Meet Our NeuroCare Team

Our Team of Specialized HD and ALS Health Care Professionals

Compassion and innovation is in our DNA and patient care is our highest priority. Our highly trained staff of skilled health care professionals, and above average staff-to-resident ratio, ensures individuals living with Huntington’s Disease and ALS receive comprehensive care from those who understand their unique needs and have the skills to provide such dedicated services.

Ashley Livingston, BS - NeuroCare Program Director

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Ashley Livingston, BS, oversees the daily operations of the Sitrin NeuroCare program, including admission of all potential residents.

Since graduating from SUNY Oswego with her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development in 2016, Livingston has held a number of different roles within the human services field. At Sitrin, she is the Neuro Program Director on Sitrin’s NeuroCare unit.

She first began her career working as a Vocational Habilitation Specialist for Upstate Cerebral Palsy in Barneveld, NY. From there, she went on to work for three years as a Social Worker in the Case Management Department at Faxton-St Luke’s Hospital in Utica, NY. During this time, she became a NYS DOH certified screener for long-term care and subacute placement.

After leaving the hospital, and prior to obtaining her current position with Sitrin, she worked as the Director of Adult Day Health Care at Presbyterian Home in New Hartford, NY.

Throughout her career thus far, she has gained experience in acute care, long-term care, community based programs and elder care within the Utica area. She looks forward to fostering relationships with the team, the residents, and the families of Sitrin’s NeuroCare unit, as well as longevity and growth for her career within the program.

Sara Atkyns - NeuroCare Charge Nurse

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Sara has worked in healthcare for the entirety of her post-high school professional career. She began working as a Certified Nurse’s Aide at Valley Health Nursing Home in 2008. Following her time at Valley Health, she accepted a position as a Certified Nurse’s Aide in the long-term care houses at Sitrin in 2010. Sara was among the first of the direct care employees to work on Sitrin’s NeuroCare Unit when it opened its doors in 2016. 

Sara began as a CNA before obtaining her Licensed Practical Nurse certification in 2017. Since obtaining her LPN, she has provided care to Sitrin’s Neuro Unit residents with a level of compassion and dedication that led to her promotion to full-time Charge Nurse, overseeing the residents’ daily care and all day-shift direct care staff. Sara continues to provide daily hands-on nursing care, while also completing her administrative duties as charge nurse and acting tirelessly as a support system for all Neuro Families. 

Dani Barcomb-Busansky, CTRS, MHA - Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist

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Dani Barcomb-Busansky, CTRS,MHA develops adaptive recreation programs for Sitrin’s NeuroCare residents. Within these programs, she works on fine and gross motor skills, cognition, and social well-being. She assesses each resident upon admission and bases the programs around personal leisure interests.

Dani earned her Bachelor's in Therapeutic Recreation from Utica University. She is also a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist from the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC). She earned her Master's in Health Care Administration from Utica University as well.

Dani was introduced to Recreation Therapy in college, and has embraced the field ever since. Bringing recreation to the NeuroCare residents has been the joy in Dani's work since she began her career with Sitrin in 2017. Before Sitrin, Dani worked with people with developmental disabilities in local organizations at UCP and The Arc. 

Chelsea Darrow, MS, OTR/L - Occupational Therapist for LTC/Neuro

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Chelsea Darrow, MS, OTR/L, provides occupational therapy services to residents of the NeuroCare Program. She evaluates all individuals upon admission to determine each person’s unique needs. Additionally, she works to ensure each individual functions at their highest level and has the necessary tools and support. Darrow works closely with the nursing and dietary teams to implement adaptive tools and strategies for success in daily life. She also provides environmental adaptations to promote safety and overall wellbeing. She has a passion for client-centered care and believes in honoring the autonomy of each individual and understanding their unique goals, wishes, and personal preferences.

Darrow is a Central New York native who graduated from Utica College in 2012, earning a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy. She enjoys serving as an adjunct lecturer in the Occupational Therapy program at Utica College.

Dr. Matthew J. Caraher, PT, DPT, NCS - Neurologic Physical Therapist

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Dr. Matthew Caraher is a CNY native and is a neurologic physical therapist who joined the Sitrin team in January 2024. He received a Bachelor’s degree from Le Moyne College and went on to receive his doctorate in physical therapy from SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York.

Dr. Caraher became a board-certified neurologic clinical specialist in 2016 and has a passion for advocating the importance of physical therapy interventions for individuals with neurologic conditions. Prior to his time at Sitrin, Matthew was the Lead Neurologic Physical Therapist for the University of Miami Health System for 9 years. In 2017 he co-founded and assumed the role of Program Director for the University of Miami’s neurologic residency program for physical therapists, a year long intensive program with the goal of training new physical therapists in neurologic specialization. He also served as an adjunct faculty member in the neuroscience track of the University’s DPT curriculum.

Caraher has performed clinical and national research with individuals following stroke, traumatic brain injury, as well as diagnoses such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, inclusion body myositis, and more. He has spoken about the importance of neurologic physical therapy and safe exercise for individuals with neurologic conditions at conferences at the state, national, and international levels. Dr. Caraher’s passion for working with individuals with neurologic conditions has continued to grow over his years of experience and he hopes to continue to educate the community on the importance of safe and healthy exercise for all.