Kimberly Kubistek

Kimberly is the Coordinator of Occupational Therapy Services at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. She has over 23 years of experience in Occupational Therapy and received her M.S. and OTD in Occupational Therapy from Misericordia University. Kim has a long list of accomplishments including academic appointments, research projects, and professional poster presentations.


Q: If you had a super-power, what would it be and why?

A: My super-power would be laughter. Through my touch, or rays shot from my eyes in an eye roll fashion, I would be able to make others laugh. I love to laugh and have fun in everything I do, I can find humor in anything. I firmly believe laughter is good medicine; but more importantly patients and families may not remember what you say, but they’ll remember how you made them feel.

Q: What is your favorite holiday movie?

A: Scrooge, with Albert Finney (Christmas Story is a close second).

Q: What is the most embarrassing song in your library?

A: Chicken Fat, performed by actor Robert Preston (The Music Man musical fame). It was a song commissioned by President JFK to inspire school children to whip themselves into shape as part of his initiative, “President’s Council on Physical Fitness.” We had to do it all the time in elementary and high school gym class; my school district and gym teachers loved it. It’s a song-worm that has lasted over 45 years.

Q: How many tattoos do you have? 

A: 20+. I get the most complements on the one that goes around my whole lower leg, we call it the leg warmer tattoo.

Q: Who has the best pizza in Pittsburgh?

A: Ianni’s Pizza.

Q: Dog person or Cat person? 

A: Dog….x 3! I have a pretty awesome bark – I actually sound like a dog and can get patients and families to start looking around to find the dog they hear.

Q: What is the best part of your role as an OT at Pittsburgh Children’s?

A: There are soooo many things I love about my work at Children’s in Pittsburgh, but primarily I love the infants and children. I love inspiring them as much as they inspire me. My role as a coordinator provides me with the opportunity to be involved in the mentorship of staff, teaching/educating, QI, research, and program development, but the one that keeps me centered and reminds me of my priorities is direct patient care. There is nothing like working with and holding a NICU baby at the end of a day to minimize stress and put things into perspective.

Q: What was your first concert?

A: Barry Manilow was my first, second, and third concert… I was a child of the 70’s.

Q: How has the NTrainer impacted feeding outcomes in your NICU? 

A: I have to preface my answer with a brief history. When we brought the NTrainer into our hospital ~5 years ago I was the optimistic leader. I discovered that this new technology could bring objective information to our clinical observations and lend support and value to our medical team. When we first implemented the NTrainer the feeding culture at that time was volume driven. It took some time and effort on the part of our OT team, but as the culture began to change we were able to fully integrate the NTrainer into our patient care model.

I believe the NTrainer has had an impact on feeding outcomes by giving our team the ability to provide infants with an intervention to facilitate the development of their NNS skills and ease the transition to breast or bottle. The NTrainer provides the infants with a positive feeding experience, something that is very important for their feeding development. As the patient progresses through the NTrainer therapy our staff is able to show and communicate the progress that their child is making by using the neosuck assessments. The NTrainer helps parents participate in their child’s feeding progression by allowing the use of the therapy mode with our supervision, which empowers the parent in their child’s care and development.