NANT 2024 Highlights

Fresh Off the Heels of NANT14

April 17, 2024
Marianne Boynton
Director of Client Relations

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the National Association of Neonatal Therapists (NANT) Conference in sunny Miramar Beach, FL. As an exhibitor at the conference, I had the chance to engage with numerous neonatal therapists, connect with fellow exhibitors and leaders in the NICU world, and discuss recent neonatal trends and topic suggestions for future continuing education courses. Once again, NANT put on an exceptional conference that cultivated a community of learning, support and research for neonatal therapists across the globe. 

As a professional partner with NANT, it’s such a privilege to have a dedicated event to converse with this incredibly devoted, passionate group of therapists. Their drive to deliver the highest quality of care for babies and families in the NICU all around the world is inspiring, and it’s easy to walk away from this conference reinvigorated and eager to provide this community with the best possible learning opportunities to further their knowledge in the neonatal field.

Reconnecting with Familiar Faces

Exhibiting at NANT gave me the chance to meet and greet with therapists and allowed for the opportunity to discuss future topic suggestions, educational needs in the NICU world and to listen to new ideas. Connecting face-to-face is always so enjoyable because these therapists exude an incredible passion and devotion for this population of tiny babies.

Another big piece of the NANT conference experience is reconnecting with familiar faces. Some of the ERI faculty who stopped by our booth included Holly Schifsky, Kati Knudsen and Christy Hupka. These faculty are so supportive and upbeat, it’s always a pleasure hearing from them and watching others have a chance to engage with these leading experts. 

Loyalty Programs and Partnership Opportunities Available

Of course, we had to have some fun with our raffles and giveaways. We made sure everyone got plenty of goodies, and those who visited the booth were entered to win either discounted or free ERI courses (including a special NANT only discount). We had many entrants, so a big congratulations to our raffle winners: Lori Frederickson, Yenisy Randol and Sarah Walker. Speaking of special offers, did you know that we have a loyalty rewards program? Some examples include group discounts, first-time registrant discounts, and even $100 off if you’re registering for your 4th ERI course!

We also offer partnership opportunities to host a CEU course. Whether you’re looking for in-house customized continuing education, or want to host one of our popular webinars or on-demand courses with your facility, we make partnering easy and convenient so your therapists have the best possible professional development experience. Reach out to me for more information about partnering: mboynton@educationresourcesinc.com

Advance Your Learning with Us

Coming off of NANT14 just inspires us even more to continue to best equip this passionate community with the necessary tools needed to enhance their professional skills. Whether learning on-demand, via live webinar, or at an in-person event, we are dedicated to providing you with unparalleled educational offerings from some of the leading experts in the neonatal field. We’re committed to providing life-long learning that will serve to improve the lives of these tiny patients and their families.

Check in with us throughout the year as we continue to add more NICU related courses to our ever-growing library. Questions? Contact us at info@educationresourcesinc.com or call 800-487-6530.

Inaugural Birth to Three Conference a Huge Success

birth to three conference for therapists

“The Birth to Three Conference for Early Interventionists was outstanding. I learned so much and learned strategies about positioning, neurodivergence, and techniques that can be used as soon as the next day in everyday practices. I would strongly recommend this course for anyone working with the Birth to Three population!”

Wow! Our inaugural Birth to Three Conference wrapped up last week and it’s safe to say this conference hit it out of the park for our community of B-3 therapists! To say it was eventful would be an understatement…we were met with a Nor’easter, power outages and an east coast earthquake. However, despite mother nature’s uncooperative weather, it was smooth sailing as the show went on with over 500 therapists tuning in for the big event. It was a wildly successful two days of learning. 

With 14 different topics presented that spanned across the birth to three field, therapists had a variety of content to choose from when selecting their sessions and earning CEUs. Our passionate speakers delivered inspiring presentations for therapists to bring back to their patients and families. A huge thank you to our 14 Facility Partners who worked with us to help spread the word and promote the inaugural event.

A Truly Meaningful Conference

After years of research and team planning, ERI Co-founder and President Carol Loria, MS, PT, saw her dream of a Birth to Three conference come to fruition. “This conference is on the forefront of lots of new ideas, paradigm shifts and treatment tools that will enhance the lives of the birth to three population…this is truly meaningful,” said Loria. The conference sought to cover topic areas that were relevant to OTs, PTs, SLPs and other special educators working with this young population. With an emphasis on therapy interventions, assessment and treatment strategies, this conference gave therapists the tools needed to develop their skill sets and start applying them to their patients the next day. 

Having a virtual conference allowed therapists from all across the country (42 states to be exact!), as well as 5 Canadian territories, to attend and connect during the big event. The Whova app used during the conference allowed for the social engagement to flow. Participants and speakers could connect, discuss and share information in real-time, and staff were always on-hand to answer questions. The Whova conference page will remain accessible through mid-July. 

Day One Highlights

kelly mahler ot

The Thursday morning keynote sessions kicked-off with seasoned OT, Kelly Mahler, presenting on the science of Interoception. Therapists learned ways to implement strategies that will foster a child’s inner connection. Many participants commented on how they wanted to continue to learn more about the emerging and fascinating topic.

“Kelly’s presentation gave me a lot of food for thought in the way I structure sessions with patients, as well as the way I parent. Thank you!”

ERI faculty member Suzanne Davis Bombria, PT and Melissa Smith, CCC-SLP, followed up the second keynote session with the topic of Handling for Postural Control. The multi-disciplinary duo provided numerous detailed demonstrations of postural handling using a soft bodied doll, and participants loved seeing how the hands-on videos applied to the PT, OT and SLP therapist. 

This comment was a common theme for their presentation: “Loved the case studies provided! Very informative and learned a lot of new information and strategies to apply during my sessions.”

Some of the breakout sessions included information on Adaptive Equipment for Children, Impact of Trauma, and Providing “Just Right Care” for the Medically Complex Infant and Toddler. We also heard from speaker Mary Billings, MS, CCC, on the topic of Oral Structure and Functional Development as she discussed the oral functional development that takes place through the first 3 years of life. 

“Mary was an excellent presenter! She was incredibly knowledgeable and shared so much great information and examples that all of us can bring back to our own practice…I’m leaving this course feeling full of knowledge, ideas, and hope. Thank you, Mary!”

Day Two Wrap Up 

With the first day under our belts, it was important to begin Day Two with a relaxed and clear head. Enter yoga guru, Anne Buckley-Reen, OTR, to start things off with a calming yoga session and get us ready for another full day of learning.

Friday’s sessions started off with ERI faculty Trisha Thorne, PT, Anais Villaluna, SLP, and Dana Kizer, OT, delivering a keynote on the topic of Torticollis treatments through the lens of multidisciplinary management and collaboration. These intervention strategies can be applied to improve postural alignment and motor and feeding skills. 

“I appreciated the multidisciplinary perspective on treating the child with torticollis. The assessments reviewed and strategies provided were helpful. I had noticed that about half of the children in our program continued to have residual feeding and sensory issues after their torticollis was “resolved” and this provided good insights as to why some of these issues persist beyond infancy to toddlerhood and beyond. I found the workshop very helpful and informative.”

As a formally late-identified autistic SLP, our second keynote speaker Julie Roberts delivered an impactful presentation on the Neurodiversity Movement. The presentation equipped therapists with strategies and resources, but also shone a light on Julie’s personal views and experiences which were incredibly insightful. 

“Julie was beyond eloquent and able to speak of such rich and intense information in laymen’s terms! My mind was blown…my practice is profoundly impacted.”

We loved being able to highlight ERI faculty members Bertie Gatlin, PT and Janine Wiskind, OTR/L during the afternoon breakout sessions, on the topics of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome and Primitive Reflexes, respectively. The Power Of Healthy Airways & Sleep presented by Nicole Archambault, CCC-SLP and a session on Apraxia delivered by Danielle Carey, CCC-SLP were both well attended and well received. 

Save the Date – April 3 and 4, 2025

As we wrap up on this inaugural event, we’ve already starting planning for next year’s virtual conference. We encourage our B-3 therapists to continue to provide us with feedback on how we can best meet their educational needs, and we look forward to continuing to serve this population of therapists so that they may provide the best possible care for these young patients and families. 

As a final reflection of last week, many of us have walked away with a feeling of gratitude. Grateful to our inspiring speakers, our dedicated therapist participants, our facility partners, and of course the entire ERI team and ambassadors for their tireless efforts behind the scenes to help make this first year’s conference a huge success. A big THANK YOU to all and we can’t wait to do it again for next year’s 2nd Annual Birth to Three Conference on April 3 and 4, 2025!

April is OT Month!

We Love This Time of Year!

April is OT Month and ERI is thrilled to celebrate this vital profession. We are honored to serve our community of Occupational Therapists who help both children and adults flourish in their overall well-being and independence through engaging them in meaningful activities. Thank you for all that you do!

Meet ERI’s OT Faculty!

We are so happy to highlight and share our amazing OT faculty with you! 

Anne Buckley-Reen, OTR, RYT has taught with ERI since 2005. She has been a practicing pediatric therapist for 30+ years and a pioneer in the use of yoga as a therapeutic modality for nearly 20 years. Her work with yoga has been researched, published and cited in numerous journal articles and is the foundation for a researched preparatory program widely used in NYC schools special needs classrooms.

Motor Issues in Autism is Anne’s popular ERI course and teaches therapists how to more effectively expand engagement in clients with ASD while answering questions about self-stimulatory behaviors, preservation, and reactive or self-directed behaviors. This course is scheduled for the following dates and registration is now open:


Janine Wiskind Janine Wiskind, MS, OTR/L has been teaching as an ERI faculty member for the past 11 years. As a pediatric occupational therapist, beginning her career in brain injury, Janine cultivated her specific concentration in vision, which has, in turn, led her to specialize in primitive reflex integration. Working for inpatient rehab, outpatient, home health, the school system, and now within her own clinic has provided Janine with an extensive opportunity to work with a variety of pediatric populations and has led to her diverse array of expertise. 

Janine’s well-known course with ERI is Primitive Reflexes: Strategies to Promote Integration – Strengthening Foundational Skills and teaches therapists how to effectively evaluate primitive reflexes and utilize a functional and play-based approach to primitive reflex integration. This course is scheduled for the following dates and registration is now open:


Holly Schifsky, OTR/L, CNT, NTMTC, CBIS has worked with ERI for over 7 years. She has been in pediatrics for the past 27 years with the past 16 years in a level IV NICU. She is a Certified Neonatal Therapist, Certified Neonatal Touch and Massage Therapist, Certified Brain Injury therapist, a member of National Association of Neonatal Therapists, and has completed 6-month mentorship in infant/child NDT.

Holly has worked within the NICU and NICU follow-up clinic to maximize patient and family outcomes for the most complex premature and medically-fragile term infant. She is the recipient of the National Association of Neonatal Therapists Clinical Excellence award in 2018, due to her clinical expertise and dedication to advancing the therapeutic interventions for NICU infants with cardiopulmonary conditions. Holly will be presenting the following courses and registration is now open:


Melissa Gerber, OTD, OTR/LMelissa Gerber, OTD, OTR/L has been with ERI for the past 7 years. Dr. Gerber is a seasoned and respected clinician with extensive experience in pediatrics. She began her career in Adult/Pediatric inpatient/outpatient rehabilitation and acute care. Currently, Dr. Gerber has been working for the Great Neck Public Schools for the past 22 years. She is president of 4MYKIDSOT, a private practice where she provides therapy and evaluations.

Dr. Gerber is enthusiastic to share her experiences and provide strategies that can be incorporated immediately. She is also affiliated with Puzzle Art Therapy, and enjoys sharing this program. 


Dana Kizer, OT has a special interest in feeding and sensory processing. Dana has worked in a variety of pediatric settings including a pediatric hospital, specialty clinic, private practice, and home health. She has presented on feeding therapy and interventions nationally and across virtual platforms. Dana is a published author on the subject of pediatric feeding disorders and currently volunteers her time with Feeding Matters by serving on the Family Advisory Council to help families navigate the complex world of pediatric feeding disorders.

Dana brings a family perspective to her treatments and teaching experiences as her initial experience with feeding therapy occurred when she would accompany her younger brother to his feeding therapy appointments. She has seen first-hand the difference therapy can make in the lives of patients and their families. Dana will be co-presenting the following courses and registration is now open:

ERI Is Heading to NANT 14…See You There!

Neonatal therapy NICU NANT

 

The National Association of Neonatal Therapists (NANT) Conference is just around the corner and we’re excited to once again attend this one of a kind event! Scheduled for April 12-13, 2024 in sunny Miramar Beach, FL, NANT serves an international group of neonatal OTs, PTs, and SLPs in order to advance the specialized knowledge and skills required to work in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). 

The year’s conference allows attendees to experience leading-edge presentations on a range of neonatal therapy topics, interact with exhibitors who supply products and services to the field, and network with colleagues from around the globe. 

Stop by Booth #114 and Say Hello

ERI has the privilege of being a professional partner with NANT and is honored to continue to help strengthen the quality and accessibility of continuing education for our neonatal therapist community. Attending NANT is always a wonderful opportunity to connect with old friends and meet new ones. Stop by our booth #114 to say hello, and as always, we love listening to your thoughts, suggestions and needs for future educational topics. 

Meet and Greet with ERI Faculty 

Holly Schifsky, OTR/L, CNT, NTMTC, CBISOur distinguished team of ERI faculty who specialize in NICU education are passionate about sharing their expertise. We’re hoping you’ll have the opportunity to meet and greet with neonatal expert Holly Schifsky, OTR/L, CNT, NTMTC, CBIS, while at the conference. Stay tuned for exact times and dates. 

Conference Information and Raffle Prizes

And while at the conference, don’t forget to stop by our booth to chat with Marianne Boynton who will be manning our booth all weekend. Have your badge scanned to enter to win some fabulous raffle prizes – you won’t want to miss it! ERI’s exhibitor profile will be shared on the Whova app once again – so you can always check-in on the app for any of our updates throughout the conference. 

See you in Florida! 🌞

Spring into Savings with Our April Promo!

Spring has sprung and it’s time for some savings!

Take advantage of our spring promo to receive $30 off any ERI course valued at $299 or more. Use code SPRING2024 at checkout. This offer is good for on-demand, live webinar or in-person courses. This discount is valid through May 1, 2024 and cannot be combined with other offers. 

spring discount savings ERI continuing education courses PT OT SLP

 

Questions? Contact our office at 800-487-6530 or email info@educationresourcesinc.com