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Recreational Therapy


Donna Gregory, PhD, MBA, CTRS
Dr. Donna Gregory is the Chief of Recreational Therapy at the NIH Clinical Center. Dr. Gregory holds a PhD in recreational therapy from Clemson University, a Master of Business Administration from Penn State University, and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland. Dr. Gregory’s clinical practice and primary areas of interest include interventions that promote the health and well-being of at risk populations, family centered care, inter-professional collaboration, data driven quality improvement, and strategic planning. She provides leadership to a clinical team advancing the field of Recreational Therapy through collaborative clinical care and research for patients enrolled in a variety of behavioral health and medical research studies.

Debbie Marcus, CTRS
Deborah Marcus is a recreational therapist at the NIH Clinical Center. Deborah Graduated Suma Cum Laude from the University of Maryland in 1981 with a B.S. in "Recreation with an emphasis in Therapeutics." Deborah has over 41 years of experience in the field, and although she has worked with a variety of disabilities across the ages, Deborah's specialty area is pediatric behavioral health. Her interests are in behavioral and social development. She has presented on local and national levels and is published in the Therapeutic Recreation Journal, Volume XLI, First Quarter 2007, Number 1.

Felicia Zeigler, CTRS
Felicia Zeigler is a recreational therapist at the NIH Clinical Center. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation Therapy with a minor in Drugs and Alcohol Studies from East Carolina University in North Carolina. Throughout her 15-year career she has worked in inpatient physical rehabilitation, inpatient mental health, and outpatient mental health with Veterans. Her professional interests include facilitating leisure education groups, stress management groups, and community integration.

Holly C. Parker, CTRS
Holly Parker is as recreational therapist at the NIH Clinical Center with over 30 years of experience working with pediatric patients and their families. She graduated with a degree in recreation therapy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Holly coordinates the animal-assisted therapy program for the Clinical Center and has a special interest in incorporating interactions with animals into therapeutic interventions with patients.

Karen Perkins, MEd, CTRS
Karen Perkins is a Supervisor/ recreational therapist at the NIH Clinical Center. She is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. She received her Master of Education degree in recreation and leisure studies from the University of Georgia with an option in Therapeutic Recreation and a minor concentration in environmental education. She enjoys supervising recreation therapy interns, planning interventions for unusual symptom presentations and collaborating with multidisciplinary Colleagues.

Kathryn Elokdah, CTRS, MEd, ATP
Kathryn Elokdah is a recreational therapist at the NIH Clinical Center. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Therapeutic Recreation and her master of education degree in Recreation Administration from Temple University. She is accredited by the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America as an Assistive Technology Provider. Her clinical area of expertise focuses on individuals with physical disability, with 20+ years as clinical manager for inpatient, outpatient and community physical medicine and rehabilitation programs. She has taught at Temple University, administered a camp for physically disabled adults, lead disabled sports clubs and expos (cycling, bowling, fishing, swimming, aerobic exercise), lead an Amputee Support Group, managed the Southeastern PA public transit functional testing site, edited the NJ/E PA TRA newsletter, and has presented locally and nationally on recreational therapy topics.

Kristin Johnsen, CTRS
Kristin Johnsen is a recreational therapist at the NIH Clinical Center working with both in-patient and out-patient pediatrics. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in recreation, with an emphasis in therapeutic recreation from the University of Florida in 1983. Her professional interests include medical play, preparation and animal assisted therapy.

Laura M. Herbert, CTRS
Laura Herbert is a recreational therapist at the NIH Clinical Center. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in recreation therapy with a minor in health at Ithaca College and a Master of Science degree in Health Promotion Management from Marymount University. In addition to her CTRS credentials, Laura is also a Certified Health Education Specialist, which she obtained after completion of her Master's degree. Laura has over 15 years of experience working with pediatric and young adult patients and their families. Her professional interests include teen programming, animal assisted therapy and relaxation.

Linda Scimeca, MA, CTRS
Linda Scimeca is a recreational therapist at the NIH Clinical Center. She has been a recreational therapist at NIH since 1982. Linda graduated from Virginia Tech and University of Maryland with undergraduate and graduate degrees in Recreation Therapy. Linda has had the opportunity to gain 34 years of experience in recreational therapy treatment. Her patient areas of focus have included adult and pediatric oncology, allergy and infectious disease as well as mental health. She has advanced training in the modalities of relaxation and reiki, physical exercise, adventure challenge activities and arts and crafts. She has presented on local and national levels.

Lydia Weber, LMT
Lydia Weber is a Licensed Massage Therapist at the NIH Clinical Center who graduated from The Potomac Massage Institute in Washington, DC in 2006. In addition to practicing in the school's massage clinic and maintaining a private practice, she served as an instructor of PMTI's Heart of Touch workshop for several years teaching basic massage theory and technique, and the Touch of Massage workshop at Suburban Hospital for introductory couple's massage. Lydia was also an instructor in PMTI's student clinic, where she observed and supervised student therapists in real practice with a diverse population. Since February, 2008, she has been the massage therapist at Rifkin Chiropractic in Rockville, Maryland. Lydia has been a massage therapist at the National Institutes of Health since October, 2011. Prior to practicing massage therapy, Lydia was a graphic designer for 25 years, working at various art studios, The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and finally at home as a freelance designer while raising a family.

Renee Stubbs, PhD, CTRS
Renee Stubbs is a recreational therapist at the NIH Clinical Center. Renee has over 38 years of clinical experience in the field and has presented locally, nationally and internationally on various topics related to therapeutic recreation. Renee earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Tyler School of Art, her Masters of Education degree from Temple University and her PhD from University of Maryland. Her current interest involves practice standards in pain management and complimentary therapies.

Robin M. Greenfield, MA, CTRS
Robin M. Greenfield is a Supervisor/recreational therapist at the NIH Clinical Center. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in recreation with an emphasis in therapy and a Masters of Arts degree in rehabilitation counseling from the University of Maryland. She has 30 years of experience in the field of recreational therapy with the following diagnostic populations; mental health, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and neurologic disorders. Robin's current responsibilities include providing clinical services to the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the National Institute of Mental Health Affective Disorder inpatient units. Her interests include adapting and utilizing a variety of treatment interventions along with program development.

Sarah Thuermer, MA, ATR-BC
Sarah Thuermer is a Registered and Board Certified Art Therapist (ATR-BC), and is the Art Therapist at the NIH Clinical Center. She received her bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio and her master's degree in Art Therapy and Counseling from Ursuline College near Cleveland, Ohio. She has extensive experience working with inpatient and outpatient adults, children, and families within behavioral health, medical, and community based settings. Utilizing patient-centered and mindfulness-based approaches she addresses her patients' psychosocial, emotional, cognitive, and physical well-being needs. Sarah is trained and well-versed in various Art Therapy assessments, techniques, and interventions. Additionally, she is skilled in appropriately and effectively processing artwork with patients based on their treatment needs. She is proficient in different art mediums, including drawing, ceramics, painting, collage, multi-dimensional art, and photography. These skills assist her during art therapy sessions with her patients.

Taylor Watson, MS, CTRS
Taylor Watson is a recreational therapist at the NIH Clinical Center. He received his bachelor's degree in Family Science from University of Maryland, College Park and master's degree in Recreational Therapy from Indiana University, Bloomington. Taylor has professional experience working with populations across the lifespan within physical rehabilitation, complex medical, and acute behavioral health environments. He has clinical expertise with individuals who have an array of neuromuscular injuries and conditions, as well as individuals with various mental health diagnosis. Taylor provides individual treatment for adult medical patients from various institutes throughout the Clinical Center. His professional interests include the utilization of physical activity to help patients cope with hospitalization and to improve their overall functioning. In addition, the implementation of experiential therapies through community reintegration. He is passionate about client-centered care, family-centered care, and the facilitation of holistic outcome-based interventions.

Whitney Byrd Wilson, MS, CTRS
Whitney Wilson is a recreational therapist at the NIH Clinical Center. She earned her bachelor's degree in Recreational Therapy from Western Carolina University in North Carolina and her master's degree in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management with a concentration in Recreational Therapy from Clemson University. Prior to joining the NIH in 2016, Whitney gained over 10 years of professional experience working with adults and children in acute and long-term behavioral health settings, including individuals with co-occurring disorders, substance use disorders, severe and persistent mental illness, and forensic psychiatric patients. She currently serves as the primary therapist for inpatients of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, provides individual treatment for adult patients with complex medical conditions from various institutes throughout the Clinical Center, coordinates the student internship program, and coordinates continuing education opportunities for the Recreation Therapy Section. Whitney is passionate about patient-centered, recovery-focused treatment. Her professional interests include program development, interdisciplinary collaboration, student mentorship, continuing education and professional development, and the use of experiential therapies for symptom management and emotional regulation.

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This page last updated on 07/20/2022

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