Who We Are

 Kristen Bastin, MS, OTR/L - Occupational Therapist. Kristen is a graduate from the University of Indianapolis's occupational therapy program. She works for COTI in their community based programs which includes providing services in the schools and COTI's summer camp, Camp OdakOTa. She is a lifelong resident of Cincinnati. 
 Maja Kinnear, MS, CCC-SLP - Speech and Language Pathologist. Maja received her masters degree in speech-language pathology at Northwestern University in Chicago in 2007. After working in a rehabilitation hospital in Columbia, Missouri, Maja moved to Cincinnati with her husband in 2009. She has been working for the Hearing Speech and Deaf Center since 2010. Although most of her time at HSDC has been spent working with clients in the clinic, Maja has also spent time working off-site performing speech and language screenings in the City of Cincinnati, providing speech-language services to children in a local after-school program, and collaborating with the Young Child Institute to provide speech-language screenings and parent education to their clients. 
Rebecca Lammers, MSW, LSW - Mental Health Therapist - Rebecca is a lifelong resident of Cincinnati.  She received her bachelor’s degree in Social Work at the University of Cincinnati in 2009.  In 2010, Rebecca received her master’s degree in Social Work at the University of Cincinnati, specializing in the treatment of children and families.  Rebecca is weeks away from obtaining her independent social work license (LISW).  Rebecca’s experience includes parent child therapy, mental health consultation, and treatment of emotional and mental disorders of young children.  Rebecca is  very excited to be a part of the team at Connections for Life!
Abagaile Long, - Mental Health Therapist - Abagaile's bio is coming soon!
Breanna Lynch, MOT, OTR/L - Occupational Therapist - Breanna earned her masters degree in occupational therapy from Xavier University. She has relocated from New York to join the team at Connections for Life. She also works at COTI in their Blue Ash and Anderson clinics.
Kate Merrilees, LISW-S - Co-Founder - is the former Director of The Young Child Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio. She  has worked as an early childhood educator and then as  therapist with  young children and their families for 40 years in Chicago, Detroit and Jackson , Mississippi. She earned her  Bachelor of Science  Degree in Human Development  from Wayne State University  in Detroit, Michigan and  a Masters Degree in Social Work from The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She was among the founding members of the Ohio Association of Infant Mental Health and served as the Association’s President .  She is a member of The Consortium for Resilient Young Children and the Southwest Ohio Chapter of the Association of Infant Mental Health. She is the co-author (with Karen Mumford) of Parent Cards: What Your Child Wants You to Know About Growing Up.
Courtney Ruble, MS, OTR/L - Occupational Therapist - Courtney is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University with a BS in occupational science and a MS in occupational therapy. While at EKU, she minored in dance. Courtney joined the staff of COTI in 2008 full time and works both in school based and clinic settings. She has worked as a group leader at Camp OdakOTa - COTI's camp for children with sensory processing concerns, as well as in the schools and clinics. Courtney is SIPT certified and is trained in Therapeutic Listening.

Deb Whitcomb, PhD, MBA, OTR/L - Co-Founder - Deb has a BS in occupational therapy from Quinnipiac University, a post-professional MS in occupational therapy as well as an MBA from Boston University and a PhD in occupational therapy from Nova Southeastern University. Over the course of her 30 year career she has worked in a wide variety of settings both as a clinician and an administrator. She has been at Cincinnati Occupational Therapy Institute since moving to Cincinnati in 2001 where she is owner and President. She serves as the President of Cincinnati Occupational Therapy Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation and the Co-Chair and Treasurer of the Cincinnati district of the Ohio Occupational Therapy Association.  Deb has published on the topics of sensory processing and attachment.


News and Announcements

Kate Merrilees and Deb Whitcomb will be presenting about Connections for Life at the American Occupational Therapy Association annual conference in San Diego on April 26, 2013.


a United Way agency

2349 Victory Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45206

Phone: (513) 510-5727

Email: info@connectionsforlife.org

Fax: (513) 510-5728

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