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ChildServe Welcomes Pediatric Physiatrist Dr. Rachel Blankenship


Iowa native returns home to serve children with special healthcare needs

DES MOINES, Iowa – ChildServe announced today the organization welcomed board-certified Pediatric Physiatrist Rachel Blankenship, D.O., MPH, this July. In her role, Dr. Blankenship will oversee all aspects of the physical medicine and rehabilitation continuum of care at ChildServe, from acute to post-acute care. She will work in close collaboration with hospitals and specialists across the state and region to treat children who require rehabilitative services. Dr. Blankenship will also work in conjunction with ChildServe’s interdisciplinary rehabilitation team to manage treatment for individuals in the only standalone pediatric rehabilitation unit in the state of Iowa, and various outpatient clinics and services at ChildServe.

Dr. Blankenship is one of only three board-certified pediatric physiatrists in the state of Iowa.

“We are beyond excited to have Dr. Blankenship join our team of physicians at ChildServe,” said Dr. Teri Wahlig, ChildServe CEO. “She is passionate about family-centered care for children with traumatic injuries and developmental disabilities. She enjoys caring for her patients on an individual level but is also passionate about developing systems and programs to help reach underserved patient populations and bring evidence-based care into clinical practice. We are excited about what the future holds in serving more Iowa children and families as we follow our vision to transform lives through specialty pediatric healthcare.”

With less than 200 board-certified pediatric physiatrists in the country, ChildServe conducted a national search to fill this important role. As part of ChildServe’s larger interdisciplinary team, Dr. Blankenship will work alongside ChildServe rehabilitation technicians; physical, occupational and speech language therapists; orthotists; prosthetists; and child life specialists, to name a few. She will also build comprehensive service options for children in the state through her work with pediatric specialty physicians, in the fields of neurology, neurosurgery, orthopedics, and more.

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“I am delighted to join the extensive, interdisciplinary team at ChildServe. The organization has a beautiful culture and long history of serving children,” Dr. Blankenship said. “ChildServe has significant potential for growth, and I’m excited see where the future takes us, as we continue to build upon the partnership between the organization’s comprehensive therapy services and medical team.”

Dr. Blankenship comes to ChildServe from Bethany Children’s Health Center where she served as the associate medical director of spinal cord neurorehabilitation. She attended medical school at Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine, where she also completed a pre-graduate fellowship in osteopathic manual medicine and pursued a master’s degree in public health. She completed her residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Cincinnati and a fellowship in pediatric rehabilitation medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Dr. Blankenship is a graduate of Urbandale High School. An Iowa native, she is returning home to fill an important need in pediatric healthcare.

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