LSVT Global Team Member Spotlight! Heather Cianci, PT, MS, GCS

Heather Cianci, PT, MS, GCS: OP Neurological Team Leader for Penn Therapy & Fitness; Faculty for LSVT BIG and TeleBIG for LIFE Coach for LSVT Global

What do you do?

I have been a PT since 1994 and am a clinician at The Dan Aaron Parkinson’s Rehabilitation Center in Philadelphia, PA.  We are a center dedicated to helping individuals with Parkinson’s (PD) and other movement disorders.  I have the pleasure of working on an interdisciplinary team with OT, SLP, RN, NP, MD, SW, researchers, and counselors. With LSVT BIG I get to teach and train countless clinicians in a way to deliver therapy that I feel very passionate about.  As a TeleBIG for LIFE instructor I get the joy of seeing people with PD around the country in their homes and helping them to keep the gains they made in therapy.

How long have you been with LSVT Global?

I began working as a Faculty instructor for LSVT BIG in 2011, however I was certified in LSVT BIG in the second training course LSVT Global presented in 2007.

What is your favorite part of your job?

As a PT in the clinic, it has to be the relationships I form with my patients over the years.  To be considered a member of their care team is a responsibility I do not take lightly.  I can be with someone from their time of diagnosis until their death.  The longer I have been treating, the more I have to deal with that end of the spectrum.  It is a privilege to help people on their journey with PD, knowing that as a therapist there is so much to offer them.  As an instructor with LSVT BIG, being able be a “therapist’s therapist” means the world to me.  All of us instructors are clinicians, not just educators.  This allows us to give practical knowledge and examples to show how LSVT BIG can work to help their patients live better lives.  Working for an organization that promotes this is a gift.

Tell us a little about yourself:

I will be celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary this year and feel so lucky to have a husband that has always supported me in so many ways.  We have 2 great sons who are teenagers (gulp!) who keep us busy with activities like theater and basketball.  We all love travel (miss doing it as regularly as we once did) and watching Seinfeld.  There is a lot of laughter in our home.  Good food, reading, learning about history, and my 10 year old dog Alvin are some of my other joys.

Favorite quote, food, or pastime:

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”   Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

“Heather is a consummate professional. She is passionate and dedicated to her patients and to teaching other therapists how to improve function and quality of life in people with Parkinson’s. She has a wealth of professional knowledge, endless creative clinical skills, and a breadth of experience that enormously enhances the training experience for participants during LSVT BIG Certification Courses and webinars. Heather is an enthusiastic advocate for people with Parkinson’s and gives generously of her time and energy to many causes. Her quick wit, distinctive Philly accent with rapid but oh-so-perfectly articulated speech, eclectic knowledge of history, arts, books, food and drink make her an absolute joy and so much fun to be around. THANK YOU, Heather, for being a “first adopter” of LSVT BIG and for your continuous contributions to its advancement for the past 15 years!”

-Cynthia Fox, CEO & Co-Founder, LSVT Global