Meet the Board of Directors


Stefanie Bourassa, President

Stefanie Bourassa is a Doctor of physical therapy and the site supervisor for the Center for Musculoskeletal Health at Hartford Hospital, as well as the sports medicine clinical program leader. She works with community members recovering from orthopedic and sports medicine injuries as well as prevention of those injuries by providing physical therapy, movement analysis, research and coordination of holistic care with other disciplines.

Stefanie knows that the physical therapy profession and the association work together towards the mission and vision statements both at the local state chapter level and at the national level.

Stefanie started as a physical therapist in the state of Connecticut in 2007, starting in private practice for 5 years before moving to the outpatient hospital setting in 2012; prior to that she was a student member who attended National Student Conclave.  She became more involved with the Connecticut Chapter in 2015 with appointment to the Board of Directors; initially she started with the programming committee and then public policy committee. Through her growth within the Board, Stefanie has been at the lead of many of the successful changes and growth within the scope of practice and profession in our state level.  The team successfully implemented the change of the make-up of Board of Examiners, defended our stance on dry needling as a modality for physical therapist and physical therapist assistant utilization, and the growth of physical therapy role in the campaign to fight the opioid epidemic. She has participated in the State Payment and Policy Meeting in Washington DC, as well as yearly attends the annual conference. While leading her team, they were recognized within their own institution as well as by colleagues within the American Physical Therapy Association’s Connecticut State Chapter, as team of the year in 2018.  Through her work, she has presented on the national level on orthopedic conditions, but also on the holistic approach to care.  Stefanie has experience with applying for and garnering grants to help support the profession and research.

Stefanie is also a certified strength and conditioning specialist, is recognized as a functional movement specialist and is working towards board certification in sports medicine through the APTA. She has been awarded the Gold Medal Manager Award through Hartford Hospital, being recognized for leadership skills and her ability to coach and mentor others.  She is also a coach and unified partner for the Special Olympics of Connecticut Enfield Stars team for bowling, basketball, and golf, and in the past soccer and softball; also volunteers time with the Enfield High School girl’s soccer team.  She acts as a Clinical Instructor for the PT and PTA schools within the state of Connecticut as well as many other schools within the North East.

Stefanie holds a Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy from Russell Sage Colleges in Troy, NY.  She also holds a Masters’ in Science degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Hartford as well as a baccalaureate of science in Health Sciences from the same University. She was a member of the women’s soccer team during her undergraduate studies, and was recognized on the All- American Academic team during her 4 year collegiate career. 

 

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Stephanie Weyrauch, Vice President

Dr. Stephanie Weyrauch is employed as a physical therapist at Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Centers in Orange, Connecticut. She received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy and Master of Science in Clinical Investigation from Washington University in St. Louis. She has served on multiple national task forces for the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and actively lobbies for healthcare policy issues at the local, state, and national levels of government. Dr. Weyrauch is a nationally sought after speaker and consultant for topics on social media use, generational issues, and organizational membership. Currently, she serves as Vice President of the Connecticut Physical Therapy Association and is a member of the American Congress for Rehabilitation Medicine. Dr. Weyrauch is also the co-host for The Healthcare Education Transformation Podcast, which focuses on innovations in healthcare education and delivery. Dr. Weyrauch has performed scientific research through grants from the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation at world-renowned institutions including Stanford University and Washington University in St. Louis. Her research examining movement patterns and outcomes in people with and without low back pain has led to numerous local, regional, and national presentations and a peer-reviewed publication in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, a top journal in rehabilitation.

 

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Diana Veneri, Secretary

Diana graduated from Quinnipiac College (now University) in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy, from Southern Connecticut State University in 1996 with a master’s degree in Exercise Science and from the University of Hartford in 2007 with a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership. She was a Neurology Clinical Specialist certified by the APTA 2008-2018. She has worked primarily in adult neurologic rehabilitation at Gaylord Specialty Healthcare and has been in higher education since 1999. Diana is an associate professor at Sacred Heart University and has been on the CTAPTA Programming Committee at various times. She was an Item Writer 2010-2012 and a Clinical Content Expert 2012-2018 for the Neurology Board Examination, Specialization Academy of Content Experts. She has performed other volunteer work at the national, state and local levels.

 

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Brittany McGowan, Treasurer

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Chris Petrosino, PT, PhD, Chief Delegate

Chris is the Chair of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences, and Program Director of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, at Sacred Heart University.  He is a PT professor with experience as a University Dean, DPT Program Director, and Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education.  Chris has served patients, students, and faculty for over 30 years as a physical therapist. He has working primarily in education, industrial, orthopedics, and acute care settings. Being a member of the APTA since 1988, he has held various elected leadership positions at the national, chapter, and district levels, including over 10 years as a Delegate to the APTA House of Delegates, APTA Nominating Committee (Chair), Board of Directors in Connecticut (Director), Ohio (Director), and Indiana (Treasurer). He is currently serving as the Chief Delegate for the Connecticut Chapter..

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Chelsea Wells, PTA, PTA Caucus Representative

Chelsea Wells is a physical therapist assistant who works primarily with the geriatric patient population. She is currently employed by HealthPRO Heritage providing inpatient and outpatient physical therapy services for residents in assisted living and long-term care. She spent two years working for the Masonicare Health Center in Wallingford, CT prior to joining the HealthPRO
Heritage team. Chelsea is a LSVT BIG Certified Clinician and is a licensed massage therapist.
Chelsea received an Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant from Naugatuck Valley Community College and has recently received a Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration from Charter Oak State College.
Throughout her academic pursuits at Naugatuck Valley Community College, Chelsea had the pleasure of working for the college newspaper, The Tamarack, and served as staff writer, Managing Editor, and Editor in Chief winning awards for her work from the Connecticut Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Additionally, Chelsea served the student body as a member of the President’s Circle and a representative in the Student Government Association, and also worked as an educational assistant in the science department. 
Upon graduating from Naugatuck Valley Community College, Chelsea received the Marie Smith Memorial Award and received the Presidential Medal of Honor from Naugatuck Valley Community College President Daisy Cocco De Filippis in 2018. Chelsea was also the recipient of the President to President Scholarship as she continued her academic pursuits at Charter Oak State College. At the American Physical Therapy Association’s NEXT Conference in 2018, Chelsea had the immense honor of being a recipient of the Mary McMillan Scholarship Award.
Chelsea is a member of the Naugatuck Valley Community College PTA Advisory Board and is currently serving as a member of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System (CSCU) President Search Advisory Committee.

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Joe Grabicki, PT, DPT, Director At Large

 Joe Grabicki is Doctor of Physical Therapy and is Site Supervisor for Hartford Healthcare Rehabilitation Network in West Hartford. He leads a multidisciplinary team supporting programs of Spine, Headache, Vestibular, Hand Therapy, and Sports Medicine with his partner ATC’s at local high schools and Universities.

  Joe began his lifelong journey in PT after earning his PTA degree in 00’ and worked in various physical therapy settings across the country as a traveler and contractor until 06’.  Although he enjoyed his role as a PTA, he was consistently questioning the “why” which drove him to earn his Doctorate from Loma Linda University with a concentration in Orthopedic  Manual Therapy in 07’. He earned his Orthopedic Clinical Specialist Certification in 09’ and recertified in 19’.  He became a Certified Vestibular Therapist through Emory University and his Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapy certification through Maitland.

Professionally, Joe has been a member of the APTA since becoming a PTA student in 98’ when he was the APTA class representative. He again took on the APTA Rep role while in graduate school allowing him to gain a better perspective of the strength of our professional organization and the importance of active membership.  He has been locally active in the APTA CT since relocating here in 08’ as a consistent member, a four year co-chair of the Orthopedic and Manual Therapy Special Interest group, an alternate delegate, and a member of the public policy committee. 

 


Tenney Georgetti, Director At Large


Emily Calabrese, PT, DPT, Director at Large

 Dr. Emily Calabrese is employed at Yale New Haven Hospital as an acute care physical therapist. Dr. Calabrese completed her Bachelor's Degree in Athletic Training in 2015, later completing her Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy in 2018, both at Sacred Heart University. Dr. Calabrese has worked with many of the patient populations throughout Yale’s York Street campus, including orthopedic, neurological, trauma, general medical, surgical, inpatient psychiatry, intensive care, and cardiothoracic patients both with adult and pediatric ages. Dr. Calabrese serves on both hospital and departmental committees, enhancing the role of Physical Therapists within Yale New Haven Health's network. Dr. Calabrese has also served as a clinical instructor and has completed APTA’s level 1 of the credentialed clinical instructor program. Dr. Calabrese has served on the CT APTA Board since 2020 and is excited to continue to serve in this new role. 


Leigh Ronald, Director at Large

Leigh Ronald is the Outpatient Rehabilitation Coordinator at The Carolton Chronic and Convalescent Hospital, where she oversees provision of care across outpatient, assisted living facility, long term care, outpatient at home, and wellness service lines. She works with a geriatric and neurologic patient populations. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Community Health Education from the University of Maine at Farmington and Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Sacred Heart University. Her background in community health education has been a springboard for the development of numerous health promotion and community based programs offered through The Carolton. She is a Certified Exercise Expert for the Aging Adult and an LSVT Big Certified Clinician. She serves as the Site Coordinator for Clinical Education at the Carolton and has developed a comprehensive clinical education curriculum utilized for full time experiences, as well as development of integrated clinical experiences throughout the physical therapy curriculum in conjunction with Sacred Heart University. She works intimately with assisted living facilities to implement comprehensive baseline assessments of all residents utilizing a scorecard approach in order to monitor functional changes. Leigh serves as an adjunct faculty member at Sacred Heart University in the Neurological and Medically Complex Semesters. She is a program committee member for the Geriatric SIG, two time presenter at CTAPTA Annual Conference, and a co-leader of an MS Support group in Fairfield, CT.  


open, Director at Large

 

 


Brian Swanson, Director at Large

Brian Swanson PT, DSc is a Board Certified Specialist in Orthopedic Physical Therapy (OCS), and a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (FAAOMPT). Brian graduated from Quinnipiac College with his Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy in 1996, and earned his Doctorate of Science with a focus on Orthopaedic Manual Therapy from Andrews University in 2012. He has over 20 years of clinical experience, with expertise is in the areas of orthopedics, sports medicine, and manual therapy.   

Brian is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Hartford, teaching in the musculoskeletal and research tracks, and is also a faculty member of the Select Medical Orthopedic Residency program. Brian previously practiced at the University of Connecticut Health Center as well as several private practices in CT. In addition to his faculty roles, post-professional mentoring, and clinical practice, Brian maintains an active research agenda focused on developing a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of action of manual therapy techniques, as well as investigating the validity and clinical utility of orthopedic tests and measures. He has lectured nationally on topics related to the spine, shoulder, and foot/ankle complex, and has presented his research at the CPTA annual conference, the AAOMPT annual conference, and the APTA NEXT Conference and Exposition. 

Professionally, Brian is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, Connecticut Physical Therapy Association, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists. He has served as a content expert and item writer for the FSBPT, as a member of the AAOMPT professional development and research committees, as a reviewer for multiple journals, and locally as the co-chair of the CPTA orthopedic and manual therapy SIG from 2008-2012.

 

 

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