WELCOME CENTER PATIENT CENTER

About UsOur Staff

AnnMarie Carruthers

AnnMarie Carruthers

Director of Operations

AnnMarie brings to us 13 years of Medical Practice Management and takes pride in providing patients an atmosphere where they feel welcomed, confident and secure with their health care needs. She passionately believes in our mission to provide the highest quality of patient care in a compassionate environment.

A recent transplant to the area from New England, AnnMarie enjoys spending time outdoors, kayaking, biking, and running. AnnMarie and her husband share their home with their two rescue dogs from Isla Animals, an organization they volunteer with helping to spay, neuter, rehome and transport dogs from Isla Mujeres, Mexico.

Kerry Casey

Kerry Casey

Registered Nurse

Kerry always knew she wanted to be a nurse, and 34 years later she holds licenses in New York, New Jersey and Florida, and is also nationally certified as a registered operating nurse. Kerry comes to us after serving as Surgical Orthopedic Coordinator at a level 2 trauma center.

Brooklyn born and New Jersey raised, Kerry relocated to Florida 8 years ago and resides on an 8 acre ranch with her family, two horses and six dogs. In her free time Kerry enjoys life on the ranch and volunteering with Great Dane rescue.

Rob Demarest

Rob Demarest

Registered Nurse

Robs medical career started 5 years ago in Critical Care and Orthopedics. Rob was drawn into healthcare after being involved in a loved one’s care. It is in this field, and at our practice, that Rob stands true to his beliefs of “always be learning and always be kind”. Robs patients can be assured they will be exposed to his infectious smile and wealth of knowledge.

A Florida native, Rob enjoys boating, weightlifting, auto racing and practicing martial arts. Robs favorite time is spent with his beautiful daughter.

Toni Ferguson, R.T.

Toni Ferguson, R.T.

 Clinical Assistant

Toni has been in the medical field for more than 20 years, as both a radiology technologist and medical assistant. As a valuable member of our team, she brings an extensive background in orthopedics and a genuine concern for each patient. Toni believes everyone should be treated as an individual and as if they were the only patient.

Toni is married with four grown children. She loves sports, yoga and relaxing on the beach.

Joanie Ferris

Joanie Ferris

Surgery Scheduling

Joanie has been in the medical field for 30 years, ten of those years at Sarasota Memorial Hospital and 20 years scheduling surgeries in orthopedics.  She received the Bravo award from Doctors Hospital for outstanding service in helping patients with the scheduling process.

Joanie truly enjoys helping to make each patient’s surgery experience as pleasant and worry free as possible.

In her free time she loves spending time with family and her two dogs Jax, a Bichon and Reese, a miniature Schnauzer.

Mariana Gargaun, R.T.

Mariana Gargaun, R.T.

Radiology Technologist

Mariana has been in customer service and medicine for over 10 years. Born in Cimislia, Moldova, she moved to the United States in 2005 with her parents and younger brother. Mariana speaks Romanian, Russian, Spanish and English. Making people happy guides her philosophy to treat every patient like they are part of her family.  As a  Radiology Technologist she enjoys helping patients on their road to recovery.

Mariana loves baking wonderful desserts and finds joy in sharing them with our staff, friends and family. In her spare time, she enjoys cycling.

Tressa Getzen

Tressa Getzen

Patient Coordinator

Tressa moved to Sarasota 13 years ago from Wisconsin to escape the cold. She worked in both banking and marketing before making the switch to healthcare more than five years ago. She enjoys helping people and the personal interaction with each patient.

Tressa enjoys volunteering with local non-profits, running half marathons, yoga and traveling as much as possible. She has two cats, Brody and Gracie and a dog named Ozzy.

Donna Hilbert

Donna Hilbert

Insurance Specialist

Donna has worked in the medical field since moving to Sarasota six years ago from Bethel, Pennsylvania.  She takes pride in helping patients receive the correct benefits for their orthopedic care.  Donna has three wonderful daughters and enjoys fishing, golf and playing tennis.

Jake Hlavach, PA-C

Jake Hlavach, PA-C

Physicians Assistant

Jake joined Sforzo | Dillingham | Stewart Orthopedics + Sports Medicine in 2015 as a Physicians Assistant. He decided to become a PA because this dynamic field offered a wide variety of opportunities to participate in the patient care process, the ability to help patients and to be part of a dedicated health care team. He believes the entire team at Sforzo | Dillingham | Stewart Orthopedics + Sports Medicine shares his focus and values.

Jake moved to Sarasota from Chicago at age 9. He was a former high school and college baseball player. In his free time, he enjoys fishing, boating, and riding his motorcycle.

Lauren Hopewell

Lauren Hopewell

Out Patient Coordinator

Lauren began her career in healthcare in 2005 with an Orthodontic practice in Phoenix, Arizona. Over the years, her focus has been managing the front desk for medical and dental practices.

A graduate of Butler University, she began her professional life as a classical ballet dancer. She danced for three ballet companies, touring throughout the United States. Lauren co –founded and owned a private gymnastics club. Additionally, she was a USAG Level 10 and NCAA Women’s gymnastics judge.

She lives in Englewood, Florida with her husband, 1 cat, and three rescue dogs. For relaxation she enjoys playing classical piano, bicycling and reading books while floating in the pool.

Karen Matthews

Karen Matthews

Billing Specialist

Karen relocated to Florida with her husband and children from Long Island, NY. She has over 18 years experience working in the medical field on both the billing side and working directly one on one with patients. She was struck by a car and broke her femur and understands how frustrating being a patient can be. She found her place here where the doctors treat every individual with the respect and compassion they deserve while providing individualized care.

Karen enjoys bike riding, relaxing at the pool, volleyball and exploring scenic parks. Most of all, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.

 Rebecca Marsters

Rebecca Marsters

Patient Coordinator

Rebecca has been working in the medical field for more than 20 years. Her dedication is expressed through her warm, outgoing personality and willingness to help each patient.

Rebecca is married and has 2 children. She loves watching sports, working out and most important, spending time with her family and friends.

Laurie Piraino

Laurie Piraino

Surgery Scheduling and Authorizations

Laurie has 25 years experience in healthcare working in various different specialties.  In our office, you may see her at the front desk or she may be behind the scenes petitioning for authorization for imaging and surgery for our patients.  She is committed to making each patient’s experience positive.

Laurie has two grown children and two adorable little granddaughters. In her spare time, she loves spending time on Florida’s beaches, sightseeing, kayaking, paddle boarding and fishing.

Janelle Ropella, R.N.

Janelle Ropella, R.N.

Registered Nurse

Janelle has been in the medical profession for 11 years as a Registered Nurse. Her background in case management, wound care and patient education along with her compassion, guide her to provide the best care possible for each patient to enhance recovery and minimize down time.

Janelle loves adventure and enjoys traveling, working out and spending time with her son and family.

Briana Sandburg, R.T.

Briana Sandburg, R.T.

 Clinical Assistant

Briana has been in medicine and customer service for more than 15 years. Also, a licensed radiology technician, Briana believes all patients deserve to be treated in the same way she would want her family treated.

Briana was born and raised in Sarasota and is an identical mirror image twin, which means, she is left handed and her twin is right handed. She enjoys visiting North Carolina where both her twin and younger sister live. Her leisure time is spent playing competitive beach volleyball, reading and walking Payton, her five year old Cock-a-poo.

Betty Tringali

Betty Tringali

Billing Specialist

Betty has been in medicine since 1970. She began her career in a one-doctor office and did everything from answering phones to performing EKG’s. Over the years, she has managed several medical offices including cardiology, internal medicine and trauma. Her care and treatment of patients is guided by remembering how frightened her mother was when seeing a physician. She tries to do whatever she can to help patients feel cared for and understood.

Betty and her husband of 41 years moved to Sarasota from Buffalo in 1996. She enjoys reading, politics and boating.

Karen Van Der Baars

Karen Van Der Baars

Business Manager and Patient Coordinator

Karen has 13 years of experience working in healthcare as a manager of an outpatient-imaging center.  This position allowed Karen to work with a variety of medical specialists where she discovered she truly enjoyed orthopedics.  Her love of sports and the ability to see patients recover and return to doing the things they love made orthopedics a natural fit.  Karen strives to treat patients with kindness while thoughtfully addressing their concerns.

Married with three grown children, Karen loves to exercise and spend time at the beach with family and friends.

Teresa Wartgow

Teresa Wartgow

Certified Professional Coder

As director of our billing department with 26 years of experience, Teresa’s goal is accuracy and efficiency in all billing and insurance matters. Her expertise and attention to detail ensures you receive the best reimbursement possible.

Along with her husband and two children, Teresa moved to Florida in 2006 to enjoy the sunshine. She now loves spending time with her two beautiful grandchildren, as well as volunteering and supporting animal rescue.

Jeana Youmans

Jeana Youmans

Patient Coordinator

With 18 years of working in the medical field, Jeana’s priority is to work with compassionate doctors who put patient care first. She found that philosophy when she joinedSforzo | Dillingham | Stewart Orthopedics + Sports Medicine. In her spare time Jeana enjoys outdoor activities, adventuring to new places, live music concerts, but most of all spending time with her two children, family and friends.

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