At Rascal Creek we fully appreciate that the quality of our patients lives depends on our commitment and expertise. We make a concerted effort - every day - to deliver patient care the way we think it should be delivered, with the patient's best interest at heart. Our staff members have over 50 years of combined experience in the physical therapy and rehabiliation fields. Click the names below to read our staff member bios.
Tony Hernandez, PT, DPT
Member: American Physical Therapy Association, Special section on Orthopedics
Tony has been on both sides of the fence - a patient and a provider of physical therapy. He's been with Rascal Creek since 1990, learning and loving physical therapy. His primary areas of expertise include mechanically oriented treatment interventions and he has been influenced by many modern pioneers in patient care. Tony has attended post-graduate training in physical therapy, orthopedics, sports medicine and spinal care. In addition, he is well versed in Vestibular Rehab and Balance disorders. His newest specialty is intervention for golf related problems. He can fix your swing, improve your game and teach you techniques to alleviate any post-golf maladies.
Tony was first introduced to Rascal Creek PT as a patient in 1990 after disastrous knee injury in soccer. He found friendly faces, sympathetic hearts and discovered that physical therapy could be an interesting new career option. He crossed the line from patient to staff and never looked back! He worked at Rascal Creek for 3 years while completing undergraduate work. Tony transferred to CSU Fresno and completed his master's degree in 1996. He worked in Subacute rehab for 3 years where he had extensive experience in geriatrics, particularly stroke rehab and treatment of vestibulo/balance disorders. Tony returned to RCPT in 1998 as a full-time Physical Therapist.
Tony went back to CSUF in the fall of 2007 for the inaugural class to earn his doctorate in PT. The program was a joint effort between CSUF and UCSF and Tony was one of seven hard-working candidates in the doctoral program and received their highest honors in the spring of 2008. In addition, he makes it a point to attend at least two special courses each year to bring his level of expertise to the cutting edge. His hands on skills and his friendly smile will make you better.
Tony likes physical therapy so much he married a physical therapist and has started his own family of future physical therapists - Madison Nicole born August 2000, Eric Antonio born September 2002 and Alexis Victoria born August 2004. Ask to see some of the pictures of his children - he definitely the proud Poppa of these kiddos.
Michelle Preston-Smith, PT, DPT
Member: American Physical Therapy Association
Michelle started life in Minnesota but moved to Merced at the tender age of four. Her father was a prominent veterinary doctor here and she opted to continue that medically related family history by becoming a physical therapist. Right out of PT school at the University of the Pacific, she moved to Europe with her helicopter-flying husband and "dabbled" in physical therapy. On her return to Merced, she dived right in as a staff PT, working her way up the ladder to rehab department chairperson. When the administrative job demands exceeded the number of hours in a day that included eating and sleeping, Michelle decided it was past time for a change. She joined the Rascal Creek crew in September 2002 and never looked back. She is glad to be back in the best part of physical therapy: patient care and treatment! Michelle is happy to be part of RCPT where patients come first.
Michelle has taken a bazillion post-graduate courses along the way, including manual therapy, wound care and neuro-development training for adult hemiplegia. In the fall of 2008, she began work on her doctorate in physical therapy, juggling family, work and study with successful completion of the program through Northeastern University in June 2009. She continues to attend at least one or two courses a year to make sure her treatment techniques are progressive and inventive.
Michelle has been married to that helicopter pilot turned nursing instructor and ER nurseDan for over 20 years. They have two boys - Ryan and Alex, who keep them busy and resourceful. The boys are active in sports, church and school related activities and enjoy an enormous local family connection. And there are the dogs, rabbit, bird, goat... A virtual zoo!
Heidi Hernandez, PT, DPT
Member: American Physical Therapy Association, Special Sections of Women's Health and Health Policy Legislation and Regulation
Heidi is the newest addition to the professional staff of RCPT. She obtained her basic PT education at California State University, Fresno with a Masters in PT and a minor in Exercise Physiology in 1996. Her background consists of sub acute rehab with special emphasis in geriatrics, wound care, pulmonary and cardiac rehabilitation, as well as management of the Rehabilitation Department in Madera. In the fall of 2008, she embarked on her advanced education through Northeastern University, earning her doctorate in physical therapy in the spring of 2009. Heidi's focus at Rascal Creek is in the specialized and innovative techniques to treat pelvic problems in men or women and addressing health issues specific to women. Heidi has taken extensive continuing education courses in this necessary and expanding field of pelvis therapy, and continues her study in this area. She has also honed her skills in patient care in the more generalized, orthopedic care that made RCPT a leader in PT care.
In the fall of 2006, we expanded RCPT to include space for Heidi's specialty treatment area - dubbed our TLC, or Through the Life Cycle - dedicated to providing treatment for problems in the pelvis to patients of all ages, male or female. We are the only PT office in Merced to offer care in this challenging and important field.
Heidi is married to Tony Hernandez DPT of Rascal Creek. When she is not at the office giving therapeutic TLC, she is working at her #1 job of being mom to three very vivacious children - Madison, Eric and Alexis.
Stephanie Raymond PT, DPT
Stephanie is the newest addition to the professional staff @ the Creek. We are thrilled to have her and looking forward her contributions to our specialty programs. She is working on her Doctorate at Northeastern University with graduation planned for summer 2012.
Stephanie grew up in the San Joaquin Valley in the Porterville/Springville area. She completed her undergraduate education in Sociology at UC Santa Barbara, where she was also a member of the gaucho swim team. Stephanie went on to graduate school at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. She graduated and achieved her Physical Therapy license in 1997. Since that time, Stephanie has worked on the Bakersfield /Tehachapi area for six years and the remainder in the Merced/Atwater area. She enjoys the outpatient setting and helping each patient achieve their goals.
When not at work, Stephanie enjoys spending time with her family. She also enjoys the outdoors whether in her backyard or in the mountains or on the beach. She is a sports nut and an animal lover. Ask her about her beautiful dog, Blue!
Michael Clark, OT
Member: California Occupational Therapy Association, American Society of Hand Therapy
Michael has been providing occupational therapy in the specialized area of hand therapy at Rascal Creek since November 2000. He graduated from San Jose State University in 1996 with a BS in Occupational Therapy. Michael heard about Rascal Creek while working in sub acute rehab with Tony, one of the PT's here. He's found a comfortable niche at the Creek and looks to be a permanent and productive member of the Crew. To make himself more valuable to us, he has completed State of California requirements for Hand Therapy and use of Physical Agent Modalities and is working on his advanced certification as a member of a select group of hand therapists. He knows the latest and greatest techniques and is an expert problem solver.
Michael was born and raised in Springville, Utah where he was active in track & field and cross-country running. After leaving the family home, he tried living in Georgia and Florida. In 1996, he met his wife-to-be Elsa and decided to stay in Merced. He tries to find time to enjoy traveling and exploring new areas around Merced and the state. Hobbies include (but not limited to) spending time with his beautiful daughter Keja, woodworking and spending quality time with his wife.
Rosemary Rohrer, CCC-slp
Hi, I'm Rosemary Haskett and I provide speech and language therapy services at Rascal Creek. I began my practice in Merced in 1986 and have enjoyed the patients and challenges that have come my way. My practice covers the speech and language needs of both children and adults with specialty areas for dysphasia, language development, laryngectomy and neurological conditions.
In the summer of 2008, I had surgery on my neck and found out the hard way what therapy was all about. I have had speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy to address some of the complications from the surgery. I love being a therapist and found out that being the patient isn't too bad either.
I was born at Mercy Hospital and raised on my family's dairy ranch in Winton where I live now. My husband and I enjoy being in the country and can be found wandering the neighborhood with our "kids". Our children are furry and have 4 legs and consist of very spoiled dogs, and equally spoiled cats. I'm from a large family and have plenty of brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews to keep up with. It's a good life!
I hope that I can be of assistance to those needing speech and language therapy services at Rascal Creek. I do have ways of making you talk!!