Kathy Mercuris, P.T., D.H.S.
Physical Therapy Clinic
Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
Certified in Neurodevelopmental Treatment Approach (C/NDT)
Certified in Tai Chi for Arthritis
Certified as Exercise Expert for Aging Adults (CEEAA)
What Attracted Me to Physical Therapy:
I knew that I wanted to be in a health field very early on. In 2nd grade we wrote a paper about what we wanted to do and, of course, I wanted to be a nurse. In junior high, I was watching the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon and they had a video clip of a child in braces walking in the parallel bars. I looked at my mom and announced that was what I wanted to do. I never deviated and physical therapy is still the only career I could imagine for myself.
My specialty is in neurologic rehabilitation with an interest in working with individuals post-stroke and with Parkinson’s disease, balance and vestibular dysfunction.
Conditions I Treat:
- Individuals at risk of falls
- Vestibular dysfunctions including benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and vestibular neuritis
How Physical Therapy Can Benefit Patients:
We know that the brain is “plastic” and through exercise and functional activities, it can lay down new pathways. This improves the person’s abilities and function and involves creativity in using “novel” movement patterns. This collaboration between the patient and me is challenging and fun. By working together, we are able to make progress toward the patient’s goals.
How I Spend My Free Time:
I enjoy reading, gardening, walking for exercise and watching TV (probably too much). I like to watch soccer (live and on TV).
I was fortunate to travel to Jamaica and participate in a week long stroke camp. The camp was located in the south part of Jamaica in a rural community. We were immersed in the culture and lived with host families. Working with the patients was a life-changing experience for me. Their faith was foremost in their outlook and motivation as they worked so hard to overcome the obstacles of the stroke.