Our Team

STRIVE for Independence is Chicagoland's premiere driver rehabilitation group. Our group of therapists has extensive experience serving clients with a wide variety of driver rehabilitation needs.

Anne Hegberg

Anne Hegberg, OTR/L, CDRS, CDI

Anne is an occupational therapist (OTR/L), certified driver rehabilitation specialist (CDRS), and certified driving instructor (CDI). Anne is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine "a long time ago." She has been practicing in the field of driver rehabilitation for over thirty years. Anne is an active member of several of the national organizations that support driver rehabilitation including the Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (past-president and years of committee work), the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (board member for the past four years), and the American Occupational Therapy Association (content expert on several NHTSA studies). Anne has authored chapters on adaptive driving equipment in two textbooks in addition to presenting at numerous local, national, and international occupational therapy and driver rehabilitation educational meetings and conferences. When it comes to adaptive equipment, she likes to think outside of the box and at times asks "what box?" In her free time, Anne loves spending time with her granddaughters.

Danielle Czajkowski

Danielle Czajkowski, OTR/L, CDRS, CDI

Danielle Czajkowski is an occupational therapist (OTR/L), certified driver rehabilitation specialist (CDRS), and certified driving instructor (CDI). Danielle graduated from Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine with a Master of Science degree in occupational therapy in 2005. Her master's research focused on driving, dementia, and driving retirement. Danielle has specialized in the field of driver rehabilitation since 2010. She has been an active member of the Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists at the local level, serving terms as Secretary and President of the Midwest Chapter. Beyond working with clients, Danielle has enjoyed educating the community and her colleagues about the field of driver rehabilitation through various presentations to local community programs and at professional educational conferences such as the Illinois Occupational Therapy Association. Danielle is passionate about helping people maintain their independence and her heart lies especially with helping the older adult population. Outside of work, Danielle enjoys being a mom and spending time with her two young children, reading, being active outdoors, and rooting on her favorite sports teams.

Nicole Thonn

Nicole Thonn, OTR/L, CDRS, CDI

Nicole Thonn is an occupational therapist (OTR/L), certified driver rehabilitation specialist (CDRS), and certified driving instructor (CDI). Nicole is passionate about the driver rehabilitation field- working as a clinician and giving professional presentations- since 2012. She is a CarFit Instructor and a "We Need to Talk" Facilitator. Nicole views being a part of someone's journey to become a driver again, or become a driver for the first time, a true privilege. Nicole graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in three years with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Aging, summa cum laude. During that time, she worked as a research assistant in the Infant Cognition Lab and was a proud member of the Marching Illini. She graduated with her Master's degree in Occupational Therapy at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2010, where she was awarded the Departmental Achievement Award. During that time, she enjoyed working as a teaching assistant for undergraduate psychology courses. When she's not at work, Nicole loves going for walks with her family and dogs.

Leslie Buss

Leslie Buss, Office Manager

Leslie happily joins the STRIVE team after previously working as a Therapy Support Technician and doing book keeping and administrative support for a due diligence company in Chicago. She worked for many years as a caregiver and also helped deliver meals on wheels via DuPage Senior Services and Hanover Township. She graduated from Penn State University back in the day and also currently volunteers as an ESL Tutor with Literacy DuPage and occasionally with the Wayne Township General Assistance program. Leslie enjoys travel, attending concerts and sports games, reading and scrapbooking. Leslie and her husband have three adult children scattered throughout the country and have lived in the Chicagoland area for 35 years.

Pam Bartle

Pam Bartle, In Memoriam

Pam was a founding member of STRIVE for Independence. She was a born Occupational Therapist in that she embodied care and concern for others and had a willingness and desire to help people. She had a genuine interest in people, professionally and personally. Her energy and enthusiasm for her hobbies, work, family and friends was sincere and she was a bright light to be around for those of us who had the privilege to know her!

Pam was passionate about the accessibility and affordability of driver rehabilitation services. We are honoring her memory by creating the Pam Bartle Memorial Fund, which will be used to offer discounted services to clients who do not have outside funding.

Thank you for your consideration in supporting this new program!

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