How one West Chester-based education company became the top expert in delivering educationally relevant therapy.
Written by: Jennifer Updike
Photography by: Jody Robinson and Jeff Anderson
Nothing sparks a heated debate like the words: Common Core State Standards. They send both educators and parents into a panic over lightning-fast curriculum and endless testing. Children are under pressure to perform and educators must deliver. And as district budgets shrink, and the special education population grows, districts must maximize their resources. One company, EBS, is making that possible by providing districts with therapists and special educators who are equipped with the training, treatment, and evidence-based practices to help children access their abilities to learn, and ultimately help school districts meet their missions.
“All students have the ability to learn—no matter their age or diagnosis. It’s our job to give them the skills to access their ability to learn the material embodied by Common Core State Standards,” says Karen Bilbao, Special Education Director at EBS.
A History of Educational Excellence.
EBS opened its doors more than 30 years ago with one mission: improve educational outcomes for students with disabilities. The company met its goals by empowering pediatric speech-language pathologists, and occupational and physical therapists to become the best in their fields with the latest innovations in research, training, and treatment. Today, EBS is the unparalleled leader in nurturing the best therapists in the industry, and providing the highest-quality, educationally relevant services for children from early intervention to school-based services to private clinical settings.
The company’s philosophy is centered on helping therapists grow by providing them with the cutting-edge research and evidence-based methodologies and tools, including mobile and tablet applications. EBS also partners with districts around the country, aligns with their missions, and provides skilled interventionists who offer the very best special education services to students. Ultimately, EBS makes a difference every day, in every life.
“If every child has access to the best therapists and treatments, whether it’s through early intervention, the schools, or our clinics, we can have a profound impact on their educational success and overall quality of life,” says Mark Stubits, President of EBS Healthcare.
Passion into Action.
EBS has the right formula that starts with a talented group of people who are the “Who’s Who” of special education and therapy, spanning from coast to coast.
“The leadership team provides an incomparable depth of expertise. When a therapist anywhere in the nation, including Hawaii and Alaska, is looking for information about a diagnosis, a treatment, or latest research, he or she can access EBS’ vast network and get the insight immediately,” mentions Bilbao. “That same team of experts also consults with, and provides training to our partnering districts,” adds Bilbao.
Bilbao herself has more than 40 years of experience in education. She has been a speech-language pathologist, a Director of Special Education, a Director of Operations, and a Superintendent of Schools. Ms. Bilbao actually turned down a position as State Director of Special Education to join EBS, because she felt she could more directly make a positive impact on children, nationwide.
“There are staffing companies, and then there is EBS. It’s not just about placing bodies in jobs. It’s about finding passionate people, and helping them grow so they can provide the best therapy,” says Bilbao.
Karen recently trained therapists serving a large Chester County school district on using their particular disciplines to make the material embodied in the Common Core State Standards functionally meaningful.
“There is never going to be an exact on-grade level student. Every therapist and educator needs to be able to think of creative ways to help every learner understand the curriculum,” adds Bilbao. “By adapting the lesson to make it relevant, the OT can work with the sensory and attention end of it, and the PT can work in movement, while the SLP can support the language and communication piece. Each therapist can play a part in supporting the lesson, the teacher, and ultimately the academic success of the student,” adds Bilbao.
EBS’ commitment to advancing the field for incoming professionals has garnered national attention. As the recognized experts in school-based services, EBS partners with top universities nationwide to help enhance the experience for graduate students. EBS even brings students right to the West Chester headquarters, which features a state-of the art treatment center complete with observation areas. In fact, EBS’ partnership with West Chester University’s Speech-Language Pathology Program now provides every graduate student with the opportunity to observe, train, and treat under EBS experts in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).
EBS is also known for the most highly respected Clinical Fellowship Program for first-year speech-language pathologists, which exceeds state requirements and national standards in mentorship, support and training. And that’s just the start: the company also created the national standard for school-based training and mentorship for new occupational and physical therapists, as well.
Outpatient Therapy for Better Outcomes.
If parents are looking to access top-notch therapies to help supplement what their children are learning in school, EBS has that covered. The Children’s Institute features some of the best therapists in Chester and Delaware Counties, as well as a sensory gym with a rock climbing wall, therapeutic swing, and crash pit, and a fully-functioning wheel-chair accessible kitchen to work on Activities of Daily Living (ADL). Parents are invited to be a part of therapy, or watch from observation rooms, so they can learn how to incorporate therapy goals into their home routines. EBS Children’s Institute accepts most insurance, and also offers group programs so that families have options. Many therapists who work in the clinic also work in the home through EBS Early Intervention.
Whether you are a district administrator looking to balance your district’s needs with those needs of students at risk, a therapist or special educator looking to grow within your field, or a parent looking for innovative treatment for your child, EBS has multiple divisions to support education, outpatient clinics nationwide, and a network of top specialists around the country to serve you. For more information, visit ebshealthcare.com.
Featured in Suburban Life Magazine, September 2016 Issue