Jodi B

Jodi Maron Barth, PT, CCI


Jodi is one of only a handful of recognized facial palsy therapists in the United States. She is a licensed physical therapist with 40 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 to perform in-depth, comprehensive physical therapy evaluations and treatments using dry needling, graded motor imagery, biofeedback, extensive manual therapy, TMJ Rocabado techniques, and more. She is a sought-after speaker nationally and internationally in the areas of TMD (jaw symptoms), 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 (APTA) and has served on the APTA House of Delegates for the past three years. She is also a faculty research assistant at the University of Maryland. Jodi is a graduate of the Ithaca College PT program and attended the Master of Science program at Adelphi University in the area of exercise physiology. 

Gincy S

Gincy Lockhart Stezar, PTA, CCI


Gincy is a licensed physical therapist assistant with more than 18 years of experience in the field of rehabilitation. For the past 16 years, she has collaborated with Jodi Barth specializing in facial neuromuscular retraining, postural restoration, and TMD. 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, postural restoration, graded motor imagery, and TMD rehabilitation. She is a certified clinical instructor through the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and is presently serving as an alternate to the APTA House of Delegates. She is also a faculty research assistant at the University of Maryland. Gincy earned her Bachelor of Science degree in physical education from the University of Maryland, as well as an associate’s degree in applied science as a physical therapist assistant at Montgomery College.

Carl C

Carl Chua, PT, CCI

Licensed Physical Therapist

Carl has more than 15 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 TMD, facial neuromuscular retraining, strain/counter-strain, dry needling, muscle energy techniques, myofascial release, movement screens, functional strengthening, and taping to heal his patients and return them to their full potential. Carl has also presented at various conferences both nationally and internationally on facial palsy, TMD, and spine disorders. 

He is a graduate of the physical therapy program of the University of Santo Tomas. He is also a certified clinical instructor through the American Physical Therapy Association. 

Jennifer Akman, DPT, OCS

Licensed Physical Therapist

Jen is a licensed Physical Therapist with more than 10 years of experience working in the outpatient setting.  She is a Board-Certified Orthopedic Specialist and has earned a Sports Therapy Diploma from the International Olympic Committee.  She uses a variety of techniques including manual therapy, trigger point dry needling, posture and biomechanics analysis and myofascial decompression. 

She is particularly passionate about injury reduction. In addition, Jen finds her work with patients with TMJ dysfunction and facial palsy very rewarding. Jen played college soccer at Guilford College and went on to get her Doctor of Physical Therapy at Northwestern University.

Luis M

Luis A. Miranda

Director of Business Operations

Luis joined The Center for Facial Recovery in 2014. As Director of Business Operations, he ensures that every client receives the best care by providing a unique and positive experience. Luis has more than 20 years of experience supporting physical therapy practices. Prior to joining the CFFR, Luis managed regional clinics for the National Rehabilitation Hospital. He also had the privilege of owning and operating a remodeling business. Luis’ hard work and dedication to his clients helps create the supportive and compassionate environment at CFFR.

Bonnie Lessans

Marketing and Events Director

Bonnie manages the social media and marketing efforts for the Center and Foundation for Facial Recovery, as well as plans the annual events.Prior to her work with the Center and the Foundation for Facial and Functional Recovery, Bonnie began the DC parent-based organization Petite DC. Bonnie earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication from the University of Maryland.

Affiliated Medical Professionals


Michael J. Reilly, MD

Plastic Surgery/Facial Reanimation

Dr. Reilly is an assistant professor of facial plastic and reconstructive surgery in the department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital and Medstar Washington Hospital Center. His clinical interests include facial rehabilitation, facial reanimation after facial nerve damage, repair of facial deformities, and facial rejuvenation. Dr. Reilly’s research interests include the use of information technology to improve patient satisfaction and resident education; facial appearance and perceived personality; gender differences in facial aesthetics; and the role of physical therapy in facial rehabilitation. 
Dr. Reilly returned to Washington, DC, after completing a fellowship in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery at the UCLA 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. Fluent in Spanish, Dr. Reilly has volunteered regularly to perform cleft lip and palate surgery on children throughout Central and South America.


Kalpash Vakharia, MD, MS 

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Dr. Vakharia is an expert in both surgical and nonsurgical techniques of facial rejuvenation and reconstruction. His areas of expertise and interest include skin fillers and Botox®, laser treatments such as laser resurfacing, face and neck lift surgery, cosmetic and functional surgery of the nose, eyelids and brows, external ear surgery, skin resurfacing, scar treatment, skin cancer and trauma reconstruction, head and neck reconstruction, microvascular reconstruction, and the treatment of facial paralysis. 
Dr. Vakharia is double board certified in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery and otolaryngology (head and neck surgery). He earned undergraduate degrees in biochemistry and computer science and engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2001. He also earned a Master of Science in chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania in 2001. He went on to complete his medical degree at the University of California, San Francisco, in 2006. He completed a general surgical internship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 2007. He then joined the Harvard Medical School Otolaryngology Residency Program and completed residency training in otolaryngology in 2011. Thereafter, he completed a fellowship in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in 2012. After completing the fellowship, Dr. Vakharia joined the University of Maryland Department of Otorhinolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery.

Natalie Justicz

Natalie Justicz, MD

Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery/Facial Nerve Reanimation

Dr. Justicz is a facial reconstructive surgeon who helps patients with both acute and chronic facial paralysis. Her clinical interests include facial reanimation after trauma, chemodenervation (Botox) for synkinesis following Bell’s Palsy/Ramsay Hunt syndrome, and repair of acquired facial deformities. 
Dr. Justicz is double board certified in both Otolaryngology (ABOHNS) as well as Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ABFPRS). She earned her BA in Human Biology from Stanford University. She then taught science for two years in New Orleans with TFA, before attending Emory University School of Medicine, where she graduated with AOA honors, magna cum laude.
She completed her Otolaryngology residency at the Harvard/MEEI Program and then went on to fellowship in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Michigan. She has been lucky to be trained by many experts in the field of facial reanimation. She is on faculty at the University of Maryland Department of Otorhinolaryngology.