Arkadelphia is a close-knit community that is nestled beneath the Ouachita mountains. The name of the town is a word that combines ‘Arkansas’ and the Greek word for “brother.” When considering the relationship between Pediatrics Plus and Ouachita Baptist University (OBU), the meaning isn’t lost.
Pediatrics Plus is a children’s therapy clinic that prioritizes early intervention and cares for children who experience developmental delays and special needs. They offer a range of services, from Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy (ABA) to speech, occupational, and physical therapy. Their clinics span both Texas and Arkansas, with seven locations settled in places with the most need. Founded and owned by Todd Denton, an OBU alumnus, and his wife Amy, they seek to prioritize the child and family first, empowering children and parents to overcome obstacles.
The Pediatrics Plus location in Arkadelphia is a result of cross-organizational cooperation and labor. OBU President Dr. Ben Sells, and Denton began speaking about opening a location on OBU’s campus over two years ago and have worked in synchrony to successfully open the clinic.
Both organizations mutually benefit from their partnership: OBU can offer a new graduate program in Applied Behavior Analysis with hands-on experience, as well as healthcare to Ouachita employees, and Pediatrics Plus benefits from the local business. This partnership has single-handedly opened 90 jobs for the community, ranging from medicine, communications, education and management.
“We work together really well. We collaborate well. Building the facility on the campus of OBU was extremely difficult. Most private companies and public companies don’t work well together, but our organization and OBU did a fantastic job of fighting through a lot of red tape to get the facility on campus,” Denton said. “It needed to be close to the school — accessible by the students. It also brought more people onto campus and helped campus recruiting and other things like that.”
Pediatrics Plus officially opened for business in January, after experiencing various building delays due to COVID-19. Denton notes that this trouble was beneficial to their operation in the long run.
“COVID-19 was a hurdle. Our building process got delayed, and I think that delay helped us. We got past the worst part of COVID before we opened,” Denton said. “I think Dr. Sells and I have a similar style. We don’t stop until we get it done. That connection had a lot to do with it. He and I are cut from the same cloth, in that regard.”
Arkadelphia had one other children’s therapy service, but it was going out of business. Pediatrics Plus stepped up to the plate, expanded their services and now offer families a clinic that can provide a fully inclusive atmosphere. The facility offers several therapy gyms, a fully accessible playground, an early literacy library, an on-site kitchen staff and a year-round developmental preschool.
Pediatrics Plus management strives to keep the family unit as the highest priority, ensuring that the children’s treatment plan and progress are up-to-date, personalized, and effective. By putting the most energy toward the children, the organization can make the most noticeable difference.
“We decided that we were going to focus on the kid and the family. That we were going to treat the therapists as professionals,” Denton said. “We felt like if we focused on the kid, treated therapists as professionals, with respect, we would be successful.”
Denton plans to keep coordinating with OBU to grow their partnership and to expand the presence of Pediatrics Plus in Clark County.
“We’re going to continue to work with OBU too as we grow. We have about 900 employees now in both Arkansas and Texas,” Denton said. “There’s a lot of needs that have to be met out there. We’re going to continue to go to Ouachita Baptist with ideas we have to help us in business and to help them in higher education.”