Ingrid Mercado, SLP, RBT
A first generation immigrant of Mexican descent, Ingrid is a resident of Pearson, Ga with a zest for life. She recently attained her associate’s degree in education for speech pathology from South Georgia State College in pursuit of her master’s in communication sciences and disorders. She is currently working towards her state certification as a Registered Behavioral Therapist. Ingrid is fluent in both English and Spanish and enjoys teaching the staff at The Therapy Tree of her heritage and native language. She is currently seeing patients in our Douglas, Ga. clinic with a focus on early articulation delays. Ingrid lends herself to our play to learn approach to therapy. Ingrid loves crocheting gifts for friends and family; as well as spending time with her large family. She spends her Sundays teaching Sunday school at The Sanctuary where she continues to teach children.
Joanna Milhollin, SLPA, RBT
Considered a veteran in the field of speech and language therapy at The Therapy Tree, Joanna has spent 6 years honing her skill set by providing a warm, nurturing, compassionate therapy style that children are drawn to. A life-long resident of Ambrose, Ga. Joanna enjoys spending time outdoors with her 15 yr. old son, Jathan. Her home is considered a gathering place for friends and family, and everyone is family there. Joanna received a Bachelor of Science degree in early childhood education from VSU in 2005 and since that time has attained her speech-language pathology aide license (SLPA) and a certificate of completion for registered behavior therapy (RBT) in the state of Georgia. Joanna is passionate about raising awareness for the American Diabetes Association, as it is a personal plight that she deals with daily. On a perfect day you can find her horseback riding in Ambrose country with her family.
Anna Thrift, M. Ed., CF/SLP
Hand-picked to head up the Alma and Baxley, Ga. locations, Anna is a 2018 graduate of Valdosta State University with a master’s degree. She is currently pursuing her Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) as a member of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). Anna is licensed in the state of Georgia. A recent addition to The Therapy Tree, Anna has truly forged her therapeutic philosophy by teaching children based on their learning style and interests. Further, Anna builds relationships with the families who are involved with the process of speech therapy to educate them on the expectations for their child, as well as their role in the therapy process. Married in 2017, Anna spends her time outside of the office with her husband in Alma, Ga working on their home. Her favorite therapy is retail therapy and she has proven to be excellent in this field.
Ivey Fortner, M.Ed., CF/SLP
She can be found under the stadium lights at an FSU game when she’s not teaching children how to communicate. Ivey is a Florida State undergrad and a lover of all things football. A 2018 graduate from Valdosta State University; Ivey spends her days in our Douglas, Ga. clinic working with children of all ages and stages. She has a passion for working with special needs children, more specifically children on the autism spectrum and children with Down’s Syndrome diagnosis. Her hands-on approach to therapy wins the hearts of her patients and parents alike. She is a strong advocate for AAC devices as a means to alternative communication for non-verbal children and incorporates these devices into her daily therapy sessions. Ivey is currently in her clinical fellowship and licensed in the state of Georgia as a speech-language pathologist. When she’s not in the football stands, planning her upcoming nuptials for her October 2019 wedding, or in therapy; Ivey loves spending time with her two dogs Doak and Josie.
Anna Adams, M.Ed., CF-SLP
Newly wed, Anna is a recent graduate of Valdosta State University. She has spent the last year planning her rustic, simplistic farm wedding. A resident of Alma, Ga. Anna enjoys helping kids in her hometown become better communicators so that they can share their wants and needs with others. She works in our Alma and Hazlehurst locations and has a special knack for working with children on the Autism spectrum. She especially loves helping ASD patients reach their individual milestones and sharing these victories with their parents. Anna is currently in her clinical fellowship at The Therapy Tree and working towards her Certificate of Clinical Competence through the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. She is licensed in the state of Georgia. Anna loves being outdoors and living a simple, clean lifestyle. She can be found fishing, hunting, or enjoying a bonfire with her family and friends.
Tiffany Waters, M.Ed. CCC-SLP
A resident of Baxley, Ga. Tiffany is a 2013 Valdosta State University graduate with a master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Since her graduation, Tiffany has acquired her Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC), as well as her certification in Vital Stim therapy and is licensed in the state of Georgia. Tiffany leads our therapy services in our Hazlehurst office and services the Jeff Davis community. She enjoys sponsoring and assisting with missions through her church in an effort to spread God’s word to underprivileged areas. Outside of therapy , she can be found at the nearest CrossFit gym working on strengthening her mind and body. Tiffany is passionate about advocating for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
Kari Partin, M.Ed. CF-SLP
A 2018 graduate of Valdosta State University with a Master’s in Education in the area of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Kari is undergoing her clinical fellowship. She enjoys working with children and geriatric patients with swallowing deficits to improve their quality of life. She incorporates augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices whenever possible when working with children as she believes that this approach to therapy is highly beneficial. Kari partners with Operation Christmas Child in partnership with Samaritan’s Purse, a faith based organization founded in 1970 that provides spiritual and physical aide to hurting people around the world. Kari also enjoys spending time with her two puppies and sharing time with family and friends baking at home.
Lisa Williams. M.Ed., CCC-SLP
Considered the soft-spoken therapist, Lisa can be found in private schools and head start programs in Coffee County. She brings her skill and technique directly to the children in their natural habitat. When she’s not traveling in the area providing therapy; she can be found taking family trips with her 10 year old daughter and 12 year old son and her husband of 17 years. She also enjoys decorating her home for the holidays, cooking with her family, and reading. Lisa is a 2004 graduate of Valdosta State University with a Master’s in Education in Communication Science and Disorders. She is licensed in the state of Georgia and a certified member of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. She is passionate about reaching children exactly where they are in life and empowering them to reach their communication goals.
Lindsay Hutcheson, M. Ed., CCC-SLP, Director of Rehabilitation Services
She can be found in the Douglas clinic, surrounded by speech-language pathology student externs. Lindsay oversees the therapists, providing mentorship, guidance, therapy techniques and development for the growing staff at The Therapy Tree. She graduated from Valdosta State University in 2010 and joined The Therapy Tree family shortly after receiving her certification as a member of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). Lindsay is licensed in the state of Georgia. Outside of the clinic, she enjoys traveling to the beach with her husband of 7 years along with her two children. She also enjoys planning play dates and activities for her children and her lifelong friends. They share many holidays and adventures together, creating memories that will last a lifetime. Lindsay is a lifelong resident of Coffee County. She spends time in community-based activities that provide mentorship for children in her area.
Jodi Williams, M.Ed., CCC-SLP, CEO
Considered our angel in disguise, Jodi has led our team of therapists for 8 years before transitioning into her role as Chief Executive Officer at The Therapy Tree. Married since 2016, she is a new mother to a beautiful baby boy and embodies the characteristics that our team aspires to achieve on a personal and professional basis. Jodi’s clinical experience in the areas of aphasia, dysphagia and apraxia lends itself to the many different patients that receive services in our clinics. Her knowledge of pediatric speech, language, voice and swallowing deficits allows her to assist in the development of goals for patients. More specifically, her knowledge in the area of autism and sensory processing disorders allows for a greater understanding of underlying communication developmental delays. Jodi is a graduate of Valdosta State University and holds a Master’s degree in the field of Communication Sciences and Disorder and is licensed in the state of Georgia as a certified member of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). When she’s not working diligently, she can be found baking cookies at home with her husband and son or mothering her therapy dog, Maggie Williams. Jodi is dedicated to the early detection and treatment of dyslexia as well as patients of traumatic brain injury.
Teresa McElroy, M.Ed., CCC-SLP, Founder, Owner
As the founder of The Speech and Swallowing Clinic, LLC DBA The Therapy Tree, Teresa has worked as a speech-language pathologist for over 20 years. She earned a Master’s Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Valdosta State University in 1998, where she conducted research in language and literacy, graduating Summa Cum Laude. Her experience includes a vast variety of disorders stemming from working in home health care, hospitals, and rehabilitation centers with children and adults. She is a certified member of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and licensed in the state of Georgia. Teresa lives in Nicholls, Ga. with her husband of 37 years; she enjoys spending time with family, friends and many, many animals that occupy her homestead. Teresa is the proud grandmother of six grandchildren and lives to make them happy. She is a lover of food and travel and laughter. Teresa is passionate about raising awareness in the areas of Parkinson’s disease. She also advocates for substance abuse awareness in Coffee County.