Reaching for the Top: Our Top Therapy Milestones and New Year Goals

Reach for the Top Therapy, the only therapy clinic in the Dover, NH, area offering trauma-informed and neurodiverse-affirming therapies, proudly unveiled its 2023 milestones, in the recently released Impact Report. Amid the challenges presented by a society that often doesn’t cater to those with disabilities, the organization has met 100% of its goals, having expanded its services to encompass an impressive array of 18 specialty therapy programs. These services, delivered by a team with 122 collective years of experience, aim to build children’s skills, empower families, and foster resilience.

Listening, Bridging Gaps, and Expanding Services

In a heartwarming message, Reach’s Executive Director Amy Rich Crane emphasizes the empathetic response of Reach for the Top Therapy to the hundreds of calls received monthly from struggling families in the community: 

“The empathy we feel for families desperate for help to support their children increases at the same rate our waitlist for services has grown. We listen to families’ needs and the challenges they face advocating for their children in a society that was not inherently designed to support those with disabilities or their families, and we aim to bridge those gaps.” – Amy Rich Crane, Executive Director

With a growing waitlist, Reach for the Top Therapy has taken the proactive step of expanding its therapeutic services to 18 specialty therapy options. These programs cover a wide spectrum, including Feeding Therapy for infants to teens, Teletherapy, Pediatric Pelvic Floor therapy, Hippotherapy at a local farm, Aquatic therapy at a local pool, Advanced Sensory Processing Evaluation & Therapy, and a Community Sensory Garden at the Dover Library, among others.

In the new year, the organization plans to reduce the number of families waiting for therapy from 215 to 100 and has raised ⅓ of the costs needed to be able to do so while recently hiring 3 therapists to join the team, bringing a combined 10 years experience to help make this a reality.

Empowering People and Building Resilience

Through a family-centered model as well as a unique trauma-informed and neurodiverse-affirming approach, Reach strives “to build children’s skills and confidence, empower families to be their children’s greatest advocates, and develop their resilience to support them over their lifetime.” – Amy Rich Crane, Executive Director

However, Reach’s mission is not just about therapy – it’s about empowering families as much as it is about empowering therapists to be their best selves. Under the leadership of Executive Director Amy Rich Crane, the organization redefined the not-for-profit model into a “For Impact” model, where employees’ expertise and skills are recognized with adequate and improved salaries and benefits. The organization aims to support its team in living quality lives while ensuring that the necessary supplies are available to help children and families thrive.

This holistic, impact-driven approach ensures that both families and therapists are equipped to navigate challenges and foster resilience, creating a supportive ecosystem that is empowering and nurtures growth and empowerment at every level.

Education and Advocacy 

A non-profit led by seven women with disabilities, the Reach team’s lived experiences continue to show that people grounded in the issues are closest to the solutions.  Through deep understanding and commitment to the disability community, their needs, service delivery gaps, advocacy needs gaps, and best practices – you have those personally invested in care driving program design, delivery, quality assurance, and advancing equity which results in quality outcomes and long-lasting impact. The clinic embodies inclusion, acceptance, and neurodiversity at all levels, with 67% of staff members self-identifying as having a disability, all of whom report feeling supported and valued in the 2023 employee survey.  Reach is listening to families, employees, and the community as a whole to consistently improve and tailor their therapies.

“We are constantly adapting to meet the needs of our community, listening to families’ concerns with barriers to access and inclusion, then actively problem-solving to help meet those needs and strengthen our community.” – Amy Rich Crane, Executive Director

Continuing education and investing in therapists’ skills are also an important part of Reach’s philosophy. To maintain top-level high-quality patient care, the organization provided over 300 hours of continuing education to its team. Moreover, to inspire and support the next generation of healthcare professionals, Reach established partnerships with 10 Universities, resulting in around 2400 hours committed to therapy students in the coming years.

2023 Impact Snapshot: Nurturing Growth and Empowering Families

The Impact Report paints a vivid picture of Reach for the Top Therapy’s achievements in 2023:

  • 490 Children Supported & Families Empowered: The organization’s commitment is reflected in the number of children and families served directly, with quality ensured during this year’s impact survey, where 52/52 families surveyed report Reach is meeting 100% of their three overarching goals in family-centered care and individualized support.
  • 7 NH & ME Counties Served: Reach for the Top Therapy has extended its reach across multiple counties, ensuring that its impact is felt far and wide.
  • 8,450 Hrs Spent in Therapy: The dedication of therapists and their commitment to the well-being of children are evident in the substantial hours spent in therapy sessions.
  • 52% Lower Income Families with State Insurance: The organization is actively reaching out to lower-income families, ensuring that financial barriers do not hinder access to vital therapy services.

Looking Ahead to 2024: Accessibility, Empowerment, and Community Strengthening

A crucial aspect of Reach for the Top Therapy’s objectives for 2024 involves providing more education to the public on disability advocacy, and rights, affirming therapy practices, and trauma-informed care.  Executive Director Amy Rich Crane is currently developing a Learning Summit for therapists, doctors, teachers, and all those who value the family-centered model for this year, she expresses her eagerness to engage in more public speaking engagements, extending an invitation for others to request her presence at schools, organizations, or events to share insights about the organization’s model and values surrounding Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA).

Additionally, Reach for the Top Therapy plans to uplift the community and enhance connections and access to related service-based resources, with the introduction of a 20ft x 10ft Community Resource Wall in their Clinic. This initiative will be available for sponsorship with naming rights, reflecting the organization’s commitment to community partnerships.

As Reach takes stock of its achievements in 2023, the vision for 2024 is clear – reducing waitlists, investing in its human capital and top assets by providing improved employee benefits, expanding community connections, and enhancing public education and advocacy for those it serves. The organization’s commitment to making a lasting impact on the lives of children and families is unwavering, and with the community’s support, the journey towards creating a more inclusive and supportive environment continues. 

Join Reach for the Top Therapy on this mission to get children access to care, build skills and connections, and strengthen our community. Visit https://reachftt.org/ for more information.

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