Shay Copple, M.S., CCC-SLP-
Rehabilitative Clinical Director
Shay Copple is a Licensed Speech/Language Pathologist who has been practicing speech therapy in the Willamette Valley since 2007. She holds a Master of Science in Communication Disorders from Eastern Washington University. Prior to her opportunity with Creating Pathways, Shay spent 10 years working with children in a variety of settings including life skills and regular education classrooms, private schools, and charter schools. Shay has extensive experience working with children who are impacted with communication disorders such as autism, stuttering, apraxia of speech, cleft lip and palate, receptive/expressive language disorder, articulation disorder, and phonological disorder. Shay has a passion for working with children who experience phonological dyslexia. She prides herself on the lasting relationships she builds with children and their families. Shay enjoys all of life’s adventures with her husband and their four young boys on their small farm.
Emily Mattson, COTA/L-
OT Team Lead
Emily Mattson is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. She has worked with children in multiple settings for over 12 years. She worked as an aide in a pediatric outpatient clinic where she fell in love with the profession and decided to pursue a career as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. Emily graduated from Linn-Benton Community College with an Associate's of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, especially if that time is spent outdoors hiking, camping, or exploring new places.
Merissa Zielinski, M.S., CCC-SLP
Merissa Zielinski is a Licensed Speech/Language Pathologist who holds a Master of Science from NOVA Southeastern Florida University. Merissa began working with children in public, private, and alternative schools in 2010. Passionate about supporting children and their families, the move to Creating Pathways Pediatric Therapy was a natural fit. She enjoys empowering parents to support their child's communication whether it be in the area of speech, phonology, fluency, language, or alternative/augmentative communication. Merissa is a proud mom of two young girls and a baby boy. She also enjoys helping her husband on their 3rd generation family farm and vineyard.
Kecia Speck, COTA/L
Kecia Speck is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. She graduated from Linn-Benton Community College with an Associate of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy. She has worked with children, in a variety of capacities, throughout the span of her career. Kecia is a dynamic therapist who works well with children who need a little extra compassion and skill. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, riding horses, and tending to her mini farm.
Stephanie Smith is a Licensed Speech/Language Pathology Assistant. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Portland State University in Speech and Hearing Sciences. Stephanie loves children and connecting with their families. She is skilled at helping children navigate challenging behaviors, sensory deficits, and speech/language disorders. Stephanie loves spending time with her son and daughter in the outdoors.
Natalie Facchinello, SLP-A
Natalie Facchinello is a bilingual Licensed Speech-Language Pathology Assistant. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Communicative Disorders from California State University, Los Angeles and is currently working on a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Southern California. With experience in both private practice and school-based settings, she is passionate about working with children and helping them reach their full potential. Playing a part in a child’s progress, and celebrating that progress, is especially gratifying to Natalie. She has experience working with children with a variety of speech and language disorders including autism, developmental delays, expressive/receptive language disorders, apraxia of Speech and articulation/phonological disorders. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, family, hiking and thrift shopping!
Carla Averill is one of the friendly faces you will see when checking in at our clinic. She prides herself in being the office Grandma. :) She retired from 30 years with the State of Oregon and thoroughly enjoys all of the families and children who come to Creating Pathways Pediatric Therapy. In her free time, Carla loves to spend time with her family, ride horses, and go camping.
Kiran Pattani, COTA/L
Kiran Pattani is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from George Fox University. Following graduation she worked as a direct support professional, which is when she decided to pursue a career in occupational therapy. She graduated from Linn-Benton Community College with her Associate's of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy. Kiran is skilled in working with children who experience sensory processing disorder and fine/gross motor delays. In her free time she enjoys traveling, and spending time with her friends.
Jamie Ruiz is the Office Manager at Creating Pathways Pediatric Therapy. She is a skilled professional who enjoys working with families during their journey in the pediatric therapy world. She has extensive experience helping families work through the insurance maze. Jamie enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Her three young children keep her busy and full of joy.
Athena Carlson, SLP-A
Athena Carlson is a Licensed Speech/Language Pathology Assistant. She began working with children in a professional setting in 2010 and received her Associate's of Applied Science as a Speech and Language Pathology Assistant in 2011. She also earned a certification in Early Childhood Education from Portland State University in 2012. Athena's interest in the field was sparked in 2006 when she was inspired to enter the field by the wonderful speech/language pathologists that worked with her own son in speech therapy. She is passionate about helping children and their families. In addition to the joy she gets from working in pediatric therapy, Athena is most happy spending time with her son and husband and crafting delicious cuisine for friends and family.
Abby Tempel, COTA/L
Abby Tempel holds a limited permit and recently passed her state exam to become a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. Abby holds a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Oregon State University. During her time at Oregon State University, Abby had the opportunity to participate in many pediatric therapy programs including aquatic therapy and mobility workshops. Abby thrives off children’s growth when working with her. When Abby is not working with children, you can find her crafting, drinking coffee and laughing.
Perla Brambila, Bilingual Receptionist
Perla Brambila Hablo Espanol! Perla is a valued member of our office staff. Her love for working with and around children started during her time spent working in her gym’s daycare and in special education classrooms in the Salem/Keizer School District. In her spare time, Perla enjoys traveling, working out, playing tennis, and baking.
Joanie Johnson, OTR/L, MPA-HA
Joanie Johnson graduated from Eastern Washington University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy. Joanie continued her education and received a Masters Degree in Health Administration from Portland State University in 2010 with a focus on program development and healthcare policy.
She has practiced in a variety of settings serving children and families including early intervention, inpatient, home health, and outpatient therapy clinics. Joanie believes in making therapy fun, engaging, and including the entire family in the therapy program.
Joanie has completed training in Sensory Integration tools and techniques, Handwriting Without Tears, Therapeutic Listening, and Pediatric Strengthening Programs.
Joanie enjoys spending time with her husband and son, and enjoys photography as a hobby.