Cheryl Jabara has been a key part of our physical therapy team for more than 10 years. Her interest in working with children began when she was a lifeguard in high school and had the opportunity to provide swim lessons to a young girl with cerebral palsy. She was introduced to physical therapy through a high school internship program that allowed her to explore various medical professions and PT was the one she found most intriguing.
Since then, Cheryl has worked with children with a wide range of diagnoses including cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism, muscular dystrophy, genetic disorders, developmental delay and torticollis. Being a physical therapist at Heartspring has allowed Cheryl to make an impact on the lives of children and their families as well as the Pediatric Services program itself. Cheryl began the aquatic therapy program at Heartspring almost two years ago. This type of intervention makes it easier for children to build strength, improve balance and even walk more independently. The water also has a calming or relaxing effect for children with sensory issues or increased muscle tone. She has also received additional training in the assessment and treatment of torticollis & plagiocephaly, along with various NDT, gait evaluation and treatment (Partial Body Weight Treadmill Training), and aquatic courses.
In addition to her work at Heartspring, Cheryl serves as the state representative for the pediatric section of the American Physical Therapy Association. She works as a liaison with other pediatric PTs across the state in communicating questions about policies and legislature, insurance and reimbursement issues and practice concerns to the section. She serves on the Wichita State University Advisory Committee for the Physical Therapy department by providing feedback on curriculum and student input to help improve and shape their program. She continues to work with and teach physical therapy students as they work towards becoming a clinician during their clinical rotations at Heartspring.
Cheryl serves as an assessor for the On Track Research Study in which she monitors the development of children with Cerebral Palsy or Gross Motor Delays. She also served as a data collector for the Move & Play sub-study, which looked at current interventions and suggestions about effectiveness for gross motor and self-care abilities for young children with Cerebral Palsy.
In her free time Cheryl likes to spend time with her family, travel and run. She has a bachelor’s in exercise science from Wichita State University and a master’s and doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Kansas Medical Center.