Our Therapists

Karen Harradine, OT/L

Lead Occupational Therapist

I grew up in Upstate New York and received my BS in Biology from Plattsburgh State University.  I learned about Occupational Therapy through volunteer work and  I realized this was the field where I could combine science with creativity and the ability to contribute to the lives of others.  I went back to college and received my BS in Occupational Therapy from Keuka College in 1997.

I moved to Wilmington that year and feel grateful to live in such a beautiful and opportune area. I have worked with OT Solutions since 2007 and am proud to be a part of such a talented, caring team of Therapists.  I have two teenage boys and we enjoy doing all kinds of outdoor activities that take advantage of this beautiful coastal region.

My favorite quote: “Enjoy the little things in life for one day you will look back and realize they were the big things”- Kurt Vonnegut

SUSAN COFFEY CYPHER M.S., CCC-SLP

LEAD SPEECH THERAPIST

I am originally from Barrington, RI. I graduated from University of Rhode Island in 1996 with a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology.  I have always worked in Pediatrics and have a special interest in working with children on the Autism Spectrum.

I am specially trained in DIR/Floortime, The Hanen Program, TEACCH model, and Picture Exchange Communication as well as sign language. I have lived in Wilmington with my husband Chris for 13 years and enjoy traveling and spending time with our 4 children and 2 grand babies. I love outdoor adventures such as hiking, camping and kayaking!

LAUREL ALMONTE, OTR/L

I am a North Carolina native and have lived in Wilmington for several years. I discovered the OT profession and my passion for it while studying at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Following graduation, I pursued a degree in occupational therapy and graduated in 2013.

I have been a practicing Therapist with OT Solutions . since March of 2014-serving home, clinic, and school settings. Special Practice Areas Include:Autism Spectrum Disorders, Developmental Delay, Sensory Processing Disorders, Epilepsy and Functional Vision Deficits.

I have specialized pediatric training in: Interactive Metronome, Sensory Integration, Hand Writing Without Tears and SOS Approach to Feeding. My hobbies include: traveling, learning new things, outdoor adventures, spending time with family and her beloved dog Cooper. Something interesting about me: I have traveled to 14 different countries and counting.

CRISTAL ALFARO-GUEVARA, SLP-A

I have lived in North Carolina all my life and grew up in Lumberton, NC. I attended Robeson Community College where I received my Associate’s Degree. After graduation, I moved to Whiteville, NC. I also attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and received my Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a minor in Sociology.

While receiving my undergraduate degree I volunteered in a program called Buddy Break. This program helped parents of special needs children get a break for a few hours. The kids would then have a selected buddy that would do activities with them such as playing games and music, reading books, creating art, etc. I enjoyed being a part of a community that made a difference for families and individuals! I am very happy of being part of the OT Solutions team to continue learning skills and strategies alongside very experienced individuals. I am currently in the process of completing my clinical hours at OT Solutions to become a SLP-A. I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to making a difference for families and their children!

MARIA CILLO, CCC-SLP

I am a bilingual (Spanish/English) and bilingually trained Speech-Language Pathologist, originally from Dunmore, PA. My Bachelor of Science degree is from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, where I majored in Audiology/Speech-Language Pathology and completed extensive coursework in Spanish Language. I studied abroad in Spain during my undergraduate career, and discovered my love for traveling and learning about/working with individuals from a variety of cultures during my time there. I earned my Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology at Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth, TX.  At TCU, I was trained in the non-biased assessment and treatment for culturally and linguistically diverse populations, while participating in the Emphasis in Bilingual Speech-Language Pathology Master’s program track.

My clinical experiences have been working with monolingual and bilingual pediatric through geriatric populations in the school, private clinic, skilled nursing, and medical settings.  The past few years of my career have been dedicated to working in Delaware with bilingual children with Developmental Delays and Autism.  I have specific training in Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets (PROMPT), Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), the Early Start Denver Model for Young Children with Autism (ESDM), and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition (ADOS-2).

MAURA CRAWFORD, COTA

I am originally from Charlotte, NC and received my bachelor’s degree in Child Development from Appalachian State University in 2014. After college, I worked as a preschool teacher and then went on to pursue my OTA degree at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte. I worked night shift as a CNA at an assisted living facility during OTA school and then graduated in December 2018.

I worked as a school-based COTA in Morehead City, NC for the past 2 years. During my time in the schools, I gained interest in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Sensory Processing Disorder. I recently moved to Wilmington to join OT solutions. I am very excited to be a part of the OT solutions team to further my career in the pediatric clinic setting. I am also looking forward to continue living on the beautiful coast of NC!

COURTNEY DICKINSON, OTR/L

Hi! I am Courtney and I have been at OT Solutions since 2010 when my family and I moved from the Chapel Hill area. We moved to be closer to the beach and we have not regretted it at all! I have 2 energetic and loving little boys and I love spending my free time with my family.

We enjoy being outside, going for walks, shopping and being at the beach! I have been a pediatric OT since 2002 and have worked in clinic/outpatient, home health and school-based settings. I have a special interest in working with children on the autism spectrum as one of my own children has autism. I have had a lot of extra training in sensory integration over the years and I am SIPT certified.

One of many great quotes by Dr. Seuss: “Don’t give up. I believe in you all. A person’s a person no matter how small.” I believe in children, parents and Therapists and that together we can all make a difference!

MEREDITH GALLAGHER, COTA/L

I grew up in both Connecticut and New Jersey, and graduated from JMU in 2017 with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology. Since then, I moved to Wilmington and received my Associates in Applied Science from CFCC’s OTA Program in 2020. My previous history working with children includes the several years I spent shadowing at a pediatric clinic during my undergrad, which greatly fostered my growth and education as a future practitioner. I have always had a special interest in childhood development, sensory integration, mental health advocacy, and working with children on the autism spectrum. I am very happy to be part of the OT Solutions team and contribute to their vision of creating unique, meaningful change in the lives of each child and their families.

In my free time I enjoy being outdoors, spending time with my family, reading a good book, traveling, expanding my OT knowledge, and being creative through art and poetry!

One of my favorite quotes: “We are stories still going” ~Jamie Tworkowski, Founder of TWLOHA

ALISON HILTON COTA

I was born and raised in Henderson, NC. I moved to Wilmington in 2013 and later graduated from Cape Fear Community College with my Associate’s degree in Applied Science of Occupational Therapy. My love of working with children, helping others, and my creativity fueled my passion for pediatric occupational therapy. Since graduating I have provided OT services within the school system as well as the early intervention population. I am well versed in working with children of all ages and find such joy in the adaptation, modification, and teaching involved in helping children meet their goals and reach their full potential.

In my free time, I enjoy being outdoors, diving into a good book, spending time with my dogs, friends, and family, trying new local foods, expanding my OT knowledge, and being creative through all avenues of art.

I am very excited to be a part of OT Solutions so that I can continue to empower and support children and their families by providing the highest level of therapeutic services.

LILA JACOBS, M.S., CCC-SLP

I received my Bachelors from the College of William and Mary and a Masters in Speech/Language Pathology from the University of Virginia. After many years working with children in the Los Angeles, Chicago, and Philadelphia areas, I am happy to have settled in Wilmington, N.C.

I have experience with specific programs such as SOS Feeding, Sensory/Motor Approach for Feeding, and Oral Placement Therapy. I have a special interest in working with children with oral motor/sensory issues, apraxia, and feeding impairments.

I am always up for a day on the beach with my husband Brad, walks with my sweet dog Barney, and frequent phone calls and visits with my two grown daughters.

JENIFER HOLMES, OT/L

I am originally from Southern California and moved to the Wilmington area in the beginning of 2008. I joined OT Solutions in July 2008 and have serviced clients in the clinic and pre-school setting. I graduated from Loma Linda University in 1999 with a B.S. in Occupational Therapy and have worked in pediatrics since graduating.

My special interests include: Autism and Sensory Processing Disorders, CDH (Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia) related issues, early intervention. I have special pediatric training in: : Sensory Processing, Interactive Metronome Certification, Handwriting Without Tears, Oral Motor Therapy, extensive autism training, and motor learning

“they are precious in his sight”

DELANEY KNIGHT, MHS, OTR/L

Hello, everyone! I am so excited to be a part of the OT Solutions team as of April 2021.

 I am originally from Augusta, Georgia. It is there where I fell in love with the field of OT as a young girl in high school. I went on to attend our local college, Augusta University, where I received my Masters of Health Science in Occupational Therapy in May 2020.

 My husband, Thomas, and I made the move to Wilmington in December 2019 with our two rescue pups, Gage and Grace. Now that we are settled in, we look forward to expanding our family with a baby boy due September 2021! I enjoy spending quality time with my family and on my days off, I am likely taking the pups for a walk on the beach or enjoying a nice day on the boat. Otherwise, I love trying new restaurants and am always on the search for the best iced coffee in town!

NATALIAH MARSHALL, OTRL

Hello everyone!  I graduated from Wayne State College in 2018 with a B.S. in Psychology. I then earned my Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy degree from Allen College in May of 2021.

I am originally from southeast Iowa and relocated to North Carolina with my husband, Jake. I have always been drawn to the pediatric setting after seeing the impact OT’s can have on a child’s development during their first years of life. In my free time, I enjoy going to the beach, visiting family and friends, and working out!

KRISTEN MERRITT, COTA/L

I have lived in Rose Hill, NC since birth and currently reside in the small town with my husband and two beautiful girls. I am a 2009 graduate of CFCC’s OTA program. I have been working with OT Solutions since 2010, where I provide OT related services in Duplin County Schools, which is also the county that I reside in. I love being able to give back to the children in my own community through providing OT services with our company.

I enjoy spending as much time with my family whether home, local beach, pool time, but we especially love all things Disney! I spend a great amount of time being involved with my church and giving back to the community through various opportunities.

“Be Strong and Courageous”

BRIANE RACE, COTA/L

Bri is originally from Pennsylvania. She moved to San Diego, California after  graduating from Penn State University. It was there, while working at a school  for children with autism, she discovered the profession of OT.  

After moving to Wilmington, she then attended the OTA program at Cape Fear  Community College graduating in May 2011. She joined OT Solutions in  October 2011. She has spent over ten years providing therapy in home, clinic,  and specializing in school-based therapy.  

Special practice interests include: Autism Spectrum Disorders, Sensory processing disorders,  and Developmental Delays  

She has specialized pediatric training in: Sensory Processing, and Handwriting Without Tears  

Her hobbies include: Traveling with her husband, hiking, biking, dancing, reading, writing,  listening to music, going to the beach, playing with her 3 fur babies, 2 children, and spending  time with friends and family.

SAMANTHA TODD, COTA

I have moved around quite a bit, but have resided in North Carolina for most of my life and consider both Greensboro and Wilmington to be my home. In 2012, I graduated from UNC-Greensboro with a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish with a K-12 education concentration. In 2015, I returned to Wilmington and later graduated from CFCC with an Associate’s degree in Applied science of Occupational Therapy. My passion has always been working with children and I am grateful for this opportunity to combine my skills to make meaningful, lifelong changes and to help children reach their full potential.

Some of my hobbies include: reading for fun, learning new things, exercising, spending time with family and friends, taking care of my pets, background acting, studying languages/cultures, listening to music, and going out and exploring.

I am looking forward to expanding my OT knowledge and supporting families within our community.

CRYSTAL POWELL

General Manager

I am originally from Wilmington, NC. and now live in Leland, NC with my husband William, and son Garrett. I graduated from UNC – Wilmington in 2002 with a B.S. in Social Work. As a social worker, I gained valuable work experience with our local pediatric community through the school systems, then through my direct work with at-risk youth in residential group homes.

I joined OT Solutions in 2003 and now lead the team as the General Manager, overseeing day to day operations, client and staff needs, and serving as a community liaison. My goal is to respond to the needs of our community by providing our patients and their families with innovative, effective occupational and speech therapy services that result in superior customer satisfaction!

KRISTY CONNORS

 Billing Manager

I am originally from Queens, NY and moved to Kure Beach, NC in March of 2020.  I have 2 children Patrick 18 and Madison 13.  I have worked in the Medical Field for 18 years as a CNA, Medical Assistant and Biller.  I started with OT Solutions in January of 2021 and I am extremely excited to be part of such and amazing team!!

STEPHEN HAY

President

I was born in Australia and gained my Doctor Dental Surgery at Sydney University. I then practiced in London , Sydney and Jersey in the Channel Islands before retiring. I also have an interest in a finance company based in the Isle of Man UK.

My wife and I visited Wilmington in 2015 and immediately loved it . We returned 2016 to take over OT Solutions and are amazed at the wonderful work our Therapists do with your children.

ROBERT HAY

Vice-President

I was born in Australia then moved to Jersey in the Channel Islands off the coast of France. I attended school in the U.K. then college in Les Roches Switzerland where I studied hotel management.  After graduation I worked for Hilton Hotel group, north Scotland. For the last 6 years I have been living and working in Australia. I am really looking forward to this new, exciting and inspiring chapter of my life.

My favorite pastimes are tennis and snow skiing.

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