Meet The Therapy Team

Clinical Directors

Connie

Lighthouse Caro

Connie received her Master’s in Social Work from West Virginia University, with a dual emphasis in mental health and community health. She has been employed in clinical and administrative fields, including hospitals, inpatient psychiatric care, migrant health, and community development. She is bilingual and enjoys speaking Spanish with residents.  Connie is committed to ensuring that every client who comes to the Lighthouse receives exemplary care, in an environment that promotes independence, joy and hope.

Susan

Lighthouse Traverse City

Susan received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Kalamazoo College and graduate degree in Social Work from Michigan State University. She worked for various non-profit agencies as an individual and marriage therapist as well as in private practice. Susan taught at Delta College and worked in the Employee Assistant Program for several corporations prior to coming to the Lighthouse as a social worker. Susan loves helping patients adjust to their new normal after a traumatic brain injury and seeing the success they can achieve. She is now serving as the Clinical Director in Traverse City.

Lighthouse Mascot

Beamer

Beamer joined the Lighthouse Team in 2017.  Since then, Beamer attends most Lighthouse Events and you can occasionally find him hanging out at the Pumpkin Parade.  He's very friendly, so don't be afraid to say "Hello" if you see him around!

Recreational theraPy

Carly graduated from Central Michigan University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Recreation Parks and Leisure Services with emphasis in Therapeutic Recreation. She has experience working with individuals with traumatic brain injury, chronic psychiatric illness, and physical med/rehab issues. She is a member of the Brain Injury Association of Michigan and Michigan Therapeutic Recreation Association. Carly holds a certification for adaptive kayaking through the ACA. Carly enjoys working with her clients especially in the areas of volunteering with them at the local animal shelter, animal assisted therapy, and adaptive sports. Outside of work she enjoys kayaking, hunting, fishing, spending time with family (including her two dogs), crafting, traveling and snorkeling..

Carly

Lighthouse Caro

She graduated from Central Michigan University in 2016 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Recreation, Parks, and Leisure Service Administration: concentration in Therapeutic Recreation. Since starting at The Lighthouse in January of 2017, she has been in charge of leading and running the Lighthouse Adaptive Sports Program. She enjoys traveling, hiking, swimming, hunting, and playing volleyball!

Olivia

Lighthouse Traverse City

She is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and Certified Hunter Safety Instructor through the Michigan DNR. She graduated from Central Michigan University in 2006 with a Bachelors of Applied Arts in Recreation, Parks, and Leisure Services with an emphasis in Recreational Therapy. She's been a team member with the Lighthouse since 2007. Jessica specializes in adaptive hunting and is also active in providing aquatic therapy, therapeutic horseback riding, and adaptive sports. She has served on Central Michigan University’s Recreation Department’s Advisory Board since 2017 where she assisted the department in knowing current trends, assisted with accreditation and conducted interviews for departmental scholarships. She loves helping  interns grow into professionals. Jessica has a husband and three children that keep her busy when she's not at work. She tries to practice what she preaches and makes recreation and leisure a must for her family which includes running, hunting and anything outdoors.

Jessica

Lighthouse Traverse City

Jillian graduated from Central Michigan University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Recreation, Parks and Leisure administration, focusing on Therapeutic Recreation. She has been a team member at the Lighthouse, Caro since March of 2016. She spent her youth volunteering with therapeutic horseback riding programs, and also working at a camp for children with special needs. Jillian specializes in creating and managing therapeutic programs, and is currently directing the Equestrian program at the Lighthouse in Caro. She has experience working with individuals who have suffered a traumatic brain injury, geriatric populations and also those with developmental disabilities. Jillian has a passion for therapeutic horsemanship, adaptive sports and art therapy. She is a member of the Brain Injury Association of Michigan, and also the Michigan Therapeutic Recreation Association. Outside of work, Jillian keeps busy with her two horses, three cats, one dog and husband. She enjoys anything equine related of course, but also hunting, fishing, travel and photography.

Jillian

Lighthouse Caro

 

Certified Personal Trainer

Michael graduated from Glen Lake Community High School in 2008. In August of 2011 he began working at the Lighthouse as a Rehabilitation Aide and worked his way up to a Home Manager position. In 2014 he became a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. he transitioned to Personal Training at the Lighthouse full time in 2017. Since the transition he's earned the following certifications; Youth Exercise Specialist, Senior Fitness Specialist and Weight Loss Specialist. He enjoys spending time with his family as well as participating in outdoor activities. Some of the activities he enjoys include hiking, biking, swimming, boating, hunting and camping.

Michael

Lighthouse Traverse City

 

Massage Therpay

 

Physical therapy

Erica went to Central Michigan University for both undergrad and grad school and graduating in 2007 with her Bachelors in Health Fitness and Rehabilitation and graduating in 2010 with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Since starting at The Lighthouse in August of 2010, she's received extensive training in the use of our Functional Electrical Stimulation Ergometer and obtained her Level 1 Hippotherapy certification. She loves everything Traverse City offers for outdoor activities, including: snowboarding, x-country skiing, hiking, biking, and exploring all the amazing lakes on my stand-up paddle board!

Erica

Lighthouse Traverse City

Amy received her Associate’s degree in applied Science for Physical Therapist Assistant from Delta College in April 1999. She has equal experience in Neurological rehabilitation and outpatient orthopedic settings. She has extensive training in manual, CranioSacral and vestibular therapy. She strives to support overall health and well-being while educating others toward self-management and teaching adaptations in order to reach their fullest personal and physical potential.

She enjoys teaching students and an Accredited Clinical Instructor, American Physical Therapy Association and enjoys being involved in community adaptive recreational activities. She supports mentoring young kids and has had the privilege of coaching elementary track, Girls on the Run and being a Big sister through Big brother Big sister Association.

Amy

Lighthouse Traverse City

Curtis has a Doctorate of Physical Therapy with 5 years of clinical experience. Graduated from Central Michigan University (fire up Chips!) Certified Brain Injury Specialist, Clinical Instructor, LSVT BIG, and Selective Functional Movement Systems administer. Interests include working out, golfing, travelling to northern Michigan, and volunteering as a movie screener.

Curtis

Lighthouse Caro

Karley graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree from Central Michigan University in 2006 with a Major in Health Fitness in Preventative and Rehabilitative Programs with a double Minor in Psychology and General Science. She then continued on to graduate with her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Central Michigan University in May of 2009. Karley has been employed at The Lighthouse, Caro location, since July of 2009. Karley is a Certified Brain Injury Specialist (CBIS) and has continued education in the areas of Hippotherapy, NDT, and Concussion Management. Karley believes in furthering the future of the Physical Therapy profession and as so takes interns and function as a Clinical Instructor as well as works closely with the Universities as the Site Coordinator of Clinical Education at Caro location. Karley believes in practicing what she preaches so she leads a very active lifestyle and has been an active member of the CrossFit community for over 6 years. This lead her to further her involvement and become a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer at Davison CrossFit and Flint CrossFit with a special certification in Adaptive CrossFit. Karley is married and has two young boys who also keep her on the go. Karley is passionate about neurological rehabilitation, children, and sports athletes culminating her involvement in implementing a Concussion Management Program here at the Lighthouse.

Karley

Lighthouse Caro

Ann is originally from Holly, MI. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Sciences in 2012 and her Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2015, both from the University of Michigan - Flint. Ann has had interest in the field of physical therapy at a young age after various sports injuries and has had a keen interest in neurologic rehabilitation since high school. Since graduation from physical therapy school Ann has worked primarily in the neurological field with obtaining certifications in Brain Injury (CBIS) and seeking certification in becoming a Board Certified Neurologic Certified Specialist (NCS) in 2019.

Ann has had post graduate training in instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM), vestibular dysfunction, concussion rehabilitation and gait and balance disorders. She is passionate about helping people from all walks of life get back to doing things they enjoy.

Ann currently resides in Grand Blanc, MI and in her spare time enjoys traveling, hiking, and photography.

Ann

Lighthouse Caro

Katie has been a Physical Therapist Assistant since 2012 here at the Lighthouse. She graduated from Delta College in 2011 with an Associates in Applied Science and completion of the PTA program. Katie is a Certified Clinical Instructor and enjoys taking students every year. She has also taken courses to enhance her skills in manual therapy, vestibular rehabilitation, wound care and has attended several webinars presented by the Brain Injury Association. She also coordinates all the Orthotic and Prosthetic need and repairs here at the Lighthouse. Katie enjoys riding motorcycles, being at the lake with family, camping, and spending time outdoors with her husband and 2 children.

Katie

Lighthouse Caro

Helen received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1994 from Central Michigan University with a major in Health Fitness in Prevention and Rehabilitation Services.  Helen also received her Associate in Applied Science and completed the PTA program in 1997.   She has been a Physical Therapist Assistant at The Lighthouse since 2005.  Helen is a Certified Clinical Instructor, Certified Tai Chi Instructor, and is chair for the Falls Committee.  She has taken courses to enhance her skills in manual therapy, wound care, wheelchair seating and positioning, Tai Chi for balance and arthritis, and has attended several webinars presented by the Brain Injury Association.  She also assists with minor wheelchair repairs as well as coordinates with different wheelchair vendors for more substantial wheelchair repairs and needs.  Helen enjoys any activity that includes spending time with her husband and 3 sons. 

Helen

Lighthouse Caro

Alan graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2005, and has been at The Lighthouse since 2007.  Alan is a Certified Brain Injury Specialist, and has been trained in Hippotherapy and has a level 2 certification in kinesiotape through Rocktape.  Alan is also an associate professor in the Physical Therapy Department of The University of Michigan-Flint and is a Credentialed Clinical Instructor, taking students from physical therapy programs throughout Michigan.  Alan is very involved with CPAN, the Coalition to Protect Auto No Fault and travels to Lansing to meet with legislators often.  Alan is married and is raising 4 young children to be responsible adults!  He enjoys playing hockey, and playing the occasional practical joke at work.

Alan

Lighthouse Caro

Emily attended Central Michigan University to receive a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience in 2014.  In 2017 she graduated with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Arcadia University in Philadelphia. While in graduate school she completed a six month rotation specializing in vestibular disorders and concussion rehab. This passion has continued since she joined The Lighthouse team in 2017 and recently became a credentialed concussion management clinician through CCMI. She love being outdoors and enjoys anything from hiking the Sleeping Bear Dunes, mountain biking on local trails, reading on the beach listening to the Lake Michigan waves or volunteering to maintain the local trails as a TART Ambassador. She is also a sucker for  good corny dad jokes!

Emily

Lighthouse Traverse City

 

Occupational Therapy

Kristin attended Hope College and received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management.  She graduated the Occupational Therapy Master’s of Science program at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. She completed both of her clinical rotations at traumatic brain injury facilities in Texas and has been working at the Lighthouse Neurological Rehabilitation Center in Traverse City since 2013. She feels lucky to work at a facility that allows her to specialize in her passion of brain injury and has a specific interest in vision after brain injury. Her family enjoys all the outdoor amenities that Traverse City has to offer especially hiking, fishing and being at the beach!

Kristin

Lighthouse Traverse City

She attended Saginaw Valley State University and graduated with a Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy in 2014.  Her fieldwork rotations gained her experience in discharge planning within a hospital setting, implementing a re-entry program at a prison and home healthcare. She has worked at the Lighthouse as an occupational therapist since 2015. Her love of the brain injury population has grown immensely since working at the Lighthouse and she really enjoy assisting clients in reaching their full potential of independence. She's routinely involved in the children’s ministry at her church and her family loves spending time outdoors with their family, friends and two dogs.

Ellen

Lighthouse Traverse City

Janelle is a registered/licensed Occupational Therapist who obtained her degree from Saginaw Valley State University and graduated in the top 5 of her class with high honors in 1998.  She obtained her first job as an occupational therapist here at the Lighthouse, 2 weeks following her graduation and it’s been her life ever since.  Her passion is helping people get back to living life as independently as possible following whatever brought them to the Lighthouse. Her specialty area is waking individuals up from comas (coma stimulation) following a TBI. She also been trained in therapeutic Tai Chi, which  she can use during my sessions to promote mindfulness/mental relaxation, as well as, improve balance, gross motor coordination, bilateral integration, cognition, functional endurance, and activity tolerance.  She enjoys kickboxing, traveling, camping, shopping, and spending time with friends and family.   Outside of work you can often find her court side, or field side cheering on her boys or running them to their never ending sporting events; something she never get tired of doing.

Janelle

Lighthouse Caro

 

Respiratory Therapy

Brandon is a Registered Respiratory Therapist who has been with the Lighthouse since 2003. He earned his degree from Delta College and passed his state certification while working in one of our pediatric buildings. He worked with the pediatrics for 8 years before returning as an RRT.  He was drawn to the Lighthouse after his younger brother, Chase, died of a traumatic brain injury from an automobile accident. He specializes in weaning patients from mechanical ventilation and trach management. He's currently the Chairperson of the Infectious Disease Committee.

He enjoys coaching Varsity Basketball and 8th Grade Football in Millington.

Brandon

Lighthouse Caro

 

Nursing

April has been employed at The Lighthouse for 20 years. She began working at the young age of 18 as a direct care staff and had no clue what brain injury was or how it could affect an entire family. She says that she learned quickly! She worked in the homes for 10 years before she decided she wanted to learn more of the medical aspect in order to enhance her skills and be more of an intricate part of the treatment team. She feels fortunate that she is able to continue to aid in the healing process of our patients. She plays an important role in the monitoring/recording patient symptoms and oversees their medical care. She enjoys being a strong patient advocate.

April

Lighthouse Caro

Debbie is a Registered Nurse at the Lighthouse.  She has been a nurse for 19 years and graduated from Mott Community College.  She has worked as a nurse at the Lighthouse for 13 years.  She's married with 3 children (1 daughter and 2 sons). She has 1 granddaughter and a new baby grandson on the way this August.  She lives in Caro with her family and 2 dogs. 

Debbie

Lighthouse Caro

Ashleigh is a Registered Nurse who received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from the University of Michigan- Flint in 2015. She has attained certificates in wound care, is stroke certified through the National Institute of Health and a proud member of the Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault. Ashleigh maintains the caseloads of between 20 and 30 primary clients. She is experienced in the care of traumatic brain injury, autism, post-concussion syndrome, behavioral disorders, and several other cognitive impairments. During initial and continued assessment of all physical and mental health needs, she maintains constant communication with her clients, their families, guardians, case managers, other team members and insurance companies. Ashleigh actually started at the Lighthouse at the age of 19 as a direct care staff. After those 10 years, she achieved her nursing degree and gained clinical experience at Beaumont Hospital in Troy, before returning home as a nurse here at the Lighthouse.

Ashleigh

Lighthouse Caro

Jennifer has been a Registered nurse for Lighthouse Neurological Rehabilitation since 2016.  She graduated in 1998 from Delta College, with Associates Degree in Applied Science. Her work experience includes surgical nursing at St. Mary’s of Michigan, Bay Regional Medical Center and Covenant.  Most of her nursing career has been spent in the operating room, specializing in Neurosurgery (back and brain).  She also worked as a home care nurse for 3 years and has always been fascinated by the brain and how it functions.  Her decision to leave surgical nursing to go into the rehab aspect of nursing was tough and very intimidating at first.

Jennifer

Lighthouse Caro

 

Music Therapy

Mirka attended Andrews University for undergraduate school where she majored in music and minored in psychology. She graduated with a BA in Music in 2004. Mirka studied Music Therapy at Western Michigan University and completed the Music Therapy Equivalency Program in 2009. After becoming board certified, Mirka started working at The Lighthouse in June 2009. She completed a training institute in Neurologic Music Therapy in 2015, and has been using NMT techniques with her clients to address goals from various domains, such as communication, motor function, and memory. Mirka is passionate about empowering her clients through musical performances at various Lighthouse functions, and this has been an important part of The Lighthouse Music Therapy Program. Mirka is a native of Switzerland and enjoys traveling, hiking, fellowshipping with others, and good food.  

Mirka

Lighthouse Traverse City

Zoe attended Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania and graduated with a Bachelors of Music in Music Therapy in 2017. She did her music therapy clinical internship in the area of developmental disabilities in Peapack, New Jersey. Zoe completed her board certification and began working as a music therapist at the Lighthouse in 2018. She has done a training institute at the Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy in Toronto, Ontario, CA, and is a designated Neurologic Music Therapist. Zoe is passionate about the work she does with both individuals and groups at the Lighthouse, where she uses music-based interventions to supports clients in achieving their rehabilitative goals. She feels very lucky to have the opportunity to work in brain injury rehabilitation and be part of a team with the Lighthouse’s supportive and caring therapists and staff.

Zoe

Lighthouse Caro

 

Social Work

Carley graduated with her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Michigan State University and has been employed at the Lighthouse since May of 2015. She said that growing up, she was always a person others felt comfortable talking to without judgement. She knew that whatever path she chose, she wanted to make others feel important. While at the Lighthouse, she enjoys advocating for both the adults and children and helping them reach their goals. In her spare time, she enjoys being with family, reading a good book, and relaxing with friends.

Carley

Lighthouse Caro

Leandra graduated from Saginaw Valley State University in 2017 with her bachelors of social work degree and recently to completed her masters of Social work degree from Saginaw Valley State University. Before graduating with her BSW, Leandra worked with the pediatric clients as a direct care staff for four years while pursuing her undergrad degree. After graduating with her BSW, Leandra began working as a social worker for the Lighthouse in Caro facilitating groups with pediatric and adult clients. Leandra enjoys working with clients to improve their quality of life while developing relationships with their peers to help them along their journey.

Leandra

Lighthouse Caro

Kira obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from SVSU and graduated from Michigan State University in 2011 with her Masters in Social Work. She has been working as a therapist at the Lighthouse since August, 2011.  Kira reports that she's always had a passion for meeting new people, talking and lending a listening ear. Kira reports that “It's so rewarding to be a part of a team that assists an individual with their recovery process”. Her specialty area is assisting individuals and their families with the emotional and social adjustment that occurs after a Traumatic brain Injury. She assists with providing psychotherapy to help them adjust and create their “New Normal”. Kira plays an active role as a Field Instructor with several universities such as MSU, SVSU and Capella University. Providing internship opportunities for other Social Workers obtaining their Master’s degrees.

Outside of work Kira keeps very busy. She enjoys spending time with family and friends. She has a passion for interior decorating and home renovation.  She loves to create beautiful spaces. She also loves to travel and spend time outdoors (especially by the water).  Paddleboarding and Photography are her other favorite activities.

Kira

Lighthouse Caro

 

Psychology

Brandy obtained her master’s degree in clinical psychology from the Michigan School of Professional Psychology. In addition, she obtained her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint in psychology and minor in substance abuse. She has been working at the Lighthouse since 2016. Previous to working at the Lighthouse, Brandy worked as a crisis interventionists in Oakland County. At the Lighthouse, Brandy runs the Lighthouse substance abuse group, behavior modification, and individual therapy.  Brandy always has a smile on her face and enjoys the work she does every day by making a difference in her client’s lives.

Brandy

Lighthouse Caro

Michelle has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology and is a Limited Licensed Psychologist, she has been employed with the Lighthouse since 2005. Her previous experience included work with individuals with intellectual disabilities and families affected by substance abuse. Michelle specializes in individual therapy and behavioral plan development with Lighthouse clients. She is an EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) trained therapist and she specializes in working with individuals with traumatic experiences. Michelle has provided therapeutic services to Lighthouse clients with traumatic brain injuries, psychiatric diagnoses, trauma histories, spinal cord injuries, personality disorders, and intellectual disabilities. As a therapist, she utilizes skills of DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy), CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), person-centered therapy, therapeutic horsemanship, and incorporates spiritual and mindfulness components. Michelle has enjoyed the valuable opportunities she has had in serving others at the Lighthouse.

Michelle

Lighthouse Caro

 

INTERNAL CASE MANAGEMENT

Lori graduated in 2007 from Davenport University with a Master of Business Administration Degree.  Lori’s MBA holds a focused concentration in health-care administration. Lori has traveled a path of education and work practices.  After working for 20+ years as a health-care financial manager, Lori sought employment at the Lighthouse Inc.  Lori has been employed with the Lighthouse since 2008, as the facility’s Internal Case Manager. Lori is a compassionate patient advocate, who understands the need to provide appropriate and passionate care in a clean and safe environment.  Lori is a strong advocate for our residents.  She is committed to ensuring high-quality and compassionate care.

Lori

Lighthouse Caro