Brigina Wilkerson is a physical therapist with OrthoTennessee. She received a bachelor’s degree in education with a minor in biology from the University of Tennessee Knoxville in 1988 and a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis in 1990 where she also completed post-graduate work. She received her Manual Therapy Certification from the University of St. Augustine in Florida in 1997.
Brigina has practiced physical therapy in East Tennessee since 1990 and has experience in acute care, home health, nursing home, outpatient orthopaedic and sports medicine.
“My practice especially has been focused in outpatient orthopaedic and the sports medicine arena over the past 14 years,” Brigina says.
She says her role in the clinic is the clinical site coordinator for operations at the West location. She manages both physical therapy and occupational therapy services. In addition to her administrative functions, she also performs a clinical role performing initial musculoskeletal evaluations and testing, sets up treatment plans to address mechanical or functional limitations, carries out therapeutic intervention, and assesses the ongoing effect of the intervention. She also supervises support staff.
“I became a physical therapist because I enjoy interacting with people,” Brigina says. “I was an athlete and experienced it first hand.”
What she enjoys most about her job is interacting with staff and seeing the end result of an individual returning to the highest functional level—whether it’s work related or the result of a sport or recreational activity.
She has served as an adjunct faculty member in the physical therapy assistant programs at Walters State and Roane State Community Colleges. She is a member of the physical therapy committee for the state licensing board.
She is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, the Tennessee Physical Therapy Association, an instructor for the American Red Cross, and is a volunteer with various community organizations.
In her spare time, Brigina enjoys traveling, athletics, golf, scuba diving, fly fishing, and spending time with her family—“especially my nephews.”
She is a member of the state licensing board and current chair.
Shane Fulmer is the Director of Hand Therapy and an occupational therapist with OrthoTennessee. He received a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy from Eastern Kentucky University, completed a hand therapy fellowship in Houston in 1998 and received the hand therapy certification in 1999.
An occupational therapist since 1992, Shane enjoys having the opportunity to improve the daily functioning of individuals in need.
“I like to meet new people, Shane says, “and my role is to assist in returning you to your prior level of functioning.”
In his spare time, Shane likes to be home with his family. He has two daughters, Madison, 10 and Sidney, seven.
Suzanne graduated from East Carolina University in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy. Primarily a neurotherapist for the first 12 years of her career, she worked with stroke, brain injury and spinal injury patients. In 2003, she centered her focus on orthopaedics and specifically on issues related to the spine. Suzanne is currently working towards a Certification in Manual Therapy from the University of St. Augustine with plans to be completed in the spring of 2014.
In her spare time, Suzanne enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with family and friends.
Andrea McDowell is a physical therapy assistant with OrthoTennessee. She received an associate’s degree from Roane State Community College and is a licensed physical therapy assistant.
Andrea has been a physical therapy assistant since 2004. She describes her role in the clinic as carrying out treatment programs to get patients back to doing what they enjoy and improving their quality of life.
“I became a physical therapy assistant because I enjoy working with people and helping them through the recovery process,” Andrea says.
In her spare, time she enjoys spending time with her family. She is married and has three daughters and one stepson.
Doug Merrifield is an athletic trainer with Knoxville Orthopaedic Clinic. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Western Washington State University and a Master of Science in Physical Education with a specialization in Sports Medicine from the University of Washington. He is a certified member of the National Athletic Trainers Association.
Doug has been a certified athletic trainer since 1980, and for the first several years of his career he was employed as team trainer at the minor league level for the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle Mariners, Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays. Doug has been working with Knoxville Orthopaedic Clinic for the past 20 years. He has covered Lenoir City High School in a clinical outreach capacity for the past four years.
In his spare time, Doug enjoys watching sporting events and working with the Boy Scouts.
Lee graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Occupational Therapy and has worked in orthopaedics in hand therapy for 24 years.
She started her career at KOC in 1986 and received her hand certification in 1991.
Lee choose a career in therapy after spending time observing her sister treat patients in a renowned clinic in Hartford, Connecticut.
She enjoys treating a variety of patient orthopaedic diagnoses from hand to shoulder, especially more complex trauma and loves the creativity and outcomes that dynamic splinting can bring to the table. She enjoys the teamwork of a challenging case and is never surprised by how well a motivated patient can do given a great doctor/surgeon and some good instruction.
Lee, originally from Vancouver, BC and her husband Tilden, from Chicago have called Oak Ridge their home since 1985. They have 3 children, one each in high school, college and grad school. In her spare time Lee loves spending time with her family, traveling, doing home projects, cooking and creating pieces of “art”.
As a young child, Ashley remembers being intrigued by watching her grandfather during his home health physical therapy. This curiosity was strengthened during her outpatient orthopaedic affiliation therefore leading her to choose a career path of physical therapy following graduation at Roane State.
Ashley enjoys meeting with new people and helping them return to work and daily activities that were once difficult. She specifically enjoys assisting athletes in returning to competitive levels of play and joint replacement patients return to their highest level of function.
Ashley enjoys spending her spare time outdoors playing with her dogs as well as hiking and biking. She also enjoys spending time with family and cooking.
Cathy Shope is a physical therapist with OrthoTennessee. She received a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from the University of Tennessee and a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from the UT Health Science Center in Memphis.
Cathy has been a physical therapist since 1982. She says her role in the clinic is to specialize in all aspects of orthopaedic treatments and rehabilitation including industrial medicine. She works with patients injured at work and strives to return them to enjoying life again.
“I decided to become a physical therapist when I was in middle school after going to a physical therapy session with my dad,” Cathy says. “He just had hand surgery and they helped him return to work and playing golf.”
What she enjoys most about her job is working with people and seeing patients quickly return to work.
In her spare time, Cathy enjoys being on the lake, waterskiing in the summer and snow skiing in the winter. She has two teenage sons—one attending Tennessee Wesleyan College and the other attending Farragut High School.
Tommi Stubbs is a physical therapist with OrthoTennessee. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy from the Medical College of Virginia.
Tommi has been a physical therapist since 1974 and describes her clinical role as evaluation and treatment of orthopaedic conditions to enable patients to return to work or sports in a timely fashion.
“I became a physical therapist because I wanted to work with the public and thought physical therapy would be a very rewarding career. What I enjoy most about my job is patient interaction.”
In her spare time, Tommi enjoys walking, reading and traveling with family.
David Whaley is a physical therapy assistant with OrthoTennessee. He received an associate’s degree from Walters State Community College and is a licensed physical therapy assistant.
David has been a physical therapy assistant since 2001. He says his role in the clinic is to assist therapists in carrying out the plan of care for patients.
“I became a physical therapy assistant to help people return to activity, sports and recreation,” David says. “What I enjoy most about my work is helping people.”
In his spare time, David enjoys watching sports and hiking.