Allison Bakke, MA, OTR/L
Allison is the Founder and President of Above & Beyond Senior Services. She is a licensed occupational therapist in the State of Minnesota. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, Certificate in Gerontology, Minor in Psychology, and Master’s in Occupational Therapy from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth.
Upon graduation, Allison worked for many years as an occupational therapist and rehab manager in short-term and long-term rehabilitation in many skilled nursing facilities throughout the Minneapolis metro area. Throughout the years Allison saw a strong need for therapy services outside the traditional Medicare/insurance model. This led to the creation of Above & Beyond as a new model for senior rehabilitation therapies. An approach that incorporates prevention, strengthening, wellness, and joyful engagement in life, using both physical and occupational therapy. Allison’s geriatric areas of expertise are in dementia and memory loss and helping families grow in their understanding of the various disease processes that cause dementia.
Allison was born and raised on a family farm near Moorhead, MN to a dad who was a farmer and business owner and a mom who was a baker. Throughout her childhood Allison’s parents taught her the value of hard work and respect for the wisdom of older generations. She remains a farm girl at heart and definitely gets her entrepreneurial spirit from her dad.
Allison is a proud wife and mom. Along with her husband Jason, Allison has 2 wonderful boys. She loves to spend her free time with family and volunteering. In the summer the Bakke’s can be found spending time at the cabin fishing and boating. The rest of the year is spent watching her boys play soccer and basketball and sing in the Land of Lakes Choirboys. If there is any time left after all of that Allison loves to travel with her husband or entertain friends and family at home with food ranging from home-style to gourmet.
Carolyn Blake, PT, GCS
Carolyn is a physical therapist who received her Bachelor of Science degree from Washington University in St. Louis, MO in 1989. Having been involved in athletics most her young life she started her career in sports medicine and occupational health in Little Rock, Arkansas.
She returned to her home state of MN and worked in an orthopedic spine clinic, helping people avoid, or rehabilitate from spinal surgeries. It was not long after that she found her heart’s desire in the field of homecare where she has focused her education and work since 1995. She began seeing the connections from her earlier work to her practice with the elderly, who in her words “are athletes in the sport of life!” In 2006, she became board certified as a Geriatric Clinical Specialist. Her geriatric practice expertise is in balance and fall prevention as well as strengthening and general fitness. In 2013, Carolyn became a Certified Exercise Expert for Aging Adults.
Born and raised in small town Minnesota to a mother who was a nurse, and a father who was a family physician, Carolyn has a natural ability in helping others succeed and find fun and joy in their own physical endeavors.
Carolyn enjoys sports adventure travel, which has led her to hang gliding in New Zealand, hiking on volcanoes in Iceland, and rappelling down waterfalls in Costa Rica. She also enjoys painting, particularly animal portraits.
Janna Wold, OTR/L
Janna is an occupational therapist at Above & Beyond Senior Services. She received her Master of Occupational Therapy in 1993 from TWU in Dallas, Texas. Her career began in a hospital in-patient rehabilitation setting. She then moved on to spend approximately 20 years in long term care/short-term rehabilitation and is now enjoying home health therapy.
Home health has opened her eyes to the challenges that may persist after that first great hurdle of “getting back home” from a hospital or rehab setting is achieved. In her time working with Above and Beyond, Janna has enjoyed working with clients in their home settings, doing what matters most to them and helping them to function as independently and safely as possible.
Janna’s specialty areas include working with neurological patients, as well as those with cognitive deficits. In 1996, she had the opportunity to participate in specialized training in Neuro-Developmental Treatment (NDT) at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. NDT is a treatment method used in stroke and head-injury rehabilitation. She has also had extensive training in cognitive assessment and treatment for people who have dementia.
Along with her career, Janna’s family is very important to her. She married her husband in 1991 after they both graduated from Bethel College in Arden Hills, MN. Janna enjoys walking the dog, traveling, boating, Twin’s games, music concerts and good food with her husband and two sons. She also enjoys reading and her book club.
Paula Scott, PT
Paula Scott, is a native of Richfield, MN. After attending Luther College and then graduate school at Washington University in St. Louis for a Masters in Physical Therapy, she returned to the Twin Cities to practice physical therapy.
Paula spent the first 21 years of her career in area hospitals; Methodist and University of Minnesota-Fairview Riverside. These hospital years provided a vast experience in all areas of PT including: sports medicine, cardiac rehab, orthopedics, neurology, vestibular rehabilitation, and mental health for adults and geriatrics. She had the opportunity to work with interdisciplinary teams of health care workers to treat patients in all settings of rehabilitation including intensive care, acute care, transitional care and outpatient.
Through this experience Paula has an appreciation for the range of care needed from the hospital setting to the home setting. She enjoys helping individuals set rehabilitation goals for themselves and striving to achieve their goals. She enjoys working closely with families and other caregivers in this process.
Paula likes to focus on body, mind and spirit with her clients as well as in her personal life. She enjoys time with her husband of 18 years and two girls by being active outdoors with skiing, biking, boating, camping, and gardening. You can also find her playing a competitive game of tennis. She places a high priority on volunteering her time at church and in the community.
Suzan Egan, PT
Suzan is a physical therapist at Above & Beyond Senior Services. She received her degree in Physical Therapy from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1991. Suzan has had experience in orthopedics, pediatrics, neurology, and geriatrics throughout her years as a physical therapist. She feels that she has found what she was meant to do in private, in-home therapy.
Suzan also is a certified yoga instructor and enjoys combining her knowledge of physical therapy with yoga to help her patients succeed. Suzan feels that she is very blessed to be able to focus and help people to live active and strong lives, as long as possible. Suzan has a special affinity for working with people with dementia, perhaps due to the fact that her mother suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease for seven years.
Suzan grew up in Edina, MN with a father from the country of Turkey that was a physician, and an American mother that was a nurse anesthetist. She has two older sisters. Suzan and her family travelled many times to Turkey while she was growing up to visit family. Her family continues to live in the area, with the exception of one sister living in Utah.
When not working, Suzan spends her time with her three children who are now teenagers. They keep her very busy. She also enjoys having pets and has two dogs, a cat, and a canary at home. Suzan and her children and their pets live in Oakdale, MN. When she and her children have time off they enjoy spending time at the family cabin in the summer, boating, swimming, and having bonfires. Suzan continues to enjoy yoga when she gets time, playing and listening to music, and traveling when possible.
Lori Wisnewski, PT
Lori is a physical therapist who earned her Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in 1993. Prior to her graduation, she had also worked for 3 years as a physical therapy assistant.
She initially got interested in the field of physical therapy as a child after watching and assisting her mother in rehab following a stroke at the young age of 38. Lori has worked extensively throughout her career with neurologically and orthopedically involved clients in a variety of settings, including: acute care, post-acute care, long-term care, and inpatient/outpatient rehabilitation centers in Kansas and Tennessee. Lori is trained in Neurodevelopmental Treatment Technique and while in Germantown (a suburb of Memphis) served as the Director of Rehabilitation Services encompassing the physical, occupational, speech, and recreational therapy departments as well as prosthetics/orthotics, and pastoral care areas of care at a freestanding rehab hospital.
The one constant throughout her varied career has been Lori’s passion for seniors. She strives to help them improve or maintain their mobility, function, safety, and quality of life. This means helping them be successful at the activities that are most important to them.
A Southern girl at heart, born and raised in Texarkana, Arkansas, Lori moved to Memphis, TN for her first job. There, she met and married her husband, Paul. They remained in Memphis until moving with their two children (now teenagers) to Minnesota in 2004. She loves life in the “frozen north”! In her free time, she enjoys watching her son play tennis and her daughter play hockey and lacrosse. She is an avid reader, plays tennis, and enjoys being with her family and friends.
Claudia Westholder, PT
Claudia is a licensed physical therapist at Above & Beyond Senior Services. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, and Master’s of Physical Therapy from the Mayo School of Health-Related Sciences in Rochester, MN in 1996.
Upon graduation, Claudia worked for eight years as a physical therapist at Hennepin County Medical Center where she had the opportunity to treat patients in all settings: rehabilitation, acute care, and outpatient/orthopedic. In addition, Claudia has worked for many skilled nursing facilities throughout the Minneapolis metro area providing short-term rehabilitation and long-term care. Claudia’s greatest satisfaction comes from the personal relationships that she builds with her clients and how much those connections help motivate them to regain or maximize their physical potential in order to maintain independence.
Having had an influential grandmother living with her family growing up, Claudia has a special place in her heart for seniors. She feels enriched by each senior’s “story” and words of wisdom that only comes from years of experience.
Claudia and her husband, Mark, have been married for more than fifteen years and love to travel with their three children, Caroline, Luke and Joe. In her free time Claudia enjoys being outdoors, preferably by a body of water. As a former Division I swimmer at the University of Michigan, she remains very active in other sports such as tennis, volleyball and running. Claudia is also trilingual, speaking English, Portuguese and Spanish.
Sandy Swanson, PT
Sandy grew up in Long Lake, MN and is a graduate of the Program in Physical Therapy at the University of Minnesota. She was given the privilege at age 13 to assist a family whose son had profound cerebral palsy. She volunteered one Saturday each month to help them complete a very extensive three-hour therapy program for him. From that very first Saturday, she knew that her ideal profession would be physical therapy.
Sandy’s passion is working with individuals who are dealing with limitations related to impairments caused by neurological dysfunction. She has worked in a variety of settings including acute care hospitals, a variety of rehabilitation facilities, and outpatient specialty clinics for patients with ALS and CMT. In addition to her work in the ALS clinic as staff physical therapist, Sandy participates in clinical research trials working to find treatment options for management of this devastating disease.
Outside of work, she is blessed with two wonderful daughters, Tyra and Annika, and a magnificent marriage of 24 years to her best friend, Tim. Sandy and the girls are very active with their church, teaching Sunday school and participating in small group activities. Both girls enjoy playing hockey and lacrosse. Sandy and her family also enjoy golfing, boating and trips to Grand Marais, MN with their extended family to visit grandpa’s cabin.
Shelly Howe, MSPT
Shelly, an Omaha native, received her Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science at the University of Kansas where she also played volleyball for the Jayhawks. She earned her Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy at the University of Kansas Medical Center in 1992. She was the recipient of the PT Clinical Excellence Award for her graduating class.
She ventured to Salt Lake City upon graduation taking her first job. She relocated to Minneapolis in 2003 to be closer to family. She has practiced in a variety of settings including acute care, inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient and community based neurologic rehabilitation, and skilled nursing. Her experiences and continuing education have given her an opportunity to develop strong clinical skills that are applicable in treating people at all stages of life. She is a certified Neurodevelopmental Technique (NDT) therapist and has a passion for treating persons with neurologic disorders.
She recognizes the importance of family and team communication in optimizing her client’s goals and quality of life. Shelly’s passion is to provide clients the independence and function needed to stay engaged in their home and community.
Shelly stays active with her 2 boys by volunteering at school, and teaching balance classes. She and her husband of 17 years enjoy spending time outdoors including hiking, gardening, and playing on the lake.
Becky Cornelius, MSPT
Becky is a physical therapist who earned her Bachelor of Science degree from The College of William and Mary with a double major in Psychology and Kinesiology. Having been involved in athletics from early childhood through college, a career focusing on the body was a natural fit and led her to earn her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2005.
Following her training, she got married and moved to Rochester, MN where she and her spouse worked at the Mayo Clinic for 5 years. She was primarily in the acute care setting, but also spent time in both outpatient and acute rehab practices. Becky began working at Above & Beyond Senior Services after a move to the Twin Cities. Throughout her career, she has especially enjoyed working with the elderly population. This fondness stems from the special relationships that she formed with her own grandparents and great-grandparents, whom she was lucky enough to be close to while growing up in the Midwest.
When away from work, Becky loves spending time with her family. She and her husband are proud parents of energetic and imaginative 7 and 2.5 year-old daughters. Becky also enjoys exercising, playing outdoors, traveling, reading, cooking, and getting together with friends.