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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/Main Number: 410-667-0266
[email protected]
Ellen Platt is the founder and owner of The Option Group, LLC. She holds esteemed certifications as a Rehabilitation Counselor, Care Manager, and Aging Life Care Manager. With over 35 years of experience, she has provided care management, advocacy, placement, and care coordination services not only to those with catastrophic injuries, chronic diseases, and disabilities but also to minors and young adults with challenges such as autism, ADHD, cerebral palsy, and rare neurological disorders.

Under her leadership, The Option Group has not only been a trailblazer in the senior industry but has also significantly impacted the lives of younger individuals requiring specialized attention. The firm has consistently collaborated with other leaders to ensure high-quality services are available, helping families navigate through intricate and emotionally charged situations.

Still as passionate as ever, Ms. Platt remains dedicated to broadening the spectrum of clients served by The Option Group. With an aim to address the evolving needs of clients from all age groups, The Option Group plans to introduce several innovative programs over the next two years. These programs are designed to ensure individuals lead the most enriching, functional lives possible, with safety, comfort, and dignity at the forefront.

Diana (DeeDee) Bycoffe, RN

Diana (DeeDee) Bycoffe, RN

Nurse Care Manager

MD/Main Number: 410-667-0266
[email protected]

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

MD/Main Number: 410-667-0266
[email protected]

Samantha Morelock joined The Option Group in May of 2017. 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.

Madison Wallace, RN

Madison Wallace, RN

Nurse Care Manager

MD/Main Number: 410-667-0266
[email protected]

Madison Wallace, RN, joined The Option Group in July 2023 as a Nurse Care Manager. Her experience is in the emergency services line, as well as Medical/surgical, and she spent her college years volunteering in hospice care. She is a Maryland native from southern Maryland and moved to the Annapolis/Baltimore area shortly after college. She looks forward to contributing to The Option Group as a Care Manager and building relationships with families. 

Janet D’Agostino, MA, MSN, RN

Janet D’Agostino, MA, MSN, RN

Clinical Supervisor

MD/Main Number: 410-667-0266
[email protected]

Janet D’Agostino joined The Option Group in October of 2023 as the Clinical Supervisor. She has 50 years of experience in nursing at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in the Department of Medicine and Surgery. Over the years she has cared for individuals in all age ranges. For many years she has cared for patients with trauma brain injuries, various dementias, congenital anomalies, and all surgical procedures and is trained in Critical Care. She also has graduate degrees in Clinical Psychology, Nursing and Theology. For the last 40 years, she has professionally shown cats in the Cat Fanciers’ Association as a hobby.

Jackie Tangires, LCSW-C

Jackie Tangires, LCSW-C

Certified Aging Life Care Manager

MD/Main Number: 410-667-0266
[email protected]

Jackie Tangires joined The Option Group in February of 2018. She earned her Certification in Case Management and is also 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.

Colleen Matulaitis, RN, MSN, FNP-BC

Colleen Matulaitis, RN, MSN, FNP-BC

Care Manager

MD/Main Number: 410-667-0266
[email protected]

Colleen Matulaitis joined The Option Group in June of 2023 as a Care Manager in the Southern Maryland and Southern Delaware areas. She has been a nurse/nurse practitioner on the eastern shore of Maryland for over 41 years, the last eight working in a primary care office. She has cared for many sick and aging family members and understands how challenging the role of caretaking for a loved one can be. As a lifelong medical professional, she has experienced the many changes and difficulties the medical community has experienced and how hard it can be to navigate this complex system. Colleen’s ultimate goal and passion is to provide excellent health care to the people in her community while easing the burden and frustration that getting quality healthcare can create.

Helena Wallace, MHA, MSHS

Helena Wallace, MHA, MSHS

Care Manager

MD/Main Number: 410-667-0266
[email protected]

Helena Wallace joined The Option Group as a Care Manager in January 2024. She has over 15 years of experience in the Healthcare Industry, specializing in Gerontology. What she enjoys most about working with this population is their wit, wisdom, and passion for life. Helena is dedicated, resourceful, and trustworthy. She is devoted to her work and willing to go the extra mile for families caring for individuals who need assistance. After pursuing her master’s degree in health administration with a concentration in Gerontology, her passion grew in assisting and advocating for families in crisis. To stay ahead of the continuous change in health care (caregiving), she successfully gained her second master’s in human services. Helena enjoys spending time with family and friends, doing yoga when time permits, and reading a good book on rainy days. More importantly, she believes in inspiring change, One Step at a Time.

Karen Sorensen, CMC, NBC-HWC

Karen Sorensen, CMC, NBC-HWC

Certified Care Manager

MD/Main Number: 410-667-0266
[email protected]

Karen Sorensen proudly joined The Option Group in August of 2023. She is a Certified Care Manager, National Board-Certified Health & Wellness Coach, and a member of the Aging Life Care® Association since 2019. Karen’s background includes two decades working as an editor for major medical publications in the fields of emergency medicine, geriatric medicine, cardiology, cardiac surgery, and most recently, orthopaedic surgery. She served as a care coordinator and care manager for a Maryland-based home care agency for five years. No matter what stage of life, whether just graduating college, navigating parenthood, or entering your golden years, creating a life vision is beneficial and empowering. Revisiting and revising your vision is also impactful. Karen wants to help you identify your values and what’s meaningful and important to you, explore lifestyle changes you are ready to make supported by evidence-based research, and partner with you as you set goals and bring your vision to life. Outside of work, Karen loves spending time with her family and friends, running, walking her dog, and writing.

Michele Gillum

Michele Gillum

Vice President of Operations

MD/Main Number: 410-667-0266
[email protected]

Michele Gillum has been with The Option Group since 2012. She manages and coordinates the daily operations of the company with impeccable attention to detail ensuring implementation of efficient operations. 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.

Mary Jo Siebert, MS

Mary Jo Siebert, MS

Director of Educational Advocacy and Training

MD/Main Number: 443-318-4244
[email protected]

Mary Jo Siebert, a seasoned Educational Law consultant with a psychology background and over four decades of experience, has announced her merger with Ellen Platt of The Option Group, reinforcing their mission to offer a comprehensive continuum of care for individuals and family caregivers. With a career spanning services provided to children, adolescents, and adults diagnosed with autism, cerebral palsy, ADHD, and rare neurological disorders, Mary Jo’s alliance with The Option Group heralds a new era of holistic care.

Mary Jo brings a wealth of knowledge from her years at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and her ground-breaking work with ASK and ACES, LLC, her independent practice launched in 2003. The fusion of these organizations is set to transform how families and individuals can access disability care and services across Maryland, Northern Virginia, Southern Pennsylvania, and Delaware.

Keishya Fiore

Keishya Fiore

Educational Advocate

MD/Main Number: 443-318-4244
kfiore @theoptiongroup.net

Keishya Fiore joined the Option Group in September 2023 as an Educational Advocate. She graduated from Notre Dame of Maryland University with a Masters in Special Education. She has worked with students of all ages, from early childhood to early adulthood. Keishya has had the unique experience of working with students in the English as a Second Language (ESL) setting both here and abroad, working primarily with students from East Asia, West Africa, and Central America. She has also spent nearly a decade teaching world history and is actively involved in diversity, equity, and inclusivity within school communities. Keishya has also worked with students of various abilities, from those labeled “gifted and talented” to those with specific learning disabilities, emotional/behavioral disabilities, speech and language disabilities, audio disabilities, and on the autism spectrum. She enjoys working with people and seeing the world from another’s perspective. She enjoys art, dance, foreign languages, and history. Keishya is excited about the opportunity to be a part of a positive change in her community.

Kayisha Edwards

Kayisha Edwards

Educational Advocate II

MD/Main Number: 443-318-4244

[email protected]

Kayisha joined the Option Group in March 2024 as an Educational Advocate II. After earning a dual certification in Elementary and Special Education, Kayisha went on to teach for 9 years as a special education teacher. Throughout her time in this role, Kayisha began incorporating the importance of healthy self-esteem, self-efficacy, and self-advocacy in her approach to teaching. Using her passion to do more of this work on a larger scale, Kayisha continued her education at Towson University, earning her Master’s in Education Leadership and receiving an Admin. I certification. Since then, Kayisha has partnered with local summer camps and recreation center staff to create programs and activities encouraging students to explore their identities and interests through creative writing, leadership development, and the arts.  Most recently, Kayisha served as a coach and consultant for teachers and principals in Michigan. There, she helped with literacy instruction, school culture, attendance, parent engagement, and student performance. Now, as an educational advocate, Kayisha looks forward to utilizing her passion, experiences, and skills to walk alongside families and students to ensure they receive the education needed to succeed inside and outside the classroom.

In her spare time, Kayisha enjoys spending time with her sons, watching sports, trying new restaurants, and snuggling up with a good book.

John Dowding

John Dowding

Educational Advocate II

MD/Main Number: 443-318-4244
[email protected]

John Dowding joined the Option Group in April 2024 as an Educational Advocate II. He graduated from Goucher College with a master’s degree in special education. John has worked with individuals with disabilities and developmental delays, infants to 21 years of age, for ten years. He has been in various positions throughout his career, ranging from a one-on-one aid, special education teacher, early intervention specialist, and early intervention manager. His range of experience has developed a knowledge base around special education law, policy, and implementation in and out of school settings. Additionally, he has experience working with government agencies and private sector organizations to achieve multi-agency goals. He looks forward to reaching a wider range of communities and assisting more individuals in realizing their fullest potential.

Jenna Carlson, BS

Jenna Carlson, BS

Educational Advocate Associate

MD/Main Number: 443-318-4244
[email protected]

Jenna Carlson joined The Option Group in July 2023 as an Educational Advocate Associate. She graduated from Towson University with a Bachelor of Science in Special Education and an Applied Adult Disability Studies minor. She has extensive experience working with clients diagnosed with autism, intellectual disabilities, specific learning disabilities, emotional disabilities, and other health impairments. She also has knowledge of working with adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities placed in community care homes, getting them involved with the community, and ensuring their needs are met. Her background with disabilities began in childhood, from having one to being in classrooms with peers with different disabilities. She looks forward to developing a new generation in Special Education Advocacy and beyond and making a difference in the families and clients she supports.

Joyce McGuire

Joyce McGuire

Intake Coordinator

MD/Main Number: 443-318-4244
[email protected]

Joyce McGuire joined the Option Group as an Intake Coordinator in September 2023. She brings extensive experience as she has worked as an Administrative Assistant in many industries. A resident of Baltimore County, MD, she has three children and six grandchildren. Joyce enjoys her family, people, the beach, and DIY projects. She is looking forward to being a part of The Option Group team, and especially helping locate the solutions for the many children who need advocacy and services.

Michelle Tillman, MEd

Michelle Tillman, MEd

Client Liaison/Administrative Coordinator

MD/Main Number: 410-667-0266
[email protected]

Michelle Tillman joined The Option Group in September of 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.

Carol Conroy

Carol Conroy

Administrative Assistant

MD/Main Number: 410-667-0266
[email protected]

Carol joined the Option Group in April 2023 having spent many years in the Healthcare industry. She grew up in the Hamilton area of Baltimore City. She adores her three beautiful adult children and loves The Arts, entertainment, and cooking. Community Outreach is of great importance in Carol’s life and
she is looking forward to contributing to The Option Group team and mission.

Ariel S.

Ariel S.

Intake Coordinator/Executive Assistant

MD/Main Number: 410-667-0266

[email protected]

Ariel S. is a compassionate and determined individual who joined The Option Group in February 2024 as an Intake Coordinator/Executive Assistant. With five years of experience in the legal field, Ariel decided to switch careers to make a meaningful impact in people’s lives and connect them with the resources they need. Their passion for helping others is evident in their primary goal, which is to assist as many people as possible while upholding The Option Group’s mission. Ariel’s dedication to helping the community is unwavering, and they strive for greatness in their role. They are thrilled to bring their diverse skills and expertise to The Option Group and contribute to its noble cause.

Amy Vernon

Amy Vernon

Liaison

MD/Main Number: 410-667-0266
[email protected]

Amy Vernon joined The Option Group in June of 2022 as a Liaison. She has over twenty years of experience in administrative work in several industries and at various levels.  Amy moved to Baltimore from Minneapolis after college to be closer to family and began working in the administrative offices of Johns Hopkins Emergency Department supporting, at different times, the Clinical Director, the Director of Nursing, and the Director of Special Operations. She also coordinated the medical student rotations through the department each month. She then spent over ten years in the accounting industry before taking positions supporting the President of Loyola University and the CEO of a local non-profit focused on support and care of differently abled individuals. Amy’s career focus is centered on finding soul-satisfying work that allows her to help others and try to leave situations better than she found them.

Her position as a Liaison is as close to a match as she’s been looking for.  Amy likes being surrounded by like-minded, caring individuals with the same intention. In her free time, Amy loves to cook, feed the birds, and garden.

Steve Gale

Steve Gale

Business Development Coordinator

MD/Main Number: 410-667-0266
[email protected]

Steve joined The Option Group team in June of 2023 and has been in senior living sales and marketing for his entire career and has built his foundation of doing right by the families we serve before anything else. I’m grateful to work with other families everyday who need assistance, but do not know where to turn. I love the creative process of figuring out new ways to come to solutions, knowing everybody’s situation is unique. Personally, being a father is the most rewarding thing I have the pleasure of doing. I’m a huge Baltimore sports fan and enjoy live music, summer beach vacations, and pool days in my free time.

Noel White

Noel White

Community Outreach Liaison

MD/Main Number: 410-667-0266
[email protected]

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.