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Physical Therapy Staff

Angela Wilson Pennisi

Angela Wilson Pennisi
- PT, MS, OCS

Angela Wilson Pennisi, PT, MS, OCS, founded Lakeshore Sports Physical Therapy in 2000 and is the clinic president and director.

Angela graduated from the Program for Physical Therapy at Columbia University in New York, New York in 1997. She has completed extensive continuing clinical education in manual therapy and movement reeducation, is board certified in orthopedic physical therapy and a credentialed clinical instructor for physical therapists in training. She has served as an expert consultant in physical therapy-related litigation.

Angela has served on several professional boards and is currently the treasurer of the Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association. She enjoys participating in yoga, playing tennis, bicycling, keeping up with her husband and two sons, and volunteering in her community.

Angela sees patients at our Lakeview and Loop locations.

Contact this provider at angelawpennisi@physiopartners.com.

* This provider participates with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois and Medicare. Please contact us for information regarding out-of-network coverage for other insurance companies.

Imelda Harper

Imelda Harper
- PT, Cert. MDT

Imelda Harper, PT, Cert. MDT, has been practicing with Lakeshore Sports Physical Therapy, PC, since 2004. She earned her degree in Physiotherapy from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland in 1990.

She is certified in the McKenzie Method® of Mechanical Diagnosis and Treatment, a treatment approach that utilizes specific patient-based exercises and education to accelerate recovery.

Imelda has experience across a broad range of patient populations. Her primary areas of specialty include manual therapy, orthopedic physical therapy, spinal rehabilitation, and the treatment of headaches. Imelda is an active member of both the American Physical Therapy Association and the Irish Physiotherapy Association. 

Imelda sees patients at our Lakeview location.

Contact this provider at imeldaharper@physiopartners.com.

* This provider's participation in insurance networks is limited. Please contact us for information regarding your insurance policy. Members of Lakeshore Sports Physical Therapy's professional staff may be employees of the organization or independent associates of the practice.

Stephanie Penny

Stephanie Penny
- PT, DPT, OCS

Stephanie Penny, PT, DPT, OCS, earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Central Michigan University in 2008 and is a board-certified specialist in orthopedic physical therapy.

Stephanie has special interests in scoliosis treatment of adults and adolescents, sports medicine, vestibular rehabilitation and post-mastectomy rehabilitation.  She has completed an advanced certification in the Schroth Method for Scoliosis. Stephanie has completed additional coursework in manual therapy and the rehabilitation and re-education of runners. She is a certified ASTYM® provider. 

Stephanie enjoys utilizing a comprehensive approach utilizing manual therapy techniques, corrective exercises and movement analysis to address patients' specific deficits and assist in their road to recovery.She is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association.  In her free time, Stephanie enjoys staying active, whether it be playing tennis, walking her dog or spending time with family.

Stephanie sees patients at our Lakeview location. 

Contact this provider at stephaniepenny@physiopartners.com.

* PhysioPartners Premier participates with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois and Medicare. Please contact us for information regarding out-of-network coverage for other insurance companies.

Dr. Erin Buenger

Dr. Erin Buenger
- PT, DPT

Dr. Erin Buenger, PT, DPT, Earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from Marquette University in 2011.  Dr. Buenger enjoys working with all types of patients, but her areas of specialty are running and walking gait analysis, gait training, treating foot and ankle problems, as well as sports rehabilitation across the lifespan.

Dr. Buenger plans to obtain advanced certification in the Schroth Method for Scoliosis in Spring 2018.  She is also an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association.

Outside of the clinic, Erin enjoys traveling, playing in a co-ed soccer league, downhill sking, water sports and entertaining her new puppy.

Erin sees patients at our Lakeview location.

Contact this provider at erinbuenger@physiopartners.com.

Joseph Ascher

Joseph Ascher
- PT, DPT

Joseph Ascher, PT, DPT, earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from The University of Illinois at Chicago in 2015.

Dr. Ascher has strong interests in orthopedics, sports medicine, manual therapy, chronic pain management, and post-operative rehabilitation. He provides evidence-based interventions and works with his patients to design meaningful treatment plans in order to empower his patients to return to, and improve upon, their previous lifestyle. 

Dr. Ascher was a captain of his NCAA Division 1 volleyball team during his undergraduate years at Quincy University in Quincy, Illinois and currently plays professionally for the Gateway Volleyball Club, USA Volleyball Premier Volleyball League team. When he is not playing volleyball or cheering on the Chicago Blackhawks, Joe enjoys going to the beach, fitness activities, and cooking.

Joe sees patients at our Lakeview location.

Contact this provider at josephascher@physiopartners.com.

Jennifer M. Nelson

Jennifer M. Nelson
- PT, DPT, DScPT

Jennifer M. Nelson, PT, DPT, DScPT, is a Certified Manual Physical Therapist, Certified, Orthopedic Manipulative Therapist, Certified Manual Trigger Point Therapist/Dry Needling, Certified Ergonomic Assessment Specialist, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists.  

She earned her doctorates in physical therapy at the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences in 2008 and her Doctorate of Science in Physical Therapy from Andrews University in 2017. 

Dr. Nelson has special interests in treating patients with persistent/chronic pain including headaches, neck and back problems, jaw problems (TMJ/TMD), hypermoblity, pelvic pain and sports injuries that have not resolved with other treatments. She earned her certification in trigger point dry needling through Myopain, and manual therapy certifications through the North American Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy (NAIOMT). She is also a credentialed clinical instructor for physical therapists in training. 

She is currently pursuing a certification in craniofacial therapy with Cranio Facial Therapy Academy (CRAFTA) and a Theraputic Pain Specialist (TPS) certification through the International Spine and Pain Institute (ISPI). Jennifer is a member of both the American Physical Therapy Association and the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists.  

Dr. Nelson believes strongly in treating the whole person and ensuring that treatment fits the person's beliefs and abilities, allowing him or her to achieve a new functional level or keep her or him participating in favorite activities.  She loves challenges and puzzles and welcomes patients with a complex history or past. She also has a special interest in hypermobility syndrome, as she herself is hypermobile and has personally experienced chronic pain. In her free time, Jennifer enjoys being outdoors, playing with her cats, watching movies and spending time with her family.

Susan Hardin Rocchini

Susan Hardin Rocchini
- PT, DPT, OCS, MTC

Susan Hardin Rocchini, PT, DPT, OCS, MTC
Susan Hardin Rocchini earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from Northwestern University in 2002 and was the recipient of the Clinical Education Award for superior clinical abilities.  She is board-certified in orthopedic physical therapy. 

Dr. Rocchini completed the Physical Therapy Chicago Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency Program (2003-2005) and received a Manual Therapy Certification (MTC) through the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. She enjoys working with a varied patient population and is committed to working with patients to achieve their individual goals. She has applied her skills in the performing arts arena and has worked with the cast of "The Producers", "Young Frankenstein", and "Hairspray" during their tours in Chicago. In addition, Dr. Rocchini is a provider of ErgoScience functional capacity evaluations and has administered over 300 evaluations and has testified in both deposition and court.  

Ms. Rocchini evaluates and treats patients in Spanish and English. She has been a member of the American Physical Therapy Association since 2000. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her young children, traveling and participating in triathlons. 

Susan sees patients at our Loop location. 

Contact this provider at susanhrocchini@physiopartners.com.

Angela Wilson Pennisi

Angela Wilson Pennisi
- PT, MS, OCS

Angela Wilson Pennisi, PT, MS, OCS, founded Lakeshore Sports Physical Therapy in 2000 and is the clinic president and director. Angela graduated from the Program for Physical Therapy at Columbia University in New York, New York in 1997. She has completed extensive continuing clinical education in manual therapy and movement reeducation, is board certified in orthopedic physical therapy and a credentialed clinical instructor for physical therapists in training. She has served as an expert consul...
Imelda Harper

Imelda Harper
- PT, Cert. MDT

Imelda Harper, PT, Cert. MDT, has been practicing with Lakeshore Sports Physical Therapy, PC, since 2004. She earned her degree in Physiotherapy from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland in 1990. She is certified in the McKenzie Method® of Mechanical Diagnosis and Treatment, a treatment approach that utilizes specific patient-based exercises and education to accelerate recovery. Imelda has experience across a broad range of patient populations. Her primary areas of specialty include manual ther...
Stephanie Penny

Stephanie Penny
- PT, DPT, OCS

Stephanie Penny, PT, DPT, OCS, earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Central Michigan University in 2008 and is a board-certified specialist in orthopedic physical therapy. Stephanie has special interests in scoliosis treatment of adults and adolescents, sports medicine, vestibular rehabilitation and post-mastectomy rehabilitation.  She has completed an advanced certification in the Schroth Method for Scoliosis. Stephanie has completed additional coursework in manual therapy a...
Dr. Erin Buenger

Dr. Erin Buenger
- PT, DPT

Dr. Erin Buenger, PT, DPT, Earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from Marquette University in 2011.  Dr. Buenger enjoys working with all types of patients, but her areas of specialty are running and walking gait analysis, gait training, treating foot and ankle problems, as well as sports rehabilitation across the lifespan. Dr. Buenger plans to obtain advanced certification in the Schroth Method for Scoliosis in Spring 2018.  She is also an ...
Joseph Ascher

Joseph Ascher
- PT, DPT

Joseph Ascher, PT, DPT, earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from The University of Illinois at Chicago in 2015. Dr. Ascher has strong interests in orthopedics, sports medicine, manual therapy, chronic pain management, and post-operative rehabilitation. He provides evidence-based interventions and works with his patients to design meaningful treatment plans in order to empower his patients to return to, and improve upon, their previous lifestyle.  Dr. Ascher was a captain of his NC...
Jennifer M. Nelson

Jennifer M. Nelson
- PT, DPT, DScPT

Jennifer M. Nelson, PT, DPT, DScPT, is a Certified Manual Physical Therapist, Certified, Orthopedic Manipulative Therapist, Certified Manual Trigger Point Therapist/Dry Needling, Certified Ergonomic Assessment Specialist, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists.   She earned her doctorates in physical therapy at the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences in 2008 and her Doctorate of Science in Physical Therapy from Andrews University in 2017.  Dr. Nel...
Susan Hardin Rocchini

Susan Hardin Rocchini
- PT, DPT, OCS, MTC

Susan Hardin Rocchini, PT, DPT, OCS, MTC Susan Hardin Rocchini earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from Northwestern University in 2002 and was the recipient of the Clinical Education Award for superior clinical abilities.  She is board-certified in orthopedic physical therapy.  Dr. Rocchini completed the Physical Therapy Chicago Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency Program (2003-2005) and received a Manual Therapy Certification (MTC) through the University of St. Augustine f...

Occupational Therapy

Caitlin Smith

Caitlin Smith
- MS, OTR/L, ODT

Caitlin Smith, MS, OTR/L, ODT, earned her master's and doctorate degrees in occupational therapy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has a wide range of experience across the health care spectrum from pediatric to geriatric patients. Dr. Smith enjoys working with pediatric patients with sensory processing, emotional regulation and motor coordination difficulties. She also works with patients post upper extremity fracture and with chronic conditions such as rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, De Quervain’s, trigger finger, and tennis/golfer's elbow.  

Dr. Smith is passionate about promoting a holistic approach for her patients that addresses both the physical, emotional, and environmental factors contributing to her patient’s impairments. Through her extensive volunteer experience, Dr. Smith has become a strong advocate for expanding access to therapy for cancer survivors and better addressing long term side effects to allow them to return to their meaningful life activities.

Dr. Smith has served on several volunteer boards and currently sits on National Survivorship Council for CureSearch and presents on cancer survivorship topics locally and nationally.

What is occupational therapy?

Your daily life is made up of occupations; the meaningful activities that include everything from getting dressed, to being a parent, to cooking, or working.  We all have occupations; even children.  However, most people do not think about their many occupations and roles until they have trouble completing them. Numerous conditions can impair your ability to complete daily activities, such as a wrist injury that makes it difficult to button a shirt or nerve damage following a finger fracture that makes typing at your job painful.  An occupational therapist is a skilled practitioner who uses current research and evidence to evaluate and develop interventions for patients who are experiencing these difficulties.  With a background specializing in the upper extremity, as well as our patients and clients psychological, physical, social and emotional characteristics, occupational therapists can address your conditions and limitations applying a truly holistic approach. 

Some common upper extremity injuries that your occupational therapist can address include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Lateral and medial epicondylitis
  • De Quervain's syndrome
  • Trigger finger
  • Repetitive strain injuries and tendonitis of the wrist
  • Arthritis in the wrist and hand
  • Post wrist or digit fractures
  • Scar management
  • Decreased strength or coordination caused by neurological conditions, such as Parkinson's Disease or post stroke

Some common limitations that your occupational therapist can address:

  • Decreased participation, safety or independence with daily and instrumental activities of living
  • Muscle weakness, deconditioning and fatigue
  • Lack of coordination, decreased fine motor control and hand weakness
  • Chronic, pain management 
  • Cancer-related neuropathy
  • Cancer-related cognitive dysfunction
  • Physical impairments or acquired physical disability
  • Evaluation and training on adaptive equipment to increase safety and independence
  • Chronic disease and self-management, helping patients manage follow up appointments, symptoms and long-term side effects independently
  • Establishing balanced routines and incorporation of wellness-based activities to increase life satisfaction

You might need to see an occupational therapist if you have:

  • Difficulty completing activities of daily living, such as bathing and dressing
  • Difficulty completing Instrumental activities of daily living, such as working, cooking, shopping and accessing the community
  • Lack of coordination
  • Changes in sensation or tactile discrimination
  • Decreased strength, coordination or range of motion in upper extremity

Sample Diagnoses: Cancer, fatigue, neuropathy, loss of movement, joint stiffness or restriction, RA, OA, De Quervain's, Trigger finger, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, wrist sprain/strain, lateral/medial epicondylitis, UE fractures (including post ORIF), scar management, pain management, rotator cuff injury/surgery, Parkinson's, CVA, brain injury, general deconditioning, overuse injuries, repetitive strain injuries

Caitlin Smith

Caitlin Smith
- MS, OTR/L, ODT

Caitlin Smith, MS, OTR/L, ODT, earned her master's and doctorate degrees in occupational therapy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has a wide range of experience across the health care spectrum from pediatric to geriatric patients. Dr. Smith enjoys working with pediatric patients with sensory processing, emotional regulation and motor coordination difficulties. She also works with patients post upper extremity fracture and with chronic conditions such as rheumatoid and osteoarth...

Fitness Staff

John DoRosario

John DoRosario
- NASM-CPT, ATC, MS

John DoRosario, NASM-CPT, ATC, MS, is a certified personal trainer and has more than 20 years of experience in athletic training in basketball and football at the Division 1 college level, as well as working with athletes from high school through the professional level.  John has worked with athletes at the Olympic games in 1996 and 2014, NCAA basketball, tennis and golf championship games, The Red Hot Chili Peppers tour, and the Special Olympics. 


John brings this knowledge to his personal training, working to empower his clients and build them into conditioned "Great Movers" by listening to their needs, goals and dreams and preparing a plan for each individual's sport and or fitness lifestyle. John can assist clients with everything from to preseason conditioning, to preparing for a fitness event, such as Tough Mudder, a marathon or dodgeball, to learning techniques to " jump and dunk" or develop agility.


John continues to enjoy in participating in basketball pickup games himself, as well as 100-mile cycling tours.

Paula Palmer

Paula Palmer
- PMA®-CPT

Paula, Palmer, PMA®-CPT, is a Pilates Method Alliance-certified Pilates instructor.  She first began practicing Pilates in 2003 to improve muscle tone. However, she quickly fell in love with the way she felt after a Pilates session, invigorated and light, as though weight had been lifted off of her joints! She credits Pilates with teaching her how to use her newly found muscles more efficiently in everyday life, such as bending, and squatting without pain and with renewed vigor. Paula enjoys collaborating with the team at Lakeshore Sports Physical Therapy and sharing her practice with others in hopes that they will enjoy the many revitalizing benefits of Pilates for years to come.

Paula sees clients in our Lakeview and Loop locations.

Susie Payne

Susie Payne
- NASM-CPT, BFA

Susie E. Payne, NASM-CPT, BFA, is a certified personal trainer with over 15 years of experience training pre-professional dancers, as well as recreational through collegiate level dance athletes.  She has worked with dancers from the Dayton Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Royal Ballet, and from the popular TV show “So You Think You Can Dance”. 
 
Susie brings her professional dance background and teaching experience to her personal training, helping her clients safely and creatively actualize on their potential through correct form and a qualitative focus.  Drawing from her collaborative experience as a choreographer, she listens to the unique needs, goals, and abilities of her clients to design her programs. 
 
Susie enjoys taking yoga and teaching dance in Aurora, IL.  She is currently pursuing additional coursework to prepare for a graduate program in physical therapy.

John DoRosario

John DoRosario
- NASM-CPT, ATC, MS

John DoRosario, NASM-CPT, ATC, MS, is a certified personal trainer and has more than 20 years of experience in athletic training in basketball and football at the Division 1 college level, as well as working with athletes from high school through the professional level.  John has worked with athletes at the Olympic games in 1996 and 2014, NCAA basketball, tennis and golf championship games, The Red Hot Chili Peppers tour, and the Special Olympics.  John brings this know...
Paula Palmer

Paula Palmer
- PMA®-CPT

Paula, Palmer, PMA®-CPT, is a Pilates Method Alliance-certified Pilates instructor.  She first began practicing Pilates in 2003 to improve muscle tone. However, she quickly fell in love with the way she felt after a Pilates session, invigorated and light, as though weight had been lifted off of her joints! She credits Pilates with teaching her how to use her newly found muscles more efficiently in everyday life, such as&nb...
Susie Payne

Susie Payne
- NASM-CPT, BFA

Susie E. Payne, NASM-CPT, BFA, is a certified personal trainer with over 15 years of experience training pre-professional dancers, as well as recreational through collegiate level dance athletes.  She has worked with dancers from the Dayton Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Royal Ballet, and from the popular TV show “So You Think You Can Dance”.   Susie brings her professional dance background and teaching experience to her personal training, helping her clients safely and creatively ...

Massage Therapy

Patty Oria

Patty Oria
- LMT, Feldenkrais® and Anat Baniel SM Method Practitioner

Patty is a 20 year graduate of the Chicago School of Massage Therapy where she instructed for 7 years. Her continuing education has taken her through Neuromuscular Therapy, Sports Massage,Pre/Post Natal massage and Movement Re-education(Feldenkrais and The Anat Baniel Method).

She has worked extensively with the athlete and clients with chronic and acute pain. Her work can be subtle yet quite effective blending her extensive trainings.

Patty enjoys outdoor bootcamp, race walking and endless biking.

Patty sees clients at our Lakeview location.

Emily Smith

Emily Smith

Emily has completed massage therapy education and training in both the United Kingdom and in New York City. She has an International Therapy Examination Council (ITEC) Level 3 Diploma in Massage Therapy, completed in 2011. She also graduated from New York City's Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences in 2012 with an Associates of Occupational Studies in Massage Therapy.

Emily specializes in corrective sports, therapeutic and medical massage. Her focus is on treating orthopedic & sports-related injuries, pre & post replacement surgery, traumatic injuries, chronic pain conditions and enhancing sports performance.

Emily has worked with clients in a variety of settings including sports clubs, wellness and pain management centers, and the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

She has worked with a diverse group of people including the general population, junior and masters athletes, specialist strength athletes, competitive amateur athletes, professional baseball players and Olympians.

Certified in Advanced Sports Massage, Emily utilizes a wide variety of modalities including deep tissue massage, Myofascial Release, Trigger Point therapy, neuromuscular therapy and stretching. Emily believes that we are all “athletes” because of the physical demands placed on the body in everyday life, and she emphasizes the importance of self care outside of the massage room.

Emily loves being outside in nature, and vacations are often used to explore the wilderness. She enjoys hiking, mountain biking and anything on water. She can be found on the water, learning to row on her days off. She enjoys strength training with Kettlebells and Indian Clubs, and also completes a daily Tai Chi practice.

Patty Oria

Patty Oria
- LMT, Feldenkrais® and Anat Baniel SM Method Practitioner

Patty is a 20 year graduate of the Chicago School of Massage Therapy where she instructed for 7 years. Her continuing education has taken her through Neuromuscular Therapy, Sports Massage,Pre/Post Natal massage and Movement Re-education(Feldenkrais and The Anat Baniel Method). She has worked extensively with the athlete and clients with chronic and acute pain. Her work can be subtle yet quite effective blending her extensive trainings. Patty enjoys outdoor bootcamp, race walking and endless ...
Emily Smith

Emily Smith

Emily has completed massage therapy education and training in both the United Kingdom and in New York City. She has an International Therapy Examination Council (ITEC) Level 3 Diploma in Massage Therapy, completed in 2011. She also graduated from New York City's Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences in 2012 with an Associates of Occupational Studies in Massage Therapy. Emily specializes in corrective sports, therapeutic and medical massage. Her focus is on treating orthopedic & sport...

Counseling Services

Sarah Lisenbee

Sarah Lisenbee
- PSYD

Sarah Lisenbee, PSYD is a post-doctoral fellow from California School of Professional Psychology. She has a background in health psychology, using therapeutic approaches to integrate the mind-body connection. Much of her clinical experience is working with patients experiencing chronic pain. She is experienced in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), mindfulness, relaxation and biofeedback techniques. In addition to working wtih patients with chronic pain, she works with patients with adjustment disorders ranging from vision loss, life changes, or the loss of loved ones.

Sarah Lisenbee

Sarah Lisenbee
- PSYD

Sarah Lisenbee, PSYD is a post-doctoral fellow from California School of Professional Psychology. She has a background in health psychology, using therapeutic approaches to integrate the mind-body connection. Much of her clinical experience is working with patients experiencing chronic pain. She is experienced in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), mindfulness, relaxation and biofeedback techniques. In addition to working wtih patients with chronic pain, ...

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