field of OT. Tricia has special interest in working with children of all ages with sensory integration, visual deficits, autism and those severely/profoundly disabled. Tricia lives in Belmont with her husband, 3 daughters and several pets. She enjoys spending time with ther family and close friends, going to the beach, reading, doing anything outdoors and she is learning to garden.
Susan Vale, Office Assistant
Susie joined our team in 2016. She feels right at home in our clinic having taught preschool for the last 14 years and loves seeing the kiddos before and after treatment sessions! Susie keeps us laughing from the office! She lives in Gastonia with her husband and has two kids in college, Chelsea and Joey. When not at work, she enjoys family time, cooking, concerts and traveling to the beach.
Emily Gohr, M.A. CCC-SLP
Emily graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Appalachian State University in 2017 and received her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from UNCG in 2019. She has completed fieldwork In various settings including public schools, acute care hospital and inpatient rehabilitation. Her speech therapy interest areas including pediatric feeding and swallowing difficulties, expressive and receptive language delays, articulation concerns, and phonological disorders. In her free time, Emily enjoys hiking, playing the piano, and spending time with family and friends.
Ann Marie Shotwell, PTA
Ann Marie attended the University of Delaware, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology in 1994, as well as Old Dominion University, completing Secondary Education Certification in 1996. Initially a high school Biology teacher for Norfolk City Schools in Norfolk, VA, Ann Marie relocated to Charlotte, NC with her husband and began teaching high school Biology/Anatomy and Physiology for Charlotte-Mecklenburg and then Gaston County Schools. After several years Ann Marie left teaching to ultimately become a stay at home mother to her two children until they were old enough for her to consider going back to school for a second career. Ann Marie graduated from Central Piedmont Community College with an Associates Degree in Physical Therapist Assistant in 2019 and started working at Pediatric Hands On Therapy. She loves to create interesting and fun therapy sessions for her pediatric patients as well as working with parents to help them re-create those ideas at home.
Britt Mason, M.S.P. CCC – SLP
Britt attended Appalachian State University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2007. She received a Master of Speech Pathology degree from the University of South Carolina in 2009. Britt began her career in the public schools in South Carolina. She worked in North and South Carolina schools for 7 years before deciding to pursue her interest in private practice. She started working at Pediatric Hands On Therapy in 2017 and enjoys working with a variety of patients. She has attended training for Beckman Oral Motor protocol, pediatric feeding, teletherapy, and other skill areas. Britt lives in Lincolnton with her husband, daughter Caroline, and dog MacGyver. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, and being at the beach.
Lindsey Mackey, OTR/L
Lindsey graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science in 2017. She then attended Lenoir-Rhyne University where she received her Master’s of Occupational Therapy in 2019. She knew she wanted to pursue a career in occupational therapy as early as her junior year of high school. She feels right at home at PHOT as she first began job shadowing the team here in 2015 when she was studying for her undergraduate degree in hopes to attend OT school. She officially joined the PHOT family after completing her Level II Fieldwork rotation here in 2019. She has in-depth fieldwork experience in skilled nursing/physical disabilities and outpatient pediatrics. She has a passion for working with children of all ages and abilities, and loves the fact that she can incorporate the occupation of “play” everyday with her patients! She is currently a newlywed living in Gastonia with her husband, Mason. In addition to OT, she also has a passion for the beauty industry, particularly makeup, and loves to make her clients look and feel beautiful.
Becca Shiflet, MEd. , CCC-SLP
Becca attended the University of North Carolina at Chap
el Hill earning a degree in Communications in 1995. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 1998 with an MEd. in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Becca has over 22 years of pediatric experience in school, clinic, and private settings and has been with PHOT Since 2012. Becca enjoys working with kids from preschool to high school on all language needs. She has special interest in working with patients across the autism spectrum. Outside of work, Becca enjoys spending time with her husband and 3 kids traveling, hiking, and hanging out with friends.
Jenni Underwood, DPT
Jenni graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science in 2017. She then went on to receive her Doctorate of Physical Therapyfrom East Carolina University in 2020. She knew she wanted to be a physical therapist since high school and found her passion with pediatrics through various volunteer activities all involving kids. She has had clinical experience in outpatient, acute, rehab, and outpatient pediatric setting during her fieldwork for school. Jenni lives in Huntersville with her husband and cat, Ollie. In her free time, Jenni likes to spend time with friends and family, take walks, read, and spend time outdoors.
Laura Nine, M.A. CCC-SLP
Laura grew up in Greensboro, NC and attended Appalachian State University for both undergraduate and graduate school, graduating in 2009 with her Masters in Speech Language Pathology. She has worked for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, but has mostly spent her career thus far practicing speech therapy in the home health/early intervention setting. She joined the team at Pediatric Hands on Therapy in 2020 and is excited to work with a diverse range of patients. Interests in the field include: Articulation/Phonology, Early Intervention, the use of Parent Coaching to help empower parents to help their children, Diverse Language differences/Bilingualism, early language development in toddlers and preschoolers. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, anything active outdoors, spending time with family and friends, live music, movies, cooking, photography, and animals. Laura has been married since 2018, and lives in Lowell with her husband and son, Adam.
Amanda Gruber, M.S. CF-SLP
Amanda graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Appalachian State University in 2018, and continued her education, receiving her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Appalachian State University in 2020. She has completed fieldwork in various settings including private practices, home health, skilled nursing facilities, children’s hospitals, and even prison settings. Her speech therapy interest areas include expressive and receptive language delays, articulation concerns, phonological disorders, and TBI. In her free time, Amanda enjoys hiking, reading, painting, playing her ukulele, and spending time with her family and friends.
Allison Walsh, M.S. CCC-SLP
Allison grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and attended Clarion University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated with her bachelor’s degree in 2014. She then attended West Virginia University, graduating from there with her master’s degree in 2016. Allison developed a passion for working with young children in Washington, D.C., where she worked for three years in their Early Intervention Program. Allison joined her husband by moving to North Carolina in 2019, where they live in Belmont with their three cats. Allison loves being a “cowboy cookie” of a therapist and is always learning something new. She has attended the following trainings: PROMPT Level One, the Brain-Mouth-Gut Connection, teletherapy, fluency disorders, and among others. Allison has a passion for articulation disorders, fluency disorders, pragmatic language, emerging language users, and AAC devices. In her free time, Allison likes to spend time with her family, read, and work on decorating her house.