Benjamin Gelfand, PT, DPT, SCS
Danielle Kagan, OTR/L, CHT
Irene Lee, PT, DPT, SCS, CKTP
Ethan Burger, PT, DPT, SCS, ATC
Keith Rosello, PT, DPT, SCS, CKTP
Brittany Popkin, PT, DPT, SCS
Robert Pritchard, PT, DPT
Stephanie Wu, MS, OTR/L, CHT
Joshua Hammann, PT, DPT
Asma Mohammadi, PT, DPT, CSCS, CKTP
Michael Erickson, PT, DPT
Kevin Murtagh, PT, DPT
Harrison Newman, PT, DPT
Andy Pakter, PT, DPT
Max Lai, PT, DPT
Etai Gamliel, PT, DPT
Victoria Sekely, PT, DPT, CSCS
Costantinos (Gus) Stamboulis, MS, OTR/L
Dominick Mazza, ATC
Brent Pekarski PT,DPT, CSCS, FMS, FMT
Michael Fox, PT, SCS, MTC is a Board Certified Sports Clinical Specialist, a Certified Manual Therapist, a Titleist Performance Institute Certified Golf Fitness Instructor, a Hospital for Special Surgery Credentialed Advanced Hip Clinician and an International Rugby Board Certified First Aid In Rugby Educator. Michael co-founded STAR (Sports Therapy And Rehabilitation) Physical & Occupational Therapy in 1999. He is a Team Physical Therapist for the USA Eagles Men's National Rugby Team and Head Physical Therapist for the New York Athletic Club Rugby Team, an Adjunct Professor at New York University and a Clinical Supervisor at SUNY Stony Brook. Mike was recently published in James Andrews, MD's renowned medical textbook The Athlete's Shoulder and he frequently lectures and writes for various professional organizations such as the American Physical Therapy Association and NYU. Mike graduated Fairfield University with an Economics degree in 1986 and New York University with a Physical Therapy degree in 1991. He worked as a Senior Physical Therapist at Lenox Hill Hospital, and in 1993 became a member of their sports medicine team working at the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma. In 1998 Mike was awarded his certification in Manual Therapy from the Institute of Physical Therapy, and in 1999 he was awarded certification as a Board Certified Sports Clinical Specialist from the American Physical Therapy Association.
Benjamin Gelfand, PT, DPT, SCS is a Board Certified Sports Clinical Specialist and a Hospital for Special Surgery Credentialed Advanced Hip Clinician. Ben co-founded STAR (Sports Therapy And Rehabilitation) Physical & Occupational Therapy in 1999. He is an Adjunct Professor at New York University and a Clinical Supervisor at SUNY Stony Brook. Ben served as a member of the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law. He authored the self-help book, The Return to Glory Days, was recently published in James Andrews, MD's renowned medical textbook The Athlete's Shoulder, and frequently lectures on orthopedics and sports rehabilitation. Ben attended S.U.N.Y. Stony Brook and received his Physical Therapy degree from New York University in 1988. He began his career as a Staff and then Senior Physical Therapist at Lenox Hill Hospital, where in 1994 he became Chief Physical Therapist for the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma. In 1998 Ben was awarded certification as a Board Certified Sports Clinical Specialist from The American Physical Therapy Association. Ben received his Doctoral Degree in Physical Therapy from Dominican College. Dr. Gelfand has been certified in Active Release Techniques (ART) and is actively pursuing recertification.
Danielle Kagan, OTR/L, CHT is a Board Certified Hand Therapist and Director of the Hand Therapy clinic at STAR, which she established in 2000. Danielle works with some of the top hand surgeons in New York, and has designed unique splints to accompany their innovative procedures. She has been the teaching assistant for specialized splinting and upper extremity anatomy classes for both the Occupational and Physical Therapy Departments at NYU. Since 2001, she has been a member of both the American Society of Hand Therapy and the Hand Therapy Certification Commission. In 1995, Danielle graduated from Boston University, Sargent College of Allied Health Professions with a degree in Occupational Therapy. In 1997, Danielle began specializing in rehabilitation of the hand and upper extremity, and in 1998 she continued her on-the-job training at the Hand Therapy Department at Mount Sinai Medical and Sports Therapy Centers. Danielle has been a volunteer and mentor for a few non-profit organizations as well as spends time volunteering her time with many of her children’s activities. She loves spending time with her family and participating in many outdoor activities. She also enjoys running and has run three marathons in NYC and London.
Keith Rosello, PT, DPT, SCS, CKTP is a Board Certified Sports Clinical Specialist, a Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner and a Certified Exercise Expert for Aging Adults. He received his Bachelors of Science in Biology in 1995 from the College of Staten Island and continued his education at Hunter College where he earned his Masters in Physical Therapy in 2008. He earned his clinical Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Stony Brook In 2011. Keith went on to progress his experience in orthopedics with internships at New York City based sports and orthopedic practices including one here at STAR. In 2011 Keith was awarded certification as a Board Certified Sports Clinical Specialist from The American Physical Therapy Association. Keith shares his passion for physical therapy with a lifetime of martial arts experience. He holds the rank of Yondan (4th degree black belt) in Aikido and Sandan (3rd degree black belt) in Karate. Keith currently teaches Aikido and Aikido weapons at the federation headquarters in Chelsea, Manhattan and Aikido weapons in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Irene Lee, PT, DPT, SCS, CKTP is a Board Certified Sports Clinical Specialist, Certified Kinesio Taping practitioner, Certified in Myofascial Decompression ("cupping"), and Clinical Director at STAR. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Mount Holyoke College, and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from New York University. Irene gained a wide variety of experience in sports/orthopedics, acute care and acute neuro rehab from several esteemed hospital and private clinic settings in NYC and in NJ. Her love and involvement in sports, such as soccer, rugby, yoga, tennis and swimming, is continued by volunteering as Medical Support for events such as the New York City Marathon, American Volleyball Professions tournament and Play Rugby USA tournaments. Irene has been invited numerous times to join the Sports Medicine staff at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO to assist Team USA athletes prepare for the summer and winter Olympics. Outside of STAR, Irene enjoys yoga/aerial yoga, cooking and baking, watching movies and being outdoors.
Brittany Popkin, PT, DPT, SCS is a Board Certified Sports Clinical Specialist from The American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. She received her B.S. in Health Sciences from SUNY Stony Brook, then continued her education at Columbia University in NYC where she earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Brittany's experience includes affiliations completed at St. Charles Hospital and Rehabilitation Center in Port Jefferson, NY, The Henry Viscardi School in Albertson, NY as well as several outpatient physical therapy locations in Manhattan. Brittany is an accomplished Championship Irish Step Dancer who has competed at the Local, Regional, National and World Championship level. Her dance experience has required extensive travel throughout the United States, Canada and internationally in England, Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland. In her spare time, Brittany continues to enjoy traveling, as well as working out, attending New York Yankees games, exploring NYC, taking photographs and spending time with her family.
Andy Pakter, PT, DPT is a board-certified strength and conditioning specialist who received his B.S. in biology from the University of Illinois at Chicago and his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Touro College. Andy has affiliation experience at NYU's Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn, caring for inpatient post-op patients and additional orthopedic, vestibular and balance experience in Long Island. Andy has research experience with functional electric stimulation and trans-cranial magnetic stimulation with the stroke population and metronome gait training with subjects with lower limb amputations. Andy is a regular at the national and state park campgrounds and trails. He spends the rest of his free time playing hockey and biking the streets of NYC.
Ethan Burger, PT, DPT, SCS, ATC is a Board Certified Sports Clinical Specialist from The American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. He double majored at the College of Charleston in the beautiful city of Charleston, South Carolina, attaining a Bachelors of Science in Athletic Training, as well as Exercise Science. After becoming a Board Certified Athletic Trainer, he continued his education at Touro College in Manhattan, where he graduated with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy and a Bachelors of Science in Health Sciences. Ethan completed his final clinical rotation at STAR and then joined the STAR Physical Therapy team. An avid athlete his whole life, he continues to participate in a variety of sports outside of work including softball, flag football, Spartan Races, weight lifting, and fitness. For the 2015 and 2016 season, Ethan dedicated himself as the primary on-field medical provider for the New York Athletic Club Rugby team undertaking multiple responsibilities such as taping ankles/thumbs/shoulders, injury management and education, and acute on-field medical care. He will continue with rugby coverage, both in and outside of the office. Ethan is a guest lecturer at Touro College on Post-Operative Physical Therapy Rehabilitation protocols.
Stephanie Wu, MS, OTR/L, CHT is a Board Certified Hand Therapist. She graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a Bachelor's Degree in Math and Statistics and worked in consulting for several years prior to completing her Masters in Occupational Therapy at Columbia University. Stephanie's clinical experience consists of affiliations at various hospitals in NYC including outpatient orthopedic hand and upper quarter rehabilitation at Mount Sinai Medical Center during which time she also was a cadaver lab assistant for Columbia's Human Anatomy course. Before joining STAR, Stephanie also gained experience in acute care inpatient post-operative orthopedics as an Occupational Therapist at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Stephanie serves as a Lab Instructor for Gross Anatomy at Columbia's Occupational Therapy program. She loves travelling internationally and staying active through Brazilian capoeira, yoga, distance running and has run both the Marine Corps and NYC marathons.
Robert Pritchard, PT, DPT was a double major in History and Political Science at the University of Connecticut where he continued his education to receive his Doctorate of Physical Therapy. Rob gained valuable experience during orthopedic, neuro-rehabilitation, and acute care clinicals, including his final affiliation at NYU's Center for Musculoskeletal Care. While obtaining his Doctorate, Rob was accepted for publication as a co-author by the 2013 Journal of Isokinetics and Exercise Science for the article "Portable belt-stabilized hand-held dynamometry set-up for measuring knee extension force". As a natural leader, Rob became the captain of the rugby team and later went on to become an assistant coach of the rugby team during graduate school. Rob's decision to pursue physical therapy as a career was influenced by his personal experiences with therapists during his own knee rehabilitation. A sports and fitness enthusiast, Rob is active in a variety of sports including running, swimming, cycling, and hiking.
Joshua Hammann, PT, DPT received his Bachelors of Arts in Communications from the University of Louisville in 1998. After a ten year journalism career, Josh returned to school and received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from SUNY Downstate Medical Center. Josh completed clinical affiliations in Harlem, Brooklyn and Manhattan, where he worked with patients with chronic neck and low back pain. He is particularly interested in human movement and biomechanics, and conducted gait research while pursuing his degree. Josh was a competitive age-group triathlete, racing from sprint to half-Ironman distances, before turning his focus to running in the last five years; and has continued to place well in his age division, from 5K to the marathon. He has run three marathons and this year qualified for the Boston Marathon. He also enjoys spending time outdoors with his family.
Max Lai PT, DPT, graduated from the University of Florida with a B.S. in Exercise Physiology. He went on to receive his Doctorate of Physical Therapy at the University of St. Augustine in 2009. Max's passion is in outpatient orthopaedics and sports. He is currently studying for his manual therapy certification (MTC) and is interested in a variety of techniques such as cupping, instrument-assisted soft tissue massage (IASTM), and Mulligan concepts. He loves to learn new things from his patients each day and strives to maintain the highest quality of care for his patients. Outside work, he enjoys salsa dancing, Ultimate Frisbee, basketball, and football.
Asma Mohammadi, PT, DPT, CSCS, CKTP received a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from New York University in 2015. While there, she also became a Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and assisted in research evaluating palmar forces sustained in yoga practice. Asma gained her clinical experiences in orthopedic, sports, acute care, and neurologic rehabilitations at affiliations such as Stanford Health Care and Kings County Hospital, among others. Prior to receiving her Doctorate, Asma earned a Bachelors of Science in Physiology and Metabolism from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2011. In 2009, she transferred from Diablo Valley College after being selected as a fellow in the Environmental Leadership Pathway program at UC Berkeley. In developing a patient's rehabilitation program, Asma is able to leverage off of her collegiate, athletic experiences as a former member of UC Berkeley's Boxing team and Diablo Valley's Track & Field and Cross Country teams. In her spare time, Asma continues to participate in local races and enjoys drawing, painting, photography and yoga.
Kevin Chen, MS, OTR/L graduated from SUNY Stony Brook University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and subsequently attended New York University to pursue his Master of Science in Occupational Therapy. Kevin has gained much experience in the acute care and orthopedic fields during his clinical affiliations at NYU Langone Rusk Center for Musculoskeletal Care, New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center, and STAR Physical and Occupational Therapy. After completing his graduate program, Kevin excitedly rejoined the STAR team to specialize in upper extremity rehabilitation, a field that he is visibly passionate about. Kevin spends his leisure time swimming, traveling, playing football, and spending quality time with friends and family.
Dominick Mazza, ATC is a graduate of SUNY Cortland. He is the lead Athletic Trainer in Sports Therapy And Rehabilitation's Post Rehabilitation Exercise and ACL Injury Prevention programs. Dom oversees the progression of patients in STAR's tennis and golf exercise programs and is involved with Biodex isokinetic testing. Dom is also the head athletic trainer for the Nightingale-Bamford school on the Upper East Side.
Etai Gamliel, PT, DPT received his B.S in Kinesiology from the University of Maryland, then continued his education at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore Maryland where he earned his Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Etai's experiences involve clinical rotations in multiple outpatient settings, with clients of all ages suffering from a variety of orthopedic, neurologic, and other pathologies and conditions. Etai is also a former football athlete having competed at the high school and collegiate level. Having suffered several injuries playing college football, that required considerable PT, Etai has an intrinsic understanding of the struggles from a patient's perspective and the platform for a successful rehabilitation to get back to sport. Etai continues to enjoy exercising, attending sports events, playing music, exploring the city and spending time with family in his free time.
Michael Erickson, PT, DPT received his Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology with a minor in Biology from Pennsylvania State University after which he returned home to his native NYC to complete his doctorate in physical therapy at the City University of New York Graduate Center. During clinical affiliations, Michael gained experience in a large variety of settings including acute hospital care, vestibular rehabilitation, orthopedics and sports medicine, including an affiliation with STAR. While in graduate school, Michael was involved in research regarding the inclusion of Traditional Chinese Medicine in physical therapy programs across the United States. During his time at Penn State, Michael was a successful athlete as a co-captain of the rugby team receiving accolades as an All American Honorable Mention twice during his playing career. Michael is still currently active in sports, playing for the New York Athletic Club Men's rugby team.
Kevin Murtagh, PT, DPT joined STAR Physical Therapy in 2016. Kevin, a native of Brooklyn, received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Boston College and his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from SUNY Downstate Medical Center. Kevin has extensive clinical and volunteer experience, including at the Brooklyn Free Clinic, where he focused on serving patients from the borough's underserved communities. A former rugby player at Xavier High School in New York and at Boston College, where he served as team co-captain, Kevin first came to STAR as a high school student seeking treatment for sports-related injuries. In his spare time, Kevin keeps physically active by running and weightlifting.
Harrison Newman, PT, DPT graduated from Colgate University with a B.A in Sociology/Anthropology and Political Science. At Colgate, he competed as a Division I Track and Field Athlete, scoring points in the Patriot League Championships in the high jump and triple jump four years in a row. After some adventurous pursuits in geophysics, stock picture photography, and performance go kart racing, Harrison went on to receive his Doctoral of Physical Therapy from Rutgers SHRP. Harrison gained diverse clinical experience during his time at Rutgers, including treating orthopedic patients in New York City and West New York, New Jersey, pediatric oncology patients at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, and finally, traveling to New Mexico to treat patients on the Zuni reservation through the Indian Health Service initiative. At Rutgers, Harrison also had the opportunity to pursue extensive leadership opportunities including serving as a Teaching Assistant for the Gross Anatomy course, and supporting the research and design of the Rutgers Master of Healthcare Management program through a graduate assistantship. Harrison brings extensive knowledge of track and field and an interest in other sports such as motorsport racing, soccer, road biking, and cross country skiing to his passion for and practice of Physical Therapy.
Victoria Sekely, PT, DPT, CSCS, earned her B.S. in Human Sciences from Georgetown University, and continued her education at New York University where she obtained her Doctorate of Physical Therapy. While completing her studies, she received her Certification as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist from NCSA in 2015. Victoria's experience includes clinical affiliations in various fields including acute care, neuro rehab and sports/orthopedics at several hospitals and outpatient orthopedic clinics throughout Manhattan. During her undergraduate years, she competed on the varsity women's tennis team and was named captain her senior year. Though her tennis days are behind her, she has since trained for and competed in several half marathons and triathlons. In her spare time, Victoria enjoys attending SoulCycle classes, and exploring everything NYC has to offer.
Costantinos (Gus) Stamboulis, MS, OTR/L is a graduate of New York Institute of Technology with a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy and a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies. During clinical affiliations, Gus was able to explore various settings which included acute hospital care at North Shore - LIJ, orthopedics, mental health settings, sub-acute rehab and sports medicine, including a clinical affiliation with STAR. During his time at STAR, Gus developed a passion for upper extremity rehabilitation and treatment. Gus recently rejoined STAR and is excited to continue pursuing hand therapy. In his leisure time, Gus enjoys traveling, barbecuing, and spending time with friends and family.
Brent Pekarski PT,DPT, CSCS, FMS, FMT is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Functional Movement Screen Certified, Fascial Movement Taping Level I & II Ceritified, a EXOS Performance Specialist. He received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from New York University and is licensed to practice physical therapy in New York and has gained valuable experience treating in multiple outpatient orthopedics and inpatient clinical settings.
An avid athlete his whole life, Brent has experienced his fair share of injuries playing sports. Since experiencing the positive impact of physical therapy as a patient, Brent decided his calling was to pursue a career in preventative and rehabilitative medicine.
Brent enjoys exercising, playing basketball soccer, listening to music and playing with dogs.