STAT continues growth, helping and healing


In the past 15 years, STAT Ligonier Therapeutic Center, Inc. has grown from helping families find funding for equine therapy to providing year-round equine assisted learning (EAL) and hippotherapy.

Continuing that growth, Catherine Markosky, executive director of STAT, has been working to expand who it helps with its own program – the STAT, Inc. EQuine Affect(TM).

The EQuine Affect program was developed by Catherine and Dr. Mel Jenkins-Fernández, and is based on the work of Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck. The six-week adolescent program provides individual and small group classes working with horses to promote a positive mindset and emotional intelligence.

Catherine said EQuine Affect’s adolescent program will serve between 100 to 150 kids during the year. STAT is also working to adapt the program to serve its other clients, including adults and veterans.

When STAT began, its focus was on medical rehabilitation, hippotherapy – hippo being the Greek word for horse.

But over the past few years it has offered more and more services related to mental health. All of the staff is trained in trauma informed care.

Along with helping people recover from the effects of past trauma, the staff at STAT regularly assists those with depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Today, STAT employs six mental health specialists, two speech therapists, one physical therapist, a psychologist and it just hired a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) certified therapeutic riding instructor.

“We have become so busy we have outgrown our 24 Stom Road location,” Catherine said.

In need of a bigger place, STAT purchased the soon-to-be Pleasant Meadow Ranch, a work and event venue for continued classes and rehabilitation. The space, just down the road from where they are now, will also provide an enclosed space for fundraising events for STAT or be rented out for corporate and personal events, providing the local nonprofit organization with a revenue stream outside of donations and grants.

While the shell of the building has been up since March, Catherine estimates it will cost another $600,000 to finish everything.

And it’s not just space that STAT needs.