Meet the Team

Members of the Art & Music Therapy Team

Deforia Lane, PhD, MT-BC

Deforia Lane received her Bachelor of Music in voice (opera) from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, a Music Therapy Equivalency from the Cleveland Music Therapy Consortium, a Master of Music from Cleveland State University and her PhD. in Music Education from Case Western Reserve University. Her first seven years as a music therapist concentrated on children with developmental delays after which she began the first MT program at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center in 1985. Dr. Lane has mentored over 70 music therapy interns, consults and presents nationally and internationally and supervises a staff of nine art and music therapists. Serving patients, pursuing research and heralding the profession of music therapy are her passions.

Kathy Jo Gutgsell, RN, MT-BC

Kathy Jo Gutgsell, RN, MT-BC has worked as a music therapist at UH Cleveland Medical Center since October 2008. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from North Park University in Chicago and a Music Therapy Equivalency from the University of Louisville, Kentucky. She completed her internship at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City specializing in palliative medicine and newborn intensive care.

She specializes in the care of palliative care, oncology and intensive care patients. One day a week she provides music therapy to patients at Hospice Services of Southwest General, a UH affiliate, in Strongsville, Ohio.

Tara Pell, MA, MT-BC

Tara Pell, MA, MT-BC, completed her undergraduate coursework at Baldwin-Wallace University in 2000, receiving her BA in Music Therapy and a minor in psychology. She interned at Heather Hill Health Care Center in Chardon, Ohio in Alzheimer’s/dementia care. Tara completed her master’s work in music therapy at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in Indiana in 2014 and has also received neurologic music therapy training at the Neurologic Music Therapy Training Institute at Colorado State.

Tara spent the past decade working with children with multiple developmental and special needs, adults with cognitive disabilities and geriatrics at the Beck Center for the Arts, where she served as Associate Director of Creative Arts Therapies in 2011.

Tara joined the staff at UH in February of 2011 and dedicates her time to adult oncology, patients with sickle cell disease, geriatrics and physical rehabilitation. At the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum she is involved in a music and literacy program for preschoolers called Toddler Rock. She also provides services to the Senior Compass program at PNC Fairfax Connection. She served as the membership chair for the Great Lakes region of the American Music Therapy Association and in several capacities at the state association level. As a presenter, Tara has lectured on topics in music therapy locally and nationally.

Samuel Rodgers-Melnick, MT-BC

Samuel Rodgers-Melnick, MT-BC has worked as a music therapist for University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center since June 2013. Prior to this, he earned his Bachelor of Science in Music Therapy from Duquesne University. During his internship at University Hospitals, Sam developed a weekly music therapy drumming group for inpatients with sickle cell disease, their family members, and nursing staff known as the Seidman Sessions. Since returning to UH Seidman Cancer Center as a full-time music therapist, Sam has expanded music therapy services for patients with sickle cell disease into the Acute Care Clinic as well as the Bridge Clinic for young adults with sickle cell disease. Sam also designed and constructed a mobile recording studio and various electronic music interventions for working with patients in the Frankino-Dodero Infusion Therapy Suite, where he sees outpatients undergoing cancer treatment. Currently, Sam serves as the principal investigator for two music therapy research studies examining the effects of music therapy on adults with sickle cell disease.

Barbara DiScenna, ATR-BC, LSW, LPC

Barbara DiScenna has worked in the field of art therapy for over 30 years in various settings, including mental health and medical environments. Barbara recognizes the benefits of using art therapy to assist people in coping with medical illnesses and crisis to reduce stress and promote well-being. Barbara’s goals are to focus on the person, while assisting them creatively through the healing process. She has developed and expanded the art therapy program over time to include additional staff and programs to better serve the needs of patients and the community. Her recent interest in mindfulness has been incorporated into her art therapy work. She has promoted its benefits combined with art therapy in support groups, individual sessions and staff trainings. Barbara has taught in the Art Therapy and Counseling Graduate Program at Ursuline College and presently oversees the internship and clinical training program at University Hospitals.

Barbara’s own art interests include creating with clay, collage and watercolors.

Barbara has been a part of several treatment teams at University Hospitals. Some of these include supportive oncology, palliative care, bone marrow transplant, and sickle cell care.

Rae Burke, MA, LPC

Rae recently earned her master’s degree in Counseling and Art Therapy from Ursuline College. She completed her Clinical II and Internship I experiences at UH Cleveland Medical Center, and has been working part-time as an Art Therapy Assistant at UH since May 2015. In her role as an Art Therapy Assistant, Rae has had the pleasure of developing and facilitating Art Therapy Workshops at Seidman Cancer Center for current patients, survivors, and caretakers. Rae works to incorporate patient needs into each art therapy intervention, in order to provide the most beneficial and effective care for each patient. Rae enjoys photography and painting in her free time. Rae is honored to be a part of the Art and Music Therapy team and looks forward to continuing her budding career as an Art Therapist at UH.

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