Click on a profession below to learn details of our caregiving team.

Registered Nurses

Registered Nurses complete patient assessments, provide patient and caregiver education regarding their illness and disease prevention, and assist with medication management. Skilled care includes intravenous therapy and wound care.

Nora Barry, RN
I worked for MacNeal Hospital for 3 years, and have been with Vanguard Home Care for the past year. I have a Bachelor's degree in Business Communications from North Central College and an Associate's degree in Nursing from College of DuPage. In May of 2012 I will receive a Master's degree in Nursing from Elmhurst College.

Ana Cardona, RN
I have been working for Vanguard Home Care since 1998. I received my Associate's degree in Nursing from Morton College and currently working on my Bachelor's degree in Nursing at Lewis University. I am board certified in medical-surgical nursing.

Tina Edwards, RN
I received my Bachelor's degree in Nursing from St. Xavier University in 1991. I received my Medical-Surgical nursing training from the University of Chicago Hospitals. I've worked at Vanguard Home Care since 2002.

Jessica Erikson, RN
I have been a nurse since 2004. I have been with Vanguard homecare since September 2011. Prior to homecare I have always worked in a hospital setting. I have also functioned as a charge nurse and a preceptor. Before becoming an RN, I worked as a certified nursing assistant for 5 years on an orthopedic/trauma unit. I am certified in advanced cardiac life support. I really enjoy taking care of patients in the comfort of their own home and I also enjoy getting to know their families

Maggie Filec, RN
I am a 16 year veteran of Vanguard Home Care. I received my Bachelor's degree in Nursing from Northern Illinois University in 1993. My previous nursing experience has included pediatrics and medical-surgical at MacNeal Hospital. Currently, I am an OASIS coordinator. I also function as the after hours triage nurse 7 days a week when the office is closed. When needed, I also enjoy making home visits. It is a pleasure to work with such a dedicated group of caring professionals.

Erica Hernandez, RN
I have been a Registered Nurse since 2007. I have a Bachelor's Degree in nursing from Loyola University. I have been working in homecare since October 2011 and am very glad I chose this field of nursing. I enjoy working in homecare since it gives me so many opportunities to share my knowledge and skills with patients and their families to help them become more independent. Prior to homecare, I worked at MacNeal Hospital for a little over four years on a cardiac/tracheostomy unit.

Maureen Lee, RN
I have been a nurse for 25 years, been in home care since 1990 and with Vanguard Home Care since 1997. My first position in Home Care was working in intake on the weekends and eventually I transitioned to working during the week when my children went to school. Chart audits and coding followed the intake position and now I am an oasis coordinator/coder. I enjoy what I do and I think we have great people here at Home Care.

Stacy Matthias, RN
I am a 16 year veteran of Vanguard Home Care and have been an admitting nurse for 10 years. I received my Bachelor's Degree from Rush University. I worked at Rush, and as a traveling nurse prior to Vanguard Home Care.

Leonore Mlynar, RN
I have been a nurse for 15 years. I received my Associate's Degree in Nursing from Triton College. I have extensive experience in geriatrics, cardiac, orthopedics and general medicine. I received a nursing excellence award through MacNeal Hospital in 2010.

Brandi Mounts, RN
I have been a registered nurse for seven years. I graduated from Benedictine University with a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing. I have nursing experience in general medicine, kidney and liver transplants, neurology and neurosurgery, Emergency and Home Care.

Lydia Odell, RN
I graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing in 2004. I worked at MacNeal Hospital as a medical-surgical/orthopedic nurse and as a wound-ostomy nurse before joining Vanguard Home Care in 2006.

Darlene Ris, RN
I have been a Registered Nurse for 3 years, with a background in adult and pediatric medical-surgical nursing. I am new to Home Care and am looking forward to the experiences it will provide. I am currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree through University of Wyoming's online program. I am the proud recipient of a Daisy Award through MacNeal Hospital in 2010.

Tracy Schultz, RN, BSN, WCC, CMSRN
I have been a nurse for 11 years. I attended University of Illinois at Chicago and earned by Bachelor's degree in Nursing. I worked at MacNeal Hospital upon graduation and have currently been with Vanguard Home Care now for about 6 years. I am Wound Care Certified and help with wound consults and am also Certified Medical-Surgical RN as well. I really enjoy my job and taking care of patients in their homes.

Teri Tinoco, RN
I have been a nurse for 22 years. My hospital experience was on the Neurology unit. I am oncology certified, having done hospice for 8 years. I also have experience in discharge planning, as Marketing Liaison.

Lisa Velazquez, RN
I graduated from Parkland College, Champaign, IL with an Associates degree in 2003. I worked in telemetry for a year. I was a hospice nurse for 6 years as field nurse, preceptor, and held a managerial position. I have been a Home Care nurse at Vanguard Home Care for a year.

Physical Therapists

Physical Therapists (PT) help to restore loss of mobility and function. PTs will assess equipment needs, establish home exercise programs, assess home safety and provide patient and caregiver education.

Ninetta Fiala, PT
I have been a physical therapist since 1986. I received my Bachelor's degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Illinois – Chicago Medical Center. I began my career at Westlake Hospital in Melrose Park, Illinois in 1986 and worked there until 1988. I have been in homecare since 1988. I have also worked in outpatient clinics as well. I have been with Vanguard Home Care since March 2011.

John Gearhart, PT
I have been with Vanguard Home Care since 1988. My physical therapy sessions are designed to be fun, functional and to have carryover after I discharge the patient. My car is my office, and my trunk holds my gym. Home physical therapy is the best avenue to provide individualized, custom care - It's what I do best. I received my Bachelor's degree in Physical Therapy from University of Illinois at Chicago in 1995, and became a Health Fitness Instructor through American College Sports Medicine in 1998.

Eric Haas, PT
I have worked for Vanguard Home Care since 2008 as well as various outpatient physical therapy and athletic training settings treating a wide variety of patient populations. I obtained my Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Midwestern University and my Bachelor's degree in Athletic Training at Illinois State University. I have incorporated the skills and knowledge from the variety of settings and educational backgrounds to bring forth new and innovative approaches to treat my patients.

Dariusz Oblekowski, PT
I graduated in 1981 with Master of Science in Physical Therapy from Academy of Physical Education, Warsaw, Poland. I became a Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist by Ola Grimsby Institute Consortium in 2002. I worked as a Physical Therapist in multiple facilities including: acute hospitals, acute rehabilitation units, outpatient clinics, sub-acute care and home health care. I have worked extensively with neurological involved patients including those with strokes, closed head injuries, spinal cord injuries as well as amputees and orthopedic patients. I fluently speak, read and write English, Polish and Russian, I communicate in Spanish and Italian. I have worked with Vanguard Home Care since 2002.

Carmela Patti, PT
I received my Bachelor's degree in Physical Therapy from De La Salle University, Philippines in 1987. I have 21 years experience practicing in the United States. I have experience in acute care, sub-acute, rehab and outpatient care. I have been practicing homecare for the last 16 yrs, and have been with Vanguard Home Care for 4 years. I am fluent in Filipino language and conversational in Spanish.

Zbigniew Pioro, PT
I graduated from Physical Therapy Assistant School in 1978. I earned my Masters in Physical Rehabilitation in 1982. I have been in Home Care in the United States for 15 years. I have been with Vanguard Home Care since March 2005. I specialize in myofascial release. I am fluent in Polish and Russian.

Andrew Polisiakiewicz, PT
I worked as a Physical Therapy Assistant since 1977; and I received my Master's degree in Physical Therapy from AWF Warsaw, College of Physical Therapy, Poland. I have 30 years Physical Therapy experience; the last 20 have been in the United States. I have been with Vanguard Home Care since May 2008. I fluently speak Polish, and conversational Russian.

Ehab Silman, PT
I received my Bachelor's degree in 1989 and Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in 2008. I have nineteen years experience in homecare with much experience in orthopedics. I speak Arabic fluently and Spanish conversationally.

Dorota Swoboda, PT
I finished my education in 1978 from the Academy of Physical Education in Warsaw, Poland with a focus on children with scoliosis problems and feet abnormalities. My experience in the U.S. is rehab, outpatient and home care. I enjoy sports medicine and seeing my patients becoming mobile again.

Physical Therapist Assistant

Physical Therapy Assistants work with you on the plan of care established by a Physical Therapist.


Occupational Therapist

Occupational Therapists provide patient/caregiver education on therapy, assistance with self care and other activities of daily living. They will work with you to on prevention of injury and fatigue, construct splints and adaptive equipment, guidance for return to work and community life.

Linda Kuby Straka, MS, CRC, OTR/L
I have been an Occupational Therapist for the past 23 yrs and recently completed a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. I began my career as an OT in an inpatient rehabilitation setting for 2 yrs, progressed to an outpatient traumatic brain injury clinic for 4 yrs, and have spent the past 17 yrs in the home health setting. As an OT, I feel home health is the ideal setting to address the physical and psychological components of disability with individuals in their own environment.

Speech Language Pathologist

Speech Language Pathologists provide diagnostic and therapeutic intervention for speech, language, voice, swallowing and fluency disorders. Functions as an integral member of the rehabilitation team attending conferences and in-servicing team members as to the effects of communication and swallowing disorders. Provides diagnostic and therapeutic services to home health patients and to other designated locations.


Medical Social Worker

Medical Social Workers provide patients, caregivers support and counseling as necessary. They will complete social, environmental, economic and emotional assessments, and will assist with linking you or your loved one to community resources.