Our Team


Walter Lawson Children's Home believes in the importance of teamwork. Walter Lawson employs approximately 160 in-house personnel, contracts with various consultants and coordinates a volunteer network to provide the best possible care.

A wide variety of professionals are needed to ensure that the quality of life of each individual served is the highest possible. These professionals make up the interdisciplinary TEAM. The team concept is vital to Walter Lawson Children's Home.

It takes everyone working together to make certain that our residents receive the best of care. There are no "un-important" jobs. Every person employed is a member of the TEAM. Each person on the TEAM contributes to the individual's "Circle of Support."

Jillian Kaskavage, MD

Medical Director

Dr. Kaskavage has served as the Medical Director at Walter Lawson Children's Home since September 2016. She also serves as the primary care physician for all residents at Walter Lawson. Dr. Kaskavage attended medical school at the University of Illinois at Rockford. She completed a pediatrics residency at the John Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore, Maryland in 2015. Dr. Kaskavage is a member of American Academy of Pediatrics and also serves occasionally as a hospitalist at Rockford Memorial Hospital. In her free time, Dr. Kaskavage enjoys running, hiking, and woodworking.

Melissa A. Thornbloom

Executive Director

Melissa has served as the Executive Director at Walter Lawson Children's Home since January 2014 and has worked in long-term care for 38 years.  Her primary responsibility is managing the overall daily operations at Walter Lawson.  From 2007, until she accepted the Executive Director position in 2014, Melissa served as the Assistant Administrator at Walter Lawson Children's Home.  Melissa attended the College of Dupage.  She is a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, Bonded Notary Public and is certified in CPR and First Aid.  Melissa chose to work at Walter Lawson Children's Home because of her passion of children and helping others.  In her free time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her family, decorating, and attending her son's sporting events. 

Jan Primuth

Director of Nursing

Jan has served as the Director of Nursing at Walter Lawson Children's Home since 1978 and has worked in long-term care for 40 years.  She is responsible for the overall medical care of children and young adults.  Prior to working at Walter Lawson, Jan worked in pediatric and adult psych in Illinois and Wisconsin.  She earned her ASN Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.  In her free time, Jan enjoys coaching youth sports within the community, playing women's hockey, and participating in outdoor activities with her family.