2018 Irvine Hand Therapy Review Course - Faculty

Faculty Biographies

Vicky Adams, OTR/L, CHT
Vicky graduated from the University of Southern California with a BS in Occupational Therapy in 1982. She became a Certified Hand Therapist after passing the first CHT exam in 1991. During that time she worked at Downey Hand Center treating traumatic industrial hand injuries and was the president of the SoCal Hand Special Interest Group. For the last 26 years Vicky has been the owner of Newport Hand Center. She continues to treat a full caseload and participates in local Study Groups. During the last 5 years she served as either a Co-Chair or Board Member on the OTAC Reimbursement and Ethics Committee. She has presented at an ASHT Review Course on splinting and has presented locally on various hand therapy topics. She is also an avid cyclist and skier, and enjoys walks on the beach.

Audra Ponci Bado, MPT, OCS, CHT
Audra received her Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology from Sonoma State University. She continued on to Chapman University graduating with her Masters in Physical Therapy in 2001. Following graduation she specialized in Orthopedic Physical Therapy and was nationally recognized as an Orthopedic Certified Specialist in 2003. She graduated from the American Physical Therapy Accredited Hand Therapy Fellowship Program and then became a Certified Hand Therapist in 2008.  She currently practices at Made to Move in El Segundo and South County Orthopedics in Laguna Woods. 

Audra enjoys sharing her love of hand therapy through the education of others. She is an active member of the American Society of Hand Therapists where she serves on the National Education Committee. She has taught at both Loma Linda University and Mount Saint Mary’s in the Physical Therapy programs as well as being a contributing author for the Orthopedic Rehabilitation Clinical Advisor.

Nora Barrett, OTR/L, CHT
Nora graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, MO in 1997 and has since worked in rehab (Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Boston, MA), acute care (Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA) and outpatient settings (National Rehab Hospital Regional Rehab, Washington, DC and Curtis National Hand Center, Lutherville, MD) with a focused clinical practice in hand therapy and burn injury/wounds since 2004. In 2006 she completed the Advanced Certification in Hand & Upper Quarter Rehab at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. Nora was the Clinic Coordinator of the Outpatient Center for Orthopaedic Rehab at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital and a burn therapist at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC until 2014. She recently moved to Bend, Oregon to enjoy the active lifestyle of the west and joined the practice at Hand & Arm Therapy of Central Oregon. She serves on the Education Division and the Annual Meeting Committee for the American Society of Hand Therapists and is a member of the American Burn Association. She has lectured at universities in the northeast region and presented topics in burn and UE injuries at conferences across the country.

Elizabeth Byrne, MPT, OCS, CHT, ATC
Elizabeth Byrne graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a BA in Athletic Training. She went on to earn her Masters of Physical Therapy from Mount St. Mary’s College in 1993. She continued to pursue her professional developement by earning her Orthopedic Clinical Specialist credential in 2007. After graduating from the APTA credentialed Hand Therapy Fellowship at Kaiser Permanante, she went on to successfully pass the CHT exam in 2010. She has been practicing physical therapy for over 20 years and is currently employed at an Orange County Kaiser Permanente facility as a senior clinical therapist with an emphasis in upper extremity conditions. Elizabeth is currently a member of APTA, ASHT and NATA. She likes to share her knowledge through teaching with the ASHT review course and presenting at APTA Combined Sections Meeting. In her spare time, Elizabeth enjoys spending time with her family and traveling.

Diane Coker, DPT, CHT (course facilitator)
Diane completed her undergraduate work at Texas Tech University, and completed her specialty training in physical therapy at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, earning a BS and Certificate in Physical Therapy. She became one of the first therapists in the nation to be awarded the designation of "Certified Hand Therapist" in 1991. She went on to complete her doctoral in physical therapy in 2007 from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Diane is actively involved in educational activities for physical therapists. She is a faculty member and clinical mentor in the Kaiser Hand Therapy fellowship, a program accredited by the American Physical Therapy Association. She is clinical faculty for Loma Linda University and Drexel University, her alma mater. She is a co-founder for the Southern Orange County Hand Therapy Study Group, a local networking organization for hand therapists. She has presented nationally and internationally on various topics related to the practice of hand therapy to students and practicing professionals. Diane is a member in good standing of the American Physical Therapy Association, the America Society of Hand Therapists, and the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.

Linda de Haas, PT, MPT, CHT, OCS
Linda received her Associate of Science as a Physical Therapist Assistant from Cerritos College in1985, a Bachelor of Science in Health Science from Cal State Long Beach in 1990 and a Masters of Physical Therapy from Samuel Merritt College in 1995. She became board certified as an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist in 2001 and became a Certified Hand Therapist in 2008. Linda is currently pursuing her t-DPT at Western University of Health Sciences.

Linda is actively involved in educational activities for physical and occupational therapists. She is a faculty member and clinical instructor for the Cerritos College PTA program and was on the faculty of the Kaiser Permanente Hand Therapy Fellowship program for 6 years. Linda is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and American Society of Hand Therapists and has presented at national conferences for both organizations. She has been a co-contributor on a chapter on carpal tunnel in the book Rehabilitation of the Postsurgical Orthopedic Patient. Linda has served on the nominating committee of the Hand Section of the APTA. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.

Alessia DiGennaro Kerner, OTR/L, CHT
Alessia has been practicing as an Occupational Therapist since 1999 when she graduated from Quinnipiac University. She began her specialization in hand therapy in 2001 after a cross-country move to California. She became a CHT in 2005.She is the chair for the Patient Education Committee of the ASHT Education Division and a member of AOTA, ASHT and the South County Hand Therapy Study Group. She is a Volunteer Clinical Faculty for USC’s physical agent modalities and hand therapy courses. Alessia currently works for California Hand Therapy in their Huntington Beach office.

Stephanie Djang, MPT, CHT
Stephanie Djang graduated from Walla Walla College in 1990 with a BS in Physical Education with a physiological emphasis, she returned home to Southern California and spent the next 3 1/2 years working in sports medicine/athletic training.  In 1995 she graduated from Loma Linda University with her Physical therapist Assistant degree and spent the next 4 years working as a PTA in various settings. In 1999 she again returned to school and then in 2001 graduated from Azusa Pacific University with her Masters in Physical Therapy.  In 2007 she received her hand therapy certification. Stephanie has been privilege to have the opportunity to work in many varied setting from outpatient orthopedics, sports medicine, skilled nursing, home health and hand therapy clinic. She now is the lead PT at the Goodwill Fitness Center and focusing on a primarily neuro rehab/fitness population. 

Tambra Marik, OTD, OTR/L, CHT
Tambra graduated from Rocky Mountain University in 2008 with over 17 years of clinical experience working with the injured athlete, worker, and aging population. Her current clinical background includes critical analysis of evidence-based treatment intervention. She has authored and co-authored several book chapters, research papers, and newsletters based on upper extremity rehabilitation. Additionally, she regularly presents on upper extremity rehabilitation nationwide. Tambra combines her teaching efforts with daily clinical practice while working as a staff therapist at Apple Physical Therapy in Tacoma, Washington. 

Joanne Mimm, MPT, CHT
Joanne began her career in Physical Therapy in 1982 as a graduate of California State University, Northridge receiving her BS in Health Sciences and PT Certification. She worked at Orthopedic Hospital in Los Angeles, and Loma Linda University (LLU) Medical Center and achieved her advanced Masters in Physical therapy through LLU I 1996.  She pursued her specialty in orthopedics and became a Certified Orthopedic Specialist in 1994. It was through this study that she discovered the love for hand rehabilitation, enjoying the detail and challenge, and became a Certified Hand Therapist in 1995. She has been a clinical faculty at LLU, and also a guest lecturer for the hand society, and is a Member of ASHT. She has practiced hand rehabilitation for over 20 years, presently working at Newport Hand Therapy (Newport Beach), and also at South Orange County Orthopedics (Mission Viejo). It is her passion to help patients recover their optimum functional results, and she feels honored to help others therapist expand their knowledge of this incredible field.

Christina Schmidt, OTR/L, CHT
Christina Schmidt received her Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She is an original charter active member of the ASHT and became a Certified Hand Therapist in 1991 at the inaugural examination.

Christina has had a varied career working in outpatient clinics, including her own, as well as physician owned practices. She has also worked in a surgical hand center and for the last several years has worked as a clinical hand specialist at Kaiser Permanente hospital based outpatient clinics in Los Angeles. She currently works at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, CA as a clinical hand specialist.

Christina has always been actively involved in hand therapy education. For several years she has traveled nationally teaching splinting workshops for Patterson Medical. She has also been a guest lecturer for several state and local OT programs. Christina is a founder and a core facility member of the Kaiser Hand Fellowship program where she has taught and mentored many aspiring hand therapists. Christina is delighted to be a part of the ASHT national review course.