Our Staff

Molly Piekut

Occupational Therapist

After providing children of all ages with Occupational Therapy for over twelve years, Molly recognized a need in the community for sensory gym and clinic. Advanced Occupational Therapy Services was initially started in 2007 as a home care agency offering services to children within both home and school environments. Very quickly Molly saw the need for a more conducive space that encouraged growth and allowed for the implementation of all relevant and productive therapy tools and techniques.

Prior to starting AOTS, Molly held the position of Director of Occupational Therapy at Southampton Hospital for eight years. During her time at Southampton Hospital, she started a pediatric program enabling her to better understand both the business and pediatric sides of Occupational Therapy. Perhaps more importantly, as a result of this work, she discovered that treating children was her true passion within the realm of therapy.

Molly’s education and experience with school aged children in both the school and office setting is expansive. In addition to her degree from Quinnipiac University, Molly went on to complete an Advanced Certification in Pediatrics from Texas Woman’s University. In 2009, Molly expanded her practice to include Comprehensive Therapy Services, a company that would enable her to provide Physical Therapy services in addition to Occupational Therapy services to the local school districts.

She continues to attend pertinent conferences to remain informed of new treatments and therapies for the children in her care and has completed countless certifications in this regard. In July of 2014, Molly became Board Certified in the use of Neurofeedback. Molly is excited with the gains she is seeing in her clients that are being treated with Neurofeedback. It has been most helpful in addressing difficulties with attention, anxiety, sleep disturbances and much more. In April of 2016 she opened a second clinic in Riverhead in order to provide easier access for clients seeking Neurofeedback therapy from further up the island.

*Neurofeedback therapy is a technique in which brainwave patterns are observed and trained to function more efficiently. The process is 100% painless and involves placement of electrodes on the scalp. The electrodes are attached to a computer program, which show the client an image of their brain waves on a screen. Therapy sessions involve watching a movie of the client’s choice while a neurofeedback therapist monitors their brainwaves. The therapist rewards the brain for changing its own activity to more appropriate patterns. Neurofeedback is also called EEG Biofeedback, because it is based on electrical brain activity, the electroencephalogram, or EEG. Neurofeedback is training in self-regulation. It is simply biofeedback applied to the brain directly. Self-regulation is a necessary part of good brain function. Self-regulation training allows the central nervous system to function better.

Outside the world of OT, Molly enjoys exploring new places, traveling to new countries and experiencing other cultures. She also enjoys visiting historic properties and has a love of old homes and architecture. Her dream is to one day own and restore a historic property to its former glory. Additionally, she enjoys spending time with her loved ones and her mischievous dachshund sidekick named Ketchup.

Her goal as an occupational therapist is to help bring inner joy and confidence to all people she works with through celebrating their strengths and understanding their challenges.

Catherine Duffy

Catherine is a 1974 graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo. She is a NYS Licensed Occupational Therapist and is also licensed through the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapists. From 1995 to present, she has been associated with the New York Presbyterian Hospital as an advanced clinician and senior occupational therapists specializing in rehabilitation and acute care for patients needing neurological and stroke service. Prior to 1995, Catherine gained broad experience and knowledge in her field on the west coast, in California and Hawaii. There, she worked in hospitals, medical centers, and rehabilitation centers, caring for patients who suffered traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries among other physical disabilities. Catherine is very sensitive to the needs of her patients, and their families, who have been impacted by physical disabilities resulting from brain injuries and progressive neurodegenerative diseases and disorders. She is kind, empathetic, and has a positive outlook and approach in her treatment.

Catherine’s outside interests include standing paddle boarding, TRX workouts, gardening, and agility training with her two beloved Mini Australian Shepherds; her workouts and interests give you a true sense of her joie de vivre! Catherine’s singular focus as an Occupational Therapist is providing excellence in care and improving her patients’ quality of life.

Elizabeth Hogan

Liz is a highly experienced occupational therapist with over 7 years working in the field. Her passion is working with the pediatric population and her love for children shines brightly through her work. Liz is extremely well versed in the art of interdisciplinary collaboration. She is a true advocate for the children and a strong leader in this company. She is knowledgeable on the topic of using sensory integration principles to foster independence at home, in the school and throughout daily life. Liz has given lectures on the subject to groups of teachers in an effort to better coordinate cohesive care of the children in the community. She is certified in Handwriting Without Tears and Therapeutic Listening, tools she uses to enhance her capabilities as a therapist. In 2008, Liz graduated from Stony Brook University with her Masters in Occupational Therapy. She has been with this company for over five years and is now actively assisting in the training of new occupational therapy students, planning to enter the field. This facility collaborates with Stony Brook University and other local colleges to take on fieldwork students in order to enhance their learning and Liz is one of the primary therapists enthusiastically engaged in the training process. Her past students have described her as being highly knowledgeable, easily approachable, creative and intuitive. Liz has spent a considerable amount of time expanding her knowledge base through continuing education in areas such as Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia, Myofascial Release with NDT, hearing loss and its relation to auditory skill development and much more. Her goal as an occupational therapist is to help children and adults of all ages achieve their independence through motivating occupation including play, school and everyday life. During her free time, Liz loves to travel and take long walks on the beach. She is the proud mother of two beautiful children and she nurtures her family as a long time resident of the east end of long island.

Bryan Knoell

Bryan received his Masters in Physical Therapy from Touro College. Bryan has been providing pediatric physical therapy services to the children of the east end of long island for over 10 years. Bryan has worked with children is all types of settings including the provision of home based services, school age, early intervention and pre-school related services. He also works with children in our sensory gym in Sag Harbor. Bryan is a fun loving and gregarious therapist. He captivates the children’s attention through his energetic and creative approach, which results in happy and successful therapy sessions. Bryan is well loved and respected. He is a family man who has a lovely, supportive wife and two beautiful children. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his family. He loves the beach and he especially loves enjoying the culture of our local wine country.

Maddalena Lello

Maddalena obtained her degree as a Physical Therapy Assistant from Suffolk County Community College in 2011. She is also a New York State licensed massage therapist and is talented in manual therapies. With her past work history in pre-school based services, Maddalena is knowledgeable in the needs of the pediatric population. She enjoys working with children but also maintains her practice working with adults in a local sports clinic as well. When she is not working, Maddalena loves to embrace her artistic side. She enjoys drawing, reading, traveling and exploring the beauty of America’s beaches. Maddalena is an ambitious woman who is full of passionate energy, which makes her a fun and creative therapist, loved by all.

Nicole Meringola

Nicole is a graduate with high honors of Quinnipiac University, receiving both the Alumni Association Academic Achievement Award, and the Academic Excellence Award for her outstanding academic accomplishments. Nicole maintained a 4.0 GPA and remained on the Dean’s list throughout her entire college career, and was a teacher’s assistant in both Anatomy and Kinesiology courses. During her internship with this company she gained a deep understanding of Sensory Integration Principles, and the developmental evolution of both typical and atypical movement, incorporating these principles in OT sessions. Following her exposure to neurofeedback in application and principle, Nicole quickly became competent in both treatment and diagnostic assessment using neurofeedback. In addition to her very demanding academic schedule, while in college, Nicole performed administrative work that focused on organizing charities and medical teams for remote villages in the Dominican Republic. She also worked on a Mission Team raising money for a sugar cane village and spent considerable time building homes and recreational structures in the Dominican Republic. Nicole has a lifelong interest in dance and was the Quinnipiac Kickline Captain for four years and performed on the kickline dance team. We were eager to have her join our team following her graduation, as she is ambitious, competent, knowledgeable, enthusiastic, responsible, caring and fun. Nicole’s goal as an OT is to support exploration and success within each area of occupational performance to promote full participation and a sense of independence for all children.

Charlene Busuttil

Charlene is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Suffolk County Community College. Since graduating, her work has concentrated in the Pediatric OT field, with a special fondness and natural proficiency for pre-school aged children. Before joining our team, her previous employment includes work with Suffolk County Preschool and Early Intervention Services, and work as a teacher’s assistant and administrative assistant at a learning center. Charlene is devoted as a COTA to continue to explore, learn, and implement different strategies to help children achieve success and independence in all of their occupations. Her outstanding qualities of being reliable, ambitious, kind, empathetic, and patient are key to her success in achieving her goals. Charlene is a lifelong resident of the south shore of Long Island and enjoys reading, movies, mountain biking and spending time with family and friends. Charlene also has a love of music and holds a B.P.S. degree in Business Management/Music Business from Five Towns College.

Katie Miller

Katie earned her Masters degree in occupational therapy at Stony Brook University where she performed at extremely high standards. She held a membership in the Pi Theta Epsilon Occupational Therapy Honor Society and also made the Dean’s list during her time at Stony Brook. She spent time working with charitable organizations including the HCARE program, Relay for Life and Hurricane Sandy Relief outreach. While a student, Katie completed clinical internships including her first rotation with this company. During her internship with us, she worked with the children of eastern Long Island within the local schools and at our sensory gym in Sag Harbor. She also spent time working with the adult population within the home environment. She is trained in the principles of sensory integration therapy and is extremely competent in working with children of all ages. However, she also continues to work with the adult population because she has a vested interest in the quality of life maintained throughout all ages. Katie practices Neurofeedback including the use of EEG, PIR HEG and biofeedback therapies. She is able to administer Neurofeedback testing including a Mini-QEEG assessment and QEEG full cap assessment as well. Katie is a fast learner. She is ambitious and extremely reliable. Her out of the box thinking, caring nature and genuine intuition makes her an extremely capable occupational therapist. Her ambition as an occupational therapist is to integrate new research with traditional interventions to help individuals reach their most functional physical state and most peaceful mental state. Outside of work, Katie enjoys snowboarding. She loves to run tough mudders and spending time with family and friends is a top priority in her life. Katie grew up on the east end of Long Island and is fully devoted to working in her community.