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Meredith Defranco

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Meredith Defranco is our newest team member. She received her Bachelor's degree from the University of Florida in Exercise Physiology in 2006. In 2009, she earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Duke University. After one year in orthopedic private practice in Jupiter, Florida, she returned to Gainesville to work at UF Health Shands, joining the interdisciplinary team at the UF Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration.

During her tenure with a team of world class physicians and allied health professionals, she developed a strong passion for caring for people with Parkinson's disease. She has participated in the National Parkinson's Foundation Allied Team Training, Movement Disorder Society meetings, the World Parkinson Congress, and sat on the deep brain stimulation board to assist with the process of screening potential surgical candidates. She has developed an extensive knowledge base in managing patients with movement disorders and neuro degenerative diseases including: Parkinson's disease, atypical parkinsonisms, Huntington's disease, ataxia, dystonia, multiple sclerosis, and ALS.

Meredith is also a proponent of student education, outreach, and wellness. She is an APTA credentialed clinical instructor, mentoring students over the past nine years. She has been invited to speak in the UF DPT program to educate students about the management of Parkinson's disease on a yearly basis. Meredith believes in the promotion of wellness for her patients, prescribing exercise like medicine, and advocating for therapy services throughout the spectrum of chronic conditions. She has spoken to support groups throughout Florida, advocating for physical therapy and wellness services for people with movement disorders. She is excited to share her skill set with the Tampa area and excited to join a team that will provide services for people with Parkinson's disease. Outside of physical therapy practice Meredith is an avid runner, completing the Boston Marathon eight times. She believes strength training is a valuable component of physical maintenance and injury prevention.