Our Leadership

Dr. Michael Furtado profile image

Michael Furtado, PT, DPT, EdD

Board Certified Neurological Clinical Specialist

Department Chair, Associate Professor

Bio

Dr. Furtado is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy in the School of Health Professions at HSC. He is a graduate of the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor of Science in pre-physical therapy and Master of Science in physical therapy in 2006. He later earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Boston University while he was a practicing physical therapist. He graduated with a Doctorate of Education in Health Professions from AT Still University.

In his early career, Dr. Furtado worked as a staff physical therapist for TIRR Memorial Hermann Outpatient Rehabilitation in Houston, Texas, serving in leadership positions such as the Center Coordinator of Clinical Education and Senior Physical Therapist, creating vestibular and balance programs in sports concussion and military veterans. He specializes in vestibular rehabilitation and in managing the recovery of amputees but is recognized for his expertise through the American Physical Therapy Association as a Board Certified Neurological Clinical Specialist, with experience treating all types of neurological injuries.

Dr. Furtado served as an Associate Professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch, where he was Admissions Chair and primary faculty for neuroscience and neurological clinical management. He was also the Founding Program Director for the Hybrid track DPT program. His professional accolades include various teaching and clinical awards with authorship in several peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, and numerous poster presentations. He has extensive experience with local, state, and national public speaking engagements. 

Leslie Ayres

Leslie Ayres, PT, DPT

Board Certified Specialist in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy

Assistant Professor, Director of Clinical Education

Bio

Dr. Ayres is a graduate of Angelo State University physical therapy school in 2008 and received her DPT from Hardin-Simmons University in 2012. She has 12 years of clinical experience practicing at Texas Health Resources Fort Worth where she developed her passion for cardiac and pulmonary care in the acute setting. She is a graduate of Brigham and Women’s Cardiovascular and Pulmonary residency program located in Boston, MA and a DPT Board Certified Specialist in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy. Dr. Ayres’ research interests include Generation Z students’ learning preferences and developing teaching strategies for Generation Z students. She currently serves as course director for cardiovascular and pulmonary content, integumentary physical therapy, and rural and underserved populations.

Heads Up

Mindy Brummett, PT, DPT, ScD

Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy

Assistant Professor, Director of Academic Education

Bio

Dr. Mindy Brummett is Director of Academic Education and an Assistant Professor at The University of North Texas Health Science Center. She has been the course director for Applied Anatomy and Kinesiology and Therapeutic Modalities in Physical Therapy since 2020.  Dr. Brummett graduated from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in 2009 with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She obtained her Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist in 2013 and earned her Doctor of Science in Rehabilitation Science from Texas Tech in 2023. Research interests are accuracy of information used in social media content and concussion management.

Jehad Alzyoud

Jehad Alzyoud, PT, MS, PhD

Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Neurologic Physical Therapy

Assistant Professor

Bio

Dr. Alzyoud received his Bachelors degree in Physical Therapy in 2005 from the Hashemite University in Jordan, his Masters degree in Physical Therapy from New York Institute of Technology in 2007, and his Ph.D. in Physical Therapy (with emphasis on neurology and neurological rehabilitation) from Texas Woman’s University in 2017. Dr. Alzyoud has a diverse clinical experience with more than 15 years working at extended rehab as well as acute care facilities across different countries and different states. Dr. Alzyoud’s research interests are largely directed towards understanding human balance, particularly learning how sitting balance impairment following neuromuscular injuries influences the recovery process and activity participation. His ultimate research goal is to assist people with neuromuscular disorders in developing new strategies to maximize their participation in functional activities and minimize the risk of fall. Dr. Alzyoud serves as director of Clinical Reasoning I, Neuromuscular I & II, and Movement control courses.

Marc Crawford Headshot

Marc T. Crawford, PT, MSPT

Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy

Assistant Professor

Bio

Dr. Crawford is an Assistant Professor for the Department of Physical Therapy. He is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, the University of Miami with a Master of Science in Physical Therapy, and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center with a Doctor of Science in Rehabilitation Sciences. He is a Board-Certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties and a Certified Orthopaedic Manual Therapist through the International Academy of Orthopaedic Medicine-US. Dr. Crawford’s research has focused on intradiscal pressure responses to posture, injury prevention, and tissue responses to orthopaedic evaluation and treatment. He is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, the Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists, and the APTA Academy of Education.

Graci Profheadshot

Graci Finco, PhD, CPO

Director, HSC Physical Health Biomechanics Lab and Limb Difference and Loss Lab

Assistant Professor

BIO

Dr. Graci Finco, is an Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy in the School of Health Professions at HSC. She also has a secondary appointment in Structural Anatomy and Rehabilitation Sciences within the School or Biomedical Sciences, where she earned her PhD in 2022. 

 

At HSC, she directs the Limb Loss and Difference Lab, where her research focuses on improving prosthetic care for people with limb loss (i.e. amputation etiology) and limb difference (i.e. congenital etiology). Her primary research directions are: 1) fall risk screening, 2) musculoskeletal health, and 3) perspectives on ethics, research, and technology. She also teaches courses in orthotics and prosthetics, as well as conducting clinical research. She is currently contracted with the Amputee Coalition as an External Evaluator to measure program improvement and is on the Board of Directors for the O&P Foundation, where she serves on the Research Committee. She has mentored a wide variety of students in clinical research, secured competitive funding, published manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals, and has been invited to speak at numerous national conferences. 

Elizabeth Garcia 2

Elizabeth Garcia, PT, DPT

Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Neurorehabilitation

Assistant Professor

Bio

Dr. Liz Garcia received her Bachelor’s from the University of Texas at Austin in 2008, and her Doctor of Physical Therapy from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in 2015. She teaches coursework in the Neurorehabilitation content area. She obtained her Neurorehabilitation Clinical Specialist certification from the APTA in 2020. She has treated in acute care and outpatient neurorehabilitation settings and focuses on vestibular rehabilitation. Prior to joining the HSC team, Dr. Garcia worked at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas and in the northwest Arkansas region. She is a member of the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy Item Writer Task Force.

Jeegisha Kaplia 1

Jeegisha Kapila, PT, DPT, PhD, MHS

Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor

Bio

Dr. Kapila is the course director of Gross Anatomy, Diagnostic Imaging, and Evidence-Based Practice II and assists with Applied Kinesiology, Musculoskeletal and Neuroscience. She obtained her Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Sciences with an academic emphasis on clinical science and biomechanics, and research emphasis on Dysfunction of the spine & extremities. Her research interest includes spine and shoulder dysfunctions, plantar fasciitis, ITB syndrome and shear wave elastography. Dr. Kapila worked primarily in an outpatient orthopedic setting and has 9 years of clinical experience.

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Beverly McNeal, DPT

ABPTS Board-Certified Geriatric Clinical Specialist Emeritus

Assistant Professor

Bio

Dr. McNeal is a graduate of Baylor University with a BS in Physical Education. She then received an entry-level MS PT degree from Texas Woman’s University and completed her post-professional DPT at Southwest Baptist University.

Her professional certifications include Board Certified Specialist in Geriatric Physical Therapy (GCS) and Certified Exercise Expert for Aging Adults (CEEAA). The majority of her clinical background has been in adult rehabilitation, focused on neurological and geriatric patients.

She has taught in PT education for the past 29 years, recently joining the faculty at HSC in the summer of 2023. Dr. McNeal has presented multiple posters and one platform at national PT Meetings, as well as teaching several formal continuing education courses internationally, all related to neurological and geriatric rehabilitation.  

Dr. McNeal has led many PT service-learning international trips to Peru, Haiti, and Ethiopia. She serves on the Board of Directors for Bethesda Medical Center in Cap Haitien, Haiti.

Charles Nichols 1

Charles Nichols, PT, DPT,  MEd, ScD

Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopedic Physical Therapy

Assistant Professor

Bio

Charles Nichols, PT, DPT, Sc.D. is an Assistant Professor for the Department of Physical Therapy. Dr. Nichols is the course director of the Musculoskeletal classes and Imaging class of the Physical Therapy program.

He is a Board Certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist (OCS) by the APTA, and a Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist (COMT) by Evidence in Motion and the International Academy of Orthopaedic Medicine-US along with a certification in Functional Dry Needling. 

Degrees: Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from Texas Tech University, Master of Education from the University of Texas at Tyler, Doctor of Physical Therapy from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, and Doctor of Science degree from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. 

Dr. Nichols is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists. 

Research interests include orthopedic examination, nutrition, and tissue mechanics/anatomy. 

Heads Up May 2018

Myles Quiben, PT, PhD, DPT, MS

Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Geriatric Physical Therapy, Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Neurologic Physical Therapy

Professor

Bio

Dr. Quiben serves as director of the clinical medicine series, cardiopulmonary physical therapy, and CAPSTONE courses. Dr. Quiben is a dual board-certified clinical specialist in Neurologic and Geriatric Physical Therapy (NCS, GCS), through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties, and is a Fellow of the APTA Education Leadership Institute, the National Academies of Practice, and the Texas Physical Therapy Association’s Leadership Program. She obtained her Ph.D. in Physical Therapy and post-professional Doctor of Physical Therapy from the University of Central Arkansas, Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of the Philippines, and MS in Clinical Investigation from the University of Texas Health Science Center, as part of her postdoctoral training in geriatric research.
An active member in many APTA components, Dr. Quiben’s current scholarly activities include geriatric outcome measures, movement systems, simulation, and interprofessional education, and therapeutic interventions for neurological populations.

Shelly Smith Web

Shelley Smith

Assistant to the Chair
Tikeya Calhoun 1

Tikeya Calhoun

Academic Program Coordinator
Mary Tejada 2[99]

Mary Tejada

Clinical Site Coordinator