A new Maryville business provides pediatric-based treatments for speech, language and reading disorders, serving as the only clinic in the area providing care designed to help children overcome communicative setbacks.
Renae Luke is the owner of Luke Therapy Services LLC, a new business located on Dewey Street in Maryville. The business offers traditional speech and language services, working with children on speech sounds and stuttering, vocabulary, sentence structure and other pieces of verbal communication. The business provides additional language-based reading evaluations, where Luke says helping children have a grasp on literacy helps them in their daily lives.
A celebration took place Aug. 27 at Luke Therapy Services, where friends, family and community members attended to recognize Luke’s achievements.
“I always hoped I would get that kind of support coming home,” Luke said. “It was one of the most humbling experiences I’ve had.”
Luke is a Nodaway County native who grew up in Conception Junction, Missouri. She began her career working in the Kansas City, Missouri, area before opening Luke Therapy Services in Maryville.
Luke worked at what is now Mosaic Medical Center in St. Joseph, Missouri, previously Heartland Medical Center, when she was first employed. She served as the hospital’s pediatric speech pathologist and helped open the institution’s pediatric therapy clinic.
Luke said she enjoyed learning how to grow a business in the environment of other health professionals and knew that if she were to do it again in the future, she would want to be its owner.
After working for Mosaic, Luke was employed through the Park Hill School District as a speech language pathologist for its students for two years.
“Literacy is a huge passion of mine,” Luke said. “When I can help students achieve their goals and see that growth, it’s one of my favorite things about this job.”
The Northwest Missouri Enterprise Facilitation, a regional non-profit offering consulting to local new business owners and entrepreneurs, notes Luke Therapy Services as the only clinic in the Maryville area offering speech and communications related therapy.
Luke said she recognized the need for a speech pathologist in the Maryville area and how that need further drove her to open the business.
Keli Morris, a facilitator for the NWMEF who spoke at the ribbon cutting ceremony, said Luke Therapy is an ingenious business plan providing necessary services to the area.
“The Northwest Missouri Enterprise Facilitation recognises Luke’s hard work to make this happen, and we have been happy to be of help in the process of having a service like this in the Maryville area,” Morris said.
Mike Thompson, board chairman of the NWMEF presented Luke with a certificate of congratulations from the NWMEF and Greater Maryville Chamber of Commerce.
Lily White, executive director of the GMCC, said the community support for Luke and her new business speaks to the impact she has already made on Maryville citizens.
“Luke contracts with local schools who are more than willing to get help,” White said. “Her business is going to create a lasting impression and impact on her clients.”
Luke said her favorite part of being a pediatric speech and language pathologist is working with children.
“I love the growth that I see,” Luke said. “Working with kids gives you this really cool opportunity to see them grow as little people, so you’re literally instilling skills in them that are going to carry them through life. They have the best stories to tell; they are fun and sweet and just brighten my day.”