Heather Cianci, PT, MS, GCS is a Geriatric Clinical Specialist and founding therapist at the Dan Aaron Parkinson’s Rehabilitation Center (Good Shepherd/Penn Partners) at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, PA. Heather received her Bachelor’s in Physical Therapy from the University of Scranton in Scranton, PA and her Master’s in Gerontology from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.
She has been a physical therapist since 1994, with the majority of those years dedicated to working with patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Atypical Parkinsonisms. Heather is a certified LSVT® BIG clinician and PWR! (Parkinson Wellness Recovery) clinician, as well as a graduate of the National Parkinson Foundation’s (NPF) Allied Team Training Program (ATTP) and Rock Steady Boxing program for PD. Heather authored a chapter on rehabilitative strategies in Comprehensive Nursing Care for Parkinson’s Disease (Springer Publishing), and a chapter on physical therapy in “What if it’s not Alzheimer’s – A Caregiver’s Guide to Dementia – With Vital Information on Frontotemporal Degeneration” (Prometheus Books). She also is the author of the 2nd – 4th editions of Fitness Counts, and a co-author of Activities of Daily Living: Practical Pointers, which are educational manuals for the NPF. In 2011 Heather became an LSVT® BIG trainer, traveling the US and Europe teaching physical and occupational therapists about exercise for Parkinson’s disease.
Heather’s research includes movement strategies for bed mobility, falls, and freezing of gait. Heather teaches about rehabilitation and Parkinson’s at Thomas Jefferson University’s (Philadelphia, PA) and Neumann University’s (Aston, PA) Departments of Physical Therapy and lectures at many support groups and conferences. Recent conferences include those sponsored by the Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association and the Parkinson Disease Foundation. Heather also is a Board member of CurePSP, the Foundation for PSP/CBD and Related Brain Diseases, as well as the Chair of their Medical Professional Advisory Committee.