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Management Team

Lena Thoresen, OTR/L & Kathy White, LMHC – Owners

Kathy and Lena’s compassion and visionary thinking helped to open Children’s Therapy Solutions, Inc.’s doors in 2004.  In order to fulfill that vision and help all people including those with no insurance or means to pay for services they needed, they lstablished a non-profit organization called Manatee Hope Inc.  Children’s Therapy Solutions Inc. now contracts with Manatee Hope Inc. to ensure everyone receives the help they need.  Lena and Kathy are passionate about children and believe each child must have at least one dependable adult in their lives that they can trust and open up to. They work hard to make Children’s Therapy Solutions Inc.  a place where all children and families feel safe and cared about in a truly sincere way.

kathy-whiteKathy, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, graduated with her Masters degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Kentucky and has over 25 years of experience working as a Counselor. Kathy has been married for 37 years. She and her husband have 4 successful children. Her children are and have always been her passion. Proudly, they are all doing well, one a Pharmacist, the next an Electrical Engineer in the Air Force, A Medical Doctor and her youngest daughter Julia is a junior in Nursing School.  Kathy believes all individuals can achieve success and personal fulfillment. In her therapy, Kathy helps families find a balance between overachieving and underachieving. She believes families can adapt and make changes that will help children achieve their goals now and later in life.  She is a certified Parent Child Interaction Therapist (PCIT) and Certified Rehabilitation Counselor.  Her strengths in the field include listening, motivating, establishing rapport, and helping individuals to be “their own therapist” and “to solve their own issues”.  In her spare time, Kathy enjoys boating, bike riding, horseback riding, reading, and working on charity events such as Manatee Hope.

lenaLena graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with her degree in Occupational Therapy.  She has over 20 years of experience in her field and has a strong desire to help people and work with “difficult and challenging therapy situations.” Lena has worked with many medically fragile children, premature babies, and a variety of families with a multitude of challenges. One of her specialties is working with babies who are diagnosed with Torticollis.  She has attended specialized courses in FloorTime, Hippotherapy, Sensory Integration, Reflex Integration, Neuro-Developmental Therapy and Aggression Control Training (ACT) among many other classes.  Lena is originally from Norway, speaks fluent Norwegian as well as brings a unique perspective into multicultural living.  Lena believes it takes as many adults as possible to help love and raise children. “Parents need all the support they can get, as well as children can never have too many people who love them and look out for them”. Lena enjoys spending time with friends/family, running, volunteering and traveling.

Megan Halliday, M.S., OTR/L – Director of Therapy

megan-pitstickMegan is the Director of Therapy at Children’s Therapy Solutions, Inc.  She obtained her Masters degree in Occupational Therapy at Eastern Kentucky University.  Her love for children and helping families brought her into this field.  Megan has been with CTS since 2008 and has extensive experience in Sensory Processing Disorders, Handwriting Without Tears and academic based therapies, and feeding therapy utilizing the S.O.S. Feeding Approach.  She also has training in the Alert Program for self-regulation, FloorTime, and Brain Gym.  Megan connects with families and individualizes treatment to meet the family’s needs.  One of her specialties is problem solving difficult situations to create practical solutions to apply in the home setting to maximize progress.  Megan enjoys anything outdoors, volunteering with Junior League of Manatee County and other non-profits, spending time with family and friends, traveling, music, and watching sports (Go Rays!).

Psychologist

Wendy Blumenthal, Ph.D.

Dr. Blumenthal received her bachelor’s degree with honors from Emory University. Later, she received her Ph.D. from Nova University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, then interned at Brown University Medical School.  After moving to Georgia in 1986, Dr. Blumenthal worked as a staff psychologist for a head injury treatment program as well as a post-acute rehabilitation program.  The next year, she opened a private practice specializing in working with children, adolescents, and families.  After 28 years of practicing in Atlanta, Dr. Wendy as her patients refer to her, followed her dream of living by the beach on Anna Maria Island and joined Children’s Therapy Solutions in June, 2016.  Dr. Wendy does psychoeducational assessments for learning challenges and AD/HD as well problem-oriented psychotherapy.  Additionally, she specializes in working with children and adolescents experiencing medical disorders, trauma, anxiety, and high functioning autism.  A few years ago, Dr. Wendy founded the Sensory Friendly Foundation which aims to provide fun music and arts events for individuals experiencing sensory sensitivities.  In her spare time, she loves the beach, reading, spending time with her family, volunteering for Red Cross and volunteering as an official for the Odyssey of the Mind Florida and World competitions.   Please check her website for further information about Dr. Wendy at www.docwendy.com.

 

Occupational Therapy

Lena Thoresen, OTR/L

lenaLena graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with her degree in Occupational Therapy.  She has over 20 years of experience in her field and has a strong desire to help people and work with “difficult and challenging therapy situations.” Lena has worked with many medically fragile children, premature babies, and a variety of families with a multitude of challenges. One of her specialties is working with babies who are diagnosed with Torticollis.  She has attended specialized courses in FloorTime, Hippotherapy, Sensory Integration, Reflex Integration, Neuro-Developmental Therapy and Aggression Control Training (ACT) among many other classes.  Lena is originally from Norway, speaks fluent Norwegian as well as brings a unique perspective into multicultural living.  Lena believes it takes as many adults as possible to help love and raise children. “Parents need all the support they can get, as well as children can never have too many people who love them and look out for them”. Lena enjoys spending time with friends/family, running, volunteering and traveling.

Megan Halliday, M.S., OTR/L

megan-pitstickMegan is the Director of Therapy at Children’s Therapy Solutions, Inc.  She obtained her Masters degree in Occupational Therapy at Eastern Kentucky University.  Her love for children and helping families brought her into this field.  Megan has been with CTS since 2008 and has extensive experience in Sensory Processing Disorders, Handwriting Without Tears and academic based therapies, and feeding therapy utilizing the S.O.S. Feeding Approach.  She also has training in the Alert Program for self-regulation, FloorTime, and Brain Gym.  Megan connects with families and individualizes treatment to meet the family’s needs.  One of her specialties is problem solving difficult situations to create practical solutions to apply in the home setting to maximize progress.  Megan enjoys anything outdoors, volunteering with Junior League of Manatee County and other non-profits, spending time with family and friends, traveling, music, and watching sports (Go Rays!).

Lorin Newingham, OTR/L

Lorin graduated with her degree in Occupational Therapy from Florida Gulf Coast University. She was brought into the field 12 years ago by her love for children and helping others. Her patience, kindness, and flexibility make her the great therapist she is. Lorin specializes in providing quality and skilled therapy for medically fragile children with various diagnoses. She has attended specialized courses in FloorTime, Therapeutic listening, Behavioral Tools, Myofascial Release (MFRI), Brain Gym, Vestibular (Astronaut) training, Pediatric Kinesiotaping, Pediatric Feeding (The Big Picture), and Yoga for Special Needs. Lorin likes to play kickball, rollerblade, go on mission trips, volunteer in the community, and go to the beach as an Anna Maria local.

Elizabeth Reinbolt, M.S. OTR/L

Elizabeth graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with her Master’s of Science degree in Occupational Therapy. She was introduced to the field when her brother, who has autism, received Occupational Therapy at Children’s Therapy Solutions. Elizabeth then spent several years working with children with special needs prior to becoming an OT. Elizabeth is trained in PCM and her strengths are working with children with severe autism, medically fragile, cerebral palsy, and sensory difficulties. She oftentimes helps parents understand floor time play to help children engage with others and play more appropriately. In her spare time she enjoys kayaking, hiking, and shopping.

Cara Jackson, MOT, OTR/L

Cara graduated from Colorado State University with her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy in 2016. She was originally drawn to the field of occupational therapy through volunteering at a summer camp working with children and teenagers with disabilities. Cara has been working at CTS since 2016 and specializes in the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) feeding approach with specialty training for a child on the Autism Spectrum. Additionally, she is certified in CAN-EAT Approach which utilizes medical, motor, and behavioral strategies with pediatric feeding disorders. She is a creative and fun therapist that enjoys working with a variety of clients and has a passion for working with teenagers. Cara has lived in Bradenton for most of her life and is a very active person who loves skim boarding, working out, sports, and spending time with her family.

Heather Carpenter, MOT, OTR/L

Heather graduated from Adventist University of Health Sciences with her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy in 2016. She was drawn to the field of occupational therapy from her passion for working to improve the lives of children with disabilities. Heather is a kind and compassionate therapist that believes family centered care is a key component of therapy and enjoys incorporating families into her session. Heather has been working for CTS since 2017 and specializes in the Beckman Oral Motor protocol which focuses on interventions to increase functional response to pressure and movement, range, strength, variety and control of movement for the lips, cheeks, jaw and tongue. She has a passion for early intervention and has taken a variety of specialized course to meet the needs of this population including Treating Torticollis, Evidence-Based Kinesiology Taping for Pediatrics, Essential Assessment and Treatment Strategies for Pediatric Orthopedic Dysfunction. Heather was born and raised in Florida, during her free time she loves going to the beach, boating, spending time with her family, friends, and two adorable dogs.

Juan Nieto-Quinterio, COTA

Juan Nieto-Quinterio is a COTA with 3 years experience working with the pediatric population. He grew up in Venezuela and is a bilingual Spanish-English speaking therapist. Juan graduated from Florida State College at Jacksonville. He is completing training in the Handwriting Without Tears program and will soon be a certified HWT specialist. Juan joined the OT field after discussing career options with his sister who is a Speech Language Pathologist. After she told him about Occupational Therapy he went into the field and found out he loved working with kids and making a difference in their lives. His strength in addition to assisting with handwriting is making progress with intense behaviors. In his free time he plays soccer, tennis, guitar, and enjoys traveling!

Eleonora Salustri, MOT, OTR/L

Eleonora graduated from Barry University with her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy in 2017.  She was drawn to the field of occupational therapy through her volunteer experiences at a variety of pediatric sites.  Eleonora is a creative and compassionate therapist who uses her strengths to aid children in reaching their fullest potentials.  Eleonora was born in Rome, Italy and is fluent in Italian.  She enjoys spending her free time outdoors paddle boarding, kayaking, hiking, and exercising.

Danielle Slaughter, COTA/L

Danielle graduated from Keiser University with her Associates of Science in Occupational Therapy in 2014.  She was drawn to the field of occupational therapy to make a positive impact on children’s lives.  Danielle is a fun and driven therapist who strives to make’s her children as independent as possible. Danielle has 2 1/2 years of experience working with children in home health and the outpatient setting.  She has attended specialized courses for Handwriting Without Tears. In her free time, Danielle enjoys playing tennis and going to the beach with friends and family.

Emily Spencer, MOT, OTR/L

Emily graduated from Adventist University of Health Sciences with her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy in 2017.  She was drawn to the field of occupational therapy after working with children with disabilities in an ABA clinic. Emily is a joyful and compassionate therapist who loves to be a part of children’s journey towards independence. Emily has previous experience working with children as an occupational therapy aid, registered behavioral therapist, and a gymnastics coach.  During her free time, Emily loves painting, traveling, and spending quality time with family and friends.

Carolina Gonzalez, MOT, OTR/L

Carolina is a bilingual Spanish speaking occupational therapist.  She graduated from the University of Florida with her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy in 2017.  Carolina was drawn to the field of occupational therapy to improve the lives of children through a holistic approach. Carolina is a patient and motivated therapist who uses her versatile skills to guide children as they become more independent.  Carolina was born in New York and grew up in Miami, Florida.  In her free time Carolina enjoys dancing, cooking, reading, and spending quality time with her family.

Barbara Farnsworth, COTA/L

Barbara graduated from Keiser University with her associates degree in Occupational Therapy in 2014. She was drawn to the field of occupational therapy after seeing and experiencing the impact therapy services can have on increasing the quality of life for individuals. Barbara is a compassionate and loving therapist who enjoys making meaningful connections with the children and families she works with. Barbara has been working at CTS since 2014 and specializes in the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) feeding approach and CAN-EAT Approach which utilizes medical, motor, and behavioral strategies with pediatric feeding disorders. Barbara has lived in Saint Petersburg, FL majority of her life. She enjoys being in the outdoors boating, fishing, and spending quality time with her husband and two beautiful daughters.

 
Cristina Guerra COTA

Cristina graduated from Keiser University in 2018 with her Associate of Science in Occupational Therapy Assisting. She was drawn to the field of occupational therapy by her love of working with children and wanting to help make a difference in their lives. She has always been driven to work with children and receives satisfaction from witnessing the improvement that a child can make. Helping families achieve goals in and outside of therapy also brings pleasure to Cristina, and it is important to her that each child grows to be as successful as they can in therapy as well as in life. Cristina was born and raised in Tampa, and enjoys being by the water, outdoor activities, working out, and listening to various podcasts.

 
Jennifer Brandon, COTA/L  
 
Jennifer graduated from State College of Florida in Manatee/Sarasota in May 2019. Before beginning OTA school, she worked as a paraprofessional with the Manatee County School Board at Jessie P. Miller Elementary, working in the Kindergarten through Fifth Grade class for student’s with varying exceptionalities from 2013-2017. Prior to that, she worked as a Preschool Teacher for 3 years, teaching children ages 3 to 4. She has worked for many summers at Dream Oaks Camp in Bradenton, Florida as a camp counselor for children ages 7-17 with varying disabilities and chronic illnesses. Occupational Therapy has been her dream career field since she was just 11 years old.  She loves children and is fascinated by the science of development of skills through play. She enjoys helping and collaborating with families and children to reach their personal goals and believes OT is so amazing! Miss Jenn grew up here in the Bradenton/Palmetto area! She moved away for a year to London, England, but missed my people and  the sunshine! Her hobbies include spending time with friends, family, and my son – probably by a pool. She is a singer, and is learning to play the guitar. She also does lettering/calligraphy writing in her spare time. Her favorite things include OT, music, coffee, flowers, and sunshine.
 
Amanda C, M.S., OTR/L

Amanda graduated with her Master of Science degree from Eastern Kentucky University.  She had a desire to help others which led her to Occupational Therapy.  She has completed continuing education courses in Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorders, Myofascial release, and other behavioral interventions.  She feels her strengths in her field are in working with children with Autism, children with multiple disabilities (CP, seizure disorders, and visually impaired).  Amanda and her husband are foster parents and enjoy serving the community in this way.  In her spare time she plays with her children, participates in church activities, and serves with non-profit organizations

Speech Language Therapy

Jordan Stewart, M.A. CCC-SLP

Jordan graduated from the University at Buffalo, SUNY.  Jordan was brought into this field by her desire to find a career that combined her communication skills and teaching with her passion to help children with special needs.  She also holds a teaching certificate, graduated Summa Cum Laude.  She is a driven speech language pathologist with success in attaining childrens’ speech/language goals through enjoyable and imaginative customized therapy activities that naturally transfer to their daily environment.  Jordan is knowledgeable about current evidence-based research findings and effective diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.  She has experience in providing group and individual therapy in school and private settings to students ages 1-21.  Jordan also has a working proficiency of Spanish and uses it with some of her Spanish speaking clientele.  In her spare time she enjoys jet skiing, exploring beaches, reading, watching documentaries, playing tennis and traveling.

Alissa Belmont Hall, M.S. CCC-SLP

Alissa earned her Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of South Florida. She since has gained experience working with pediatric clients in the elementary school, middle school, and clinic setting. She was brought into the field by her enthusiasm for language and love for being creative with children. Alissa attained a personal goal of earning an ACE award that is given to SLPs who earn 70 hours of continuing education within 3 years. She loves being creative and making every session full of opportunities to communicate and support language learning. In her spare time she likes to relax at the beach, read, write, cook, and try DIY art projects. Alissa encourages parents to read to their children and narrate activities aloud to increase their exposure to language every day.

Debbie Meissner M.S., CCC-SLP

Debbie joined Children’s Therapy Solutions after working for Manatee County Schools for 35 years. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and her Masters degree from Florida State University. Debbie has vast experience working with a variety of ages and disorders. She has extensive experience working with children having autism, language based reading disorders, mental health, ADHD, stuttering, voice, language and speech disorders. She participated many years on the cleft palate team through Children’s Medical Services. Debbie has also been an adjunct professor for Nova University. She enjoys keeping current with latest therapy trends earning ACE awards from the American Speech Language-Hearing Association. Debbie finds working with her clients and their family to be very rewarding. She truly believes that it takes a village to raise a child.

Caitlin Kellogg, M.A.CCC-SLP

Caitlin earned her Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. She always had a desire to become a part of a field that would allow her to help make a positive impact in the lives of those in need, and speech has given her just that. Caitlin had the opportunity to complete a 14-week internship at Children’s Therapy Solutions and is happy to return to Florida joining the speech therapy team full time. Caitlin strives to make her therapy sessions enjoyable, creative, individualized, and let’s not forget…FUN! She aims to make differences in the lives of her clients one day at a time. In her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors, spending time with friends and family, cooking/eating (let’s be honest!), music, and simply just trying new things!

Alessandra Huertas, B.A. SLPA

Alessandra earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of South Florida. She has more than 5 years of experience working with individuals who have Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental delays. She has worked with children in other settings as well for example, teaching piano at a private school. She wanted to pursue a career where she can teach, be creative, and help make an impact in other people’s lives. Alessandra was born in Peru, but grew up in California since she was 6 years old. She moved to Florida for college and fell in love with this state. She became certain about pursuing a career in speech language pathology after seeing the positive impact it had on her younger sibling first-hand. Now her desire and passion is to help children and their families just as her family was helped. Being bilingual she can help a broad range of children and families! In her free time she loves relaxing at the beach, painting, going to the movies, acting, traveling and exploring new places.

Erin Browne, M.Ed. CCC-SLP

Erin earned her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Georgia and her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa. Erin pursued this field because of her passion for assisting others in discovering and developing their voices and abilities to communicate! She is originally from a suburb of Chicago where she completed a partial internship at a pediatric outpatient clinic associated with Little Company of Mary Hospital, and she most recently interned at Peachtree Elementary near Atlanta, Georgia. Erin is formally trained in the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) and D.I.R. Floortime Approach to Feeding. She has experience providing treatment to preschool through high school students and she has completed training in alternative augmentative communication (AAC). Erin strives to provide therapy in a fun, dynamic, and engaging way! She believes keeping families and loved ones involved with intervention is a key to success. Outside of her love for speech, Erin enjoys running, spending time outdoors, cooking and exploring her new city.

Kara Maschmeyes, B.A., SLP-A

Kara earned her Bachelor’s of Communication Science and Disorders degree from the University of South Florida in 2006.  She has more than 10 years experience working with children from 2 years old to 21 in a special needs school.  Kara has worked with a wide range of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder, behavioral issues, and developmentally delayed.  She decided to become a SLP-A due to her grandmother having a stroke and loosing all ability to communicate with the family. From that point she had decided what she wanted to major in communication in college.  Kara highly enjoys working with young children and has a passion for using the Picture Exchange Communication System.  She finds gratification while working with children and families. Kara believes that it takes team work to help children succeed in therapy, school, and at home.  She briefly worked for Early Steps as an Infant Toddler Developmental Specialist in Highlands County.  In Kara’s spare time, she enjoys being with her family and friends at the beach, traveling, reading, and shopping.

Sarah Boyce, M.S. CCC-SLP

Sarah received her undergraduate degree from Calvin College in Michigan and earned her Masters degree from East Tennessee State University. Sarah has previously served as a research associate/speech pathologist on a NIH grant providing early speech and language intervention for children with repaired cleft palate. Sarah established and lead a speech and language clinic within a community heath center providing holistic care through interdisiciplinary teamwork with audiologists, primary care, nutrionists, and mental health therapists. In addition, Sarah has been an assistant professor for East Tennessee State University teaching undergraduate students online in Phonetics and Clinical Processes since 2014. Sarah also has experience as a clinical supervisor mentoring graduate student clinicans focused on pediatric evaluation and treatment of early intervention through school-aged children with a variety of disorders including: sensory and behavioral feeding disorders, resonance, fluency, social communication/pragmatics, receptive and expressive language, phonological and articulation disorders, as well as providing bilingual speech and language assessment and therapy. Sarah has a working profiency of Spanish and uses it with her Spanish speaking clientele. Sarah’s passions include early speech and langauge intervention, involving the parent/caregiver in the therapy session, and targeting therapy through play for maximum generalization/carry-over at home. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and young son, traveling, exploring new beaches, reading, and completing furniture renovations.

Elizabeth “Libby” Atkinson

Libby grew up in Houston and moved to the Dallas, Texas area. She attended the University of Texas Daily for Speech-Language Pathology. Thereafter she worked in the school system in Texas before moving to Florida. She was brought to Florida to help her family residing here and her love for the area. She has received additional training working with patients with Parkinson’s disease as well as neuromuscular diseases. She worked for many years on the side of insurance companies as a project manager and claims examiner where she was able to gain understanding on the complexities of that area and how to help families when possible to now understand what is available to them. She believes every person is entitled to be heard and strives to be a champion and advocate for students and families who may be unsure about what to do next. Libby’s hobbies include painting-watercolors are her medium of choice. Her other passions are her dogs and her family.

Whitney Scott, M.S. CCC-SLP

Whitney grew up in Palmetto, FL and graduated from the University of South Florida where she received her Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology. She has vast experience in the field including work in the school system with preschool-third grade, outpatient clinic, acute care and inpatient hospital settings, as well as in skilled nursing. She has furthered her knowledge by attending trainings for Beckman Oral Motor Protocol, Interactive Metronome, and Red Cross Life Support. Whitney is passionate about helping those in need. Working one on one in a clinical setting is wonderful because of the strong relationship developed between clients and families. Resulting is growth and strong connection with caregivers to support at home communication. She loves working with children, because they are our future. She loves to dance, sing, paint, and spend as much time as possible by the water. In her free time she works on her blog (thesunnyslp.com) and bakes cookies!

Michaela White, M.S. CF-SLP

Michaela earned her Master’s in Speech Language Pathology from the University of South Florida. Her passion for this field came from her desire to work with children and to make a positive impact on their lives. She has experience working with children of all ages and also some experience working with adults who have aphasia, dementia, or individuals who have had a TBI. She was fortunate enough to be able to complete a 16-week externship at Children’s Therapy Solutions during her time at USF and is so grateful to be able to return and become part of the wonderful team of therapists here. Her goal is to build a strong rapport with her clients and their families; she aims to make therapy fun, individualistic, and educational. Michaela was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada), but moved to Bradenton, Florida as a child and grew up here. She loves her dog and cats and enjoys traveling, hiking, cooking, swimming, watching hockey, and stargazing/looking at the moon and planets with her telescope.

Luz Gaona, M.S. CCC-SLP

Mental Health

Kathy White, LMHC

kathy-whiteKathy, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, graduated with her Masters degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Kentucky and has over 25 years of experience working as a Counselor. Kathy has been married for 37 years. She and her husband have 4 successful children. Her children are and have always been her passion. Proudly, they are all doing well, one a Pharmacist, the next an Electrical Engineer in the Air Force, A Medical Doctor and her youngest daughter Julia is a junior in Nursing School.  Kathy believes all individuals can achieve success and personal fulfillment. In her therapy, Kathy helps families find a balance between overachieving and underachieving. She believes families can adapt and make changes that will help children achieve their goals now and later in life.  She is a certified Parent Child Interaction Therapist (PCIT) and Certified Rehabilitation Counselor.  Her strengths in the field include listening, motivating, establishing rapport, and helping individuals to be “their own therapist” and “to solve their own issues”.  In her spare time, Kathy enjoys boating, bike riding, horseback riding, reading, and working on charity events such as Manatee Hope.

Virginia Gibala, M.A., LMHC 

Virginia is a bilingual mental health counselor who graduated with a Master of Arts degree from Webster University.  She has over 10 years of experience and believes that mental health is necessary to be healthy in other areas of our lives.  Virginia is very empathetic with her clients which makes them feel understood.  She also works well with parents and often gives them ideas for home carryover of counseling strategies.  In her spare time, Virginia likes to go on trips with her family, exercise, and spend time with friends.

Physical Therapy

Janine Ward, PTA

Janine attended Newberry College where she played basketball and received her Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education before attending Keiser University to receive an Associate’s degree as a Physical Therapist Assistant. Janine is a former high school basketball coach and has always worked with and had a love for children. She loves working with children with special needs and her strengths include orthopedic therapy. Janine enjoys spending time with her son and being a part of a youth non-profit organization.

Lauren Geraldson, DPT


Lauren attended the University of Florida to receive her Bachelor’s degree in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology before attending Nova Southeastern University to receive her Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy.  Lauren has always had a passion for working with children and realized she wanted to work in Pediatrics specifically during her internship at Children’s Therapy Solutions.  Lauren is active in her community as a member of The Junior League of Manatee County.  In her spare time, Lauren enjoys spending time with her husband, family, and friends.

Heather Davis, PTA

Heather graduated from South University with her Associate’s of Science for physical therapy assistant in 2016.  Heather was drawn to the field of physical therapy due to her passion for working with children with disabilities.  She began her career later in life after raising two children of her own. Heather is a patient, caring, and creative therapist who enjoys motivating her patients to succeed. In her free time, Heather enjoys off-roading in the family jeep and going to the beach.

Samantha St. Pierre, B.S., PTA

Samantha earned her Bachelors of Science for Health Sciences from New England College in 2012 and her Associate of Science for Physical Therapy Assistant from Mount Washington College in 2016. Samantha grew up in New Hampshire and recently moved south to Florida. She has gained outpatient experience in other settings and volunteered with Muscular Dystrophy Association and Special Olympics. She has experience in aquatic therapy, hippotherapy, and is LSVT Big certified which she applies when working with patients with Parkinson’s and related disorders. Samantha has always known she wanted to work with children in order to be able to help them learn and grow which she is very passionate about. In her free time she enjoys kayaking, going to the beach, and practicing yoga.

Karrin Scully, M.S., PT

Karrin received her Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Miami School of Medicine.  She has over 19 years of experience in treating orthopedic injuries, premature infants, and medically fragile children in a variety of settings including schools, homes, and clinics.  In her spare time, Karrin enjoys spending time with her husband and three children.

Tania Guerra, PTA

Tania graduated from State College of Florida in Bradenton, FL in 2017 and has been working as a PTA since. She spent 8 months practicing PTA in the state of Texas. She worked in skilled nursing facilities and home health settings where she worked with kids, adults, and the geriatric population.Tania chose physical therapy because of her desire to help people with impairments and disabilities achieve their full potential. Tania was born and raised in the beautiful city of Sarasota, FL and loves to spend free time with family and friends, going out to eat, spending time outdoors, and traveling.

Jessica (Jes) Costa, DPT

Jessica obtained her Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy from University of South Florida College of Medicine in 2008, and prior to that she attended Eckerd College for her bachelors of science in Biology, while playing collegiate soccer.  Prior to her role with Children’s Therapy Solutions Jessica spent 10 year working for John’s Hopkins All Children’s Hospital (JHACH) as a practicing pediatric physical therapist, as well as from 2016-2018 held the role of Adjunct Professor for the pediatric course at the University of South Florida College of Medicine Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. While specializing in fragile infants and infants diagnosed with Congenital Muscular Torticollis, Jessica has continued to be well rounded in the area of pediatric physical therapy, especially her love for orthopedics and sports medicine in the pediatric population.  In her free time Jessica enjoys spending time with her husband and two boys, as well as family and friends.

Administration

Mia Perez: Billing Specialist/Authorization Specialist

Mia has been with Children’s Therapy Solutions since May 2016. She was born and raised in Bogata, Colombia and moved to Florida in 2000. She is bilingual in English and Spanish. Mia enjoys working for CTS because of the care, love, and dedication that CTS has for the kids in the community. In her spare time, Mia enjoys running and watching family movies with her kids.

 

Ruleidy “Ru” Ortega: Receptionist

Ru is originally from Long Island New York and has been working at Children’s Therapy Solutions since 2016. She loves working at CTS because it gives her the opportunity to help others. When she is not working, Ru enjoys spending time with her two beautiful daughters and wonderful husband.

 
 

Hayley Purdy: Billing Specialist

Hayley was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee and attend Jackson State College where she received her associates degree. She has 10 years of experience working in medical billing. She is a positive and energetic team member that makes a difference in the lives of children and their families here at CTS. In her spare time she enjoys being on the water, spending time with her friends, family, and pup Kimber.

 

Raquel Almodovar: Front Desk Assistant

Raquel has an extensive history in customer service. She enjoys working at CTS especially because she gets to work with a lot of passionate people. Born in Panama, she has lived in many different countries due to her father being in the Military. Raquel is a dedicated parent and she enjoys spending time with her children, fiancee, and extended family. For fun she likes to be adventurous with activities as well as spend quality time with the people she cares about.

Karina Nunez: Front Desk Assistant

Karina is a Florida native, residing in Bradenton her whole life. She graduated from Seminole High and has since always had a passion for helping people around her and in her workplace. Working at Children’s Therapy Solutions she finds it rewarding to continue to help families by meeting their scheduling needs and she uses her bilingual skills to translate and help parents understand their child’s goals and therapy plans better. Karina enjoys spending time with her son, family and friends, reading, and cooking!

Samantha Gregorio: Administrative Assistant

Samantha is an office assistant originally from Akron, NY. She brings to Children’s Therapy Solutions experience with a background in customer service and management. She has been a member of the United States Coast Guard Reserve since 2011! Living in Florida, she now enjoys being out on the water and being with her friends and family.

 

Miriam “Nani” Farrell : Front Desk Assistant

Miriam or “Nani” is an office assistant originally from Manati, Puerto Rico. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and Communications from Sacred Heart University in Puerto Rico in 2015. She was a member of the United States Army until she came to work in CTS. She enjoys playing video games, reading, and participating in water sports! She’s also a dog parent to her German Shepherd Roger.

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