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: email@example.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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, and a Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate from Georgetown University. Research interests include aphasia group treatment, clinical ethics, and quality of life after stroke. In her free time Suzanne enjoys travel, exercise, and following the Washington Nationals. Her favorite aspect of being at the Center is watching new friendships form between members.
Contact Suzanne at: email@example.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com
Brooke Hatfield, MS, CCC-SLP
Prior to coming to the SCC, Brooke worked as a speech-language pathologist at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, D.C. with survivors of stroke and brain injury with a special interest in assistive technology, and currently works for the American-Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). She received her undergraduate degree from Miami University and graduate degree from Vanderbilt University. In her free time Brooke enjoys good stories in all of their forms, playing golf poorly, and as a proper mid-westerner, Ohio State football. Her favorite aspect of being at the Center is the daily reminder of the great things that happen when you just keep trying.
Contact Brooke 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
Carolyn Bagdoyan, Yoga Instructor
Carolyn is a registered yoga instructor with extensive and intensive yoga therapy training; she is completing in 2018 a 1000-hour yoga therapy certification program specializing in yoga functional movement therapeutics. Carolyn is a certified Level 1 LifeForce Yoga® Practitioner (LFYP), trained to use Amy Weintraub’s yoga protocol for balancing mood and mood management, including depression and anxiety. Carolyn has assisted Weintraub in workshops and weekend trainings. Carolyn’s therapeutic yoga training also includes a certification in classical Yoga Nidra; brain and sensory foundations coursework (neurodevelopmental movement for physical, emotional, social, and learning skills;) restorative yoga; as well as Y12SR leadership training in yoga for addiction and recovery. Carolyn works with clients privately through her company Heart Tree Yoga LLC and teaches customized workshops and classes. Carolyn’s favorite part of teaching yoga is helping members discover how to read and respond compassionately to their own body’s needs so they can experience greater well-being in their overall lives.
Contact Carolyn at: firstname.lastname@example.org