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Meet Our Team

Ellen S. Platt, MEd, CRC, CCM

Ellen S. Platt, MEd, CRC, CCM

President & Certified Aging Life Care Manager

MD: 410-667-0266
PA: 717-287-9900
DE: 302-858-6449
eplatt@theoptiongroup.net

Ellen Platt is the founder and owner of The Option Group, LLC. She is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Certified Care Manager, and a Certified Aging Life Care Manager. She has over 30 years of experience providing care management, advocacy, placement, and care coordination services to those with catastrophic injuries, chronic diseases, disabilities, and those that are aging and navigating longevity.

Under her leadership, The Option Group has been a trailblazer in the senior industry. The Option Group has worked tirelessly to collaborate with other leaders to provide high-quality services that help families navigate complex and emotional situations.

Ms. Platt is still dedicated to serving more clients with even more services to meet their needs. The Option Group will be rolling out several innovative programs over the next two years to address the needs of our clients and allow them to live the richest, most functional lives possible while keeping safety, comfort, and dignity in mind.

Stacy Alcide, RN

Stacy Alcide, RN

Certified Aging Life Care Manager

MD: 410-667-0266
PA: 717-287-9900
DE: 302-858-6449
salcide@theoptiongroup.net

Stacy Alcide has been a nurse care manager with The Option Group for over 4 years. Most of her 22 years of nursing experience has been dedicated to caring for seniors, with a large part of her time spent in the long-term care field. One of Ms. Alcide’s favorite things about working at The Option Group is the experienced team that loves to collaborate to find beneficial outcomes. No two days are alike. She enjoys working with clients and assisting them with their individual needs.

Diana (DeeDee) Bycoffe, RN

Diana (DeeDee) Bycoffe, RN

Nurse Care Manager

MD: 410-667-0266
PA: 717-287-9900
DE: 302-858-6449
dbycoffe@theoptiongroup.net

Diana (DeeDee) Bycoffe is a nurse care manager and who has been with The Option Group since January of 2020. She really enjoys working with all clients and finds it rewarding when she can help families work on long term plans, sort through feelings that they have about a loved one who needs different choices, and then help them carry the plans through. Ms. Bycoffe has been a nurse for 25 years in numerous fields including cardiology, interventional radiology, the ER, the surgical intensive care unit, and home health care. If Ms. Bycoffe doesn’t have the answer, she will find it for you.

Samantha Morelock, MA

Samantha Morelock, MA

Care Manager Associate

MD: 410-667-0266
PA: 717-287-9900
DE: 302-858-6449
smorelock@theoptiongroup.net

Samantha Morelock has been a part of The Option Group team for over 3 years. She has a Master’s degree in Counseling, with a concentration in marriage and family therapy. Her past clinical experience includes working with at-risk families doing both individual and family counseling. In her current position as a Care Management Associate, Samantha has gained valuable experience working with seniors, individuals with disabilities, and individuals with dementia. Samantha is passionate about preserving the dignity of every individual and is proud to be an advocate for each client’s care.

Katie Schmitz, RN

Katie Schmitz, RN

Certified Aging Life Care Manager

MD: 410-667-0266
PA: 717-287-9900
DE: 302-858-6449
kschmitz@theoptiongroup.net

Katie Schmitz has been a certified nurse case manager for over 30 years. Her prior hospital experience was in rehabilitation. Over the past 8 years, Ms. Schmitz worked predominantly with catastrophic care coordination for multi-trauma injury diagnoses covering a 5-state territory that borders Maryland. Ms. Schmitz has worked on The Option Group assignments for several years and, since August 2019, has been a full-time member of the team.

Jackie Tangires, LCSW-C

Jackie Tangires, LCSW-C

Certified Aging Life Care Manager

MD: 410-667-0266
PA: 717-287-9900
DE: 302-858-6449
jtangires@theoptiongroup.net

Jackie Tangires has been employed with The Option Group for two and a half years and has earned her Certification in Case Management. Ms. Tangires has also become a member of the Aging Life Care Association. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with the State of Maryland with over 30 years of experience in different areas of health care. She worked in hospitals in Maryland, Michigan, Washington, and Hawaii. Prior to The Option Group, she worked with University of Maryland, Upper Chesapeake Health, where she provided Medical Case Management services and discharge planning services for orthopedic, neurological, and oncology patients. She belongs to the Academy of Certified Social Workers and is a member of NASW (National Association of Social Workers). Jackie enjoys her job at The Option Group because of the positive environment and the countless opportunities for growth.

Denise M. Valerio, LSW ACSW C-ASWCM

Denise M. Valerio, LSW ACSW C-ASWCM

Geriatric/Aging Life Care Manager

MD: 410-667-0266
PA: 610-885-8899
DE: 302-858-6449
dvalerio@theoptiongroup.net

Denise M. Valerio is a licensed social worker and a certified/accredited care manager with almost 40 years working in healthcare settings and social services organizations. Her diverse experience, combined with a caring style, makes her a seasoned life care manager dedicated to “doing right by her clients.” Denise is the former owner of Valerio Care Management, LLC, a sole proprietor in Pennsylvania that provided a variety of care management services to the Delaware Tri-Valley area for 15 years. She describes doing this work as “her calling” and while it can challenge even the strongest of women, Denise continues to embrace the work.

In January 2021, Denise merged her very successful care management business with The Option Group, and we welcome her vast knowledge and experience to the team!

Patti Vogl, MSW, LSW

Patti Vogl, MSW, LSW

Certified Aging Life Care Manager

MD: 410-667-0266
PA: 717-287-9900 / 610-885-8899
DE: 302-858-6449
pvogl@theoptiongroup.net

Patti Vogl is a Licensed Social Worker in the state of PA, with over 35 years of experience. She received her bachelor’s degree from Grove City College in PA and her master’s degree from Temple University in PA. Prior to joining The Option Group, Patti worked in hospice management and consulting and in private practice as a Grief Counselor. She is also a Certified Funeral Celebrant. Patti has worked in the field of planning for and supporting those with intellectual disabilities, a hospital case manager, and a home health social worker. She enjoys working with clients and helping them to plan and access resources and find hope in their situation, whatever their circumstances. She is excited to be bringing her skills to The Option Group as part of this innovative, energetic, and compassionate team. In her spare time, Patti enjoys hiking, cooking, playing tennis, and spending time with her family, and helping out with various programs at her church.

Faith Patterson, PT

Faith Patterson, PT

Care Manager

MD: 410-667-0266
PA: 717-287-9900
DE: 302-858-6449
fpatterson@theoptiongroup.net

The Option Group is pleased to announce that Faith Patterson has joined our team as a care manager in the New Castle County, Delaware area.

Faith has over 40 years of experience working in the health care field.  As a Physical Therapist, she has worked in a rehabilitation center, home care setting, and as a Rehab Director in a Skilled Nursing Center. She most recently worked in healthcare marketing and sales for a Skilled Home Care and Hospice company.

Faith is returning to her passion for caring for clients to improve their quality of life.  As a care manager, she will evaluate each client and meet their needs by locating appropriate resources.  Advocacy is a big part of her job, and she relishes the opportunity to serve. 

Faith is thrilled to be a part of The Option Group and make a positive difference in each person’s life.

Morgan Fezza

Morgan Fezza

Care Manager

MD: 410-667-0266
PA: 717-287-9900
DE: 302-858-6449
mfezza@theoptiongroup.net

Morgan Fezza joined The Option Group in July 2021 and will be assisting other care managers in the Delaware area. We are delighted to have her as our newest Care Manager as she brings over eight years of health care experience in the fields of hospice, pain medicine, and home care.

Morgan’s strengths are working with families and patients to build strong bridges between them and imperative resources to achieve their care goals and help achieve a better quality of life. She relishes the one-on-one connection.  The relationship dives into interesting stories, diverse backgrounds, and life lessons learned.  All of this has had a huge impact on her own life. Morgan lives by the motto, “If you’re not making someone else’s life better, then you’re wasting your time. Your life will become better by making other lives better.” – Will Smith

Morgan is from the Sussex County DE region.  In addition to her work, she is currently enrolled as an AS student at Del-Tech to earn her nursing degree. In her spare time, she loves traveling with her family and being in the company of her two dogs. She’s a major book lover, admitted Foodie, and enjoys photography as a side hobby.

Kelly Castner

Kelly Castner

Care Manager

MD: 410-667-0266
PA: 717-287-9900
DE: 302-858-6449
kcastner@theoptiongroup.net

Kelly Castner is a social worker with over 25 years of experience in numerous health care settings including – adult daycare centers, nursing homes, and rehab facilities in Pennsylvania.  Kelly earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work and a Minor in Gerontology from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania.

Kelly enjoys helping seniors and their families to develop customized care plans to meet the individualized needs of her clients.  Kelly is a passionate, dedicated advocate that will “go the extra mile” to ensure that her clients receive the best care and services possible.  Kelly is excited to bring her experience and knowledge to The Option Group.

Elizabeth (Liz) Oettiker, MSW

Elizabeth (Liz) Oettiker, MSW

Care Manager

MD: 410-667-0266
PA: 717-287-9900
DE: 302-858-6449
eoettiker@theoptiongroup.net

Elizabeth (Liz) Oettiker originally hails from Wisconsin and brings over 15 years of experience in the social services arena.  Her background includes community-based case management, crisis intervention, and protective services. 

Liz is passionate about helping older adults maintain their independence and quality of life as they age.  In addition to helping people and families find the right resources, Liz focuses on advocacy for those vulnerable adults who can no longer advocate for themselves. 

When not working, Liz enjoys spending time with her husband and daughters and cheering for her home sports teams.

Robert Pearce, MBA

Robert Pearce, MBA

Director of Strategic Planning

MD: 410-667-0266
PA: 717-287-9900
DE: 302-858-6449
bpearce@theoptiongroup.net

Bob Pearce brings over 20 years of business operations experience from a range of services in the healthcare field, including home health, home care, medical staffing, and adult daycare. Specializing in strategy implementation and financial management, his focus is uniting diverse teams to deliver class-leading services to clients and their families.

Michele Gillum

Michele Gillum

Vice President of Operations

MD: 410-667-0266
PA: 717-287-9900
DE: 302-858-6449
mgillum@theoptiongroup.net

Michele Gillum is responsible for the overall administrative operations of The Option Group. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Towson University with a degree in Business Management and has been with us since 2012. She uses her education and experience to tackle the day-to-day challenges of each client. Michele strives to foster a collaborative work environment with the team to best address the needs of their clients. Outside of work, she enjoys walking, playing games, and spending time with family.

Noel White

Noel White

Community Outreach Liaison

MD: 410-667-0266
PA: 717-287-9900
DE: 302-858-6449
nwhite@theoptiongroup.net

Noel White joined The Option Group in February 2020. A graduate of Towson University, Mr. White has spent the bulk of his professional career working for The Chimes, Inc, The American Lung Association of Maryland, and sales and management for home health equipment and pharmaceutical companies. He is pleased to bring his experience to Ellen’s growing team and assist with connecting our message of expertise, professional resourcefulness, care, and hope to the community he is committed and honored to serve. Mr. White is married to Pastor Lisa Arrington and has two wonderful adult children.

Michelle Tillman

Michelle Tillman

Administrative Assistant

MD: 410-667-0266
PA: 717-287-9900
DE: 302-858-6449
mtillman@theoptiongroup.net

Michelle Tillman has been with the company since 2016. She has a professional background in education, having taught arts and special needs students of all ages, as well as assisting in the offices of the Maryland public school system. Michelle values the enthusiasm and dedication of the entire Option Group staff as they strive to help families navigate life’s challenges.

Laura Gately

Laura Gately

Administrative Assistant

MD: 410-667-0266
PA: 717-287-9900
DE: 302-858-6449
lgately@theoptiongroup.net

Laura Gately is from the Carroll County area and joined The Option Group as our Administrative Assistant in December of 2020. She has extensive experience in a variety of health care fields, working in the nursing home, hospital, psychiatric and residential rehabilitation and homeless outreach arenas.

One of her many strengths is the ability to build relationships with people of various backgrounds. She enjoys individual life stories as they are rich in perspective and wisdom. Laura especially likes that she is helping others navigate and resolve issues. In turn, it is her hope that each person feels peace of mind that their concerns are important and are being addressed.

In her spare time, Laura enjoys time at the beach with her family, and riding bikes on the NCR trail.