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
Think about all the things we do with our hands. We touch, hold, write, cook, eat, and button shirts with our hands and the list goes on. What if you lost complete or partial function of your hand? How would that affect your quality of life? What changes would you have to make to adapt? After an injury, wouldn’t you want the best treating your most precious tools? That is why it is so important to see a certified hand therapist.
A certified hand therapist is specially trained in the most intricate details of the hand, wrist, forearm, elbow, upper arm, shoulder, and brachial plexus (the nerves and corresponding vascular bundles exiting the neck). This knowledge, affords you the assurance that you have the best treating your injury, and that your CHT can effectively treat and rehabilitate even the most complicated injuries and surgeries. Your CHT knows the proper protocols for open or sutured wounds, scars, broken bones, the reduction of swelling, and new incisions and stitches. According to Kim Turner, PT, CHT, “You don’t have to be afraid to start therapy after injury or surgery. When you are in the hands of a highly trained certified hand therapist, you will get a better outcome with your injury the earlier you start.” CHTs work closely with the physician and patient to provide a continuum of care. In fact, hand surgeons trust and refer their patients only to certified hand therapists. This is because the anatomy of the arm and hand frequently requires very delicate surgery, often with microscopic techniques. The technical complexity of these kinds of surgeries necessitates a high level of competence by therapists with advanced skills in upper quarter rehabilitation. CHTs are knowledgeable about these advanced surgical techniques and postoperative therapy programs. With some injuries and conditions, it is essential to seek the help of certified hand therapist for the design and implementation of exercise programs to increase motion, dexterity, and/or strength immediately following an injury or surgery. Also, if a patient waits too long to seek the help of a certified hand therapist, they risk the development of scar tissue build-up and stiffness, which can cause pain and limitations in function. Kim treated a patient where this happened. “The course of actual recovery took twice as long because the patient was too scared to come in for treatment before the stitches were out,” states Kim. For these reasons, many athletes, musicians, and artists seek out CHTs for the treatment of their activity related injuries.
Certified hand therapists can also help with the management of acute or chronic pain, desensitization following nerve injury or trauma, and sensory re-education after nerve injury. Certified hand therapists are the only therapists able to provide custom splinting to prevent or correct injuries. They also provide training in the performance of daily life skills through adapted methods and equipment. Another essential a CHT provides is a conditioning program prior to returning to work.
For those suffering from osteoarthritis (painful swollen joints in the hands or wrist), a certified hand therapist can provide instruction on proper exercise and mechanics to protect joints, manage pain, and increase function. Other conditions or injuries that would be important to seek the help of a CHT also include deQuervain’s Tenosynovitis, digital amputation, distal radius fractures, ulnar-sided wrist pain, tendon lacerations/ruptures (both flexor and extensor), phalangeal (finger) fractures, wrist fractures, trigger finger, swan neck deformities, boutonniere deformities, and rheumatoid arthritis. They can also treat conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow), and rotator cuff injuries.
Advanced Hand Rehab is available at all seven Advanced Physical Therapy Center locations. For more information, go to http://www.AdvancedHandRehab.com or call:
Grand Blanc – (810) 695-8700
Clio – (810) 687-8700
Flint – (810) 732-8400
Hartland – (810) 632-8700
Goodrich – (810) 636-8700
Davison – (810) 412-5100
Clarkston – (248) 620-4260
Fe’Neda Bradshaw, MPT has been in the physical therapy field for nearly twenty years. She has been a valued member of the Advanced Physical Therapy Center team since 2009. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan-Flint Master of Physical Therapy Degree Program
Fe’Neda loves interacting with people and that is what led her to become a physical therapist. Since graduating, she has taken several continuing education courses including the Graston Technique (instrument assisted soft-tissue mobilization), Strain/Counter-strain manual therapy, and vestibular rehabilitation. She also has a certification in kinesiology taping.
Fe’Neda finds it personally rewarding to help patients achieve their functional goals and feels her specialty lies in treating low back and neck pain. She also enjoys working with pediatric patients with orthopedic injuries and conditions.
Many of Fe’Neda’s patients have commented about the amount of care and concern she shows. “I make it a point to do my best when treating each patient. I want my patients to know the intent I have for them and feel a difference after being in my hands,” says Fe’Neda. One such patient calls Fe’Neda a “miracle worker”. The patient had been experiencing vertigo for many years without relief. After one treatment from Fe’Neda, the patient’s vertigo was gone.
Fe’Neda is a caring individual who gives up a lot of her time to help others outside of work. She serves as president of her church’s youth choir, is a member of the Young Women of Excellence empowerment program, and participates in the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association. When she is not working with patients or volunteering, she likes to go walking in her neighborhood or workout in the gym. She also likes to practice her hobbies, which are playing the piano and violin and playing volleyball.
Fe’Neda is a Flint native, but now resides in Clarkston with her husband and two sons. She treats patients, mainly, out of Advanced Physical Therapy Center’s Goodrich clinic but has gone above and beyond by working at various APTC clinics over the years to help cover patient needs as they arise.
7477 S. State Rd., Ste. B
Goodrich, MI (810) 636-8700
For patients who need upper extremity rehabilitation, Renae Remillard, OTRL is one of the best. Renae is an expert when it comes to pre-work screenings and return-to-work assessments. She has specialized training in functional capacity evaluations, which is a battery of tests administered to determine if someone is physically able to perform a particular job. If someone is unable to perform the job at hand, she has the training and knowledge to put together a Work Conditioning program specifically designed for the patient.
Renae received a Master of Occupational Therapy Degree from Baker College in 2013, and her future goal is to obtain a national certification in hand therapy, which is a prestigious distinction and a challenging credentialing course that entails thousands of hours of clinical work and experience as well as passing a rigorous exam. Her other continuing education includes the Graston Technique (instrument assisted soft-tissue mobilization) and Kinesiology Taping.
As an occupational therapist, it is Renae’s job to help people gain independence in their daily lives. “I’ve had many patients tell me that their lives have been changed for the better. We hear all the time, ‘You don’t realize how much you use your hands until you can’t.’ I find it amazing to run into a patient years later and find that they still remember a lot about their treatment and our time together. I love being able to help people reach their goals. It makes my job worthwhile,” said Renae.
Renae treats patients out of Advanced Hand Rehab’s Grand Blanc facility and is the director of Advanced Hand Rehab. She is from Fenton, and when not working with patients, she enjoys spending time relaxing on the lake with her fiancé, family and friends and walking her two rescue dogs, Oakley and Larkin. Renae is also very active. She is an avid runner and regularly attends boot camp classes.
Renae considers herself to be an upbeat, positive person. She tries her best, with every patient, to create a welcoming environment. “I truly enjoy my job and try to give each patient one-hundred and ten percent. Our treatment philosophy is to be “hands-on” with all our patients and have their best interests. I think that shows every day in what we do,” states Renae about her team.
Advanced Hand Rehab – Grand Blanc | 10809 S. Saginaw St. | 810.695.8700 | RRemillard@advpt.com