George Hess, PT, DPT, COMT
George Hess is founder of Hess Physical Therapy. He earned his Master's and Doctorate degrees in Physical Therapy from Chatham University. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from West Liberty State College. George's special interests are in orthopedic and manual therapy care. He is a certified orthopedic manual physical therapist and has extensive training in various areas of manual therapy including mobilization, muscle energy techniques, trigger point, and myofascial therapy. By integrating this therapeutic approach he has helped thousands of patients. George continues to take numerous continuing education courses for the latest evidence based evaluation procedures and treatment techniques to assure positive outcomes for his patients. He is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association, Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association, and Manual Orthopedic Association. He is also certified in ASTYM, DSI work solutions and is a certified golf fitness instructor through Titleist Performance Institute. In his spare time, George enjoys spending time with his family and friends, exercising, archery and is an avid outdoorsman.
Jessica Papale, PT, DPT, COMT, HMS, OCS
Dr. Papale received her Bachelor degree in Biology at Washington and Jefferson College in 2012 and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Chatham University in 2014. Dr. Papale is currently the clinic director at the Kennedy location, where she has been working since 2014. As the clinic director, she ensures all patients are receiving the best care available matching Hess Physical Therapy’s Standards of Care.
Dr. Papale received her Certification in Orthopedic Manual Therapy from the Next Gen Institute of Physical Therapy in 2017. Achieving her certification through the contemporary clinical practice series has given Dr. Papale the evaluation and clinical reasoning skills necessary to provide a thorough examination and develop an individualized plan of care for her patients. Through this certification she has received the formal training in manual therapy to provide the most appropriate hands on techniques per patient’s needs to speed one’s recovery.
Dr. Papale also received her Direct Access Certificate in 2017, allowing her to evaluate and treat patients without being referred by a doctor or healthcare practitioner. Direct Access is not implemented to replace physicians. In fact, Dr. Papale works closely with all physician colleagues to provide the best care possible to her patients.
Dr. Papale’s passion for her profession motivates her to continue to strive towards excellence. Her interests and desires include mastering the movement system to maximize function and the quality of life for her patients. She has obtained her Human Movement Specialization in 2018, which has helped her achieve several patient’s personal and functional goals.
Dr. Papale has also become an Orthopedic Certified Specialist in Physical Therapy as of June 2019. With this certification, she has obtained advanced knowledge and skills regarding, examination, evaluation, and postoperative surgical treatments to promote fast and safe recovery. It has helped her optimize her treatment approach and outcomes.
Outside of work, Dr. Papale enjoys spending time with her family and fiancé. She loves spinning, the outdoors, and working out.
Matt Melczak, PT, DPT
Dr. Matt Melczak earned his Bachelor degree in Kinesiology from Penn State in 2016 and his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Chatham University in 2018.
Dr. Melczak has a strong passion for the field of physical therapy and takes a holistic approach to treatment to ensure all aspects of patient care have been considered. Dr. Melczak provides thorough and detailed examinations that guide the development of an individualized plan of care that allows each patient to achieve their personal goals.
Outside of work, he enjoys coaching 7th and 8th grade basketball, golfing with his friends, and spending time with family.
Eric Stiglmeier, PT, DPT
Dr. Stiglmeier, a Buffalo New York native, earned his Bachelor's of Science in Health Services Management from D'Youville College in 2016 and continued through their program to recieve his Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2019.
Dr. Stiglmeier enjoys personal interaction with each patient and building a relationship to help them reach their goals. He has taken advanced course work in spinal orthopedics & manipulation and employs a hands on approach to further improve his outcomes. Eric enjoys working with a variety of patients and conditions at all levels, and catering specific methods for each individual.
Outside the clinic he enjoys playing his guitars, cooking, working out, and spending time with his family and friends.
Van Barrett, PT, DPT
Dr. Van Barrett, originally from West Chester, PA earned his Bachelor degree in Kinesiology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2016 and his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Gannon University in 2020.
Dr. Barrett enjoys treating a wide variety of musculoskeletal diagnoses and loves helping patients improve their quality of life and achieve their goals. He is regularly seeking out continuing education and studying research to ensure that he is providing the best care for his patients.
Outside of work, Dr. Barrett enjoys finding new places to eat with his fiancé, working out, and spending time with family and friends.
Gage Swartz PT, DPT, CSCS, FMS, USAW
Dr. Swartz earned his Bachelor degree in Exercise Physiology from West Virginia University in 2015, while having an athletic career for the WVU wrestling team. Dr. Swartz earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from West Virginia University in 2020.
Dr. Swartz received his certification in Functional Movement Screens in 2015. Also, in 2015, Dr. Swartz became a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. In 2016, Dr. Swartz received his USA Weightlifting credentials from the US Olympic committee. These tools have allowed Dr. Swartz to hone his passion for improving sports performance in the role of a strength coach.
Dr. Swartz has a strong passion for the field of physical therapy using a holistic approach to improving the human movement experience. Dr. Swartz provides a detailed examination and treatment that allows his patients to reach their athletic, functional, and personal goals.
Outside of work, Dr. Swartz enjoys coaching and watching wrestling, hiking, kayaking, hunting, and spending time with his dogs and family.
Daniel Haas, PTA, LMT, CHt, HBCE, LCCE, CD(DONA)
Dan began working at Hess Physical Therapy in April of 2009. He earned his Physical Therapist Assistant degree at Community College of Allegheny County-Boyce Campus in 2006, his certification in Massage Therapy in 2007 from CCAC- Boyce Campus, became a Licensed Massage Therapist in August, 2011, and graduated from the Pittsburgh School of Massage Therapy in April of 2016. He is certified in Active Release Techniques (ART) (Upper Extremity Level 1 and 2, Lower Extremity- Level 1 and 2, Spine Level 1 and 2, Long Tract Nerve Entrapments, Complex Protocols, Active Palpation Techniques, Master’s ART Certified, and is a member of the Elite Provider Network- (EPN). He is certified in ASTYM, a Certified Graston Technique Provider, DSI Work Solutions, a HypnoBirthing Childbirth Educator (HBCE), Certified Hypnotherapist, Certified Professional Fertility Consultant, Certified Infant Massage Instructor, and a Certified Professional Birth Doula through the HypnoBirthing Institute, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE) through Lamaze International, Certified HypnoMothering Practioner (Childbirth, Fertility, and Postpartum), Certified Mother Massage Practitioner (CMMP) from Elaine Stillerman’s Mother Massage Seminar for pregnancy massage, Certified Nurturing the Mother Pregnancy Massage Therapist, Certified Fertility Massage Therapist, and Certified Integrative Reflexologist through Claire Marie Miller Seminars, Certified Contemporary Cupping Therapist (CCT) through the International Cupping Therapy Association (ICTA), Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner (CKTP), and is a Certified Birth Doula through DONA International. He is a Credentialed Clinical Instructor (CCI) through the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) for Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Students. When away from Hess Physical Therapy, he is an avid Pittsburgh Sports fan and Super Bowl Historian.
Kelly O’Toole, B.S., A.S.
Kelly initially joined Hess Physical Therapy as a student in 2018 and became a full-time team member as a Physical Therapist Assistant in December of 2018. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from LaRoche College in 2015 and her Physical Therapist Assistant Degree from CCAC in 2018.
Kelly enjoys working with patients in both the Kennedy and Crafton offices, and is inspired by the positive interactions she sees daily between the patients and the Hess Physical Therapy staff members.
Kelly and her large extended family live in Sheraden. In her spare time, Kelly enjoys spending time playing with and spoiling her two dogs, Tucker and Chloe, doing jigsaw puzzles, visiting the Pittsburgh Zoo and attending Country Music concerts.
Diane Bianco joined our team at Hess Physical Therapy in May of 2008 as our Marketing Coordinator and Patient Service Representative. Diane's is the first smiling face you will see when you come to Hess Physical Therapy for treatment. She will schedule your appointments, verify your insurance benefits and copays and help in any way she can. Diane, her husband, Michael and their three sons have lived in Kennedy Township for over twenty years. When she is not at Hess Physical Therapy, she enjoys baking, cooking, exercising and spending time with her family and friends.
Tamara Hess, RN
Tamara Hess is the quality assurance director at Hess Physical Therapy. She is the cheerful voice on the phone calling to make sure our patients are happy and well taken care of. She is the liaison between the patients and staff. Tamara enjoys spending time with her husband George, and two children, Gino and Jana.
Debbie Sekelik joined our team at Hess Physical Therapy in January 2011 as a Patient Care Representative. She is familiar with all aspects of insurance, co-pays, co-insurance, deductibles and authorizations as well as insurance and patient billing. She can be found either at the front desk or the billing office and is always willing to assist you with any insurance questions you may have.
Debbie and her husband Steve have lived in Stowe Township for the past 33 years. Debbie enjoys spending time with her husband gardening, going to car cruises, collecting donations for animal shelters and spending time with their dog and cat.
Michele Darnley joined our team at Hess Physical Therapy in March 2017 as our Patient Service Representative at our Kennedy office. Michele is the first smiling face you see when you come to Hess Physical Therapy for treatment. She will schedule your appointments, very your insurance benefits and copays. Michele and her husband William, have lived in Scott Twp for the last 16 years. When she is not at Hess Physical Therapy, she enjoys cooking, baking and spending time with family and friends.
Gina received her Bachelor degree in Marketing at Saint Vincent College. She is currently the Marketing Director at Hess PT. As the Marketing Director, she ensures that all marketing efforts, including digital, internal, and external stay true to Hess PT's brand and core values. Outside of work, Gina enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Her and her husband have two little boys who love playing outside. She loves spinning, shopping, and Pittsburgh sports teams.
Margaret, better known as "M", joined the Hess team in December 2018. Most days you'll see her at the Allison Park location working on components of insurance or as your friendly receptionist. M is a proud Army brat of a father who is a Colonel and a grandfather that was a Lieutenant General (that's 3 stars to you and me). When her father retired from the military, she began school in Hampton Township and attended the University of Pittsburgh. Since her siblings lived in different parts of the country, she decided to move around some more, including, Wyoming, New Jersey, and Florida. M came back to Pittsburgh in the mid 90"s. She worked in retail management and as a bank manager for many years. She enjoys spending time with friends and family including her dog, Lady. M also enjoys books, movies, travel, and a fine glass of wine.
Allison Ambrose joined our team as a Patient Service Representative in July 2020 and will be greeting patients full-time at the Allison Park location in August.
Allison and her boyfriend Chris have known each other since they were in high school almost thirty years ago! They have been together for over ten years and live in Moon Township with their kitties and enjoy gardening, grilling year-round and walking the Montour Trail.