Meet our team of dedicated doctors and faculty researchers who have spent their lives on the improvement of the quality of life for our patients and their families.
Associate Residency Program Director, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
William and Patricia Oppenheim Presidential Chair in Pediatric Orthopaedics
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Orthopaedic Institute for Children
Rachel Thompson is a Chicago native, who attended medical school at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and completed her residency in orthopaedic surgery at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL. She completed her first fellowship in pediatric orthopaedics and scoliosis at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas, TX and her second in neuromuscular orthopaedics at Nemours A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE. She additionally completed a travelling fellowship in adolescent and adult hip dysplasia in Aarhus, Denmark. Her primary area of practice is pediatric orthopaedics, with a specialization in neuromuscular orthopaedics/cerebral palsy. She is on staff at Orthopaedic Institute for Children as an assistant clinical professor-in-residence in the department of orthopaedics at UCLA, where she also serves as the Associate Director for the UCLA/OIC Center for Cerebral Palsy. Her clinical and research interests are in cerebral palsy and adolescent hip disease and in using gait analysis to improve surgical decisions making and evaluate clinical outcomes. She is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA), American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine (AACPDM) and Health Volunteers Overseas. More >
Associate Director, Kameron Gait and Motion Analysis Laboratory
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
Dr. Stearns-Reider’s research is focused on the development of therapeutic strategies to address muscle contractures and improve patient function in cerebral palsy and other musculoskeletal disorders. She received her MS in Physical Therapy from the University of California, San Francisco, and her PhD in Biokinesiology from the University of Southern California. She completed two postdoctoral fellowships, the first at the University of Pittsburgh, and the second at UCLA, focused on the role of the extracellular matrix in muscle pathology and failed regeneration in aging and Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Dr. Stearns-Reider’s current research combines the basic science experience gained during her post-doctoral fellowships with her clinical training and expertise in biomechanics to conduct translational research investigating the mechanisms underlying muscle dysfunction and fibrosis in cerebral palsy.
UCLA Field Instructor
Center for Cerebral Palsy
Michael O’Hara is a licensed clinical social worker from Southern California. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California Santa Barbara and a Master of Social Welfare degree from the University of California Los Angeles Luskin School of Public Affairs. Michael’s experience includes working in child welfare as a residential therapist for foster and probation youth, and most recently as a medical social worker in intestinal rehab, liver and intestinal transplant at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Michael is currently a field instructor for the Center for Cerebral Palsy and for Special Patient Care in the School of Dentistry at UCLA. She is passionate about improving quality of life, health equity and addressing the social determinants of health. As a mental health clinician, she continues to promote the importance of trauma-informed care and addressing the mental health impact on patients and families due to health differences and complex medical needs.
Dana Connolly is a board-certified nurse practitioner specializing in pediatric orthopaedics. She assists with evaluation and treatment for children with cerebral palsy in clinic and with patient coordination. Her role in clinic also includes spasticity management with baclofen pumps and botulinum toxin injections. Dana graduated from the UCLA School of Nursing and started her career as a nurse at UCLA in the Surgical/Transplant Intensive Care Unit and Emergency Department. She then completed her Master of Science at UCLA to become a nurse practitioner and transitioned to pediatric orthopaedics at the Orthopaedic Institute for Children. She loves helping children achieve their highest level of function and celebrate with them in their successes. In addition to the cerebral palsy clinic, she also works in the pediatric orthopaedic urgent care, diagnosing and treating acute injuries.