Helping children has always been far more than a job for Debby. It has been a professional life- long commitment. From her early years as a camp counselor, swim instructor and lifeguard to her experience as a pediatric physical therapist, Debby strongly believes that ALL children deserve love, the opportunity for good quality healthcare and the possibility to reach their ultimate potential.
Debby received her physical therapy degree from the University of Illinois in 1989. She took her first job with Baxter Physical Therapy specializing in orthopedic and sports rehabilitation. In this job, she worked with the Chicago Bulls including Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, John Paxon, and B.J. Armstrong. Working with the high level athlete helped Debby gain intricate knowledge of movement, alignment and biomechanics; this knowledge helped prepare her for her ultimate dream of working with children. In 1992 Debby began her ongoing 15 year career with Children's Memorial Hospital and in 1999 she opened her own private practice. From that time forward, her life has been dedicated to helping children in need, at home and around the world.
Seeking opportunities to share ideas with others in the healthcare arena is important to Debby. Most recently, she spoke in Orlando, Florida at the Star Scanner Summit meeting and in Denver, Colorado at the Orthomerica conference. These presentations focused on the challenges parents and therapists face today regarding an infant's tolerance to tummy time and associated torticollis, plagiocephaly and gross motor challenges. (Refer to Health Trends for additional discussion on these topics).
Debby has also presented educational seminars during her volunteer work in developing countries. She has focused on education and training regarding management of children with cerebral palsy in Columbia and Guatemala. In Gaza, she provided hands-on training regarding splinting and exercise for children with burn related contractures. Training in Romania and Ukraine focused on positioning and exercise for infants and toddlers in an orphanage setting.
Debby specializes in the evaluation and treatment of children with acute, developmental, orthopedic and neurological disorders. Her treatment sessions emphasize parent education and hands-on training including normal developmental progression, positioning, strengthening exercises, facilitation of developmental skills and progressive home exercise programs.
At Children's and at Sattler PT, Debby is recognized as a clinical leader and mentor to staff on normal development, torticollis, plagiocephaly, cerebral palsy, gross motor delays, and pediatric orthopedics. As a senior physical therapist at Children's, Debby staffs orthopedic clinics as well as a head shape evaluation clinic focusing on torticollis, plagiocephaly and infant development.
Finding opportunities to share her knowledge and learn from others around the world has always been paramount to Debby. Since 1992, Debby has travelled on volunteer international medical missions for children. Over the past decade she has participated in 12 international missions to Columbia, Nicaragua, Romania, Gaza, Ukraine and Guatemala. Debby has traveled with Operation Smile, S.A.R.A (Sharing America's Resources Abroad) and Faith In Practice. These organizations work in orphanages and hospitals where the focus is on sharing ideas and problem solving with local physicians, nurses and therapists, presenting seminars, and providing hands-on training in an effort to facilitate long term self-sufficiency.
Certifications: Early Intervention Credentialed
Certified CPR Instructor