Deborah graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and from Governor's State University with a Master of Science in Communication Disorders.
She began her career as a speech pathologist and Brain Injury Team Leader on the Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit at Lutheran General Hospital. She transitioned to nonprofit work utilizing the Clubhouse Model in 2001.
Deborah is the founder and Executive Director of Synapse House, starting in 2014.
Kristina graduated from Northern Illinois University in August 2009 with a Bachelor’s degree in Education, and a Master’s degree in Science and Education in May 2011.
Kristina’s interest in exercise physiology began when she discovered “Exercise is Medicine” throughout her bachelor’s degree, and her internship in cardiac rehabilitation at Edward Heart Hospital, Naperville.
She joined Synapse House in 2020 to lead our Exercise Program and work with wounded veterans in our Community Support Service program.
Jill has a Bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois in Speech and Hearing Science, and also a Master's of Science degree from the University of Illinois in Speech Pathology.
Prior to joining Synapse House, Jill spent her professional career in special education serving students with multiple disabilities ages 3-21. She served as a Speech and Language Pathologist, Vocational/Transition Coordinator, and Special Education Department Chair before retiring in May of 2021.
Jill joined Synapse House in the Fall of 2022. As the Work Readiness Coordinator, Jill is passionate about building our members' employment skills through authentic practice and hopes to inspire our members to identify their unique strengths and interests.
Wendy graduated from Fox College in 2022 as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant.
She returned to school after being a stay-at-home to pursue her passion for helping others.
She enjoys hiking, traveling, reading, and learning peoples’ stories. She especially enjoys small group therapy sessions assisting Members to connect with one another and reach their full potential.
She joined Synapse House in 2022 and works as a Work Unit Coordinator and Community Support Specialist.
Erika graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 2018 with her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and went on to get her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree in 2021 from Lewis University.
She enjoys cooking tasks with the Members in the culinary unit, leading group discussions to build cognitive skills and planning events for the Members in the Clubhouse.
She joined Synapse House in 2021 and is motivated to help our Members do the things that make them who they are and get them back to doing the things they love!
Megan graduated from Miami University in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in Exercise Science and from Cleveland State University in 2007 with a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy (OT).
Megan’s interest in neurology started during her internship at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD and has grown throughout her career. Upon returning home to Illinois in 2007, Megan started working as an Occupational Therapist on the acute rehabilitation unit at Loyola University Medical Center then transitioned to the medical/surgical floors with her primary service lines being trauma and orthopedics. While spending days in the trauma intensive care unit, Megan became skilled in treating brain injuries during the acute stages. Megan has been working at Shirley Ryan Ability lab in the Day Rehab setting since 2014 and focuses there on improving daily living skills and work related tasks in order to optimize quality of life and achieve personal goals.
Megan's passion for brain injury recovery and OT background led her to Synapse House, where she joined in February 2020. Her goal in joining this community is to help members progress their physical and cognitive abilities through her OT expertise and to assist members gain greater independence at home, at work, and in the community as well as feel valued in their contributions to our organization.
LaShelle joins our team as our new driver. She has many years as an experienced bus driver for the school systems.
Patrick graduated from the University of Dayton in 2020 with his Bachelor's of Science degree in Psychology. In 2022, he obtained his Occupational Therapy Assistant degree from Fox College.
As Employment Coordinator, he enjoys being a part of our member’s professional journey as they reenter the workforce. In his role as a Community Support Specialist, Patrick appreciates the opportunity to work with the Wounded Warrior Project and help post 9/11 Veterans navigate their civilian lives.
He joined Synapse House in 2022 and is looking forward to facilitating the Work Readiness and Return to Work programs.
Synapse House is proud to be accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Facilities (CARF) for:
Community Employment Services: Employment Support
Community Employment Services: Job Development
Synapse House is an active member of the International Brain Injury Clubhouse Alliance (IBICA), www.braininjuryclubhouses.net
Synapse House is licensed/permitted by the DuPage County Health Department to operate an Annual Category II Food Establishment.
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