Ruth Polillo, MSPT, CBIS: Ruth graduated with a Master of Science in Physical therapy degree from Thomas Jefferson University in 2005, and has gained experience in every setting a therapist can work in. The majority of her career has been spent in acute inpatient rehab where she was able to find her passion for brain injury and neurological rehab as well as developing a special interest in Vestibular rehab. She received the title of Certified Brain Injury Specialist from the American Brain Injury Association in 2013. Ruth has been directly involved in initiation and development of specialized programs as both a staff therapist and in leadership roles. Outside of the ARC Universe, Ruth simply continues to try to figure out this crazy thing called life! She seeks out new experiences all the time in hopes for continued enrichment. But one of the most challenging, yet humbling, yet rewarding jobs Ruth has is being a mother to her three children.
Emily Cahalan, OTR/L, CLT, CBIS: Emily is an occupational therapist with almost ten years experience in the field. Emily graduated from National University of Ireland, Galway in 2010 and has been working in rehabilitation since. Emily’s field of interest particularly lies in edema management, health awareness and prevention of disease, and neurological rehabilitation. She received her Certified Lymphedema Therapist qualification from the Norton School of Lymphatic Therapy, in Philadelphia. She has been passionate about educating therapists and other clinicians, as well as patients, in the management of chronic edema. Working in rehabilitation has inspired Emily to pursue her Certified Kinesio Tape Practitioner qualification, and she is looking forward to adding these skills to the ARC Seminar directory. Emily also loves expanding her knowledge through all forms of book, podcast, and documentary; running in as many races as she can possibly sign up for; playing with her kids; traveling back to Ireland; and her ultimate goal is hosting rehab-based podcast!
Allison Frederick, M.S., CCC/SLP, CBIST has been a practicing speech-language pathologist for 12 years. For the first three years of her career, she developed her clinical skills working in the subacute/long term care setting where she was able to find her footing as part of an interdisciplinary rehabilitation team. Allison then transitioned to acute rehabilitation, where she continued to develop her teamwork skills, and also where she found her love for working with patients affected by acquired brain injury. Allison became a Certified Brain Injury Specialist trainer in 2014 after finding there was a need for education about how to manage patients with brain injury. Allison has a passion for education, and never misses an opportunity to educate people about the prevention and treatment of brain injury. When Allison isn’t busy trying to convince everyone to wear a helmet, she enjoys practicing Baptiste style yoga, German beer, traveling anywhere and everywhere, and spending time with her English Bulldog, Sydney. On being part of ARC Seminars:
Michelle Ball MSN, CRRN, WCC is a Registered Nurse with 10 years experience in acute and sub acute rehab. Michelle has Graduated from Wilmington University with her Masters in Nursing Leadership. In addition, Michelle is a Certified Rehab RN through the Association of Rehab Nurses. She is also certified in Wound Care through the National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy. Michelle is passionate about rehab and wound care. She has helped develop and implement a wound program in the rehab setting. Furthermore, she completes weekly wound care rounds with a wound care team. Michelle also teaches CRRN preparation courses. Michelle loves that in rehab we help our patients get better and reach their goals.
Brandis Johnson, PT, DPT, CLT-LANA graduated from Arcadia University with her doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2006. She has worked in a variety of settings including inpatient, and subacute rehab. She has been settled in outpatient rehabilitation since 2012. She became a certified lymphedema specialist in 2012, and received her lymphology of Association of North America (LANA) certification in 2014 . Brandis lectures at multiple universities in the Philadelphia area, as well as, at local and national conferences. Her focus includes oncology, lymphedema and pelvic floor dysfunction. ARC Seminars is delighted to add her as one of our presenters!
Pia Leone PT, DPT, WCS, CLT received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of the Sciences in 2012. Pia completed the Good Shepherd Penn Partners Women’s Health Residency in Philadelphia, PA in 2013 which included her certification in Lymphedema (CLT) from The Norton School of Lymphatic Therapy. She obtained her Women’s Health Specialist Certification (WCS) from the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties in 2015. Pia is adjunct faculty for several physical therapy programs in the Philadelphia region. Her area of focus include pelvic floor dysfunction, pregnancy, low back/SI joint pain, lymphedema and cancer rehabilitation.
John Joseph Kardine Jr., OTR/L is an Occupational Therapist specialized in program management and treatment of cognitive and visual impairment from acquired brain injury. Joe is intent on progress growth in leadership as a clinical mentor, rehabilitation administration and has an interest in business management.
Amanda Santarlas, M.B.A., M.S., CCC/SLP, BCS-S has worked in various acute hospital, acute rehab, subacute, outpatient, and private practice sites over the last 16 years. She has maintained the Board Certification in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders for the last 8 years. Amanda is a lifelong learner and has received the Award for Continuing Education from the American Speech Language and Hearing Association over the last 6 consecutive triennial intervals. She loves to pass on that knowledge to others to maximize patient rehabilitation success by improving quality care. When she isn’t learning, teaching, or providing therapy, Amanda relishes in travel to new locations, trying different cuisines, taking time for Pilates, and cuddles with her dog, Churro.
Vanessa Johnson PT, DPT, CBIS, MBA, C/NDT graduated with her doctorate in Physical Therapy with an elective track in rehabilitation in 2011. Vanessa has worked in inpatient rehabilitation and subacute/long term care since graduating PT school. Inpatient rehab is where Vanessa found her passion for working with patients with neurological disorders. Vanessa earned her Certified Brain Injury Specialist in 2015 and her Masters in Business Administration in 2018. Most recently Vanessa earned the designation of C/NDT through the Neuro-Developmental Treatment Association. Vanessa has a passion for education and takes every opportunity available to learn a new skill, attend a new course, or go to a national conference. When she isn’t taking classes and furthering her education Vanessa loves to spend time with her young daughter, and baby son, play with her three fur babies, and travel.
Dylan Thorp, M.S., CCC/SLP, CDP, CBIS has been an ASHA certified speech-language pathologist since 2019. Dylan completed her academic coursework at Clemson University and the University of South Carolina and possesses both degrees in psychology and speech-language pathology. She is currently a traveling SLP, and enjoys experiencing the country, as well as sharpening her skill set in a variety of different clinical settings. Dylan has a deep passion for working with persons with dementia and has had the privilege of working with people in various stages of dementia in many different settings. Dylan also has a passion for educating clinicians about dementia, which led her to develop this master class. We are so happy to have her part of the ARC family!
Gabriela Constantinescu, PhD, R.SLP, S-LP(C) Gabi is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department at the University of Alberta and CXO for True Angle. She is also an Affiliate of the Institute for Reconstructive Sciences in Medicine (iRSM). Gabi started off as a clinician at iRSM (Institute for Reconstructive Sciences in Medicine), where she amassed over a decade of experience assessing and treating speech, voice, resonance, and swallowing difficulties in patients with head and neck cancer. Gabi then went on to obtain her PhD, where her research directly influenced the design and development of a mobile system for swallowing exercise called Mobili-T (now a product of True Angle). Gabi’s research with the company brought her the 2020 Michael Donovan NFOSD Innovation Award at the Dysphagia Research Society conference and the 2020 ACSLPA Honour of the College award.
In her academic career, Gabi provided consulting for graduate students’ study designs and analyses in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine Research Center, co-instructed CSD 598-Directed Individual Reading and Research, and developed and taught REHAB 500-Conducting Rehabilitation Research. She has supervised and mentored several students in their capstone and masters theses.