Occupational Therapy

Contact Us

Occupational Therapy

600 Somerset Avenue
4th Floor
Windber, PA 15963

Phone: 814-467-3189
Fax: 814-467-3452

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy helps people of all ages participate in things they want and need to do through therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Occupational therapy treats conditions that limit the patient’s ability to perform normally in all aspects of daily life – both in and out of the workplace. Occupational therapy focuses on helping patients overcome limitations that prevent them from performing the activities of normal daily life tasks.

Put simply, the experienced and caring occupational therapy team at Chan Soon-Shiong Medical Center at Windber helps patients to do the things they need to do.

The Occupational Therapy Department at CSSMCW offers many options for you and your loved ones. We provide therapy within the hospital on the Wing III Inpatient Unit, CCU, and Windber Hospice Inpatient Unit. Patients are seen at the hospital in an outpatient setting for pediatric conditions, lymphedema therapy, hand therapy, cognitive therapy, pain management, custom hand splints, and upper extremity strengthening.

Our experienced therapists regularly help patients in areas such as:

• Peripheral nerve injuries
• Ergonomics
• Work hardening/conditioning
• Applied kinesiology (a form of muscle energy techniques)
• Neuromuscular re-education
• Ultrasound/electric stimulation
• Sensory integration with children and adolescents
• Functional capacity evaluations

Specialized Occupational Therapy Programs

Breast Cancer Recovery

Following breast cancer surgery, patients may experience symptoms that do not feel quite right and limit the return to normal life and activities.

The Breast Cancer Recovery Program is designed to allow patients diagnosed with breast cancer to be assessed around the time of surgery and monitored through the months and years that follow. The program provides ongoing care to facilitate healing, reduce pain, and regain normal function. An established relationship with our therapists allows for early detection of lymphedema symptoms. Patient treatment can then be targeted to reduce or prevent further progression.

Functional Vision Remediation Program

The Functional Vision Remediation Program is designed to address visual impairments that hinder an individual’s ability to perform daily activities independently. Hosted within an outpatient occupational therapy setting, this program utilizes evidence-based techniques and personalized interventions to optimize visual function and enhance overall quality of life.

Hand/Upper Extremity Therapy

We provide comprehensive evaluations and therapy of the upper extremities, focusing on patients’ specific needs with treatments that include restoring range of motion, edema control, scar management, custom splinting, work hardening, ADL programs, and more.

Inpatient Care

Our inpatient therapists work with the entire health care team to enable patients to improve activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, and mobility) and promote increased activity tolerance and strength. At CSSMCW, our patients receive one-on-one holistic treatment every time.

Lymphedema Therapy

We offer a non-invasive treatment for the condition of lymphedema, which is an abnormal buildup of swelling in the arms, legs, breast, head, neck, genitals or torso. Therapy includes gentle massage and exercise that helps to stimulate movement of fluid, as well as the application of compression bandages and garments to push excess fluid out and prevent re-accumulation. Goals of treatment include improvements in swelling, pain, skin abnormalities, mobility and daily function.

Muscle Energy & Kinesiology

This is a technique that uses postural and spinal analysis to identify muscular imbalances and employs a variety of modalities and treatments, including muscle energy, acupressure, and neurolymphatic/neurovascular pressure points to correct pain and strength deficits.

Pediatric Therapy

This area focuses on children’s occupations—including play, school, and home—and how children function and develop in those specific environments. When children have developmental delays in fine motor skills, gross motor skills, play, attention, sensory regulation, or other skills, OT can help them gain greater independence in all areas of their occupations.

Staff

Jessica Barclay, OTD, OTR/LOccupational Therapist

Jessica is a full-time occupational therapist who joined the Chan Soon-Shiong Medical Center at Windber team in 2022. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with her doctorate in occupational therapy in 2021. Jessica has a background working in school-based therapy, acute care, and outpatient pediatrics. Jessica’s true passion is working in early intervention with children aged 0-3 years old. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time camping and being outdoors with her husband.

Elizabeth Pile-Hunsberger, MOT, OTR/L, CLTStaff Occupational Therapist, Complex Lymphatic Therapist

Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Health Science and Master of Occupational Therapy degree with a minor in Psychology from Saint Francis University. She earned credentials as a Certified Lymphedema Therapist (CLT) in the Casely-Smith (Australian) method and joined the Rehab team at Chan Soon-Shiong Medical Center at Windber in 2003. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge and experience with patients so that they may be independent in the management of their swelling associated with lymphedema, surgery, obesity, or trauma – and live their best lives. Elizabeth has extensive experience treating patients with various classifications, stages, causes, and locations of swelling. Through the years she has completed various advanced courses through Klose Training to include breast cancer rehabilitation and prospective surveillance, as well as head-neck lymphedema. Additional certifications include Yoga Teacher Training and Certification in the Kripalu Method and Functional Capacity Evaluator certification through Bio-Ergonomics, Inc.

Cayla Penatzer, MOT, OTR/LStaff Occupational Therapist

Cayla specializes in Pediatric Occupational Therapy, Outpatient Occupational Therapy, and Inpatient Care.

Rosemarie Sekerak, OTR/LStaff Occupational Therapist

Rosemarie specializes in Inpatient Care and Home Assessments.

Laura Shields, MOT, OTR/LStaff Occupational Therapist

Laura is a full-time occupational therapist who joined the Chan Soon-Shiong Medical Center at Windber team in 2021. She graduated from St. Francis University with her master’s degree in occupational therapy in 2012. Laura began her professional career in Virginia and has worked in variety of settings including school-based, inpatient rehabilitation, and acute care. She loves the pediatric setting and believes every child is unique and their uniqueness should foster their growth, not hinder it. In her spare time, she enjoys dancing, listening to live music, reading and being outdoors.

Angelica Spaid, MOT, OTR/LStaff Occupational Therapist

Angelica specializes in Pediatric Occupational Therapy, Outpatient Occupational Therapy, and Inpatient Care.

Lisa Valko, OTR/L, ITOT, BCTSStaff Occupational Therapist

Lisa specializes in Outpatient Upper Extremity Orthopedic Therapy, Impact Occupational Therapy, Custom Splint Fabrication, Manual Therapy, Post-Operative Therapy, Vision Therapy, and Hand Therapy.

Lauren Vasas, MOT, OTR/LStaff Occupational Therapist

Lauren holds a Bachelor’s degree in Health Science and a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy with minors in Psychology and Neuroscience from Saint Francis University. She has completed Certified Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinical Specialist Intensive Training and earned her Functional Vision Rehabilitation Specialist Certification. She joined the rehabilitation team at Chan Soon-Shiong Medical Center in 2023 with the start-up of the Occupational Therapy Functional Vision Remediation Program. ​

Traci Duso, COTACertified Occupational Therapist Assistant