Springfield, MO

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Heather Mosley | SBJ

2022 Health Care Champions Therapist: Rachael Swopes

Citizens Memorial Hospital Pediatric Clinic

Posted online

Rachael Swopes of Citizens Memorial Hospital Pediatric Clinic believes mental health should be a primary focus of health care for the whole body. She does her part as a pediatric psychologist and therapist.

“I strive to help children and families in the Ozarks area learn more effective ways to manage behaviors and emotional concerns by providing evidence-based diagnostic assessment and treatment in rural areas,” Swopes says. “As a psychologist in a pediatric clinic, I have the opportunity to work alongside primary care physicians and pediatricians to provide high-quality integrated care for our patients. I believe this helps improve the effectiveness of patient care.”

Clients in her care undergo diagnostic assessments and treatment recommendations for a variety of psychological concerns.

“I provide evidence-based treatment of mood and behavior disorders through individual therapy and parent training, and I provide more in-depth psychological evaluations and testing, with specialized testing for ADHD and autism,” Swopes says.

Recognizing that autism testing wait times can be over a year at major autism centers, Swopes obtained training on best practices through the University of Missouri. She says the training “allows me to test and diagnose autism in my local clinic, significantly reducing drive time and wait time for many families across southwest Missouri.”

She also has completed certification in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy and parent-child interaction therapy.

“I regularly complete ongoing education and training in these and other practices to ensure that I am providing the most up-to-date and qualified services to my patients with confidence,” Swopes says.

At CMH in Bolivar, Swopes additionally served as clinical director of the organization’s school-based therapy programs. She helped in the early stages of bringing the program first to Bolivar, then to neighboring school districts to provide on-site, school-based care.

“We now have multiple therapists in five different school districts and have several others we hope to bring services to in the near future,” Swopes says.

Additionally, she’s worked at CMH over the past eight years to encourage the growth of behavioral health within the health care system. Her work helped lead the formalization of a behavioral health department.

“The overarching goal of all of these endeavors has been to provide high-quality, evidence-based services where the need is the greatest, in rural areas where families might otherwise have limited access,” Swopes says.

A member of the Missouri Psychological Association and the American Psychological Association, Swopes engages in speaking opportunities to help children, adolescents, families and service providers working with those populations.

“I have spoken on topics such as trauma-focused therapy approaches, ways to work more effectively with foster children, practical strategies for performing therapy with kids, coping skills for children and teens, improving self-esteem in adolescent girls, etc.,” she says.


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