Our Inpatient Team
Michelle D. Bjerke, MPT, NCS
Michelle grew up in South Dakota, and has lived in many places throughout the country including Alaska, Vermont and Minnesota before relocating to Bend. Michelle received her master of physical therapy degree from College of St. Catherine in Minneapolis, Minn. in 1997. Since that time, she has been providing physical therapy services primarily in inpatient rehabilitation settings including at the Mayo Clinic. Michelle has earned her Neurologic Clinical Specialist (NCS) certification and she has a passion for helping individuals with neurological deficits and/or spinal cord injuries regain independence. Outside of work, Michelle loves to cross country ski (and occasionally race), ride her road or mountain bike, trail run, kayak and travel with her husband.
Mike Edgerton, PT, NCS, ATP
Mike graduated from the University of Washington with a BS in Physical Therapy in 1992. He obtained his clinical specialty in Neurological Physical Therapy from the APTA in 2000 and again in
Orion Shannon, DPT
2010. He also received his competency certification in Vestibular Rehabilitation through the APTA in 2009. He also obtained his Assistive Technology Professional certification from RESNA in 2004. He has worked full time in Neurological Physical Therapy since 1995 first at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, WA and for the past 17 years at St.Charles Medical Center in Bend, OR. He currently works in the outpatient neurological physical therapy clinic where he routinely sees patients with vestibular disorders, gait/balance disorders, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury, Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, orthopedic conditions, amputations, etc. and is the lead Physical Therapist for the entire medical center. He also helps to run a weekly wheelchair/seating clinic. He has given continuing education courses for Allied Health Education and NORCO Medical.
After graduating from Eastern Washington University in 2015 with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy, Orion started his career in St. Charles Health System’s Inpatient Rehabilitation unit. With more than 10 years of experience working in health care, Orion is dedicated to patient-focused therapy to ensure individuals meet their mobility goals and maximize their functional outcomes. A northwest native, Orion and his wife enjoy spending time outdoors and the abundance of recreation Central Oregon has to offer.
Tomas Smith, MPT
Tommy is a physical therapist who started his career in 2011 and joined the St. Charles team in 2017. Tommy has worked in various settings, including with orthopedic, neurological, post-surgical, post-trauma and intensive care unit patients. This experience has given him a wide spectrum of clinical skills and knowledge of rehabilitation. Tommy has also practiced at a cardio-pulmonary institute, rehabilitating patients after open heart surgery. In his spare time, he enjoys getting outdoors.
Trudi Cruzen, OT
Trudi is an occupational therapist who loves helping people improve and get back to their homes, enjoying life and living it to their fullest potential. Trudi is unwavering in her mission to help people adapt and overcome all of life’s daily activity challenges and she has been helping people with adaptive driving since 2000 when she became a Certified Rehabilitation Driving Specialist (CDRS). In her spare time, Trudi enjoys gardening, camping, hiking and spending time with her two adopted college-age daughters. Trudi also takes a little time to tend to her 14 chickens!
Holly Mckim, OT
Holly is an occupational therapist who started her career in 1992. Holly has a strong background in home health care delivery and this has given her a foundation on how people manage their daily life activities in their home environment. Holly has a specialty interest in patients who have neurologic impairment from illness or injury and she enjoys partnering with patients and families as they improve. It is not uncommon to see Holly working with her patients in our on-site rehabilitation kitchen creating all kinds of tasty delights. Holly was born and raised in Bend and she is a Mountain View High School graduate. In her spare time Holly enjoys hiking, kayaking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing with her dog Daisy.
Renu Rathee, OT
Renu has been an occupational therapist since 1984 and she has been working for St. Charles in the Inpatient Rehabilitation unit since its opening in 1989. Renu’s expertise is in neurorehabilitation and she continues to find great satisfaction and reward in her work. Outside of work, Renu enjoys the company of her dog, family and friends. Renu also practices yoga, loves to read, ski, hike and travel and she also enjoys painting and sculpting with clay.
Erin Valentine, OT
Erin is an occupational therapist who started her career in 1999. Erin has a passion for helping people regain their independence in daily life. She has an important role in helping patients gain confidence in managing their home and community activities as they recover from devastating illness and injury. As a certified Neuro-Integrative Functional Rehabilitation and Habilitation (NEURO-IFRAH®) specialist, she enjoys working with people who have complex rehab needs. Erin grew up in Bend and when she is not at work she enjoys hiking and spending time with her family.
Vicki Riddell, TT
Vicki is a therapy tech who started with St. Charles in 2008. She grew up in Wisconsin and has worked in the medical field for most of her career. Vicki enjoys working with our great rehab caregiver team and helping patients get stronger and return to their homes. In her spare time, Vicki loves camping, hiking, gardening, spending time with her husband and with her 11 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Avery Ketchum, TT
Avery is a therapy tech who started with St. Charles Rehabilitation at the end of 2017 when he moved to Bend after living in Salem and Corvallis. Avery works with our patients in oncology outpatient rehab, in acute rehab and in inpatient rehab. He enjoys interacting and helping patients with their treatments and finds it rewarding to see how patients progress while they are in inpatient rehab. In his spare time, Avery enjoys hiking and running, and being with friends and family.
Emily Lepore, MS, CCC-SLP
Originally from San Diego, Emily graduated with a degree in speech language pathology from University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2003. During her early career, Emily worked at a brain injury rehab center before the mountains pulled her west and she began working at St. Charles in 2012. Emily works primarily on the Inpatient Rehabilitation unit, helping people who are recovering from strokes, brain injuries or other medical challenges and she finds the team aspect of inpatient rehab is especially rewarding. Emily specializes in the assessment and treatment of swallowing disorders and she is skilled in Fiberoptic Evaluation (FEES) and Modified Barium (MBSS) evaluation of swallowing. She has a special interest in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and participates in a specialty diagnostic clinic designed for people who suffer from ALS. Outside of work, she and her husband are raising two children on a small goat, lamb and vegetable farm in Bend.
Essie Jennings, MS, CCC-SLP
Essie is a speech language pathologist with clinical experience in acute care, inpatient rehabilitation, adolescent/adult mental health, skilled nursing and outpatient service settings. Essie is certified in the Modified Barium Swallow Impairment Profile (MBSimP) and she is trained in the Lessac Madsen Resonant and Caspar-Stone Confidential Flow Voice Therapy. Essie has trained directly under Susan Langmore for Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES). She has a passion for research in traumatic brain injuries and post-concussion management in relation to executive functioning, memory and social communication abilities. On her off time, Essie enjoys painting, yoga, rock climbing, reading, traveling and spending time with her cat named Mana.
Elisa Jadzak, MS, SLP, Rehab Manager
Elisa is the St. Charles Bend Rehabilitation manager who started has worked for the health system since 2002 when she was initially hired as a speech language pathologist. While at St. Charles, Elisa has worked in various service settings including contracts, home health, acute, inpatient rehab and outpatient pediatrics and adults. Elisa has a passion for leadership and improvement and is always eager to find a way to improve the care we offer. Elisa has been a part of the St. Charles Rehab leadership team since 2010 and she finds reward in partnering with the Inpatient Rehab nursing leadership and team. Elisa has a passion for providing wrap-around full access rehab care that meets the patient where they are and promotes improved function and recovery, ultimately helping patients (and the people who care about them) find their new normal and resume the activities they love.