Today we’d like to introduce you to Amy Grulke.
Amy, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My career choice came a bit later in life. After my divorce, I became a single mother of two. I quickly realized that my incomplete college degree from my teenage years was not enough. I had an important decision to make, one that was not only going to impact me but my newly downsized family. How can I be a role model to my daughters, provide a home and positive experiences for them, while simultaneously giving back to the community?
After much internal reflection, I knew I had to begin. I dedicated my time and focus to my daughters and my studies. The pay-off was realized when I was accepted to an extremely competitive graduate school program. Upon graduation, I entered the field to begin my career as a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP). I worked hard, always looking for opportunities to increase my knowledge-base, focusing on both personal and professional growth.
In time, my world stabilized. I had found steady employment and worked with a great team of professionals. This gave me a base to work from. I continued to search out opportunities for furthering my education and specialization within the field of speech-language pathology. But something was still ‘not right’ – I felt I could do more to reach people and wanted to provide a specialized 1:1 model of service implementation.
In the meantime, I continued to work multiple side contracting jobs. A few years ago, my CPA counted twelve, 1099s. These additional contracting jobs, allowed me to purchase a house, put a dent in my school debt, and expanded my experience within the therapy realm. Best of all, I was able to leave my ‘employee’ status job. With a great leap of faith, belief in myself, and some much-needed courage, I leased an office suite and opened Arbor Therapy!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I certainly have experienced many obstacles and challenges along the way. From the outset, I felt I was at a disadvantage. A recently divorced, single mother of two teen daughters, I was entering a challenging and time consuming graduate school program. Not to mention, being a ‘non-traditional’ student, I was older than the typical student. I had a great deal riding on my shoulders including the ever-mounting student debt.
Since the opening my clinic Arbor Therapy, the challenges I’ve faced have changed and some of them have been quite unexpected. The ‘business of doing business’ is not something we learn in school. From HIPAA to marketing, to the dreaded insurance credentialing experiences, the challenges continue. However, I don’t view these challenges as something that can stop me. They are just learning experiences. Something for me to conquer and move on to the next. I’ve learned along the way to surround myself with smart and knowledgeable people. “It Takes a Village.”
I can proudly say that we are now accepting: UHC, BCBS, Tricare, Medicare (more insurances pending) and approved as a vendor for DDD (not a small task). Anyone familiar with what it takes to procure such insurance contracts and state vendor approval will understand how time-consuming and difficult the process is.
Please tell us about Arbor Therapy.
For me, the name Arbor represents strength and a structure from which you can build. Arbor, the strength, and base of a tree supporting new growth while maintaining the beautiful branches it has already established.
I am a certified and trained Speech Language Pathologist and have specialized in Orofacial Myology. For those unfamiliar with this term, I work with conditions surrounding tongue-thrust, tongue-tie, open-mouth/poor tongue rest position, and oral habits such as thumb or finger sucking, prolonged use of a pacifier, check/nail-biting, tooth clenching/grinding. In addition, I am trained in NMES (neuromuscular electrical stimulation) for dysphagia (swallowing disorders) and use both VitalStim and Ampcare for NMES delivery.
Arbor Therapy works with all ages, from infants and children to the geriatric population. We provide Therapy, Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy, Occupational Therapy and pending Physical Therapy with the expansion of our facility within next two months. Our staff has a vast array of experience and niche specialties: feeding and swallowing, ASL, sensory integration, orofacial myology, gross and fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, interactive metronome, and mindfulness. We love what we do and the services we can provide. In fact, our goal is to make a positive and life-long difference, one client at a time.
Something of note: We are one of the very few clinics in the East Valley, treating adults in the clinic. We are accepting Medicare, Tricare, BCBS, DDD, UHC and there are more pending.
I am proud to say we are a certified provider of Interactive Metronome (IM). IM is an evidence-based assessment and training tool, that measures and improves neuro timing (the synchronization of neural impulses within key brain networks for cognitive, communicative, sensory and motor performance). We have found success with all age groups! Arbor Therapy provides services in the clinic, in schools, in the home and also state-of-the-art Tele Practice. We are a sound therapy team!
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I was an active, “outdoor” type of gal. One of my favorite memories was when I joined my father, brother, cousin, and few uncles on an excursion to Canada. I couldn’t have been more than ten years of age at the time. Starting our trip in the Midwest, we caravanned in campers, pulling fishing boats all the way to the beautiful Canadian Boundary Waters. We packed up the boats and set out on our search for a perfect landing spot.
The experienced adult fishermen found it. We set up camp on a very small island and stayed there for over a week. Thinking back, the island couldn’t have been larger than a two-thousand square foot office space. That was it, a tiny island, with a few tall pines and stable rock base to set up our tents and campfires. We ate the fish we caught along with the survival-foods we’d packed. It was an adventure!
- Address: 2950 N. Dobson Road, Suite 3
Chandler, AZ. 85224
- Website: www.arbortherapies.com
- Phone: (480) 935-0614
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: @arbortherapy