SPEAR’s first clinic in the outer boroughs is located in the heart of the historic Brooklyn Heights neighborhood, within the landmark St. George Tower (one of Brooklyn’s most majestic buildings). The clinic’s high-energy team of therapists comes from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences that ...
Doctor of Physical Therapy, Selective Functional Movement Assessment
Nicole Surach received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Miami. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health, graduating summa cum laude. Prior to joining SPEAR, Nicole worked in New Jersey specializing in orthopedics, sports medicine, and outpatient neurological rehab. During her time in graduate school, Nicole had unique clinical internships in orthopedics and sports medicine. At Nova Southeastern Sports medicine clinic, she treated collegiate athletes and also attended classes with Osteopathic medical students to learn advanced manual therapy techniques. She gained valuable experience in pediatric orthopedics while interning at world-renowned St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Nicole is committed to her patient’s success. She strives to not only have her patients make full recoveries, but also to prevent future injuries. She is certified in Functional Movement System’s Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) and is currently in training to become a Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist (COMT). Outside of the clinic, Nicole maintains an active lifestyle through spinning, Pilates, and yoga. In her spare time, Nicole enjoys traveling, spending time with her friends and family, and exploring the city with her two dogs.
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Chris received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree and graduated with honors from Columbia University. At Columbia, Chris completed the Advanced Track in Orthopedics and took specialized courses on sports rehabilitation and rehabilitation of the foot and ankle. Chris earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Health Science from the University of Miami, where she also minored in Psychology and Public Health. Chris has completed clinical affiliations throughout Manhattan in outpatient orthopedic, acute care, and outpatient hospital-based settings. She has experience at a level-I trauma center where she learned to manage patients with unique post-surgical and psychological conditions. Chris has worked with a diverse patient population, including geriatric and pediatric patients, and has treated a wide range of diagnoses of orthopedic, neurologic, and vestibular origins. She is dedicated to her patients’ success and understands the importance of providing each patient with a unique and individualized experience. Chris’ passion for exercising and maintaining a healthy lifestyle stems from her family of distance runners and triathletes. Her family also owns a CrossFit gym where she learned the importance of proper exercise technique and injury prevention methods for the cross-training athlete. Chris’ favorite types of exercise are running, spinning, and CrossFit. One of her other greatest passions is to travel. She lived in Sevilla, Spain, for five months, during which time she had the opportunity to travel to 10 different countries and 20+ cities throughout Europe and Africa. Chris hopes to one day be able to combine her passions for travel, public health, and fitness and deliver physical therapy services to those in greatest need around the world.
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Hannah Swaim graduated from Boston College with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and a minor in Hispanic studies. She received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Campbell University, NC. At Campbell, Hannah took several orthopedic and neurologically focused courses with an emphasis on how the whole body integrates together, as well as a specialized course in vestibular and concussion. She focuses on creating dynamic and functional therapeutic exercises combined with specific manual therapy techniques to enable patients to achieve their therapy goals. Hannah has had extensive experience providing physical therapy services in outpatient settings in Massachusetts and Myrtle Beach, SC. She focused on high school and college level athletic population and jointly developing a plan of care and treatment goals with athletic trainers, personal trainers, massage therapists and pelvic floor physical therapists, as well as conducting physician-prescribed rehab programs for post-surgical patients (pediatric through geriatric). She also has had experience with various manual therapy techniques including cupping massage, thoracic and lumbar manipulations, and myofascial release using IASTM tools. Not only has Hannah worked in the outpatient setting, she has also participated in an acute care Cardia ICU clinical internship at Vidant hospital in Greenville, NC. She worked with a highly complex patient population recovering from heart surgeries, vascular operations, amputations, and medically managed cardiopulmonary diseases. This clinical also afforded experience with orthopedics, trauma, neurology, cancer and wound care. Hannah is a firm believer in the mind-body connection and implements this into her therapy practice as well as her personal life. She grew up playing soccer and running track and field, which has carried over into her love for fitness. She seeks to be active every single day, with a passion for running, weight lifting, playing soccer, and being outdoors. In the past, she has run several full and half marathons, including the Boston Marathon. She fell in love with traveling after spending 6 months in Madrid and wandering around Europe and can’t wait to plan her next travel adventure.
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Spencer Tran received his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree as well as a Masters in Anatomy and Clinical Health Science from the University of Delaware. Prior to graduate school, Spencer attended the University of Pittsburgh and studied Rehabilitation Science and Neuroscience. Through the University of Delaware, Spencer pursued affiliations throughout the Mid-Atlantic in various settings. During his affiliation with Elite Physical Therapy in Wilmington, DE, he developed his manual skills while addressing a wide range of orthopedic and neurological issues. At Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Hamilton, NJ, he was consulted regarding patients on various floors including the ICU, orthopedics, telemetry, and medsurg. While at NYU Langone Hospital in Brooklyn, Spencer focused on providing rigorous physical therapy to patients recovering from stroke or other neurological conditions. Spencer has developed a passion for manual techniques and neurologically-based treatments through his clinical education and a lifetime of personal experience with physical therapy. He integrates these techniques into his treatments in order to improve his patients’ quality of life and expedite progress towards their goals. Outside of the clinic, Spencer pursues his passion of exploration through travel. His love for adventure grew from an 11,500-mile road trip that took him through 19 of the U.S. national parks. While in New York, you can find him exploring the city on his bicycle.
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Brett Warner graduated from Messiah College with a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Health Science, focusing on exercise physiology. He went on to receive his Doctorate in Physical Therapy degree from Drexel University where he graduated with honors. Throughout his college experience Brett has been heavily involved in research. At Messiah College, he spent two years as the principal investigator of an extensive exercise physiology study, presenting his research at regional and national conferences. At Drexel University, he performed and presented research on a return to sport rehabilitation protocol. Brett pursued clinical affiliations across multiple settings while at Drexel University. He addressed a wide variety of orthopedic conditions and sports injuries at outpatient clinics across Pennsylvania, developing his manual therapy techniques. At the Penn State Hershey Medical Center, he gained experience treating level I trauma and post-operative individuals, ensuring safe and smooth discharge transitions. Brett has a passion for amputees and had the privilege of spending his final affiliation providing outpatient services and prosthetic training to individuals in the greater Philadelphia area. Brett believes in a whole-body approach to physical therapy treatment. He combines hands-on manual therapy techniques with individualized progressive exercise for the entire body, in an effort to not only return his patients to their full function but prevent reoccurrence of their injury. Outside of the clinic, Brett enjoys leading an active lifestyle. He has a passion for strength and conditioning, running, and playing soccer. He also enjoys outdoor sports, spending his weekends snowboarding, hiking, and traveling. You can find him in the city exploring the local eats.
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Somer Meyers received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Texas Woman’s University in Dallas, TX. Prior to her enrollment in physical therapy school, Somer received a Bachelor’s in Exercise Science with a Minor in Biology from the University of Texas in Austin. Somer completed clinical internships throughout the United States in various settings. She has experience treating high level professional athletes at Revo Physiotherapy in Boulder, CO where she received specialized training in return to sport, blood flow restriction, group exercise, and more. Somer’s experience with a diverse patient population from geriatrics, traumatic brain injury, stroke, to orthopedic allow her to use an individualized and unique approach with each patient. Two of Somer’s greatest passions are fitness and travel. When she isn’t searching for a new Pilates or HIIT class to take, she is likely seeking out her next international adventure. Somer’s favorite trip to date was a solo-backpacking trip around Southeast Asia where she visited Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam.
Brittany Smith earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree as well as her Master’s degree in Anatomy and Clinical Health Science from the University of Delaware. Prior to graduate school, she attended Long Island University – C.W. Post, where she studied health science and minored in business, while also participating in the school’s National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II women’s lacrosse team. Brittany gained experience at the University of Maryland Shore Regional Medical Center, where she worked on the acute rehab team and treated an assortment of orthopedic, cardiopulmonary and neurological conditions. Brittany has had the opportunity to specialize in ACL rehabilitation, working with competitive athletes to help them return to sport. She has developed her manual skills with the integration of trigger point release, joint mobilization/manipulation, manually resisted exercise, PNF patterns, IASTM, and myofascial cupping to treat a variety of diagnoses. Brittany has developed a passion for sports rehabilitation, drawing from her background in athletics, the knowledge gained from pursuing a USAW-1 certification, and her experience with sports performance coaching. She believes in utilizing manual techniques and extensive neuro re-education to optimize recovery with her clients. Outside the clinic, Brittany enjoys weightlifting, obstacle course races, and recreational sports leagues like volleyball, basketball and flag football. Since ending her competitive lacrosse career in college, she now plays recreationally with friends and continues to enjoy the sport. Understanding the value of participating in one’s passions drives her to provide the best possible care for her patients to help them reach their goals.
Leah Brodfuehrer graduated on the Dean’s List from University at Buffalo with her bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science. She then went on to earn her Doctorate in Physical Therapy with high honors from Upstate Medical University located in Syracuse, NY. As a physical therapy student, Leah was involved in research that examined the feasibility and safety of using augmented reality to improve the function of individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. She presented her findings at a National Physical Therapy Conference. Leah’s diverse clinical experiences included treating individuals in a level 1 trauma center and in an outpatient clinic that emphasized manual therapy and therapeutic exercise. She has had the opportunity to evaluate and design individualized plans of care tailored to all stages of healing, functional levels, and complexity including post-surgical rehabilitation, traumatic brain injury, vestibular rehab, and work injuries. She has also worked with individuals with a wide range of cultural backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses and ages. Leah believes the absolute best physical therapy management encompasses physical and psychosocial aspects of the patient in order to provide a holistic treatment. She emphasizes full involvement of the patient in designing his/her plan of care and stresses providing the patient with the necessary education and tools for a positive and successful physical therapy experience. Leah is very passionate when it comes to learning a new skill and engaging in outdoor activities. In her spare time she enjoys DIY projects, playing volleyball, rollerblading, camping and hiking. She has enjoyed hiking in Hawaii, Colorado, and is aspiring to accomplish all 46 Adirondack High Peaks. When not in the clinic, Leah is exploring Brooklyn trying to find the best cup of coffee.
Elaine received her Master’s in Occupational Therapy at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. At Quinnipiac, Elaine was a member of the school’s Kickline Team for four years and was captain of her team for two consecutive years. Elaine has experience treating children aged 9 months to 4 and half years old with varying diagnoses including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, and overall developmental delays. Additionally she has experience treating various diagnoses of the hand and wrist with training in custom fabricated splinting, and also has significant experience working with patients who recently underwent shoulder surgery at Hospital for Special Surgery. Elaine is dedicated to her patients’ rehabilitation process and continuously focuses on improving her patients’ ability to be as independent as possible. She is passionate about helping others and promoting success to regain function. Elaine has danced her whole life. She enjoys traveling, maintaining an active lifestyle, and spending time with her family and friends. She is certified in scuba diving and hopes to expand the values of occupational therapy to other countries in the world.
Devon earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Stony Brook University. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from Manhattan College. While at Manhattan College, she served as a board member of the exercise science national honors society, Phi Epsilon Kappa. Devon selected diverse affiliations throughout her physical therapy education in order to have a broad understanding of a variety of fields. She has worked with young children with autism, geriatric patients with neurological pathologies, and both men and women of all ages with pelvic floor dysfunctions. During her final clinical affiliation at NYU Ambulatory Care Center for Women’s and Men’s Health, Devon worked alongside top clinicians within the field. Her passion for women and men’s health has grown stronger with each person she has had the pleasure of treating. This passion lead Devon to receive her Level I Pelvic Floor certification through the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) course and she is now a member of the APTA Section on Women’s Health. Devon strives to teach all of her patients the tools they need to independently manage their symptoms, maintain their fitness, and prevent future injuries. She believes this can be accomplished through effective communication, specific attention to each patient’s needs and goals, and hard work from both the therapist and patient in and outside of the clinic. In her personal time, Devon likes to explore the city with friends, play board games with family, read, and travel.
Sattha “Art” Tiangtham earned his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the New York Institute of Technology, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. For his undergraduate studies, he attended the Cooper Union for Advancement of Science and Arts, where he majored in Chemical Engineering. Upon graduating, Art decided to change careers and enter the healthcare field as a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Personal Trainer for New York Sports Club, and later Lifetime Athletics. After twelve incredible years in the fitness industry, this positive experience ultimately led him to become a Doctor of Physical Therapy, so he could turn his focus towards helping people prevent and rehabilitate from injuries. Prior to receiving his DPT, Art worked as a corporate wellness coach, Spinning instructor, Pilates Reformer instructor, and boot camp instructor. During his clinical experience, Art was exposed to subacute care in geriatric nursing, orthopedic injuries, and competitive powerlifting. These experiences allowed Art to enjoy treating a diverse population of patients and learn that regardless of a patient’s age or level of function, education and perseverance are paramount. Art was a multi-sports athlete in high school, participating in baseball, soccer, and wrestling. He competed in two bodybuilding competitions as a natural athlete. Currently, he enjoys finding new ways to stay active and get outdoors. In his free time, Art enjoys volunteering at charity events, weightlifting, and riding his bike by the beach.
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