Faculty Advisory Boards

Joachim E. Zuther, MLD/CDT Certified Instructor

Founder Academy of Lymphatic Studies, Sebastian, FL

Following extensive training in Lymphedema Management, which started in 1984, Joachim Zuther founded the Ulmkolleg/Department of Lymphology (University of Ulm, Germany) in 1990 after he received his degree as a certified instructor for Manual Lymph Drainage (Vodder Technique) and Complete Decongestive Therapy (MLD/CDT) from the German Physical Therapy Association. In 1994 he formed the Academy of Lymphatic Studies, Sebastian, FL - the first school to offer Lymphedema Therapy Certification courses according to the European curriculum in the Continental United States. He was also the first instructor to teach courses in Taiwan and Saudi Arabia. Joachim is an active member of the National Lymphedema Network (NLN), the International Society of Lymphology (ISL), the German Society of Lymphology (DGL), and the German Physical Therapy Association (VPT) as well as a founding member of the Lymphology Association of North America (LANA). In 2005 he authored the textbook “Lymphedema Management”, which was published by Thieme Medical and Scientific Publishers, New York, NY.



Trudy Ferguson-Pitters, PT, MHSA, MLD/CDT Instructor

Faculty, Medical Advisor Academy of Lymphatic Studies

Trudy is the Coordinator of the Lymphedema Program at Aventura Hospital, Aventura, FL. She received her BS in Physical Therapy in 1991 from the University of Toronto, Ontario. She pursued her Master's Degree in Health Services Administration at Nova Southeastern University and is a licensed Physical Therapist in Canada as well as the United States. Trudy coordinates the Lymphedema Management Program at Aventura Hospital in Aventura, FL where her focus has been on the promotion of Lymphedema Care at support groups and facility meetings. Trudy joined the Academy of Lymphatic Studies in 1999 as an Associate Instructor, she is also a faculty member of a private college in Fort Lauderdale, Florida a member of the APTA, FPTA, NLN and the American College of Healthcare Executives.



Julie Jefferson, PT, DPT, MLD/CDT Instructor

Faculty, Medical Advisor Academy of Lymphatic Studies

Dr. Jefferson received her doctoral degree from the University of Central Arkansas in 2003; and her MS in physical therapy in 1993. In 2006, she became certified as a Pediatric Certified Specialist through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. She received training in Lymphedema Management in 1998 and assisted in the development of a lymphedema clinic at a major hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas. Julie has a variety of clinical experience in a multitude of settings. Her interests include Women's Health and Pediatrics. She has instructed students at both the University of Central Arkansas and at Georgia State University when she was the Director of Clinical Education at these programs. She continues to lecture on lymphedema management. She is a member of the APTA. She joined the Academy of Lymphatic Studies as an assistant instructor in 2006, and completed her instructor training in 2007.



Marina Maduro PT, DPT, WCC, CLT-LANA, MLD/CDT Instructor

Faculty, Medical Advisor Academy of Lymphatic Studies
Director of Curriculum, Academy of Lymphatic Studies

Marina received her doctoral degree in 2011 from Shenandoah University in Virginia; and her BA in Physical Therapy in 1988 from Washington University in St. Louis, MO. Marina is licensed as a DPT and was certified as a wound specialist by the Natl. Alliance of Wound Care (NAWC) in 2004. She specializes in wound care, lymphedema therapy and vascular rehabilitation, and has extensive experience in management and leadership. Marina is currently working at Baptist Hospital and various home health agencies in Miami, FL. Throughout her career, Marina has worked for several hospitals under various positions, including Assistant Director of the Rehabilitation Department, Director of the Lymphedema Program, Clinical Coordinator and Wound Care Center Supervisor. She received her certification as a MLD/CDT therapist from the Academy of Lymphatic Studies in 1996 and has been dedicated to lymphedema and wound care ever since. Since 1995 she has lectured about lymphedema, wound care and vascular rehabilitation in South American countries at different congresses and symposiums of Phlebology and Lymphology. Dr. Maduro joined the Academy of Lymphatic Studies as an instructor in 2007 and was promoted to Curriculum Director in 2012.



John Jordi, PTA, BS, CLT-LANA, MLD/CDT Instructor

Faculty, Medical Advisor Academy of Lymphatic Studies

John received his PTA degree in 1993 from St. Catherine's College in Minneapolis, MN and his certification as an MLD/CDT therapist in 1999 from the Academy of Lymphatic Studies. He has devoted his practice to full time lymphedema treatment since his certification. Since 2002, John has been the lymphedema program coordinator at Siskin Hospital for Physical Rehabilitation Services in Chattanooga, TN. In addition to the outpatient lymphedema program, he developed and manages a specialized inpatient program for stage 3 lymphedema patients. In 2007, John received his BS in Business Administration from Bryan College in Dayton, TN. He also joined the Academy of Lymphatic Studies as an assistant instructor in 2007 and completed instructor training in 2008. John's interest in lymphedema extends to patient advocacy and community education. He organizes and facilitates a bimonthly educational support group, and he initiated an endowment fund to assist patients with the cost of compression garments. John is a member of the NLN and has presented at professional and patient conferences.



Dusty Fiester, MPT, CLT/CDT Instructor

Faculty, Medical Advisor Academy of Lymphatic Studies

Dusty received her Masters in Physical Therapy in 2001 from the University of Evansville with academic honors. She was certified as a CLT by the Academy of Lymphatic Studies in 2003. Dusty has worked as a manager and staff physical therapist. She has experience in outpatient, inpatient, a hospital based SNF and home health care settings. In all settings, her passion is meeting the needs of those with lymphedema. She also presents guest lectures at her alma mater regarding lymphedema management. She joined the Academy of Lymphatic Studies as an assistant instructor in 2008, and completed her instructor training in February of 2009.



Thomas Bucklew, P.T., MBA, CLT-LANA, MLD/CDT Instructor

Faculty, Medical Advisor Academy of Lymphatic Studies

Thomas received his BS in Physical Therapy from Eastern Washington University in Cheney Washington in 1991. Practice areas have included orthopedics, especially foot-related issues, lymphedema and swelling disorders and, more recently, practices in an acute care setting at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Stockton, California. Additionally, Thomas is heading the development of a Lymphedema program for his current employer. He is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and a personal trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He is a member of the NLN and the NSCA. Thomas joined the Academy of Lymphatic Studies in 2008 as an assistant instructor, completing instructor training in 2009.



Cecilia DeBrigard, P.T., CLT-LANA, MLD/CDT Instructor

Faculty, Medical Advisor Academy of Lymphatic Studies

Cecilia received her BS in Physical Therapy from El Rosario University in Colombia, S.A. in 1981 and is a licensed P.T. in Florida and California. She currently works as a Senior Physical Therapist in Outpatient Rehab at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, FL. She treats a wide variety of lymphedema patients and has clinical experience in a multitude of clinical settings. Cecilia received her training in CDT/MLD at the Academy of Lymphatic Studies in 1999. She is a member of the APTA and is LANA Certified. Cecilia joined the Academy of Lymphatic Studies in May of 2011 as an assistant instructor, completing instructor training in October 2011.



Frank Aviles, Jr., PT, CWS, WCC, FACCWS, CLT, Wound Care Instructor

Faculty, Medical Advisor Academy of Lymphatic Studies

Frank received his BA in Physical Therapy in 1991 from Florida A&M University. He has been an APTA member since 1990, member of the Clinical Electrophysiology and Wound Management APTA Section, obtained his Certified Wound Specialist designation through the American Academy of Wound Management, obtained his Wound Care Certificate through the National Alliance of Wound Care, current member of the American College of Certified Wound Specialist, current member of The Association for the Advancement of Wound Care, and received his CLT designation from the Academy of Lymphatic Studies in 2010. Frank is transitioning from being the Director of Therapy and Wound Specialist for the Natchitoches LTAC facility to an administrative role as the Wound Care Service Line Director for Natchitoches Regional Medical Center providing direction, education and overseeing wound care services for the acute care hospital, nursing home, The Comprehensive Outpatient Wound/Hyperbaric Center, LTAC unit and community outreach programs. Frank is also a wound care clinical consultant and educates through his own therapy based company. He developed, hosts and moderates The Wound Healing Round Tables in order to provide education to rural areas, serves on the speaker bureau for several wound care companies, involved in developing multidisciplinary skin-wound care programs, presented posters at conferences, and has been published.



Jody Bowser, DPT, CLT, MLD/CDT Instructor

Faculty, Medical Advisor Academy of Lymphatic Studies

Jody received her doctorate in physical therapy at West Virginia University in 2008 and her certification as a CLT in 2010 with the Academy of Lymphatic Studies. She is a director of physical therapy services at Preston Memorial Hospital in Kingwood, West Virginia. Her professional focuses include orthopedics, balance intervention, aquatic therapy, and lymphedema with experience in outpatient, inpatient, and skilled nursing facilities. She is an APTA member and enjoys lecturing to public and medical-based audiences on physical therapy related topics. Jody supports the growth of lymphedema awareness in her area through development of the lymphedema management program at her facility and is a clinical instructor for surrounding universities throughout the year. Jody joined the Academy of Lymphatic Studies in 2012.



Laura Castroviejo, PT, CLT, MLD/CDT Instructor

Faculty, Medical Advisor Academy of Lymphatic Studies

Laura received her MS in Kinesiology and Physiatry from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1996 and she is a licensed PT in the State of Florida. She received her University Professor Degree from Barcelo University in 2002 and has lectured about lymphedema, MLD and rehabilitation of patients with venous disorders at different seminars and congresses. She has also instructed physical therapy students at different universities in Buenos Aires. Since 1996 she has been dedicated to the training and education in lymphedema management (MLD and Compression therapy) in South American countries and the US. She has worked for several medical centers and hospitals coordinating lymphedema treatment programs and support groups in Florida. She is currently working with home health patients and she is the Director of Kinetic Rehab, Inc. in Miami, FL. Laura received her training in MLD/CDT at the Academy of Lymphatic Studies.



Kirat Shah, PT, MPT, WCC, CLT-LANA, MLD/CDT Instructor

Faculty, Medical Advisor Academy of Lymphatic Studies

Kirat received his Master’s degree in physical therapy from Loma Linda University in Southern California in 2009. He is a Geriatric Enhanced Modality(GEM) clinical specialist with Aegis Therapies overlooking facilities in the states of Virginia and Maryland. He is also a certified wound care trainer and a bronze level clinical leader within the company which is spread over 37 states. Currently he is also a member of the Wound Council for Golden Living, as a representative of the therapy services. He received his lymphedema certification from the Academy of Lymphatic Studies in 2012 and his wound care certification in 2013 from the National Alliance of Wound Care (NAWC). Kirat has been an active member of the APTA and state chapter since 2012 and the clinical electrophysiology and wound care since 2014. He is also an active member of the NLN (National Lymphedema Network). He received his LANA certification in 2014. He is actively involved in the training and education in regards to lymphedema in the USA and currently attempting to take the education to India. He joined the Academy as an assistant instructor (instructor in training) in August 2014 and became a certified instructor in January 2015.



Nilüfer KABLAN, PT, MSc, CLT, WCC, MLD/CDT Instructor

Faculty, Medical Advisor Academy of Lymphatic Studies

Mrs. Kablan graduated from Hacettepe University (Turkey), SBF, Department of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation in 1998. She completed her Master Science studies in the field of Exercise Physiology at Middle East Technical University in 2004. With the training she received from Foeldi School in 2008, she became a Certified Lymphedema Therapist and began working in this field. Mrs. Kablan received additional training, including "How to Take Measurements for Compression Garments" from BSN-Jobst Institute in 2009 and "Advanced Wound Management" from Lohmann & Raucher Institute in 2010. In 2015, she completed "Wound Care and Compression Therapy in Venous Ulcers" from Jobst Academy Turkey and the Complete Lymphedema Certification (MLD/CDT) course from the Academy of Lymphatic Studies in the United States. Also in 2015, she began her instructor training for the Academy of Lymphatic Studies. She became a certified instructor for the Academy and began teaching in Turkey in 2016. Having fulfilled studies intensely with the lymphatic and phlebolithic patient groups since 2007, she has gained a competent clinical experience in this field as well. She is currently working as a lecturer at The Marmara University and still continues to work on her doctorate (PhD) studies at the same University.



David Doubblestein, PT, MS, LLCC, CLT, MLD/CDT Instructor

Faculty, Medical Advisor Academy of Lymphatic Studies

David is a graduate of Grand Valley State University and obtained his physical therapy licensure in the State of Michigan in 1997. His career began at Gerber Memorial Hospital in the rural setting of Newaygo County, Michigan in outpatient orthopedics. In 2005, David ventured into entrepreneurship by starting his own outpatient physical therapy clinic, Living Hope Physical Therapy. He continues to practice at this location. David has studied many orthopedic manual modalities, including myofascial release, positional release therapy, muscle energy techniques, craniosacral therapy, and various approaches to joint mobilizations of the spine, pelvis, and extremities. While working at Gerber Memorial Hospital, the need for a lymphedema therapist became apparent, and he initially pursued his training through the Upledger Institute, studying the Chikly method of complete decongestive therapy. He developed a lymphedema treatment program for the hospital after accomplishing his LLCC certification. David began teaching for the International Alliance of Healthcare Educators in 2005 and taught various Lymph Drainage Therapy courses. During this time he authored a case study of the effects of Lymph Drainage Therapy on Bell’s Palsy, which was published in the Advance for Physical Therapists. In 2013, David pursued further studies in complete decongestive therapy through the Academy of Lymphatic Studies and successfully completed the CLT certification. David is also a credentialed MDT practitioner since 2014 after completion of his studies in McKenzie Diagnosis and Therapy. He is the author of "Manual Lymphatic Techniques for the Orthopedic Manual Therapist" published in 2016. Also in 2016, he became a certified instructor for the Academy of Lymphatic Studies.



Nouf Al-Dhwayan, SPT, CLT

Lymphedema program coordinator and lymphedema therapist at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh, KSA. Medical Advisor for the Academy of Lymphatic Studies

Nouf received her Bachelor degree in Physical therapy from King Saud University, Riyadh, and college of applied medical sciences in 1996. She worked as physical therapist in both in and outpatient neurology and oncology for 4 years and received her CDT certification in May 2000 at the Academy of Lymphatic Studies. Since then she is working and specializing in that field. Nouf received an advanced course at the Lymphology congress in Genoa, Italy Sept 2001. She is a member of the ISL and the NLN and regularly lectures to medical professionals and PT students on lymphedema management.



Michael Vogelpohl, MD

Medical Director of the Ulmkolleg/Department of Lymphology in Ulm, Germany, Medical Advisor Academy of Lymphatic Studies




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