Our Team consists of dedicated professionals, many of whom have more than 30 years of experience in their fields of Occupational and Physical Therapy serving children and adults.
At Hands-On Physical Therapy, we provide physical and occupational therapy for adults and children to improve their mobility, strength and function and reduce pain. Call today to schedule an appointment.
Richard Gahman, DPT
Richard has been practicing physical therapy since 1990, treating patients with a variety of orthopedic and neurologic injuries and diseases. He graduated from the University of Sciences at Philadelphia in 1990 with his Masters of Physical Therapy. He was the recipient of the Alumni Association Award for graduating first in his class of physical therapists. He went on to earn his Doctorate of Physical Therapy Degree from the Arcadia University in 2018. He has taken numerous continuing Education classes on manual therapy techniques and enjoys taking a “hands on” and exercise-oriented approach to treatment.
Marcia Gahman, LPT
Annette Bixler, OTR/L, CHT
Kathi Charles, MPT
Kathi received her Master’s degree in Physical Therapy from Arcadia University in 1985. She has practiced physical therapy in a variety of settings, including acute care, long-term rehabilitation, home health and outpatient clinics. Within these settings, Kathi has been involved in program development, community education, and county therapeutic horseback riding programs. Her certifications include lymphedema management and weight training. Kathi has been working with children in the Berks County Early Intervention program since 2011.
Holly Mays, DPT,CCI
Holly attended the University of Pittsburgh where she graduated in 2005 with her Doctor of Physical therapy and BS in Psychology. She has been a practicing PT with 15+ years of clinical experience with a specialty in pediatrics. During her time as a clinician she has practiced in a variety of settings including inpatient pediatric rehab at The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh, OP pediatric therapy at The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh and Reading hospital/Tower Health. She also practices at the Reading Hospital/ Tower Health Neonatal ICU (NICU). Holly has treated in early intervention for the past 10 years while continuing to practice in other settings. She also serves as an adjunct professor for Alvernia University’s Physical Therapy program. She is a mother of 2 children who were both born premature and the mother of a child who benefited from early intervention services. She has her certification in children and infant/toddler yoga. She loves working with families and their children as it is her passion. She loves to watch each one of them grow and develop and achieve their goals. Her favorite toys are bubbles, painters tape, laundry baskets and anything Disney!
Christine Ahrens, OTR/L
Kristin Waldrop, PT
Kristin Waldrop joined our team in August of 2019 serving as a physical therapist with almost 15 years of experience across a variety of settings. Kristin studied at the University of Louisville where she received a Bachelor’s of Business Administration. After working for a year in that field she decided to pursue further education and received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Bellarmine University. Following graduation, she and her husband moved to Berks county. Throughout her career Kristin has specialized in wound care, geriatric home health, and now pediatric early intervention. She really enjoys working with the kids and seeing them overcome obstacles to be able to achieve their goals. Kristin lives with her husband Daryl and children Reese and Jaelyn in Leesport. She is actively involved in her kid’s schools volunteering with the PTO and an active swim mom.
Carol Tunnessen, OTR/L
Carol graduated Magna Cum Laude from College Misericordia, with a BS in Occupational Therapy and a minor in psychology. She has been a practicing OT for 30 plus years with specialties in chronic pain, adult and hand rehabilitation, but has worked in psychiatry, outpatient work conditioning programs, home care, pediatrics and nursing homes. Carol has been involved in program development throughout her career, obtaining one of the highest certifications for a work rehabilitation program through CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) and starting up a successful outpatient hand rehabilitation program for a large orthopedic physician owned practice. She has advanced training in the fabrication of upper extremity orthotics status post injury or surgery. Through extensive continuing education, Carol is able to provide a comprehensive standard of care in the treatment of complex traumas to the elbow, wrist and hand, arthritis, work related injuries, MVAs, and neurological disorders. She is a certified M1 Graston provider for assisted soft tissue mobilization. Carol’s approach to treatment is geared toward obtaining optimal function and patient satisfaction with a “hands on” approach, geared toward the client’s individual goals, to maximize function related to work, leisure activities and daily living skills
Alissa Speaker, Speech Language Pathologist
Alyssa attended Temple University, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree and Cum Laude honors in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences in 2016. From there she continued on to Towson University and graduated with her Master’s in Speech Language Pathology in 2018. Her clinical fellowship focused on Early Intervention with additional experience servicing school-aged through adult clients while living in Los Angeles, CA before moving back east to continue her work as a speech therapist in a variety of settings and populations. Her primary focus remains within Early Intervention services as she has a passion for optimizing young children’s functional communication, helping them flourish within their speech, language, and social skills, and getting to work closely with their families.
Amy attended Westminister College, about an hour, north of Pittsburgh, in New Wilmington, PA where she earned her undergraduated degree in elementary education. While at Westminster, she was assigned a field experience in a learning support classroom. During this time she found her passion for special education. Upon completing her bachelor’s degree, she continued her education at Cabrini College in Wayne, PA Where she received her Master’s degree in education and became certified in special education. Part of her requirements at Cabrini were to complete internships in both the mild/ moderate and severe/ profound settings. She continues to further her education by regularly taking courses relevant to early intervention such as learning more about autism, speech and language delays, and play based therapy.
Amy taught second grade regular education and worked in both learning and emotional support classrooms. She has experience working with a wide variety of disabilities ( ex. autism, development delays, and down syndrome).
Amy is a mother of two boys and is sensitive to the concerns parents may have their child begins services in early intervention as she experienced those same concerns when her own son received physical therapy at the age of two. This is how she became interested working with the birth to three population. Her son also received speech therapy at the age of three through the BCIU (Berks County Intermediated Unit). She has been providing special instruction services foe the birth to three age group for 15 years. A special instructor, she has been participated with several other therapist across Berks County in coaching model program. The coaching model empowers families to feel confident in their own abilities to help their child grow and succeed.
Amy thoroughly enjoys watching her clients make progress and achieved his/her goals. She loves singing with the kids, doing bubbles, movement activities and does her best to incorporate whatever her clients really enjoy in order to make the sessions meaningful and engaging.
Erica Dunkelberger, OTR/L
Erica is a 2018 graduate from Alvernia University with a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, a Bachelor of Science, and a Minor in Psychology. Erica has 5 years of experience working with children in the school-based setting and has recently began working with the EI population. She works with kiddos with varying disabilities, such as developmental delays, learning disabilities, autism and down syndrome. When not working, Erica enjoys traveling, playing soccer and spending time with her French bulldog, Milo.
Michele Stratton, COTA
My name is Michele and I am a certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. I am proud to have a graduated from Penn State University and to have the opportunity to work with families in Berks county since 2001. Getting know families and work together is very rewarding and I am so thankful to all the families I’ve met over the years.In my spare time I enjoy reading, volunteering and spending time with my husband, tree children and our pets-3 cats and a new puppy! Our favorite thing to do as a family is to go racing- my two boys drive quarter midget race cars and it keeps us very busy!
Hands-On Physical Therapy Special Instructor, Sandra Marchiano, is a graduate from West Chester University and has been working with us in our Early Intervention (EI) program since 2007. Prior to EI, Sandra worked for Chester County CYS and has experience working with challenging behaviors in children through her former TSS (Therapeutic Staff Support) position. She is the mother of 3 children, her oldest benefiting from EI services 15 years ago. With first hand experience seeing how EI helped her son, she knew she wanted to be a part of this program and help other families. She enjoys watching the children she is working with progress through the developmental stages and helping families become more confident in managing their childs unique needs.
Abigail Shafer, Speech Language Pathologist
Abby attended Penn State University, where she completed her Bachelor’s degree in 2013 and Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2015. She is currently studying Applied Behavior Analysis. Abby enjoys working with kids with various developmental delays and disorders and helping them to develop more functional communication skills. She has a special
Edilene Ludwig graduated with a Bachelor degree in Speech Language Therapy in 2000 in her native country of Brazil.
She has been working with Hands-On Physical Therapy as a Special Instructor since 2013 and has extensive experience treating children with all types of languages delays. She continues her education with many classes in autism, ABA, Early Intervention and related topics. She is currently pursuing her degree in Behavior Therapy and is fluent in Portuguese, English and Spanish. She is married, mother of two boys, enjoys studying, reading and faith based activities.