Staff

Melissa M Porcaro – Owner, BS, OTR/L, SIPT

Melissa Porcaro, OTR, SIPT is a 1990 graduate of The Houston Medical Center branch of Texas Woman’s University’s Occupational Therapy program. She is Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT) certified, two-time pediatric practice business owner, and a mom of three amazing young adults. She has over 35 years’ experience in the field of Occupational Therapy working with children and families addressing developmental delays and behavioral challenges. She is the Founder/CEO at CAN Do Kids Pediatric Practice in Richland, Washington. The name and logo are in honor of her children Clayton, Anthony, and Nicole for whom she appreciates for teaching her so much in life. Clayton and Nicole attend the United States Military Academy at West Point in New York and Anthony is a graduate of Washington State University who currently is working in medical device sales in Connecticut. The therapy practice has evolved from addressing primarily developmental delays to addressing behavioral and learning challenges associated with media and screen addiction. The increased time spent in front of a screen is preventing the development of higher-level skills and causing more orthopedic and neurological damage in young children. As a mom, she has experienced firsthand the negative behaviors associated with technology addiction and its impact on the developing brain. Melissa is currently involved with Melanie Hempe at Screen Strong where the goal is to help parents and children become more educated in this area. She is also involved with Sheep-Dog training; which is a Faith-Based Security training for churches and schools to address the increasing violence that has been linked to violent video gaming.

Lisa Nelson – COTA/L

I was born and raised in Washington State and although I lived in North Carolina for 12 years and loved it I have always considered the Pacific Northwest my home. I graduated from Lake Washington Institute of Technology in 2016 and fell in love with working with children while completing an internship in the Lake Stevens School District. I love CAN Do Kids- we have the most amazing staff and we work with the very best families. I have three grown children but no grand-kids (yet).  In my free time I love to hike but I could spend hours just lying in the sun next to the ocean, a river, lake or even just the pool. As long as I am with my family, my dogs and have a good book to read I am content. I have a strong passion for being involved in the community along with a love for research and CAN Do Kids values those things as well so it is a perfect fit.

Jenni Merrill – COTA/L

I was born and raised in Arizona. I moved to the Tri-Cities in January 2020. I come from a big family: 6 brothers and 2 sisters, 7 in-laws, and 21 nieces and nephews with more on the way and I love it! It’s fun! I graduated in Arizona from Pima Medical Institute as a COTA in March 2019 and have been working in pediatric occupational therapy since July 2019. I love the kids here at CAN Do Kids and seeing their growth and personalities. Other than my love for children, I love music, sports, playing the piano, and just having fun! It’s what life is about!

Ashley Williams- COTA/L

ashley faceI am a recent graduate from Pima Medical Institute in El Paso Tx, where I lived for 6 years. Before becoming a Occupational Therapist Assistant I worked taking care of veterans as a nursing assistant for 5 years. I was raised in a Military family, enjoyed the time I spent in Hawaii and California most of all! I have two daughters that are the most important people in my life.  My favorite animal is a cow, a life goal of mine is to raise a tiny farm filled with miniature breed animals. My hobbies are crafting, baking and most of all to build with LEGO!!

KyRae Hobbs- Clinical Assistant

Kyrae bio pictureI was born and raised in Nebraska but recently moved to the Tri-Cities for my husbands’ job. We have a retired racing Greyhound, named Gilly, who we absolutely adore and love to spoil! In my free time, I love to spend as much time outside, hiking, biking, or hopping in the car and seeing the amazing sights around Washington! I am so excited to be here at CAN Do Kids working with fantastic therapists and getting to see each kiddo do amazing things!