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 Canton, 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 Canton 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 Canton 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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Mark Calabrase, LNHA


Mark has been involved in long-term care in various capacities virtually his entire life.  He is from a family who built, owned and operated skilled nursing and assisted living facilities.  In fact, The Laurels of Canton was one of them.  Prior to becoming an Administrator, Mark worked in long-term care as a carpenter, accountant, and an attorney.  He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Accounting from Baldwin-Wallace University and a law degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.  Mark has always had a passion for helping others and being an Administrator allows him to do that in a direct way.

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Gail Fontes, RN

Director of Nursing

Gail began her career in nursing 24 years ago as a STNA. She advanced her education with Canton City Schools LPN program, and then went on to become a Registered Nurse in 2010.  Gail has previous experience as a Director of Nursing in skilled nursing facilities.  For the last 4 years Gail has worked as a Nurse Case Manager, following multiple members in a variety of long-term care facilities.  As a Canton native she is looking forward to leading a team of professionals to provide exceptional health care services to our guests.

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Tara Janson, PTA

Rehabilitation Services Director

Tara has been in the healthcare industry for over 16 years and brings outstanding knowledge and compassion to The Laurels of Canton. She graduated from Stark State College with an Associate’s of Applied Science in Physical Therapy, with concentrations in dementia care. She also holds a Certificate of Gerontology. From a young age, Tara knew she wanted to spend her time caring for others in order to help them heal. She started in the industry as a pharmacy tech and went on to be an STNA. It was during her STNA experience that she realized working in nursing facilities was where she wanted to focus. Tara believes in making sure she and her outstanding therapy team provide the best quality care in order to help promote increased mobility and function for each guest. In her free time, she enjoys going to concerts, reading and spending time with her daughter, cat and two dogs.

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Abby Jackson

Director of Marketing

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Guest Room

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