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Certified Hand Therapist/Hand Therapist Specialist

We have Certified Hand Therapists/ Hand Therapy Specialists available at our Clinton, Gaithersburg,  Rockville ,  Rosedale/ White Marsh,  and Waldorf Locations.

Ann Marie Digrolamo, OT (Rosedale/ White Marsh Center)

Ann Marie graduated with her master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Her undergraduate studies include a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in Business from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. Through her clinical training, she gained knowledge in the outpatient and inpatient settings while treating adults experiencing neurological and orthopedic injuries. Ann Marie has a special interest in hand therapy and looks forward to advancing her skills in this specialty through becoming a Certified Hand Therapist. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, outdoor activities, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle through daily exercise.

Derek Douglas, OT (Waldorf Center)

Derek graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science degree from Towson University. He went on to earn a Master of Science in Occupation Therapy from Columbia University. His previous experiences led him to pursue specializing in hand therapy. Derek joined Active Physical Therapy in September 2019 with a plan to obtain his Certification in Hand Therapy. He values providing stellar care and making each visit a positive experience. In his spare time, Derek enjoys playing sports, working out, and travelling.

Elise Olson, OTR/L (ClintonCenter)

Elise is from Madison, Wisconsin and attended the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay through a soccer scholarship where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Human Biology with an emphasis in Exercise Science. She then received her Master’s in Occupational Therapy at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2017. While in attendance, she gained experience in a hand and upper extremity clinic which ultimately inspired her to pursue a career in hand therapy. She has experience working in outpatient and acute care settings across multiple hospitals in Wisconsin and is motivated to earn her Certification in Hand Therapy.

Outside of the clinic, Elise enjoys hiking, watching movies, listening to podcasts, and watching Packers Football in the fall.

Elvis Hernandez, OT (Rockville Center)

Elvis Hernandez is an occupational therapist from Silver Spring, Maryland. I graduated from the University of Maryland in 2011 with a Bachelor's of Science in Kinesiology and later from Howard University with a Master's degree in Occupational therapy in 2015. I have experience working in various skilled nursing facilities with the geriatric population, helping those who have suffered from varying conditions return home to prior levels of independence. I have a special interest in hand therapy and I am working towards obtaining my certified hand therapy license. During my free time I enjoy watching movies and playing soccer.

Nazira Afrin MS, OTR/L (Gaithersburg Center)

Nazira Afrin completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Anthropology from City University of NY Queens College. She then earned her Master’s in Occupational Therapy from Bay Path University in Massachusetts. She has developed clinical experience in pediatrics, EI, geriatrics, homecare, and orthopedic diagnosis.  She has specialized training in dementia care, falls prevention, PAMs, and applied behaviour analysis.  Nazira’s therapeutic philosophy entails customized, quality patient care and implementing evidence-based treatment to ensure best practice. She continues sharpening her skills through courses.  In her spare time, she enjoys running, weight-lifting, practising yoga, travelling, and cooking.

Sam Dovelle, OTR/L, CHT (Laurel Center)

Sam completed his degree in Occupational Therapy in 1976 at Eastern Michigan University. Soon after receiving his certification in the American Occupational Therapy Association, he began his career in the United States Army Medical Specialist Corp. in orthopedic rehabilitation with a focus in hand therapy. His interest in hand therapy and the academic influences of two major army medical centers provided the opportunity to research and publish journal articles in tendon rehabilitation. He has also published many case studies in hand therapy and orthotic design that were presented internationally and continue to be referenced in medical journals. Sam has lectured nationally on the topic, “Rehabilitation Following Micro-Neurovascular Surgery of the Hand” for the American Occupational Therapy Association. Throughout his career he has been dedicated to promoting hand therapy. He continues to sponsor occupational and physical therapists in their pursuit of hand therapy certification and remains committed to providing the hand therapy that he would expect to receive himself.

Trisha Whittaker, MOT, OTR/L, CHT (Clinton Center)

Trisha has over 8 years of experience as a Registered Occupational Therapist. She is a graduate of Saint Francis University for both her bachelor and master degrees. In 2010-2011, Trisha attended Drexel University and received a certificate in the Hand and Upper Quarter Rehabilitation. She then received her Certification in Hand Therapy in 2012. Trisha has experience in outpatient, acute and subacute rehabilitation. She has experience in working with a variety of ages and diagnoses.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, dancing, and watching movies.

Active PT Certified Hand Therapist MD