The Baker Beacon

Posts Tagged ‘physical therapist’

3 Gifts to Get the Therapists in Your Life This Christmas

Posted in The Baker Beacon

1. T-Shirts

Who doesn’t love t-shirts? Help the therapist in your life show off how much they love what they do!

Physical Therapy Shirt from ZazzleSpeech Therapy Onesie from EtsyOccupational Therapist Shirt from Zazzle

2. Artwork and Prints

Every office could use a little more color. Consider purchasing one of these therapy inspired prints. Patients and visitors will enjoy them for many years to come.

Physical Therapy Inspired PrintSpeech Therapy Inspired PrintPhysical Therapy Inspired Print

3. Travel Gear

For the therapist that is always on the go, consider one of these three fun options: PT-Themed water bottle, 100 Year of OT lunch cooler, or a silly speech therapy mug.

Physical Therapy Inspired Water BottleOT Inspired LunchboxSpeech Therapy Inspired Coffee Mug


Baker Rehab Group’s 2014 Award Winners

Posted in Spotlight on Excellence, The Baker Beacon

Baker Rehab Group’s 2014 Award Winners

Every year at the BRG holiday party, John and Sue present two awards for outstanding character and attitude. The 2014 recipients are long-time Baker Rehab therapists who are well deserving of the accolades.


The Lisa Baker Sunshine Award: Service, Attitude, Team

This award acknowledges the person who, regardless of obstacles, challenges, or personal reasons, gets the job done. And not only does this person handle situations in the spirit of excellence, but it is done so with an upbeat, positive attitude that sets a great example for others to follow.

The 2014 winner of the Lisa Baker Sunshine Award is Kristy Cleaver, PT.

Kristy has been working with Baker Rehab Group for many years. She is the lead therapist at Heartfields Assisted Living and Daybreak Adult Daycare. Kristy is always smiling, always pleasant, and always willing to handle whatever needs to be done. Her passion for senior-focused physical therapy is evident as her patients and provider partners often sing her praises.

Kristy was especially touched when she received the award, as she had the honor of knowing and working with Lisa Baker in the early years at BRG. Kristy understands what the award represents and the wonderful qualities of the person for whom the award is named. Receiving the Sunshine Award is always an emotional moment as we pause to remember Lisa Baker, and honor the person who carries that sunshiney attitude forward.

Kristy Cleaver, PT - 2014 Lisa Baker Sunshine Award Winner

Kristy Cleaver, PT – 2014 Lisa Baker Sunshine Award Winner


The Shawn Grandia, MD Award: Ethics and Outcomes in Action

Dr. Shawn Grandia has been a friend and role model to BRG since the beginning, putting excellent care and her patients’ needs above all other distractions in the healthcare arena. Every year, Baker Rehab Group honors a therapist who delivers care by the same moral compass.

The 2014 recipient of the The Shawn Grandia, MD Award is Greg Adams, PT.

Greg Adams is a leader the field of cardio-pulmonary physical therapy. He has been instrumental in developing BRG’s practice guidelines for managing chronic disease, especially in the utilization of information technology and communication protocols among healthcare providers. He is driven to connect, inform, and coordinate care among providers in order to achieve better outcomes. He supports his recommendations with evidence, and educates BRG therapists, physicians, and other care partners on the latest research available across the spectrum of chronic disease management.

Greg is especially worthy of this award, but not just because of his vast knowledge, academic and professional accomplishments, and dedication to improved outcomes. Greg is most appreciated for his humility, his approachability, and his remarkable kindness. This is what makes Greg such a tremendous asset to BRG- that he gives the best of his brain and of his heart. He personifies excellence in clinical and ethical care.

Greg Adams, PT - 2014 Shawn Grandia, MD Award

Greg Adams, PT – 2014 Shawn Grandia, MD Award


Spotlight on Excellence: Vennela Pulikanti, PT

Posted in Spotlight on Excellence, The Baker Beacon

If you are a resident, staff member, or family member of a resident at Sunrise Assisted Living in Montgomery Village, Maryland, then you already know what a great person she is.

For those of you who are not familiar with Vennela Pulikanti, allow us to enlighten you.

Vennela has been a physical therapist for over ten years, having a diverse background in pediatrics, sports medicine, acute care, skilled nursing, and geriatrics. She has specialized training in manual therapy.

But she is much more than a great clinician. As this month’s Spotlight on Excellence recipient, Vennela has earned recognition for many of the things she does above and beyond her role as physical therapist.

One of Vennela’s coworkers, Connie Mulloy, say it best: “She is extraordinary with the residents, but she’s also a remarkable asset at Sunrise Montgomery Village. She does so much more than just see clients. She come in on her days off just to see a resident. She helps in the building with anything and everything asked. I have even seen her helping clear tables at lunch while waiting for a resident. The staff love her. She’ll check out a wheelchair or walk a resident who asks for help. She does all of this cheerfully and sincerely.”

Vennela has a busy family life too. She has a husband named Kalyan, a daughter Shriya, and a son named Pranav.

“I enjoy being a home health therapist. As physical therapists, we make a very important connection between clients and community. Having a personal one on one time with client is very important for me. I also like flexibility that home health offers in terms of scheduling.”

Congratulations Vennela! You are a wonderful asset to Baker Rehab Group and you epitomize our Committed to Excellence motto. Thank you for all you do and for setting such a great example.

Spotlight on Excellence: Greg Adams, PT

Posted in Spotlight on Excellence, The Baker Beacon

Our March 2014 Spotlight on Excellence Therapist is someone who has been a part of the Baker Rehab Team nearly since inception. Greg Adams, physical therapist, has been our “Go To Guy” for cardiopulmonary physical therapy since 2003.

Greg has been a physical therapist for 22 years, working all over the United States in a variety of settings. He has extensive experience in acute care, outpatient, skilled nursing, and home health. One of his greatest passions is teaching.

Greg is a certified Cardiac and Pulmonary Clinical Specialist through the American Physical Therapy Association. He is also a Certified Exercise Specialist through the American College of Sports Medicine. He has been an instructor at Temple University and teaches an ICU class (the country’s first and only continuing education course for rehab professionals focused on the equipment and procedures utilized in the ICU setting.) to physical occupational and speech therapists.

The therapists at Baker Rehab are able to utilize Greg’s extensive knowledge and experience as a resource for treating our more complex or fragile clients. Patients with COPD or CHF, and those recovering from thoracic surgery for lung or heart problems are well served by Greg’s broad knowledge base. Greg says, “I have a lot of expertise in the equipment and techniques used to monitor patients, especially the sicker ones.”

When he is not traveling around Montgomery County treating patients, Greg is busy driving his kids to various sporting events. He has been both coach and spectator for lacrosse and wrestling for his son Michael age (16) and twin daughters Ashley and Alysa ages (14). Greg’s wife Iyna is an occupational therapist, and even his dog Charlie is a certified therapy dog. When Greg travels for teaching events, he usually takes one family member with him, “I really enjoy the chance to spend time with them away from our normal routines.”

When asked what his favorite part of his job is, Greg answered, “Learning. I really enjoy learning from people. You go into their homes, their culture. No two people are alike and you have to work within their environment to maximize their therapy outcome.”

Thank you for being awesome Greg!

Spotlight on Excellence: Tom Steif, PT

Posted in Spotlight on Excellence, The Baker Beacon

This September, we shine our spotlight on the physical therapist with the warmest heart in Montgomery County. Tom Stief has been a physical therapist for ten years, spending most of his time rehabilitating seniors in skilled nursing facilities, outpatient clinics, and home health settings.

“Tom has a kind soul,” says a resident at Sunrise Senior Living at Fox Hill, where Tom currently spends his days. Tom is responsible for running the rehab clinic at Fox Hill, where he provides physical therapy services to the residents of both the HealthCare Center and the independent living condominiums. Tom has a special interest in the treatment of balance dysfunction, neurological and orthopedic diagnoses, and postural abnormalities. His patients value his thoroughness and reassuring demeanor. Sometimes they even laugh at his jokes.

When he’s not at work, Tom enjoys listening to music, and occasionally plays the piano where he can make his own. He also plays Frisbee, volleyball, and tennis, and enjoys ballroom dancing with his wife, Teri. Tom and Teri are active in their church.

Tom’s favorite mantra, “better late than never”, is based on the common misconception that some seniors think they are too old to do something. Tom likes to tell them about the 102 year-old man at this health club who started working out when he was 99. Moreover, the man’s personal trainer was only 70.

Baker Rehab Group is proud of the work Tom is doing, and his commitment to bettering the lives of seniors with his generosity, skills, and talents. Thank you Tom!

Tom provides physical therapy in the home throughout Montgomery County, Maryland. If you’d like him to come work with you or your family member, please email us or call our office at 866.727.3422.

Spotlight on Excellence: Tom Westwood, PTA

Posted in Spotlight on Excellence, The Baker Beacon

“Can I please have Tom?”
“Is Tom coming to see me?”
“I’ll participate in physical therapy if Tom is my therapist.”

These are just of the few comments we constantly hear at Baker Rehab Group. It is only fitting that we shine this month’s Spotlight on Excellence on Tom Westwood.

Tom has been a loyal, faithful employee of Baker Rehab Group for over ten years. He has endeared himself to our staff, our patients, and the senior community through his excellent physical therapy skills and incredibly likeable personality. He is simply a joy to work with.

Tom has been a physical therapy assistant for over 14 years, focusing most of his career on seniors in settings including skilled nursing facilities, home health therapy, and outpatient centers. Spending most of his days treating patients for balance, gait, and soft tissue dysfunction, Tom also leads training sessions for caregivers on transfer and ambulation techniques, especially in assisted living environments.

Tom clearly loves this line of work. When asked what he likes about it, and why he connects so well with his patients, he immediately responds with a shoulder shrug of “aw shucks” sincerity. Then, after careful consideration, he answers, “I guess it’s because I like listening to them. I like hearing their stories about their youth and how times have changed.”

Tom then adds: “I feel passionate about helping my patients stay safe but also keeping their independence as long as possible.”

A full-time physical therapist covering two counties, Tom also finds time to be a dad to busy kids, Cody and Hannah, and husband to Lisa. He also enjoys metal detecting, especially on a beach.

Baker Rehab Group is so proud of Tom, and thankful for his character, kindness, and extraordinary capacity for delivering physical therapy services to older adults with empathy and respect.

If you’d like to reach Tom, or any of the other spectacular physical therapists at Baker Rehab Group, please email us or call our office at (301) 662-1997.

Spotlight on Excellence: Tracey Cannon

Posted in Spotlight on Excellence, The Baker Beacon

Many of you know her, many more of you should: This is Tracey Cannon, and she is this month’s Spotlight On Excellence physical therapist.

Tracey has worked for Baker Rehab Group for nearly ten years, honing her skills as the consummate geriatric physical therapist.

Tracey’s primary clinical focus is on treating patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, balance problems, and deconditioning due to hospitalization or illness.

Tracey has been an invaluable part of the Baker Rehab team, overseeing physical therapy assistants and general operations of five assisted living facilities in Frederick and Washington counties. She has been an instrumental leader in staff training and implementation of the BalanceWorks program.

BalanceWorks is a unique fall prevention program offered by BRG that utilizes a variety of standardized tests to assess balance and fall risk in the geriatric population. Based on patient findings, individualized treatment plans and outcome measures are presented both at the initial evaluation and at the completion of the treatment program to demonstrate the response to the skilled interventions provided to the patient. Tracey’s dedication to the program and excellent leadership skills were an integral part of BRG’s first continuing education class provided to our therapists, as Tracey sought and received approval for continuation education credit for all physical therapists in attendance. She expertly delivered nine contact hours of instruction for assessing and treating balance dysfunction.

Because of Tracey’s obvious commitment to excellence, and because of her contagiously positive attitude, Tracey was BRG’s 2011 Sunshine Award recipient. She also managed to find the time- between juggling her fulltime job, two kids, and a sweet husband- to travel to South America on a medical mission trip for a week this fall. We all admire her generosity with her time and talents.

Baker Rehab Group is so proud to have Tracey as part of our leadership team. In her own words, “What I like best about my job is that I get to help people at a point in their lives when it appears on the surface that nothing more can be done. I get to be creative and find ways to improve their situation for added safety and quality of life.”

Well said, Tracey. And thanks again for all you do!

If you’d like more information about our BalanceWorks Program, please send us an email to