Who We Are - Meet Our Therapists
Occupational Therapists
Maureen A Johnson
Occupational Therapy

Maureen holds a Bachelors of Science degree in occupational therapy that she received from the University of Illinois at the Chicago Medical Center in 1986. She practiced in Peoria and Chicago, before moving to Alaska in January 1990.

Before starting her own practice, she worked as an OT in a variety of adult & pediatric settings, including inpatient neuro-acute & rehabilitation, NNICU, home health care, geriatrics & early intervention. With a special interest in Sensory Integration / Sensory Processing Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, she successfully completed the Sensory Integration Certification Program sponsored by USC/WPS, as well as her Level II HPOT, and will often utilize Hippotherapy (using the horse as a therapy tool) in her treatment strategy.

Born & raised in La Salle, Il, with 4 older brothers & younger sister, she met her husband, Matt, upon arrival in Anchorage for a three month traveling position. They have now been married for over18 years, and have been blessed with three wonderful children: Michael, Elizabeth & Julia, as well as a Flat Coat Retriever named Bailey.

Annette Leier, M.Ed., OTR/L
Occupational Therapy

Annette is OT licensed in the State of Alaska and Nationally Board Certified in OT. Annette received her Bachelor of Science in OT from the University of North Dakota in 1980, and a Master's of Education degree with an emphasis in Early Childhood Special Education from University of Alaska Anchorage in 2000. She has over 30 years experience in treating babies, and children, with a variety of developmental and neurological disabilities. Annette has experience with indigenous populations in South Dakota and throughout Alaska. She has diverse experience in early intervention, school based setting, and private practice including mentoring and consulting with colleagues within these settings. Annette's clinical practice emphasizes parent collaboration thought out the treatment process.

Annette has special love for treating feeding and eating difficulties. She had NDT Basic, Baby NDT Certified, and NDT Advanced Upper Extremity course work, Pediatric IM Certified, Therapeutic Listening trained, has advanced level clinical course work in feeding and eating, praxis, sensory processing, joint mobilization, and Cranio-Sacral level I & II courses. Annette was a presenter in 2011 at the Alaska OT conference relating to feeding and eating. Annette has served on the AkOTA Board as Vice-President and President.

Recent international work, Annette spent 3 weeks in Malawi, Africa volunteering as Board member with Together! ACT Now www.togetheractnow.org and jointly collaborating with Malawi Children's Village, and Open Arms Orphanage providing outreach and in-services relating to positioning, feeding and eating.

Annette has lived in Alaska since January 1985, and especially enjoys the long summer days gardening, fly fishing, rafting, and biking.

Physical Therapists
Joyce Barnett
Physical Therapy 

Joyce Barnett, PT has practiced as a pediatric physical therapist for 37 years both in Washington State and Alaska. She has worked in school settings and is currently in private practice. She has served as APTA Pediatric Section state representative, on a Pediatric Section task force, as a board member for an agency benefiting adults with disabilities, as a Perception-Action study group facilitator and on the State of Alaska PT/OT Licensing Board. Ms. Barnett is certified in NDT Basic, Baby and Gait treatment and in TAMO (Tscharnuter Akademie for Movement Organization) therapy.

Ms. Barnett became a member of a TAMO instructor group and provided coursework to local therapists. She has since lectured at local and national levels on the Perception-Action Approach to intervention. Her interest in the containerization of infants has led to lectures to local health care provider groups emphasizing prevention of "Bucket Baby Syndrome," (positional torticollis, plagiocephaly, and movement asymmetry.)

Mary Pomeroy
Physical Therapy 

Mary Pomeroy is a physical therapist with over 35 years of experience working with children. Much of her work has been in Anchorage and Palmer and she adds to this experience in rural Alaska and Africa. She has worked in clinic and school settings and is currently in private practice. She was is certified in NDT Basic, Baby and Gait treatment and in TAMO (Tscharnuter Akademie for Movement Organization) therapy. Ms. Pomeroy became a member of a TAMO instructor group and provided coursework to local therapists. She has taught course work for pediatric therapists and is a regular contributor to the profession of physical therapy in Alaska

Among other contibutions, Ms. Pomeroy has developed a summer camp for children with disabilities, served on the Physical and Occupational Therapy Licensing Board, and delivered lectures to local health care provider groups emphasizing prevention of "Bucket Baby Syndrome," (positional torticollis, plagiocephaly, and movement asymmetry.)

Speech-Language Pathologists
Hilary Hardwick
Speech Therapy

Hilary Hardwick, MS/ME, SLP-CCC, is owner of Production Plus, a private practice within the Ability Group Pediatric Services collaborative in Anchorage, Alaska. She has provided professional services for 37 years with the last 33 treating children and families in Alaska. Her practice also includes private service contracts with local educational associations (LEA's), Head Start, regional programs and The University of Alaska system as an adjunct professor where she teaches Speech Science courses and supervises the 250-hour practicums required for Speech-Language Pathology Assistants.

She has extensive experience working with clients, profit/non-profit organizations, school districts, and state/federal/local agencies. She has traveled Alaska (100+ communities) and the lower-48 states (47/50) delivering state and national workshops (500+) on communication, early childhood special needs, strategic planning, supervision, bilingual/multicultural issues, and conflict resolution. She is certified with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (Certificate of Clinical Competence-CCC) and licensed by the State of Alaska.

Hilary's focus and treatment view is to work with individuals in coordination with their family's needs and goals. While her abilities include the treatment of all types and age ranges of speech and language disorders, she specializes in treatment of children ages 3 months to 10 years who experience: receptive and expressive language disorders/disabilities and developmental delays; auditory and language processing disorders; articulation and phonological processing disorders; language-based literacy and learning disorders; disorders of autism spectrum disorder; speech disorder of apraxia; and language and learning disorders in children with sensory processing disorders and cochlear implants.

Cara Leckwold
Speech Therapy

Cara Leckwold has been an SLP for 25 years. After graduating from University of Tennessee, Knoxville, she traveled to Newfoundland, Canada to work for the James Paton Memorial Hospital and the Newfoundland Children's Rehabilitation Centre. Her interest in AAC and Assistive Technology was sparked when she requested, and received an Apple II E with an Adaptive Firmware Card, a Unicorn Board, and the PCS Reproducible Symbol Library. After seeing the potential for increased access with these tools, coupled with the use battery interrupters and switches made from pie plates, she was hooked!

Cara returned to the US to work at Programs for Infants and Children, followed by the Special Education Preschool program in the Anchorage School District. In 1996, she opened a private practice, specializing in AAC and Assistive Technology (AT). She has been a presenter on the subjects of AAC and AT in several local conferences.

Nancy Lovering
Speech Therapy

Nancy Lovering has been a speech-language pathologist for 27 years. She received her Master's Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Northern Arizona University and began working for Children's Rehabilitation Clinic (CRC) in Tucson, Arizona. At CRS Nancy worked directly with physicians and other therapists by providing therapy and consultations during specialty clinics serving children from across Arizona and Mexico. In addition, she travelled to the Navajo and the Tohono O'odham reservations to provide both assessment and treatment to children. After moving to Alaska in 1989 she worked for the Anchorage School District for 4 years before deciding to open her own practice.

She has a particular interest in working with children with feeding and swallowing disorders. She also works with children of all ages with speech and language delays and disorders. Nancy has contracted with Kids Corps Head Start to provide speech and language services for over 17 years. In addition she contracts with Alaska Regional Hospital to provide modified barium swallow studies and consultations in the NICU.

She has lived in Anchorage with her husband and 3 daughters for 24 years.

Sandra McKinnis, M.A., CCCSLP
Speech Therapy

Sandra McKinnis, M.A., CCCSLP is a speech language pathologist in private practice in Anchorage, Alaska. For over 41 years she has successfully helped children and adults with all types of communication disorders improve their oral motor, speech, language, fluency, cognitive, reading, writing and math skills. She has worked in outpatient rehabilitation, public school and private practice settings.

Sandy has extensive training and experience in the treatment of speech and language disorders, language processing disorders, language/learning disabilities, motor speech disorders including apraxiaand dysarthria, cleft lip and palate, brain injury, stuttering, and cognitive communication disorders. Parent/care giver training is an integral part of the individualized therapy program she creates for each of her patients/students. Active engagement is key to her approach and she uses play, games, hands-on manipulative activities, construction projects, and fun communication activities with her students/patients.

Sandy is the author of the Processing Programand Grammar Processing Program .She is the creator of the patented Easy Eye Tracker Reading Tool and author of the Guided Decoding Strategies. Sandra has created and taught two 3-hour credit classes through the University of Alaska: The Language of Play, and,Concept Based Instruction in Communication, Reading, Writing, and Math.

Molly Thompson
Speech Therapy

Molly Thompson is a Speech-Language Pathologist with 28 years of experience. She has worked the entire age spectrum, from the Infant Learning Program to nursing homes, but has focused on toddlers through teens these past 22 years. Her clinical expertise is language disorders in Down Syndrome, learning disabilities, childhood apraxia and neurological-based speech and language disorders. She presents on these topics. Molly enjoys mentoring and advocating in her profession. She is a strong believer that making therapy fun increases the learning curve. Molly received her B.S. from University of Iowa and her M.S. from Minot State University.

Find Us
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4325 Laurel Street, Suite #100 & #102
Anchorage, AK 99508

Phone: 907-569-5660
Speech Only Referral Line: 907-569-5669

Email: info@abilitypediatric.com
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The Ability Group is a pediatric therapy clinic located in Anchorage, Alaska. We offer Speech, Occupational, and Physical Therapy services for children.