Ellen S. Platt, MEd, CRC, CCM

President/Certified Care Manager

Ms. Platt is founder and owner of The Option Group, LLC.  She is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Certified Care Manager, and a Certified Aging LifeCare Manager, with a span of over 30 years providing care management, advocacy, placement and case coordination services to those with catastrophic injury, chronic diseases and disabilities, as well as those that are aging and navigating longevity.

Under her leadership, The Option Group has been a trailblazer in the senior industry, by collaborating with other leaders to provide high quality, high skilled services that help families navigate very complex situations.  The Option Group will be rolling out several large, 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, keeping safety, comfort and dignity in mind.

Bob Pearce

Director of Strategic Planning

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 day.  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

Vice President of Operations

Michele Gillum, Vice President of Operations, is responsible for the overall administrative operations of the company.  She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Towson University with a degree in Business Management and has been with The Option Group since 2012.  She uses her education and experience to tackle the day-to-day challenges and 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.

Stacy Alcide, RN
Certified Care Manager

My name is Stacy Alcide and I have been a nurse care manager with The Option Group for over 4 years. Most of my 22 years of nursing experience has been dedicated to caring for seniors with a large part of that in the long-term care field. The Option Group has a very experienced team each with their own diverse background in healthcare which makes collaborating a joy. My favorite thing about working here is no two days are alike. I enjoy working with our clients and assisting them with their individualized needs.

Diana (DeeDee) Bycoffe, RN
Nurse Care Manager

My name is Diana (DeeDee) Bycoffe. I am a nurse care manager and I have been with The Option Group since January of 2020. I really enjoy working with the population that we do. I find it very rewarding when I can help families work on long term plans, help them sort through feelings that they have about a loved one who needs different choices, and then help them carry these things through.

I have been a nurse for 25 years and have done many things including cardiology, interventional radiology, ER, surgical intensive care unit and for the last 10 years or so I was a home care nurse case manager. I know if I don’t have the answer, I will find it for you.

Lynn Huntley
Care Management Associate

My name is Lynn Huntley. I am a compassionate Care Manager Associate at The Option Group, where I have worked since November 2018. I have extensive experience in counseling, educating and advocating for a diverse population to promote independence and improved quality of life.

Samantha Morelock
Care Management Associate

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 in every individual and is proud to be an advocate for each client’s care.

Lisa Arifer-Polcha, LSW
Care Manager

My name is Lisa Arifer-Polcha.  I’m a Licensed Social Worker with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania since 2004, the same year I received my Master in Social Work degree from Temple University.  I have worked in human services since age 18.  My work experience includes hands on care and case management for individuals with intellectual disabilities, hospice social work, dialysis social work, and geriatric care management.  In addition I taught classes about compassion fatigue for continuing education credits throughout PA.  I volunteer with my local Area Agency on Aging Apprise program; helping provide non-biased Medicare information for no cost.  I thrive on opportunities to assist others in understanding and implementing the best choices for their lives.

Katie Schmitz, RN
Certified Nurse Care Manager

Katie Schmitz RN has been a certified nurse case manager for over 30 years.  Her prior hospital experience was in rehabilitation.  Over the last 8 years Ms. Schmitz had work predominantly with catastrophic care coordination for multi-trauma injury diagnoses covering a 5 states territory that borders Maryland.

Ms. Schmitz has worked on Option Group assignments for several years and since August 2019 has been a full time member of the team.

Jackie Tangires, LCSW
Certified Care Manager

Jackie Tangires has been employed with The Option Group for two and a half years and has earned her Certification in Case Management and has 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 has been employed in hospitals in Maryland as well as other states to include Michigan, Washington State and Hawaii.  Prior to The Option Group, she was 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.

Michelle Tillman
Administrative Assistant

Michelle Tillman is an Administrative Assistant for The Option Group, having been with our 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.

Denise M. Valerio, LSW ACSW C-ASWCM
Geriatric/Aging Life Care Manager

Denise 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
Care Manager

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 is a Certified Funeral Celebrant. Patti has also worked in the field of planning for and supporting those with Intellectual Disabilities, and as a hospital Case Manager and a home health Social Worker. She enjoys working with clients and helping them to plan and access resources and to 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.

Noel White
Community Outreach Liaison

My name is Noel White and I am the Community Outreach Liaison. I joined The Option Group in February, 2020. A graduate of Towson University, I have spent the bulk of my professional career working for The Chimes, Inc, The American Lung Association of Maryland, and in sales and management for home health equipment and pharmaceutical companies. I am pleased to bring my experience to Ellen’s growing team and assist with connecting our message of expertise, professional resourcefulness, care and hope to the community we are committed and honored to serve.

I am married to Pastor Lisa Arrington, and have two wonderful adult children.

Giving Seniors the Options They Deserve

Serving residents in Maryland and southern Pennsylvania

Contact The Option Group for more information