ChildServe Welcomes Pediatric Physiatrist

Dr. Rachel Blankenship

Iowa native returns home to serve children with special healthcare needs

After a national search, ChildServe is excited to announce the hiring of board-certified Pediatric Physiatrist Rachel Blankenship, D.O., MPH, who started her new role on July 1. 

In her role, Dr. Blankenship will oversee all aspects of the physical medicine and rehabilitation continuum of care at ChildServe, from acute to post-acute care. She will work in close collaboration with hospitals and specialists across the state and region to treat children who require rehabilitative services.

Dr. Blankenship will also work in conjunction with ChildServe’s interdisciplinary rehabilitation team to manage treatment for individuals in the only standalone pediatric rehabilitation unit in the state of Iowa, and various outpatient clinics and services at ChildServe. 

Dr. Blankenship attended medical school at Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine, where she also completed a pre-graduate fellowship in Osteopathic Manual Medicine and pursued a master’s degree in public health. She completed her residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Cincinnati and a fellowship in Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. After completing her training, Dr. Blankenship moved to Oklahoma City to practice at Bethany Children’s Health Center, where she served as the Associate Medical Director of Spinal Cord Neurorehabilitation. 

Dr. Blankenship is passionate about family-centered care for children withtraumatic injuries and developmental disabilities. She enjoys caring for her patients on an individual level but is also passionate about developing systems and programs to help reach underserved patient populations and bring evidence-based care into clinical practice. One of her favorite parts about pediatric rehabilitation is the team-based approach to caring for patients.

When her kindergarten teacher asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, 5-year-old Rachel replied, “A pediatrician, because that’s a girl doctor.” Over the years, her interest in different medical professions grew, and as a high school student with an interest in physical therapy, she spent time shadowing at ChildServe. This was one of the life experiences that set the foundation for her to eventually go to medical school and discover the field of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine.

Dr. Blankenship and her husband, Peter, have three children, ages 7, 5 and 2. She loves being a mom and doing fun activities with her kids like having silly dance parties, making up stories, playing outside, and going on nature walks. She likes to bake, craft, garden and is always up for trying a new coffee shop or bakery.

“I am honored to be able to join the team at ChildServe. I look forward to partnering with the pediatric rehabilitation medicine team to continue to develop the programs that are currently in place and seeknew ways to meet the needs of the community together,” said Dr. Blankenship.

For the next six months, Dr. Blankenship will work alongside ChildServe‘s long-time Pediatric Physiatrist Dr. Fred Klingbeil, who will retire in December 2024.

Make a Referral

Dr. Blankenship is currently accepting referrals. To make a referral, call 515-727-8750 or email  communications@childserve.org.

About

ChildServe improves the health and well-being of nearly 5,800 children each year through specialized clinical, home, and community-based programs and services. We serve children with developmental delays, disabilities, injuries, and other special healthcare needs.

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