Meet your Hand Therapists in Issaquah
Stephanie Yakobina, MA, OTR/L, CHT
Lead Hand Therapist
Stephanie received her Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy in 1994 at McGill University in Montreal, Canada and completed a Hand Therapy Fellowship at Texas Woman’s University in Houston, Texas in 1998. She has been a Certified Hand Therapist since 2001 and received her Master’s degree in Advanced Hand Therapy at Texas Woman’s University in 2009. In 2007, she was the recipient of the Presidential Award, the President Gold Award, and the Outstanding Committee Member Award for her contributions to the American Society of Hand Therapists. Stephanie has had the incredible opportunity of being mentored by some of the best hand surgeons in the country. She has been a hand therapist for over 20 years and still loves what she does. She is fascinated by the complexity of the hand and the challenges it presents during the healing process. She loves the science of hand therapy, the problem solving that it requires on a daily basis, and the opportunity to empower her clients through education. Stephanie believes that it is her professional responsibility to provide clinically relevant care. Her treatment philosophy is based on her years of experience and evidence-based practice. Stephanie works diligently to make each and every session worthwhile. She expects her clients to learn something new and make gains each therapy session. Stephanie believes that it is crucial to maintain close relationships with physicians in order to provide individualized care. Her ultimate goal as a hand therapist is to be an advocate for her clients and to provide a relaxed and encouraging environment that supports successful outcomes. Outside of work, Stephanie loves to work out, bike, hike, travel, organize, and spend time with her family. She began working with Proliance in 2012.
Sheila Yakobina, MA, OTR/L, CHT
Born and raised in Montreal, Canada, Sheila always knew she wanted a career that was both scientific and creative. She received her Bachelor of Science in OT (1994) at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and completed a Hand Therapy Fellowship (1998) and Master’s degree in Advanced Hand Therapy (2009) at Texas Women’s University in Houston, Texas. She has been a Certified Hand Therapist since 2001. In 2007, she was the recipient of the Presidential Award and the President Gold Award for contributions to the American Society of Hand Therapists. Sheila joined Proliance Sports Therapy & Rehabilitation with her sister in 2012. She believes that when clients understand their anatomy and the inner workings of the body (yes, she is a self-proclaimed nerd), they heal better, faster, stronger. When asked what she would do if she won a million dollars, she answered that she would keep working and helping clients lead more meaningful lives…and eat more cheese. She believes that though having an injury is no fun, hand therapy can be. In her spare-time, she loves exploring the outdoors with her family, spending happy alone hours working on her middle grade novel, experimenting in the kitchen, and staying active (gym, yoga, and biking).
Denise Clark, OTR/L, CHT
Denise graduated from the University of Puget Sound with a degree in Occupational Therapy in 1991. She obtained advanced training and education in the area of Upper Extremity Rehabilitation by completing a Hand Therapy Fellowship at Seattle Hand Rehabilitation Clinic in 1993. She became a Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) in 1997. She grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii and goes back often to visit her parents and siblings. Denise has a particular interest in treating traumatic injuries and post-surgical cases to include fractures, dislocations, arthritis, wounds, and tendon and nerve lacerations. Denise has primarily worked in outpatient hand therapy clinics in Seattle and on the Eastside. She has worked as a hand therapist for Proliance Surgeons since 2008. In her free time, Denise’s favorite thing to do is spend time with her husband and two sons. She also enjoys running, hiking, biking, snowshoeing, going to the YMCA, and reading.
Jolene A.M. Schneider, MOTR/L, CHT
Jolene was born and raised in the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, during which time she endured a childhood illness which inspired her to become an occupational therapist. She experienced difficulties with performing many aspects of daily activities and wanted to be able to assist others in overcoming such obstacles. She studied at Duquesne University to complete her Master of Occupational Therapy degree in 1999 and achieved her Certification in Hand Therapy in 2014. Jolene is also a Certified Ergonomist and is certified in ASTYM. Guiding people through the rehabilitation of their hands has always been very rewarding to Jolene because she believes that having healthy hands is integral to living life fully. She understands the importance of educating patients regarding their conditions and the choices available to them. She prides herself in being a patient advocate: listening to her clients, attempting to go above and beyond for them, and treat them as if they were family. She has found that incorporating laughter into therapy has been invaluable for healing, both physically and mentally. Outside of the clinic, Jolene enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter and their basset hounds. Her free time is spent biking, hiking, camping, doing yoga, crosswords, and cooking.
Allyson Kessary, OTR/L, CHT
Allyson graduated from the University of Puget Sound in 1992 with a Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy. She was fortunate enough to spend her first few years in practice in a wide range of clinical settings. She shifted her interest to the treatment of the upper extremity and hands in 2000 and uses her eclectic knowledge base to look at the arm with a unique perspective. She became a Certified Hand Therapist in 2014 and began working for Proliance Surgeons in 2019. Allyson has extensive training in ergonomics, custom orthotic fabrication, post-surgical hand care and myofascial techniques including Bowen Therapy. While Allyson is a native of Washington State, she has lived and worked in multiple states and locations across this great nation. She hopes to impart her love of adventure and travel to her two children. When not at work, Allyson spends her time as a taxi driver for these two very busy young ladies. She also occasionally reads an interesting book, goes for a run and meets a friend for coffee.
Julie Ellenberger, MS, OTR/L
Julie received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology in 1998 at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA. She received her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy in 2001 at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA. Julie discovered her love of hands during her level II fieldwork in Bozeman, Montana. Her first job was in a hand therapy clinic in Oxnard, California, and she has been working as an Occupational Therapist with a specialty in Hand and Upper extremity injuries since 2001. She joined the Proliance team in 2012. She gets great satisfaction in helping clients accomplish their goals and return to their passions, be it cooking, gardening, tennis, or golf. Julie enjoys expanding her knowledge about hands and working with people. Her interests include reading, hiking, camping, and spending time with her family.
Shawna Berry, COTA/L
Shawna graduated from the University of Texas with an AA in Occupational Therapy (1987) and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Nevada Reno (1994). Shawna joined Proliance Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation in 2016. She is ASTYM-certified in soft tissue therapy and has worked for more than sixteen years exclusively in hand therapy. She has a particular interest in the treatment of post-surgical hand care and fractures, as well as non-operative conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis. In addition, she has worked in a variety of clinical settings, including outpatient, hand therapy, general acute and subacute rehabilitation; this has enabled her to develop a comprehensive view of healing and recovery. Shawna returned to hand therapy after time away to care for her twins, including her special needs child. She enjoys cycling, hiking, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends.
What Our Patients are Saying
We are so grateful for Emily’s wisdom and tenacity during our daughter’s injury. In every possible way, Emily exceeded our expectations. She advocated with the surgeon for us, she was creative in her approach to therapy, and she overturned many obstacles that came our way during recovery. But even more importantly, Emily was kind, fun, and compassionate with our daughter, making this painful journey back to health a positive experience. We have always felt like we were in excellent hands, literally! I cannot recommend Emily and her team enough.
After requiring surgery for a torn ACL due to a sports injury, Kiley Steinriede from Proliance Sports Therapy guided my journey to recovery from re-learning to walk to returning to play the sports I love. Kiley’s mix of real-world experience, attention to detail, empathy, motivation, care, humor and emotional support is what made it all possible. I couldn’t have done it without her.
I would not have had a successful rehabilitation experience were it not for Kiley. She was tirelessly diligent, attentive and knowledgeable about what was best for my post-op ACL rehab at each stage of the recovery process. But more importantly, her humor and care for me as an individual, not just a patient, was the greatest encouragement as I went through physical therapy. Because of her, I looked forward to coming in to sessions and her optimism and charisma no doubt expedited my rehabilitation.
Laura Browne has provided excellent and effective physical therapy to both myself and my husband in the past. Now, I am thankful to have her professional knowledge and caring treatment as I struggle with the dual problems of surgery recovery and recurrence of significant lymphedema near the surgical site. Laura fluidly adapts to the limitations that the lymphedema imposes on a "normal" path to surgery recovery, always finding effective exercises to substitute for ones that are not practical for the situation. Throughout, her communication is informative, honest, and encouraging. Laura Browne is a credit to the high standards Proliance seeks in their employees.
Kudos to Proliance Sports Therapy & Rehab for the superb treatment I’ve received over the past several months. A spring ski mishap resulted in my fractured arm near my shoulder and that led to surgery requiring a steel plate with several pins; in the same fall, I tore my rotator cuff in my ‘other’ arm. With both arms basically ‘out of commission’ I was scared and worried about how I’d ever use my arms normally again. Laura has amazed me with all of her knowledge and capability as she has led me through a PT Program that now has me functioning as normally as I was before... I am so thankful that I chose Proliance Sports Therapy for my rehab; should I ever need rehab again, I would choose Proliance in a heartbeat!
14 months ago I had total shoulder replacement on my right shoulder at Issaquah Proliance Orthopedics & Sports Medicine. Surgery went great! Started Physical Therapy 1 week later. My Therapist (Cathy Van Lith) discussed my goals with me and set a plan. Everybody is so friendly and nice and make you feel welcome - you feel like family. I still have a long way to go but I know I couldn’t be in better hands. I have friends that have recommended that have gone and they can’t thank me enough for the recommendation.
Only place I’ll go: In the past, we’ve had a hard time finding good medical care. My wife found Proliance via recommendation from her OB who had his hip replaced at Proliance. We have since had 2 surgeries each that have required intense physical therapy at Proliance in Issaquah. The net result is that I won’t go anywhere else in the future. My expectations have been exceeded by both the care I’ve received and the support to get through the PT. Sounds silly I suppose, but I feel like I’m treated like a person, not just a body part that needs fixing. I’ve worked with Emily specifically and her PTs are truly a standout, they are awesome, pushing you while supporting, plus have been completely connected with my surgeon and with each other. If you need care, this is a good choice.
Patrick understood how difficult it was for me to be sidelined and how frustrated I felt. He pushed me to work harder and celebrated with me when I would hit a goal. Patrick was realistic about timelines, knew when to push me and when to hold me back so I didn't injure myself again. He also did a great job of making our sessions fun and different. I would highly recommend Proliance Sports Therapy & Rehabilitation. This group of people truly cares about your recovery, goals, physical and emotional well being and long term health. I now feel confident to trail run, bike, ski and have even learned how to rock climb!
Kyle Mark was amazing! He patiently rehabbed my knee back and specifically researched exercises that would support my love of tennis, after I tore my meniscus. I left after the expected period of time and was able to resume tennis. Unfortunately, I caused an additional issue within the knee while hiking shortly after recovery and, even though I had moved out-of-state, he suggested exercises to get me back on track. I am 100% back to normal and so thankful that he took the time and shared his knowledge with me. Proliance is lucky to have such a smart, caring and dedicated physical therapist in their office.
After finger surgery four years ago on my left hand and two years ago on my right hand. Stephanie helped me through many therapy appointments. She also instructed me on home exercises. She is very professional and will go the extra mile to get the results we both wanted. I would highly recommend her.