Jason Miller, director of rehabilitation services at Metroplex Hospital, second from right, speaks during a Tuesday ceremony for the newly opened Metroplex Pediatric Rehabilitation Center in Killeen. The new facility “gives more space to provide more treatment to more children,” said Miller. Metroplex added three more therapists for a total of six for the staff at the rehab center, which offers occupational, speech and physical therapy.

By Rose L. Thayer
Killeen Daily Herald

Children attending rehabilitation at Metroplex Healthcare Systems in Killeen now have a space of their own.

Metroplex staff members and area chambers of commerce leaders on Tuesday helped cut the ribbon to the Pediatric Rehabilitation Center, located in a former human resources office next door to Metroplex Hospital.

“It gives more space to provide more treatment to more children,” said Jason Miller, director of rehabilitation services.

The center, which offers occupational, speech and physical therapy, previously was housed with adult rehabilitation services. As both programs grew, however, space was limited for expansion.

Miller said he was able to increase the number of therapists from three to six with the move. It also helped therapists free up waiting lists for physical and speech therapy.

“I’m always delighted when we are able to expand services to our community,” said Carlyle Walton, president and CEO of Metroplex.

About 45 treatments are administered each day in 30- to 60-minute sessions for patients from birth to age 18, said Miller.

“Children who’ve never spoken before leave here talking,” he said during his remarks to chamber members from Killeen, Copperas Cove and Harker Heights. “Children who’ve never walked before leave here walking.”

Jennifer Lacock, a physical therapist with Metroplex, said the new center will allow kids to be kids.

“It will allow more patients to be seen and not have the children running around in front of an elderly patient with a walker or someone who just had surgery,” she said.

The center already is decorated with colorful, therapeutic decorations, but Lacock said they are looking to add more kid-friendly treatment areas and equipment.

Martha Neighbors, who has worked as the center’s secretary for the past five years, said parents and patients seem happy with the move. “Parents really seem to enjoy the waiting area and kids get to watch movies,” she said. “The biggest benefit is just more room to grow.”