Our physical and occupational therapy team in the Rochester area hope this page helps you get to know us. We look forward to meeting you in your home soon!
Desiree Lanzino, PT
Desiree earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Physical Therapy from West Virginia University in 1990 and a Doctorate of Philosophy Degree in Anatomy from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1999. She has practiced in numerous clinical settings including acute care, in-patient rehabilitation, and home health, in numerous parts of the country: Pennsylvania, Virginia, Illinois, and Minnesota. She was on faculty at Bradley University in the Physical Therapy and Health Science Programs for one year before moving to Rochester, Minnesota, where she was Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy in the Mayo Clinic Physical Therapy Program. There, she taught entry-level doctoral students in topics such as neuroanatomy, geriatrics, evaluation and assessment, neurologic rehabilitation, and complementary medicine. Desiree has published research works in the Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy, Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy, Age and Ageing, and the Journal of Vestibular Research.
Excited to get back to her clinical physical therapy roots, Desiree looks forward to helping clients succeed in living, whatever that looks like to them! She enjoys book club, cross-country skiing, hiking, and is involved in numerous Christian-ministry activities. She is a blessed and proud mom of three young adults and wife to a fabulous husband.
Tricia Steckelberg, OTR/L
Tricia obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Health Sciences in 1999 and a Master’s in Occupational Therapy from The College of St. Scholastica in 2000. She began her occupational therapy career at the Mayo Clinic serving clients of all ages with brain related injuries including Traumatic Brain Injury, Stroke, and other neurological conditions. While at Mayo she enjoyed working in a variety of settings including acute care, on the rehab unit, and in the outpatient rehabilitation settings. Most recently Tricia is working at Centrex Rehab with children in the school setting. She has provided homecare and outpatient rehabilitation. She also has years of experience with homecare and rehab case management. Tricia enjoys helping seniors remain safe and independent at home.
Outside of work Tricia enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. She is often busy running them to and from events and practices. She enjoys spending time at the camper with her family, as well as reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with friends.
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.
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.
Heather vanKoverden, OTR/L
Heather says she landed her “dream job” when she transitioned to geriatrics, and loves being able to help seniors stay in both physical and mental motion. Her favorite part of serving seniors is figuring out what makes them tick, then creatively finding ways to enhance and multiply those things that ignite joy, meaning, independence and contentment. Heather brings a glass-half-full perspective to maintenance therapy, acknowledging that while some things may very well be in decline, there is so much that can be done to uncover and promote the good that might seem lost. There’s nothing she loves more than to be a part of facilitating that! She describes herself as a problem-solver, always up for a challenge to make things a little (or a lot) better.
In addition to being a therapist, she is also a wife, mother, daughter, and a friend to many. Heather has found the deepest meaning in her life in connection with others. Heather can be a firecracker that brings spunk and positive energy to the party, and also loves to rejuvenate on quiet hikes in the forest. She delights in vacations that revolve around the beauty of the world and is enamored by national parks. Together with her family, Heather has embraced adventure, snagging the opportunity to swim with dolphins, raft rapids, drive a dogsled, float a houseboat, wade through a slot canyon hike, and traverse BWCA portages with canoe overhead.