The rehab team at Life Care Center of The Willows

By Caitlin Vanlaningham with Originally published on March 4, 2016. Reprinted with permission.


Life Care Center of The Willows has many offerings that benefit the residents in the facility. The people who provide those offerings are well-trained and caring. Something that the public may not know is that Life Care Center of The Willows has a top-notch rehabilitation team whose top priority is the health and well-being of their residents.


“My staff is so dedicated and creative and fun,” Jane Alburo, director of rehab services at Life Care Center of The Willows, said. “They make therapy a fun environment, and patients are motivated to come to rehab.”


Alburo has been with The Willows since 2009. She has a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from the University of the East in Manila, Philippines, and she holds a certification in manual therapy from St. Augustine University in Florida. She has experience working in different medical settings, including hospital, outpatient, home health and skilled nursing.


Shannon Houx came to The Willows from a family of physical therapists. She gained her desire to get into the profession from watching her family members utilize physical therapy in different ways. She has an associate’s degree in science in physical therapy from Ivy Tech Community College.


“Shannon is a very good assistant who works mostly with neurological conditions,” Alburo said.  “As a group we want to focus on conditions, especially strokes. I think our community can use a specialist in stroke rehab. We know that once a part of the brain is dead, we can’t change that. But if we can educate the community to better understand strokes and how to handle it, lives will be better.”


Erwin Escobar is a graduate of Our Lady of Fatima University in Manila, Philippines, with a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy. He came to The Willows in 2008 after working as a clinical instructor and physical therapist at a hospital in the Philippines.


“Erwin is very dedicated to what he does, and he’s very sweet to the residents,” Alburo said.


Quennie Candy L. Ngileb has been with The Willows since 2008. She has a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy in the Philippines, and she has extensive experience as an occupational therapist. She is always seeking educational opportunities to stay on top of the game in her field.


“Queenie is my assistant director of rehab, and she’s very creative and good at her job,” Alburo said. “She has a great approach to occupational therapy, and we love her.”


Gretchen Dewes has been with The Willows since 2000. She specializes in dementia care as a certified occupational therapy assistant and has over 35 years of experience under her belt.


“Gretchen works well with individuals with dementia, and she’s very good with that,” Alburo said. “She’s been here a long time and very knowledgeable about her field.”


Alburo added, “We’ve all been here for a long time, so we are like a family. We come together and brainstorm; not everyone agrees, but that’s great because everybody has an input. At the end of the day, we do whatever we can for our residents. We love our residents, and we have an open-door policy, so sometimes residents come down after they have completed their therapy and hang out with us.”


For more information on Life Care Center of The Willows in Valparaiso, call (219) 464-4858.