The Center for Facial Recovery™ was co-founded and is led by two of the nation’s foremost experts in facial recovery therapies – Jodi Barth, PT, CCI, and Gincy Stezar, PTA, CCI. They take a unique, proven approach to treating the whole patient with a team of specialists who customize a facial treatment plan for each patient, which they have developed from decades of experience. They are co-creators of the Mirror Book™ and Face2Face™ app. In conjunction with Victor Ibrahim, M.D., they have developed the IBBS™ (Ibrahim, Barth, Stezar) procedure, a treatment technique for reducing facial synkinesis.
Jodi Maron Barth, PT, CCI, is one of only a handful of recognized Facial Palsy therapists in the United States. She is a licensed physical therapist with over 36 years of experience in the field of rehabilitation with a specialization in outpatient rehab. Jodi’s wide range of clinical experience has provided her with the tools, such as dry needling, Graded Motor Imagery, biofeedback, TMJ Rocabado techniques and extensive manual therapy training to perform in-depth, comprehensive physical therapy evaluations and treatments. She is a sought-after speaker nationally and internationally in the areas of TMJ, facial palsy, postural dysfunction and performance enhancement for the vocal artist.
Jodi is a published author and certified clinical instructor through the American Physical Therapy Association as well as a Faculty Research Assistant at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is a graduate of the Ithaca College PT program, and attended the Masters of Science program at Adelphi University in the area of exercise physiology.
Gincy Lockhart Stezar, PTA, CCI, is a licensed physical therapist assistant with 15 years of experience in the field of rehabilitation. She has collaborated over the last 13 years with Jodi Barth specializing in the field of facial neuromuscular retraining, postural restoration and TMJ dysfunction. Prior to that, Gincy worked for eight years at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center as the clinic fitness director.
Gincy has presented both nationally and internationally on facial palsy, Graded Motor Imagery and TMJ rehabilitation, and is a certified clinical instructor through the American Physical Therapy Association. She, too, is a Faculty Research Assistant at the University of Maryland, College Park. Gincy earned her Bachelor of Science degree in physical education from the University of Maryland, and an Associate’s degree in Applied Science as a physical therapist assistant at Montgomery College.
Carl Chua, PT, CCI, is a licensed physical therapist with over 13 years of experience working in the outpatient setting primarily in orthopedic and sports rehabilitation. Carl has a comprehensive treatment approach when it comes to his patients. He uses a multitude of interventions from Rocabado techniques for TMJ, facial neuromuscular retraining, strain counter strain, dry needling, muscle energy techniques, myofascial release, movement screens, functional strengthening and taping in addressing the various symptoms his patients to get them back to their full potential.
Carl is a graduate of the physical therapy program of the University of Santo Tomas. He is also certified clinical instructor through the American Physical Therapy Association.
Wellness “Life Hacks” and Insights with Carl Chua of the Center for Facial Recovery
Carl Chua, P.T., C.C.I., is a licensed rehabilitation professional with more than 13 years’ experience. He’s an American Physical Therapy Association certified clinical instructor and a graduate of the prestigious Physical Therapy Program of the University of Santo Tomas.
- Carl, in your professional opinion, what makes the CFFR an exceptional place to receive treatment?
I believe our center is truly a center for recovery. Our clinicians’ sole focus is the patient and getting them on the road to recovery. We develop partnerships with our patients with the solitary goal of providing them with a comprehensive treatment plan that will improve their lives no matter what it takes. No matter what you come in for, we’ll evaluate you from head to foot, examining the interplay between the various systems of your body. We’ll create a treatment plan with you and coordinate your care with our team of specialists.
- What’s the most exciting moment of progress you’ve seen a patient make through their treatment at the CFFR?
I had a patient who had many TMJ/neck/shoulder issues for years and was completely incapacitated. She wasn’t able to engage in any activities with her young son and daughter. After a few treatments, she told me, “You’ve changed my life. I really didn’t think this was possible.” She was able to get back to going to her kids’ field trips, soccer games, and just playing with them.
- What’s your #1 “life hack” for people to avoid the types of issues/symptoms that your patients experience?
Please stop hanging your head down to look at your phone screen! Always bring your phone up to your face instead. This takes the weight of your head off of your neck, helping to prevent and ease neck and shoulder strain. Always be mindful of how you move! Move well and move often.
- What do you believe are the top three “keys to wellness?”
I believe everyone should seek the knowledge to prevent illness, the personal drive to improve themselves, and the patience to persevere.
- What makes you a great physical therapist?
What sets me apart from other therapists is that I’ve immersed myself in a variety of approaches from all around the world. I’ve identified the best attributes of each technique and combine them in my treatments. I also continuously develop my skills to listen and empathize with every one of my patients.
- You use Rocabado techniques in treating TMJ symptoms. For those who haven’t heard of Rocabado, what is it and how effective is it?
Mariano Rocabado is the guru of TMJ treatment. The techniques he introduced and continuously improves make him the best at what he does. Rocabado has provided me with a great foundation and I use a variety of techniques that I determine to best suit each patient following my evaluation of them.
- Carl, you seem extremely committed to your patients’ well-being and pretty driven professionally, what do you do for your own fun and relaxation?
I enjoy spending time with my wife and two young sons. We try out different cuisines, whether it be something we cook at home or discovering a new restaurant. It’s mostly the former than the latter though since the boys came along!
Emily Perlman, MS, LGPC, BCB, SMC-C is a “fellow” with the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance as well as a certified stress management consultant with the American Institute of Health Care Professionals. She began her 35-year career working in the field of mental health at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and at George Washington University. Sixteen years ago she incorporated biofeedback into her practice and has since expanded her areas of expertise to include muscle re-education for pain management and heart rate variability (HRV) biofeedback for stress-related disorders. Individually, or in combination, these types of biofeedback can be highly effective for clients with stress-related conditions, migraines, and other chronic pain disorders.
She has completed two Master of Science degrees: one from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the other in mental health counseling from Walden University. She is a licensed graduate professional counselor in the state of Maryland. She is a published author and was a principal neurofeedback therapist in the Rush Presbyterian-St Luke’s Medical Center, Chicago fibromyalgia study.
Michael J. Reilly, M.D. is an Assistant Professor of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery in the department of Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital & Medstar Washington Hospital Center. Dr. Reilly returned to Washington, D.C. after completing a fellowship in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of California Los Angeles Medical Center. He is board-certified in both Otolaryngology and Facial Plastic Surgery. Dr. Reilly received his medical degree from the University of North Carolina, followed by a residency in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at Georgetown University. His clinical interests include:
- Facial Rehabilitation
- Facial reanimation after facial nerve damage
- Repair of facial deformities
Facial rejuvenation Dr. Reilly’s research interests include:
- Use of information technology to improve patient satisfaction and resident education
- Facial appearance and perceived personality
- Gender differences in facial aesthetics
- Role of physical therapy in facial rehabilitation
Fluent in Spanish, Dr. Reilly has volunteered regularly to perform cleft lip and palate surgery on children throughout Central and South America.
Dr. Nathan Yokel completed his residency training in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation with a focus on diagnostic and interventional ultrasound and sports medicine. He believes in an integrated approach that begins with a careful review of the history of the injury or pain and then incorporates traditional physical examination and real time ultrasound to determine the exact cause of each individual patient’s pain or impaired function. His focus on sports medicine, regenerative treatments as well as traditional procedures and rehabilitation are combined to help patients get back to the activities they enjoy most.
Dr. Yokel is a native of the Maryland Metro DC area and is happy to be able to practice locally. After completing his undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland in College Park, he moved to Philadelphia where he completed medical school at the University of Pennsylvania. He augmented his medical training with Masters degrees in Public Health and Business Administration at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Dr. Yokel completed his internship at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore and his residency at the Georgetown University Hospital/National Rehabilitation Hospital training program in Washington DC, serving as chief resident in his final year and developing a research protocol for assessing the accuracy of ultrasound guided injections. Following residency he trained in interventional spinal procedures, regenerative procedures, pain and occupational medicine.
Outside of his work Dr. Yokel enjoys spending time at home with his wife and three children. His interests include playing golf, tennis, basketball and other sports. He loves crabbing on the Chesapeake Bay, traveling, and grilling out in his backyard on a nice day. He is an avid sports fan and enjoys rooting on the University of Maryland athletic teams, the Washington Redskins and other local teams.
Dr. Chad Zatezalo relocated to the Washington area in 2012 from the renowned Bascom Palmer Eye institute in Miami Florida, ranked #1 by US News and World Report. After several fruitful years at Washington Eye, he now heads The Zatezalo Group, a combined oculofacial plastics and ophthalmology center in Northern Bethesda. In addition, he serves as a consultant for the Sanctuary Cosmetic Center and the Center For Facial Nerve Recovery.
Dr. Zatezalo is a fellow of the American Society of Ophtlamic Plastics and Reconstructive Surgeons and the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He specializes exclusively in plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic surgery of the eyelids, surrounding tissue and upper face in addition to ophthalmology. His highly specialized training in both oculofacial plastics and ophthalmology allows him to understand the importance of the functional aspect of the eyelid and upper face while performing cosmetic surgery.
As a well rounded oculoplastics surgeon, his scope of practice ranges from facial cosmetic surgery including facial rejuvenation, revisional surgeries, browplasty (forehead lift), blepharoplasty (lid lift), to periocular cancers and reconstructions, tear drainage disorders, lid abnormalities and orbital oncology, inflammatory disorders and anophthalmic sockets.
Dr. Zatezalo also specializes in nonsurgical facial rejuvenation including neurotoxins (e.g. Botox, Dysport), dermal fillers (e.g. JuveDerm, Restylane), and scar revisions.
He is a fellow both of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastics & Reconstructive Surgeons and completed a two year accredited ASOPRS fellowship at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, FL.
He has been an invited lecturer nationally and has published numerous articles and book chapters during his career. His research interests include methods to minimize surgical incision lines, intra-operative pain control, the use of high resolution ultrasound for the identification of lacrimal system abnormalities, and the treatment of congenital anophthalmos.
Dr. Zatezalo is committed to customizing results to achieve a natural youthful appearance for each patient. To have a consultation with Dr Zatezalo in Northern Bethesda, call 301-304-6600
Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Miami Florida Oculofacial Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery, ASOPRS accredited program. Ranked #1 by U.S News and World Report
Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, NY, Ophthalmology Residency, Chief Resident
Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, Alpha Omega Alpha
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, Highest Distinctions, B.S. in Biomedical Engineering
Kalpesh Vakharia, MD, MS is an Assistant Professor of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine. He is double boarded in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery as well as in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Dr. Vakharia received his medical degree from University of California, San Francisco. He completed a five year residency in Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery at Harvard Medical School followed by an AAFPRS Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Dr. Vakharia is an accomplished clinician, teacher and researcher. He has several publications in the field of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and has presented his research at many national meetings. His clinical interests include treating facial nerve disorders, facial reconstruction and reanimation, as well as aging face rejuvenation.
Nya McKenzie, DPT
We are delighted to welcome Nya McKenzie, DPT, a licensed physical therapist with more than ten years’ experience, to our staff. “I’m honored to join the team,” said Nya, “and I look forward to helping our clients reach their physical therapy and wellness goals!” She will begin seeing patients on June 20 and will be available on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Nya first honed her orthopedic examination and treatment skills in the Washington, D.C., area. After a move to New York, she completed a vigorous two-year Pilates training and certification with BASI and STOTT Pilates, trained at The Herman & Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute to become a Pelvic Floor Practitioner, and was a practitioner of Pilates-based physical therapy and pelvic floor rehabilitation.
Recently, Nya completed additional myofascial release training. As a proud mother, Nya is passionate about helping women navigate their perinatal wellness journey. Through her unique approach of combined traditional physical therapy and Pilates, she has been very successful in treating and maintaining her clients’ neuromusculoskeletal conditions.
Nya graduated cum laude from Howard University with a B.S. in Health Sciences and earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California, the nation’s top physical therapy program, as ranked by US News and World Report.