PhysioArts fully appreciates that the quality of our patients’ lives depends on our commitment to detail and our clinical expertise. All of our physical therapists are NY State licensed and are extremely dedicated to clinical excellence through continuing education. Many of us hold advanced degrees and specialty certifications in orthopaedic and manual physical therapy, and all of us have a personal background in dance.
Credentials: PT, MS, CFMT
Jenni is the owner of PhysioArts, which she opened in 2001. She received her undergraduate PT degree from the University of Vermont in 1992, and achieved an Advanced Masters in Orthopedic Physical Therapy from Touro College in 1999 with honors. In 2002, Jenni joined the elite group of Certified Functional Manual Therapists™ through The Institute of Physical Art by passing the certification with distinction.
Having been a professional dancer herself, Jenni understands the rigor of a performance career. She has been committed to the field of performing arts and dance physical therapy since 1995, and has provided care to well over 100 productions including Broadway, Radio City Music Hall, Lincoln Center Theatre, pop tours, Broadway tours, Universal Studios and Paramount Pictures.
Jenni has extensive training in manual physical therapy and has taught extensively with Integrative Manual Therapy Solutions and The Institute of Physical Art, both nationally renowned continuing education resources for practicing physical therapists. In addition, she has lectured on physical therapy for performing artists in numerous conventions and universities, including the American Physical Therapy Association, The International Association for Dance Medicine and Science, Principles of Dance Medicine, Stony Brook University and Touro College. Jenni holds a certification in Vinyasa-style yoga from Om Yoga, and has pursued continuing medical education in integrative medicine with focus on visceral manipulation, nutrition and herbal medicine.
When Jenni is not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband Darren and her daughters Grace and Sadie.
Dr. Ariella Brunkhorst
Credentials: PT, DPT
Ariella graduated Columbia University where she earned her doctorate in physical therapy and at Ramapo College of New Jersey where she earned an undergraduate degree in biology. She studied piano for 9 years growing up and was very active in swimming and soccer. She has always had a passion for the arts, especially dance. She studied dance at Graham School of Contemporary Dance and continues to dance for fun. She interned as a physical therapist at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater where she treated dancers from the company as well as the BFA and summer programs and continues to help as a volunteer doing research related to dance-medicine. Prior to joining PhysioArts in 2017, she worked as a covering performing arts physical therapist for numerous Broadway and off-Broadway shows. Ariella's love for the arts and movement is seen through her passion to help each patient in their recovery from injuries. She continues to expand her knowledge through various continuing education courses in order to enhance patient care and performance.
In her spare time, she enjoys rock climbing with her husband, hot yoga, swimming, hiking and, of course, dancing!
Dr. Karen Kubicina
Credentials: PT, DPT, OCS, ATC
Karen is a dual credentialed Certified Athletic Trainer and Doctor of Physical Therapy. She graduated from the University of Toledo with a bachelors in Exercise Science and Athletic Training in 2008, and graduated with her DPT from Long Island University - Brooklyn Campus in 2011. She also achieved her OCS (Orthopedic Clinical Specialist) certification in 2015. Growing up doing musical performance, she was always surrounded by the arts, which sparked her passion for working with dancers and performing artists of all types. Karen has years of experience working with a diverse population, specializing in dance medicine and orthopedics. She has worked with various Broadway shows, the JKO School at American Ballet Theatre, and the Radio City Rockettes, and joined PhysioArts in 2016. In treatment, she likes to utilize manual therapy skills along with exercise catered to each patient's individual needs, and is always eager to learn more. She has taken numerous continuing education courses including instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization, and is looking forward to taking more to enhance her manual therapy skills.
When not at work, Karen enjoys family time with her husband, daughter, and rambunctious dachshund, Rocket. She also enjoys running and playing softball!
Dr. Carolyn Lack
Credentials: PT, DPT, CPI
Carolyn joined the PhysioArts family in 2007. She brings experience treating a variety of patient populations from immediate post-surgical to high-level athletes/performers. Carolyn received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Minor in Biology from Rutgers University in 1997, a Masters of Physical Therapy in 2001 and a Doctor of Physical Therapy in 2005 from Temple University. She has an extensive history of dance training and earned a Pilates Teacher Certification from Body Arts and Science International in 2002. Carolyn has taken numerous continuing education courses in manual therapy and continues to do so adding depth and variety to her treatment approach.
Credentials: 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 thrilled to say she has been a part of such a talented and passionate team of therapists at PhysioArts since 2009. Sarah serves as the Center Coordinator for Clinical Education for PhysioArts, setting up internships for physical therapy students interested in pursuing careers in dance medicine. 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 is now part of the faculty for the Institute of Physical Art. She is thrilled to be part of the team teaching Core First Strategies, sharing her enthusiasm of the material with fellow physical therapists. She is excited to join the faculty for Dynamic Foot and Ankle in the spring of 2018. 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.
Dr. Jessi Patz
Credentials: PT, DPT
Jessi is delighted to join the expert team at PhysioArts! 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. 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. 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 of Dance Medicine and the Orthopedic and Women’s Health sections of the American Physical Therapy Association.
When not working, Jessi is performing/teaching contemporary-modern dance, ballroom, or lindy hop around NYC and at home with her baby and husband
Dr. Alejandro Piris Nino
Credentials: PT, DPT, GYROTONIC® Instructor, NASM Personal Trainer
Alejandro brings a vast background of dance, fitness training and functional manual therapy™️ 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. While residing in Chicago, Alejandro obtained the National Academy of Sports Medicine personal training certification and has since specialized in functional resistance training for dancers.
Alejandro obtained his Doctor in Physical Therapy degree at Long Island University and continues his education with diverse manual therapy techniques from the Institute of Physical Art and the North America Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy.
When not working, Alejandro enjoys teaching GYROTONIC® Pre-Training courses, going to the gym, painting, and spending time with his 9 brothers and sisters!
Dr. Marissa Schaeffer
Credentials: PT, DPT, CSCS
Marissa graduated from SUNY Purchase College Conservatory of Dance with her BFA in modern dance and pursued a career as a dancer in NYC. She then went on to graduate from Columbia University’s program in physical therapy where she received her doctorate in physical therapy with honors. As a physical therapist and conditioning specialist, Marissa has worked with dancers from SUNY Purchase, Columbia University, Barnard College, the American Ballet Theater Summer Intensive, Mark Morris, Doug Varone, Lydia Johnson Dance, New York City Ballet, Alvin Ailey, Broadway and more. Marissa is currently working towards earning her certification in orthopedic manual therapy through the North American Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy.
In addition to caring for patients, Marissa is dedicated to educating the performing arts community. Marissa co-hosts DanceWell Podcast which releases bimonthly episodes on health and wellness for dancers. She has presented to dance professionals at the annual conferences of the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science and the National Dance Education Organization and has written and contributed to articles that have appeared on Dance Teacher Magazine.com, Dance Informa Magazine and Dance Studio Life Magazine. Marissa is also the Chair of the APTA’s Performing Art Special Interest Group Outreach Committee which is dedicated to providing the performing arts community with easily accessible, valuable and evidence-based resources to aid in safe and effective wellness practices.
Dr. Megan Wise
Credentials: PT, DPT, CSCS, PMA-CPT
Megan was born and raised in Ocala, Florida, attending the University of Florida for her BS in Health Science. After working as a Research Coordinator and Aide for the Brain Rehabilitation Research Center studying stroke and spinal cord injury, she received her Doctor of Physical Therapy from New York University. Additionally, she became a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and a certified Pilates Mat instructor while at NYU. Megan is a classically trained ballet and jazz dancer and performed onstage in ballets, musicals, and plays for most of her life. She has had the opportunity to treat dancers of the Joffrey Ballet, Hubbard Street, and many others in the Chicagoland area.
Megan is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association and the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science, and is an active committe member of the New York Physical Therapy Association. She achieved her Comprehensive Pilates Certification through Polestar Pilates, and her IASTM Certification through Smart Tools. Megan enjoys being active through dance and Pilates, volunteering, and participating in her alumni association, the Gotham Gators.