The Stroke Comeback Center is fortunate to have dedicated, experienced and talented professionals who bring expertise and enthusiasm to all of our programs! This ensures that members will interact with personnel who have relevant background and expertise, even though our programs and activities do not constitute reimbursable professional services.
Darlene S. Williamson, M.A., CCC-SLP, Founder & Executive Director
Darlene is well-known in the field of speech-language pathology, having presented at the regional, state and national level and as the recipient of several awards for her professional contributions and her tireless advocacy for people with aphasia. She received her undergraduate education at Purdue University and completed her postgraduate education at the University of Illinois. Darlene has more than 30 years of experience in all levels of post-stroke care. She was previously the Clinic Director at The George Washington University, in Washington, DC, and continues as adjunct faculty. Her commitment to individuals with aphasia is demonstrated by serving as the President of the National Aphasia Association. She has presented in the areas of supervision, ethics, progressive dementia, and aphasia, particularly group treatment and quality outcomes, but her primary area of clinical expertise and investigation is apraxia. She has researched the efficacy of various approaches to apraxia, including the Video Assisted Speech Technology (VASTTM) approach. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, reading historical biographies, all sports, and walking her dog. Her favorite time at the Center is hearing the laughter of the members.
Contact Darlene at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Melissa S. Richman, MS, CCC-SLP, Program Director
Melissa joined the Stroke Comeback Center in 2006 as the Program Director. Before coming to the Center, she was a Senior Speech-Language Pathologist for the Medstar National Rehabilitation Hospital where she worked primarily with survivors of stroke and brain injury. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland and James Madison University. Research interests include group treatment of aphasia, pragmatics, left neglect and quality of life after stroke. In her free time, Melissa enjoys playing with her dog, Zumba and knitting. Her favorite part of being at the Stroke Comeback Center is helping members get back to the business of living.
Contact Melissa at: email@example.com
Suzanne M. Coyle, MA, CCC-SLP, Member Services Director
Suzanne joined the Stroke Comeback Center in 2008. Prior to joining the staff of the Center she was a Senior Speech-Language Pathologist at the Medstar National Rehabilitation Hospital where she worked with survivors of stroke and brain injury. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Miami University in Ohio. Areas of specialty include aphasia group treatment, voice disorders, clinical ethics and quality of life. In her free time Suzanne enjoys travel, yoga and cooking. Her favorite aspect of being at the Center is watching new friendships form between members.
Contact Suzanne at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Amy C. Georgeadis, MS, CCC-SLP
Amy joined the Stroke Comeback Center in 2013. Before coming to the Center, Amy was a Senior Speech-Language Pathologist at Medstar National Rehabilitation Hospital where she worked with survivors of stroke and traumatic brain injury. Her special interest and research experience is in telerehabilitation, or the delivery of speech services at a distance. She also helped establish a peer mentorship program for people with aphasia. In her free time, Amy enjoys time with her family, traveling, cooking and running. Her favorite part about being at the Center is watching the inspiring members continue to improve their communication skills and enjoy life.
Contact Amy at: email@example.com
Beth Z. Thompson, MS, CCC-SLP
Beth joined the Stroke Comeback Center in 2015. Prior to coming to the Center, Beth has worked as a Speech-Language Pathologist for Medstar National Rehabilitation Hospital in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Her special interests lie in working with adults recovering from stroke and brain injury. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from James Madison University. In her free time, Beth enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, and yoga. Her favorite part of being at the Center is seeing how the members support and encourage each other in all aspects of their recovery.
Contact Beth at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kimberly S. Levin, MS, CCC-SLP
Kim joined the Stroke Comeback Center in 2016. Prior to coming to the Center, Kim worked in several area hospitals including Holy Cross Hospital, the Clinical Center at the National Institutes of Health, National Rehabilitation Hospital and George Washington University Hospital in both acute inpatient and rehabilitation settings and outpatient. Her special interests include working with patients recovering from brain injury and stroke as well as providing family and member education. She received her undergraduate degree from James Madison University and her graduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In her free time, Kim enjoys spending time with her family, raising a puppy to be a service dog for Canine Companions for Independence, watching her children play soccer and traveling. Her favorite part of being at the Center is watching everyone support each other and have fun during groups.
Contact Kim at: email@example.com
Mackenzie E. Fama, MS, CCC-SLP
Mackenzie joined the Stroke Comeback Center in 2017. She has prior experience as an inpatient speech-language pathologist at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital. She received her Master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in neuroscience at Georgetown University, studying the experience of “inner speech” in people with aphasia. She has participated in research on group therapy for severe aphasia and on the benefits of brain stimulation as an adjunct to speech therapy for aphasia. In her free time, Mackenzie enjoys discovering new music, reading, and playing with her cats. Her favorite part of being at the Center is how much she learns about life from all of the wonderful members.
Contact Mackenzie at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nancy Selden, ACE Certified Personal Trainer
Nancy began developing the stroke survivor fitness program at the Stroke Comeback Center in 2013. Her company, WellPeer LLC, specializes in designing long-term fitness programs for populations that are underserved by standard fitness programs. WellPeer also provides online and video fitness resources and support. Nancy’s favorite part of working with SCC members is helping them get stronger and feel more confident.
Contact Nancy at: email@example.com
Puja Gellerman, RYT, OTR/L
Puja started her career as an Occupational Therapist in Washington D.C. working with adults who sustained a brain injury or stroke. She spent three years working in acute rehabilitation before moving overseas to Germany with her husband. She created her own a position as a volunteer community-based Occupational Therapist within the U.S. Army Medical Command. Here she partnered with the regional Warrior Transition Unit and American Red Cross to work with active duty soldiers managing chronic health conditions. Since moving back to Alexandria, VA Puja continues to work as an Occupational Therapist through Community-Based Occupational Therapy, PLLC. She is dedicated to sharing the practice of meaningful occupations such as gardening, cooking, and yoga with people of all ages and abilities. Puja is thrilled to blend her knowledge as an Occupational Therapist and Registered Yoga Teacher. In her free time, Puja enjoys reading, running, more yoga, cooking, and of course gardening. She looks forward to creating the space for an experience of skilled and adaptive yoga for all staff, members and caregivers of Stroke Comeback Center.
Contact Puja at: firstname.lastname@example.org