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Joseph D. Spallone
PT, DPT, OCS, CFMT
Joseph D. Spallone, PT, DPT, OCS, CFMT
Mr. Spallone is the founder and owner of Function First Physical Therapy, P.C., since June of 2001. He graduated from The University of Connecticut in 1987, with a B.A. in Athletic Training. Upon returning for his Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy, received in 1990, he was the Athletic Trainer for the Women’s Basketball team at University of Connecticut.
He relocated to New York City, and worked for three years at New York Hospital, and rotated to various services. He then left to focus on out-patient orthopedics, where he worked for seven years in a physical therapy owned private practice in NYC. During this time he was committed to enhancing his expertise in orthopedic dysfunction and rehabilitation by taking numerous continuing education courses.
He received his Board Certification in Orthopedics in 1998, from the American Physical Therapy Association’s Board of PT Specialties. That same year he was certified as a Functional Manual Therapist, from The Institute of Physical Art, in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
He and Function First Physical Therapy, P.C., are members of the Hospital for Special Surgeries’ Rehabilitation Network, and attends the weekly sports medicine grand rounds to stay abreast of current orthopedic research, both operative and conservative management procedures. He has recently completed a Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program (DPT) offered by Evidence in Motion, which was established in 2004 and has grown to become the largest provider of post-professional educational programs in the PT industry. He can be reached at joe@ functionfirstpt.com.
Joe is married to Melina Mackall and they reside in Brooklyn, NY with their two young sons, Jackson and Spencer.
PT, DPT, OCS
Karen Kubicina, PT, DPT, OCS
Bio coming soon…
Sarah Nolan, MSPT, CFMT
Sarah graduated Magna Cum Laude from Ithaca College in 2004 with a Master of Science in Physical Therapy. A former dancer, her love for the performing arts carried over into her second passion of physical therapy. She began her career as the primary physical therapist for Disney’s The Lion King, both on the first national tour and for the Broadway company.
She is very happy to join Function First Physical Therapy after spending ten years with the talented team at PhysioArts, providing on-site physical therapy to over 40 Broadway shows and dance companies as well as providing both preventative and rehabilitative care to the performing arts community at large.
In 2011, Sarah achieved a long time goal of becoming a Certified Functional Manual Therapist™, passing certification with distinction and joining an elite group of therapists around the county. She has been on the faculty for the Institute of Physical Art since 2012. She is part of the team teaching Core First Strategies as well as a primary instructor for Dynamic Foot and Ankle, sharing her enthusiasm of the material with fellow physical therapists.
Sarah strives to continue developing her manual therapy skills and further her involvement in the dance medicine community. She is a proud member of the Orthopedic Section of the American Physical Therapy Association. When she is not in New York City, she is chasing around her two little boys in the burbs.
Kerry Ojeda, PT, DPT
Kerry Ojeda received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Sacred Heart University, as well as her Bachelor’s in Exercise Science. Kerry’s passion for Physical Therapy began through her own sports injuries and rehabilitation processes. Kerry was a competitive Division 1 Track and Field athlete, competing in the pole vault as her main event. Through her own physical experiences, Kerry has been able to relate to the injured patients she treats, approaching each case uniquely in order to allow her patients to return to their prior level of function or to enhance their sports performance.
Kerry is a well rounded physical therapist who enjoys treating a wide variety of diagnoses. She has obtained clinical experience in acute care, vestibular therapy, neurological therapy, orthopedics, musculoskeletal rehabilitation and the treatment of sports injuries. Kerry now maintains her clinical focus on orthopedic, sports and neuromuscular physical therapy.
The hallmark of Kerry’s practice is merging her vast orthopedic knowledge with her manual techniques, exercise prescription, clear patient education and supervised one-on-one care.
Enthusiastic and personable, Kerry enjoys meaningful working relationships with her patients where she can provide them with the customized of quality care they need. Kerry believes in treating patients as a whole person and not just limiting treatment to the diagnosis for which they were referred.
Kerry’s knowledge in movement science and her experience in manual therapy allows her to treat a variety of musculoskeletal conditions. Some manual techniques include joint mobilizations, trigger point release, myofascial therapy, proprioceptive and neuromuscular facilitation.
As a member of the APTA, Kerry maintains professional accreditation and educational enrichment by following the latest research literature and attending weekend courses. Kerry continues to be physically active as she is an avid weightlifter, sprinter and recreational volleyball player. Kerry also enjoys snowboarding and going to the beach.
Jessi Patz, PT, DPT
Jessi is delighted to join the expert team at Function First! As a professional dancer, choreographer, and teacher for over 20 years, Jessi brings a diverse background in movement to her practice as a physical therapist, treating a wide variety of injuries both at the clinic and backstage for numerous Broadway shows.
While earning her Doctorate in Physical Therapy degree from College of Staten Island, Jessi became certified as a Pilates Mat Instructor and dedicated herself to a lifelong study of Pilates and Rehab, in addition to pursuing a certification as a Functional Manual Therapist® through the Institute of Physical Art (IPA). Her training in holistic manual bodywork began in massage therapy school, while receiving a BFA in Dance from Florida State University and later was further mentored while working at Physioarts.
Jessi focuses on the entire body and movement patterns in order to guide her patients’ recovery and achieve their fullest potential. Jessi is an active member of International Association for Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS) and APTA orthopedic and NY chapter.
When not working, Jessi is performing/teaching contemporary-modern dance, ballroom, or lindy hop around NYC and at home with her baby, toddler, and husband.
PT, DPT, GYROTONIC®, NASM PT
PT, DPT, GYROTONIC®, NASM PT
Alejandro brings a vast background of dance and fitness training to his work as a physical therapist. In 1999, Alejandro moved from Madrid to New York where he danced professionally with American Ballet Theater for 9 years. During his time with ABT, Alejandro obtained his GYROTONIC® and GYROKINEIS® certifications. In 2008, he joined Hubbard Street Dance Chicago until his retirement from dance in 2010.
Alejandro obtained his Doctor in Physical Therapy degree at Long Island University and has since then become and avid evidence-based practitioner. Alejandro is a “movement optimist” (after Greg Lehman’s work) and focuses rehabilitation on education and self-efficacy.
When not working, Alejandro teaches private Gyrotonic lessons mostly to professional dancers; looks up researchers on Twitter and annoys them with questions, writes, cooks, draws, and is an avid exerciser, especially when the sun is out.
PT, DPT, CSCS, NCPT
Megan Wise, PT, DPT, CSCS, NCPT
Megan Wise is a Physical Therapist, Pilates Teacher, Health Coach, and Strength & Conditioning Coach in NYC. Her mission is to help performers build a long, successful career onstage.
She began her studies at University of Florida, where she assisted and coordinated neurological and physical therapy research at the Brain Rehabilitation Research Center. She then completed her Doctor of Physical Therapy from New York University in 2015, completing internships in various areas of PT in New York and Chicago.
She is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association’s Performing Arts and Foot and Ankle Special Interest Groups, International Association for Dance Medicine & Science, Pilates Method Alliance, and on the Marketing and Engagement Committee and Delegate Assembly for the New York Physical Therapy Association. Since 2016, Megan has treated backstage for multiple Broadway shows, including Aladdin, Book of Mormon, Hillary and Clinton, Cats, Hamilton, and many others. She is currently the Physical Therapist for Mean Girls on Broadway.
Melina Mackall, LMT, NCTMB
Ms. Mackall received a BA in dance from Bard College in 1994. Upon graduation, she received a Don Parker scholarship for developing most as a performer and went on to pursue a professional career as a dancer and choreographer. Ms. Mackall has taught ballet and in 1997 received a certification to teach Pilates.
In 2002 she received her Gyrotonic certification, her New York State license to practice Massage Therapy and her National Certification in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. She has been on staff at the Swedish Institute.
Ms. Mackall has taken numerous continuing education classes in order to expand her knowledge of anatomy and kinesiology. Most recently she has taken courses in Gait Training, Osteoporosis, Myofascial Release, CranioSacral Therapy, Trigger Point Therapy, Manual Lymph Drainage and Sport and Spine Rehabilitation of the Lower Extremity. She also holds a certificate in Prenatal Massage and works closely with women during and after pregnancy.
Ms. Mackall will proved the highest quality of individualized care in order to help you achieve optimal fitness and health. She can be reached at melinamackall@ mac.com.
Sandy Shariff Office Manager
Miss Shariff is a graduate of TCI College in Business Administration and Accounting. Sandy is the intake coordinator and administrator for Function First Physical Therapy since the summer of 2006. She’s worked as a Customer Service Rep for seven years, providing quality service to customers and demonstrating a talent for communicating and listening attentively to customer’s needs.
Sandy has been working in the medical field for over thirteen years; she’s worked with patients from a diverse background, ensuring they are satisfied with every part of their therapy experience from the initial greeting through their discharge date. She can be reached administration@ functionfirstpt.com.
Dorixa Gonzalez Administrator
Miss Gonzalez is a graduate of Morris High School in the Bronx. She has been working in the physical therapy field for 10 years. The first 3 years she worked as a PT technician and has worked at FFPT the past 7 years as an administrator. She is bilingual and speaks Spanish. She can be reached at email@example.com.