About Us

Our Story

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.

Our Team

All clinicians are Licensed in the State of Pennsylvania

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Founder, Owner,

Physical Therapist

Jessica Neiss, MPT
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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!

Therapy
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PT, Yoga Instructor

Lisa Minn, DPT
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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®).

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Occupational Therapist

Leigh Ann Ducoeur
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Leigh is an Occupational Therapist with over 20 years of experience in a variety of settings including geriatrics, pediatrics, outpatient, home care, and mental health. The majority of her experience has been in the home care setting. She holds personal training certifications from both ACE & NASM. Other certifications include PWR! (Parkinson's Wellness Recovery), Senior Fitness Specialist and Otago Exercise, Dementia Practitioner through the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners, and Certified Health Coach from The Dr. Sears Institute of Health. Leigh is also a Certified Aging in Place specialist and will help you adapt your home to meet the current or changing needs of you and your family. Through the years, Leigh has developed a passion for working with Older Adults. Leigh's desire is to keep older adults in their own homes and as healthy, safe, and independent as possible. Her areas of expertise include Neurological conditions including ALS, MS and Parkinson's, Dementia, COPD and cardiac conditions, generalized arthritis, and deconditioning.

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Home-based PT

Nanami Mano, DPT
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Nanami received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Slippery Rock University (SRU) in May 2021 and completed residency training to specialize in Geriatric Physical Therapy with UPMC until December 2022. She has experience in various PT settings along the continuum of care. Nanami's passion includes working with the older adult population to promote independence/higher quality of life, mental/cognitive health awareness, vestibular rehabilitation, and caring for individuals with neurological disorders. She is also an adjunct faculty at the University of Pittsburgh in the Physical Therapy School and continues to be involved with SRU's DPT program.

Exercise Instructors
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PT, Personal Trainer

Diane Markovitz, PT

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Diane enjoyed working in various Physical Therapy settings for years but was always frustrated by the lack of resources for clients after they finished one on one therapy. She started developing and teaching group exercise classes for Older Adults in 2020 to fill this gap, and has never been happier or more satisfied while working as a PT! She believes that no matter one’s limitations, all can and deserve to feel stronger and more confident in their own bodies. Diane has taught group fitness classes throughout the Pittsburgh area and is thrilled to be a part of the To Life! team. She is certified in PWR! Moves for PD, Bone Fit, the Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program and On The Move. She has a degree in Physical Therapy from Marquette University.

Coming Soon

Tai Chi Instructor

Gurney Bolster
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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).

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PT, Tai Chi Instructor

Lori Kennah, DPT
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Lori loves teaching Tai Chi. In addition to working as a Physical Therapist for Older Adults for over 10 years, she enjoys adapting Tai Chi classes and private sessions to address clients’ goals regardless of their ability. Lori uses Tai Chi principles to address balance, strength, and mindfulness. Lori is a member of the Tai Chi for Health Institute and is certified to teach Tai Chi for Arthritis, Tai Chi for Fall Prevention, Seated Tai Chi for Arthritis, and Tai Chi for Rehabilitation. She has six years experience teaching Tai Chi classes both in the community and privately.

Massage Therapy
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Licensed Massage Therapist, PTA

Briana Pontius
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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.

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Master Certified Health & Wellness Coach

Marla Turnbull
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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.

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 Patient Advocate

Jeff Weinberg
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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

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General Manager

Jason Neiss
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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.