Names & Faces: PT December 2016

See who is making news and notable career moves in the physical therapy world

ADVANCE for Physical Therapy and Rehab Medicine has prided itself on being a leader in industry news for over 25 years. Physical Therapy Names & Faces aims to shine a light on PT professionals who work each day to make a positive difference in their field. Our goal is to spread the good news about the work you are doing in rehabilitation practices and other settings throughout the country.

Check back often to find more award winners, staff and manager promotions, facility expansions, board appointments, association news, profession-specific announcements and more. We hope our readers continue to keep us informed about their hard work and dedication through articles, press releases and photos by using the Contact Us page, which can be found under the Toolbox tab.

SCI lifestyle specialist at Shield HealthCare, Aaron Baker.

Shield HealthCare Welcomes Aaron Baker, SCI Lifestyle Specialist

VALENCIA, Calif./PRNewswire/ — Shield HealthCare, a provider of medical supplies for care at home since 1957, welcomes the addition of Aaron Baker to their team of lifestyle specialists. Baker has embraced the role of spinal cord injury lifestyle specialist advocating for Shield’s customers and referral partners.

Baker’s story began as a 19-year-old motocross prodigy whose life changed dramatically after an accident broke cervical vertebras 4-5-6 in his neck. He was diagnosed as a complete quadriplegic with a one-in-a-million chance of regaining function, according to his neurosurgeon.

Through a relentless desire to achieve mobility and exceed expectations, Baker’s rehabilitation process resulted in amazing accomplishments. Today, he is proud and grateful not only to have survived his injury but also to have regained function and fulfilled many accomplishments including pedaling a bicycle across the country twice, racing in the U.S.A. Paralympic Cycling Team and most recently walking independently across Death Valley to film the upcoming documentary, “Coming to My Senses.” Baker’s desire to assist others as a spinal cord injury ambassador led him to create the Center of Restorative Exercise (C.O.R.E.) in Northridge, Calif., a state-of-the-art fitness facility built to fill the health and wellness gap that exists between physical therapy and independent fitness.

In his role at Shield HealthCare, Baker is providing personal insight into life with a spinal cord injury as well as valuable tips and perspectives about the recovery process, mental focus and daily mobility. As a spinal cord injury specialist, Baker hosts Shield HealthCare’s online spinal cord injury community, featuring how-to videos, helpful advice for the injured and answers to commonly asked questions.

“By bringing everyone along for the ride, I intended to educate, inspire and motivate with tools for recovery, health and management of a spinal cord injury. I hope you will join me on this adventure. The possibilities are endless,” Baker said. “My second chance at this beautiful thing called life is a gift through tragedy I wouldn’t trade for anything.”

Dr. Robert Cantu, director of the Dr. Robert C. Cantu Concussion Center at Emerson Hospital.

Emerson Hospital’s Center for Rehabilitative and Sports Therapies Present One-Day Seminar, Dec. 3

CONCORD, Mass. – The Emerson Hospital Center for Rehabilitative and Sports Therapies and the Dr. Robert C. Cantu Concussion Center will present a concussion seminar for professionals across the United States who provide care to patients suffering from concussions. “Concussion Diagnosis and Management: An Inter-Professional Care Team Approach,” will be held on Saturday, December 3, 2016 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 310 Baker Avenue in Concord, Mass.

This new concussion conference will focus on the latest concepts and guidelines for the medical management and rehabilitation of concussion patients, both acute and sub-acute. Morning sessions will emphasize new medical management and research for rehabilitation protocols. Afternoon sessions will focus on the assessment and delivery of prescriptive exercise for concussion patients. Attendees will learn the practical applications of a care team approach to concussion rehabilitation, exercise and strategies for the brain, vestibular, oculomotor and musculoskeletal system.

“As concussions have become more common, the methods of diagnosing and properly treating patients who are concussed or who have suffered a brain injury have advanced tremendously in recent years,” said Dr. Robert Cantu, director of the Dr. Robert C. Cantu Concussion Center at Emerson Hospital. “Using the latest research and treatment options, patients can now have very good outcomes. Anyone involved in assessing, diagnosing or treating patients with concussions -including clinicians and coaches – should attend this seminar to learn the latest approaches for patients’ optimal recovery.”

Through lectures, panel discussions, demonstrations and Q&A, attendees will gain practical knowledge and insights into diagnosing and managing concussion patients as well as prescribing the appropriate therapies based on the right patient, the right dose, at the right time

Registration is open now. More information can be found at or call 978-287-8940.

Hopebridge CEO, Dennis May

Hopebridge Opens New Clinic in Jeffersonville, Ind.

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind./PRNewswire/ — Hopebridge is committed to helping children with autism spectrum disorder or other developmental delays live the best life possible. With this commitment comes change, and they are growing to meet the needs of their community. Hopebridge is moving and expanding to a new, state-of-the-art facility at 355 Quartermaster Court in Jeffersonville, Indiana. The outpatient pediatric specialists’ set moving date was scheduled for November 1, 2016.

The new facility features

  • An indoor play area for interaction and socialization
  • Larger kitchen and dining areas for building life skills and peer-to-peer interaction
  • Larger therapy rooms
  • Brand new therapy equipment to meet each child’s specific needs
  • Larger and more comfortable waiting area for parents who opt to remain in the clinic while their child receives services
  • Improved parking


With these changes, Hopebridge will be better equipped to provide our families hope and support for each child to live the best life possible.

“We are pleased to open our new clinic in the Jeffersonville community to better serve our patients and their families. The new facility will allow our incredible staff to offer comprehensive services that define Hopebridge’s mission of serving children,” said Hopebridge CEO, Dennis May.

Nancy W. Knowles has donated an eight-figure gift to The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Receives Eight-Figure Gift

CHICAGO – The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) announced that Nancy W. Knowles has bequeathed an eight-figure gift to advance its revolutionary work.

Knowles’ gift – the amount of which is confidential – will support the capital campaign for the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, RIC’s state-of-the-art research hospital, set to open in March 2017. The $550 million, 1.2-million-square-foot facility will be the first-ever “translational” research hospital in which clinicians, scientists, innovators and technologists will work together in the same space, applying (or “translating”) research real time.

Specifically, Knowles’ gift will underwrite the hospital’s Strength and Endurance Lab, a dynamic therapeutic space that will serve patients requiring assessment and improvement of complex motor and endurance activities. In this living lab, one of five that will be housed in the new hospital, researchers will work full time in the clinical space surrounding patients. With direct, ongoing exposure to a clinical environment, they will conduct research with even greater intention based on the needs of patients that they themselves observe. This structure will lead to better, faster patient outcomes and even cures.

“Nancy is a remarkable woman who has always exhibited a generous spirit and unrelenting drive,” said Joanne C. Smith, M.D., RIC president and CEO. “Her wonderful gift will allow us to imbue this spirit in key spaces within the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, empowering and inspiring our patients, clinicians and researchers alike.”

The daughter of an orthopedist, Knowles was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa. She moved to the Chicagoland area in 1974 to join Knowles Electronics Inc. in Itasca, Ill., which was founded by the late Hugh Knowles. She was married to Knowles from 1979 until his death in1988. She held various roles in the company, ultimately leading it as chairwoman. Today, she serves as president and treasurer of the Knowles Foundation.

Knowles, a Hinsdale resident, was a patient of RIC in 2012.

“RIC helped me tremendously and is now making an enormous investment in its new hospital, which will result in novel possibilities and faster cures,” said Knowles. “It will establish an entirely new model of translational research and clinical care, and I’m honored to be able to support this very worthy mission.”

RIC’s $350 million capital campaign is expected to close in December 2017 and, currently, all new campaign contributions will be matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis up to $8.75 million total.

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