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  •  2038 Scenic Highway | Snellville, GA 30078
  •  770-979-1400
  • jbrence@nxtgeninstitute.com

2018 OPTA

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Michelle Leatherman
OPTA Student
Christopher Bever
OPTA Student
Vagner Dechao
OPTA Student
Nxt Gen Program: 2018 OPTA Cohort

Name: Vagner Dachao

Credentials: PTA

DPT School: Carroll Community College

One Thing I hope to get out of this Program: I expect this program will provide me with the additional skills, confidence, and the ability to enhance critical thinking, while working with patients with orthopaedic –related conditions to maximize success. /br>
My Biggest Professional Fear: My biggest professional fear is my personal feeling of not doing enough to satisfy my sense of accomplishment.

Where I will be professionally in 5 Years: I want to be in a place that makes me comfortable with those working with me and have an increased responsibility with management and the clinic I work at.

I am a first-generation, Luso-American and am trilingual in English, Portuguese, and Spanish. I put myself through school working two jobs and accomplished a BS in Kinesiology at the University of Maryland, College Park (2010-2014) and then obtained an AAS from Carroll Community College (2014-2015) to become a PTA. I have worked at Greater Washington Orthopaedic Group in Silver Spring, MD in an outpatient setting as a PTA for two years. :
Dena Spangle
OPTA Student
Nxt Gen Program: 2018 OPTA

Name: Dena Spangle

Credentials: PTA

DPT School: Vincennes University

One Thing I hope to get out of this Program: I want to obtain the knowledge to improve my treatment techniques and problem solving in order to provide my patients with a faster recovery and reduce the risk of further injury.

My Biggest Professional Fear: My biggest professional fear is that there will be a decrease in utilization of PTA's due to professional and/or insurance restrictions.

Where I will be professionally in 5 Years: I hope to continue practicing in an OP setting and be a part of a successful sports performance center. I want to improve my manual skills through continuing education. I also plan to continue to be involved in the crossfit community helping athletes stay injury free and active.

Short Bio: I have been a PTA for 24 years with the last 13 years being in an outpatient orthopedic clinic. In the last year I have focused on returning competitive and recreational athletes back to sport and decrease injury risk. I am Graston trained and certified in FMS level 1 and 2, FCS, and Y-balance testing. In my free time I like spending time with my family, crossfit and yoga.
Rita Patrick
OPTA Student
Whitney Smith
OPTA Student
Angela French
OPTA Student
Nxt Gen Program: 2018 OPTA Cohort

Name: Angela(Angie) French

Credentials: LPTA and Licensed Massage Therapist

PTA School: Northern VA Community College

One Thing I hope to get out of this Program: A broader scope of spinal mobilizations and newest EBR

My Biggest Professional Fear: Boredom, I want to learn and utilize manual techniques that are not commonly used in my current setting.

Where I will be professionally in 5 Years: I continue to enjoy the Orthopaedic setting and plan to remain in it full time but I am curious about trying home health or perhaps starting a small business to accommodate those whose therapeutic needs continue once therapy in the clinic is finished and/or their insurance will no longer cover their therapy.

Short Bio: Angie has worked in the therapeutic industry for over 25 years, 15 years in Outpatient Therapy. She has always enjoyed working with people and helping them to restore full function and seeing them return to the life activites that they love. Being a Massage Therapist before becoming a LPTA enhanced the manual therapeutic care but by becoming a LPTA there has been more success with accountability on the patient and improving their functional outcomes. Enjoys spending time outdoors; hiking, biking and camping especially active vacations with family and friends.
Sarah Colen
OPTA Student
Rebecca Neal
OPTA Student
Christopher Prichard
OPTA Student
Jennifer Bauder
OPTA Student
Joshua Papa
Jillian Weinstein
OPTA Student
Haley Fournier
OPTA Student
Joyce Worthey
OPTA Student
Caitlin Mazzoni
OPTA Student
Kathleen Guerrero
OPTA Student
Nic Tremblay
OPTA Student
Nxt Gen Program: OPTA 2018

Name: Nic Tremblay

Credentials: PTA

DPT School: River Valley Community College

One Thing I hope to get out of this Program: A broader understanding of appropriately understanding the start to finish process of treating specific anatomical dysfunctions

My Biggest Professional Fear: Not being able to help my patients due to a lacking on my part (knowledge, communication, overlooking important factors)

Where I will be professionally in 5 Years: Continuing to learn and grow as an outpatient orthopedic PTA

Short Bio: I’ve always known that I wanted to help people, and I’ve spent a lot of time exploring different mediums to achieve this end. I have studied music therapy, worked as a ski patrol EMT, and seriously considered careers in personal training and radiologic technology before finding my muse in the form of physical therapy. What’s not to love about this field! I get to work with one of nature’s most beautiful creations, the human body, and to be constantly surrounded and inspired by our most fantastic quality, the human spirit. I receive a genuine sense of satisfaction from being able to not only assist in people’s recovery from physical conditions but also giving them the tools to allow them to be active participants in their own healing process.
Hannah Cornell
OPTA Student
Nxt Gen Program: 2018 OPTA

Name: Hannah Cornell

Credentials: PTA

PTA School: River Valley Community College

One Thing I hope to get out of this Program: I hope to gain a practical understanding of orthopedics that I can utilize effectively in everyday practice.

My Biggest Professional Fear: Professionally I aim to challenge myself and my knowledge of Physical Therapy. My biggest professional fear is losing sight of the topics that interest me and that make me the PTA that I am.

Where I will be professionally in 5 Years: Professionally I hope to be furthering my experience and education at the clinic I currently work at. The outpatient clinic I work in now allows me to work with many orthopedic patients so I hope to continue my learning and be a valuable asset to my clinic.

Sheryl Amburgey
OPTA Student
Sherry Campbell
OPTA Student
Meghan Hoffmaster
OPTA Student
Nxt Gen Program: 2018 OPTA Cohort

Name: Meagan Hoffmaster

Credentials: PTA

DPT School: Blue Ridge Community and Technical College

One Thing I hope to get out of this Program: To gain a better understanding of how a PT assesses each patient to diagnose them accurately, so we as a team can provide each patient with the best outcomes and care as possible

My Biggest Professional Fear: To not be viewed as a knowledgeable clinician

Where I will be professionally in 5 Years: I would like to continue working in an outpatient orthopedic setting, while I continue to improve my education and ability to provide the best care possible to my patients

Short Bio: I graduated from Shepherd University with a B.S in Fitness and Exercise Science, then continued my education at Blue Ridge Community and Technical College, where I completed my A.A.S as a Physical Therapist Assistant. I have worked in an outpatient Vestibular Therapy clinic, and currently work for Pivot Physical Therapy in MD and WV. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my 4 year old son, two dogs, and coaching competitive cheerleading.
Todd Merry
OPTA Student
Nxt Gen Program: OPTA 2018 Cohort

Name: Todd Julian Merry

Credentials: PTA, MCMT

PTA School: Kilgore College

One Thing I hope to get out of this Program: Focused understanding of and ability to apply evidence-based orthopedic principles

My Biggest Professional Fear: Practicing as a PTA where my education, experience and skills are overlooked, unappreciated or under-utilized.

Where I will be professionally in 5 Years: Partnership for Spero Rehab, Bay St. Louis, MS

Short Bio: Graduated from Kilgore College in 1996; have worked in every setting in PT including inpatient rehab, acute care, neurological, orthopedic and sports med; including clinical directorship of 2 separate clinics. Achieved Mastery Certification in Manual Therapy through Hands-On Seminars 2013. Currently staff PTA at Spero Rehab, Katy, TX.
Randy Choi
OPTA Student
Rebecca Beabout
OPTA Student
Corey Hahn
OPTA Student
Antwan Gadsden
OPTA Student
Tracy Niece
OPTA Student
Tara Fronczek
OPTA Student
Sean Bagbey
OPTA Student
Heather Bacon
OPTA Student
Kitara McMoore
OPTA Student
Nxt Gen Program: 2018 OPTA

Name: Kitara McMoore

Credentials: LPTA

DPT School: Elon University- BS Exercise Sports Science; ECPI- AAS Physical Therapist Assistant

One Thing I hope to get out of this Program: To grow as a clinician by integrating the latest research based evidence for clinical application.

My Biggest Professional Fear: My biggest fear is being "average," not being utilized for my strengths/skill set, and not growing everyday as a clinician.

Where I will be professionally in 5 Years: Obtaining my CSCS and continuing to grow as a clinician in the orthopedic setting.

Short Bio: I played college basketball and graduated from Elon University with a BS in Exercise Sports Science. I spent a few years coaching college basketball, and I realized my true calling was in physical therapy. After graduating from ECPI, I started working for the company that gave me a chance as an aide, Pivot Physical Therapy (formerly Tidewater Physical Therapy, Inc). I am currently an LPTA at Pivot Physical Therapy in Virginia Beach.
Nicholas Ott
OPTA Student
Alex Garay
OPTA Student
Nxt Gen Program: 2018 OPTA Corhot

Name: Alex Garay

Credentials: PTA, CKTP, ASTYM Cert.

DPT School: Pima Medical Institute

One Thing I hope to get out of this Program: To fruther my knowledge to help me provide the highest quality of care to my patients.

My Biggest Professional Fear: Not improving my skill set and plateauing in my profession.

Where I will be professionally in 5 Years: I hope to with my the skill set I will be in a leadership position at outpatient clinic and/or a director.

Short Bio: I currently live in Queen Creek AZ. I work at Ignite PT in Chandler AZ. I have been a PTA for over 7 years. Before that I was a Combat Medic for the US Army for 8 years. During that time I served three tours to Iraq.