Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Diana Parafiniuk, Founder of E-Therapy, located in Flagstaff, AZ, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
E-Therapy is the leading teletherapy company focused on providing Direct Related Services to students with special needs nationwide. Over the past 13 years, E-Therapy has upended the delivery of speech, language, occupational, and physical therapy, along with counseling, mental health services, and psycho-educational evaluations for schools nationwide through its innovative and creative approach that delivers fresh, engaging online sessions to students PreK - 12th grade across the country.
E-Therapy prides itself on being a leading innovative, technology-driven company, creating an environment where students learn and thrive. Our team of passionate, talented therapists delivers superior related services to PreK-12 school students across the nation. Having served 30,000 since E-Therapy's inception, these tens of thousands of students in hundreds of schools across the country have been given access to special education services they would have otherwise not had.
Named the "Most Promising Education Technology Service of 2021", E-Therapy was founded on a vision to change what special education services looked like for remote students. Now offering the highest quality teletherapy solutions in the industry, E-Therapy has paved the way for students' success. Successfully delivering services to students remains at the forefront of their technological advances and continues to feed the pulse of their mission.
Tell us about yourself
My journey traces back to 2009 when I, Diana Parafiniuk - already a seasoned speech-language pathologist and E-Therapy's Founder and CMO, used to commute hundreds of miles each week to provide speech services to students across Northern Arizona. Driven by the vision to change students' lives for the better, I resolved to transcend the limits of traditional onsite therapy delivery models to ensure that every child gets the therapy they need no matter where they are. Through my mission to identify the acute need for schools and speech-language pathologists (SLPs) to deliver therapy remotely in a more effective and scalable manner, E-Therapy was born, and was able to leverage existing technologies to offer the highest-quality teletherapy services to underserved children and schools remotely.
We had no guidebook. We charted the path ourselves in terms of leveraging technology and combining it with special education services to reach out to children in underserved areas. When we came to fruition in 2009, E-Therapy was light years ahead of the market with our novel approach to delivering therapy using modern technology. I am proud to say that E-Therapy changed my life, thousands of E-Therapists' lives, and the tens of thousands of countless students in schools across the United States.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Being a business owner was not something that I had intended to become. As they say, "Mother is the necessity of invention," and E-Therapy was born out of necessity. I have dedicated my professional career to serving students in need. The glaring reality of the most vulnerable students not having access to services that were essential to their educational and personal development and growth needed to be addressed. My biggest accomplishment as a business owner was the creation of a company that played a significant role in changing lives and shaping the future for students to achieve personal success. The mission of E-Therapy has always been to serve with compassion and lead with innovation. To be part of something bigger than yourself and have a positive impact in fomenting change for the better in a child's life is the biggest accomplishment I think anyone in business could ask for.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Building a company in uncharted waters in a market space that was not defined nor yet fully developed was extremely difficult. Not only did we have to build the company, but we had to educate therapists and administrators that the modality of telepractice was successful and did allow students to meet their goals. Being a pioneer in the teletherapy space was the biggest challenge to overcome because there was not a lot of evidence or confidence 14 years ago in telepractice. We had to build confidence in our field and be leaders in our industry to show and support teletherapy for students was an excellent choice for the underserved students in our country. I had to get buy-in from all the stakeholders that what we were doing was extremely important and would change students' lives everywhere by creating an avenue for accessibility to services. Building out a company takes up every part of you. You sincerely put in your blood, sweat, and tears to sustain and maintain success to create a thriving company.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Love what you do, know why you are doing what you do, and understand the need for what it is you want to do. Trust your instincts. Surround yourself with dedicated and passionate people. Allow for flexibility. Be kind to those around you and build the business for a purpose you believe in.
Where can people find you and your business?
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