Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute
Skip section navigation
Courage Kenny Kids - Coon Rapids
Courage Kenny Kids - Coon Rapids
Courage Kenny Kids
We are part of a specialized pediatric program of Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute.
To make an appointment, call
Hanna Maslowski - Patient of the Year
Hanna Maslowski, the recipient of Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute's highest Inspiration Award, has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. She overcame shyness to enter pageants and start the Pageant of Hope. The program gives confidence to girls with special needs.
At-home ideas for families
Our Pinterest board is a resource for parents looking for ways to continue working with their children at home. Check it out at pinterest.com/kennykids.
Courage Kenny Kids – Coon Rapids
This Courage Kenny Kids clinic is an expansive space of indoor and outdoor fun for children participating in physical, occupational and speech therapy.
The clinic has an onsite outdoor playground with specialized spongy rubber coating for children of all abilities to access without difficulties, while remaining protected during their play. Children are found "working" on the playground while they practice using their walkers, wheelchairs and adapted bikes during their rehabilitation.
They enjoy outdoor fun on slides, climbing equipment, arm bike, paint easels, water play, speaking tubes, toddler movement equipment and an inlaid path for biking, walking, running and wheeling.
The clinic also includes an indoor gym space, with room for a variety of swings and a suspended climbing ladder. However, the highlight for many children is to ride the "zip" line and fall into the "pit," a cloud of cushions. Children participate in all these activities, while working to improve strength, coordination, verbal language and cognitive skills and more.
Physical therapists provide play opportunities for children in the gym working on mobility, strength and endurance, balance, coordination and flexibility.
Virtual reality room
The fun doesn't stop here. Move into the virtual reality room, and you'll see children swimming, playing soccer, volleyball, snowboarding and more on the state of the art virtual reality system.
Here children are participating in their own video game in front of a large green screen. Like a weatherman, they watch their bodies on screen participating in many different activities. To add challenges, therapists provide hand or ankle weights, a balance pad to stand on or a therapy ball to sit on.
Down the hall from the virtual reality room, children have an opportunity to work on feeding, swallowing and simple home skills in the therapy kitchen. Parents have an opportunity to observe their children learning new skills through the viewing window, if they choose not to be present during the treatment session. The kitchen is a valuable tool when occupational therapists and speech language pathologists complete feeding evaluations on children that are experiencing difficulty with eating or swallowing.
Evaluation and treatment rooms
The clinic also includes private evaluation rooms, as well as speech and occupational therapy treatment rooms.
In speech, you will find computer games, augmentative communication devices, books, games and toys, along with private treatment rooms for children to explore language and communication opportunities.
In occupational therapy, children have the opportunity to engage in play activities with other children at the craft table, or work with their therapist in the treatment booths. Children can dress up, play games, make crafts and play with developmentally appropriate toys targeted to their individual needs.
For information about classes, call
We work with Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids to promote good health. Learn about your health and the health of your family in Mercy Hospital's community newsletter.
Courage Kenny Kids classes
Classes are carefully planned for each child to learn to take direction and interact with peers in a group setting. Children participating in groups should be able to follow simple directions and participate in a medium-sized group without 1:1 assistance.
Each class lists the functioning age level appropriate for that class. If you are unsure of your child's abilities, or if you have special concerns regarding your child, please call us at 763-236-7337 before registering.
We reserve the right to change your child to another group to best meet the needs of your child.
All of our classes are taught by Courage Kenny Kids therapists who specialize in pediatric rehabilitation. They are licensed occupational, physical and speech-language therapists experienced in pediatric rehabilitation.
Private-pay groups, such as the classes offered by Courage Kenny Kids, are a great health care alternative if insurance coverage limits rehabilitation benefits.
Courage Kenny Kids - Coon Rapids staff
Deborah Baumgarten, MA, CCC-SLP
Sara E. Carroll, MA, CCC-SLP
Carrie Johnson, physical therapist
Darla Johnson, OTR/L
Barbara Katzenstein, physical therapist
Sarah Leathers, physical therapist
Lisa Luke, OTR/L
Mary Lundt, MS, CCC-SLP
Katie Moland, MA, CCC-SLP
Kelsie Nebelsick, PT
Michaela Pelz, OTR/L
Lisa Rickert, MS, CCC-SLP
Sara Rohde, OTR/L, manager
Krista Simmons, MS, CCC-SLP
Anna Smith, OTR/L
Erin Vesey, PT
Connier Zeller, MS, CCC-SLP
Hanna Maslowski: Patient of the Year
Hanna Maslowski inspired our staff so much, she earned the 2012 Patient of the Year Award.
Hanna Maslowski, who has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, is the recipient of Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute's highest Inspiration Award – the 2012 Patient of the Year Award. She has been receiving therapy for several years at Kenny Kids – Coon Rapids.
Her therapist, Sarah Leathers, PT, first met Hanna when she was 10 years old, following surgery to have her intrathecal baclofen pump replaced for the third time.
"In the time that I have known her, she has also had surgery on her ankles, heel cord and hamstring releases, has received Botox and phenol injections to help decrease her tone, and has had seizures that have resulted in decreased function for weeks to months at a time.
"Just when it seemed she was making progress toward a goal with walking, it seemed something would go wrong -- from skin breakdown or a loose pin in her ankle, to a broken ITB pump or a seizure."
Despite being shy, Maslowski entered the Miss You Can Do It Pageant at age 12 and went on to compete in national competition in Texas.
When that pageant dissolved, Maslowski's family wanted to continue this activity that gives such confidence to girls with special needs, so they started the Pageant of Hope (pageantofhope.com).
Now in its fourth year, the Pageant of Hope is a multi-faceted program that includes workshops focusing on personal growth and goal setting for girls facing challenges like Maslowski's.
"In the second year of the pageant," said Leathers, "Hanna asked me to assist her and push her to meet her goal of walking on stage during the event. Each week during her PT sessions, she pushed herself to take more steps on the treadmill, with her mother and I counting each one."
Maslowski continued to work in her gait trainer at home; and sure enough, she was able to walk on stage at the pageant.
Maslowski has since assumed additional responsibilities for the pageant. She assists other pageant participants, both in pre-pageant workshops and at the event itself.
Her mother, Lisa Maslowski, a pageant co-founder, said, "She helps the girls get ready, gives them pointers, and has a speaking role during the event. The other girls look up to Hanna."
Maslowski performs her pageant responsibilities with grace and humility. She gets to know each of the other participants on a personal level and has a huge smile and a hug for everyone.
Maslowski is also well-rounded, participating in bocce ball in the Special Olympics, and in high school bowling, cheerleading and adaptive dance. And she admits that her true passion is baking cupcakes.
Although speaking loud and clear is difficult for her, Maslowski frequently talks to groups, giving thanks for their support and encouraging others to be proud of their achievements.
Her actions serve to increase awareness of the limitless capabilities of persons with disabilities. She inspires everyone – regardless of physical challenges – to follow their dreams.
Scott Benz: Determination well beyond his years
Scott Benz received his 2011 Inspiration Award from his Courage Kenny Kids therapy team: (left to right) Darla Johnson, Sarah Leathers, Sara Rohde and Barb Katzenstein.
Imagine being only 14 years old and suffering four ischemic strokes! That's what happened to Scott Benz in 2010.
The strokes occurred during a five-month period of time, until a Microplex coil was inserted into his vertebral artery to prevent further episodes.
But each time, as he was on the verge of full recovery, he suffered another stroke, each one more debilitating.
Because of left hemiplegia, he had to relearn how to walk independently and how to write and perform functions with his non-dominant hand.
All of this, he accomplished with grace and an amazing attitude, according to his physical therapist, Barbara Katzenstein, PT, Courage Kenny Kids.
"We use Scott frequently as an example of how far you can go if you work hard and have a positive attitude," said Katzenstein.
He was determined to go back to being a typical teenager and to begin his freshman year at Anoka High School. He was able to attend school in the mornings and go to therapy sessions in the afternoons.
After each stroke, Benz received physical and occupational therapy at Courage Kenny Kids – Coon Rapids, sometimes up to five times per week.
"Scott never complained about the long road to recovery or the challenging therapy sessions," said Katzenstein.
He was eventually able to go to school full time, ride a bike and participate in extracurricular activities; and he even planned to join the cross-country team at school.
Benz was willing and eager to inspire others by sharing his journey of recovery with his church youth group and also the entire congregation.
"Scott has done extremely well in his recovery," added Katzenstein. "We are fortunate to know this fine young man. Helping him to reach his potential is our privilege."