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Our Team

Front row (L-R): Emily Gantz, Leon Dure, Harrison Walker
Back row (L-R): Karmen Mitchell, Jan Rowe,
Deek Cunningham, Kayla Richards, Valerie Terrell

Jan Rowe, OTD, OT, OTR/L, FAOTA, earned her doctorate from NOVA Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, FL., in 2004 and has been working exclusively with Tourette syndrome (TS) and tic disorders patients since 2010. The first occupational therapist to coordinate a comprehensive behavioral intervention program for tic disorders, Dr. Rowe now trains occupational therapists throughout the country to work with children who have Tourette syndrome or tic disorders. In addition, she serves on the Medical Advisory Board for the Tourette Syndrome Association.

Leon S. Dure, MD, Division Director for Pediatric Neurology at Children’s of Alabama, has been on the UAB staff since 1994 and has a strong clinical interest in movement disorders affecting children. The Pediatric Movement Disorders Clinic at Children’s, the first of its kind in the South, addresses a variety of conditions—the most common being tic disorders such as Tourette syndrome. (CBIT is a service of the Pediatric Movement Disorders Clinic.) Dr. Dure served on the Tourette Syndrome Association Medical Advisory Board (1997–2013) and has participated as an investigator in a number of observational and intervention trials in TS.

Emily Gantz, DO, Assistant Professor in Pediatric Neurology at  Children’s of Alabama, she is a board certified child neurologist who completed her residency at Vanderbilt University and her movement disorders fellowship at UAB. She is now a subspecialist in pediatric movement disorders, including tic disorders such as Tourette syndrome.

Deek Cunningham, MS, OTR/L, earned his Master of Science with a certificate in occupational therapy from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1998. He is currently enrolled in a PhD in Health Education and Health Promotion in the School of Public Health at UAB. His occupational therapy career began in the nursing home field, yet he transitioned to the pediatric arena working in both inpatient settings, psychiatric units, and outpatient settings. Deek later accepted a position in Florida continuing his work with the pediatric population. In 2009, he moved back to South Alabama beginning a new career experience in the field of adult acute care burns, trauma, and home health, while continuing to work with the pediatric population. In 2011, Deek returned to Birmingham and joined the UAB Occupational Therapy Faculty as an Assistant Professor and later in 2014 moved into the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator role.

Deek has been offering CBIT services since his certification in 2012. He began working with Dr. Jan Rowe in the established CBIT for pediatrics, and then moved into providing CBIT services for adults.

Karmen Mitchell, MS, OTR/L, earned her Bachelor of Science degree with a certificate in occupational therapy from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1998. In 2012, she completed her post-professional Master of Science in the Occupational Therapy program at UAB as well. Karmen spent the early part of her career practicing in acute care, home health and skilled nursing facilities. Karmen has spent the last 17 years working as a school-based occupational therapist. She has also worked as a flexi-pool O.T. for Children’s of Alabama in inpatient rehabilitation since 2009.

In late 2009, Karmen attended a CBIT training by Dr. Douglas Woods at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In early 2011, Karmen began in the CBIT clinic established and directed by Dr. Jan Rowe and has continued to work closely with Dr. Rowe since that time, as a research assistant and as a qualified CBIT provider.  Karmen now provides CBIT services for adults.

Kayla Richards, OTRL, earned her master’s degree from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi in 2012. After working as a traveling occupational therapist in both Florida and California in a variety of populations, she and her husband moved to Birmingham, AL in October of 2016. She is currently working at Children’s on 3rd where she provides services to children with autism, sensory processing disorders, and feeding difficulties. She was trained under Dr. Douglas Woods and Dr. Jan Rowe to work with children who have tic disorders, including Tourette syndrome. Kayla has been training at the CBIT program at Children’s, Park Place since March 2017. She is now a qualified CBIT Provider and provides services one day a week at Children’s CBIT clinic.

Tres Helton, Office Assistant, is the first person you will meet when arriving at the CBIT clinic at Children’s. Tres is extremely knowledgeable about insurance payments for CBIT and can assist you with needed information to discuss with your insurance company prior to the evaluation. She can also assist with establishing private pay status if that is needed. She can be reached at the above ‘clinic’ number.

Harrison Walker, MD, Associate Professor/ UAB, Medical Director of Deep Brain Stimulation

Tourette Syndrome Center of Excellence (COfE) – Children’s of Alabama and University of Alabama at Birmingham (COA/UAB)

Since 2019, the TAA CofE at COA/UAB began offering an Adult CBIT Program and together our center is able to provide services to individuals with TS and other tics disorders of all ages. The children (age 4 to 21) are seen at the Children’s of Alabama while adults (21+) are seen at the School of Health Professions at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Department of Occupational Therapy.

The Adult CBIT program is coordinated by Deek Cunningham, MS, OTR/L and Karmen Mitchell, MS, OTR/L. For more information or to make a referral, please send an email to the AdultCBIT@uab.edu or call 205-934-8958.

CBIT Clinic