Physical Therapy

Physical therapy helps consumers (AKA clients, patients) improve in the areas of gross motor skills. Physical therapists (PTs) look at whether a person is functioning at age-appropriate level in physical skills such as mobility, coordination, and strength and then determine interventions to help address areas of concern. Physical therapists and physical therapy assistants (PTAs) then implement these interventions.

For example, a PT may use therapy ball activities to strengthen a person’s core muscles so that they then can roll or maintain their balance when sitting or riding a bike. PTs help determine and obtain needed assistive technology devices, such as a walker or stander, and teach consumers and caregivers how to use them.

How can physical therapy help?

Physical therapy helps people improve their gross motor skills through mobility, coordination, and strengthening activities.

PHYSICAL THERAPY TEAM

ABBEY BETLACH
ABBEY BETLACHPhysical Therapist, (PT, DPT)

Education:

  • Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), A.T. Still University, Mesa, AZ, August 2013
  • B.A. in Health Promotion and Exercise Science, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, May 2009

Specific Treatment Strategies, Equipment, or Expertise Utilized:

  • Telehealth
  • Aquatic Therapy (when pool is open for use)
  • Neurodevelopmental treatment strategies
  • Lite Gait harness system for weightbearing and gait training
  • Easystand sit to stand system for weightbearing and standing
  • Bal-a-vis-x treatment for visual tracking, hand-eye coordination, and brain/body integration
  • Exergaming systems (Xbox Kinect and Wii)

Career History:

I started at Lauren’s Institute For Education in August 2013 as a physical therapist. I have been at L.I.F.E. for 6 years as a full-time treating physical therapist. I took on the role of supervising a physical therapy assistant in June 2018. For the past 4 years, I have served as a clinical instructor and mentored physical therapy students completing a clinical rotation at L.I.F.E. I also have experience in several different settings, which include outpatient orthopedics, school-based, acute care hospital, and home health.

Personal:

I grew up in Iowa and graduated from the University of Iowa. I am a huge fan of the Hawkeyes and their football team. I moved to Arizona in 2010 for graduate school, and I decided to make this state my home after graduation. In my free time, I enjoy playing soccer, running long distances, reading books, watching football and soccer, and spending time with my family, friends, and two dogs (both boxers).

RICHARD ELICIO
RICHARD ELICIOTherapy Manager, (PT, DPT)

Role:

TAMMY GROENWALD
TAMMY GROENWALDPhysical Therapist, (PT, DPT)

Education:

  • Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, May 2005-Class President and recipient of Who’s Who Among American Colleges and Universities Recognition award in May 2005
  • B.A. in Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, May 2002

Special Certifications:

  • Credentialed clinical instructor for PT and PTA students completing their school clinical affiliations at L.I.F.E.
  • Certification received for Pilates Matwork Fundamental Instruction, SCW Fitness, Fall 2003

Specific Treatment Strategies, Equipment, or Expertise Utilized:

  • Neurodevelopmental Treatment (NDT) especially for clients with cerebral palsy
  • Gait training with Lite Gait device and RT 300 Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Cycling Systems
  • Aquatic therapy (when L.I.F.E. pool is open for use)
  • Chronologically Controlled Developmental Therapy
  • Yoga and Pilates for the Special Needs Child
  • Kinesiotaping
  • Orthotics management including SMOs, AFOs, and Bioness

Career History:

I joined the L.I.F.E. family in August 2008 and transitioned into the lead physical therapist role from March 2013-2016. In addition to L.I.F.E., I worked part-time at Phoenix Children’s Hospital (PCH) Outpatient Rehabilitation from 2012-2017 where I have expanded my knowledge working with children diagnosed with cancer, orthopedic injuries, and infants following their stay at PCH’s neonatal intensive care unit. My work experience also includes geriatrics, adult orthopedics, and emergency room physical therapy at Gilbert Hospital.

As much as I love working with my clients, I also have a passion for educating students and parents in the community on topics related to the physical therapy profession. I have 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.” I currently guest lecture annually to the staff at Life Christian Preschool and Childcare (Chandler, AZ), as well as tri-annually to the moms receiving services at the Pregnancy Care Center of Chandler regarding the topic of “Typical Gross Motor Development from Infancy to Age 6” since 2017.

In addition, I am part of L.I.F.E.’s orientation team and train new employees bi-monthly on “Developmental Disabilities” and “Saft Lifting and Transfers.”

Personal Treatment Philosophy:

I always aim to put the “FUN” in “FUNCTIONAL” in all my treatment sessions.

Personal:

I grew up in Skokie, Illinois and moved to Chandler, Arizona in June 2005 after marrying Mike Groenwald, an aerospace engineer at Northrop Grumman. We have 4 kids: Nathan, Matthew, Samantha, and Angela, who keep me very busy outside of work. In my free time I enjoy cheering on my kids at their sporting events, scrapbooking, or watching any TV show related to The Bachelor/The Bachelorette franchise. I also have been a member of the Basileia Christian Dance Company, based in Chandler, since 2011.

STEVE LUNDEEN
STEVE LUNDEENPhysical Therapist, (PT)

Education:

  • Masters of Physical Therapy (MPT), Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ,  May 1993
  • B. A. General Studies Spanish/Health Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ, May 1991

Special Certifications:

  • CPI Certified
  • Previously certified in New Mexico and Colorado
  • River Rampage Mentor – Phoenix Parks and Recreation

Specific Treatment Strategies, Equipment, or Expertise Utilized:

  • Neurodevelopmental Treatment Strategies
  • Tele-therapy experience
  • Easystand sit to stand system for weight-bearing and standing
  • Pediatric Motor Learning Principles

Career History:

I started at Lauren’s Institute For Education in March 2021 as a physical therapist. I previously worked in the Mesa Public Schools as a physical therapist for 23 years. I have served as a clinical instructor and mentored physical therapy students within the public school setting. I have experience working in other physical therapy settings – acute care ICU, outpatient settings – orthopedic, work injury, and in the home care settings.

Personal Treatment Philosophy:

I believe in creating an engaged working relationship with my clients adapting their program based on their needs, encouraging and supporting their participation, and involving them in therapy activities and decisions.

Personal:

I’m from Minnesota originally. I did attend school at North Dakota State University as a mechanical engineering major before moving to Flagstaff, AZ. I used to perform with the Jester’Z Improvisational Comedy Troupe for 10 years in Scottsdale, AZ. I enjoy hiking, exploring Arizona, traveling, and participating in yoga and other fitness classes.

NOEL McCLUNEY
NOEL McCLUNEYDirector of Clinical Programming, (PT, DPT, AT Specialist)

Role:

ALEX HARRIS
ALEX HARRISPhysical Therapist Assistant, (PTA)

Education:

  • AAS-PTA, Butler County Community College, 05/14

Specific Treatment Strategies, Equipment, or Expertise Utilized:

  • Telehealth
  • Aquatic Therapy
  • Lite Gait System
  • Bike Riding
  • Sport Skills (to including throwing/catching, kicking a ball, running/jumping,basketball and soccer skills)
  • Exergamming System (x-box Kinnect, Wii)
  • Functional strength and balance including stair and curb navigation
  • Yoga treatment Interventions
  • Kinesiotaping for the Pediatric Population

Career History:

I began working at L.I.F.E. in June of 2018. Previously, I have worked in several other pediatric facilities, including an outpatient clinic in the greater Phoenix area and a center for children with autism in central Indiana. I also have previous experience in a clinic specializing in injuries of the spine, Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF), as well as with amputee clients in the VA hospital system of Western Pennsylvania. I have had the opportunity to work with clients with balance deficits, as well as clients with autism extensively in my previous employments. I also have attended continuing education courses for Infant positioning and handling, Torticollis Treatment Interventions, Kinesiotaping, orthotic management and assessment, and seating/mobility.

Personal:

I grew up in the Midwest, and lived in several different places in Indiana, as well as Pennsylvania. I truly love the Pittsburgh Penguins and Pirates, and will always be a Peyton Manning fan! I knew from the start of my schooling that I wanted to work with children, and I have loved seeing my clients make progress throughout my years in the field! I am involved in several different ways with children besides work, including trips overseas as well as regular volunteering at my church. I enjoy traveling to new places, hiking, reading, and spending time with friends and family.

Contact Us for More Information About L.I.F.E.

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