Meet Our Mini Mitten Family!
Mini Mitten Pediatric Therapy is the home of several highly educated, extremely qualified, and exceedingly passionate team members. Our therapists specialize in pediatric services and, additionally, hold several advanced training certificates. We are dedicated to bringing the highest quality of evidenced-based therapeutic services to our local area.
Casey Bross, OTD, OTRL, CLT, CLC
Casey obtained her Doctorate in Occupational Therapy in 2013. Throughout her career she has sought after several certifications and specialties, stating, “there is always so much more I want to learn.” She loves watching children, of all ages and abilities, learn and thrive. In addition to enjoying assisting children with their independence with self-cares and fine motor skills, Casey specializes in infant development, feeding (including becoming a Certified Lactation Counselor), and sensory processing skills.
She is often told how passionate she is about the care her patients receive as well as the profession of OT. Upon meeting her, we are sure you will feel the exact same way.
Casey is blessed with two strong-willed daughters of her own and a loving, supportive husband. Casey and her family enjoy the outdoors, camping frequently throughout the year, traveling, craft projects (how very OT of her), and generally spending quality time playing with her girls.
FUN FACT: Growing up, Casey wanted to be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Luckily, she made the final decision of becoming an OT instead.
Rachel Williams, OTD, OTRL
Rachel graduated with her Doctorate in Occupational Therapy, with a strong focus in pediatric care. Rachel has been working as an OT for 8 years in a variety of settings, supporting individuals of all ages. Rachel has always been enthusiastic about working with children, mainly because she cares with her whole entire heart.
She knew that she was made to become an OT when she realized that she could bring all her passions (the medical field, children, and animals) all together into one career. Who knows, maybe one day Rachel will provide animal-assisted therapy services at Mini Mitten.
Rachel has been married since 2009 and has two beautiful children: a son and a daughter. Rachel competed as a swimmer in college and now loves watching her kids swim on their swim teams. Rachel’s favorite activities are watching her children play sports and spending time with her loved ones.
FUN FACT: If you’re true friends, Rachel will always ask for a bite of your food for tasting purposes.
Sarah Masinda, MOT, OTRL
Sarah received her Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy from Eastern Michigan University. Sarah has been working with children since she was a teenager, in many roles, including as a swim instructor and an after school teacher, to name a few. As an occupational therapist, Sarah has continued to specialize in helping children learn and succeed.
To put it very simply, Sarah became an OT because she wanted to help others in a creative way. Sarah’s life has personally been influenced by individuals who have benefited from this profession; she knows firsthand what a difference a great OT can make! Sarah is most enthusiastic about working with children with autism, sensory integration, childhood trauma, infant development, feeding, and fine motor coordination.
Sarah has three fur babies: two dogs (Nona and Stella) and one cat (Smokey). Sarah loves living in Michigan where she can be active in the great outdoors! She enjoys hiking, kayaking, water sports, tennis, and skiing. When the weather does not cooperate, she spends her time crafting or spending quality time with friends and family.
FUN FACT: Growing up, Sarah’s family had a domesticated, odorless pet skunk named Sweetie. It’s safe to say that she definitely won "show and tell" at school the year she brought her in!
Megan Horton, MOT, OTRL
Megan achieved her master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Milligan University in Tennessee.
Since then, she has obtained high quality pediatric experience in both outpatient therapy centers and
school-based settings, including public grade school, preschool, and head start.
Megan became an OT because she loves that this profession is a combination of science, creativity, and
fun. Megan identifies how valuable it is being part of a collaborative team. She believes that the therapy
process is one big team effort between the therapists, the child, and their families. Megan loves
cheering on the kids she works with and helping them live a life to their fullest potential! She is most
interested in working with children with autism, sensory integration, infant development, feeding, fine
motor coordination, and improved self-care skills.
Despite growing up only ten minutes apart from each other, Megan met her husband in undergraduate
school at Michigan State University in 2016. In her free time, you can find her spending time with her
family and friends, handing with her fur baby Mikki, or doing anything outside such as biking,
rollerblading, or hiking. Megan is also a very talented photographer.
FUN FACT: Well, we know why Megan is so social – she is a TWIN! Megan blames the Ying to her Yang,
the tater to her tot, the peanut butter to her jelly, aka her sister for never being interested in alone time.
Charisse Toeppe, M.A. CCC-SLP
Charisse earned her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Speech-Language Pathology in 2019. Charisse has a wide variety of therapy experience, working in home healthcare with infants, children, and adults, as well as the Monroe County Intermediate School District, working in various parochial, private, and public schools. Additionally, Charisse has a strong focus on feeding therapy.
Since she was teenager, Charisse has desired a career that would involve teaching and instructing children. Charisse was hooked on becoming a Speech-Language Pathologist when she discovered she could help children, that she so passionately enjoys playing with, learn to communicate. Charisse says, “effective communication can open doors for people and I wanted to be the therapist that shows them the way!”
Charisse and her husband Luke have been married since 2013. Luke and Charisse enjoy walking their goldendoodle, traveling, boating, CrossFit, skiing together. Charisse also enjoys figure skating.
FUN FACT: Our Charisse was named after Cyd Charisse, a famous dancer and actress in the 1940's. However, our Charisse, in fact, is not a dancer or actress. She may disagree, but trust us on this one...
Aaron Witt, MS, CF-SLP
Aaron graduated with his Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology in 2022 from Bowling Green State University (BGSU). During his time there, he completed a thesis entitled The Use of Enhanced Milieu Teaching and Animal-Assisted Therapy to Increase Utterance Length and Frequency in an Autistic Child. While at BGSU, Aaron had experience treating social communication disorders, cognitive-communication disorders, dysphagia, articulation disorders, and language disorders.
Aaron chose the field of Speech-Language Pathology because he enjoys working creatively with kids and felt he could make a difference in this field since communication is so valuable to our everyday lives.
Our overachieving Aaron co-founded and serves as a president of a 501(c)(3) non-profit called Dogs for Differences (https://www.dogsfordifference.com). Aaron’s company takes dogs into schools, nursing homes, and other sites to interact with the individuals there to improve their engagement and overall quality of life. He also has a dog named Lacey that volunteers with Dogs for Difference as well. In his free time, Aaron loves to hike (with Lacey), bike, watch sports, and watch TV.
Fun fact: Aaron has been to 20 major league baseball stadiums, although he has not been asked to play yet…
Lauren Werner, M.A. CCC-SLP
Lauren received her Master of Arts degree in Speech-Language Pathology in 2011, gaining innovative pediatric experience at several locations across the state of Michigan. Lauren’s greatest passion is working with families to provide high quality speech and language services to allow for children to become successful and confident communicators.
Lauren entered the field of Speech-Language Pathology to help children live their best lives through successfully communicating their wants, needs, thoughts, and feelings. Her experiences include treatment of apraxia of speech, expressive and receptive language disorders, articulation disorders, social communication disorders, fluency disorders, and voice disorders. Additionally, Lauren is certified in administration of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-2 (ADOS-2).
In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with her husband and son boating on Lake Erie and at her family cabin in Northern Michigan.
FUN FACT: When Lauren was 7 years old, she taught herself to play the harmonica. Her parents reported thoroughly enjoying that experience…
Derrick Cannon, PT, DPT
Derrick completed his Doctorate of Physical Therapy at the University of Cincinnati in 2013. Derrick has a wide variety of pediatric and leadership experience, including presenting at several conferences and time as the Director of Rehabilitation at a facility in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Derrick has always been interested in working with children of all ages, stating, "I just like helping kids". He knew becoming a physical therapist was a good fit for him since physical activity is so important in his personal life. Derrick specializes in providing services to infants, children with sensory processing needs, and working with orthotics. We are very grateful that he recently moved back to the Midwest.
The Cannon's have been married since 2018. Derrick and his wife, Annie, like spending time outdoors and several athletic activities. They have two cats, Leah & Uma, and a dog named Rosie. Derrick enjoys playing sports, especially hockey and baseball.
FUN FACT: Although Derrick has played goalie on several hockey teams, surprisingly and luckily, he still possesses all of his teeth! He must just be that good of a goalkeeper...
Katelyn Applegate, PT, DPT, CCRT
Katelyn earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Youngstown State
University in 2014. Since then, she has been working with the pediatric population in multiple settings. She also has her Certified Canine Rehab Therapist certification which allows her to provide rehab services for dogs, cats and other animals. So, for the past year she has been treating kids and dogs… not at the same facility though!
Katelyn is very interested in infant development and has taken multiple courses to continue her growth in this area. She knew at a young age she wanted to work in healthcare but was not sure if she wanted to work with humans or animals. Now she does both with her Physical Therapy Degree! Katelyn and her husband Daniel have been married since 2014. They have 3 dogs (Eevee, Briggs & Milo) and a cat (Dean). She enjoys spending time with her fur kids, watching TV, reading, organizing, and shopping for home décor. She also
volunteers for a local dog rescue, Toledo’s PETbull Project, with her therapy dog Briggs.
FUN FACT: Although Katelyn is a fully grown adult, responsibilities, bills, and
all, she still has two of her baby teeth. Guess they just never wanted to leave her,
much like her Mini Mitten team!
Kristi House, RDN, LD
Kristi obtained a Bachelor of Science in 2009 and completed a specialty rotation at Children’s Hospital of Michigan with emphasis in pediatric diabetes and patients in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
After graduation Kristi went in a different direction where she had multiple roles in geriatrics for 12 years, but she is excited to get back to her first love and passion, PEDIATRIC CARE! Kristi is deeply passionate about medical nutrition therapy, especially with children with Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Diabetes, and pediatric obesity. Kristi says, “it is really rewarding to see how making small changes with food can affect both behavior and medical outcomes.”
Kristi was married in 2013 and is the proud momma of one handsome son, Greyson. Cooking and eating are two of Kristi’s favorite things, so going into dietetics was the perfect career match. Kristi and her family are avid travelers. Greyson has already been to 13 countries! They also enjoy boating, cooking and eating dishes from all around the world.
FUN FACT: Kristi can sing every lyric of every song from the entire year 2000, but don’t ask her what she was doing last week or what she ate for lunch yesterday.
Ashleigh holds an Associate Degree of Science from Monroe Community College and has many years of management experience. Ashleigh is a highly organized multitasker. Many call her a “take charge kind of lady”. This facility would absolutely fall apart without Ashleigh.
When the dream of Mini Mitten was first born, she quickly jumped in with both feet. Ashleigh cares so much about those around her and has a special connection with the kiddos in her life. She knew she wanted to have a career that made an impact on others, and Mini Mitten is the perfect fit. Ashleigh is frequently giving back to her community and is involved in approximately 782 organizations.
Ashleigh is happily married to her high school sweetheart and has two active, athletic teen boys to keep her on her toes. She is the head varsity cheer coach at Monroe High School and owns and operates Origins Essential Oils.
FUN FACT: Ashleigh has been to every large chain store and pharmacy in town wearing a multitude of superhero masks and occasionally a flying cape.