Amy Brannon, PT, DPT, Cert-DN, Cert-SMT, Cert-VRS, Dip. Osteopractic, AAMT Fellowship in Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy
The founder of T.O.P.S. Physical Therapy, Dr. Amy Brannon, is a Licensed Physical Therapist with over a decade of experience, specializing in functional physical therapy, sports, industrial, work rehabilitation and athletic training programs.
Dr. Brannon is a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Therapy through the American Academy of Manipulative Therapy. She participated in this program to help improve the quality of her patient care by advancing manipulation skills, dry needling skills, general manual skills, and clinical reasoning skills. It was also very important for her to strengthen her knowledge base to be able to provide strong evidence-based techniques, thus improving patient outcomes.
Dr. Brannon feels confident that she is integrating the best available research, clinical expertise, patient values, and circumstances related to their case or condition in her treatment decision making.
Dr. Brannon participated in an 18-month long program that spends extensive time honing in her skills through class work, hands-on work, and 350+ hours of direct mentorship. She is also defined as an Osteopractor, which is summarized as physical therapists or medical doctors who have completed an evidence-based post-graduate training program in the use of high-velocity low-amplitude thrust manipulation and dry needling for the diagnosis and treatment of neuromusculoskeletal conditions of the spine and extremities.
This places Dr. Brannon in the top 5% of all physical therapists currently practicing in the United States. She demonstrates that she has adhered to the APTA Vision Statement for lifelong learning and ongoing professional development, all while running her own clinic. Dr. Brannon has shared this knowledge with her current staff, thus the T.O.P.S. clinicians are integrating strong research and clinical based treatments on their patients, with astounding outcomes.
More information about what the fellowship entails is the following: Course work includes earning certification in spinal manipulation and dry needling via comprehensive oral, written, and practical examination, extremity manipulation, spinal and extremity mobilization, instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization, biopsychosocial and pharmaceutical aspects of pain management, differential diagnosis and multimodal management of upper and lower extremity pain syndromes of spinal origin, emerging technologies in physical therapy [wireless EMG, functional MRI (fMRI), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), diagnostic ultrasound (DU)], biostatistics for clinical research, grant writing and publication, clinical research design and methodology, manual therapy in developing nations and underserved populations, clinical reasoning for the management of vestibular disorders, applied musculoskeletal anatomy with cadavers and neuromusculoskeletal imaging. Bi-monthly journal article review and blog posts. Teaching assistant in the spinal manipulation and dry needling courses. Each fellow-in-training (FIT) must complete 310 mentor/patient treatment hours. Additionally, a lecture and lab teaching presentation must be completed by the FIT. Lastly, a publishable quality capstone project must be completed. To deem the AAMT Fellowship program as rigorous would be a huge understatement.
Dr. Brannon has a degree in Pre-Health Kinesiology from University of California, Berkeley, where she also served as the head student trainer for the Cal Bears football, softball and gymnastic teams. After completing a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Northwestern University, Amy moved to Arizona and joined a world-renowned rehabilitation and training facility where she worked with a variety of professional athletes, first responders and general population.
For the past ten years, Dr. Brannon has developed an increased passion to work extensively with military, fire and police personnel on injury prevention and rehabilitation, as well as conditioning programs. Her entrepreneurial spirit is fueled by her desire to be of service to her community, and she and the team at T.O.P.S. Physical Therapy actively support local events.
In high school, Amy was an accomplished softball player, having received Santa Barbara's All-County catcher of the year and Scholar Athlete of the year two times. Now, in her free time, Dr. Brannon enjoys being generally active, whether it be running, swimming, lifting weights, or hiking... you can't hold her down! If she's not training for a race, she's running one or volunteering for the event. If you see her at one of the many local races around the Phoenix area, greet her with an enthusiastic "Go Bears!"
Meghan Ward, PT, DPT, Cert-DN, BFRc, Cert-VRS, MFd
Meghan Ward joined the TOPS team in 2022 as a licensed Physical Therapist who has a passion for treating orthopedic injuries and sports rehab. Meghan is a functional based therapist and enjoys challenging her patients with return to sport exercises.
Meghan is a Washington state native and graduated with a B.S. in Clinical Physiology from Central Washington University in 2017. In her time at CWU she was also a member of the women’s soccer team and helped them reach their first NCAA tournament berth in school history. Meghan continued on to complete her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Midwestern University in 2021. Meghan additionally has experience in the inpatient and geriatric settings and enjoys treating both populations.
Since graduating, Meghan has continued to expand her learning with certifications in Dry Needling, Myofascial Decompression, Vestibular Rehabilitation, Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Massage, and Blood Flow Restriction therapy.
Meghan has become a key clinician at TOPS Physical Therapy especially with our youth athletes. After work, you can find Meghan coaching youth soccer and exploring hikes in Northern Arizona. Meghan is an avid snacker with goldfish being her go-to road trip snack (flavor blasted only). Meghan enjoys staying active and loves to test out new exercises for her patients at the gym.
Carolyn Eley, PTA
Carolyn Eley is a Certified Physical Therapy Assistant, licensed in the state of Arizona, with over a decade of experience. She has worked with all levels of athletes from high school to industrial to the professional level in a variety of individual and team sports. She understands the needs of the service sector to be in peak condition.
Carolyn received extensive training and has over 10+ years of experience, which sets her
apart as one of the top clinical PTA's in the state of Arizona. Over a decade ago, Carolyn completed her student internship under Dr. Amy Brannon. Upon starting TOPS, Dr. Brannon sought to add Carolyn to her TOPS staff. As she firmly believed she would be a vital asset to the team and was one of the most impressive students she has ever worked with.
Carolyn provides a variety of treatments, that include manual work to functional mobility for
tissue restructuring, breakdown of scar adhesions or tissue, and/or for increased joint mobility.
Carolyn feels confident that she is integrating the best available research, clinical expertise,
patient values, and circumstances related to their case or condition in her treatment decision
Carolyn recently completed her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training program and is working towards getting her certification in Craniosacral Therapy as well as Yoga Nidra as of January 2022.
In her free time Carolyn stays busy with her seven-year-old son, Callen and six-year-old daughter, Quinn. She enjoys running, yoga, meditation, and getting away to explore!
Rainey Brownlow, LAT, ATC, O-PTA, BFRc, Cert-VRS
Rainey Brownlow joined the TOPS Physical Therapy team in June of 2022 as a licensed athletic trainer and orthopedic certified physical therapist assistant who has a passion for orthopedic rehabilitation and sports rehabilitation. She uses her background in outpatient and sports performance physical therapy clinics to help patients at TOPS Physical Therapy recover from injuries and get back to doing the activities that they love.
Rainey graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training from the University of North Florida and then went on to study at the University of Alaska Anchorage where she became a licensed physical therapist assistant. Rainey has worked in various settings including high schools, colleges, military settings, and physical therapy clinics. Working in a multitude of settings has afforded Rainey exposure to treatment options and services including aquatic therapy, sports rehabilitation, myofascial decompression techniques (cupping), instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (scraping), taping and bracing techniques, vestibular rehabilitation, pain neuroscience education, and pediatric rehabilitation. She utilizes the extensive knowledge she has acquired to provide evidence-based treatment options to patients and create the best recovery experience possible.
Outside of the clinic, you could find Rainey on many of the hiking trails surrounding Phoenix and beyond. She won't be hard to miss with her Great Dane Ellie in tow. Stop and say hi if you see her out in the community!
When she isn't out on the trails, she also enjoys seeing concerts, meeting friends out for dinner, going to sporting events, and checking out the local farmer's markets and festivals.
Cassidee Ranger, Marketing Manager
Cassidee joins the T.O.P.S. Physical Therapy team as Marketing and Social Media Manager. She possesses strong leadership skills, vision, and conceptualization to develop an integrated plan with the creativity to achieve the best course of action. Cassidee graduated from Iona College, where she earned her degree in Business Management and played four years of Division I Basketball for the Gaels. While at Iona, Cassidee was also very involved in various clubs and groups. She was an officer in the NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committees (SAACs) and the VP of the Business Club. As an avid learner and educational enthusiast, Cassidee has continued to further her education and recently graduated from Texas A&M Corpus Christi. She graduated in May 2017 with her Master's in Business Administration.
When she is not attending school, or working as a Marketing and Social Media Manager, Cassidee likes to take spontaneous trips and travel! She is excited to be a part of the T.O.P.S. family and to pursue her passion in marketing and social media.
Mila Baich, Office Manager
Mila joins T.O.P.S. as our Office Manager. She comes to us from a non-profit background, which has given her a foundation to take part in running an effective office environment. She runs an organized and welcoming front office, which helps make a comforting place for patients. Mila graduated from West Virginia University with a degree in Multidisciplinary Studies.
When Mila is not at T.O.P.S., she spends her time enjoying sporting events, working on volunteer fundraisers and events.
Karly Rebozzi, Technician Manager
Karly joins the T.O.P.S Physical Therapy Team as Technician Manager. She helps manage the clinic floor as well as the front office. Karly uses her drive to improve the overall customer service experience, increase organizational efficiencies, and project management quickly and effectively. Karly graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelors or Science in Exercise Science in May 2020. While at NAU Karly was a member of the Delta Delta Delta Sorority where she was Director of Membership Selection.
Karly became part of the T.O.P.S family as a Physical therapist technician in 2020 but has quickly proven herself to be a vital asset to the team.To expand her knowledge, Karly has participated in multiple continuing education courses at TOPS such as: Myofascial Decompression Level 1 and 2, Instrumental-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization, Blood Flow Restriction Therapy, and ExtremityManipulation. She attends these courses to not only broaden her knowledge but to be able to explain the different modalities to our new patients that T.O.P.S has to offer!
Outside of the clinic you can find Karly spending time with her friends and family, going to sporting events, and listening to country music. Karly hopes one day to be a manager/director of her own PT Clinic.
Lisa Nowers, Tech Supervisor & Front Office Liaison
Lisa is one of the newest members of our TOPS Physical Therapy team. She joined us in December 2022 as our Tech Supervisor with some assistance to the front office as well. Lisa has 20yrs of experience in exercise and personal training. She has taught/coached all types of fitness classes such as Crossfit, Barre, Pilates, Yoga, and Orangetheory Fitness to name a few. She also ran her own training business out of her garage while living in California. She enjoys helping people on the gym floor find the perfect form in their exercise routine for a safe and speedy recovery.
Lisa is not only new to TOPS but has also just moved to Arizona. She loves all types of exercise but if she had to choose just one, she would choose HIIT workouts, which allows for a good all-around full-body workout. She also enjoys most things outdoors such as hiking, paddle boarding, playing volleyball, and golf. Lisa has two kids who are her pride a joy and loves to brag about them.