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About the Patricia Leahy Memorial Lecture Speaker

Heather CianciHeather Cianci, PT, MS, GCS
Geriatric Team Leader
Dan Aaron Parkinson’s Rehab Center

Heather Cianci, PT, MS, GCS is a Geriatric Clinical Specialist and founding therapist at the Dan Aaron Parkinson’s Rehabilitation Center (Good Shepherd/Penn Partners) at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, PA.  Heather received her Bachelor’s in Physical Therapy from the University of Scranton in Scranton, PA and her Master’s in Gerontology from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. She has been a physical therapist since 1994, with the majority of those years dedicated to working with patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Atypical Parkinsonisms.  Heather is a certified LSVT® BIG clinician and PWR! (Parkinson Wellness Recovery) clinician, as well as a graduate of the National Parkinson Foundation’s (NPF) Allied Team Training Program (ATTP) and Rock Steady Boxing for PD.  In 2007, Heather authored a chapter on rehabilitative strategies in Comprehensive Nursing Care for Parkinson’s Disease (Springer Publishing).  She also is the  author of the 4th edition of Fitness Counts, and a co-author of Activities of Daily Living: Practical Pointers, which are educational manuals for the NPF.  She  currently updated her chapter in the 2014 edition of “What if it’s not Alzheimer’s - A Caregiver's Guide to Dementia - With Vital Information on Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD).  In 2011 Heather became an LSVT® BIG trainer, traveling the US and Europe teaching physical and occupational therapists about exercise for Parkinson’s disease.  Heather’s research includes movement strategies for bed mobility, falls and freezing of gait.  Heather teaches about rehabilitation and Parkinson’s at Thomas Jefferson University’s and Neumann University’s Departments of Physical Therapy and lectures at many support groups and conferences.  Recent conferences include those sponsored by the Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association and the Parkinson Disease Foundation.  Heather also is a Board  member of CurePSP, the Foundation for PSP/CBD and Related Brain Diseases, as well as the Chair of their Medical Professional Advisory Committee.

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