Valerie Skender has been a valuable member of the Wichita pediatrics physical therapy community since 2001. A published researcher, she brings years of experience, creativity and energy to her sessions.

Once Valerie finds a need in the community, she uses her creativity and research experience to find a practical solution, as evident in her work. Valerie has played an integral role in bringing new programs and therapies to the Wichita area. She initiated and developed the telemedicine wheelchair clinic in conjunction with Children’s Mercy Hospital. The clinic team includes a physician, therapist, Assistive Technology Professional and the family. With support of the wheelchair clinic team, families and children participate in an assessment to determine the most appropriate seating system to meet their home and school needs.  Along with the wheelchair clinic, Valerie also provides assessments and recommendations for adaptive equipment in order to improve children’s access to their home, school and community.
Along with improving the mobility of children, another unique skill that Valerie offers to the pediatric community is the assessment, casting and fitting of custom foot orthotics. Valerie has been providing this resource to patients since 2001. As a physical therapist, she is able to evaluate not only posture and alignment, but also the functional impact of foot orthotics.  By monitoring the child’s progress during therapy, she is able to assist patients with modifications to the orthotics as their functional needs change.

Valerie worked for ten years as a physical therapist in a local school district. There, she gained experience working with youth in the school setting.  She provided guidance to children, families and staff regarding improving functional participation and access to the educational environment.

Another passion of Valerie’s is research. Before and after graduating from Wichita State University’s physical therapy program, she participated in multiple research projects. She has co-authored 10 research publications, presenting many of them to national or local audiences.  Topics of her research have included foot orthotics, use of electronic gait analysis in the pediatric population, cardiovascular fitness of youth diagnosed with Down syndrome, and aerobic capacity of youth diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.

As described by a parent… “Valerie has a soft heart and genuine love for sharing her gift with her kids. She is a dedicated, loving and caring professional. Her kids are blessed to have her sincerity and dedication to ensuring their needs are exceeded”.