Our Team

Joanne Oates

Founder & OTR/L

Joanne Oates is a pediatric occupational therapist and a longtime resident of Mount Vernon, NY. While completing a master’s degree in occupational therapy at Mercy College, Joanne took it upon herself to survey her community, at which point she realized that Mount Vernon, the 8th largest city in New York State, did not have a pediatric therapy facility. This absence of such a needed resource inspired her to open Smile A While, a community therapy clinic that provides up to date evidence-based treatments in a family-centered atmosphere. In addition to being an occupational therapist, Joanne is also an educator. She holds a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from Florida International University and a Bachelor’s degree in Health and Human Services from the University at Buffalo. Through community outreach, Joanne teaches parents, school teachers, and other healthcare professionals about the benefits of occupational therapy. She has spoken at Mt. Vernon’s City Hall community meetings and parent-involvement days at local elementary schools. Joanne believes that through quality therapy services and educating the community, Smile A While will soon grow to serve not only Mt.Vernon’s special needs children, but other cities in lower Westchester county.