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We’ll make it work!!

Our experienced and friendly team strive to have you feeling like yourself again in no time.

 

 

Staff Bios

 

Founder & Owner

 

Penny Whitehouse RPT, MCPA, MCPO


Penny started the Physiotherapy Centre in 1967, together with her husband Michael. Although he retired in 1999, Penny continues to be active at the clinic, and can still be found there as many as three days a week!

Penny loves interacting with seniors, who respond well to her empathy, not to mention her sweet and caring nature. “Being a senior myself, I can relate easily to many of the older patients, having experienced some of the same challenges,” she affirms.

When she’s not at the clinic, Penny enjoys spending time at home with her dogs. Although she’s also been bitten by the travel bug in the last few years.

 

 

 

 

Physiotherapists

 

Alanna Smith RPT, MSc, CAFCI


Alanna is a Registered Physiotherapist with degrees from the University of Western Ontario (Honours Specialization in Health Sciences and Masters in Physical Therapy). She has worked in a variety of settings, encompassing sports medicine, pediatrics and orthopedic surgery through Cambridge Memorial Hospital.

Alanna is particularly interested in manual therapy and acupuncture. She is certified by the Acupuncture Foundation of Canada Institute and has also been trained in advanced manual therapy courses. She is currently completing the McKenzie Technique program for the treatment of neck and back pain.

When asked why she chose her current profession, Alanna replied, “I enjoy helping people of all ages suffering from injury, illness or disability, through exercise, manual therapy, education and advice. If I can have an impact on a person’s overall health, happiness and ability to live their life to the fullest then I am truly satisfied.”

Outside of work, Alanna indulges in such activities as swimming, hiking, reading, writing and spending time with friends and family. In the summer, she particularly enjoys spending time at her cottage.

 

Thao Thai PT, MSc, BScPT, CAFCI

 

Thao is a Registered Physiotherapist with degrees from both from McGill University (Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy, 1998) and the University of Western Ontario (Master of Science, 2001). She has worked in a variety of settings, encompassing clinical, teaching and research. Her previous posts include research consultant at the University of Western Ontario and educator in the Health Sciences department of Conestoga College.

Thao is particularly interested in orthopaedics and acupuncture. She is certified in acupuncture by the Acupuncture Foundation of Canada Institute and also trained in manual therapy, wound management and McKenzie based techniques.

“I love interacting with people of all ages, from children to older adults,” Thao declares. “I particularly enjoy helping people progress through their rehabilitation and recovery.”

In her spare time, Thao enjoys activities such as swimming and walking, as well as reading and spending time with her family and friends.

 

Flavia Zimbrean RPT, MSc

 

Flavia received her Masters of Science in Physical Therapy from Queen`s University, Kingston. Prior to that, she’d been part of our family at Advantage Physiotherapy / the Physiotherapy Centre as a PTA since 2008. Before emigrating to Canada, Flavia also earned a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology in her native Romania, where she worked as a kinesiologist.

“I decided to make physiotherapy my life-long profession, when I realised the impact I could have in the lives of people I meet through my work,” she confides. “One of the most important aspects of my assessments and treatments is the education I give my clients. Helping people understand where the physical problem may originate, can be the key to a quicker recovery.”

Flavia strongly believes that an adequate physical exercise program, which combines stretching with strengthening, can balance our everyday lives. She follows her own advice by participating in a variety of sports as often as she can.

Having learned the true meaning of cold and winter since moving to Canada, Flavia decided to embrace the season and learn skiing. “Although Chicopee still gives me enough of a challenge,” she admits. During warmer weather, Flavia enjoys walking or cycling, thereby doing her bit to protect the environment. When not outside, she loves to dance and swim.

No matter what time of year, Flavia loves to travel. She likes nothing better than to relax beside the ocean with a good book (although she leaves her ongoing physiotherapy research back at home during her trips!).

 

Dung Mai PT, BScPT, CAFCI


Dung graduated from Queen’s University and became a registered physiotherapist in 1994. He has a special interest in movement disorders and mobility issues, and is an authorizer for the government of Ontario Assistive Devices Program for mobility devices. As such, Dung can determine if a client would qualify for government funding to assist with the purchase of a mobility device such as a walker (see our Services page for details).

Dung also has extensive experience with the use of custom orthotics to alleviate pain, to correct biomechanical faults and foot deformities, to balance leg length differences and to improve mobility. He’s also certified in the use of acupuncture to relieve pain and promote healing.

Dung is a good listener, communicator and educator, as well as being a strong advocate for clients with special needs. Clients describe him as being kind, compassionate and knowledgeable. Dung uses humour to bring levity, in order to help clients cope with whatever problems may confront them.

Away from the office, Dung is a keen gardener, with a particular love for bonsai.

 

 

Physiotherapy Assistants (PTAs)

Tracy Dykes - Team Leader


Tracy first began working part-time at the Physiotherapy Centre in 1986, while still in high-school. After seven years of on-the-job training, she opted to attend the OTA/PTA course at Conestoga College (while continuing to work full-time) and was one of the first to graduate this program in 1995.

In 2004, Tracy and her husband moved to Quebec, thus breaking an 18 year streak with us. However, when she and Joe returned to Kitchener in 2007, Tracy was able to temporarily rejoin us, covering for another staff member’s maternity leave. At the end of this period, Tracy went off to pursue other career opportunities, but in 2013 she returned to the fold, where she belongs.

 

Robin Elliott


Robin graduated as a kinesiologist from the University of Waterloo in 2004 and has been a part of the Advantage Physiotherapy / Physiotherapy Centre family since 2008.

“Health is our greatest resource and not one to be taken for granted,” feels Robin. She looks forward to applying her years of health care experience in working with you to help you achieve your personal goals of health and wellness. “Whether you’re troubled by a traumatic injury or chronic condition, working together we can help,” she says.

At home, Robin enjoys knitting and relaxing with her cats.

 

Aly McAtear


Aly trained as a Physiotherapy Assistant at Conestoga College and has been a member of our team here at Advantage Physiotherapy / the Physiotherapy Centre since 2009. “You’ll always find me bouncing around the clinic, willing to help,” she says.

Aly has taken her passion for working with seniors one step further, by becoming certified as an Older Adult Fitness Specialist. Aly runs a fitness class - Fit For Life - at the clinic, specifically designed for those over 55 (see our Services page for details).

When not running around the clinic, Aly likes to listen to music and to spend time with her family and friends.

 

Pam O’Hara


Pam earned her Physiotherapy Assistant Diploma at Humber College, Toronto, before going on to work in various departments at Trillium Hospital, Mississauga. Then, in June 2003, we’re happy to say she became part of the Physiotherapy Centre team.

Pam continues to enjoy her time at our clinic, taking great pleasure in seeing people obtain a more functional and active lifestyle. “It’s interacting with people that make our job special,” she declares.

Away from work, Pam enjoys spending time with her family, going on long walks with her husband, and tennis. She also confesses to have just caught the travel bug and hopes to do more in the future.

 

Jasmine Sullivan

 

Jasmine graduated from the OTA/PTA program at Conestoga College in 2016. Shortly after graduation, she obtained a full-time position here at Advantage Physiotherapy / the Physiotherapy Centre.

Jasmine enjoys learning and since starting with us has achieved certificates in American Sign Language (ASL), Gentle Persuasive Approach in Dementia Care (GPA) and Suicide Awareness (SafeTALK).

Away from work, Jasmine enjoys golfing, gardening, arts and crafts, as well as spending time with her family. She also bartends at her local chapter of the Royal Canadian Legion.

 

 

Massage Therapist

 

Waldemar Augustyniak (August) RMT

 

August graduated from the Canadian College of Massage and Hydrotherapy in Cambridge in 2000. Since then he has dedicated himself to continually upgrading his skills as a Registered Massage Therapist. He has received specialised training in myofacial release, structural integration, Esalens deep tissue technique and sport massage.

August has been a part of the Advantage Physiotherapy team since 2010, but brings experience acquired from working at several other clinics prior to that. Over the years, he has learned how to help people with a variety of conditions resulting from motor vehicle accidents, such as whiplash and low back pain. He also has experience helping people with work-related injuries, including repetitive strains in their back, neck and arms.

“I work on clientele of all ages and from all walks of life,” August says. “I often use my myofacial release training for postural realignment. I find it is a very effective treatment for substantially decreasing pain, or even completely eliminating it.“

August is an experienced swimming coach and runs the Master Swimming Program at Wilfrid Laurier University. He’s also a big fan of mountain biking and rides his bikes whenever he has the opportunity.

 

 

Office

 

Lisa Prack

 

Lisa is usually the first cheerful voice or happy smile you encounter when you call or visit Advantage Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation or the Physiotherapy Centre.

Lisa has been part of our family since 1988. For almost twenty years she worked as a physiotherapist assistant, but moved to front office administration in 2007.

When not at work Lisa enjoys spending time with her family and friends and also with her dogs.  She loves cooking, reading, fishing and going to the cottage.

 

Ibrahim Eblan (Iggy) BSc.

 

Iggy was born and raised in Jordan, where he earned a Bachelor of Science from the Paramedical Institute. He moved to Canada in 1994, and has been a fixture of the Physiotherapy Centre as a Rehabilitation Coordinator since 1996.

Sue Whitehouse-Meyrick BA

 

As the daughter of the two physiotherapists that started the business back in 1967, Sue has been working at the Physiotherapy Centre / Advantage Physiotherapy, in one capacity or another, since she was 10 years old. Now the Business Manager, she strives to keep the two clinics running smoothly.

While she takes the businesses and the services they provide very seriously, Sue’s great sense of humour and positive attitude means that the atmosphere remains friendly and fun. “Ensuring everyone feels welcome and relaxed is very important,” she insists. “We aim to provide an incredibly warm and healing environment. After all, laughter is the best medicine!”

Sue has three lovely dogs at home, and enjoys traveling the world with her husband, Rich, and Jaspa!

Rich Meyrick PhD

 

Rich was born in Wales and developed a fascination in geography, history and the environment at an early age, interests which culminated in a PhD from Cambridge University (UK) and a post-doc at the University of Waterloo. He then accepted a senior position as an environmental research scientist in Weimar (Germany), where he remained for four years. During this time, on a return visit to Waterloo, he met Sue.

 

After he and Sue married at the end of 2003, they moved back to Canada. While waiting to be granted Permanent Residency status, Rich began writing his Jaspa’s Journey travel adventure novels. The first two, The Great Migration and The Pride of London, are now available in both paperback and ebook formats from Speaking Volumes! The third instalment, Jaspa’s Waterloo, is coming soon.

 

A Canadian citizen since 2009, when not actually travelling with Sue and Jaspa, Rich these days divides his time between helping Sue run our clinics and continuing to write Jaspa’s Journey. It’s a Journey he hopes will continue for many years to come.

 

Check out Jaspa’s website and blog to learn more.

 

 

Check out Jaspa’s website and blog to learn more.

 

 
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