Jessica Neiss founded To Life! in 2015 to bridge the gap between traditional outpatient Physical Therapy and the gym. Oftentimes, she found that once her patients were discharged, they had nowhere to go to continue working toward their goals. Most gyms were impersonal, and many people felt intimidated to start exercising on their own. Jessica spent many a day at her local gym watching people exercise with dangerous form or participate in inappropriate classes.
Jessica recognized the gap in the healthcare system between rehab and wellness and wanted to create a safe place to fill it. She wanted PTs to remain central to the healthcare continuum from the acute phase all the way through the maintenance phase due to their specialized training.
Jessica believes that continued exercise can help Older Adults people with Chronic Neuro Impairments beat frailty, get strong, feel balanced, and tackle their lives with confidence and vigor! These populations could make gains; they just needed more time. To Life! first operated as a mobile Physical Therapy practice, serving the broader Pittsburgh area.
In June 2022, To Life! opened its doors, starting a new era of in-person service. Jessica has assembled a team of like-minded clinicians and experts, all inspired to help this population. Our mission is to create a one-stop therapy and wellness center, a community where people of all ages and abilities can exercise and work towards their goals with the help of Physical Therapists and other allied health professionals. The gym is wheelchair accessible and the specialized classes are catered towards all clients’ special needs.
All clinicians are Licensed in the State of Pennsylvania
Jessica Neiss, MPT
Jessica has a passion for helping Older Adults and people with Chronic Disabilities to maximize the enjoyment in their lives. She has 20 years of experience and loves the challenge of creating therapy and exercise programs for people of all abilities and ages. Jessica has prior experience as a Spinal Cord Injury Team Leader, Director of Neurorehab in an outpatient clinic. She is trained in Tai Chi for Rehab and Modern Management of the Older Adult, LSVT BIG for Parkinson’s Dz, and PWR! Moves for PD. She is also certified to teach the On The Move! Program which helps to improve coordination and walking. Most recently, she lived in London for two years where she worked as a Neuro Rehab Consultant for an Orthopaedic Outpatient Clinic. She is an adjunct faculty member of the University of Pittsburgh Physical Therapy school and has served as a student teaching assistant for the Geriatric Rehabilitation and Patient Management courses for several years. She is so excited to help you live your life with vigor, confidence, strength and balance!
Physical Therapist, Yoga Instructor
Lisa Minn, DPT
Lisa has over 20 years of experience and has worked with a range of clients from those learning to regain basic functions such as walking or rising out of a chair to injured professional and recreational athletes. She has worked in Washington DC, West Virginia and San Francisco and volunteered in hospitals in Peru and health clinics in Honduras. She became a licensed Physical Therapist in 1998 and a registered Yoga Teacher in 2005. She attended Duke University for an M.S. in Physical Therapy and received a Doctorate in Physical Therapy after completing online studies with the Institute of Health Professions at Massachusetts General Hospital. In 2020 she earned a certification in Medical Therapeutic Yoga, which is the use of yoga in/as healthcare and self-care, at Living Well Institute (formerly Professional Yoga Therapy Institute®).
Sarah is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program. She has 8 years of clinical experience treating patients in the acute care and inpatient rehabilitation settings at large hospital systems in Pittsburgh, PA and in Denver, CO. As a board certified Neurologic Physical Therapist, Sarah has a passion for caring for clients with neurologic disorders, balance problems, and complex medical diagnoses. She is also trained in Modern Management of the Older Adult. Sarah has a special interest in adaptive recreation; in 2017 she received grant funding to start an adaptive fishing program for patients recovering from spinal cord injury and throughout 2021/22 she volunteered time with a Track Chair program, which allows people of all abilities access to hiking trails. Together with the team of expert therapists and allied health professionals at To Life!, Sarah is eager to help her clients meet their functional goals.
Jennifer brings a holistic approach to practicing physical therapy in order to facilitate healing and help individuals meet their functional goals and maximize their quality of life. Prior to joining To Life! Therapy and Wellness, Jennifer practiced physical therapy for more than 20 years at the Jewish Association on Aging. She has many years of experience helping older adults in areas including orthopedics, pain management, gait and balance, and conditioning. Jennifer specializes in using a variety of therapeutic interventions including microcurrent point stimulation (MPS) for pain management and scar release therapy as well as John Barnes myofascial release techniques. Outside of work, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her husband and two college-aged kids, traveling as well as taking daily walks in Frick Park with her dog Milo. Jennifer is excited to join the To Life! community.
Bryton achieved her Masters in Occupational Therapy from the University of New England in 2018. Since graduating, her career has focused on helping people with neurologic diagnoses achieve their rehab goals and reach their fullest potential. She received her Multiple Sclerosis Specialist Certification in 2020. She loves the opportunities occupational therapy provides her to learn about the most important aspects of her client’s lives and problem solve ways to make these things accessible to them again. A New Jersey native, Bryton loves spending time at the beach, hiking with her dogs, Bailey and Goose or trying new foods around the city.
Tai Chi Instructor
Gurney began studying Tai Chi with Sifu Lee Shiu Pak in 1978 while pursuing a dance career in Montreal. For nearly 20 years she taught in the contemporary dance departments of the Université du Québec and Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, enjoying many opportunities to perform, teach and train with a wide variety of dance and movement professionals. Her formal training includes a Master of Arts in Dance/Movement Therapy from Antioch University and certifications in Somatic Education from the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies and the School for Body-Mind Centering. For the past 15 years she has concentrated on Tai Chi and Qigong studies with many different teachers. She is particularly grateful for the in-depth instructor trainings with Dr. Paul Lam, MD (Tai Chi for Health Institute), Dr. Yang Yang, PhD (Wa-Qi, Center for Taiji and Qigong Studies) and Lee Holden, L.Ac (Holden Qigong).
Licensed Massage Therapist, PTA
Briana started practicing physical therapy in 2012. Through facilitating pain relief treatments for her patients, she found touch to be an effective tool. That is when she became interested in studying the benefits of touch, and she became a Licensed Massage Therapist in 2018. On her journey she has been drawn to different healing modalities. These have supported her in working at a mind, body, and soul level. She has participated in training from John Barnes Myofascial Release, Upledger CranioSacral Therapy and Reiki from the American Reiki Master Association. She has found that combining energy work with other modalities such as physical therapy or chiropractic work aides in the overall healing process for an individual. She has a deep appreciation for art, music, literature and all the phenomena of nature. She enjoys traveling, hiking, photography and am fascinated by learning about different cultures. Learning more about how people celebrate life inspires her. She comes with an open heart, feeling that every human deserves compassion and empathy. Her soul purpose is to guide others in ways of creating a self-sustaining temple within and to bring awareness back to self. She is grateful for all of the opportunities that have led her to become who she is today.
Master Certified Health & Wellness Coach
Marla is a health care champion and advocate who will contend for your health. She is passionate about working in person or virtually, with those who are ready to develop healthy lifestyle changes, either privately or in groups. Marla overcame a major sepsis infection in 2020 by healing her body, mind and spirit naturally. Marla is a Master Certified Holistic Health & Wellness Coach and a certified tobacco cessation facilitator through the American Lung Association. Marla serves on the University of Pittsburgh Stakeholder Advisory Board for Sepsis and Pneumonia, National Aging in Place Council and is a Member of the United Way of Southwest Pennsylvania Women's Leadership Council. She has been nominated on the National level to sit on the Technical Expert Panel on Older Adult Food Security & Malnutrition. She is a Consultant & Program Beta Tester for Living Plate RX. Marla will become a National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach in December 2022. Her services include individual & group coaching, 60 or 90 day plans, tobacco cessation & Meal Planning. She would be honored to join you on your journey to greater health.
An advocate is a person who represents and works with the family and their loved one to help navigate the bureaucratic maze of healthcare. An advocate protects the rights of patients at home, hospital or nursing home. Advocates provide these services through care management, which includes: * A comprehensive medical and psychosocial assessment * Developing a Plan of Care * Monitoring the Plan of Care Jeff Weinberg has 25 years of experience in healthcare and long-term care: * Planned, implemented and directed a number of programs, including a geriatric assessment out-patient clinic, skilled and rehabilitation services and a continuum of care for senior services * Master’s degrees in Counseling and Health Administration * Licensed Nursing Home Administrator in Pennsylvania and Florida * Adjunct instructor for CCAC and Penn State University * Member of the Monroeville Chamber of Commerce, Twilight Wish Foundation in Allegheny County, and has become a champion for early detection for Alzheimer’s * Founding Board Member of Steel Valley Services for Aging (New Heritage, Inc.) * Member of the National Alliance for Aging in Place
Jason is always up for a new challenge. Having worked in engineering then in software product management, he understands what makes a great product, service, and business - large or small. He's taking his skills as a business generalist to help establish and grow To Life! Therapy and Wellness as an inspiring small business that creates community and spreads healthy living. Jason has engineering degrees from Penn State University and the University of Michigan, and he earned his MBA at Carnegie Mellon University.