Muhammad Ali PT is a certified integrated dry needling physical therapist based out of our Hamden and Westport locations. Muhammad graduated from Sacred Heart University with a Bachelors in Exercise Science in 2014 and obtained his doctorate in Physical Therapy from Sacred Heart University DPT Program in 2017. While at Sacred Heart, Muhammad performed on the Division I Men’s XC and Track & Field Teams while also serving in the U.S. Army, in which he continues to serve even today as a Reservist. As part of his education, Muhammad completed a competitive residency-style clinical affiliation at Keesler Air Force Base treating active duty service members, military dependents, and government contractors with various musculoskeletal conditions. Muhammad has been accepted as an Orthopedic Resident in our program offered by Performance which begins this fall.
Robert Mahlman DPT, is a Physical Therapist based out of our Greenwich office. Robert graduated from Sacred Heart University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Exercise Science in 2014, and then went on to earn his Doctorate in Physical Therapy with Honors from Sacred Heart in 2017. Robert completed his final clinical affiliation with the United States Air Force at Keesler Air Force Base where he worked with top military and civilian physical therapists to provide evidence-based care to our active duty military, veterans, and their dependents. Robert has also been accepted to Performance’s Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency Program and will begin this fall.
Sam Sheppard PT, TPI is a physical therapist based out of Greenwich and Stamford locations. Sam graduated from Sacred Heart University with a bachelors degree in exercise science and physiology and was the captain of the varsity wrestling team in 2012 and 2013. While there, he was named to the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association's 1st team all academic. Sam went on to complete his doctorate in Physical Therapy at Sacred Heart and has developed a special interest in golf rehab and sport-related injury, as well as completing his TPI Golf Certification through the Titleist Performance Institute.
Jacqueline Ristow DPT is a Physical Therapist in our Westport office. Jacquie completed her undergraduate studies at Quinnipiac University with a BS degree in Health Science. As an undergraduate, Jacquie was a successful NCAA DI softball player earning Academic All American and All-Conference awards. Jacquie received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from Sacred Heart University and has completed various clinical affiliations including Concentra and Prolete Physical Therapy treating orthopedic conditions. Jacquie takes a special interest in working with athletes of all levels.
Jonathon Mendola PT, CSCS is a physical therapist and strength and conditioning specialist based out of our Darien location. Jonathon completed his Bachelors in Science in Health Science Studies at Quinnipiac University and went on to earn his Doctorate in Physical Therapy there in 2015. Jonathan completed a series of rigorous affiliations, including a rotation at the United States Military Academy at West Point, working with military cadets and retired military veterans. He also worked with top rehab physicians and therapists at Keller Army hospital. We are thrilled to have Jonathon on the Performance team!
Jonathan Filipe PT, ATC, CSCS is a Physical Therapist in our Greenwich office. Jonathan is a board certified Athletic Trainer and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Jonathan graduated from King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, PA with a Bachelors degree in Athletic Training where he he was also and All-Academic team member of Division III men's soccer team. At King’s College Jonathan served as an Athletic Trainer for multiple collegiate sports teams at both the collegiate and high school level. Jonathan went on to earn his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from New York Medical College. While working on his Doctorate, Jonathan completed various clinical affiliations in Orthopedics/Sports clinics as well as an Acute Care affiliation at Mount Sinai Medical Centers Spinal Cord and Neurosurgery unit.
Andrew Smietana PT, FDN is a certified functional dry needling specialist based out of our Hamden location. Andrew graduated from University of Buffalo with a Bachelors in Psychology where he also was a standout Division I college baseball player. Andrew went on to earn his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Sacred Heart University. While in school, Andrew completed a very competitive clinic affiliation with the San Francisco Giants baseball program.
Shane Foley PT, FDN is a certified Schroth therapist and a certified functional dry needling specialist. He is based out of our Greenwich location and specializes in adolescent sports orthopedics, and scoliosis treatment. He graduated from Sacred Heart University with a Bachlors of Science in Biology in 2013 and was the Captain of Division I Men's Lacrosse Team at Sacred Heart University. Shane went on to pursue his doctorate in Physical Therapy at Sacred Heart University DPT Program and graduated in 2016. Shane has applied and been accepted into the highly sought after Orthopedic Residency Program at Sacred Heart University next year, and has quickly become an integral part of the Performance team.
Michael Pindar PT, TPI is a physical therapist and Certified Golf Fitness Instructor through Titleist Performance Institute. Mike earned his bachelors of science from Quinnipiac and went on to earn his doctorate degree in Physical Therapy there. Mike brings strong clinical experience to the Greenwich team after practicing for 5 years in New Haven county and Manhattan. Mike is one of our top therapists and specializes in adolescent and adult sports injuries.
Brian Whyte PT, CSCS is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Functional Dry Needling Specialist. Brian is a senior therapist here at Performance and has over 9 years experience in the field. He graduated from University of Delaware with a Bachelors of Science in Exercise and sports science and went on to earn his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from New York Medical College. Brian is one of our lead therapists in the Stamford location, and offers in home physical therapy.
Jennifer Heberton PT, OCS is a certified orthopedic specialist and treats out of our Greenwich and Midtown Manhattan locations. Jennifer earned her bachelors in clinical health studies at Ithaca College and went on to earn her doctorate degree in Physical Therapy there as well. Jennifer was an NCAA All American Swimmer at Ithaca and has drawn on her collegiate experience when treating adolescent and adult sports injuries and return to sport rehabilitation.
"Measure success in terms of the contributions an individual makes to her or his fellow human being"
- Margaret Meade
Julie Corbett MS, OTR/L, CHT earned her masters in Occupational Therapy from Columbia University and went on to earn her Certification in Hand Therapy. Julie brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the Performance of Greenwich team having spent 20+ years in the field. Julie specializes in upper extremity rehabilitation and is trained in custom orthosis splinting.
Todd Wilkowski PT, OCS, SCS is a Board Certified Orthopedic and Sports Clinical Specialist, a Titleist Performance Institute Certified Golf Fitness Instructor, and a Hospital for Special Surgery Credentialed Advanced Hip Clinician. Todd is an adjunct Professor at NYU and is one of thirteen key influencers nominated to sit on the Ithaca Athletics Advisory Council. During his 20 years of experience, Todd also served as a rehabilitation consultation for the New York Rangers. Todd graduated from Ithaca College as an All-American Division III Quarterback and went on to earn his Masters in Physical Therapy at Ithaca College.
It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get back up"
Tim King PT, OCS, SCS is a Board Certified Orthopedic and Sports Clinical Specialist, is certified in Active Release Therapy and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Tim is also a certified functional dry needling specialist. Tim joined our team in 2010 and is the director of the Hamden location. Tim graduated from University of New Hampshire with a bachelors in Nutrition Sciences and went on to earn a Masters in Exercise Science from Southern Connecticut State University. Tim enrolled at Sacred Heart University and earned his doctorate degree in Physical Therapy in 2010.
Stash Rutkowski PT, SCS is a Board Certified Sports Clinical Specialist and is certified in Active Release Therapy. Stash is a senior therapist with 18+ years of clinical experience and is the director of the Westport location. He graduated from the College of Charleston and went on to earn his Physical Therapy degree from New York University. Stash has extensive training in hip pathology, and has trained with some of the top hip surgeons in the country.
Kevin Cota PT, SCS, ART is a Board Certified Sports Clinical Specialist, certified in Active Release Therapy and a Certified Dry Needling Specialist. Kevin earned a bachelors in allied health sciences from University of Connecticut and was accepted in to their doctorate in Physical Therapy program. Kevin has been apart of the Performance team since 2012 and is the director of our Darien location.
"We have 40 million reasons for failure but not a single excuse"
Michael Beecher PT, OCS, SCS is a Board Certified Orthopedic and Sports Clinical Specialist, a Titleist Performance Institute Certified Golf Fitness Instructor, a Hospital for Special Surgery Credentialed Advanced Hip Clinician and a functional dry needling specialist. Michael is the director of the Greenwich location. He graduated from Sacred Heart University with a bachelors degree in science and honors as a Collegiate Division I soccer player. He continued his education at Sacred Heart and earned his Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Mike has published numerous articles for the American Journal of Physical Therapy, and serves as an adjunct professor at Sacred Heart University in the Physical Therapy program.
Chris Coppolecchia DPT, TPI is the site director of our Stamford location. Chris earned his bachelors degree in health sciences and graduated Cum Laude from Quinnipiac University. While in school, Chris earned first team all-conference honors as a captain lacrosse player and went on to play professionally with the New York Lizards. After earning his doctorate in Physical Therapy at Quinnipiac, Chris brought his sports rehabilitation expertise to the Performance team. He specializes in adolescent sports injuries and is a Certified Golf Fitness Instructor through Titleist Performance Institute.
"Always leave people better than you found them. Hug the hurt. Kiss the broken. Befriend the lost. Love the lonely." ~MW
Sara Miller is our newest pilates instructor. Sara graduated from University of New Haven with with a B.S in Nutrition and Dietetics and brings 10+ years of experience as a fitness professional and 25 years of dance training to the Performance team in Hamden. She is certified Pilates Instructor, as well as a certified Group Fitness and Personal fitness trainer.
Elise Swanton is one of our Pilates Reformer instructors, based out of our Greenwich location. Elise has a wealth of experience when it comes to dance, pilates and musculoskeletal movement, making her the perfect fit here at Performance. Elise's professional career started as a Ballerina with the New York City Ballet and continued for over 10 years. She studied Pilates in New York City with Romana Kryzanowska, a direct disciple of Joseph Pilates, for over 12 years. Elise went on to earn her degree in Physical Therapy from Hunter College and is currently licensed as a Physical Therapist in New York and Connecticut. Elise's pilates practice is catered to her clients, all with special attention to injury prevention and increasing core performance.
Christina Merrill is one of our top Pilates instructors based out of our Westport location. Christina is a lifelong dancer and has been a student of Pilates for 10 years. She earned her BFA in Dance from the University of the Arts and has been teaching dance for the past 15 years. Her dance specific training includes modern technique, which emphasizes a whole body, anatomical approach. She has translated her dance training into her pilates practice here at Performance; her focus includes flexibility, strength, coordination and body/spatial awareness. Christina is Mat Pilates certified through Equinox and Reformer trained through Balanced Body. When she isn't teaching Pilates or dance, she performs with Anthony LoCascio's #Taplife company.
Janess Coffina earned her degree at Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy in clinical massage and is board certified in Massage Therapy and Bodywork. Her 1100 hours of massage training include Swedish, sports and neuromuscular massage. She also has completed training in massage for cancer patients, for migraines and for seniors. Janess' comprehensive practice allows her to customize the massage to best fit her client's need. Her strong background in anatomy and physiology helps her to zero in on the muscles that are contributing to discomfort or pain.
Daniel Stroup received his degree from the Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy in Clinical Massage and is a licensed massage therapist in New York and Connecticut. Daniel holds several certifications including myofascial release, spontaneous muscle release technique and has also completed coursework in preventing chronic pain. Daniel's specialities include trigger point therapy, sports massage, Swedish, deep tissue and relaxation and rehabilitation massage.