Physical Therapy Program Alumni
Amy Szalinski, MPT '95, DPT '12
Dr. Szalinski is proud to have just completed the transitional DPT program at Chatham in August of 2012, finding it the "perfect opportunity" to gain updated learning and to reintroduce her to the changing, larger world of PT. After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 1995, Amy moved directly into the Rehabilitation setting, focusing the majority of her career on Brain Injury and Aquatics. Over time, she became certified in NDT, took on the role of Team Leader and has been developing programmatic skills for specialty certifications. Apart from patient and family teaching, Amy truly enjoys directly mentoring students as well as opportunities to move into the classroom presenting case studies, explaining handling skills or discussing aquatics treatment. She is a member of the APTA and the Neurology section. Currently, she is collaborating on research with TDPT faculty Dr.’s Sue Perry and Barb Billek and co-worker Susan Little - established, knowledgeable mentors guiding an investigation into traumatic brain injury in elderly adults. When not in the clinic, Amy teaches tap, lyrical and musical theater to high school students - a job that she has been doing for 20 years. Adding adults to her students has been a great treat to promote exercise and back health for people in the community and enjoys throwing in new motor learning and cognitive challenges with this group.
Nancy C. Foley PT, DPT, OCS
Dr. Nancy Foley is a graduate of the inaugural Chatham University MPT class of 1996. She returned to Chatham to get her Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy in 2008. Prior to that she graduated from Penn State University (1987) with a degree in Physical Education/Exercise Science. While at PSU, Nancy was a varsity swimmer. Her physical therapy career started in acute care and rehabilitation at Forbes Metropolitan Hospital in Monroeville, PA and then she has worked in outpatient care since 1998. She became a Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist in 2004 and her practice includes special areas of interest such as vestibular rehabilitation and sports injuries of the hip. Nancy is the Clinic Director of the Edgewood Towne Centre office of Allegheny Chesapeake Physical Therapy along with being an adjunct member faculty at Chatham, serving as a problem-based learning facilitator in the musculoskeletal course.
Brooke Racicot (Lang), MPT ‘96
Brooke earned her Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy with the inaugural class at Chatham University in 1996. She started her clinical practice as a pediatric therapist in an approved private school setting. In 2002, she joined the staff as an outpatient clinician at The Children’s Institute where she had abundant opportunities to grow and flourish as a clinician. With the support of The Children’s Institute Brooke became an ABPTS Pediatric Certified Specialist in 2004. Currently she is the Director of Physical Therapy at The Children’s Institute, where her department is focused on providing state of the art care to all children and young adults. This past year the physical therapy department had the opportunity to work collaboratively with Chatham faculty member, Dr. Joe Schreiber, on a “Knowledge Translation” project about how pediatric outpatient clinicians incorporate new knowledge into their daily practice. The focus of the project was on use of standardized tests and measures. This project was accepted and presented at CSM 2012 and was a great success!
Nicole L. Stout MPT, CLT-LANA
Nicole Stout is a Chatham University MPT graduate of the class of 1998. Nicole is an oncology specialty physical therapist and clinical researcher. She is currently the principal investigator on two clinical trials studying upper extremity morbidity associated with breast cancer treatment at the Breast Care Center at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Her research findings and publications have been foundational in developing the Prospective Surveillance Model for breast cancer rehabilitation. Ms. Stout has lectured and taught internationally on lymphedema and cancer rehabilitation and she holds adjunct faculty appointments at several universities. She holds appointments on the State of Maryland Cancer Control committee and the American Lymphedema Framework steering committee in addition to the International Compression Consensus group. Currently Ms. Stout is also an elected member of the Board of Directors of the American Physical Therapy Association and serves as a Media Spokesperson for the Association. She has served as a medical expert in lymphedema and breast cancer rehabilitation for public media outlets including: the Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Cure Magazine, Advance Magazine, BreastCancer.Org and others. She has authored and co-authored over two dozen articles and book chapters about breast cancer rehabilitation and lymphedema and she is the co-author of the book “100 Questions and Answers about Lymphedema.” She is an internationally recognized expert in breast cancer morbidity and early intervention models of care for cancer-related functional impairments.
“I am energized everyday by working in a profession that lets me help people recover their function and their lives during and after cancer treatment. Working with people with cancer has changed my life and made every day a blessing. The advice that I give to younger professionals who want to build their careers is to “go for it”. Always be ready and willing to step through the door that opens, it might represent an opportunity that will guide you to the best part of the rest of your career.”
Julie Hudak, MPT ‘99
Julie Hudak was a successful Pharmaceutical Sales rep when she realized she wanted a career that was additive to her life; a career in which she could truly make a contribution. Chatham University’s Physical Therapy Program offered her just that and in 1999 she graduated with a MPT. Julie chose to attend Chatham College for her masters because of the Problem Based approach to learning. She is confident this approach has played an integral role in both her physical therapy practice as well as her role as a business owner. Julie worked at Children’s Institute in Pittsburgh for 5 years, gaining valuable practical knowledge and experience, and building an extensive network of exceptional professionals. Julie shared an office with Tara Deringor, a PT who also had a background in business. Julie and Tara had a lot in common, most importantly their passion to make a difference in the lives of children who are either developmentally delayed or have a disability or special need. In 2004, Julie and Tara’s vision was solidified with the creation of TEIS, a company that specializes in Therapeutic Early Intervention Services for children from 0-3 years of age. TEIS Early Intervention provider has 50 employees consisting of Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Developmentalists, Vision Therapists, Dieticians, Hearing Therapists, Social Workers and administrative staff. TEIS Early Intervention offers treatment in Allegheny and Westmoreland Counties and initial evaluations in Beaver County. As a result of Julie and Tara’s joint leadership, TEIS employs equal-minded, talented, generous professionals who cherish their roles as therapist, mentor, counselor, expert and friend to their colleagues and to the families and children with whom they are honored to work and play. TEIS was ranked third in the small business category of Pittsburgh’s Top Workplaces in 2012 and received a special award for encouraging new ideas. Julie has remained in close contact with the Chatham University physical therapy department. TEIS provides clinical experience for Chatham PT students who are fulfilling their Level 1 Fieldwork requirements.
Julie’s husband, Dan Hudak, passed away in 2010 after a two-year battle against Melanoma. In 2011, Julie and three close friends recreated an annual Hudak family sponsored charity event as a tribute to Dan. This year’s proceeds from Hoops 4 Hudes (Dan’s nickname) will go to DermShare, a 501C-3 collaborative initiative for Melanoma Prevention between Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.
Julie prides herself in being able to maintain a healthy balance between her family life and work life. Julie thanks Chatham for being an important chapter in her life.
Christopher Brehm PT, DPT, OCS, ATC
Dr. Brehm is a 1999 graduate of Chatham University’s MPT program and a 2006 graduate of the transitional DPT program. Chris started his clinical practice working in home health care and outpatient orthopedics. In 2002, he joined Lifeline Therapy where, as general manager, he had the opportunity to manage and grow their existing Pulmonary Rehabilitation program and start the orthopedic program. In 2007, Chris bought Lifeline Therapy and currently is the sole owner / president of the company. Lifeline is a CORF with 16 employees working in four locations in the Pittsburgh area. In addition to receiving his transitional DPT degree, Chris Brehm became a Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopedic Physical Therapy. He regularly attends the APTA’s Combined Section Meetings along with the PPTA conferences.
George Hess, MPT ’02, DPT ’02, COMT
Dr. Hess is a 2002 Chatham University MPT graduate and a 2002 transitional DPT graduate. George started his clinical practice in private practice right from the start. He set up his company, Hess Physical Therapy, while finishing his transitional DPT and opened his doors in Dec of 2002. While getting his practice started he contracted his company with home care agencies and other outpatient practices; working between contracts he set up and seeing patients in his own clinic. Today he has two locations and 12 employees. His clinics are geared towards orthopedic manual therapy, one-on-one care, and investing in his employees’ areas of interest so they become certified or trained in treatments such as: ASTYM, active release techniques, kinesio taping, vestibular training, FMS, McKenzie and Maitland techniques. He also places emphasis on wellness care offering gym memberships, personal training, Zumba classes and massage. In addition to receiving his transitional DPT degree, Dr. Hess is a Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist and he serves as a clinical instructor for Chatham University’s Physical Therapy Program. He is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association, including the private practice section.
Lawrence S. Ramiscal, PT, DPT, OCS, MTC, COMT, FAAOMPT, CF-L1, USAW-L1
Lawrence Ramiscal earned his BS in Physical Therapy from University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines in 1997 and his transitional DPT at Chatham University in 2010. He was born and raised in the Philippines and moved to United States 1999. Since then, he has worked in outpatient orthopedics and opened his own clinic in 2005, the Center for Orthopedic and Spine Physical Therapy. Lawrence has certifications in:
Maitland-Australian Concept Manual Therapy (Intermediate level); Manual Therapy Certified (University of St. Augustine); Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist; Manual Therapy Institute Fellowship (FAAOMPT).
In 2007, Lawrence reformatted his practice and added a fitness center to his clinic and renamed it Fitness Integrated Therapy. He got interested further into fitness and sports and found CrossFit, a strength and conditioning program originally designed for tactical operators, but is now an official sport, popularized in the annual Reebok CrossFit Games. After a few years as a CrossFitter, he became a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer (CF-L1) and USAW Sports Performance Coach (USAW L-1) and opened his own CrossFit gym called Hyper CrossFit as an official affiliate in early 2012. This summer, he will move his entire practice to an 11,000 square foot facility to build the very first physical therapy, sports performance, strength and conditioning center in the area housing the PT practice, CrossFit and a brand new sports performance division of his company.
While completing his transitional DPT at Chatham, Lawrence began collaborating on a research project with Chatham faculty member, Dr. Steve Karas. The project, A Comparison of Thoracic Spine Mobilizations in Patients with Neck Pain, is part of an ongoing study.
Perry Tallman PT, DPT, SCS, OCS, ATC
Perry graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Montana in 1984, and received his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Chatham College in 2003. He became a Board-Certified Sports Physical Therapist in 1991, and was re-certified in 2001 and 2011. He became a Board-Certified Orthopedic Physical Therapist in 2006. Perry is also a Certified Athletic Trainer, previously serving as Head Athletic Trainer at the West York Area School District, and serving as a volunteer Athletic Trainer through the United States Olympic Committee and at the Pan American Games. He has taken numerous continuing education courses with an emphasis in manual therapy, and specializes in treating neuromuscular and postural imbalances. He has also lectured on shoulder injury evaluation and rehabilitation. His Sports Medicine specialties include rehabilitation of the shoulder, knee and back/hip, with a special interest in golf biomechanics and golf injury rehabilitation.