Katie Norton Neal SHP Young Alumni Achievement AwardKatie Norton Neal receives SHP Young Alumni Achievement Award from Dr. JonesOn Thursday, March 1, 2018, Katie Norton Neal, alumna of the UAB Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program, received the UAB School of Health Professions’ Young Alumni Achievement Award. The 2014 graduate is the first from the Department of Occupational Therapy to earn the honor.

Less than two years after graduating, Katie, along with her husband Brandon, opened Alabama Pediatric Therapy Services, LLC, to provide occupational, speech and physical therapy to children from birth to 18 years old in Oneonta, Alabama. One year later, they opened a second location in Gadsden. Today, their clinic employs a team of six full-time therapists, three part-time therapists, four PRN therapists, an office manager, two office assistants, a billing coordinator, and a translator to provide high quality therapy services to both communities.

“Being able to provide quality care to children that may otherwise not be able to receive services is a dream come true,” said Neal. “My position allows me to witness the positive impact our services have on the children, as well as the positive impact these children have on us.”

“It is extraordinary to see someone her age that has the vision as well as the skills to see a need for pediatric occupational therapy and then be able to successfully fill that void with a business that is thriving and expanding,” said UAB School of Health Professions Dean Harold P. Jones, Ph.D. “Katie’s passion for children will help her achieve so much for herself, but more importantly, for the families she serves. We all look forward to seeing her grow throughout her occupational therapy career.”

Katie Norton Neal with OT facultyKatie Norton Neal with UAB OT facultyThe School of Health Professions held an intimate award ceremony that included her family – husband Brandon, parents James and Mary Norton, and mother-in-law Brenda Neal – as well as her UAB Occupational Therapy “family” – Deek Cunningham, MS, OTR/L, SIPT (#2623), ATP, Gavin Jenkins, Ph.D., OTR/L, ATP, Valley McCurry, MBA, OTR/L, Sarah Tucker, MS, OTR/L, and Laura Vogtle, Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA.

Click here to see photos of the ceremony.

“It has truly taken a village to make this dream a reality! There is no way I could have started and maintained this business without the support of my husband, parents, sister, in-laws, and friends,” said Neal. “I will never be able to thank them enough for all their love, support, and hard work.”

“Without a doubt, Katie personifies this award,” said Jenkins, chair, Department of Occupational Therapy. “Her passion for children and for ensuring that the therapy received is client centered and using the latest strategies and techniques, coupled with her entrepreneurial spirit is at the root of her success and it will be exciting to see the continuing impact of this alumna of our program.”

The UAB School of Health Professions' Young Alumni Achievement Award is the top accolade for alumni who have graduated within the past decade. It is awarded to young alumni that have made significant professional accomplishments at an early stage in their careers.

Click here to see a list of all SHP alumni awards and past winners.