MGH Neuropsychology team addresses conditions that impact thinking and daily life

The primary mission of Marquette General Neuropsychology is providing services to people with conditions that impact thinking and daily life. Many different conditions can impact thinking, such as brain injury, spinal cord injury, dementia, genetic conditions, strokes, seizures, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and psychological concerns like depression and anxiety.

Dr. Julianne Kirkham, PhD

Dr. Julianne Kirkham, PhD

Dr. Jessica Caldwell, PhD

Dr. Jessica Caldwell, PhD

Dr. Julianne Kirkham and Dr. Jessica Caldwell form the MGH Neuropsychology team. They offer comprehensive outpatient and inpatient neuropsychological and psychological assessment and treatment services for ages 6-90.

Results from an MGH Neuropsychology assessment can help people to understand the causes of problems or changes in thinking. Based on their assessment results, Dr. Kirkham and Dr. Caldwell also help people learn to function better at work, at school, or in daily life.

Dr. Kirkham and Dr. Caldwell are part of the MGH Memory Clinic and MGH Rehabilitation Team, and work closely with physicians, nurses, therapists (such as occupational, physical, and speech therapists), and other medical professionals to assist with diagnosis and treatment planning.

Patients with the following difficulties or conditions may benefit from working with a neuropsychologist:

  • Memory
  • Attention and concentration
  • Having words on the tip of the tongue
  • Speech
  • Spatial skills
  • Speed of thinking
  • Multitasking
  • Managing work, school, or daily tasks like paying bills and driving
  • Genetic, medical, or psychiatric conditions that interfere with thinking
  • Attention problems combined with other medical or psychological concerns

For information on how to schedule Neuropsychological evaluations, please call (906) 225-7116.

MGH Cardiac Rehab on the frontline of heart disease recovery


Mary Charlebois (left), MGH Dietitian, configures a recumbent exercise bike for one of Manny’s cardiac rehab exercises.

Manny Vigil, 61, of Little Lake, was the first patient from the Marquette General Hospital Outpatient Cardiac Rehab program to test the new Cardiac Monitoring, Telemetry & Management System.

The new system is an upgrade to a dated and laborious system. It better monitors Manny’s exercise progress while he undergoes cardiac rehab at MGH. The monitor is worn around his neck and tracks changes of his electrocardiogram during pre-exercise, exercise and post-exercise.

“The data we receive shows the electrical activity of the heart,” said Larry Bergwall, MGH Cardiac Rehab Director. “It helps us in deciding when to increase or decrease the intensity of a patient’s program. And we are also looking to increase the cardiorespiratory fitness of each patient according to the goals set at the beginning the program.”

The new system is very important to Manny, especially since he has a history of heart disease. He almost didn’t join the Cardiac Rehab program when it was recommended by his doctor, Dr. William Jean of the Marquette General Heart & Vascular Institute, who has been managing his heart disease since 1997.


Jeff Kinnunen (right), MGH Exercise Physiologist, takes Manny’s vitals after a cardiac rehab session.

In February, Manny was visiting his brother in Roswell, NM, when he started feeling ill. He knew he needed to get back home and be seen by Dr. Jean. He caught a flight home the next day, and returned to work at Northern Michigan University where he is an electronics technician.

“I knew I was having a heart attack when I couldn’t walk by the end of the week and I was very tired,” said Manny. “I took a nap – and I never take naps – so I knew something wasn’t right.”

A visit to the MGH Emergency Room determined that Manny had several blockages around his heart. He underwent a quintuple coronary artery bypass surgery, performed by Dr. Doug Baldwin, MGH cardiothoracic surgeon.

Following surgery, Dr. Jean recommended that Manny join the MGH Cardiac Rehab program to help him recover. But Manny kept holding it off.

“I almost didn’t come,” said Manny. “But a phone call from Dr. Jean explaining to me the benefits and reasoning on why I needed to join really gave me the push I needed.”

Since April 14, Manny has been attending cardiac rehab three times a week. The MGH Cardiac Rehab program focuses on exercise, education and support to help individuals build a stronger heart.

During his therapy, Manny receives specific help from trained staff members, including dietitians and exercise specialists.

“Each patient who begins cardiac rehab undergoes an initial assessment that includes a nutrition report and exercise plan designed specifically for them,” said Mary Charlebois, MGH Registered Dietitian.

As each patient begins exercise, cardiac rehab staff monitors for safety and keeps track of their progress.


Liz Kinnart, MGH Exercise Specialist, monitors the electrical activity of Manny’s heart with the new monitoring system.

“Our new monitoring system tracks progress in real-time. This gives us the benefit of more hands on time with the patient and less paperwork,” said Jeff Kinnunen, MGH Exercise Physiologist.

Manny has been making great progress while in cardiac rehab.

“I hadn’t exercised in years,” said Manny. “It was hard to walk, I could barely bend over. Now I feel good. I’m more limber now, and relaxed.”\

When Manny was about half way through his 18-week therapy, he experienced a set-back – but it wasn’t with his rehab. The house he and his wife, Vera, owned for the past 20 years was destroyed in a house fire on June 7.

“We lost everything, including one of our two dogs. It was so depressing,” said Manny.
Manny wasn’t sure he would return to therapy, but he also didn’t want to give up after all the hard work he put in.

“I decided to come back,” said Manny, “I really enjoy being here. I enjoy all the staff, all the friends I’ve made. It’s a great community. I’m so glad I came back.”

As Manny slowly rebuilds his home, he will continue building his heart strength. He said he will continue on with cardiac rehab therapy even after his 18 weeks are up.

“For a small monthly fee, the program will allow me to continue to exercise and receive the support I need,” said Manny. “I feel motivated here. I have all the specialists I need to help me with my journey, and I know that I am safe. This is the best place to be.”

Getting back to running

Learn how Marquette General Therapies helped a woman get back to running after she found out she had several foot problems, including an inflamed tendon.

Overcoming speech delay, Isaiah’s communication success


Isaiah Patron with Gayla Rovelsky, Speech Therapist for MGH Therapies.

To celebrate and create awareness for Better Hearing and Speech Month, we are featuring one of our patient success stories. Five-year-old, Isaiah Patron, began treatment with Marquette General Therapies when he was 3 because he had poor intelligibility, meaning everyone was having a very hard time understanding him.

“When Isaiah first came to us, he was pretty much speaking in only vowels,” stated Gayla Rovelsky, SLP, a Speech-Language Pathologist for Marquette General Therapies. “He had normally developing language – meaning he could understand what was being said to him and he could also express what he wanted in age appropriate utterances – but the actual sounds of his speech, called articulation, were very poor and made his speech sounds like gibberish or jargon.”

Isaiah began treatment for Developmental Apraxia of Speech, a condition where a child’s motor planning for speech sounds and putting speech sounds together isn’t quite right. Isaiah is still attending speech therapy two times per week. His mother reports “When Isaiah first began speech therapy, it was hard for us to communicate with him and understand his needs. Now, I can understand my child so much better and he can communicate with us. This makes me feel successful as a parent. It’s very rewarding.”

The “wait-and-see” approach to children who talk late is a result of misconceptions about typical language development. “All children develop at their own pace” is another common phrase parents come across when looking for an explanation for a child’s delayed development. While children do develop at their own pace to some extent, there are certain milestones which should be reached by a specific age. Even normally developing kids can have difficulties with speech and language. It’s always better to seek professional advice earlier rather than later.

Gayla Rovelsky is a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP), who provides evaluations and treatment for children and adults with speech and language disorders communicate more effectively. Sometimes this might mean helping a child pronounce and express words more clearly or it could mean helping an adult who recently had a stroke communicate with ease or be able to swallow without difficulty. Gayla graduated with Summa Cum Laude honors with her Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Language and Hearing Sciences from Northern Michigan University and obtained her Master’s Degree in Communicative Sciences and Disorders from Michigan State University.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with Gayla Rovelsky, SLP, contact Marquette General Therapies at 906-225-5900 or visit us at

Lautenschlager renews certification – The Mining Journal

Lautenschlager renews certification – | News, Sports, Jobs, Marquette Information | The Mining Journal.