ASHLAND, WI -- The Miller-Dwan Foundation generously awarded NorthLakes Community Clinic (NLCC) a grant to fund their Pediatric Therapies Lending Closet. The lending closet increases access to home-based treatment options for children with sensory processing disorders, autism spectrum disorders, speech disorders, and developmental and learning challenges. The lending closet is available to those receiving pediatric occupational and/or speech therapy services at the NLCC clinics in Hayward, Ashland, and Iron River. Close to 250 children benefit annually from NLCC’s Pediatric Therapies Lending Closet.

The lending closet provides parents and guardians with access to tools and basic training that allows them to implement some treatment at home. The equipment helps with social thinking, speech therapy, oral stimulation, coordination, balance, motor skills, bowel and bladder issues, and sensory diet activities. Many of the items promote independence, improved social skills, and increased success with a wide range of tasks. By borrowing equipment through the lending closet, patients can determine if the equipment is helpful to their treatment by trying it before purchasing it. The lending closet also prevents patients from making costly investments in equipment intended for short-term use.

An example of equipment that staff is excited to add to the lending closet is a Boundex. This is a portable 4x4 swing that helps infants with motor skill delays but costs about $500 each. Other items purchased through the Miller-Dwan Foundation grant include exercise balls, collapsible tunnels, lycra tunnels, weighted vests, body socks, lycra circles, books, iPads and online apps, along with various bottles and pacifiers.

NorthLakes Community Clinic CEO Reba Rice says without the help of generous foundations like Miller Dwan, this program would be hard to sustain. “We are so grateful for this funding which helps remove barriers for children in our pediatric therapies program. We recognize the financial hardship these tools can impose on families throughout northern Wisconsin and are proud to offer this benefit to our patients through the strong support of partners like the Miller-Dwan Foundation and private donors who help us sustain this program.”

In addition to receiving a grant through the Miller-Dwan Foundation, the lending closet has also grown thanks to the support of generous donations from community members matching a grant from Delta Diner's employees. NLCC recently received a donation from an Ironwood resident whose son benefitted from the ability to loan out equipment from the lending closet. As part of her donation, she noted how grateful she was to the program helping her son and wished it had been around for her older son years ago. She hopes this donation can help other people with similar struggles.

NorthLakes’ speech and occupational therapists are here to help children develop and improve their skills. For more information about pediatric therapies at NorthLakes Community Clinic, please call (888) 834-4551.

About the Miller-Dwan Foundation

The Miller-Dwan Foundation of Duluth, Minnesota, has a long history of philanthropy committed to addressing the long-term health care needs of residents in northeastern Minnesota, northwestern Wisconsin, and northern Michigan.  As an independent, public medical foundation, the Miller-Dwan Foundation maintains an innovative, responsive, and committed approach to supporting area medical centers, hospitals, and regional non-profit organizations that address regional health concerns. Visit https://mdfoundation.org/ for more information about the Miller-Dwan Foundation.

About NorthLakes Community Clinic

NorthLakes Community Clinic (NLCC) is a regional Community Health Center, with clinic locations in Ashland, Birchwood, Chippewa Falls, Hayward, Hurley, Iron River, Lakewood, Minong, Oconto, Park Falls, Turtle Lake, Washburn, and White Lake. We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization managed by a patient majority board of directors. Services we offer include medical, chiropractic, dental, behavioral health counseling including substance use disorder and recovery services, optometry, psychiatric services, pediatric speech and occupational therapy, physical therapy, and prescriptions for patients.

NorthLakes Community Clinic provides care to individuals with Medicaid and Medicare, those without insurance, as well as those with private health insurance. We also offer a Sliding Fee Scale available for patients who qualify. For more information, please visit: nlccwi.org

NorthLakes Community Clinic offers a variety of occupational and physical therapy items through the Pediatric Therapies Lending Closet. Items are available to those in need at three NorthLakes locations including Ashland, Hayward, and Iron River.


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