Our Therapists

Lois Carlson, OTR/L, CHT

Lois Carlson, a Certified Hand Therapist, is the Director and Founder of Hand Therapy at The Hand Center.   She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from William Smith College in Geneva, New York.   Prior to working at The Hand Center, she was a pediatric occupational therapist, with experience in the treatment of children with congenital hand differences and upper extremity prosthetic training.   Specific areas of interest include Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and evidence based practice.

Ms. Carlson, in conjunction with H. Kirk Watson, MD, developed the Stress Loading protocol for treatment of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome or CRPS (also known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy or RSD), with multiple publications and presentations nationally and internationally.  She has numerous other publications and presentations on topics including treatment of the wrist, fractures, nerve injuries, volar plate avulsion injuries, cumulative trauma, evaluation, anatomy of the hand, progression of surgical scars, thenar muscle testing in carpal tunnel syndrome, and splinting. She was editor of “A Basic Guide to Research,” served on the Editorial Review Board for the Journal of Work, and continues to review papers for the Journal of Hand Therapy.  She has previously been an instructor at the University of Hartford, Quinnipiac College and Manchester Community College.

Roxanne Dunwoody, PT, CHT

Roxanne Dunwoody, a Certified Hand Therapist, has been with The Hand Center for over 20 years.  She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut.  Areas of particular interest to Ms. Dunwoody include manual edema mobilization and postural re-education.

Ms. Dunwoody has presented to professionals on a regional level on provocative testing of the wrist. Prior clinical experience includes treatment of patients in a general outpatient orthopedic setting.

Deborah Pankonin, OTR/L, CHT

Deborah Pankonin, a Certified Hand Therapist, has been with The Hand Center for over 20 years. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Quinnipiac College in Hamden, Connecticut, and a Master of Arts degree in Human Development/Gerontology from St. Joseph’s College in West Hartford, Connecticut.   Specific areas of interest to Ms. Pankonin include Dupuytren’s contracture, treatment of elbow conditions and geriatrics.

Ms. Pankonin is a published co-author of a study on the results of treatment of thumb carpometacarpal (CMC) osteoarthritis.  She has presented to professionals on a regional level on provocative testing of the wrist.  Prior clinical experience includes treatment of patients with orthopedic conditions in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

Christine Pereira, OTR/L, CHT

Christine Pereira, a Certified Hand Therapist, has been with The Hand Center for over 10 years.  She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Quinnipiac College in Hamden, Connecticut and a Master of Science degree in Education from the University of New Haven in New Haven, Connecticut.  Specific areas of interest include carpometacarpal (CMC) arthritis, computer-related ergonomics and rheumatoid arthritis.

Ms. Pereira is a published co-author of a journal article on hand therapy management of the rheumatoid wrist.   She has also presented to professionals on a regional level on treatment of CMC arthritis of the thumb, and to the geriatric community on hand problems and treatment.  She is multilingual, speaking Polish fluently, and is able to communicate effectively in Spanish.   Prior clinical experience includes treatment of patients with upper extremity conditions in an outpatient setting, as well as pediatric therapy services within a school setting.

Jan Soares, OTR/L, CHT

Jan Soares, a Certified Hand Therapist, has been with The Hand Center since 2006. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy, with a minor in Psychology, from the University of Hartford in West Hartford, Connecticut.  Areas of particular interest to Ms. Soares include extensor tendon rehabilitation, treatment for mallet finger, complex trauma and nerve injuries.

Ms. Soares has taught splinting (orthotics) at Baypath College.  She is a published co-author of a paper on the management of ulnar sided wrist pain and distal radioulnar joint arthritis, and has presented to professionals on a regional level on treatment post revascularization and mallet finger.  She is able to communicate effectively in Spanish.  Prior experience includes treatment of upper extremity conditions in an outpatient setting.

Pamela Wilson, OTR/L, CHT

Pamela Wilson, a Certified Hand Therapist, has been with The Hand Center for over 25 years.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Quinnipiac College in Hamden, Connecticut and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire.   Areas of particular interest to Ms. Wilson include ergonomics, on-site industrial consultation, and wrist and forearm conditions.

Ms. Wilson has taught several therapy-related courses in Connecticut, including Work-Related Programming at the University of Hartford and Anatomy at Quinnipiac College.  She is a published author of  journal articles related to cumulative trauma, exercise and job modification in industry,  served on the Editorial Review Board for “Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation,”  and was the Connecticut Occupational Therapy Association’s Work Programs Liaison to the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).  Ms. Wilson has also presented at professional conferences on a regional and national level on industrial rehabilitation and prevention programs, and to the local community on wellness and prevention of upper extremity injury.

alEXANDRIA lEWIs-CoLLINS, OTR/L

Alexandria "Allie" Lewis-Collins, a Certified Occupational Therapist, is the newest member of our therapy team.  She earned a Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy, including a hand therapy specialty affiliation, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Springfield College.  As a former competitive figure skater, areas of particular interest to her include treatment of sports-related trauma and over-use injuries.

Joshua McAuliffe, COTA/L

Josh McAuliffe, a Certified Occupational  Therapy Assistant, earned an Occupational Therapy Assistant Associate of Applied Science degree from Lincoln College of New England in Southington, Connecticut.  Areas of particular interest to him include activity adaptation, work conditioning and job modification and analysis.  Prior experience includes treatment of geriatric patients within a skilled nursing facility environment.   Josh is currently accepted into a Master’s Degree program in Occupational Therapy at the New England Institute of Technology.

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Therapy Fax - 860.652.8411

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