Lea Lyle is a physical therapist with OrthoTennessee. She received a bachelor’s degree in deaf interpreting and education from Maryville College and a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis.
Lea has been a physical therapist since 1986. She says her role in the clinic is to evaluate and treat orthopedic disorders. She supervises and teaches physical therapy students.
“I became a physical therapist because I had a desire to be involved with people on a personal level to help them achieve personal goals,” Lea says. “I also had an interest in anatomy and exercise.”
“In my work I most enjoy the relationships I develop with my patients and the pleasure of watching them achieve their physical goals,” Lea says. “I like helping them through a tough time.”
In her spare time, she enjoys church and bible study, exercise, reading and spending time with her family.
Following a four year service in the United States Navy, Michelle earned her associates degree as a Physical Therapist Assistant, in September 2012 from South College in Knoxville, Tennessee. Based on her positive internship with her now supervisor, Bill Robinson, she applied for and was hired at OrthoTennessee. Michelle thrives on helping patients achieve their goals of returning to previous lifestyles while gaining both physical strength and confidence. Specifically she enjoys working on patients with back pain as that is a prominent complaint she hears and something she can take outside of the office walls in educating people on stretching and how to decrease pain.
Michelle appreciates the anxiety that accompanies many therapy patients and she embraces the challenge to first and foremost get them comfortable and then progressing towards their goals. Her own gracefulness, or lack thereof, coupled with her sense of humor are often just the thing patients need to feel at home. Michelle is known for frequent stumbles which are a common source of smiles and giggles for patients. In her spare time, Michellle enjoys, skiing, horseback riding, white water rafting and reading.
Originally from Bucksport, ME Lynne completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Tennessee and quickly became a volunteer at heart. She went on to earn her degree in Physical Therapy from Tennessee State University and has been a practicing Physical Therapist since 1993.
Lynne began her career as an Athletic Trainer and worked in a clinical setting as well as on the field with various high school teams. At OrthoTennessee, Lynne enjoys working with all age groups and levels of fitness and function. Her role is to evaluate physical dysfunctions of patients and devise a treatment plan allowing them to return to life at home, work and physical activity.
With education as the foundation of her approach to almost anything, Lynne enjoys teaching patients who take ownership of their own recovery and empowering them with knowledge. In her experience, patients recover better and faster when they understand why they are taking on physical therapy and how each component of the treatment plan can help their recovery process.
Currently residing in Lenoir City, TN, Lynne and her husband enjoy spending time with their son camping where canoeing, mountain biking and stand up paddle boarding are always on the agenda. She and her son share a love for snow skiing and personally Lynne enjoys making earthenware pottery and sharing her pieces with friends and family to display in their homes.
John van Leeuwen strives to help people reach their goals each and every day. He is known for challenging his patients and helping them to see the light at the end of the tunnel however long it might be. John recognizes that almost every patient hits a discouraging point in their treatment plan which for him is the most exciting time as he guides patients to transform that energy into confidence to achieve successful results.
Interestingly enough, John founded a contracting company in the early 1990’s and sold the growing company after 17 years as President. Throughout his early career, John uncovered his true passion to work with people. He made a career change and followed his long term interest in physical therapy and was quickly accepted into the PTA program at South College.
John is a member of the Oak Ridge Sportsman’s Association and enjoys all things related to outdoor sports. He and his wife have two children and enjoy attending fellowship activities with their church.
Susen Varghese Thomas is an occupational therapist with OrthoTennessee. She received a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy and a master’s in occupational therapy with a concentration in neuro rehabilitation from Seth G.S. Medical College and KEM Hospital, University of Bombay.
Susen has been a physical therapist since 1992. She describes her role in the clinic as helping patients to regain their physical function and skills to a level comparable to previous function.
“I became an occupational therapist because I wanted to work with people and wanted to see people get better,” Susen says. “What I enjoy most about my work is the interaction with patients and seeing them get better.”
Susen is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association and the Tennessee Occupational Therapy Association.
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, reading, listening to music, and collecting coins and stamps.