Welcome Erika Sheroski, OTRL to the Advanced Hand Rehab Team
Erika Sheroski’s interest in occupational therapy started when her father was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2008. She witnessed the caring and compassion the occupational therapist had for her father and watched as he was able to gain back some independence in his home life. In honor of her father and as a way to give back to the community, Erika decided to go into occupational therapy as a career.
Erika has a Master of Health Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Baker College for Graduate Studies. She is a member of the Michigan Occupational Therapy Association, and her future goal is to attend continuing education in upper extremity rehabilitation, orthotic fabrication, stroke rehabilitation and joint replacement. During her fieldwork rotations, she worked for a neuro care center where she was able to work with traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients. One her most memorable patients is a patient who suffered from a TBI and had multiple fractures to her upper extremities. The patient’s prognosis wasn’t good, and Erika knew this case was going to be tough. Her plan of care was to not only rehabilitate the patient’s biomechanical injuries but also her cognitive function. After three months of hard work, the patient was able to recover and walk out of the facility with help of just a walker.
In her spare time, Erika enjoys getting together with friends and family for meals. “I love cooking for people,” says Erika. She is also an avid reader, and she will often pick a random book to read from the bookstore or library just for the variety. To stay active and healthy, she practices yoga, circuit trains and lifts weights.
Erika is an occupational therapist out of Advanced Hand Rehab’s Davison location. She is an excellent therapist for sports injuries relating to the upper extremities. She understands, firsthand, what the athletes go through. She played softball throughout grade school and into college, as well as for several travel teams, including the West Michigan Heat. She considers herself to be a good listener and wants her patients to feel comfortable and trust that what she is doing for them is the absolute best. “I work hard for my patients. I am in constant pursuit of growing and increasing my knowledge. I am fortunate to work in an environment where I can go to my therapist mentors. It’s been a welcoming and supportive environment,” said Erika.
Congratulations, Stephanie! We are so happy to have you stay with us and continue on your wonderful career.
Stephanie Straus, PT, DPT has been a part of the Advanced Physical Therapy Center team since 2012. She started her career in healthcare as a physical therapy aide at our Clio clinic. Her cousin, who is a pediatric physical therapist, convinced Stephanie to shadow her at work for a day, and the rest, as you say, is history.
Stephanie graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a doctorate in physical therapy in 2017. While pursuing her degree, she was a part of a weekly gait and seating clinic at Beaumont Hospital, involving wheelchairs, seating devices and orthotic fittings for the pediatric population. Much of her hands-on time was spent evaluating the optimization of function for children, which involved gait analysis and positioning. Stephanie’s passion lies with the pediatric population, and she thoroughly enjoys treating several diagnoses pertaining to this population, such as toe-walking and torticollis. She also has continuing education in concussion management and works with young athletes getting them back on the field safely after concussion. Her other special interests include educating patients on posture alignment and balance training.
Stephanie does an excellent job building rapport and establishing relationships with her patients. She is a vivacious, genuine person, which translates to her treatment sessions. “I like being able to build relationships, get to know my patients and spend time with them while they get well. I think a big part of physical therapy is gaining the patient’s trust. If our patients don’t believe we genuinely care about them, then the recovery process is much more difficult,” says Stephanie.
Stephanie treats patients out of Advanced Physical Therapy Center’s Clio location. She is originally from Swartz Creek but now lives in Fenton with her German Shepard mix, Charlotte. She is looking forward to 2018, because she is getting married to her wonderful fiancé, Jason. In her spare time, she likes to spend time with friends and family, travel and hang out on the lake kayaking and boating. She is also an avid runner participating in several road races, and she completed the Detroit half marathon in 2016. If you ask Stephanie what she enjoys about working at Advanced Physical Therapy Center, she will tell you, “I love my co-workers! It is one of the main reasons why I came back after school. Everyone is passionate about their jobs and is hardworking, which is reflected in their care for patients.”
Kaija Seklins, PT, DPT has been an active person all her life. Growing up in Battle Creek, Michigan, she was a competitive dancer for many years and ran track and cross country in high school. She decided that she wanted to go into the physical therapy field after attending several physical therapy sessions with her dad. She loved how personable and friendly everyone was and knew it was something she would like to be a part of. She graduated from Michigan State University with her bachelor’s in kinesiology in 2012 and went on to obtain her Doctoral Degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Michigan-Flint in 2017.
During her time in college, she attended continuing education in Physical Therapy Management for Patient’s with Concussion and a class on functional exercise for the hip and shoulder from the Gray Institute. She also has attended Beaumont’s Oncology Symposium, where she learned various rehab techniques and considerations for patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. Her special interests include gait and balance training, post-concussion rehabilitation, physical therapy relating to neurological conditions, and vestibular rehabilitation. Kaija has gained a great deal of experience and knowledge through her studies. During her last clinical rotation, Kaija worked with a spinal cord injury patient who had not been able to walk in over a year. The patient started his therapy with Kaija by taking his first steps in the pool, and by the end of the therapy program, he advanced to walking on dry land. She says it was one of the most rewarding experiences of her career. “He was such a motivated individual. To see all of his hard work pay off was an amazing feeling,” said Kaija.
In her practice, Kaija likes to build a good rapport with her patients and get to know them on a personal level. “I love to see the progress my patients make each week, and knowing their story, makes it all the better,” states Kaija. Since being hired for Advanced Physical Therapy Center’s Clio clinic, she has become a valuable member of the team and says she genuinely enjoys working with the staff. “Everyone works together well, and whenever I’ve had a question, the staff has been very helpful. It’s a great atmosphere to be in,” says Kaija.
In Kaija’s downtime, she continues to be active by going for short runs whenever possible. In addition to running, she enjoys reading, watching movies and listening to music.
“I was first introduced to physical therapy when my dad had an accident that left him with a lot of physical limitations. After months of physical therapy, my dad was able to walk and do the things he loved again. I looked into the field and saw an opportunity to help people,” says Kraig Carpenter, PT, DPT reflecting on how he started his career in physical therapy.
Kraig received both his bachelor’s degree in health science and his doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Michigan-Flint. His post-graduate focus has been on the use of manual therapy techniques and sports injury rehabilitation. Kraig played several sports in high school and was a baseball player for Mott Community College. Because of his personal experience, he is a great physical therapist for sports-related injuries and feels that he is able relate to athletes. One of his most memorable patients is a seventy-six-year-old male who was an avid paddle ball player. He suffered from a shoulder injury and was frustrated that he wasn’t able to play the game that he loved. By the end of his therapy, he reported to Kraig that he was able to play with minimal limitations.
Kraig is a wonderful addition to Advanced Physical Therapy Center’s Grand Blanc clinic. In his practice, he likes to incorporate functional and activity-based exercises that utilize the whole body in order to best improve functional ability. He considers himself to be a friendly person with a good sense of humor, which, he feels, helps in dealing with patients who are in pain or apprehensive about therapy. “I try to build a good rapport with my patients, so I can gain their trust. I also like to get the whole picture. The more I get to know my patient, the more I can help them,” says Kraig. One of his goals is to help his patients be more active. He says he tries to leave each of his patients with something that can benefit them for a life time. Many patients have thanked him for how he helped to change their outlook on life.
Kraig is from the Flint area and in his leisure time, plays slow pitch softball and loves to go camping. His two boys, Kaden and Jaxton, keep he and his wife, Jenn, pretty busy as well.
Grand Blanc Clinic:
10809 S. Saginaw St.
Grand Blanc, MI 48439
Helping a patient live pain-free and getting them back to living their normal life is, for most physical therapists, their number-one priority. Matt Koziol, PT, DPT likes to take this a step further by incorporating modalities and manual therapy on the patient’s first visit to help reduce pain an individual is experiencing and give them a positive outlook in therapy.
Matt’s journey in the field began after a stint of physical therapy in high school for a shoulder injury. It was there that he decided to pursue a career in physical therapy. He received both his bachelor’s degree in exercise science and his doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Toledo. His post-graduate focus has been on the use of manual therapy techniques, and he hopes to gain a certification in functional dry needling and the McKenzie Technique. Matt also likes to work with his hands, so physical therapy was a perfect match for him. “Using my hands in physical therapy helps me to tell which muscles are firing, over-firing or inhibited. Knowing that allows me to tailor a program that either facilitates or inhibits movements. This improves overall movement patterns, which, typically, improves the underlying condition. Also, being able to perform manual therapy gives a patient a sense of relief relatively quickly, and there is nothing better than having a patient walk out of therapy feeling better than when they came in,” states Matt.
Matt’s wife, Heather, works as a physical therapist as well. Her job is what, originally, brought them to Michigan. Matt treats patients out of Advanced Physical Therapy Center’s Grand Blanc clinic, and in his day-to-day practice, he enjoys treating athletes, geriatric patients and any upper extremity injury. In his spare time, he likes to go running, weight train or go to the movies. He also has fun playing with his dog, Hardy. For several years, Matt was an instructor and volunteer for Delay the Disease, which is an exercise program to help Parkinson’s patients overcome freezing during their gait (walking). “I found it to be so rewarding to help build up their confidence again and improve their quality of life,” says Matt about his volunteer time.
When you ask Matt about his experience working at Advanced Physical Therapy Center, he will likely tell you, “We have a definite team spirit here and the atmosphere for the patients as well as staff is friendly.” He considers himself to be very ambitious and is driven to provide all his patients the best care possible.
Grand Blanc Clinic:
10809 S. Saginaw St.
Grand Blanc, MI 48439