Thomas Center for Down Syndrome Services

  • The Thomas Center for Down Syndrome is home to specialists with a wide variety of backgrounds and areas of focus. As a team, this diversity makes us better prepared to care for your child's unique needs.

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    Faculty and Staff

    A photo of Jennifer Bekins.

    Jennifer J. Bekins, MS, CCC-SLP
    Speech-Language Pathologist II, Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

    513-636-0520

    jennifer.bekins@cchmc.org

    Anna J. Esbensen, PhD

    Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Fax: 513-636-1360

    Email: anna.esbensen@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Clinical Interests

    Behavior management; depression


    Research Interests

    Lifespan development of down syndrome; health care of individuals with down syndrome; development of depressive symptomatology among individuals with intellectual disability


    Biography

    Anna Esbensen is an assistant professor of psychology in the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. She studies the lifespan development of individuals with Down syndrome and provides clinical services through the Thomas Center. She also studies the mental health of individuals with intellectual disability.

    Education and Training

    PhD: The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 2004.

    MA: The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 2001.

    BScH: Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada, 1997.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications

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    Emily A. Mertz, OTR/L
    Occupational Therapist I, Division of Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy

    513-636-4651

    emily.mertz@cchmc.org

    A photo of Andrea O'Brien.

    Andrea L. O'Brien, PhD, MSW, LSW
    Social Worker II, Division of Social Services

    513-636-3880

    andrea.obrien@cchmc.org


    A photo of Sonya Oppenheimer.

    Sonya G. Oppenheimer, MD
    Pediatrician, Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

    513-636-4611

    sonya.oppenheimer@cchmc.org

    Sonya G. Oppenheimer, MD

    Pediatrician, Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

    Director, Thomas Center for Down Syndrome

    Emerita, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-4611

    Fax: 513-636-7361

    Email: sonya.oppenheimer@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Biography

    Sonya Oppenheimer, MD, has been committed to the field of developmental disabilities her entire professional career. She recently retired as director of the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, and director of the University Affiliated Cincinnati Center for Developmental Disorders, which was established in 1946 and is recognized nationally and internationally as a center for children with developmental problems.

    The Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics provides interdisciplinary training programs funded by the Maternal Child Health Bureau for the past 27 years. The center is also recognized for its community outreach programs, clinical service programs, diagnosis and treatment program, and research programs.

    Dr. Oppenheimer is recognized as an expert in spina bifida and has been director of the UACCDD multidisciplinary spina bifida program established in 1965. She has served on the professional advisory board of the Spina Bifida Association of America and the Cincinnati Spina Bifida Association.

    Under her direction, Dr. Oppenheimer co-sponsored three International conferences on Spina Bifida. Along with Marlene Lutkenhoff, Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Clinic nurse specialist, Dr. Oppenheimer recently co-authored a book for teenagers and young adults, Spinabilities -- A Young Person's Guide to Spina Bifida, and a new book titled Children with Spina Bifida -- A Parent's Guide is in press for families and professionals.

    Dr. Oppenheimer has served on the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on children with disabilities and currently chairs the Ohio Department of Health Committee on children with disabilities and the joint Myelomeningocele Committee. She serves as the governor appointed pediatrician on the State Early Intervention Council.

    Dr. Oppenheimer joined the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in 1969. Prior to being appointed director of the division, she served as the director of the Department of Pediatrics of the Cincinnati Center for Developmental Disorders.

    Dr. Oppenheimer attended Radcliff College Boston, Mather College Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and earned her medical degree from Case Western Reserve University. She had a developmental fellowship at Case Western Reserve University under the direction of Dr. Benjamin Spock and Dr. John Kennell.

    Education and Training

    MD: Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH.

    Residency: Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH. 

    Certification: Board Certified American Board of Pediatrics.

    Publications

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    Mindy Reagan, RD, LD
    Registered Dietician, Cerebral Palsy

    513-636-4611

    melinda.reagan@cchmc.org


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    Kelsey M. Snyder, MS, CCC-SLP
    Speech-Language Pathologist, Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

    513-636-0520

    kelsey.snyder@cchmc.org

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    Kelsey M. Snyder, MS, CCC-SLP

    Speech-Language Pathologist, Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-0520

    Email: kelsey.snyder@cchmc.org

    A photo of Katherine Thoman-Godshalk.

    Katherine R. Thoman-Godshalk, MSN, APRN, CNP
    Nurse Practitioner, Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

    513-636-4611

    katherine.thoman-godshalk@cchmc.org

    Katherine R. Thoman-Godshalk, MSN, APRN, CNP

    Nurse Practitioner, Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-4611

    Fax: 513-636-3800

    Email: katherine.thoman-godshalk@cchmc.org

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    Education and Training

    BS: University of Cincinnati, 2003.

    BSN: University of Cincinnati, 2005.

    MSN: University of Cincinnati, 2007.

    A photo of Krystin Turner.

    Krystin Turner, OTR/L
    Occupational Therapist II, Division of Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy

    513-636-4651

    krystin.turner@cchmc.org