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Faculty

Arlene McCarthy

Arlene McCarthy, PT, MS, DPT, NCS

Arlene is the director of the Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency Program and has extensive experience in acute, home health, SNF, and outpatient clinical settings. Additionally, she has considerable experience in leadership, management, clinical education and clinical research. She has been active in the APTA serving locally as well as nationally within the Neurology Section. She is the former chair of the Neurologic Specialty Council.  Arlene is an assistant clinical professor for the University of California, San Francisco/San Francisco State University Graduate Program in PT.

Arlene received her BS and certificate in PT from UCSF, MS in Neurologic PT from Samuel Merritt College and her DPT from University of California, San Francisco/San Francisco State University. She became a board certified clinical specialist in 1998 and re-certified in 2007.

Christina Berdoulay

Christina S. Berdoulay, PT, MS

Christina has been with Kaiser Permanente since 1991. From 1991-1998, she worked at the Kaiser Foundation Rehabilitation Center at Kaiser Vallejo with both inpatient and acute rehab neuro diagnosis as a physical therapist, senior physical therapist and ultimately inpatient supervisor. During her time there, she taught in the Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) post graduate curriculum on a daily basis for 5 years, becoming a basic level instructor in 1995 and an advanced level instructor in 1997. She has taught PNF throughout the United States and internationally in Japan.

In 1998, she transferred to Kaiser Redwood City working in inpatient acute and outpatient settings as a senior physical therapist. She has been associated with the neuro residency as a mentor from its inception. She also has a strong interest in Women’s health and treats outpatients as a clinical specialist in the OB/GYN setting.  Christina has been an Associate Clinical Professor in the UCSF/ SFSU physical therapy program since 1993. She teaches the PNF section in the program along with various other neuro topics.

Christina has undergraduate degrees from University of California Davis in both Physiology and Psychology and her masters degree in Physical Therapy from University of Southern California.

Priti Chitale, PT, DPT, NCS

Priti Chitale, PT, DPT, NCS

Priti completed her Bachelor of Physio Therapy from Nagpur University in India and M.Sc of Physio Therapy from University of Mumbai in India. She joined Kaiser in 2003 and currently works in Outpatient Rehabilitation Services in Union City as a Physical Therapist.

Priti undergone training in Manual Therapy: Mentorship from Hayward Kaiser Fellowship in 2007. She completed her transitional doctorate from Northeastern University in 2012 and NCS in 2017. For over 25 years, she has worked in various settings, treating patients with musculoskeletal as well as neuromuscular presentation.

Kristen Ikeda

Kristen Ikeda, PT, DPT, NCS

Kristen graduated with a degree in exercise biology from UC Davis in 2007, and a doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Southern California in 2011.  She joined Kaiser Permanente in 2012, and completed mentoring in collaboration with the Kaiser Neurologic Residency program in preparation to become a board certified neurologic clinical specialist.  She is an adjunct faculty in the Samuel Merritt University DPT program, and has also guest lectured for the UCSF/SFSU DPT program.  She is trained in PWR! MovesTM and LSVT BIG for Parkinson’s Disease, with specialized training in vestibular rehabilitation.

Gwen Juha

Gwendolyn Juha, PT, NCS

Gwendolyn attended California State University, Fresno to finish her undergraduate degree in Kinesiology (the study of human movement) in 1999. She continued into the master’s program in Physical Therapy, and completed her graduate degree in 2002. She pursued a job in orthopedics soon after her internship at Mountain View physical therapy.

In August of 2004, Gwendolyn joined the Kaiser Physical Therapy team and in 2012, she joined the Kaiser Permanente Residency Program as a mentor.  Gwen developed her skills in manual therapy by taking a yearlong course in Australian Maitland techniques in 2003-4 and continued to be the teacher’s aide the following year in 2004-5. She also have had specialized training in vestibular rehabilitation (balance disorders), back and neck disorders and postural dysfunctions.

Theresa Najjar

Theresa Najjar, PT, MSPT, NCS

Theresa graduated with her masters in physical therapy from Nazareth College of Rochester in 2008.  After working at Massachusetts General Hospital on their neurologic physical therapy team, she moved to attend the Kaiser Permnanente Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency Program in Redwood City, CA.  Theresa received her certification as a Neurologic Clinical Specialist from the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties in 2011. Previously, she has worked as a senior physical therapist at Kaiser Santa Clara Outpatient Rehabilitation Services and as The Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center’s physical therapist.

In 2014, Theresa started Synaptic Physical Therapy, Inc., a private practice that seeks to fill the gap in the outpatient rehabilitation community by promoting neuro fitness, wellness, prevention, and rehabilitation for people with neurologic conditions. Theresa is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and of the Movement Disorder Society. She has been trained in various techniques including PWR!Moves™, LSVT BIG®, Delay The Disease™, and Tai Chi Fundamentals®. In addition to her time with the Kaiser Permanente Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency Program and with Synaptic Physical Therapy, she has been the Movement Pavilion Chair for National Parkinson’s Foundation’s Moving Day® San Jose annual fundraising walk since 2015.

Katie Parafinczuk

Kathleen Parafinczuk, PT, DPT, NCS

Kathleen graduated with a B.S. in biology from Emory University in 2007, and a DPT degree from Arcadia University in 2011. She is a senior therapist on the rehabilitation team at Kaiser in Redwood City where she specializes in neurologic physical therapy. During her time at Kaiser, Kathleen has completed a residency to become a clinical specialist in neurology. She continues working as a faculty member and clinical mentor within the residency program.

As a member of the Kaiser Parkinson Disease Network, Kathleen teaches an on-going education and exercise class to patients with Parkinson’s disease.  In 2015, she was selected as a neurological clinical leader to work on Kaiser’s Redesign Team establishing region-wide practice protocols for neurological therapists in the outpatient setting.  In 2016, she expanded her teaching experience by co-designing a balance and fall prevention curriculum for the Evidence In Motion continuing education program.  She has also given region-wide lectures on Parkinson’s disease to therapists in the home setting and to Stanford Parkinson Support groups.

Cheryl Pierson

Cheryl Pierson, PT, MS

Since joining Kaiser Permanente in 1983, Cheryl has developed broad clinical and management experience.  She has been with the Neuro PT Residency since its inception in 2007 as a core faculty member, educator and mentor.  As an Associate Clinical Professor in the UCSF/SFSU physical therapy graduate program, she was responsible for developing and teaching the Brain Injury and Vestibular/Balance courses up until 2010.  Since then, her passion for nature-based learning has led to study with the School of Lost Borders in their Practice of Living and Dying as well as Beyond Our Borders programs.

Cheryl retired from clinical care in 2014 but has continued to develop her skills with the neurologic population through her community volunteer work at SonRise Equestrian Foundation (children and youth with special needs) and The Connected Horse Project (adults living with dementia and their caregivers).  Cheryl is known for integrating her extensive clinical and management experience at Kaiser and surrounding community organizations into innovative, creative and engaging presentations.  She has undergraduate degrees from Indiana University and Purdue University and a master degree in Neurologic Physical Therapy from Samuel Merritt University.

Angela Rusher

Angela Rusher, PT, Dpt, NCS

Angela graduated with her B.S. in Biopsychology at Santa Barbara in 2002 and received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Samuel Merritt University in 2007.  She has gained clinical experience in a variety of settings including Stanford Hospital and Alameda Health System’s acute rehabilitation program at the Fairmont campus while also serving as a clinical instructor in the neuro setting for the last 8 years.  She joined Kaiser Permanente in 2012 as a senior therapist specializing in neurologic  physical therapy and also serves as faculty as an assistant professor at Samuel Merritt University in the DPT program where her primary role is of Assistant Director of Clinical Education.

Angela practices at Kaiser Park Shadelands in Walnut Creek where she is part of an innovative interdisciplinary rehab team that has developed a variety of programs to better meet patient needs in the neurologic setting including a multi-disciplinary initial exam, multi-disciplinary neuro group treatments, and a chronic CVA neuro clinic. She is a PWR! (Parkinson’s Wellness Recovery) trained therapist who teaches regular PD exercise groups and speaks at Parkinson’s support group meetings on exercise and fall prevention.

Academic Faculty

Diane Allen

Diane D. Allen, PT, PhD

Diane is a professor in the Graduate Program in Physical Therapy at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)/San Francisco State University (SFSU). Her areas of research and academic expertise are in qualitative and quantitative tests and measures, neuro-rehabilitation, and evidence-based practice. She has taught in the Kaiser Redwood City Neurologic PT Residency Program since its inception, in the areas of Neuroanatomy/Neurophysiology and Tests and Measures.

CK Andrade

Carla-Krystin (CK) Andrade, PT, PhD

CK is an Associate Clinical Professor at the UCSF, a Course Instructor at SFS, and teaches Case Reports within the UCSF-SFSU Graduate Program in PT, and in the Kaiser Neurological Residency Program.  Her work, research and teaching spans multiple fields. Within PT, she is the creator of a systematic clinical decision-making approach to soft tissue techniques and the author of Outcome-Based Massage.  Her clinical focus is in pediatric physiotherapy and wellness, where she is an active participant in clinical care, and her teaching expertise is in Case Reports.  CK leads innovation projects in the design of medical devices, health data platforms and eHealth apps for consumers and clinicians and is currently Director of Product Management at Philips Healthcare.

Rolando Lazaro

Rolando Lazaro, PT, PhD, DPT, GCS

Rolando is an Associate Professor in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at California State University Sacramento. He is a contributing faculty member at the University of St. Augustine Health Sciences, and adjunct faculty at Samuel Merritt University. He has been a program faculty in the Kaiser Northern California Neurologic Residency Program since 2008.  Rolando teaches in the neuromuscular content, physical agents and electrotherapy, research, therapeutic exercise, and teaching and learning. He is a board-certified clinical specialist in geriatrics and a member of the American Physical Therapy Association. He is a section editor of the Umphred Neurological Rehabilitation 6th edition text and an associate editor of the Goodman Differential Diagnosis for Physical Therapists 6th edition text.

Preeti Deshpande Oza

Preeti Deshpande Oza, PT, PhD, NCS

Preeti received her BSc and MSc in Physiotherapy from University of Mumbai, India and PhD in Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences from University of Iowa, USA. She was an Assistant Professor at Des Moines University and Fresno State University teaching content in neurologic Physical Therapy and evidence based practice. She graduated from Kaiser Permanente’s Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency in 2013. She has worked as a Physical Therapist in different clinical settings with variety of patients.  She is an Assistant Professor at University of the Pacific, Stockton and also an adjunct instructor at Kaiser Permanente’s Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency program. She also works with clients with neurologic conditions in outpatient setting.

Monica Rivera

Monica Rivera, PT, MS

Monica is an assistant professor at California State University, Fresno in the Department of Physical Therapy. She is the lead instructor in in Neuroanatomy, Motor Development and Management of Neurological Disorders in Adults and in Pediatrics. Her past research was conducted at UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley involving muscular dystrophy, infant air stepping, optic flow, reliability study on the FIST, and the interaction between motor and spatial cognitive processes in spina bifida. Currently she is coordinating an Infant Motor and Perception Lab and conducting postural control studies in individuals with Parkinson’s disease.

Gail Widener

Gail Widener, PT, PhD

Gail is a professor and full time faculty member at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland CA.  She is a trained physical therapist and neurophysiologist teaching clinical physiology, neuroscience and pathology in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program.  Gail has an active research agenda investigating interventions for people with neurologic dysfunction focusing specifically on people with multiple sclerosis (MS).  Her work has been supported by grants from the California Physical Therapy Association, Samuel Merritt University, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) and the National Institutes of Health.  She has written a chapter on MS and co-authored a chapter on muscle tone.

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