Improving quality of life for the differently abled Children & Adults

Physical Therapy


Richard Elicio, PT, DPT.  Born in New Mexico, but considered to be an Arizona Native spending the last 28 years in Arizona mostly in Safford, AZ.  He graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education.  Through school he worked for a Physical Therapist as a Tech where he quickly realized a love for working with individuals to help them increase their physical function.

He also had a great love for working with the elementary age children through student teaching experience.  He is now a recent graduate of the Doctorate of Physical Therapy program at A.T. Still University in 2013.  As a part of his clinical education he performed physical therapies for children with special needs in the Gilbert Public School District.  He has been very much involved in physical and sports related activities competing in football, basketball, and track in high school as well as intermural sports in college, and currently participates with his wife in recreational running.

His family life is a very important component to who he is as a person.  He is married with five small children at home from ages 8 years old down to 3 months.  Any time away from work is time spent with the family either being outside going for walks, going to the park, playing games indoors, or just having time together as a family.

The time that is available for hobbies is taken performing carpentry.  He enjoys any type of wood working and can spend hours at a Lowes or Home Depot given the opportunity.


Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Tammy Groenwald joined the L.I.F.E. family in August 2008 and transitioned into the lead physical therapist role in March 2013.  Tammy also works part-time at Phoenix Children’s Hospital (PCH) Outpatient Rehabilitation where she has expanded her knowledge working with children diagnosed with cancer, orthopedic injuries, and infants following their stay at PCH’s neonatal intensive care unit.

She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2002 and earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2005 also from the University of Illinois at Chicago.  While in physical therapy school, Tammy was president of her physical therapy class and received the distinguished Who’s Who Among American Colleges and Universities Recognition award in May 2005.

Tammy knew she wanted to become a pediatric physical therapist after observing physical therapy sessions as a camp counselor for children with special needs in high school and after coaching Special Olympics gymnastics, swimming, and cheerleading in college. She has additional training in conductive education, aquatic therapy, Chronologically Controlled Developmental Therapy (CCDT), NeuroDevelopmental Treatment (NDT), and Yoga/Pilates for the Special Needs Child.

Tammy’s previous work experience includes geriatrics, adult orthopedics, and emergency room physical therapy at Gilbert Hospital.  She is also a credentialed clinical instructor for PT and PTA students completing their school clinical affiliations at L.I.F.E. or PCH. Tammy has guest lectured at the PT program at Northern Arizona University and the PTA programs at Carrington College and Gateway College regarding the topic of “Ethics in Physical Therapy Practice.” She has also guest lectured to the staff at Success Center Daycare in Chandler, AZ, and to at risk pregnant moms at Banner Desert Hospital regarding the topic of “Typical Gross Motor Development from Infancy to Age 5.”

In her spare time, Tammy enjoys scrapbooking and attending scrapbooking conventions and spending time with her 3 young children Nathan, Matthew, and Samantha.  She also dances as a member of the Basileia Christian Dance Company and serves monthly at a women’s and children’s transitional housing shelter the past 2 years.


Abbey Betlach is originally from Ankeny, Iowa. She attended the University of Houston and played collegiate soccer on the women’s soccer team before transferring to the University of Iowa. She graduated from the University of Iowa with her bachelor’s degree in Health and Sports Studies and Physiology in 2009. Following her graduation from Iowa, she attended A.T. Still University (ATSU) in Mesa, Arizona for graduate school. She graduated from ATSU in 2013 with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT).

Abbey performed multiple clinical internships in the pediatric setting, such as outpatient, public and private school, and home health. She enjoyed working with children of all ages and diagnoses. Abbey joined the LIFE team after graduation in August 2013, and appreciates the multidisciplinary team approach. During her free time, Abbey enjoys playing soccer, running, reading books, watching football, and spending time with her family and friends.


Rachel Behmer is originally from the Midwest.  She attended the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire and competed on the women’s gymnastics team.   She graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training in 2013 with her final clinical rotation experience in Men and women’s hockey and football.  She attended graduate school at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, MO, and graduated with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2016.

Rachel has enjoyed working with children with developmental disabilities in the past through volunteer work with Special Olympics and also providing physical therapy services to children on mission trips to Peru, Brazil, and El Salvador.  After graduating Rachel worked 2 years in an outpatient orthopedic setting where she was certified in vestibular therapy, but now she is excited to continue to work with children of all ages and backgrounds.   In her free time, Rachel enjoys hiking, rock climbing, and spending time with family and friends.


Alex grew up in the Midwest. She lived in several different places in Indiana, as well as Pennsylvania. She loves the Pittsburgh Penguins and Pirates, and will always be a Peyton Manning fan! She attended school just North of Pittsburgh, and graduated in May of 2014.

Alex has worked in a few Pediatric settings, including a hospital and several different outpatient clinics. She knew from the start that she wanted to work with children, and she has loved seeing her clients make progress over her years in the field! She is involved in several different ways with children besides work, including trips overseas as well as regular volunteering at her church.

Alex enjoys traveling to new places, hiking, reading, and spending time with friends and family.

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