Eric M. Connolly, PT, MSPT – President
Eric, a native of Salem, NH, graduated from Springfield College in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science degree and again in 1999 with a Master of Science degree in Physical Therapy. After beginning his career in home care, Eric joined Blackstone Valley Physical Therapy Services, Inc. in 2002 in the Church Street office. He became Vice President and co-owner in 2004 when the office moved back to Providence Road, and took over as President in 2011 with a focus on growth that was achieved in 2012 with the move to the Linwood Mill.
Eric has taken many continuing education courses in cervical spine and lumbar spine, as well as courses on the knee and shoulder. He specializes in orthopedics and manual therapy (including CranioSacral Therapy). He is a Graston Technique Preferred Provider in 2011, Selective Functional Movement Assessment certified in 2014 and became Titleist Performance Institute Certified in 2017.
Eric finds the most satisfaction returning his patients back to their activities, whether that is walking across the field, or returning to the field, court, or course.
Eric is an active member American Physical Therapy Association, as Treasurer of the Private Practice Section of the MA APTA and former Central Massachusetts Representative. He also worked as a teaching assistant at Northeastern University in their Physical Therapy program.
Eric enjoys spending time with his wife and 2 children. In his occasional spare time, you may be able to find Eric playing golf (ball or disc), but he will probably be found on the sideline of a youth sports game or working in his yard, listening to Jimmy Buffett.
Dr. Meaghan Young, PT, DPT – Staff Physical Therapist
Meaghan, a native from Long Island and attended Springfield College where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences in 2012 and then a Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2014. She also played collegiate volleyball for the 4 years while at Springfield College. After graduating she moved to Massachusetts and worked at New England Sinai Hospital in Stoughton. There, she worked with a variety of inpatients and outpatients with pulmonary and neurologic conditions for a little over a year. She joined Blackstone Valley Physical Therapy Services in 2015.
Meaghan is an active member of the APTA and is currently an Assembly Rep for the APTA of Massachusetts Central District Chapter. She has taken multiple continuing education courses from the North American Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy (NAIOMT) for the cervical and lumbar spine. She is also certified in the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA). She also is a Credentialed Clinical Instructor who assists teaching Physical Therapy Students hands on clinical skills to as a part of their graduation requirements. She enjoys working with patients of all ages and returning them to their daily activities, hobbies and sports.
In her spare time, she can be found enjoying time with her family, hiking, camping, taking yoga classes or making homemade wine.
Dr. Nicole Studwell, PT, DPT – Staff Physical Therapist
Dr. Studwell grew up in a small town in Whippany, New Jersey. She attended The University of Scranton, graduating in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise Science. Nicole then went on to graduate school, attending Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University in Worcester, MA receiving her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2016. She received the Excellence in Clinical Education Award and was inducted into the Physical Therapy Pro Bono National Honor Society. Nicole gained clinical experience throughout her time in graduate school with multiple clinical rotations including her first one at BVPTS.
Nicole is an American Physical Therapy Association member and she is excited to continue building her manual skills and techniques through continuing education courses. She became certified in the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) Course in October 2017. She is taking a manual therapy and self-care strategies course in February 2018 and Spinal Mobility in July 2018.
She looks forward to being able to help all types of patients get back to their optimal level of function and fulfill their goals. Nicole enjoys playing basketball and softball, hiking, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family.
Dr. Matthew Styf, PT, DPT, CSCS – Staff Physical Therapist
Matt, a native of Michigan, attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI graduating in 2012 with a degree in Physical Education with a concentration in Exercise Science. Matt pursued his degree in physical therapy at MCPHS University in Worcester, MA where he graduated from in 2016 with his Doctorate in Physical Therapy. He joined the staff at BVPTS in August of 2016. Since beginning his professional career he has taken classes in Functional Movement consisting of the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) and the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA). He completed the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) Level 1 course in October of 2017 and is looking forward to assisting golfers improve their game. He has been a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA since 2012 and has also taken a course in weightlifting performance through the NSPA. He enjoys working with patients of all ages to help them return to their daily and recreational activities without pain and improved ability to move.
In his spare time, Matt enjoys skiing, rock climbing, golfing, hiking and camping as well as sampling the local craft beer market. Outside of work he can usually be found spending time with his wife and daughter or doing the next house project on the list. He also enjoys attending and watching sporting events, especially the Michigan Wolverines.
Laurie Brenner, MSPT – Staff Physical Therapist
Laurie graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 1997 with a Master’s of Science in Physical Therapy and has been working in the region for the past 20 years and has a variety of clinical experiences. Laurie has worked in several outpatient orthopedics and rehabilitation settings with clients varying in age from 18 months to 95 years old. Laurie has provided treatment for people with pre- and post-operative orthopedic and sports injuries, traumatic injuries, and neurologic conditions. Laurie has attended numerous continuing education courses including the Female Athlete, Kinesiology Taping (KT), Neuromuscular Massage, Muscle Energy Techniques, NDT, Myofascial Release (MFR) and is a certified Graston Technique® practitioner. She focuses her treatments on manual therapy, functional strengthening and patient communication. When Laurie is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter and their dogs doing anything outdoors.
Marcia Witkus, Physical Therapy Assistant
Marcia is a Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant with 19 years experience helping clients meet their rehabilitation goals in the Outpatient, Inpatient and Sub-Acute setting. Her specialty and interest is in the area of Aquatic PT with 17 years of experience. Marcia has worked with clients ranging from the pediatric to elderly population with a variety of diagnoses. Her clients have been very successful in reaching their goals for improved function, mobility, strength and endurance using the water as a treatment method. She is very excited to start working with clients in the new Aquatic PT program offered by Blackstone Valley Physical Therapy Services at the Whitin Community Center!
Marcia holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and an A.S. from Springfield Technical Community College, Springfield. She is also a current certified AFAA group exercise instructor, MADD DOG spinning and TRX (suspension training) instructor. She currently teaches Spin, TRX and water aerobics classes at the Whitin Community Center. Her interests include swimming, running and cycling for fitness, and supporting her daughter’s swimming and husband’s cycling.
Julie graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and then earned her Master’s in Education at Worcester State University. She has over 20 years of coaching experience in the cheerleading industry. She has trained at all levels including youth, high school and collegiate athletes. Julie is a Certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor through the American Council on Exercise (ACE). She currently trains clients in the Worcester area and is excited to join the team at Blackstone Valley Physical Therapy where she can continue to focus on integrative functional training. Her goal is to develop both individualized training and small group programs that will promote a healthy, active lifestyle and provide clients with the opportunity to achieve their strength training and fitness goals. Julie enjoys weight lifting and HIIT workouts. When she’s not at work she loves being home and spending time, outside, with her husband and 2 boys playing football, basketball and home run derby!
Gail Starzyk – Office/Physical Therapy Aide
Diana Whittier – Office/Physical Therapy Aide
Meaghan O’Rourke – Office/Physical Therapy Aide
Hannah M – Office/Physical Therapy Aide
Jill Restagno – Office Manager
Jill Restagno grew up in Worcester, MA. Previous to joining the BVPTS team, Jill was a Manager in the Dental Field Industry for twenty years. Excited with the opportunity for change; Jill brings forth her managerial skills with attention to detail, problem solving, and her warm patient rapport. She looks forward to establishing patient relationships and assisting to resolve any questions or concerns you may have.
When Jill isn’t working at BVPTS, you may find her “Rockin’ & Rollin’ on stage as lead vocalist for her band, “BitterSuite.” Jill also enjoys golf, the N.E. Patriots, and creating some of her gourmet recipes in the kitchen for her husband, family & friends. We mustn’t forget her love for animals, especially her two kids with paws…Brady & Bruschi.