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Our Team

Meet the Communication Works Team!

Back, L-R:
Kirsten Peterson, Lindsey Wilson, Aliza Stremlau, Jen Trausch, Carol Bowen, Toni Morehouse

Front, L-R:
Paige Leising, Kylie Lureen, Maggie Wieting, Raychal Zupan, Chelsea Joekel, Ashley Yates

Toni B. Morehouse, MA, L-CCC-SLP, BCS-CL

Toni is a licensed, ASHA certified speech-language pathologist and Board-Certified Specialist in Child Language and Language Disorders. Her areas of expertise include childhood apraxia of speech and other speech sound disorders, child language disorders, and autism spectrum disorders. She has presented at local, state, and national levels on these, and other topics.

Toni has served as treasurer and president of the Nebraska Speech-Language-Hearing Association; member of the Council of State Association Presidents; secretary of the Nebraska Board of Examiners in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology; president of the Nebraska Speech-Language-Hearing Endowment Fund; Inaugural Cadre Advisor for the Specialty Board on Child Language; and secretary for the Executive Committee of the Nebraska State Stroke Association.

Prior to joining the faculty in the Communication Disorders Division at UNL in 1987 Toni practiced as a speech-language pathologist in Iowa, Wyoming, and western Nebraska. Toni and her business partner, Carol Bowen, opened Communication Works in June 2014 to continue their professional careers with a slightly different emphasis. It has been a wonderful venture!

When she’s not managing her business, Toni loves spending time with her sons and their families, which include five granddaughters, one grandson, and a recently added grandson-in-law. Toni also enjoys reading, gardening, playing bridge with friends, and entertaining.

Carol A. Bowen, MA, L-CCC-SLP

Carol is a licensed, ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist who is also a co-owner of Communication Works. Opening the clinic with Toni Morehouse, her business partner and friend since graduate school has been an amazing adventure. Even though she no longer does therapy, Carol gets to watch the progress of children at the clinic which is such fun.

Carol’s career as a public school speech-language pathologist began in the educational service unit setting in Hastings and the Omaha Public Schools, serving the K-12 population. For thirty years Carol was with the Lincoln Public Schools. Her expertise is in the area of early childhood special education with extensive experience as a speech-language pathologist in preschool classrooms and in the homebased settings. Carol left the public schools when her children were young and was co-owner of a private preschool in Lincoln for five years.

Professionally, Carol is a member of Women in Sales and Business, Nebraska Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and she is a past member of LIBA and the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce. She serves on the Early Childhood Interagency Coordinating Council, which advises and assists collaborating agencies in carrying out the provisions of state and federal statutes pertaining to early childhood care and education initiatives under state supervision.

Carol and her husband, Steve, have two children who have helped with clinic operations since its inception. James provides IT services and consultation for the clinic, and Kelly is the website and graphic designer. Carol loves spending time with her children and their families which include five adorable grandchildren and a beloved dachshund. Carol is an avid sports fan, especially when it comes to the Huskers, the San Francisco Giants, and the College World Series.

Christen Hoehner, MS, OTR/L

Christen Hoehner has been a pediatric occupational therapist in Lincoln for over 5 years, treating populations from birth to 21 with all diagnoses. Christen has experience working in both outpatient and inpatient settings. She has worked in neonatal intensive care units at Bryan Health and Children’s Hospital, and with the feeding team at Children’s. Christen also works closely with Cedars foster care treating children with trauma.

Christen has special training/certifications with sequential-oral-sensory feeding therapy, physical agent modalities, kinesiotaping, and neonatal massage. Christen is committed to helping children increase their independence and safety, giving them the tools to successfully and confidently complete meaningful daily occupations and achieve age-appropriate milestones.

Christen is very passionate about a child-centered approach with multidisciplinary collaboration involving child psychologists, behavioral therapists, speech-language pathologists, and physical therapists to ensure the best individualized treatment for each patient.

In her spare time, Christen likes spending time with family and friends and playing with her dog Roxy.

Chelsea Joekel, MS, L-CCC-SLP

Chelsea is a licensed, ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist who has experience in the school-based setting with elementary and middle school students. She believes that collaboration with parents and other professionals who may serve a client’s needs is the key to success.

Chelsea is passionate about serving children who are deaf or hard of hearing and has received additional training from the Central Institute for the Deaf with the SPICE Auditory Learning Curriculum. Her other specialty areas include working with children with language delays, speech sound disorders, multiple impairments, and those on the autism spectrum.

Chelsea and her husband, Benjamin, enjoy raising their son Henry, and daughter Halle. As a family they spend time at the library, being outdoors, and cheering on the Huskers. Chelsea serves the local community as a member of the Junior League of Lincoln and through the Diocese of Lincoln.

Paige Leising, MS, L-CCC-SLP, COM®️

Paige is a licensed, ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist and an IOAM-certified orofacial myologist who enjoys interacting with people of all ages. Paige has experience working in school-based settings as well as in a rehabilitation facility providing therapy for adults with aphasia and traumatic brain injuries.

Paige has specialized training in orofacial myology with a focus on orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMDs), including “tongue thrust.” She works with dentists and orthodontists to provide best practice services for children and adults who have improper swallowing habits that can affect dentition. Her other areas of clinical expertise include articulation, language disorders, and social communication. Paige has a passion for providing guidance and encouragement to people with communication disorders and dedicates herself to helping others communicate more effectively.

Paige loves spending time with her husband Scott and their two daughters, Emma and Hayden. They like to cook, travel and play outdoors.

Tara Luetkenhaus, PT, DPT

Tara received her clinical Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2008. She has over 14 years of experience providing physical therapy treatment to children of all ages. She has worked primarily in the outpatient setting but has also provided home health care to medically fragile individuals.

Tara has a passion for assisting children develop age-appropriate gross motor skills and retraining motor skills following neurological injuries. She has specific training in Neuro-Developmental Treatment (NDT) which is a hands-on, client-centered therapeutic approach utilized to improve gross motor function and motor control in individuals with neuromuscular dysfunctions.

Children learn and grow through self-exploration. Tara is dedicated to facilitating movement and teaching parents to assist with movement development in their children to maximize function and their ability to play and interact with others. Tara also has extensive experience with equipment prescription to assist with independent mobility in her clients.

Tara and her husband have two boys that keep them busy outside of work. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and being outdoors.

Kylie Lureen, MS, L-CCC-SLP

Kylie is a licensed, ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist who has experience working with children, adolescents, and adults. Her areas of interest include stuttering, expressive and receptive language, phonological process disorders, early literacy skills, and accent modification. Kylie’s passion for collaborating with families helps her clients reach their full potential through improved communication.

Kylie facilitates unique and effective social groups for adolescent students. These neurodiversity-affirming group sessions focus on initiation and maintenance of friendships, perspective-taking, problem-solving, social media usage, and much more.

When she’s not working, Kylie enjoys spending time with her husband Mark and their three sons. They love traveling, cheering on the Huskers, spending time with family and friends, and soaking up the outdoors

Kirsten Mahrt, MS, L-CCC-SLP

Kirsten is a licensed, ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist with specialized training in orofacial myology.

At Communication Works, Kirsten enjoys working with individuals who present with orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMD) and speech sounds disorders. She has a passion for helping identify the cause of an individual’s tongue thrust, malocclusion, and improper swallow pattern. Kirsten collaborates with orthodontists and other healthcare professionals to address underlying issues of OMD. Kirsten’s treatment focuses on nasal breathing, proper tongue posture, correct swallow pattern, and lip seal.

Kirsten also continues to practice as a public-school speech-language pathologist. She has experience working in early intervention and with preschool through secondary students focusing on language, social, and speech sound (articulation) disorders.

As a life-long learner, Kirsten stays current on curriculum, special education procedures, and evidence-based practices in speech-language pathology.

Kirsten and her husband, Josh enjoy exploring local places and spending time outside with their dog. Her hobbies include decorating, reading, and gardening.

Sydney Meister, MS, L-CCC-SLP

Sydney is a licensed, ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist who also practices in an elementary school setting. She is passionate about helping school-age children build their communication skills in a variety of areas, focusing on language, social, and speech sound (articulation) disorders.

Sydney has experience working with children with autism, including those who utilize augmentative and alternative modes of communication (AAC). Sydney is looking forward to receiving additional, specialized training in these areas to better serve children with communication needs.

When she’s not working, Sydney enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling and volunteering. She loves playing tennis, reading, and enjoying the outdoors at her family’s lake house.

Pinky Mohapatra, MSOTR/L

Pinky has been a Pediatric Occupational Therapist for several decades, starting her career in 1996 at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln, NE, where, among her many achievements, she helped start the pediatric therapy program. She is certified in Pediatric Neurodevelopmental Therapy (NDT) and has an Advanced Baby NDT Certification. Pinky has been fortunate to have received direct hands-on training from national and international experts like Bonnie Hanshu, the Wilbargers, and Lois Bly, among others. She has also had extensive training in therapeutic interventions for children with sensory processing disorders.

Pinky’s special interests lie in implementing multi-modal sensory based intervention approaches in her treatment, with emphasis on children with sensory processing disorders, autism spectrum disorders, ADD/H, self-regulation issues and sensory defensiveness, using a holistic approach to bring about the best outcomes. Her other major area of expertise is using NDT techniques to work on neuromotor disorders like cerebral palsy in infants and toddlers to minimize developmental delays and optimize gross motor, fine motor, play and self-care skills.

Working with children is not just a job for Pinky. She brings a passion and commitment to her work and strongly believes in completing the continuum of care by actively involving parents and families in the treatment plan and spending time collaborating, designing and training them in appropriate home programs to ensure that children reach their highest potential.

Pinky is an adjunct lecturer of pediatric occupational therapy in the OTA program at Union College in Lincoln, NE.

In her spare time, Pinky likes to spend time with her family, watching movies, playing board games, and traveling. She also tries her hand at various paper crafts and scrapbooking.

Kristine Stout, MS, OTR/L

Kristine is a licensed, NBCOT-certified occupational therapist who has ten years of early
intervention and school-based experience as well as five years of inpatient adult rehabilitation.

Currently, as a pediatric occupational therapist, Kristine focuses on using play-based and child-
led therapy to develop skills required to be successful and confident in everyday activities using
a child’s motor and play skills, executive functioning, and sensory processing (interpreting
incoming sensations and responding to them.)

Kristine specializes in Handwriting Without Tears, sensory integration, visual-motor integration,
reflex integration, cognitive skills required for daily activities, play-based therapy, and trauma-
informed therapy to encourage children to reach out of their comfort zone in a safe and fun
way, building resilience and self-confidence while reaching their goals.
Kristine supports strong collaborations between family and practitioner, knowing the biggest
successes are made together.

Kristine enjoys spending free time with her husband Jacob and their two daughters. They love
games, playing music together, traveling, crafting, cooking, and playing with their dogs.

Michelle Smith, MA, L-CCC-SLP

Michelle is a licensed, ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist with nineteen years of experience working with children and adults. She has worked in a variety of settings, but most recently she served children Birth-to-5 in their homes and daycares and preschools at ESU7.

Michelle is passionate about helping children and their families communicate effectively and feels strongly that families must be part of any successful intervention program.

Her special interests include literacy, autism spectrum disorders, childhood apraxia of speech, and augmentative and alternative communication modes (AAC). She has specialized training in the Orton Gillingham Approach to reading, which, combined with her knowledge of speech and language, helps her provide effective, evidence-based reading therapy for all children.

Michelle and her husband Dan have two adult children, Alea and Evan, who are each married and busy in their own careers. She views this as her greatest accomplishment! Michelle enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, baking, bicycling on the Lincoln trails, and traveling.

Aliza Stremlau, MS, L-CCC-SLP

Aliza is a licensed, ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist who enjoys helping clients of all ages achieve their communication potential. Aliza has years of experience working as a school-based speech-language pathologist with preschool through middle school-aged students. She also has experience working in a rehabilitation center treating patients with a wide-range of communication needs.

Aliza’s areas of expertise and passion include school-aged children with autism spectrum disorders, speech sound disorders, AAC needs, as well as dyslexia and other language-based literacy disorders. Aliza has specialized training in the Orton-Gillingham Approach, which, combined with her knowledge of speech and language, allows her to provide children with dyslexia a program of instruction not found elsewhere. Aliza believes that including her clients’ families in the therapeutic process is crucial to maximizing outcomes.

Aliza and her husband Nick have two sons, Harrison and Parker, and a daughter Sylvie. As a family, they enjoy participating in and watching sporting events, traveling, and playing outdoors.

Jennifer Trausch, MS, L-CCC-SLP

Jennifer is a licensed, ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist. She has eight years of experience in both medical and educational settings. During her work in the medical setting, Jennifer became Vital Stim certified and received additional trainings for feeding and swallowing therapy.

Her work with acute rehabilitation for children and adults with brain injury sparked a career passion for working closely with families to create accessible means of communication. Jennifer used that experience when she transitioned to the school setting. She served on a regional school support team focused on assisting schools with concussion and brain injury supports and protocols.

Jennifer enjoys the challenge of implementing evidenced-based practices and meeting the unique needs of each client. To remain trained in current medical practices, Jennifer also works in the hospital setting with critical care patients and those with unique swallowing and communication needs. Jennifer has a passion for working with young children and adults who benefit from augmentative and alternative modes of communication (AAC).

When she is not working, Jennifer enjoys spending time with husband, Mike, and their two sons. As a family, they enjoy the outdoors, cooking together, and watching sporting events.

Maggie Wieting, MS, L-CCC-SLP

Maggie is a licensed, ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist with years of experience working with children and adults. She has worked in a variety of settings including public schools, private practice, skilled nursing facilities, and a residential facility. She has a passion for helping clients maximize their functional communication skills and is a strong advocate for use of research-based practices while also thinking outside the box. 

Maggie’s special interests include language-based literacy, social language, and evaluation. Maggie has training through the Institute for Multi-sensory Education (IMSE), which uses the proven, research-based, Orton-Gillingham approach to teaching reading based on the whole child, not just literacy itself. Combined with her knowledge of language-based literacy, Maggie provides highly effective reading therapy for clients of all ages. 

Maggie’s expertise in traumatic brain injury led her to serve on a regional school support team focused on assisting schools with concussion and brain injury supports and protocols. Maggie also spent a year working in a coaching role where she supported teachers and administrators in understanding the importance of language development related to student behavior. Maggie believes that a team approach, including families and other professionals, is vital for helping clients meet and exceed their goals. 

Maggie, her husband Nate, and their two sons love all things outdoors, time with friends and family, traveling, and volunteering.

Lindsey Wilson, MS, L-CCC-SLP

Lindsey is a licensed, ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist with experience in a school-based setting working with preschool through secondary students. Lindsey also worked at a center in Minneapolis for children on the autism spectrum that focused on using ABA principles. Lindsey uses verbal behavior strategies throughout her sessions, not only with children on the autism spectrum but with children who have other challenges as well.

Lindsey has a passion for working with toddlers and preschool children who are pre-verbal, as well as children with language and speech sound disorders. As Lindsey was choosing her career, she had a strong role model in her mother, who is also a speech-language pathologist.

In her free time, Lindsey enjoys spending time with her husband Nick and their children Landon and Eliana. They like to read, build with Legos, spend time outdoors, travel and watch sporting events.

Ashley Yates, MS, L-CCC-SLP

Ashley is a licensed and ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist. She has over 14 years of experience working with both young children and adults in a variety of settings including inpatient acute rehabilitation, inpatient and outpatient pediatrics, and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She has also had the opportunity to work in the school system in the early intervention setting to support families of children with communication challenges in their homes.

Ashley has a passion for working with infants and toddlers with feeding and swallowing challenges. She is trained in the Sequential Oral Sensory Approach and is VitalStim certified. She has also taught classes for parents at MilkWorks to support caregivers of infants transitioning to solids who have Milk Soy Protein Intolerance and other food sensitivities.

Ashley’s other specialty areas include childhood apraxia of speech, speech sound disorders, and expressive and receptive language delays. She has experience with augmentative and alternative communication to give children a functional means to interact despite their communication challenges. Ashley enjoys collaborating with families to help her clients reach their full potential through improved communication.

Ashley and her husband Andy have three children, Porter, Paxton, and Poppy. Ashley enjoys volunteering at her children’s school where she is also the vice president of the PTO. You can often find her driving the kids around to a variety of sport practices, games, and dance classes. In the summer, most weeknights and weekends are spent watching the kids play baseball or traveling to tournaments. When they are not at the ballfield, they are typically boating at the lake and enjoying water sports.

Raychal Zupan, MS, OTR/L

Raychal is a licensed, NBCOT-certified occupational therapist with experience in outpatient pediatrics, pediatric home health care, school based occupational therapy, inpatient rehabilitation, and acute rehabilitation. As an occupational therapist, Raychal focuses on helping children develop confidence in their abilities to act on their environment through their motor skills, play skills, self-care skills (dressing, toileting, self-feeding), and sensory processing (how you interact with and respond to touch, taste, smell, hearing, and visual information). Raychal believes that a child does best in therapy when there is a strong collaboration with parents/caregivers and other disciplines.

Raychal has a passion for working with children of all ages who struggle with fine motor development and sensory processing challenges. Raychal has extensive training in Handwriting without Tears, a multisensory approach to developing handwriting and school based skills. Raychal has training in Therapeutic Listening, a sound based therapy to address sensory and motor planning concerns. Raychal is also a practitioner in Trust Based Relational Intervention, which is an intervention that helps children who have experienced relationship based traumas such as institutionalization, adoption, multiple foster placements, maltreatment and/or neglect, and/or prolonged hospitalizations. TBRI helps parents/caregivers create healing environments for these children, while fostering a secure attachment in order to correct behaviors, improve skills from developmental delays, and reduce sensory processing challenges.

Raychal enjoys spending her free time with her husband Alex and their two children. They love being outdoors, traveling, reading, and watching sporting events.

Jennifer Elitzin

Jennifer holds a BA in Secondary Education. She has taught language arts and social studies to hundreds of middle schoolers in both Cupertino, California and Raleigh, North Carolina. Over the last decade, Jennifer has worked as a stay-at-home-mom, wearing many hats, and using her teaching skills to best serve her own children, along with volunteering in many local ministries. Currently, Jennifer heads the kindergarten-3rd grade group in an after-school program that serves refugees from the Middle East.

Jennifer enjoys spending time with her husband and three children, traveling, and binging Netflix. Jennifer looks forward to serving many families in her role as administrative assistant at Communication Works.

Rhonda Brinkman

Rhonda brings over 25 years of healthcare-related experience to the Communication Works team. She graduated from Lincoln School of Commerce with a degree in Court Reporting/Business Accreditation in 1982.

Rhonda has used her legal/medical background in managing physical therapy/radiology offices at both Bryan/LGH and CHI Health/St Elizabeth. She branched out further in the areas of volunteer coordinator at CHI Health/St. Elizabeth, and Life Enrichment Director at Pemberly Place.

As a self-proclaimed people person, Rhonda thrives on bringing excellent customer service to the table with a touch of kindness and a warm smile to make our team and our patient’s days just a little brighter.

Rhonda and her husband, Jon live on a farm outside of Douglas, NE. They have four children, five grandchildren, and a wonderful red heeler named Woody. The outdoors is important to Rhonda and Jon, who are avid hikers, kayakers, gardeners, and good stewards of their farms.

Heidi Horning, C.H.R.S, CMB

Heidi Horning brings over 13 years of expertise in Healthcare Revenue cycle management to the Communication Works team. She graduated from the U.S. Career Institute as a Medical Billing and Coding Specialist in 2009. She founded Valley Medical Billing Services (VMBS) the same year. In 2018 Heidi became a Certified Healthcare Reimbursement Specialist (CHRS.)

Heidi keeps current on the ever-changing world of medical billing to ensure the latest regulations are implemented. Her diligence and attention to detail make her a cut above the rest. Heidi prides herself on hiring the right people to work at VMBS, and she provides hands-on management and so each client’s success is unsurpassed.

Heidi and her husband, Nitish, enjoy cooking all kinds of food but Indian cuisine is their favorite. They also love traveling around the world learning new cultures.

Dominique Weber, CPB

Dominique Weber is a professional billing specialist at Valley Medical Billing Services (VMBS), and part of the Communication Works billing and insurance team. Dominique graduated from West Virginia Bridge with a degree in Medical Office Administration/Information Technologies in 2012. Dominique received her Certified Professional Billing (CBP) certificate in 2019, and she joined Valley Medical Billing Services (VMBS) in 2020.

Dominique’s impeccable work ethic and customer service skills help her provide excellent overall experiences for all Communication Works clients. She has proven herself to be an excellent addition to the VMBS and Communication Works Teams.

Dominique enjoys spending time with her husband and three boys, traveling and being with family and friends.