New director of Children’s TherAplay aims to build bonds in local community


Children’s TherAplay in Carmel recently hired Kathy Pelletier as its new executive director. She began in January at the largest equine-assisted physical and occupational therapy facility in the nation.

“We exclusively do something called hippotherapy,” Pelletier said. “Hippotherapy is the purposeful application of equine movement by a licensed and specially-trained physical, occupational, or speech therapist.”

Children’s TherAplay Executive Director Kathy Pelletier pauses with horse Rocky. (Submitted photo)

The nonprofit provides therapy to children with various mental- and health-related issues from around the state.

“We take care of children within the special needs community under a number of diagnoses,” Pelletier said. “We see children with autism. We see children with cerebral palsy. We see children with Down syndrome and some with other rare disorders and syndromes that people may not be as aware of just because of their rarity.”

Her main goal as executive director is to spread the word about Children’s TherAplay in the local community.

“I really hope to get out into the community and share the stories of these families and these kiddos,” Pelletier said. “I want to help the community really understand how life-changing what is taking place here really is.”

Part of the way she wants to help spread the word is through fundraising events.

“I want the community to understand how they can help support the mission and make it sustainable for us,” Pelletier said. “I want to find ways that the corporate community and individual donors can get involved in supporting something that is so meaningful to our patients and their families. Children’s TherAplay cannot offer life-changing therapy without the generous support of donors.”

Pelletier previously was the the campaign director for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Prior to that, she was a community affairs specialist for St. Vincent Health.

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