Meet the Team
At Pappas | OPT, we work hard to ensure that long-lasting pain relief is possible for our patients.
That’s why our entire team of physical and occupational therapists have Masters or are working toward Doctoral level degrees, and most hold more certifications like Orthopedic Clinical Specialists (OCS), Sports Certified Specialists (SCS), and Certified Hand Therapist (CHT).
What should that mean to you? It means that we’re dedicated to providing our patients with a level of care and support that you won’t find anywhere else.
While every member of our team has their own specialties, we all hold a set of shared standards and beliefs. They include:
- Providing long-lasting solutions by understanding and teaching the physical, mental, and emotional experience behind your pain or recovery.
- Ensuring compassionate care that connects how the brain works (neuroscience) with how the body moves (biomechanical science).
- Treating patients like family and providing a solid foundation for connection and healing.
What should I look for In a physical therapist?
Hear it straight from the source! Then, click the links on the left to get to know our team.
Mike graduated from Lasell College in 2014 with a BS in Exercise Science. He earned his Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Rhode Island in 2017 and joined Pappas Physical and Hand Therapy that same year. Mike is a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist whose clinical focus is in orthopedics. He is also certified to perform Functional Capacity Evaluations for patients returning to work. He is a member of the APTA. His personal interests include powerlifting, cooking, woodworking and large bowls of pasta.
An Occupational Therapist and Certified Hand Therapist, Liz joined Pappas Physical and Hand Therapy in 2011. She graduated from the University of New England in 2001 with a Masters in Occupational Therapy and has been a Certified Hand Therapist since 2011. In 2016 she received her certification in Advanced Practice in Hand Therapy from Evidence in Motion. Her specialties include hand and upper extremity rehabilitation, including orthopedic and neurological injuries, wound care, work-related injuries and custom splinting. Her interests include spending time with her husband and two boys and volunteering in the schools.
Destiny joined Pappas Physical and Hand Therapy in 2017. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2012 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Kinesiology, and also earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from that institution in 2017. Her areas of clinical focus include sports medicine, orthopedics and concussion rehabilitation. In 2018, Destiny was certified in acute and chronic concussion management through Complete Concussion Management. She can assist in managing concussions from the acute phase and progress patients back to work and/or activities in a safe and timely manner. She also recently became a Sports Certified Specialist through Evidence in Motion. In her career she has been a community volunteer for amateur and professional boxers, and a USA Boxing certified coach. She is a former USA Boxing National Champion and represented Team USA at the Continental and World Championships. She interned at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado. Destiny’s interests include boxing, playing with her dogs Ninja and Miyagi, traveling and watching the Steelers!
Justin Costa is a graduate of Austin Community College with an Associate in Applied Science degree in Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA). Justin earned his Physical Therapist Assistants Specialty Certification in Orthopaedics through Evidence in Motion in 2020. His personal interests include running, hiking, quahogging, and spending time with his wife, Katie, and son, Miles.
Melissa received her Bachelor is Science in Exercise Physiology/Sports Medicine from Westfield State University and her PTA degree from MWCC. Her certifications include Applied Chain Reaction Biomechanics, Applied Functional Science, Clinical Instructor, Rehab Taping Techniques. She is also a certified Personal Trainer and certified Schwinn Spin Instructor.
Melissa has 20 years experience Working in all areas of Orthopedic PT including post-op rehab, home care and return to sport. When she is not treating patients in the clinic she is busy teaching dance classes, spin classes and putting together fitness programs for clients.
Denise has been in the health and fitness industry for over 30 years. She received her Physical Therapy Assistant’s degree from the Community College of Rhode Island and was previously a fitness and aerobics instructor.
Denise joined OPT in 2001 and has experience working with a broad range of diagnoses working and patients of all ages. She is also an IFPA Certified Fitness Trainer and enjoys designing and implementing individual fitness programs.
Amy received her Bachelor of Arts in Health Science from Endicott College. She received her Physical Therapy Assistant’s degree from the New England Institute of Technology where she graduated Phi Theta Kappa Society for academic excellence.
Amy worked in our Tiverton clinic for 10 years as an aide before returning to school to pursue her PTA degree. Amy has clinical experience working with developmentally and cognitively impaired children. She has contributed over 100 volunteer hours at the Rhode Island Free Clinic providing treatment for musculoskeletal conditions and spent multiple years volunteering with the Wounded Warrior Project.
An avid Red Sox/Patriots fan, Amy enjoys anything focused around health and wellness. She spends her free time being active, either running, at spin class, snowboarding, working out at the gym or being outdoors.
John has been part of Pappas Physical and Hand Therapy since 2013. He attended Westfield State College from 2006 to 2010, graduating with a BS in Movement Science with a concentration in Sports Medicine. He earned his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Rhode Island in 2013. In 2014-2015 he completed an Evidence in Motion Residency in Orthopedic Manual Therapy. John is a Certified Vestibular rehabilitation specialist through the American Institute of Balance, and a board certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. John’s clinical experience lies in inpatient and outpatient orthopedic physical therapy, treating a wide variety of general musculoskeletal conditions with additional focus on the temporomandibular joint and vestibular rehabilitation. In 2018, John was certified in acute and chronic concussion management through Complete Concussion Management. He can assist in managing concussions from the acute phase and progress patients back to work and/or activities in a safe and timely manner. He is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) RI chapter and Private Practice Sections, and an APTA Private Practice Section Key contact for Rhode Island legislative action. His personal interests include exercise, obstacle course races, spending time with friends and family and his chocolate lab Sam.
Leo earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Widener University in 2019 where he also earned a Bachelor of Science in 2016.
An accomplished collegiate runner, Leo holds the Middle Atlantic College Conference and Widener College record in the indoor 800 meters. In 2016, he was ranked 17th in the nation for the outdoor 800 meters, D3 NCAA schools.
In graduate school, Leo served as the Funds Officer for the Chester Community Physical Therapy clinic, providing PT services to uninsured financially struggling members of the community. He also coached collegiate track and field athletes.
Leo became a PT to channel his passion for helping others, especially individuals recovering from injuries who want to return to the activities they love. Leo particularly enjoys assisting competitive athletes return to sport and often volunteers at community sporting events.
An avid Boston sports fan, Leo spends his free time running and going to the beach where he always is ready to challenge friends to a game of spikeball!
Lisa received her Bachelor of Physical Therapy in 1990 from Northeastern University. She began her career working in both Tufts and Harvard affiliated Boston teaching hospitals with a variety of patient caseloads including orthopedic, neurology, oncology, medical surgery, cardiac rehab and pediatrics.
She became passionate about working with infants in the NICU and focused her post graduate work on pediatrics at Boston University in 1992. Over the past 28 years, Lisa has specialized in pediatric cases. She has taken over 20 advanced training seminars with a focus on pediatric rehabilitation including neurodevelopmental techniques, infant massage, myofascial release, strain-counterstrain and craniosacral therapy.
Lisa believes in a family-centered approach and enjoys working with children of all ages and their parents to achieve their goals.
She lives in Wakefield with her husband and 3 children, all of whom can be found at the beach swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking, fishing and hiking with their 2 dogs, Cotton and Shugha.
Ryan graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a BS in Kinesiology and a focus in Exercise Science. He is currently certified as a personal trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine.
Ryan was truly inspired to make coaching a career when he changed the life of his 63 year old grandmother by helping her lose over 60 lbs, adapt her lifestyle to stay at a healthy weight, and find an exercise regimen she could stick to. Through education and training he ultimately gave a woman he so admires the gift to take control of her life. He recognized that if she can do this after sixty-plus years of poor habits, anyone can overcome their respective obstacles.
Ryan’s purpose in coaching is to empower individuals by connecting them to their goals, and facilitating an environment that helps them get there. He feels we all have the potential to improve, we just may need a little help to unlock it. Ryan’s favorite modality is strength training, with a belief that improved strength is the most transferable feat one can obtain from exercise.
When working with Ryan you can expect to push beyond your perceived limitations, improve your knowledge of fitness, and most importantly have fun!
Eric received academic excellence and faculty recognition awards when he earned his Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy from The University of Rhode Island in 2007. Two years earlier, he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Exercise Science and a minor in Psychology from URI. Eric is an Orthopedic Certified Specialist. The OCS is an achievement in learning that less than 5% of all PT’s complete. He is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.
Eric has extensive experience working with a wide range of conditions and injuries and has a strong background in functionally-based therapy. He has worked with all ages and enjoys connecting with his patients and helping them on their journey to health and well-being.
Eric has traveled to Guatemala to provide therapy to disabled children at the Centro Maya School.
A bass guitar player, Eric is a member of the musical trio “Group Therapy”. He enjoys a cold beer and is proud of his award-winning homebrew beer and cider. A gardener, he grows his own hops along with vegetables and flowers.
Dena earned her Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of New England. She has over 22 years of experience in outpatient rehabilitation.
Dena treats a wide variety of orthopedic conditions with an emphasis on upper extremity rehabilitation and hand therapy. She is also a pediatric therapist with a focus on providing treatment for developmental and neurological diagnoses.
In her free time, Dena loves spending time with her husband and daughters, enjoying all their activities and sporting events. She can often be found in the garden, at the beach or rooting for the Red Sox and Patriots.
Kendra-Lynn completed both her undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Rhode Island, first receiving a BS in Kinesiology and Exercise Science and then earning her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2017. She joined the staff at Pappas Physical and Hand Therapy of North Providence that same year. Kendra specializes in pelvic floor and postpartum physical therapy, treating men and women with abdominal, urinary, sexual, and bowel dysfunction. She completed her training for this specialization through the Herman and Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute. Kendra is a member of the APTA and is secretary of the RI Women’s and Men’s Health Special Interest Group. Her personal interests include weight training, dancing, cooking, baking, and spending time with her friends and family.
Eileen earned her Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from Northeastern University and went on to receive her Master of Business Administration from New Hampshire University. She has been working in physical therapy for 30 years, predominantly in an outpatient orthopedic setting.
Eileen has experience treating a wide range of different orthopedic conditions and has spent time as a clinic director prior to joining OPT Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine.
Vestibular rehabilitation and concussions are clinical areas of interest for Eileen. She has extensive experience in the effective treatment of these conditions. When not working, Eileen enjoys traveling, hiking and golf.
Nate received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy and his Bachelors in Kinesiology from The University of Rhode Island.
Nate incorporates McKenzie techniques and Gary Gray training when working with patients. He enjoys getting to know each patient and implementing a personalized plan of care aimed at getting them back to their hobbies and occupation.
Nate became interested in a physical therapy career while recovering from a sports injury in high school.
A URI basketball fan, Nate enjoys playing basketball, surfing, volleyball, baseball, skiing, soccer, running and spending time at the beach.
Don earned his Master of Science in Physical Therapy in 1992 and his Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2010, both from the University of Rhode Island. He also completed a fellowship with the Gray Institute for Functional Training in Applied Functional Science. Don was the recipient of the RI Physical Therapy Association’s Distinguished Service Award and has been honored with the Outstanding Alumni Award from the URI PT program.
Sports medicine related cases are Don’s specialty. He has worked extensively with youth through professional athletes in both injury prevention and conditioning programs. Don and the OPT practice lead the state in the treatment and prevention of shoulder and elbow injuries in the throwing athlete. He has developed baseball specific conditioning programs and preseason pitching screens for both baseball and softball athletes.
Active at the state and national levels in professional associations, Don has served as National APTA Private Practice Section’s Committee Chair for the Marketing and Public Relations Committee, as thePresident of the RI Physical Therapy Private Practice Group, the Legislative Chair for the RI APTA and is on the RI Physical Therapy Licensure Board. He is often a guest lecturer for the APTA, the YMCA, NUWC as well as CCRI and URI. Don routinely provides medical services at local sports tournaments and competitions. He, his wife and three children are all active in their community, serving on boards, assisting with strength and conditioning programs and cheering on the sidelines (occasionally too loudly). Don also enjoys music and is a member of a trio “Group Therapy” which performs at venues across Aquidneck Island.
Scott graduated from University of New Hampshire with a degree in Kinesiology with a minor in Nutrition.
Scott initially worked for OPT as an aide and quickly realized how much he enjoys helping people. He returned to school to earn his Physical Therapy Assistant Degree from the Community College of Rhode Island and returned to OPT upon graduation.
A collegiate hockey player, Scott is a huge Bruins fan. He enjoys staying active in his free time; playing hockey, golfing and spending time with his family and friends.
Mellany earned her B.S. in kinesiology and her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Rhode Island. She joined Pappas Physical and Hand Therapy in 2016, with a clinical focus in orthopedics. She is currently earning her Manual Therapy Certification through Evidence in Motion. Her personal interests include going to the beach, hiking (especially with her pups) and rooting for the Patriots.
Paul attended American International College, receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Interdepartmental Science in 2004 and his Masters of Physical Therapy in 2005. He joined Pappas Physical and Hand Therapy in 2006. He recently completed his Executive Program in Practice Management, with his Post-professional Doctorate of Physical Therapy through Evidence in Motion in 2016. He is certified to perform Functional Capacity Evaluations for patients returning to work, and is also a certified Titleist Performance Institute golf expert. He has also recently become certified in functional dry needling. Paul has spent the majority of his career in an outpatient setting and is experienced in treating patients with a variety of diagnoses including orthopedic injuries, neurological conditions, amputees, and occupational medicine (return to work, work conditioning). He is a member of the APTA. His favorite pursuit outside of work is spending time with his family.
Dan graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science in 2011. He earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) from URI in 2014 and joined Pappas Physical and Hand Therapy that same year. He is a board certified clinical specialist in orthopedic physical therapy through the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), certified in the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) and the Functional Movement Screen (FMS). His clinical practice focuses on orthopedic physical therapy, sports-specific rehabilitation, trigger point dry needling (TDN) and manual therapy. Dan holds the chair position for the RIAPTA professional development committee and is an active member of the APTA and orthopedic section. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Rhode Island Physical Therapy program. Dan’s personal interests include spending time with his wife, hiking with his dogs, exercising and learning new skills.
Ann Marie graduated from the Community College of Rhode Island with an Associate in Applied Science degree in Physical Therapy Assistant in 2019 and joined Pappas Physical and Hand Therapy the same year.
She has 5+ combined years of experience working as a rehabilitation aide in an outpatient orthopaedic physical therapy setting between Braintree Rehabilitation Hospital and Milford Regional Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine. Her clinical experience focused on assisting physical therapists with orthopaedic physical therapy, sports, and industrial rehabilitation.
Ann Marie is working towards earning her Physical Therapist Assistants Specialty Certification in Orthopaedics through Evidence in Motion. Her personal interests include spending quality time and having fun with her family, exercising, obstacle course racing, and traveling abroad.
Danielle recently joined Pappas Physical and Hand Therapy in 2019. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Rutgers University in 2011 and continued her education at the University of Rhode Island earning her Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2014. Prior to joining the Pappas Team, she worked in acute care and sub-acute rehab settings with patients neurological disorders. She is LSVT BIG Certified and has experience with patients with Parkinson’s Disease, amputations, CVA’s, and Multiple Sclerosis. Her personal interests include exercising, traveling, horseback riding, and spending time with family and friends
Matt graduated from the University of Rhode Island with his Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences. He went on to receive his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Hartford. Matt has certifications in the selective movement screen, functional dry needling, and the emergency response to the athlete.
Matt volunteers for local high school athletics programs and has provided sideline medical coverage for several different sporting events, and teams. Playing sports at both the high school and college level, Matt has taken a special interest in the care of athletes and sports physical therapy. His experience allows him to gear his treatment methods towards sport specific interventions, orthopedic, and post-operative care.
Matt’s personal interests are hockey, weightlifting, golf, and his loving wife and beloved dog.
Matt joined OPT in 2019 after earning a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from The University of Rhode Island. He received his Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Cal State San Bernardino.
Matt gained valuable experience in his graduate school internships in a variety of physical therapy settings. He enjoys meeting people from all walks of life and helping them improve their quality of life.
Matt is bilingual (English & Spanish), enjoys playing the guitar, watching movies and spending time with his wife and daughter.
Jennifer graduated from Quinnipiac College in 1998 with her Bachelor’s in Physical Therapy and has been treating outpatient orthopedics for 18 years. She has attended orthopedic continuing education courses emphasizing manual therapy techniques, aquatic therapy, and treatment for prenatal and postpartum patients. Jennifer joined Pappas Physical and Hand Therapy in 2016. Her interests include practicing tai chi, playing sports and spending time with her family.
Mike earned a Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy from The University of Rhode Island in 2015. He obtained an undergraduate degree in Biology with a minor in Psychology from Western Illinois University in 2012.
Mike is certified in Dry Needling and Sports Physical Therapy through Evidence in Motion. He holds a certificate in Applied Chain Reaction Biomechanics, and will complete his Sports Clinical Specialist Exam (APTA) in March 2021. Mike is an Emergency Medical Responder and Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA).
During his time at URI, Mike gained clinical internship experience working with a variety of patients in the ICU, acute care, rehab unit, and outpatient orthopedic settings. He believes in an active lifestyle to promote physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Mike appreciates the patient interaction and helping people get back to activities they like doing, sports, gardening, walking, caring for grandchildren, etc.
Mike enjoys playing all sports, especially basketball, golf and volleyball. As a student athlete, he experienced various sports injuries and, in fact, his athletic trainer and physical therapist inspired him to pursue a physical therapy career.
Mike and his wife enjoy traveling. They have explored Costa Rica, Guatemala, Iceland and many other beautiful places. Their next adventure is parenthood, as they are “impatiently waiting and very excited for their first child to be born in November!
Katie Pacheco received her Physical Therapist Assistant Certificate along with an Associate’s in Applied Science in 2016 from the Community College of Rhode Island where she earned distinction of highest honors.
Katie began her final internship for school at OPT’s Tiverton location. Upon graduation and passing her licensure exam Katie immediately joined our team as a PTA in our East Bay clinics.
Katie has a strong background working with sports related injuries, balance impairments and post-operative rehabilitation. Her continuing education has been focused on vestibular/post-concussion rehab as well as Applied Functional Science.
In her spare time, Katie enjoys biking, kayaking, fishing, camping and all sports related activities.
Mike graduated Quinnipiac College with a BS in Physical Therapy in 1998. In 2007 he and his wife Jacalyn opened the first Pappas Physical and Hand Therapy in Johnston, Rhode Island, and have added six more clinics since. In 2008 he earned an Advanced Masters in Orthopedics from Quinnipiac University, and in 2012 received a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the EIM Institute of Health Professionals. His clinical focus is sports, orthopedics, and vestibular rehabilitation. Mike is a member of the Private Practice Section and the RI chapter of the APTA. His personal interests include enjoying time with family and friends, and coaching youth wrestling.
Jacalyn earned her Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy in 1997 from Worcester State University. She has been recognized by the Hand Therapy Certification Commission as a certified hand therapist (CHT) since 2010. In 2017 she obtained her Advanced Certification in Hand Therapy and in 2018 earned her Doctorate of Occupational Therapy from Evidence in Motion Institute of Health Professionals. Jackie has practiced as a hand therapist for over 20 years and works with patients of all ages that have orthopedic and neurological diagnoses. Her clinical expertise includes treatment of upper extremity fractures, tendonitis, custom orthotic fabrication, traumatic injuries to the upper extremity and rehabilitation of post-operative injuries of the elbow, wrist and hand.
Lauren earned her Bachelor’s degree in Health Science from the University of Hartford in 2014, and graduated with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy degree in 2017. Lauren is certified in LSVT BIG (Lee Silverman Voice Technique) for those with neurological disorders and in Functional Dry Needling as well as first aide and in CPR. In 2019, she earned her Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS) certification and then her Geriatric Certified Specialist certification (GCS) in 2020.
Her areas of interest include orthopedic disorders, neurological disorders (CVA, PD, TBI, SCI), as well as pediatric developmental disorders. Outside of the clinic she enjoys archery, hiking with her dogs and traveling. She also competes in shooting.
Josh earned his Masters Degree in Physical Therapy from the University of New England in 2001, and his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Evidence in Motion in 2012. He is board certified in orthopedics and focuses in his clinical practice on orthopedics, hip dysfunction, post-operative rehab, spinal pain and injuries, shoulder, knee and ankle pain and injuries. In 2018, Josh was certified in acute and chronic concussion management through Complete Concussion Management. He can assist in managing concussions from the acute phase and progress patients back to work and/or activities in a safe and timely manner. He is a member of the Private Practice Section of the APTA. Josh has been the clinic director for Lepre Physical Therapy in North Providence since 2002. In 2017 he partnered with Mike Pappas to create Pappas Physical and Hand Therapy of North Providence. His hobbies include sports, hiking, biking and spending time with family and friends.
Beth received her BS in Occupational Therapy from Quinnipiac College in 1998. She graduated Drexel University in 2004 with a post professional certificate in the Hand and Upper Quarter, and became board certified in hand therapy in 2006. In 2011 she joined Pappas Physical and Hand Therapy where she focuses on upper extremity injuries from the shoulder to the fingertip, including rotator cuff injuries, tendinitis, nerve and tendon injuries, amputations and wounds. In 2017 she earned her Advanced Certification in Hand Therapy and in 2018 she earned her Doctorate of Occupational Therapy from Evidence in Motion Institute of Health Professionals. Her interests include yoga, running, strength and conditioning classes, and traveling with family and friends.
Bill brings 20 years of experience as a Physical Therapist to OPT. He received his degree in Physical Therapy from Boston University in 1984 graduating Cum Laude. Bill has worked in inpatient and outpatient settings, specializing in orthopedic, sports medicine rehabilitation, biomechanics and mechanical low back pain.
Bill volunteers for the Tiverton High School Football Team and can be found on the sidelines at home games.
Victoria joined Pappas Physical and Hand Therapy as a rehab aide in 2012 and started working as a physical therapist in June 2018. She graduated from Saint Joseph’s College of Maine in 2015 with a Bachelors in Exercise Science and then received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Rhode Island in 2018. Her clinical interests include orthopedics and pediatrics. Victoria is currently a member of the APTA, RI and pediatric sections. Her personal interests include spending time with family and friends, going to the beach and playing with her dog Zoey.
Laura received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from Thomas Jefferson University in 2017. She obtained her undergraduate degree in kinesiology from Temple University.
Laura is certified in Functional Dry Needling and has completed additional course work in Functional Rehabilitation and 3-Dimensional Movement Patterns.
A member of the Temple University Women’s Soccer Team, Laura was awarded the Ortho Davis Memorial Scholarship in recognition of her commitment to athletics and sports medicine.
She has experience working with patients of all ages and levels of ability, but she has a special passion for treating adults with sports related injuries. In her free time, Laura enjoys playing soccer, hiking and cycling.
Bert Reid received his Master of Science in Physical Therapy from URI in 1993 and his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Massachusetts General Hospital in 2008. He graduated Cum Laude from Tulane University in 1987 where he was awarded the Tulane Academic Award twice. Bert was a recipient of the prestigious URI Distinguished Achievement Award and has been inducted into the Providence Gridiron Hall of Fame and R.I. High School Football Coach’s Hall of Fame.
Bert works with many elite athletes including Olympic Medalists and Division1 collegian runners, pro golfers and tennis players as well as Navy SEALS, Team Puma pro sailors, URI and Salve Regina Baseball pitchers and catchers (see our Wall of Fame).
He is a Running Industry Association Certified Shoe Guru Specialist and is certified by Amfit Orthoses in Advanced Orthotics Fabrication. Bert is and trained in OptoGait digital running analysis and is involved in research analyses for running shoes and foot mechanics. He serves as an adjunct faculty at URI Graduate School for PT, teaching and lecturing on Functional Gait Analysis and Running Science.
Bert was a Tulane varsity golf captain and Academic All-American. He is NikeGolf NG360 Fitness Certified, Gray’s Institute Functional Golf Certified and a Titleist Performance Institute Certified Fitness Professional.
Bert works frequently with collegiate and student baseball players particularly catchers and pitchers. His baseball related study includes ACSM Team Physician Course 2011, Advanced On-Field Management, ACSM Team Physician Course 2012, Advanced On-Field Management Baseball Athletic Trainer’s Society Baseball Science Course, PBATS Baseball Science and Injury Care. Bert’s compendium papers included rotator cuff pathology and rehabilitation, primarily aimed at the throwing athlete.
He completed a fellowship in Functional PT Rehab and Sports Biomechanics through the G.I.F.T. Program of the Gray Institute in 2008 and has taken over twenty-five additional advanced training seminars. Specialized topics include foot and ankle biomechanics, functional rehabilitation, performance training, rotator cuff/shoulder and throwing mechanics, mechanical low back and neck pain, team physician sports medicine, jaw pain, advanced orthotic fabrication.
Although Bert works with many world class athletes, he is also dedicated to our local athletes and community teams. For over 20 years, Bert has been the sideline medical care specialist for the Narragansett High School Football Team.
During his free time, Bert enjoys playing soccer, running, golfing, and spending time with his wife, Krista, and their two kids, James and Julia.
Kristin received her Masters is Physical Therapy in 1996 from the University of Rhode Island and graduated from The University of New Hampshire in 1990 with a degree in Athletic Training. Kristin is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.
She has over 15 years of experience in orthopedic and sports rehabilitation including working overseas with the American Football teams. Kristin also has extensive experience working with the non-athletic populations implementing advanced strength, conditioning, and functional rehabilitation programs.
She has taken over 20 advanced training courses including gait, foot, upper and lower extremity biomechanics, and spinal rehabilitation. Her clinical interests include concussions and she attended Harvard Medical School’s conference on Concussions and Spine Injury. She is also interested in Women’s Rehabilitative Health issues including post breast cancer procedures and mastectomy.
Kristin employs an overall functional approach to her patients to help restore as well as improve mobility, strength and performance.
After a long history of running, Seana embarked on a strength training program that led to an injury. While trying to overcome this, she ended up pursuing physical therapy with our partners Pappas Physical Therapy. From there she became a member at IRV FIT which ignited the passion for her new endeavor.
During this time at IRV FIT, Seana periodically thought about becoming a Personal Trainer. Being in her 40s she had her doubts about making a career change, but she had some help making the transition. One day, Ryan asked if she’d considered becoming a trainer. Seana claims in that conversation, she heard someone else believe in her more than she could at that moment. It pushed her. Even with her hands full – 5 kids, a recently ill father, and a job as a teacher assistant – she made the leap and became a certified Personal Trainer.
Seana says “I’m so grateful I went for it. I adore helping others achieve their goals, so it’s not really a job for me. I’m having way too fun at IRV FIT to consider it a job. It’s a passion.”
Victor received his Doctor of Physical Therapy from Boston University in 2014 after spending eight years in the health and fitness industry as a personal trainer and fitness manager. During that time, Victor earned the designations of Certified Applied Functional Science (Gray Institute), Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA), Performance Enhancement Specialist (NASM), and certifications as a kettlebell and boxing/kickboxing instructor. In 2004, Victor graduated with honors from Boston University’s College of Communication.
Victor is a Graston Technique specialist. He earned his GTS credential which is the highest level of training for Graston soft tissue mobilization and release.
Victor enjoys working with clients and patients of all ages and pursuits. He believes strongly in the power of an improved physical condition and works hard to achieve it.
Victor loves spending time with his wife and two young children. His interests and experiences include singing professionally for over 13 years, and being a long-time friend, member, and advocate of the Hyannis Sound, Firedrill! (both of which are vocal groups) and the FLAG Flag Football League.
Matthew Schmidt graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Exercise Physiology in 2013. He earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) from Angelo State University in 2016. In Texas, he began working with outpatient neurological, medically fragile, vestibular and orthopedic patients before moving to Georgia. In Georgia he worked in geriatrics with a focus in chronic pain, balance disorders, deconditioning, and dementia. Matthew is certified in LSVT BIG for persons with Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders. He is also certified in functional dry needling. His clinical treatment model focuses on a multimodal technique emphasizing well-dosed individualized exercise protocols and implementation of dry needling and manual therapy when needed. His personal interests include strength training, being outdoors as much as possible, writing and playing music, and exploring this new state with his wife, Ashley, and their two dogs, Remy and Bomber.
A Rhode Island native, Amy earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Simmons College in 2007. She received a Master of Science in Physical Therapy in 2005 and a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education/Health in 2001, both from the University of Rhode Island.
Amy joined OPT in 2005 and has worked with the pre-adolescent to the elderly. She is trained and experienced in many facets of physical therapy and particularly enjoys the treatment of sports related injuries and post-surgical athletes. She also has extensive experience working with patients recovering from head injuries and concussions.
Amy is ImPACT trained (ITPT) through ImPACT Applications in Concussion Care and Treatment. She attended Harvard Medical School’s conference on Concussions and Spine Injury and Boston University’s conference on Head Trauma and the Athlete. Additional coursework includes Post-Concussion Syndrome at Memorial Hospital, Concussion in Sports Training with NFHS, Functional Rehabilitation from the Kinetic Chain/Gray Institute, and Lumbopelvic Integration from IMTS.
Amy enjoys music and soccer. She was in the marching band and pep band at URI and also played competitive soccer. During high school, Amy tore ligaments in her ankle and became a physical therapy patient. This experience is what sparked Amy’s interest in becoming a PT.
In addition to working in OPT’s physical therapy clinics, Amy helps student athletes with injury prevention by providing warm up and injury reduction programs for high schools and youth athletic programs. She developed and administers OPT’s Total Athletic Performance Summer Conditioning Camp.
Amy has routinely been on the medical staff of the Boston Marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon and the Cape Cod Marathon. In her free time, Amy enjoys distance running, weight training and playing the trumpet. She is also a certified PADI diver and an aspiring pilot!
Amanda joined Pappas Physical and Hand Therapy in 2013 after graduating both the undergraduate and graduate Physical Therapy programs at Simmons College in 2011 with her Doctorate of Physical Therapy. She earned her manual therapy certification through Evidence in Motion in 2017 and is also certified in Graston Technique. Her clinical focus is in orthopedic medicine. Amanda is involved in many community events and enjoys spending time with her family, especially at their family lake house in Maine!
Bio coming soon!
Christine has been a physical therapist since graduating from Russell Sage College in Troy, NY, in 1987. She has spent her career in acute care and outpatient settings working with patients with a range of orthopedic, neurological and work-related injuries. Christine also spent three years working specifically with multiple sclerosis patients in an outpatient multiple sclerosis clinic.
Over her career, Christine has also received certifications in specialty areas of PT including massage, manual therapy of the spine and pelvis, and vestibular evaluation and treatment. In 2015, Christine attended the vestibular rehabilitation competency course through the APTA and Emory University and has a special interest in working with patients with vestibular and balance disorders.
Christine, a Rhode Island native, enjoys spending her spare time doing yoga, hiking, reading and spending time with her family.
Paula Mazur Trump graduated from the University of Connecticut with two degrees, a BS in Education: Sport and Leisure Studies, which lead to certification as an Athletic Trainer, and a second BS in Allied Health: Physical Therapy. In 1998 she earned her MS in Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy from the MGH Institute of Health Professions. Her thesis was a descriptive study of the musculoskeletal characteristics and injuries in professional ballet dancers. She also received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy (tDPT) in 2002. Paula was an original partner in Paladin Physical Therapy when it opened in 2008. In 2016 she partnered with Mike Pappas to create Paladin-Pappas Physical and Hand Therapy of Cranston. She is a certified orthopedic specialist (OCS), and a certified Athletic Trainer (ATC). Her areas of clinical expertise include Graston Technique, trigger point dry needling (TDN), and manual therapy. Her professional activities include serving as a Delegate to the APTA House of Delegates for 3 years, volunteering for the Ocean State Marathon for many years, and facilitating an online class in diagnostic testing and pharmacology through Boston University. Paula is the Compliance Officer for Pappas Physical and Hand Therapy. Her personal interests include gardening, hiking, and beach volleyball. She also volunteers with Little Rhody Dog Rescue.
Johnathan Walker is the director of the Pappas Physical and Hand Therapy clinic at 5805 Post Road in East Greenwich, RI. He graduated Northeastern University in 2003 with a Masters in Physical Therapy, and earned his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Evidence in Motion in 2013. He is a board certified orthopedic specialist and a certified vestibular rehabilitation specialist. He also has experience treating TMJ disorders. In 2018, Jon was certified in acute and chronic concussion management through Complete Concussion Management. He can assist in managing concussions from the acute phase and progress patients back to work and/or activities in a safe and timely manner. John is a member of the APTA. He enjoys outdoor activities including basketball and volleyball, traveling and spending time with his family.
A veteran of the United States Navy, Steve has been part of the OPT team since 2002 when he joined us as a rehabilitation aide. In 2006, Steve received his NSCA Personal Trainer Certification and earned his Physical Therapy Assistant certificate from the Community College of Rhode Island with Cum Laude distinction in 2017. Steve continues to study Chain Reaction Functional Biomechanics through continuing education.
Steve has a strong background in sports training, geriatric conditioning and working with neurological disorders. He works with high school athletes and can often be found helping within the community at special events.
Outside of work, Steve enjoys playing basketball and weight lifting.
Andrea has been a licensed physical therapist, athletic trainer and massage therapist for over 25 years. She is also a Nike Certified Golf Performance Specialist.
Andrea earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from The University of New England in 2013. She received a Bachelor of Science in Movement Science, Sport and Leisure Studies with a concentration in Athletic Training from Westfield State College in 1994 and a Bachelor of Science in Movement Science, Sport and Leisure from the University of Connecticut in 1992. Andrea earned a Fellowship in Applied Functional Science in 2007 from the Gray Institute where she is currently a faculty member.
Andrea has worked with all age groups in nearly every type of physical therapy setting. She has extensive experience working with competitive athletes on performance enhancement, injury prevention and rehabilitation.
In her free time, Andrea enjoys coaching softball, basketball and Free2Play Movement for the youth in her community.
Lauren completed her undergraduate studies at Clemson University in 2015 receiving a BS in Therapeutic Recreation. Lauren continued her education and earned her Masters in Occupational Therapy from Bay Path University in 2019. Lauren joined Pappas Physical and Hand Therapy that same year and focuses on upper extremity rehabilitation including orthopedic and neurological injuries of the elbow, wrist and hand. Lauren continues to value higher education as she is currently earning her Doctorate of Occupational Therapy with Bay Path University. Lauren has taken several courses on upper extremity intervention including custom orthotic fabrication. She is a current member of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and the American Society of Hand Therapists (ASHT). Her personal interests include hiking with her husband and their two dogs, cheering on the Clemson Tigers, and visiting family members near and far.
Jared earned his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Northeastern University and received his Bachelor of Science in Biology from Lesley University.
He is certified in Blood Flow Restriction Therapy and is a certified personal trainer, NSCA-CPT.
Jared played varsity soccer for Lesley College and continues to live an active lifestyle. During his free time, he can be found lifting, rock climbing, running and playing soccer.