and Founder: Mary Kay
Mary Kay Ballasiotes started the group in April 2002 in hopes of meeting other families in similar situations and to share resources. The group has evolved from that point into a valuable resource for families, medical professionals and researchers. Mary Kay served on the Illinois State Advisory Council for the Education of Children with Disabilities from March 2004 to December 2006. She is also a member of the steering committee for Stroke Survivors Empowering Each Other (SSEEO), an Illinois based stroke advocacy group. As an active volunteer with the American Heart Association, Mary Kay has attended Lobby Day for the past four years and formed AHA Heart Walk teams of pediatric stroke survivors for three walks. Ballasiotes holds a B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington.
President: Nicole (Nikki)
Nikki O’Dell has been an active member of CSHC of IL since 2002. She and her family live in central Illinois, but still participate in person as much as they can. Nikki is a former paramedic and firefighter. She has a Master’s Degree in Epidemiology from University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Community Health Education. Nikki’s background and experience in public health research and grant writing is a valuable asset to our organization.
Secretary: Amy Antes, MOT, OTR/L
Amy Antes is a practicing occupational therapist in the Chicago area. She studied occupational therapy at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri where she obtained her masters degree. She has since focused her practice and expertise in the field of pediatrics. Her treatment methods encompass the functional abilities and success of children as well as the specialized area of sensory processing.Mrs. Antes has also completed the publication of Occupational Therapy Quick Reference Guide: For the Treatment of Spinal Cord Injured Patients © in 2005 and Autistic Disorder Intervention Manual © 2009 printed by Hawthorne Educational Services, Inc. For more information about the clinic and occupational therapy, access the company’s website at www.helpinghandstherapy.net
Christine J Winchester
Winchester family resides in the west suburbs of Chicago, and has been
involved in CSHC of IL since 2005.
Christine’s daughter had a “brain anomaly” noticed prior to
birth via ultrasound, but did not have a formal diagnosis until 14
months later. Her daughter
participated in the State of Illinois Early Intervention program until
age 3, and she has received services from Easter Seals DuPage and the
Fox River Valley since. Christine
and her daughter traveled to Springfield and worked with the American
Academy of Pediatrics (IL chapter) to lobby for a habilitative services
law for children in Illinois. Prior to her current role as a mother of 3
children, Christine was a Customer Team Manager with Merck and Co, Inc
(10 years), and a research scientist at the Cancer Center for the
University of Illinois Chicago (2 years). Additionally,
Christine has a Master’s Degree in Molecular Biology from the
University of Illinois (Urbana), and a Master’s Degree in Secondary
Education from National- Louis University (Wheaton).
of Development: Sarah Exley
The Exleys reside in southeast Wisconsin and have been involved with CHCS of IL since 2007. Since their daughter's diagnosis, Sarah has worked hard to increase pediatric stroke awareness. She has written articles for local publications, been featured on local news radio and television, and has spoken at American Heart Association events, as well as led teams at the AHA's annual Start! Heart Walk. In addition, as a volunteer for the American Heart Association, Sarah met with legislators at Lobby Day in 2008 and 2009. She holds a B.A. in Journalism from Ball State University.
Advisor: Gina Detmer,
M.D. (not a board member)
Gina Detmer is a board-certified general pediatrician who works
part-time at Lawndale Christian Health Center in Chicago. She and her
husband have worked at the clinic since 1999. She graduated from Yale
University and the University of Chicago Pritzker School of
Medicine with honors. She completed pediatric residency training at
Children's Hospital of Cincinnati.
The Detmers have benefited from CSHC of IL since its earliest days and
continue to be encouraged by the professionals and families who are
involved. Together with their three children, they are grateful for the
opportunity to help others whose lives have been affected by stroke or
Copyright © 2006
Childhood Stroke and Hemiplegia Connections of Illinois.
All Rights Reserved.