About Us

Welcome to MidState Therapy Associates

MidState Therapy Associates is a privately owned and operated speech therapy and occupational therapy practice. Owned by Karen I. Kupfer, licensed and practicing speech pathologist. We provide evaluations, diagnosis and therapy from infancy through adulthood.

We are committed to a holistic and functional approach in the evaluation of children and adults. We believe it is the right of the individual to be able to effectively communicate in his or her environment. We help individuals maximize their full potential.

Family involvement is crucial to the success of therapy. Midstate Therapy Associates acts as a referral source in the client’s community. This allows them to access any ancillary services that might be needed.

We pride ourselves in providing a warm, comfortable and friendly environment.

"The qualities that make us all different are the
qualities that make us all special."

Meet the Team

Our Practitioners

Karen I. Kupfer M.S., CCC-SLP

Karen is the owner of MidState Therapy Associates since its inception in 2000. Karen has been a speech language pathologist for over 35 years. She received her masters degree from Brooklyn College. She has worked in many different settings including: early intervention, hospitals, schools, nursing homes, homecare, rehabilitatioin centers, sheltered workshops for developmentally disabled adults, head start programs and private practice. Her caseload consists of infants through adults. She enjoys working in the areas of early language development, feeding, mental health, learning, articulation and leading groups. She has presented workshops on speech and language issues and related topics. Karen has volunteered and sat on boards for many nonprofit organizations. She also participates and chairs fundraising events. She is currently involved with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), where she is assisting in developing The Children’s Initiative for NJ and is a trained facilitator of Basics; which is a program for families whose child is presenting with mental health, behavioral or emotional issues.

Karen enjoys working in the areas of early intervention, language development, feeding, articulation, mental health, family support, aphasia, oral motor disorders, hearing impairment, neurological disorders, traumatic brain injury, social skills, and acting as a referral source and advocate for her families. Karen is a group facilitator for her clients, families, and other professionals.

Speech Therapy Associates

Merrill S. Stauber M.A., CCC-SLP

Merrill has been a speech language pathologist for over 30 years. She received her Masters Degree from Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York. She has worked in many settings including: homecare, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, schools, sheltered workshops for developmentally disabled adults, cerebral palsy center and private practice. Merrill has provided services for young children through adulthood. She enjoys working in the areas of: auditory processing, phonemic awareness, reading comprehension, tongue thrust therapy, voice disorders, articulation therapy, language development and oral motor therapy.


Jacqueline Napolitano M.A., CCC-SLP

Jacqueline has been with Midstate Therapy Associates for the past four years. She received her Masters Degree from Kean University in 2000 and received her ASHA CCC’s while working in the school setting. Jacqueline comes to us with 16 years experience working with pre-school through elementary school aged children in the areas of receptive and expressive language, articulation, oral-motor skills, apraxia of speech, stuttering, and auditory processing disorders. Jacqueline has received formalized training in the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) by Pyramid Educational Consultants. She has further been trained by Douglass Developmental Center in the area of Applied Behavior Analysis using the verbal behavior approach for autism. Jacqueline has been working with students on the autism spectrum for the past 13 years. Jacqueline has further been PROMPT trained and has more recently been received training in the area of accent reduction using the Compton PESL Accent Modification Method.

Meryl Gelman M.A., CCC-SLP

Meryl Gelman received her M.A. in Speech Pathology/Audiology from New York University and her B.A. in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Florida. Meryl holds licensure in both New Jersey and New York, as well as holding the Certificate of Clinical Competence from ASHA. In addition, she is a Prompt Trained clinician. Meryl has experience working with pediatrics in a public school and private school setting, as well as early intervention and private practice. Meryl has experience treating a variety articulation and phonological speech disorders/delays; receptive and expressive language disorders; oral motor difficulties and apraxia of speech.

Michele Coogan, M.A., CCC-SLP

Michele received her Masters of Arts degree in Speech Language Pathology from Montclair State University. She is a speech language pathologist/speech language specialist with over 20 years experience. She is employed in a public school setting and private practice. Michele works with clients from preschool through adulthood. Areas of treatment include: stuttering/cluttering/fluency, autism, social skills, myofunctional therapy, apraxia, oral motor coordination disorder, articulation, feeding, dyslexia, aphasia, voice disorders, brain injury, speech language delays and hearing impairments. Michele is a frequent recipient Of the Award for Continuing Education (ACE). Michele received Teacher of The Year (2009-2010). Michele is a member of the ASHA Special Interest Group 4, Fluency and Fluency Disorders. She is sited on the Stuttering Foundation of America’s website (stuttering help.org) as a referral source for fluency disorders in New Jersey. She has supervised students in their clinical practicum. Michele has been an adjunct professor through Kean University for speech upgrade. She has specific training in fluency techniques for children and adults, PROMPT, Kaufman Apraxia Program, ABA, Oral Motor, SOS Approach to Feeding, and behavior modification training.

Dana Lisi, M.S., CCC-SLP

Dana is a New Jersey State Licensed and ASHA certified Speech-Language Pathologist. She received her M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology and B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Stockton University. She completed her clinical practicum placements in a public school setting, where she served students in the general education population and individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders, as well as in a hospital based setting at Riverview Medical Center located in Red Bank, NJ.  She has clinical experience implementing specific, age appropriate goals in the areas of articulation, phonological processes, receptive and expressive language, social/pragmatic communication, swallowing, cognition, and augmentative and alternative communication.

Dana has been working with children on the spectrum for the past 5 years using an Applied Behavioral Analyst approach and has recently been PROMPT trained. She has experience working with pediatrics in a public school and private clinical setting. Dana has a passion for working with the pediatric population and individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She exhibits a genuine passion for working with and improving the lives of those with communication needs. She believes that family involvement and support is vital for success for all populations. Her priority as a clinician is to provide educationally appropriate services that are engaging, effective, and appropriate for each clients specific needs. When not treating, Dana is a foodie. She loves to try different types of foods and restaurants. You can always find her at some kind of food truck festival. In addition, she loves spending time with her family and friends. She values her relationships with all those in her life. Sometimes they even join her on a food truck experience.

Mary Spallanzani, M.A., CCC-SLP

Mary has been an SLP for 12 years working with an adult population. She received her masters degree from Kean University and her undergraduate degree from Iona College. She has worked in many settings including home care, assisted living, skilled nursing and private practice.

Mary has experience working with adults with a variety of speech disorders / deficits including receptive and expressive disorders, oral motor difficulties, dysarthria and apraxia of speech.

Karisa Wagenman, M.S.Ed, CCC-SLP

Karisa Wagenman received her Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and her Master of Science in Education (MSEd) degree from Monmouth University. Karisa holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from ASHA and is licensed in the state of New Jersey. She is also certified in the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) Loud program and the Visualizing and Verbalizing Program. Karisa has experience working in the public school setting, acute rehabilitation setting, acute care setting, and private practice setting. She works with both children and adults. Areas of treatment include articulation, phonology, apraxia, disorders of cognition, aphasia, dysphagia, oral motor difficulties, voice disorders, brain injury, expressive/receptive language delays, autism, PECS, and more. Karisa enjoys working with children 3+ y/o and adults!

Diana Blau, M.A., CCC-SLP

Diana is a dedicated and compassionate ASHA-certified speech pathologist based in New Jersey. With a deep passion for helping individuals overcome communication challenges, she has dedicated her career to providing comprehensive and personalized speech and language therapy.

Through years of experience servicing clients in various settings, including schools, outpatient hospitals, early intervention, and private practices, she has developed a deep understanding of various communication disorders and the most effective therapeutic techniques. Specific treatment areas include pragmatic language, expressive and receptive language, and auditory processing. Diana is a certified PEERS Social Communication Program Specialist. With experience leading social groups with individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and informational sessions with parents and caregivers.

Diana’s goal is to empower individuals of all ages to communicate effectively, whether it’s through speech, language, or alternative methods. She works closely with her clients and their families, fostering a supportive and collaborative environment that encourages growth, progress, and achievement.

Occupational Therapy Associates

Virginia E. Villafane, B.S., OTR/L

Virginia E. Villafane is a graduate of New York University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Occupational Therapy, practicing as a certified and licensed therapist for 35 years. She Started her career providing services to adults and children in acute care and rehabilitation in a large municipal teaching hospital and she advanced to Chief of the Department which led her to supervise burn trauma therapeutic services in a private teaching hospital. After ten years she transitioned into pediatric care. She Worked in a specialized nursery and pre-school for the multiple handicapped to her present position as an Independent Consultant in Early Intervention, various outpatient pediatric clinics and early elementary school aged children within schools or service provision in their homes. Diagnosis with the medically fragile, developmental delays of any origin, behavioral difficulties and visual sensory processing impairment with visual motor integration deficits. Virginia stays relevant of current trends in Occupational Therapy through continuing education and mentoring prospective and/or current Occupational Therapy students. Virginia believes that she learns each day from the children and families with whom she works.

Office Manager/Medical Billing

Angela Buro

Areas Serving

Manalapan, Marlboro, Freehold, Monroe, Manchester, Toms River, Brick and surrounding areas

Our Practice
Office Hours

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