Our Staff

What differentiates one skilled nursing & rehabilitation center from another? The answer is... the people who work and reside there! The people set the tone, the atmosphere, and the expectations. At The Laurels of Hamilton, we take great pride in ensuring that everyone feels like part of our family and that they are treated as special "guests" in our home.

The Laurels of Hamilton employs a team of highly qualified medical professionals, including a Medical Director, Registered Nurses, Restorative Care Nurses, a Wound Care Nurse, state tested Certified Nursing Assistants, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and a Speech Therapist. Our on-site Rehab, Dietary, Social Work, and Activities departments provide personalized and compassionate care to each guest. From the moment you walk through the front doors, the warmth and caring of the staff will begin to gain your trust and confidence, as they strive to exceed your expectations.

Unlike other facilities that use "contracted" staff members, each member of the team at The Laurels of Hamilton is directly employed, not "contracted". Each Team Member takes great pride in portraying "The Laurel Way of Caring", as they strive for excellence in providing only the highest standard of care and services to every guest, and to every family member and visitor. Come on in! Visit a while! Let us show you our very best... let us show you The Laurel Way.

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Kaitlen Gerace


Kaitlen Gerace graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Development and Family Studies with her concentration in Gerontology from Kent State University. After graduation, she completed her Administrator in Training internship at The Laurels of Worthington under a Senior Administrator and now Regional Director of Operations, learning The Laurel Way early in her career. She assisted with the successful startup of a new 50 bed skilled nursing facility in the Cincinnati, Ohio area and is excited to now rejoin The Laurel family. Kaitlen is an active member of the American College of Health Care Administrators and was awarded a scholarship through the college to attend the National Emerging Leadership Summit in Washington, DC in 2017. Kaitlen is excited to join The Laurels of Hamilton team and looks forward to serving the Hamilton community. She currently resides in Fairfield Township with her husband Steven and their two dogs, Homer and Penny.

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Teresa Merk, RN

Director of Nursing

Teresa graduated from the College of Mt. St. Joseph nursing school in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing. After graduation she accepted a position in the ICU at Shriners Hospital for Children and worked for 23 years as an ICU care provider and Director of their flight program. In 2007 Teresa transitioned to Children’s Hospital Medical Center and became their Clinical Director until joining the Laurels in February of 2020.  Teresa was awarded the coveted Florence Nightingale Award in 2006.  Teresa comes with her Master’s Services Association. Teresa recently completed her Black Belt Certification in Lean Six Sigma. Teresa lives in Harrison, OH with her husband John. They have 6 children and are expecting their 12th grandchild.   

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Jessica Smith, PTA

Rehabilitation Services Director

Jessica graduated from Wright State University with her Bachelor’s in Athletic Training. She continued her education at Kent State and received her Associate’s degree in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program in 2015. Jessica began her time as a PTA in outpatient setting but has spent the majority of her career in the skilled nursing setting. Jessica looks forward to watching the Rehab Department in Hamilton grow to continue to exceed the expectations of our guests.

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Katie Klespies Wacker

Director of Marketing

Katie received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Exercise Science and Orthopedic Assessment and Treatment from Baldwin Wallace University. She has worked in health care for two years in the behavioral health hospital setting and will bringing all that experience to us at The Laurels of Hamilton to assist us in caring for our guests. Katie loved making connections with her patients in the acute care hospital setting and is excited for the opportunity to further those personal connections in the skilled nursing setting. She lives in Oakley, OH and loves walking to all the area hot spots. We are excited to have Katie join our team at The Laurels of Hamilton.

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