On this episode of the Healthy Wealthy and Smart Podcast, Jenna Kantor, DPT guest hosts and interviews Carrie Callahan and Matthew Bremekamp on the non-profit Empower SCI: a residential rehabilitation program for individuals with spinal cord injuries. Carrie Callahan is a physical therapist and one of the founders of Empower SCI and Matthew Bremekamp was a participant in the program who has now become a mentor with Empower SCI.

In this episode, we discuss:

-Empower SCI’s mission to integrate patients back into their community

-The benefits of volunteering with a non-profit

-A multitude of ways to get involved and support Empower SCI

-Carrie and Matthew’s favorite memories while working with Empower SCI

-And so much more!


“A lot of the topics that are covered in inpatient rehab are vital to survival but not necessarily knowing how to enjoy life once again.”


“Those seeds were planted and the information that was given to him years ago as a participant has literally rolled into this full, meaningful, substantive existence for him that he could come back and share.”


“The power of the human spirit is the biggest thing that I’ve learned about during the time we’ve had Empower.”


“Look at life more of as a why not instead of a why.”


For more information on Carrie:

Carrie Callahan has practiced physical therapy for over 12 years, graduating from Ithaca College in 2003. She currently specializes in seating, positioning and wheeled mobility, earning her Assistive Technology Professional Certification in 2015, and now holds a position as Territory Sales Manager for Permobil, TiLite and ROHO products in the Boston area. She has a passion for teaching manual wheelchair skills, and has led Empower SCI in teaching these skills at Abilities Expos and through day courses for students, therapists and wheelchair-users in the Long Island and Boston communities. She also enjoys taking part in the adaptive sports community through Spaulding Adaptive Sports Centers, and in January of 2016, she was part of a team of one doctor and three clinicians who pioneered the monthly Adaptive Sports Medicine Clinic at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. At Empower, she is co-founder and president of the program, leader of wheelchair skills activities, leader of the Knobby Tire Ride and Roll Fall fundraiser, coordinates participant applications and communications, and loves to co-lead the Back on Board surfing event each July with the Testaverde Foundation.

For more information on Empower SCI:

Empower SCI is a non-profit corporation established to enable individuals with spinal cord injuries to lead happier, more meaningful and more independent lives. Empower SCI seeks to fill the gap in the rehabilitation industry that has been created by a decrease in length of stays at rehabilitation hospitals and outpatient services during the recovery from a spinal cord injury.

Through community outreach and a two week residential rehabilitation program at Stony Brook University in Long Island, NY, Empower SCI will provide the knowledge, tools, strength, and support that individuals with spinal cord injuries need to thrive.

For more information on Jenna:

Jenna Kantor (co-founder) is a bubbly and energetic girl who was born and raised in Petaluma, California. Growing up, she trained and performed ballet throughout the United States. After earning a BA in Dance and Drama at the University of California, Irvine, she worked professionally in musical theatre for 15+ years with tours, regional theatres, & overseas (www.jennakantor.com) until she found herself ready to move onto a new chapter in her life – a career in Physical Therapy. Jenna is currently in her 3rd year at Columbia University’s Physical Therapy Program. She is also a co-founder of the podcast, “Physiotherapy Performance Perspectives,” has an evidence-based monthly youtube series titled “Injury Prevention for Dancers,” is a NY SSIG Co-Founder, NYPTA Student Conclave 2017 Development Team, works with the NYPTA Greater New York Legislative Task Force and is the NYPTA Public Policy Committee Student Liaison. Jenna aspires to be a physical therapist for amateur and professional performers to help ensure long, healthy careers. To learn more, please check out her website: www.jennafkantor.wixsite.com/jkpt


Resources discussed on this show:

Empower SCI Website

Empower SCI Facebook

Empower SCI Twitter

Matthew Bremekamp LinkedIn

Matthew Bremekamp Twitter

Matthew Bremekamp Facebook

Carrie Callahan Facebook


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Have a great week and stay Healthy Wealthy and Smart!


Xo Karen



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©2019 Karen Litzy Physical Therapy PLLC.
©2019 Karen Litzy Physical Therapy PLLC.