Sabrina Ayala, M.Ed., CF/SLP
Sabrina Ayala obtained a Master’s degree from Valdosta State University in 2018. She is a devoted military spouse with a passion for encouraging families to foster a language-rich environment and face-to-face communication; so you won’t find her on social media. Instead, she enjoys sewing, cooking, and going on adventures with her husband and wrinkly bulldog. Sabrina is currently in her clinical fellowship and licensed in the state of Georgia; she aspires to help her patients live their fullest life by learning the skills necessary to communicate in the most functional way.
Hayley Hughston, M.Ed., CF/SLP
Born and raised in Vidalia, Ga, Hayley is a 2018 graduate of Valdosta State University with a Master’s in Communication Sciences and Disorders. While proudly serving in her hometown, she is completing her clinical fellowship to obtain the Certificate of Clinical Competence through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Hayley is a strong advocate for family involvement and how it affects a child’s language development both inside and outside of the therapy sessions. She has an interest and passion for finding a voice for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder, whether it is verbal or augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Hayley’s hobbies include painting, drawing, and attempting to play the violin. When she is not providing therapy, she is traveling with her husband, Kyle, of two years, spending time with family, or snuggling her two fur babies.
Ingrid Mercado, SLPA, 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
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). 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.
Ivey Fortner, M.Ed., CCC-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.
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. CCC-SLP
A 2018 graduate of Valdosta State University with a Master’s in Education in the area of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Kari recently obtained her Certificate of Clinical Competence through the American Speech-Langauge Hearing Association. 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
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.