Lauren Sherman is the President and an Expert Life Care Manager for Lifecare Innovations, Inc. Lauren is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in both Illinois and Colorado, and is one of three people in Illinois who holds the National Master Guardian distinction from the Center for Guardianship Certification. She previously served on the education committee for the National Guardianship Association and helped to create education programs for individuals throughout the country that worked in the guardianship field or served as guardian for a loved one. Lauren has published numerous articles related to her research with children and adults as well as her current field of guardianship. She has spoken frequently on guardianship and other clinical matters for hospitals, nursing homes, and other care settings on a local and national level
Martha Kern is Chief Marketing Officer for Lifecare Innovations, Inc. Martha’s tenure with the company has been long and varied. While she initially worked in the field as an Assistant Lifecare Manager, she later moved on to focus on Special Services (client insurance issues, bill-paying, entitlements) and then played a pivotal role in the launch of the Lifecare Home Solutions caregiver program. Martha also worked to develop and expand the Property Services group and ran that program for a number of years. Each of these experiences prepared Martha to present and promote company services in the community and among our professional referral sources. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Iowa, and is a published writer. Martha worked for a number of years in the Market Research field before joining the Lifecare Innovations staff.
Kisha Morris is Chief Financial Officer for Lifecare Innovations, Inc. Kisha earned her Master of Accountancy at Belmont University after receiving a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Fisk University in Nashville. Her career reflects increasing levels of responsibility across several business spheres. Kisha has particular expertise within the healthcare service industry, having sharpened these skills while serving as Accounting Manager, Senior Accountant and Chief Financial Officer, respectively, for three highly-regarded entities in the home health category. Kisha’s financial acumen enables her to manage complex budgets, oversee financial operations and contribute significantly to our Life Care Planning effort.
Erin McArdle is the Intake and Education Manager for Lifecare Innovations, Inc. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Illinois State University, and her Master of Arts in Professional Counseling from Concordia University. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Illinois, with clinical strengths and an expansive knowledge base of disease states, diagnoses and disabilities as related to all ages. Erin’s professional experience has provided her with a clinical base that is strengthened by a knowledge of medical social work, Illinois State entitlements, and successful ways to holistically manage all facets of a client’s care. Erin has successfully managed complex cases and is a versatile, solid member of the team.
Shay Jacobson is the Founder of Lifecare Innovations and the related companies, Lifecare Home Solutions and Lifecare Guardianship. Shay is a Life Care Planner, an Expert Life Care Manager and an expert witness. She received her Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of Iowa with a major in nursing. She is a Certified Nurse Life Care Planner, a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant and a National Master Guardian. The company has been a member of the Better Business Bureau for many years and in 2008 won the prestigious Torch Award for Ethical Business Practices, enjoys an A+ rating, and has received Complaint Free Awards for three consecutive years.
Shay’s career has included extensive clinical and management expertise in the health care field in a variety of settings including: nursing home administrator, clinical nurse specialist, clinical nurse manager, and post graduate adjunct faculty for the University of Iowa and Rush University.
She is a prolific speaker and author to both lay and professional groups. She has been quoted twice in Forbes magazine, been a guest on local TV and radio public education programs, and recently co-authored four book chapters for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education. She has been sought out by many professional groups locally and nationally for her expertise on Life Care Planning, hoarding, and criminal diversion for individuals with mental illness.
Patricia Cline is an Expert Life Care Manager for Lifecare Innovations, Inc. Patricia’s extensive professional experience in home care, medical and rehabilitation hospitals, state facilities, and private settings is well reflected in her service to clients. Patricia earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from DePaul University and her Master of Social Work from the University of Illinois at Chicago Jane Addams College of Social Work. As an Illinois Licensed Clinical Social Worker also credentialed in Wisconsin, a Certified Life Care Planner and a National Certified Guardian, Pat shows her professional excellence through her ability to perform thorough, insightful bio-psycho-social assessments that are specifically tailored to meet the presenting need of the clients and referring parties. Patricia is a member of the National Association of Social Workers, National Guardianship Association, Illinois Guardianship Association, and the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers.
Jennifer Gazda is an Expert Life Care Manager for Lifecare Innovations, Inc. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Valparaiso University, her Master of Social Work from the University of St. Francis, and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Illinois. Over the past ten years, Jennifer has developed diverse professional experience working with individuals and families in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and the legal arena. Jennifer’s knowledge of medical, clinical, and family court issues is thorough and extensive. Additionally, Jennifer has specialized training in crisis intervention, with particular areas of specialization in abuse and neglect, and developmental disabilities.
Jennifer Axelson is an Expert Life Care Manager for Lifecare Innovations, Inc. Jennifer earned her Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Relationships from Illinois State University, her Secondary Education Teaching Certification from Northern Illinois University, and her Master of Social Work from Aurora University. Jennifer is also a Certified Case Manager, a Medicare Set Aside Certified Consultant and a Certified Life Care Planner. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Clinical Manager, Jennifer has diverse work experience, including appropriate vs. abnormal child development, chronic and catastrophic medical complexities, the dynamics of aging and chronic pain management. Additionally, Jennifer has experience in school social work, grant management, mental health, substance abuse, and Illinois state child protective arenas. As a supervisor oF clinical staff, Jennifer has taken part in or overseen hundreds of assessments and the implementation of their resulting plans of care.
Thomas Anselmo is the Lifecare Home Solutions Manager. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics from Benedictine University, where he also played baseball. Thomas’s expertise in Home Services has delivered successful growth to the LHS department during his tenure. Outside of his work at Lifecare, Thomas is highly involved with DuPage P.A.D.S., serving as Captain on breakfast and dinner shifts for the local homeless community. He also spends time with the Chicago Italian American Charitable Organization and DuPage Habitat for Humanity.
Nellie Aron serves as a Senior Life Care Manager for Lifecare Innovations, Inc. Nellie earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Rehabilitation Psychology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. As a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor Nellie has diverse experience in a variety of professional settings including working with individuals with mental illness and/or developmental disabilities in residential settings and also working in the behavioral health insurance industry. Nellie’s professional experience has provided her a strong base of knowledge in medically complex and behaviorally involved cases as well as resolving crisis situations effectively.
Elisa Laurusonis serves as Life Care Manager in the North Shore area of Chicago, Illinois. She earned her Master’s in Social Work from Loyola University of Chicago and is currently a Licensed Social Worker in Illinois. While Elisa has had a broad range of experience with social issues such as poverty, child abuse, and medical social work, she specializes in working with older adults and people with mental illness. Elisa strives to incorporate a whole-person methodology into working with clients and their families, and believes that compassion and empathy are the cornerstones of her work with others.
Ashlyn Horeth serves as a Life Care Manager for Lifecare Innovations, Inc. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Illinois State University and her Master of Social Work from Loyola University of Chicago. Ashlyn specialized in school social work and has her Type 73 Certificate; she is also a Licensed Social Worker in Illinois. Ashlyn has gained valuable experience in the areas of mental illness, special needs, juvenile delinquency and Illinois State Entitlement programs such as Medicaid and Social Security Benefits. Ashlyn excels in her ability to advocate for clients, create individualized plans and in her understanding of therapeutic approaches.
Laura Waller serves as a Life Care Manager for Lifecare Innovations, Inc. She earned her Bachelor of Social Work from Olivet Nazarene University, and her Master of Social Work from Loyola University Chicago. Laura specializes in Advanced Child and Family Therapy, and is also a Licensed Social Worker in the state of Illinois. She has experience working with the dual diagnosis population, children and adolescents with a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, children in the school setting, as well as developing and implementing her own therapy curriculum with her clients. As a Care Manager, Laura’s drive and compassion allow her to ensure that her clients’ voices are heard and that their needs are met.
Anne George serves as a Life Care Manager for Lifecare Innovations, Inc. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Social Work Degree from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana and her Master of Social Work Degree and Gerontology Graduate Certificate in Aging Care from Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Case Manager, Anne enjoys working with older adults but also has the pleasure of assisting individuals with physical health concerns, mental health issues, and the differently-abled. She is passionate about her role as an advocate and strives to help others live fulfilling lives.
Stephanie Berkner serves as a Life Care Manager for Lifecare Innovations, Inc. She earned her Bachelor of Social Work from Colorado State University, and her Masters in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago with a clinical specialization in Health. Stephanie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Illinois. Stephanie holds a Child Welfare Employee License and a Child Endangerment Risk Assessment Protocol License through Illinois DCFS. She has extensive experience working with children and adolescents, the geriatric population, individuals with mental illness, and individuals with terminal illness. Stephanie is passionate about advocating for her clients and hopes to provide each client with the level of care that they deserve.
Katie Vicari serves as a Life Care Manager for Lifecare Innovations, Inc. She received her Masters in Human Services from University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS). Katie is a Certified Case Manager in Illinois. Katie has worked with teenagers and young adults with mental illness in residential settings. In addition to this, Katie has worked with the adult homeless population with severe mental illness and substance abuse disorders and also worked with underprivileged children in the school setting. Katie’s experience has been centered primarily on assessment, treatment, and crisis intervention.
William Varoskovic serves as a Life Care Manager for Lifecare Innovations, Inc. He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree from Central Michigan University and his Master of Social Work Degree with a concentration in clinical practice from Michigan State University. William is a Licensed Social Worker in the state of Illinois. William has expanded knowledge related to guardianships and other legal processes in the probate court. He aims to focus his experience and compassion to positively impact clients.
Aubrey Runyan serves as a Life Care Manager for Lifecare Innovations, Inc. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Social Work from the University of Iowa and her Master of Social Work from the University of Illinois at Chicago Jane Addams College of Social Work. Aubrey is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Illinois. Aubrey’s experience ranges from reproductive health to chronic illness with individuals in all ages. Aubrey brings enthusiasm and compassion to her work with the clients she serves in hopes of improving their quality of life.
Shannon Grothendick serves as an Associate Life Care Manager for Lifecare Innovations, Inc. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Bethel University in Social Work and her Master of Social Work from Dominican University in River Forest, IL. Shannon is a Licensed Social Worker in Illinois. Shannon also holds a Child Welfare Employee License and a Child Endangerment Risk Assessment Protocol License through Illinois DCFS. Shannon has experience working with children and adolescents in child welfare and in the school setting. Shannon brings a genuine compassion for her client’s care and quality of life.
Max Frankel is an Associate Life Care Manager for Lifecare Innovations, Inc. He received his Bachelors from Indiana University (Bloomington, IN) in Philosophy and Psychology with a minor in Cognitive Science. During his junior year, Max studied abroad at Oxford University (United Kingdom) where he took coursework in Philosophy and Experimental Psychology. He received his Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Chicago- School of Social Service Administration. He completed the Older Adult Studies program of study while at the University of Chicago. Mas is a Licensed Social Worker in Illinois. Max has an extensive background with older adults, and individuals with physical disabilities/chronic diseases in inpatient hospice, nursing homes, and primary/specialty care. Max volunteers on the weekends with his dog Champ performing Animal Therapy at an inpatient hospice, and hopes to incorporate animal therapy into his position at Lifecare.
Alexandria Green Cowlishaw serves as an Associate Life Care Manager for Lifecare Innovations. Inc. She earned her Bachelors of Science in Social Work degree from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois and her Master of Social Work degree from Loyola University Chicago in Chicago, Illinois. Alexandria specializes in mental health but has experience working with low income students and section 8 housing. Alexandria is a licensed social worker and plans to become a licensed clinical social worker.
Andrea Brunelle serves as an Associate Life Care Manager for Lifecare Innovations, Inc. She earned both her Bachelors and Masters degree in Social Work at Aurora University and is a member of the National Association of Social Workers. Andrea has a range of experience working with children and adults. Andrea was a preschool teacher for children ages birth to 10 years. Andrea has experience working with adults with mental illness in residential and hospital settings. Andrea served as an intern at Elgin Mental Health Center on the forensic unit working with individuals that were found Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity. Andrea is working towards becoming a licensed clinical social worker. Her goal is to make sure her clients’ receive the best care possible to improve their quality of life.
Francis Lombardi serves as an Associate Life Care Manager for Lifecare Innovations Inc. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology at the University of Colorado at Boulder and her Masters in Counseling Psychology with a Clinical Specialization from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, IL. Francis is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Illinois. Francis has worked with a number of populations since entering the human services realm including DCFS wards of the state at Streamwood Behavioral Health and inpatient psychiatric adults at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Francis has also worked with the Visiting Nurses Association to bring affordable health insurance to marginalized populations as an In-Person Counselor for the Affordable Care Act. Francis is dedicated to patient advocacy across all levels of care and possesses a strong passion to serve those in need.
Kelly Carter serves as an Associate Life Care Manager. She earned her Bachelors of Science in Community Health from the University of Illinois Urbana- Champaign. Her degree encompasses concentrations in both Business Administration and Planning and Healthcare Promotion and Education. Kelly is able to apply her past experiences as both a health educator and certified nursing assistant to her work with clients, their families and other care providers. Kelly previously sharpened her skills in our Lifecare Home Solutions home care program where she hired, trained and supervised a large caregiver staff.
Amber Gilbertson serves as an Associate Life Care Manager for Lifecare Innovations, Inc. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Social Work at Aurora University and is a member of the National Association of Social Workers. Amber obtained a specialization certification from Aurora University for Healthcare and Advanced Clinical. She has also obtained her certification for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, while interning at a Domestic Violence shelter for women and children. Amber has past experience working with adolescent and adults with mental illness at Presence St. Joseph Medical Center. Amber is working towards becoming a licensed clinical social worker. Amber brings her out-going, kind and patient personality in assisting client’s and advocating for any needs for her client’s.
Diana Schwartz serves as an Associate Life Care Manager for Lifecare Innovations, Inc. She earned her Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Social Work at Aurora University. Additionally, Diana obtained a specialization certificate from Aurora University in medical social work. Diana is experienced in working with adolescents, young adults, and adults with mental illnesses and drug related illnesses. She is currently working towards becoming a licensed social worker and plans to become a licensed clinical social worker. Her goal is to make sure her clients receive the best care possible to improve their quality of life.
Jamie Budziak serves as an Associate Life Care Manager for Lifecare Innovations, Inc. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Psychology from St. Ambrose University in Iowa and her Masters in Social Work from Aurora University with a healthcare specialization. In the past, Jamie has worked in a children’s therapeutic day school as an instructional teaching assistant and in a CILA home with adults with disabilities. Her most recent experience comes from an internship as a foster care case worker and through Linden Oaks Outpatient facility where she served as a clinical therapist intern. Jamie is currently working towards becoming a licensed social worker with hopes to help her clients reach their full potential and improve their overall life quality.
Melanie Bauer serves as an Associate Life Care Manager for Lifecare Innovations, Inc. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Counseling from Moody Bible Institute and her Master of Social Work, with a specialization in Advanced Clinical Social Work, from Aurora University. Lanie’s previous experience includes working with homeless young women through a transitional housing program at Wheaton Youth Outreach, where she also provided clinical counseling. In addition Lanie has also served as a case management intern at Evangelical Child and Family Agency, where she provided support and advocacy to families involved with DCFS. Lanie is currently working towards becoming a Licensed Social Worker and Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Her hope is to enhance the well-being of her clients through dedicated and compassionate care management.
Isabel Steele provides essential coordination and support services in our Lifecare Home Solutions group. Isabel locates and oversees vendors who perform work at client properties, and carries out personal property inventories on a frequent basis. Fluent in both English and Spanish, Isabel is also a member of our translation team. Isabel’s skill in managing multiple tasks, details and responsibilities was strengthened by her extensive experience in office management and customer service.