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

Maureen Fakinos, CEO (interim) and Senior Vice President, Operations Ernest Health
Maureen takes her passion for healthcare to heart. She leads a fit and active lifestyle that includes among other things, clean eating and marathon running.

As a registered nurse and licensed nurse practitioner, Maureen’s love of healthcare began in a hands-on role with patients. “Healthcare is a labor of love,” she says. “We get an amazing opportunity to sustain and give hope to our patients and see miracles happen every day.”

Possessing more than 27 years of healthcare experience, Maureen moved from the patient bedside into healthcare leadership roles, including serving as chief executive officer for an acute hospital prior to coming to Ernest Health.

Maureen earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Phoenix and a master’s degree in nursing California State University, Fullerton, in Fullerton, Calif. She is a board certified nurse practitioner, having earned her credential from California State University, Fullerton. In addition, she is a certified public health nurse.

Maureen currently resides in San Clemente, Calif. When not working or running, you can find her training for a half ironman, raising chickens, and most importantly, spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren.


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.