Improving quality of life for the differently abled Children & Adults

Occupational Therapy

ANGELA OLSEN – OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST, Angela.Olsen@laurensaz.org

Angela Olson “Miss Angie” graduated from the University of North Dakota in 2007 with her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy. Angela volunteered at Lauren’s Institute for Education for a short time, while completing her final intership for Occupational Therapy at the State Hospital in Phoenix Arizona, and fell in love with the “family-like” atmosphere at LIFE. Angela has since been employed with LIFE  for over three years and feels “blessed”  to be a part of the LIFE family.

While at LIFE, Angela has furthered her education to better meet the needs of the kids and young adults she provides services to through attending inservices and workshops. She is  certified in using aquatics and hippotherapy as a treatment intervention to reach functional occupational outcomes and also utilizes the sport of gymnastics to teach life skills such as: safety awareness, self regulation,coping skills, impulse control, and social skills as well as building overall body strength and coordination. While in college, Angela was employed through Easter Seals Goodwill and worked as a tutor  for children with autism. She worked under supervision of psychologist , Hanna C. Rue, Ph.D., BCBA-D, and learned  to utilize (ABA) Applied Behavior Analysis principles to reduce problematic behaviors and teach life skills to children with developmetal disabilities.

Angela has a special place in her heart for children and families who have been touched by individuals who have a developmental disability. Her younger brother, now 24, was diagnosed with autism at 2 yrs of age. Angela is passionate about teaching youth with developmental disabilities life skills, especially social and play skills. Outside of LIFE, Angela coaches gymnastics and cheerleading classes for individuals with and without special needs. She enjoys being active and participating in recreational sports such as: dance, swimming, volleyball, softball, soccer and of course still likes to “tumble and flip” at the gym. Outside of sports, Angela enjoys playing video games, board games and cards, spending time with family and friends, and attending church.

KIM BETANCOURT – OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST, Kim.Betancourt@laurensaz.org                     

Kim Betancourt MS, OTR-L, was born and raised in Bronx, NY.  She relocated to Arizona early in 2009. In 2000, she obtained a degree in Early Childhood Education, and began working as a preschool teacher in and around the NY area.  It was then, that Kim was exposed to the field of Occupational therapy.  Kim attended Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, NY, where she obtained her Master’s of Science degree in Occupational therapy in May of 2009. Kim’s internship experience included pediatrics, mental health, skilled nursing rehab, and acute care.
Kim’s work experience includes skilled nursing rehab, and most recently 3 years in the school system.  While in the school system, she worked with children from preschool age to young adults in high school.  She worked with individuals with varying diagnosis, from mild developmental delays, to multiple disabilities, including Autism, Down syndrome, Aspergers, Cerebral Palsy, Sensory processing disorders, emotional disorders, attention disorders, blindness, fragile bone disease, etc.
Kim is married with one son.  When she is not busy taking her son to his many different dance events, she enjoys spending time crafting.
Kim continues to expand her knowledge in the field of OT, by attending continuing education courses.  She is currently certified in the Alert program “How Does Your Engine Run?”, and the handwriting program “Handwriting Without Tears”.

Kim is excited to be part of the L.I.F.E. family, as she too believes that individuals with special needs are not disabled, but rather DIFFERENTLY abled!

KATRENA PRICE – OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST,
Katrena.Price@laurensaz.org

Katrena “Katie” Price graduated in January 2014 with her Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy from A.T. Still University here in Mesa, AZ. She graduated from Arizona State University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Family and Human Development, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. It was during her undergraduate career that she discovered Occupational Therapy, as she also worked as a habilitation and respite provider for several different children with a variety of diagnoses. In her year off between undergraduate and graduate school, she completed a year of services through Americorps working for an organization that serves homeless and low income populations as a youth program coordinator. Since being an OT, she has completed further training in the use of Aquatic Therapy and The Listening Program.

Katie started working at L.I.F.E. in March of 2014, returning as an employee after completing one of her OT internships here!

Katie is married, has a young daughter named Melody, 2 pugs, and in her free time enjoys reading, yoga, movie-going, and attending concerts with her husband.

JAMIE SULLIVAN – OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST,
Jamie.Sullivan@laurensaz.org

Jamie Sullivan, OTR/L is an Occupational Therapist at Lauren’s Institute for Education. Jamie was born and raised in Gilbert, AZ where she received her bachelors degree in Kinesiology from ASU. She received her masters degree in Occupational Therapy from A.T. Still University in Mesa, AZ in 2016. Jamie’s internship experience included pediatrics, mental health, skilled nursing rehab, and acute care. She has additional training in Handwriting Without Tears. Jamie started working with kids 15 years ago as a gymnastics and swim/dive coach, as well as a Special Ed Teaching Assistant in Mesa Public Schools. She enjoys working with kids and loves the energy they bring to the job. In her free time she enjoys staying active through Crossfit and running and loves spending time with her family.

ANJELICA SWALLOW – OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST,
Anjelica.Swallow@laurensaz.org

Anjelica Swallow, “Ms. Anjie”, grew up in Aberdeen, South Dakota. She attended the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota where she received her masters of science in occupational therapy degree in December 2016. During her schooling, Anjie completed a 3 month internship at LIFE. It was during that time she fell in love with LIFE’s values and family atmosphere. She started at LIFE as an occupational therapist in January 2017. Currently Anjie provides OT services to a wide age range of clients, including both children and the adults that attend LIFE’s day time adult program. She loves watching her clients grow and helping them achieve their goals. In her spare time, Anjie enjoys hiking, cooking, the occasional Netflix binge watching session, and spending time with family and friends.

KAYLEY KNAPEK – OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST,
Kayley.Knapek@laurensaz.org

Kayley is an Occupational Therapist at Lauren’s Institute for Education. Kayley received her Masters degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of North Dakota in 2014. Kayley has fieldwork experience in pediatrics, mental health day program, and acute care rehabilitation. Kayley began her career working at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, AZ working primarily with severe neurological conditions, such as brain injury, spinal cord injury and stroke. Kayley continues to work at St. Joseph’s Hospital but wanted to expand her knowledge and passion for working with pediatric clientele. Kayley began working at Lauren’s Institute for Education in the Fall of 2015 part time. Kayley enjoys watching her clients grow while they learn new life skills!

In her spare time, Kayley enjoys coaching Special Olympics Dance and cheer team, hiking, traveling, crafting, baking and cooking, and spending time with her dog Zoey, her family, and her friends.

ERIN KAHOVER – OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST,
erin.kahover@laurensaz.org

Erin joined the L.I.F.E. team in November 2017 after completing her degree in Occupational Therapy Assisting at Brown Mackie College. An Arizona native, Erin attended NAU in Flagstaff and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. After discovering the holistic and healthful benefits of occupational therapy, she returned to school to become a COTA. Erin’s internship experience included skilled nursing and in-home pediatrics, where she found a passion for working with children and their families. She loved the sense of community at L.I.F.E. and its focus on each child’s innate abilities, and has enjoyed working with her clients toward achieving their goals and learning along with them. Erin also enjoys hiking, cooking and baking, exploring Arizona, and spending time with family and friends.

 

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DONNA EVANS – OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST,
Donna.Evans@laurensaz.org

Donna Evans, COTA/L graduated from Apollo College in November 1995, with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Occupational Therapy.  Donna has worked with all age groups in a variety of settings, including hospital inpatient, outpatient, aquatic therapy, skilled nursing, acute rehab and home care.  She has spent the last ten years working exclusively with pediatric clients.

Before coming to Arizona in 1994, Donna worked as an Emergency Medical Technician, and a Sheriff’s officer in New Jersey, where she was born and raised.  Donna is married, with two grown children and one granddaughter.   For over ten years, Donna has volunteered weekly with Lutheran Braille Workers, making and distributing Bible books in Braille and large print for the visually impaired.  In her spare time, Donna enjoys playing with her granddaughter, singing in the church choir, watching Jeopardy, and riding her Harley Davidson Tri Glide.

Donna loves the family atmosphere at LIFE, and the ability to work closely with other therapists to help the clients we serve reach their maximum potential.

 

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