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Community Highlights: Meet Melissa Lonsky of Sora Therapy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melissa Lonsky.

Hi Melissa, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I am a Speech Language Pathologist. Early in my career, I worked for a suburban school district and watched how hard it was for my students to receive outpatient therapy services. Distance was a huge barrier to receiving therapy and it was impacting my students’ success. I knew it didn’t have to be this way and that I could help.

Sora Therapy was founded in 2004 in Andover Minnesota. The goal was to provide great therapy, closer to home. Our team started with two Speech Language Pathologists and we quickly realized that our community needed more support. We expanded our therapy offerings to include occupational and feeding therapy. Soon, families were traveling over 30 minutes to work with us. Because of this, we opened our second clinic in Otsego with the same goal of bringing great therapy closer to home.

17 years later, we offer Speech, Occupational, Physical, Feeding, and Myofunctional Therapy at 6 different clinic locations in 5 Minnesota communities. Our talented therapy and patient services teams are supported by an amazing therapist-led leadership team. Our story will continue as our organization grows. We have more work to do and people to help.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
There is nothing more important to us than helping our patients thrive. When we face challenges we try to address them with this guiding principal in mind. One of our biggest and unforeseen challenges has been the pandemic. Our teams had to continuously pivot and shift over the last 2 years in order to continue to provide life-changing therapies. We’ve mastered providing teletherapy services, wearing PPE, and implementing continuous procedural changes. Sora continued to support our patients and our staff, without interruption. We are proud to have been a steadfast presence for our patients during this challenging time. It took an amazing amount of teamwork to make it happen – and we are so grateful to every team member who helped make it happen.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Sora Therapy was founded in 2004. Our mission was (and remains) to provide exceptional therapy to children with developmental delays and other disorders in a way that maximizes every child’s opportunities for success and growth. We provide occupational, physical, speech and language, feeding, and myofunctional therapy services. We have 5 locations in the Twin Cities: Andover, Blaine, Maple Grove, St. Louis Park, and Otsego.

In the last decade and a half, we’ve helped thousands of kids improve in all areas of development. A commitment to serving kids and their families is at the core of everything we do, as is our belief that therapy works best when the entire family is part of the process. We begin every journey with new clients by meeting them “where they are” and pride ourselves on building strong relationships with children and their families.

And in case you were wondering about our name… A sora is a small bird that most of us see each spring. Like the kids that we work with every day, a sora is small but mighty. With their short wings and little bodies, the birds don’t look like they could fly very far, but in fact they migrate hundreds of miles every year. Like our kids, they’re capable of more than any of us can imagine. And phonetically, we love that you can’t help but think of the word “soar” when you say “Sora”. It reflects our high aspirations for our clients and staff alike. There’s nothing more important to us than helping kids find their wings and fly in a playful, inclusive and supportive environment.

We believe:

Your voice matters. No one knows a child better than his or her caregivers.

Everyone has an important role. Providing families with information and training empowers them to understand and support their children.

We’re all in this together. Family participation in therapy and consistent home practice makes for speedier progress.

Positive attitudes = positive outcomes. Our job is to foster self-esteem by using positive approaches and building upon success.

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