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Marcfirst Expands Child Service Twice In 6 Months

A rendering of the new Marcfirst space.
A rendering of the new Marcfirst space.

An agency that serves people with disabilities in central Illinois says it will open a second pediatric therapy center.

Marcfirst CEO Brian Wipperman said Friday it will be in the Carle BroMenn outpatient center on East Empire Street across from Central Illinois Regional Airport. It will open this fall.

The center will have a sensory gym and six therapy rooms to analyze children ages 1 to 3 who are on the autism spectrum, the agency said in a news release. Marcfirst also will share some things with Carle BroMenn, including a water therapy pool and additional gym space for physical and occupational therapy.

Wipperman said the new center will allow Marcfirst to serve three times as many children with autism than before with behavior analysis, physical, occupational, and speech therapies. Since 2018 when it began offering pediatric services, Marcfirst has served more than 2,000 children ages 1 to 3.

“We are so proud to offer yet another location where children can go to receive therapy services. This would not be possible without the support of our community, the work of our amazing group of therapists or the partnership with Carle BroMenn. We promise to continue providing quality therapy services and hope to continue being the largest provider of pediatric therapy services in McLean County and beyond for years to come,” said Wipperman.

Marcfirst said it will hire more behavioral therapists, as well as occupational and physical therapists to meet the growing needs of the community.

The first pediatric therapy outlet relocated to expanded space last November on the grounds of Carle BroMenn Medical Center in Normal.

To honor the late chief operating officer at Marcfirst, the agency named the pediatric centers in honor of Gregg Chadwick.

WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.