It Takes A Village

At Ascend Rehabilitation, our staff makes the difference. Day in and day out, our licensed, highly-trained team members work hard to provide the highest level of care, advocate for our clients, and do whatever it takes to help them reach their goals – with dedication and compassion.

Our team specializes in the care and needs of seniors. We understand that older adults face new health concerns and challenges, with changes in function, cognitive ability, and social situations. When determining a treatment or wellness plan, we take all aspects of a seniors’ life into consideration, including a thorough knowledge of medical history. 

At Ascend, we build relationships. As clients move from one stage of wellness to the next, our continuum of care ensures that they’ll be familiar with their caregiver or therapist. Our team takes a collective approach to comprehensive care and works closely with physicians and other caregivers.  

Ascend employees continue their education with advanced training, certifications, and licenses. Every staff member is certified in dementia-capable care. Our specialized programs address situations common with older adults, including: balance protocol, continence improvement, low vision, cognitive assessment and traditional therapy for strength and function. Our programs use the most effective, evidence-based rehabilitation practices. 


The team at Ascend Rehabilitation uplifts clients throughout their personal health and wellness journey – wherever they are. 

Leadership

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Barbara Rode

Chief Executive Officer
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A leader whose innovations have shaped health care in Minnesota for more than 30 years, Barbara A. Rode, LNHA, MS, CNCB, has been serving seniors since 1972.  Barbara earned an associate’s degree in Business Management from Century College, a bachelor’s degree from Bethel College and Seminary in Business Organizational Studies and Nursing Home Administrators licensure from the University of Minnesota. By 2001, Barbara obtained a master’s degree in Gerontology from Nova Southeastern University. To support her work in Catholic-based organizations, Barbara earned certification by the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Catholic Health Care Directives in 2003.

Barbara has served Saint Therese as President and CEO for 18 years where she is responsible for overseeing more than 1,000 employees serving more than 2,000 seniors and their families. She has championed exceptional growth of the organization, expanding thoughtfully from a single entity in New Hope, Minnesota to five campuses across the Twin Cities. Barbara is passionate about building Saint Therese communities around what’s right for its residents, families, and neighborhoods. 

Barbara is an active member of the senior care community on both the national and local level, serving on the board of directors and in several committees for LeadingAge. In 2007, Barbara received “Employer of the Year” from the Minnesota Dietary Managers Association. She was recognized again in 2014 as one of the “Top Women in Health Care Leadership” from the Women’s Leadership Trust Association.

Three words that describe Barbara: Passionate, caring, dedicated

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Amy Taylor-Greengard

Chief Operations Officer
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Amy has been with Ascend Rehabilitation since November of 2004. She earned her degree in Physical Therapy from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI, holds a Minnesota State Board of Physical Therapy License, and is a Certified Geriatric Clinical Specialist (GCS). Amy is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Minnesota, teaching Rehab Management in the Geriatric Residency Program, and is a Geriatric Residency Site Supervisor. She holds memberships in the American Physical Therapy Association and the Academy of Geriatrics.

Amy lives on a hobby farm with her husband, daughter, and son, where they enjoy home improvement projects, outdoor activities, and animals. Amy shows Arabian horses at the national level.

Three words that describe Amy: Passionate, dedicated, kind

“I work with an amazing team that humbles and inspires me on a regular basis with their commitment to high quality care and superior customer service, their dedication to achieving goals and supporting each other, and their knowledge and skills in the area of health and wellness service delivery.”

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Calvin Shelangoski

Chief Financial Officer
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Calvin Shelangoski joined Saint Therese as chief financial officer in 2018. With over 12 years of experience in senior living, Calvin leads the organization’s financial strategy in a way that honors the Saint Therese mission and positively impacts the lives of seniors.

Calvin was introduced to the senior living industry through his role as finance director at Lutheran Living, a CCRC in Muscatine, Iowa.

Most recently, he served as vice president of finance at WesleyLife where he led the organization through a period of financial growth and multiple expansion projects starting in 2012.

Calvin has been actively involved with state nonprofit trade associations and has served as a reimbursement consultant for the  association and its members. He was formerly a member of LeadingAge Iowa and one of the organization’s trusted financial consultants.

Calvin received a bachelor of business administration from the University of Iowa with a major in finance. 

Calvin's hobbies and interests outside of work: Time with family first and foremost, but Calvin is a retired swimmer and enjoys running. When time permits, Calvin and his wife love to travel and explore. 

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Krystle Plohocky

Agency Clinical Operations Director
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Krystle joined Ascend Rehab in January of 2010. She earned a Master’s of Arts in Occupational Therapy from St. Catherine University, and has worked in geriatrics since graduation. She also has a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Science and hold a Minnesota Occupational Therapy License.

Outside of work, Krystle loves spending time at her cabin on Big Sandy Lake, boating, and spending time with family and friends.

Three words that describe Krystle: Compassionate, loyal, optimistic

“I love helping patients, families, and therapists set and meet goals.”

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Kayla Phillips

SNF Clinical Operations Director
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Kayla has worked for Ascend since February of 2012. She earned a Masters of Occupational Therapy/Occupational Science from the University of St. Catherine. Her areas of interest include geriatrics, hand therapy, and wheelchair seating and positioning.

In her spare time, she enjoys golf, traveling, and spending time with her family.

Three words that describe Kayla: Active, compassionate, spontaneous

“Some of the most rewarding aspects of working at Ascend are the positive therapy outcomes, helping people return home, and working with a great group of people on a daily basis.”

Office Team

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Amber Thompson

Staffing Coordinator
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Amber joined Ascend Rehab in January of 2009. She went to school at the University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire for Kinesiology and has a background in exercise science. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree. Before that, Amber worked as a certified nursing assistant, as well as a rehab technician and fitness instructor, at multiple nursing homes.

Outside of work, Amber enjoys spending time with family and friends, camping during the summer months and going to different types of concerts.

Three words that describe Amber: trustworthy, organized and motivated.

“I love the team and the people we get to help! It’s wonderful to be able to see all the Ascend employees working together and making things happen for their patients. It is also just as rewarding to be able to watch a client’s progress and meeting goals while working hard in therapy. Helping people live their best life is a great feeling!

Site Managers

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Elizabeth Brown

Rehab Manager
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Elizabeth has worked for Ascend Rehab since August of 2016. She is a graduate of the Applied Science Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Saint Catherine University. Her first job after graduation was with the geriatric population, and she found that she loved working with older adults. As her career progressed, she discovered that she enjoyed management as well. She holds certification through the National Board Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT), is a Minnesota licensed Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA), and is CPR certified.

Outside of work, Elizabeth enjoys spending time with her husband and three children, reading a good book, and going for a long run with friends.

Three words that describe Elizabeth: Motivated, organized, team player

“It’s so rewarding to work with such wonderful people who truly care about the great things we’re doing here at Saint Therese and through Ascend Rehab.”

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Myrtyce Courtright

Rehab Manager
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Myrtyce joined Ascend Rehabilitation in October of 2013. She has a Masters of Occupational Therapy from the University of North Dakota and obtained her Dementia Care Certified Therapist Certification through Crisis Prevention, Inc. Myrtyce has worked in both an acute hospital setting and in a Transitional Care Unit (TCU). She is passionate about working with clients with dementia, cognitive impairment, and with neurological diagnoses. 

Outside of work, Myrtyce enjoys sewing, crafting, spending time outdoors at the lake with her husband and daughter, and helping others create a positive mindset on life. 

Three words that describe Myrtyce: Driven, Passionate, Action-Oriented

“The Ascend Rehab team has some of the strongest, most intelligent therapists I have met. Being part of a team of people who truly put their patient goals and outcomes at the forefront is definitely a rewarding experience.”

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Kali Wachter

Rehab Manager
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Kali has worked at Ascend Rehab since April 2013, and has a professional background in exercise science kinesiology, a masters degree in occupational therapy, and is certified in Lymphedema Management. She has worked primarily with the geriatric population since 2010 and has a passion for neuro re-education treatments. 

Outside of work, you can find Kali spending time outdoors with her family, watching her 2 sons grow and experience life, reading, trying new recipes, and volunteering.

Three words that describe Kali: Motivated, positive, and hardworking

"I feel fortunate to work for Ascend, as it is such a supportive and talented group of people. This job allows me to make a positive impact in the community and also with the quality of life for our clients. Each day is different and offers you the opportunity to use your skills to help someone."

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Brooke Armstrong

Rehab Manager
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Brooke has been with Ascend Rehab since August of 2014. She is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) by background, and worked as a COTA for Ascend for three years. She received her associate’s degree as an occupational therapy assistant from St. Catherine University, with a special interest in geriatrics.

Outside of work, Brooke enjoys spending time with her husband and two dogs. She spends a lot of time up north at her cabin, where she enjoys fishing, wakeboarding, and relaxing on the pontoon. Brooke is a hardcore Sioux hockey fan.

Three words that describe Brooke: Type A, sociable, foodie

“The most rewarding aspect of working at Ascend is the teamwork! There is a real sense of camaraderie shared amongst the Ascend team.”