Meet Katie, our Founder
Katie Lindenfelser is a music therapist, massage therapist and reflexologist who has worked with children and young adults with a shortened life-expectancy and their families in the hospital, hospice and home-care setting. Following her training at Augsburg College, she first worked for Seasons Hospice in Chicago, IL where she provided music therapy to many children at the end of life and for their families through bereavement. She then returned to Minnesota to provide music therapy at Ridgeview Hospice and at the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital.
Katie was asked many times, “why has music therapy not been offered to us sooner?” She observed, and the childrens’ parents commented on, the beauty of seeing their child smile during music, the bonding experience it created, and the memories of love and joy that remained. This started her journey to advocate for children with life-limiting conditions to receive music therapy, massage and other services.
Because there was no research written about providing music therapy specifically in the area of children’s palliative and hospice care, Katie went to Melbourne, Australia to pursue a master’s degree researching music therapy and pediatric palliative care. During her time in Melbourne, she visited Very Special Kids, a residential children’s hospice and realized what a treasure this place is for children with life-limiting conditions and their families. Upon her return to Minnesota, following her master’s degree, Katie continued to advocate, write grants and pursue the addition of music therapy, massage therapy and reflexology for children receiving palliative care.
In the fall of 2008 she returned again to Australia to provide music therapy at Very Special Kids. During this time, it became evident to her that it is vital to pursue the creation of a children’s respite and hospice home in Minnesota. Katie met with the founder of Very Special Kids, Margaret Noone and also visited another children’s hospice in Sydney, Australia called “Bear Cottage”. During these visits, Katie learned more about the building and operations and understood the vitality of having a children’s hospice in order to serve and support the community, especially families and children who can be strained due to the demanding cares involved.
In 2009, Katie, her husband Matt Christensen and their friend Nadine Gregerson began to make this dream come true in Minnesota. They have been supported and joined by leading experts in the field and community, and are working to build Crescent Cove – to offer care and support to children and young adults with a shortened life expectancy, and their families through respite stays for the child and/or family, and by providing loving and compassionate care at the end-of-life and beyond. Contact at Katie@crescentcove.org.
Meet Karla, our Office Manager
Karla joined the Crescent Cove staff in September 2015 as the Office Manager. She is a graduate of the Carlson School of Management and was most recently the administrative director at The Academy on Violence and Abuse. Prior to that she worked as a business analyst at Honeywell and Alliant Tech Systems, a marketing analyst at West Publishing and a computer help desk analyst at Dataserve and Gelco.
Karla’s commitment to the Crescent Cove mission is near and dear to her heart as she and her husband, Joe, lost their third child, Peter. Peter was able to live in their home for 36 days with the love and support of a phenomenal hospice team from Minneapolis Children’s hospital. Karla and Joe have two other children, Gracie, a senior at St. Benedicts and Danny, a sophomore at St. Johns.
Karla has been active in the Rotary STRIVE program (Students Taking Renewed Interest in the Value of Education) and loves biking, hiking and yoga. Contact at Karla.Vaughan@crescentcove.org.
Meet Tara, our Director of Engagement
Tara Anderson joins the Crescent Cove staff as its Director of Engagement in April 2017. Most recently, she was the director of alumni relations and annual giving at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health since 2013. Prior to that role, she was the alumni director for IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law for five and half years, as well as a former staff member for the University of Illinois Alumni Association.
A graduate of the University of Illinois, Tara earned a bachelor’s degree in food and agribusiness management and a master’s degree in public administration. She has served in volunteer roles with NAADA (National Agriculture Alumni and Development Association), CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education), and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Tara is excited to join Crescent Cove to help the organization achieve its goal of opening the Crescent Cove home in the fall of 2017. A native of Illinois, Tara currently resides in Saint Paul where she enjoys being active through running and playing sports, and cheering on her home state sports teams. Contact at Tara.Anderson@crescentcove.org.
Meet Deb, our Volunteer Coordinator
Deb joined the Crescent Cove staff as Volunteer Coordinator in September 2017. Most recently, she worked at HealthPartners Institute for Education & Research as Director of Collaborative Learning. While there she led yearlong learning collaboratives called the “EBAN Experience”, which brought together healthcare professionals, patients, caregivers and community members from diverse populations, who worked side by side to improve cultural humility, health outcomes and patient experiences in the Twin Cities area.
As a dedicated volunteer for last 25 years, Deb served on the Board of Directors at Mixed Blood Theatre, volunteered at NC Little Hospice, served as a Big Sister for Big Brother/Big Sister Minnesota, was a Guardian Ad Litem, and was an Art Masterpiece instructor in her kids’ classrooms and many more.
Deb is a graduate of Carlson School of Management and also received her Masters in Adult Education and Human Resource Development from the University of Minnesota. She is married to her high school sweetheart, has two adult sons, a daughter in law, and two precious grandchildren. She is a passionate, heart-centered person who enjoys sharing her experiences with the families and volunteers at Crescent Cove. Contact at Deb.Bryan@CrescentCove.org.