Meet Our Leaders

Rehabilitation Hospital of the Northwest is led by a team of highly experienced healthcare professionals who are passionate about providing the highest level of care available to the hospital’s patients.

We invite you to learn more about us below:

Meet Our Leaders

Una Alderman, Chief Executive Officer
Una is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves who brings more than 35 years of diverse nursing and leadership experience to our hospital. She has served as a staff nurse in case management, trauma, pediatrics, labor and delivery, postpartum, intensive care (medical and cardiac), internal medicine, cardiology and medical/surgical. She also has served as a Medevac nurse orchestrating care for wounded soldiers returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Una held numerous management and leadership positions before coming to Northern Idaho Advanced Care Hospital, most recently directing cardiac services at an acute care hospital. Her professional career has included rural and tertiary hospitals in the United States as well as working internationally in Germany, Russia, Afghanistan and South America.

Una holds a doctorate degree in leadership studies, a master’s degree in organizational leadership, bachelor’s and diploma degrees in nursing, and an associate’s degree in management.

Una is the eldest daughter of Irish immigrant parents and has six siblings. She has been married 35 years and has two grown sons and five grandchildren. She served in Afghanistan with her oldest son who is an active-duty Army Military Policeman. Una lives in the Northern Idaho area, but previously has lived in Germany, Afghanistan and Alaska. When not working, she enjoys traveling, the outdoors, hiking, and spending time with her greatest joys – her grandchildren.

 

Dr. Jeremy Kokkonen, D.O., Medical Director
An osteopathic physician, Dr. Kokkonen uses a whole-person approach in treating patients whose lives have been affected by disabilities.

Dr. Kokkonen has received extensive training in osteopathic medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and interventional and medical pain management. He holds a special interest in strokes and spinal cord injuries.

A Brigham Young University graduate, Dr. Kokkonen attended medical school at A.T. Still University/Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Mo. He then continued with residencies at Valley Hospital Medical Center in Las Vegas, and served as chief resident in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He completed a fellowship in interventional and pain management at Nexus Pain Care in Provo, Utah.

He is involved in numerous professional, educational, and community volunteer activities, including the American Osteopathic Association, American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Dr. Kokkonen resides in Post Falls with his wife and has two daughters. When not working, he enjoys fly fishing, snowboarding, and traveling.

 

Jennie Pipoly, Chief Operating Officer
Jennie embraces the hospital’s philosophy that patients come first. She enjoys getting to know patients and their families, and strongly believes that when your priority remains on the patients, success will follow.

Jennie possesses more than 15 years of healthcare experience in short-term acute care hospitals, critical access hospitals, and medical clinics. She manages the hospital’s day-to-day operations while still maintaining financial responsibilities for both Rehabilitation Hospital of the Northwest and Northern Idaho Advanced Care Hospital, serving as Chief Financial Officer.

A certified public accountant, Jennie earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting, and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, Alaska.  She is a past Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) Idaho Chapter President, earning the distinguished “Most Improved Chapter” award in 2012 during her term. She also is a 2011 graduate from the Coeur d’ Alene Leadership program.

When Jennie is not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and three daughters. Having grown up in Northern Idaho and Alaska, she enjoys the outdoors — especially camping and fishing. She is actively learning how to fly fish and is an enthusiastic spectator of her daughters’ softball, gymnastic, and school activities.

 

Nicole Rostron, Director of Nursing
Nicole’s love of caring for people is evident in her actions every day as she leads the nursing management of our hospital.

Nicole has held numerous management and leadership positions as a registered nurse, most recently serving as nurse manager at a rehabilitation hospital in Arizona before coming to Rehabilitation Hospital of the Northwest. She also has served as a charge nurse in a mixed medical-surgical-telemetry and progressive care unit, as well as inpatient rehabilitation and in-home settings.

Nicole earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona, and an associate’s degree in nursing and science from Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona. In addition, she is certified in neuroscience nursing.

Nicole has been an expert lecturer and speaker at the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses National Conference. She is the member of the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses, the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses, and Sigma Theta Tau, an Honor Society of Nurses.

A North Idaho native, Nicole grew up in the Moscow/Pullman area. She has lived in Tucson, Ariz., Florida, Washington, and Melbourne, Australia.  Nicole is a busy mom with four children.  When she isn’t working or parenting, she loves to swim and read just about anything.

 

Ashley Bertagnole, Director of Patient Outcomes
Ashley enjoys helping patients progress to their highest abilities possible.  Ashley has 8 years of experience as a physical therapist in both outpatient and inpatient settings but specializing in patients who  have had a stroke. 

Ashley earned a bachelor’s degree in natural sciences from Daemen College in Buffalo, N.Y. She then went on to earn a doctorate in physical therapy from Daemen College as well. She currently is Neuro-IFRAH certified.

When Ashley isn’t working, she enjoys short fun runs camping, traveling, knitting, and spending time with family and friends.  

 

Travis Mendy, Director of Plant Operations
As a life-long resident of Northern Idaho, Travis has been a part of Ernest Health for over nine years as a maintenance mechanic. Travis also brings nine years of experience in Information and Technology, as well as over 15 years of janitorial and EVS.

Travis is an active member in the community and coaches youth sports. He loves the summer but enjoys winter time activities.

His hobbies include playing sports, riding ATVs, road trips with the family and being an amazing single father to his two sons.

 

Jennifer West, Director of Compliance
Jennifer says she became a nurse because her mother was a nurse.  As a second generation nurse, she learned what compassion was and how to be a part of the nurturing and healing process of patients initially through observation.

Jennifer brings more than 20 years of varied experience to the hospital, with a background in nursing, critical care, surgery, infection control and compliance. She ensures that our patients are cared for in a secure and safe environment.

Jennifer earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Phoenix. She is involved with North Idaho Prevention Coalition and the North Idaho Healthcare Coalition. She also is a member of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses and the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

Jennifer says Ernest Health’s guiding principle, “We are compassionate caregivers, connected at our core by the treatment needs of our patients,” resounds deeply with her because of the compassion caregivers have and the interconnectivity Ernest Health’s treatment teams have. “This guiding principle is visible in everyone whom I work with,” she says. “We can take patients that are so broken by trauma and disease, and with our treatment, get them back to their lives.”

Jennifer enjoys camping in the beautiful wilderness of Idaho with her family and friends.

 

Brian Edwards, Director of Human Resources
Brian is responsible for the overall administration and evaluation of the Human Resources department at both hospitals. 

With more than 17 years of experience, Edwards has held numerous management and leadership positions in human resources, most recently serving as Human Resource and Safety Manager at WEAR-TEK in Spokane. He has also served as a human resources, benefits, and payroll manager at Kootenai Health Medical Center in Coeur d’Alene.

Edwards earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Wash.

Brian and his wife Beth have two grown children and when he’s not at the hospital he relishes time with them and extended family enjoying the many outdoor activities North Idaho has to offer.

 

Teresa Brown DiPasquale, Director of Therapy Operations
In her 17 years of experience, Teresa has always enjoyed watching individuals reach their fullest abilities through therapy services.

A licensed speech-language pathologist, Teresa has served as a therapist, therapy manager, administrator of home care, and director of therapy in a wide variety of settings including acute care, outpatient services, skilled nursing, and rehabilitation hospitals.

Teresa earned a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from Washington State University (WSU) in Spokane WA., and a bachelor’s degree in speech and language from the University of Washington in Seattle. She has served on the faculty of Eastern Washington University (EWU) teaching in Health Services Administration and Public Health departments.  She is a certified member of the American Speech and Hearing Association.

In her spare time, you can find Teresa….spending time with family and friends.  She loves being outdoors.  She likes lake time, traveling to the ocean and dragging her boys on a hike or two.  Teresa also enjoys  swimming, biking, running and participating in triathlons.