Our Team

Administrative Staff

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Lynette LaScala

Founder, Director
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Lynette LaScala

BS Special Education, University of Iowa

Lynette LaScala grew up in Iowa and moved to California to fulfill her lifelong dream of living a life by the beach with lots of sunshine and outdoor fun. While preparing to celebrate her son's first birthday, her life changed forever. Cody and his nanny were playing in his bedroom when she thought he crawled back to her. However, he crawled out the sliding door into the newly added family pool. Doctors gave Cody a very poor diagnosis and told Lynette and her husband they should leave the hospital and go on with their lives. Lynette was pregnant with their second child Bryan. Cody was still alive and leaving him was never an option.

After hearing time and time agin that there was no hope for Cody, Lynette researched to find an intensive home therapy program.  As a parent of child with special needs and challenges, you will try anything to give your child or loved one the best life possible. It became her passion to teach children with disabilities while traveling around the world to find the best therapies to help her son with Cerebral Palsy.

Lynette became the US Parent Representative for the Euromed Rehabilitation Center in Mielno, Poland.  She traveled from city to city spreading the word to doctors, parents, caregivers, etc on what intensive therapy entailed and how it changed her son's life.  

As the founder and CEO of NAPA Center, Lynette shares her knowledge and experience with other families, while giving back to community. NAPA Center's therapists travel around the world to be trained in the best therapies one can find.   Lynette's dream of sharing all the therapies she found for Cody has become a reality.   When you walk inside the doors you know….you have arrived to the place you were looking for.  Welcome to our NAPA Family…..

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Bryan LaScala

Director, CEO
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Bryan LaScala

BBA Marketing, University of Iowa

Growing up as the brother of Cody LaScala, now 28 with cerebral palsy, Bryan has developed a strong passion for serving children with disabilities. Tagging along to Cody’s therapy sessions (PT, OT, ST, HBOT, Hippo, Aqua, Vision, etc.), doctors appointments, surgeries, emergency room visits, and many of the out of state/country programs Cody attended, Bryan was exposed to the healthcare industry and special needs community at a very young age.

During his high school years, Bryan began working in respite care, and had intentions of going to college to pursue his degree in physical therapy.  After entering college at The University of Iowa, Bryan switched his major to business and graduated with his Bachelor's of Business Administration degree in Marketing.  Promptly after graduation, Bryan joined the NAPA team, and also devotes his time to the NAPA Center Kids Foundation.

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Louise Conn

Clinic Manager / Client Co-Ordinator
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Louise Conn

From therapy options to a parent’s concerns and worries, Louise understands the NAPA journey in its entirety, as she is Mum to 8-year-old Georgia, who has cerebral palsy (dystonic/spastic quad). Georgia’s birth resulted in a catastrophic brain injury, and she was diagnosed with severe brain damage at seven days old. Because of this, Georgia started rehab therapy at four weeks old. At the time, Louise and husband Mick were based in Singapore, where therapy options were limited. Louise searched the globe for effective and different therapy programs for Georgia, and discovered NAPA Center.

They took the plunge, and flew with Georgia to Los Angeles to do a three-week intensive. Before the first week ended, they knew they had found not only a great therapy center, but also a place of support, hope, friendship, and positivity. They extended their stay in LA for an extra two months certain that NAPA Center had the potential to make a real difference for Georgia’s future.

Since then, Georgia has completed over 20 Intensive therapy sessions with NAPA Center. The Conn family has also been instrumental in bringing the NAPA travelling teams to Singapore, Australia, and establishing the permanent clinic in Sydney.

It was a natural fit, for Louise to join us in Sydney as the Patient and Parent Co-Ordinator. She works closely with the LA team, to ensure that your NAPA experience is of the highest quality.

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Sally Pozzobon

Parent Co-Ordinator
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Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood)

Sally learned the true meaning of being a busy mum when her third child, Max, was born at only 29 weeks. Juggling two kids at home whilst one was living at the hospital was only the start of her crazy journey! At six months of age, Max was not meeting his developmental milestones. A rollercoaster of tests and a hectic appointment schedule commenced. An MRI showed that his cerebellum didn’t look quite right and whilst Max doesn’t have a clinical diagnosis, he struggles with his ability to balance his body and coordinate his movements. In 2014 after much trial and error with other therapies and lots of research, Sally and her husband Paul discovered the NAPA Centre. After seeing the improvements in his physical abilities and huge gains in his speech, the family felt they had finally found the right place for Max! Since then, Max has completed seven intensive sessions. We are proud to announce that in his last session, Max took his first two independent steps!

Sally loves nothing more than her family, friends and of course a good chat! She is a true believer that a parent knows their child best and that you should never give up hope. Sally prides herself on her ability to multitask and can streamline and organise just about anything to make life easier (and likes to make it look as stylish and decorative as possible at the same time!). She is proud to be a part of the Australian NAPA chapter and is very excited to see just how many amazing children we can help reach their full potential!

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Nicole Cooksey

Reception
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Nicole is our front-desk wizz-mum!! She is the first smiling face you see at NAPA, and can help you with all your billing enquiries and navigating complex funding packages. Nicole is a mum of four (plus a menagerie of animals) and a navy wife, so she really understands the juggle of work life balance. Nicole’s son Jake was born unwell and diagnosed with Emphysema. After 12 months in and out of hospital and intensive care, he is now 13 years old and growing strong. Nicole also has four nephews with special needs who she likes to help out when she has the chance. Her experiences led her to a career in Pediatrics. Nicole has done studies in Disability Cert III and is currently studying her allied health Certificate III to become an assistant in therapy.

Therapists

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Clare MacFarlane

Physiotherapist
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PhD Candidate, DPhty, BSc Sp & Ex

Clare graduated in 2006 from the University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, with an undergraduate degree in Bachelor of Science (Sports & Exercise). While studying, she also managed and worked as team therapist for the Sunshine Coast Fire, a state league soccer team. Clare was then accepted into a postgraduate program at Bond University where she graduated with a Doctor of Physiotherapy.

While at Bond University, Clare discovered her true passion was working in paediatrics, an area where she could make a true difference in children’s lives and futures. Upon graduating, Clare went straight into paediatric private practice, working in a few locations across Sydney for two years before joining a leading Sydney private paediatric clinic private therapy practice for three years. She also went on to open her own mobile private practice in 2013, treating children across the Northern Beaches of Sydney.

In 2012, Clare was accepted to complete a PhD with Bond University under a full scholarship to research lower limb alignment and orthotics in children with Cerebral Palsy. She hopes to complete this over the next two years.

While in Los Angeles in 2015, Clare has been trained in CME, NeuroSuit, cage therapy and treadmill training. She has also completed training in lower limb assessment and orthotic moulding and prescription through a specialist podiatry clinic in 2012.

Clare has beautiful manner and way of identifying with kids on their own level. She strives to always bring out their best in every session, and to develop a fantastic working partnership with the kids. Clare has a skill of disguising hard work as play. Apart from seeing her kids grow in confidence, strength and skills, one of Clare’s favourite parts about working for NAPA is getting the opportunity to act like a kid all day long!

Clare was thrilled to be selected to be the first Australian physiotherapist to be accepted into the NAPA training program. She believes that NAPA offers something very special to the lives of children with neurological disabilities, and knows there is no other clinic and therapy program like it in Australia.

When Clare isn’t playing games at NAPA, you can find her surfing in the ocean or jet-setting around the world. Rumour has it, she is also quite the photographer too!

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Elizabeth "Liz" Farsi

Physiotherapist
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Doctor of Physiotherapy, Idaho State University

Liz relocated to Los Angeles from Idaho specifically to work at NAPA Center. She will be joining us in October, 2015. Liz has always loved being around children, especially when she began coaching youth football as a teenager. She still enjoys coaching, and even spent a winter as a youth ski instructor. In her spare time, she likes to spend time with her family and friends, ski, and snowboard. Liz was introduced to physiotherapy when she was injured playing football in her senior year of high school. Soon after learning more about the profession, she shadowed a pediatric physiotherapist, and knew immediately that she wanted to pursue it as a career. After graduating with her Doctor of Physiotherapy degree from Idaho State University in 2010, she spent her first two years working at the Infant-Toddler Program in Idaho in early intervention. She then spent two years in Utah working for The Learning Centre for Families, as well as teaching Sports Medicine and Anatomy, before moving to Los Angeles with her husband, Adam.

Liz is a member of the Pediatric section of the American Physical Therapy Association, has completed her CME Level 1 training, has attended numerous continuing education conferences and courses, and has had formal training with children's orthotics. One of Liz's ambitions is to organize and run a football camp for children with special needs.

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Jessica Kastel

Physiotherapist
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BPhys, GradDipExSc(Rehab), BHM(ExRehab)

Jessica completed her degrees in Human Movement and Exercise Science in 2010 and began working as an exercise physiologist. Having always had an interest in rehabiliation, particularly neurological, Jessica completed a Bachelor of Physiotherapy. While studying, Jessica worked as an exercise physiologist in a private paediatric clinic, and its here that her passion for working with children began. She spent her holiday breaks volunteering at the clinic and was fortunate to complete two university placements in a paediatric setting. Jessica continued her education by spending four months in the Los Angeles clinic training in Neurosuit and CME. What we love most about Jessica is her endless enthusiasm for the hard tasks she pushes her kids to do.

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Katie Hedden

Physiotherapist
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Doctor of Physical Therapy, University of St. Augustine

After interning in a pediatric setting during graduate school, Katie found working with children to be the most rewarding! We admire her go for it attitude, adventurous sprit, and superhuman ability to turn down anything with sugar in the therapist lounge. Katie is a diligent worker and notoriously the first one into the clinic to prepare for the day ahead. Along with completing CME training, she continues to enroll in education courses to stay current in the world of physiotherapy.

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Terrey Sheumack

Physiotherapist
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Being a highly driven and optimistic person would be an understatement when it comes to Terrey. She is most certainly not afraid to burst out into song and dance to get a smile from a kid. As an avid sportsperson, Terrey seeks adventure and loves running around with her ever growing family of nieces and nephews.

Terrey graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Physiotherapy from the University of Sydney in 2014. Her vision of being sports physio changed quickly during her studies when she discovered her passion of neurological physiotherapy. Upon finishing her degree, Terrey worked for a not-for-profit organisation in Sydney, specialising in spinal cord injuries amongst other neurological conditions. She then put her hand up to take the children’s sessions and soon found she absolutely loved the challenge of making her therapy fun. In 2016 Terrey introduced a paediatric program within the company.

Terrey has a special interest in innovative, intensive interventions, and their combined role with neuroplasticity. She believes strongly in harnessing these as children develop and has always sought to stay up to date with leading research in this field. Naturally, Terrey was ecstatic to partake in the Los Angeles NAPA training program to further this knowledge!

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Ali Gebhardt

Occupational Therapist
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B AppSc

Ali, graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) from the University of Sydney in 2008. It was there she discovered her interest in working with children, and what a huge need there was in the community for specialists in the field.

Since graduating, Ali has gained extensive skills working with children who have diverse needs and disabilities in leading private paediatric Occupational Therapy practices on Sydney’s North Shore and Eastern Suburbs. Ali has a passion to see her clients exceed not only everyone else’s expectations, but the child’s own expectations of themselves. Ali works in a holistic manner, and has a special interest in Sensory Integration therapy.

Ali was selected to be the first Australian occupational therapist to be accepted into the NAPA training program, based on her skills, knowledge, work history, and commitment to children. She believes that NAPA offers something very special to children with neurological disabilities, and is excited to bring the NAPA experience to Australian children and their families.

While in Los Angeles in 2015, Ali has completed a number of courses focusing on sensory and movement/developmental therapy techniques. Ali has received training in CME (MEDEK), Wilbarger Brushing Protocol, Therapeutic Listening Program, Astronaut training, M.O.R.E. – Integrating the mouth with Sensory & Postural Functions, DIR®/FloortimeTM therapy approach, The Alert Program Kinesiotaping Method, NDT and many more.

Ali is an enthusiastic, fun, and active therapist who believes that it is important for all children to reach their full potential in all aspects of life. Ali has worked as a part of a multidisciplinary team previously, and believes that NAPA’s holistic approach involving the child, parents, school teachers, and other therapists benefits everyone.

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Jennell Mundorf

Occupational Therapist
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Masters in Science in Occupational Therapy - University of Southern California

Jennell earned her bachelors degree in Child Development from the University of Wyoming but knew she wanted to do more to help kids physically and mentally. She then moved to sunny California where she earned her Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Southern California in 2010. Jennell worked at various pediatric clinics around Los Angeles but fell in love with NAPA Center because of the intensity and the variety of children she got to work with.

After two years at NAPA, she moved to Nashville Tennessee, where she continued work as a pediatric occupational therapist while also pursing a music career. We were thrilled to invite back NAPA’s most talented singer to our Sydney team! Jennell continues serenade her kiddos.

As a practitioner, Jennell has experience working with children with neurological disorders, sensory processing disorders, sensory-based feeding disorder, developmental delay, autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and fine motor delays. She really enjoys working with both neuro and sensory populations. Jennell has trained in various programs related to sensory issues such as the iLS (integrative listening systems), sensory integration, SOS feeding therapy, HWT, Wilbarger brushing techniques, as well as behavior programs such as the Zones of Regulation and Alert Program.

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Rebecca Moore

Occupational Therapist
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Bec has always known she wanted to work with children, and since graduating from the University of Sydney in occupational therapy, has developed her paediatric skills in varied settings. From tutoring children with special needs, to school-based and private practice settings, to volunteer projects in Peru, Nepal, Cambodia, and Indonesia.

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Bec brings a unique enthusiasm and hard working attitude to our team and is known for using play as a platform for developing daily skills. She has a special interest in sensory processing and is committed to making functional links between this approach and children’s everyday performance. Bec has continued her professional development through courses such as Therapeutic Listening Program, DIR/Floortime, Kinesiotaping Method, Vestibular/Astronaut training, and NDT. She trained for four months at our LA clinic in both NeuroSuit and CME. Bec has also been working on learning piano and Spanish, so make sure you ask her to play a little tune for you next time you pay her a visit.

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Tara Haffener

Speech Language Pathologist
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Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology – Kansas State University

Tara has always had a strong passion for working with children, which ultimately led her to choose a career in speech-language pathology. Tara has earned both a bachelors and masters degree in speech language pathology from Kansas State University. During her graduate study, she served as a researcher conducting studies on child language development. Tara has also worked with children who have a variety of speech needs from language and articulation, to AAC and feeding. Her therapy experience includes working with children of all ages and across multiple settings including private practice, schools, and outpatient clinics.

Tara is always learning and keeping up to date with the latest research and therapy practices. She is a Practicing Speech Pathologist (CPSP) and is certified to provide Vital Stim for swallowing. Tara holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, and is also a member of Speech Pathology Australia. After years of practicing speech in the USA, Tara is excited to plant roots in Australia.

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Gabi Tomay

Conductive Education Conductor
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Gabi is a busy mum of two who has a love for special needs children and great knowledge of cerebral palsy.

Gabi graduated from the International Peto Institute as a Conductive Education educator-teacher/conductor. Early on in her studies, she developed a great interest in Early Intervention and spent several years working with infants and young children.

She worked in New Zealand for several years managing a Conductive Education Centre in Invercargill where she created conductive groups with children between the ages of 0-12. During that time she created a network with some of the local Plunket nurses and assessed many infants and young children who showed developmental delays without a diagnosis. Gabi was also a regular guest speaker in the local Polytechnic on child development.

Our Hungarian conductor has been all over the map, but we are happy to report she has planted roots in Sydney! She currently enjoys reading, photography, and loves to cook and try out new cuisines.

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