Announcing Recipients of the ERI Birth to Three Scholarship Awards

The countdown to the Birth to Three Conference is on!

scholarship therapistAs we finalize the finishing touches for this year’s inaugural conference, we want to take a moment to announce this year’s award winners of the ERI Scholarships for “B-3 New to Practice” and “B-3 Master  Clinician”. 

We received many noteworthy nominations and it was difficult to choose a winner among the many talented and dedicated B-3 therapists. We are thrilled to announce the following recipients as this year’s winners:

Birth to Three ‘New to Practice’ Scholarship Award: 

The ERI Award Committee is thrilled to announce Camila Gonzalez as the winner for our New to B-3 Scholarship award! This award is intended to celebrate and support an emerging leader who is new to practicing in a Birth to 3 setting. It is never easy to begin working in a new area and we really admire those who persevere and provide exceptional care despite the hurdles they may face during those first few years.  

One of the hurdles many early intervention providers face is inconsistencies in caseloads, scheduling, mentorship and time to collaborate with their colleagues. Camila is confronting these hurdles with determination by balancing practice in two settings- home-based early intervention and school-based speech language services. Even as a new to B3 SLP, she has already experienced the joy of successful connection with her EI families. She is dedicated to continuing practice in this setting, where many families would benefit from services in their primary language. As a bilingual SLP in Spanish and English, Camila provides skilled therapy while also fostering comfort and connection with caregivers who can share their aspirations, concerns, and questions about their child in their own language.  

Speaking up, advocating and problem solving can be daunting when you are in a new practice area, but these skills are crucial to providing quality care. Camila exemplifies teamwork and collaboration in meeting the needs of her young clients by never being afraid to reach out to other team members, including physicians, radiologists, OTs, PTs and behavior therapists on the care team. She prides herself on her strong collaboration with families and it’s no coincidence that she is an SLP, as she excels in communication with and on behalf of children and their caregivers.  

Camila is already envisioning the positive benefits of gaining more knowledge and expertise at the 2024 B3 Conference, as she looks forward to “synthesizing and relaying vital information to current and future families.” By taking the initiative to overcome challenges in this new practice area, Camila is well on her way to achieving her professional goals and supporting clients to achieve theirs’ as well!  

Birth to Three ‘Master Clinician’ Scholarship Award: 

The B-3 Master Clinician Scholarship Award for 2024 is proudly presented to Dr. Breanna Adkins! Dr. Adkins was nominated for this honor by one of her colleagues, who emphasized how impactful Dr. Adkins’ work is with her young clients and families, her OT students and the broader therapy community.  

As one of only a small handful of Board Certified Pediatric OTs in West Virginia, Dr. Adkins’ expertise extends from birth to 3 and beyond, although her clinical passion lies in early intervention services. She has so skillfully demonstrated excellence in this practice area that she has inspired many OT students to seek fieldwork placements in EI and to enter this setting as newly graduated therapists. Dr. Adkins’ commitment to high quality EI services for the babies and toddlers of her area led her to join the faculty of West Virginia University, where she has incorporated innovative teaching strategies to ensure students’ clinical competence in pediatric practice. 

It is not just teaching and practicing that makes Dr. Adkins a master clinician, but also her completion of hundreds of hours of training in assessment and interventions for the birth to three population. From feeding and swallowing to infant and toddler mental health, to motor and nervous system disorders, along with reflex integration, sensory processing and medical complexity, Dr. Adkins continues to embrace advanced knowledge in service to her clients. This aligns so strongly with ERI’s values around providing life-changing learning for therapists and helping them remember why they love what they do. Our warmest congratulations and appreciation for B3 Master Clinician Award winner, Dr. Breanna Adkins! 

Congratulations to Camilla and Dr. Breanna Adkins! Thank you for your passion, hard work and innovative ideas that help to push our profession forward. 

Both women will receive a scholarship of free tuition to this year’s Birth to Three Conference and will be recognized at the event. This is a virtual conference.