Hearts and Hands Therapy was established in 2008 and we have 2 facilities to meet the needs of the special needs population in our communities. Our team of dedicated specialists help to guide each and every child who enter our doors through their developmental milestones from birth to 21 years of age. We aim to maximize the independence of functional skills in children, support the family as a whole and increase awareness in our communities.

AMY UTECHT
MS, OTR/L

bryanjnoel@gmail.com
Amy is one of the very first therapists to work with the boys right after their diagnosis in 2005. A victory was just getting them into the therapy center! Amy showed so much compassion and dedication. The care and concern that we felt made us keep hope alive! That same compassion and dedication is now reflected in her own clinic, Hearts and Hands.
 

Amy Utecht is the owner of Hearts and Hands Therapy Services. Amy is an occupational therapist and has been providing services to children of all ages for the past 12 years. She began the occupational therapy program at the University of Wisconsin in 1996 and transferred to Brenau University in Georgia to finish with a Masters Degree in Science and Occupational Therapy in 2003. Amy has provided therapy in a variety of setting such as home based/natural environments, hippotherapy, aquatic therapy, school based therapy, and private practice. Amy’s true love and passion for the clinic based setting is what motivated her to open the first of 2 multi-disciplinary facilities, in Woodstock in September 2008.

Amy is always expanding her knowledge and attending continuing education courses in pediatrics. Amy is certified in the following specialized areas: How Does Your Engine Run, Wilbarger Protocol, NDT Treatment for the Infant and Child, Nutrition Therapy for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, the Therapeutic Listening Program, Handwriting Without Tears Curriculum Specialist, the Beckman Oral Motor Protocol and the SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) Feeding Approach and creation of and implementation of sensory diets. Amy is an active member in GAOTA and AOTA. In her spare time, Amy enjoys running, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with her 2 beautiful daughters and her family.


Woodstock Location Therapists

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Mary Armstrong
OTR/L

Mary Zamorski graduated from the University of Illinois with high honors in 1994 with a degree in occupational therapy. For the last 21 years Mary has had experience in adult rehabilitation, adult and pediatric home health, but primarily school-based and outpatient pediatric therapy.

Mary has extensive experience in sensory integrative techniques as a means to treat a variety of disabilities and diagnoses. Her passion is working with children of all ages and stages of development. Mary believes strongly in team collaboration and working together with parents and other therapists to help each child progress on his or her goals.

My son’s continued success is a direct result of the attention and dedication that Mrs. Mary gives him and the time she takes to explain things to me.
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Lynette Lozano
MS, OTR/L

Lynette Lozano is a 2009 Cum Laude graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a masters in Occupational Therapy. Lynette began working in Pediatrics at a non for profit clinic in Rockford Illinois. She relocated to Georgia with her Husband in 2013 and joined us here at Hearts and Hands in April of 2014.

Lynette has loved serving the pediatric population and is always expanding her knowledge in this area. She has completed the Handwriting Without Tears courses along with experience in feeding and completion of the SOS Approach to Feeding. She has also developed many Sensory Diet strategies and facilitated social skills groups. Lynette is expanding her knowledge in the areas of feeding and reflex integration. Lynette has treated children with diagnoses that include (but is not limited to) Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Visual impairment, Brachial Plexus, Sensory Processing Disorder, Developmental Delay and Down Syndrome. Lynette enjoys spending time with her husband, son and chocolate lab. She enjoys traveling, music and hiking.

Because of Lynette’s work with our son, he is continuing to grow as an independent individual and we are forever grateful!

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Danielle terry
MS, OTR/L

Danielle received her Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Health Science from Kennesaw University and her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Brenau University. Danielle has 10+ years of experience in pediatric rehab, as well as working with adults in the home health setting for the past 4 years. She has been a therapist at Hearts and Hands since January 2012.

Danielle has experience working with children with sensory processing disorders, developmental delays, fine/gross motor delays, visual motor difficulties and improving functional skills and independence. With continuing education in sensory and behavioral issues, feeding difficulties, and neuromuscular and neurodegenerative disorders, Danielle enjoys working with all ages and levels of ability. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, family and friends, gardening, being outdoors, and volunteering at church with the special needs ministry.

She have values my input as a parent. And she has always accommodated—and understood—our need for schedule changes. I appreciate her guidance through various insurance obstacles as well.
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Stacy GilbErt
OTR/L

Stacy graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 1996 with her Bachelors of Science in Occupational Therapy. Stacy started my career treating the geriatric population by working in nursing homes and treating homebound patients.  From 2004-2007 Stacy worked for a federal program that provided services to older adults with developmental disabilities.  She was responsible for assessing clients and placing them in the least restrictive environments throughout Wayne County Michigan.  In 2007 Stacy began doing travel therapy.  This is when her professional career shifted from treating older adults to treating children and adolescents. Stacy had amazing opportunities working in the following school districts in California (Las Virgenes, Simi Valley and Los Angeles).  It was there that she completed workshops that shape the way she provide therapy today.

Stacy has implemented and observed great results with the following programs/techniques: Wilbarger Brushing Protocol, Handwriting Without Tears, Sensory Integration Strategies, Therapeutic Listening, SOS Feeding Protocol and Brain Gym Exercises. Although Stacy keeps her professional and personal life separate, She does share a few personal experiences of caring for my special needs teenage son who is with her fulltime during the summer. Stacy has been working at Hearts & Hands Therapy since 2012. Working at Hearts & Hands has afforded her the opportunity to work on special filming projects. Special needs families are not really represented in the entertainment industry as they should. Hopefully Stacy will be a part of changing that. Until then, private practice is something that she truly enjoys.  Our Director, Amy Utecht, has set up the perfect setting for kids and therapists at Hearts & Hands. It's a setting that's conducive to creativity, fun and implementation of treatments.  

Even the difficult feeding issue is being tackled with ease, thanks to Stacey!

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Amy Molley
MS, OTR/L

Amy graduated with a Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy from Brenau University. She has been practicing occupational therapy since 2006 in the area of pediatrics. Amy has experience in a variety of settings including school system, home health, and private practice. Amy has experience working with children birth to 21 years of age with a variety of diagnoses including developmental delay, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Autism, and Sensory Processing Dysfunction. She has completed continuing education programs for sensory integration, feeding, handwriting, vision, and neurodevelopmental treatment (NDT). Amy is trained in Handwriting Without Tears, Therapeutic Listening, and the S.O.S Approach to Feeding. She enjoys using a Floortime approach while attending to a child’s individual sensory needs.

Amy currently works in the areas of private practice, early intervention home health, and is owner of Sensible Sensory Spaces, LLC.  Amy believes in building a strong rapport with families and strives to encourage function and independence for carryover across all settings to improve one’s quality of life. Amy’s is married and has two daughters. Her hobbies and interests include: playing and training her dog, interior design, traveling, crafting, and sewing.

Amy has been a wonderful resource for our family and our daughter loves coming to see her each week!


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Jenny Huffman
PT, DPT

Jenny grew up in Marietta, Georgia. She attended the university of Georgia where she earned a Bachelors of Science in Exercise and Sport Science. She then went on to attend the Medical College of Georgia, now known as Georgia Regents University, to receive her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2010. Since then, Jenny has practiced in a variety of pediatric settings including outpatient clinics, home health, and aquatics. She enjoys working with children and helping them achieve their movement goals.  In her free time, Jenny enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters.

He has developed more than I could have ever imagined in such a short period of time. He’s learned many new skills, become stronger mentally and physically, and has reached many of his goals through his work with Jenny in physical therapy.

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Tracie Knauf
MS, CCC-SLP

Tracie graduated from the University of Toledo in 1992 with a BS in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She earned her Master of Science degree from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1994. Tracie has worked in a variety of settings including private practice, home health, outpatient medical rehabilitation and the public school systems.  She was the co-director of the Assistive Technology Program at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for 7 years. Areas of interest/specialty include language and learning disabilities and social skills development.

Tracie has been particularly creative and helpful in assessing and treating various speech issues related to our sons’ autism. In addition, she has been a great support to us in helping us prepare for IEP meetings by educating us and helping us frame our questions and requests in an effective way.
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Shannon Bragg
MA, CCC-SLP

Shannon earned her bachelor's degree in Communicative Disorders in 2001 from the University of Central Florida. She obtained her Masters in Communicative Disorders from U.C.F. shortly after in 2004. Shannon's love of children led her to seek employment in the public school system for ten years. She acquired valuable experience working with a wide range of disabilities and communicative needs. Her primary population consisted of pre-k through elementary age.

The majority of her therapy was delivered in a special needs pre-k classroom as well as a self contained autism classroom. She has received training on apraxia, autism, SCERTS (geared toward tracking social communication, emotional regulation and transactional supports for the individual), BRAIDY (a narrative development program) and PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System). She also has experience with assistive technology, visual supports and sensory concerns. She has addressed weaknesses in phonological processes, articulation, expressive/receptive language, pragmatics, fluency and voice. Shannon maintains her certification and improves her knowledge of the profession through ASHA by attending research based courses annually as well as maintaining her professional state licensure. Shannon is married with two children and enjoys family time, the outdoors, gardening, watching baseball and soccer, reading, music and painting.

Our son is continuing to grow as an independent individual. His confidence and maturity has also expanded with each goal achieved while working with Mrs. Shannon.

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Sandra Hunt
M.Ed., CCC-SLP

Sandra Hunt is an ASHA Certified SLP. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Educational Psychology from Berry College and her Masters in Communication Disorders (CD) from Georgia State University.  Since graduating in 2005, Sandra has worked as a Speech Language Pathologist at the elementary school level in the Bartow and Fulton County school districts.  She has also served as a Clinical Supervisor for the CD graduate program at Georgia State University. Sandra enjoys working with a diverse clientele including but not limited to children with autism, down syndrome, intellectual disabilities, expressive and receptive language disorders, articulation disorders, phonological disorders fluency disorders, apraxia, and pragmatic disorders. She also has experience with the Picture Exchange Communication (PECs) and other Augmentative Communication systems. Sandra, her husband of seven years, and their 1 year old daughter currently reside in Marietta.

Sandra is wonderful with him! She manages his behaviors, challenges him, and gives us practical strategies for at home. Such a wonderful addition to his team of therapists!
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Kirby Russell
MS, CCC-SLP

Kirby earned her B.S.Ed in Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Georgia, and her Masters degree in Speech-Language Pathology at Appalachian State University. After graduating, she worked for a pediatric private practice in Knoxville, Tennessee for three years. In June 2014, Kirby moved to Woodstock and joined the HHTS team. She has experience with speech-language delays, phonological disorders, AAC training, swallowing, cognitive/metacognitive skill development, and meeting the unique communication needs of children on the Autism Spectrum.  She especially enjoys working closely with families to develop creative and functional solutions for improving communication and therefore, quality of life. Kirby and her husband, Travis, have three sons: Teddy (2) and twins Everett & Crosby (born May 2015).

She provides the deep sensory experience he needs - even during speech sessions! We have seen great progress in our son and the use of his communication device through the time he has been with Mrs. Kirby.

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Carol Nicklen
MS, CCC-SLP

Carol has long had an interest and desire to work with children. She received her Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a dual major in Elementary Education/Special Education. After staying at home and raising three children, she returned to University of Nebraska-Omaha and earned her Master of Science degree in Speech/Language Pathology. While in Nebraska, she taught Kindergarten and provided speech therapy for preschool and elementary age children with communication disorders. She and her husband moved to Georgia in 2004 and she has worked with elementary age children with a variety of diagnosis and communication weaknesses. She also spent four years providing speech services for two special needs preschool classes for an area school district.

Carol has experience working with children with articulation/phonological disorders, receptive/expressive language disorders, apraxia, voice, fluency and pragmatic weaknesses as well as non-verbal children in school, home/daycare and clinical settings. She has received training in the SCERTS framework of communication and emotional regulation for Autistic children, Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), visual supports, and behavioral and sensory deficits. Carol maintains her Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and her Georgia state license by participating in continuing education. In her spare time, Carol enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, family and friends, traveling, walking, reading and sewing.

Carol has been a blessing to our family...so compassionate, and I’m thankful for the time she has taken to give strategies to me to work with him at home. It’s made a big difference!
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Michele Goggins
M.Ed., CCC-SLP

Michele Goggins has been a Speech Pathologist for 17 years. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Speech Pathology with a minor in Education from Pace University, New York.  She received her Master’s degree in Speech Pathology from Kean University, Union New Jersey.  Michele holds her Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association (ASHA) and has been a member for 17 years. She has worked in Early Intervention for 10 years and currently works in the Cobb county school system working with children with a wide variety of pediatric populations including autism spectrum disorder, cognitive delays, social-emotional delays, articulation, expressive-receptive language disorders, phonological and fluency disorders, neurological disorders, social language deficits, oral-motor weaknesses and children using augmentative and alternative technology.  

She is currently working part time at Hearts and Hands. She has training in the SCERTS approach in working with children with autism, and PROMPT trained. She has been living in Georgia for 4 years now and enjoys spending time with her husband Sean, two daughters Ciara and Cheyenne and her dog Ellie. She enjoy the outdoors, reading, running and playing tennis with her girls.  

I am thankful for the strides she has made with her augmentative communication device thanks to Mrs. Michele and her work over the years. She is patient with her, caring, and a blessing to our family.

ALISHA BAXTER
MS, OTR/L

Alisha received her B.S. in Journalism from Ohio University in 2000 and M.S. in Occupational Therapy from Brenau University in 2015.  Prior to becoming an occupational therapist, Alisha worked in a private school specializing in children with ADHD.  She loves working with children of all ages and watching their confidence grow along with their abilities. Alisha has experience working with children with autism spectrum disorder, sensory processing disorder, developmental delays, visual perception/visual motor difficulties, and fine motor/gross motor coordination delays. Alisha is life-long learner and loves to share her evidence-based knowledge in practice. She is always looking for continuing education courses that will have a positive impact what and how she practices. In her free time, Alisha enjoys Crossfit, cooking, reading, and spending time with her husband and two children. One of her goals for the next year is to start running again and train for a full marathon.

McDonough Location Therapists

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Sandy Hundley
MS, CCC-SLP

Sandy received her B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Washington in Seattle and my M.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders from The University of Montevallo in Alabama. Sandy has been a speech pathologist for over 25 years and has had the opportunity to work in a variety of settings including state early intervention programs, developmental therapy clinics, public schools and a daycare for medically fragile children. Her training has included courses in oral motor strategies for speech, transitioning from tube feedings to oral feedings, sensory integration and speech, and Augmentative and Alternative Communication.

Sandy has a wonderful husband and two awesome children (now grown!). She enjoys going to baseball and football games and reading in her spare time. Sandy loves working with children and their families to help make communication fun and successful in their everyday lives!

Finn started working with Mrs. Sandy and I could immediately tell a difference in him. He sat still for longer amounts of time, listened and followed directions better. Each week he would say something new, and I was amazed!!

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MAVIS FARMER
CCC-SLP

Mavis has been working as a Speech/Language Pathologist for over 33 years. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in English/Speech Correction/Reading from Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ in 1980 and a Master of Arts degree in Speech Pathology from The College of New Jersey in Trenton, NJ in 1987. Mavis has worked in a variety of settings (rehab clinics, daycare centers, home health, private clinics, long term care facilities) and currently works for a local school district full-time and with HHTS part-time. She has extensive experience with children who exhibit language delays, phonological disorders, apraxia, dysphagia, and children/adults with developmental disabilities as well as those with autism.  Mavis is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and holds a license in Speech/Language Pathology from The Georgia State Board of Examiners.

Mavis has been wonderful to work with. Caring, compassionate, patient and challenges my daughter each session they have together.
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Jill Weigel
OTR/L

Jill earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Georgia Regents University/Medical College of Georgia. She has been providing Occupational Therapy services to children for 33 years.

He recently “graduated” from occupational therapy with Ms. Jill and by the end he was climbing to the top of the rock climbing wall in the gym. And this is a child who previously was afraid for his feet to leave the ground!

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Kevin Morris
BS, OTR/L

Kevin Morris is an Occupational Therapist with more than 14 years experience. Born in Atlanta, GA, Kevin moved with his family to Tennessee during his middle school years. He graduated from Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy after attending Middle Tennessee State University and majoring in Psychology. Kevin has worked for the Henry County School system since 2001 and is currently one of the lead therapists for the district. While Kevin’s primary professional focus has been in the field of pediatrics, he also spent nine years working PRN in one of Georgia’s few adult rehabilitation hospitals in Macon, GA. In addition to working for the Henry County school system and in adult rehab, he has also worked with Babies Can’t Wait. He has worked for Hearts and Hands Therapy Services for nearly three years. Kevin is certified in the Therapeutic Listening program through Vital Links, as well as, the Handwriting Without Tears handwriting assessment and remediation program. Over the course of his career, Kevin has completed hundreds of hours of continuing education courses all focused on pediatrics. Kevin is the current co-chair of the Georgia Alliance of School Occupational and Physical Therapists, serving his third term. Kevin will be returning to school in the Fall of 2016 to pursue his Doctorate in Occupational Therapy. In his free time, Kevin enjoys traveling, volunteer work, and UGA Football…Go DAWGS!!

Kevin has been part of our “family” for 3 years. He is very patient with our daughter and does a good job giving us feedback.

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Beverly Jackson
OTR/L

Beverly (AKA Ms. Bev) is a Registered and Licensed Occupational Therapy Practitioner in the state of Georgia.  Beverly is a graduate of Kean University of New Jersey.  She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Occupational Therapy and has worked in basically all areas of the profession serving both adults and children for 35 years. She has 20 plus years of experience working with typical and children with Special Needs both in the rehabilitation setting as well as the public school setting. Beverly has provided Occupational Therapy services as a member of the Hearts and Hands Therapy team in McDonough, Georgia since 2012. Beverly is knowledgeable of variety of treatment programs which include Handwriting Without Tears, a program specifically designed for children with hand writing difficulties. She is also knowledgeable regarding various treatment modalities including the Wilbarger Brushing Protocol, and the importance of providing a “Sensory Diet”, which includes strategies to stimulate the “Power Sensations” which are the foundation for the achieving the ready state for learning. She is married and is the mother of two grown successful sons and a grandson.

Mrs. Bev is wonderful-a true blessing and my son has benefited greatly from their time together!
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Mary Hicks
PT, DPT

Dr. Hicks is a licensed physical therapist with over 15 years of experience in the field of pediatrics.  She has been employed as a full-time physical therapist for the Henry County Board of Education since 2000.  She also began working with Hearts and Hands Therapy Services on a part-time basis in 2012.  Her undergraduate degree is in the area of health and exercise science from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina.  Mimi then attended the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, Georgia for her Master of Physical Therapy degree.  Recently she received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Utica College in Utica, New York.  Dr. Hicks is a current member and a previous officer of the Georgia Alliance of School Occupational and Physical Therapists.  She and her husband have a daughter, and they reside in McDonough, Georgia.

Mary has been an amazing, compassionate therapist for my son and I am grateful we have found her! She takes the time to talk with me and share her recommendations and things I can do at home.

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Laura Miller
PT, DPT

Dr. Miller is a licensed physical therapist with thirteen years of experience in pediatrics.  She completed her undergraduate degree in Sports Medicine at Alderson Broaddus College in Philippi, West Virginia prior to completing a Master of Physical Therapy degree at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia in 2002. Laura began her physical therapy career in 2002 with Clayton County Schools, where she worked for six years. She is currently employed full time with Henry County Schools, where she has worked for the past seven years. She completed her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Utica College in Utica, New York in May 2014.  Laura joined Hearts and Hands in February 2015.  She is a member of the Georgia Alliance of School Occupational and Physical Therapists.  Laura lives with her husband Michael, and son Grant in Hampton, Georgia.

He thinks PT with Ms. Laura is just for him to have fun and play games, but through it he has gained the muscle strength to begin to pedal his bicycle!

JILL STANTON
MS, OTR/L

Jill earned her M.S in Occupational therapy from Brenau University in 2015.  Jill has always loved working with children and knew when in school that pediatrics was the area in which she wanted to practice.  Being a recent graduate, Jill is up to date on the latest ideas and strategies being used in the field of pediatric OT.  Prior to receiving her master's degree, Jill earned a B.S in communications from Kennesaw State University in 2007 and a B.S. in Child and Family Development from the University of Georgia in 2011.

Jill is passionate about her work, and enjoys partnering with families to develop the best treatment strategy possible for their children.  In her free time Jill enjoys traveling, spending time with family and friends and her miniature dachshund Daisy.

KAYLA CAREY
MS, OTR/L

Kayla is a registered and licensed Occupational Therapist who graduated from Brenau University. She has experience in both the private school sector well as private practice serving children with sensory, motor and learning differences. Her background is rooted in the DIR Floortime model which is based on understanding differences and the power of relationships. Kayla also supports the development of purposeful motor skills to assist individuals who type or use letter boards as a way to communicate and demonstrated knowledge. On the weekends, she volunteers with an equine assisted therapy program in Decatur Georgia. Kayla believes in the kids she serves and the power of positivity. She and her husband live in Atlanta. .

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Cindy Murphy
MA, CCC-SLP

Cindy Murphy is licensed by the state of Georgia and American Speech Language Hearing Association as a Speech Language Pathologist. She has been working with the pediatric population, aged 3-18, for 15 years since getting her Masters degree from the University of Memphis and Bachelors from the University of Georgia, Go Dawgs! She enjoys working with all children and has a passion for therapy for Apraxia of Speech and Autism.

Cindy has been an amazing source of support for my daughter and a resource for our family! I’m so thankful to have her in our lives!

Office Staff:

Kristin O’Neal,
Scheduling Manager

kristin@heartsandhandstherapy.com

Patricia Utecht,
Office Manager
patricia@heartsandhandstherapy.com

Lisa Hedin,
Billing
hedinmedbilL@att.net