Our Staff

What differentiates one skilled nursing & rehabilitation center from another? The answer is... the people who work and reside there! The people set the tone, the atmosphere, and the expectations. At The Laurels of DeKalb, we take great pride in ensuring that everyone feels like part of our family and that they are treated as special "guests" in our home.

The Laurels of DeKalb employs a team of highly qualified medical professionals, including a Medical Director, Registered Nurses, Restorative Care Nurses, a Wound Care Nurse, state tested Certified Nursing Assistants, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and a Speech Therapist. Our on-site Rehab, Dietary, Social Work, and Activities departments provide personalized and compassionate care to each guest. From the moment you walk through the front doors, the warmth and caring of the staff will begin to gain your trust and confidence, as they strive to exceed your expectations.

Unlike other facilities that use "contracted" staff members, each member of the team at The Laurels of DeKalb is directly employed, not "contracted". Each Team Member takes great pride in portraying "The Laurel Way of Caring", as they strive for excellence in providing only the highest standard of care and services to every guest, and to every family member and visitor. Come on in! Visit a while! Let us show you our very best... let us show you The Laurel Way.

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Emily Nelson


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Shannon Anderson

Director of Nursing

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Duane Gaerte

Rehabilitation Services Director

Duane joined the team at The Laurels of DeKalb as rehabilitation services director in March 2021. 

Duane graduated from Tri State University with a degree in Criminal Justice in 1997 but quickly realized  physical therapy and rehabilitation was his passion. As a result, he graduated from Ivy Tech in Muncie with an associate's degree in physical therapy in 2001. He has over 20 years of therapy experience with the long-term care and skilled nursing populations.

He lives in Angola with his wife Amy, son Mason, and daughter Morgan.

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Brooke Peters

Director of Marketing

Brooke joined The Laurels in October 2019. She has extensive experience in both the health care and finance industries, having spent 10 years with Parkview Health as a surgical tech and nearly three years as a case manager and marketer for Ash Brokerage in Ft. Wayne. As a lifelong DeKalb County resident, when the director of marketing role with with The Laurels became available, it was a no-brainer to return to her community and serve those in need.

Brooke graduated from IPFW with an associate’s degree in radiography. She enjoys spending her free time with her husband and two children. She is an avid reader, huge Harry Potter nerd, and outdoors enthusiast.

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