Women’s Health Residency

Program Mission

The mission of the UNC Health Residency Programs is to provide a superior, comprehensive specialist training and mentorship to licensed physical therapists to meet the health and wellness needs of the people of North Carolina and beyond. For the UNC Health Women's Health Physical Therapy residency, this mission is applied to physical therapists and their work with a diverse population including transgender, non-binary, male, adult and pediatric patients with pelvic health related conditions.

Program Type

Multiple facility: Residents will work 30 hours per week. Six months in a UNC Rehabilitation Therapies clinic in Durham and 6 months in a UNC Rex clinic in Raleigh.

Program Structure

  • The program is a 55 week appointment starting September 12, 2022.
  • We have been granted candidacy status for our program by ABPTRFE and will onboard 2 residents.
  • Residents completing the residency program will be prepared to sit for the WCS.


The curriculum includes online learning modules, journal club, case discussion, skills labs and in-person learning opportunities.

The curriculum will cover topics such as: Pelvic floor dysfunctions including bowel and bladder dysfunctions, sexual dysfunction, perinatal and postpartum care, transgender and non-binary care, pediatric care, lymphedema and oncology care.


Kristel MaesKristel Maes, PT, DPT, Program Director

Undergraduate school: KULeuven Belgium

Graduate school: KULeuven Belgium and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Professional interest: My clinical interest is spine. In my current position as Administrator of our post-graduate programs I have a passion for education and preparing the future generation of therapists.

Why I serve as a mentor: Research has shown that having a professional mentor is beneficial to advancing your career. From personal experience, I value the benefit of surrounding myself with others who can give me a different perspective on a patient case, problem or project. By serving as a mentor I hope to pass on my knowledge and support a resident’s professional growth.

Abbie DeWittAbbie DeWitt, PT, DPT, Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Women’s Health, Cert. DN Program Coordinator

Undergraduate school: University Of Massachusetts - Amherst

Graduate school: University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

Professional interest: I will treat anyone with a pelvic floor. However, my special interests are in pregnancy/postpartum, gastrointestinal dysfunction, and sexual dysfunction.

Why I serve as a mentor: I am passionate about pelvic health and serving the widespread patient population that we see here at UNC. It is a pleasure and a privilege to work with others who share this passion and interest. Not only can I help others grow in this field, but I also grow in return.

Erika N. JohnsonErika N. Johnson, MPT, PT

Undergraduate school: BS in Computer Science, Mary Washington College (University of Mary Washington)

Graduate school: Master of Physical Therapy, Old Dominion University

Professional interest: Pelvic health topics with special interest in pregnancy and postpartum care, vaginismus and post cancer care. Also passionate about dry needling, process improvement and program development within outpatient rehabilitation.

Why I serve as a mentor: Serving as a mentor allows me to share my passion and experience with upcoming therapists. Mentorship also provides me additional education and professional growth opportunities--I love to learn from students, residents and fellows. Any opportunity to spread the availability and awareness of pelvic health rehabilitation services is a plus.

Sarah RoneySarah Roney, PT, DPT, Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Women’s Health

Undergraduate school: Ohio State University

Graduate school: Northwestern University

Professional interest: Women's and men's health issues, pregnancy and postpartum care.

Why I serve as a mentor: To further the profession of pelvic PT as we need more clinicians to treat all the patients in need!

Amanda Friedline WeberAmanda Friedline Weber, PT, DPT, ATC

Undergraduate school: Hope College - BA in Exercise Sport Science w/ Emphasis in Athletic Training

Graduate school: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Masters in Athletic Training, Doctorate in Physical Therapy

Professional interest: Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy, perinatal and postpartum care, bowel/bladder and sexual dysfunction, orthopedics/sports, and vestibular physical therapy.

Why I serve as a mentor: I enjoy being able to mentor/teach the next wave of pelvic floor therapists, assisting with clinical reasoning and hands on learning to offer a holistic approach for evaluation and intervention. As a student, having mentors to lean on, bounce ideas off of and guide my practice was invaluable in all areas of clinical practice, but especially pelvic floor physical therapy where there is less dedicated didactic time in PT school, requiring additional CEU/learning.

Alicia HessAlicia Hess, PT, DPT, cert. DN

Undergraduate school: Andrews University

Graduate school: Andrews University

Professional interest: Pelvic health for all persons.

Why I serve as a mentor: I am interested in all opportunities to advocate for pelvic health, particularly in underserved communities such as Transgender health care and gender non-conforming communities via teaching, training and mentorship. I feel that, as a mentor in the fellowship program, I will be able to contribute to the development of systems, programs and therapists to support physical therapy in pelvic health.

Aimee JonioAimee Jonio, PT, DPT, CLT

Undergraduate school: Michigan State University

Graduate school: Elon University

Professional interest: Pelvic Health, including female, male, and pediatric patients.

Lymphedema services.

Why I serve as a mentor: Mentoring forces/allows me to step out of my comfort zone and think of/explain things differently, as well as gives me opportunities to learn from other professionals who are passionate about pelvic health and about delivering the best care possible. I would not be where I am today were it not for my own mentors, and I see this as part of how I am attempting to pay it forward within the profession.

Lisette McEwenLisette McEwen, PT, MPT

Undergraduate school: University of California San Diego

Graduate school: Samuel Merritt University

Professional interest: Awareness of the role of the physical therapist in pelvic health across the medical field and in the community. The treatment of dyspareunia.

Why I serve as a mentor: I enjoy sharing my passion for the treatment of individuals with pelvic floor dysfunction. I find that sharing the experience I have gained in treating this patient population reinforces a higher level of practice and can often expand my own clinical knowledge.

Gail NagelGail Nagel, PT

Undergraduate school: University of Illinois BS Biology ; Chicago Medical School BS PT

Graduate school: University of Illinois BS Biology ; Chicago Medical School BS PT

Professional interest: Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy, Pelvic Health Physical Therapy, Dry Needling including to Pelvic Floor, Functional Manual Physical Therapy, Myofascial Release.

Why I serve as a mentor: Throughout my career --I have sought out and participated in a multitude of different educational opportunities including completing a 3 year post graduate orthopedic residency program, attending multiple orthopedic manual therapy courses through the Institute of Physical Art, participating in courses through Bjorn Svendsen’s Orthopedic Manual Residency program ,as his invited guest (Bjorn Svendsen DHSc PT was also one of the founding father of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists AAOMPT), being mentored by Dr. Edward Stiles, an Osteopath who has received numerous awards including the A.T. Still Medallion of Honor.
I am passionate about learning and sharing information that I have attained through my years of experience as a physical therapist.

Valerie Collins

Valerie W Collins PT, CLT-LANA

Undergraduate school: University of Connecticut

Professional interest: Oncology rehabilitation and lymphedema.

Why I serve as a mentor: I love caring for patients with cancer and/or lymphedema and want to inspire the next generation to train in this specialized field as there is an increased need for our services.

Deborah L. GivensDeborah L. Givens, PT, DPT, PhD

Undergraduate school: Virginia Commonwealth University

Graduate school: PhD University of Iowa; MS and DPT MGH Institute of Health Professions

Professional interest: My clinical and research interests are in musculoskeletal pain and motor control. My research has focused on low back pain and knee osteoarthritis. As the Director of the Division of Physical Therapy and a proponent of residency education, I enjoy mentoring others and leadership development, too.

Why I serve as a mentor: My passion is helping others to translate evidence into action. This is why I teach the module ''Evidence-Based Practice'' in the common curriculum to the residents and fellows. I enjoy learning the different perspectives of each practice area. I have a long history of participating in residency education across three institutions (UNC, Ohio State, and Creighton) and have facilitated innovative models of residency administration and education.

Lisa JohnstonLisa Johnston, PT, MS, DPT

Undergraduate school: Northern Illinois University

Graduate school: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Arizona School of Health Sciences

Professional interest: Clinical Education, Teaching and Learning.

Why I serve as a mentor: I enjoy helping new professionals develop their professional skills. In particular, assisting residents develop their teaching skills and share their clinical expertise with their patients and developing professionals.

Brian TrabulsiBrian Trabulsi, PT, MPT, COMT

Undergraduate school: Marietta College

Graduate school: Chatham University

Professional interest: I enjoy working with complex patients and utilizing a combination of dry needling, manual therapy and exercise to systematically help with their musculoskeletal issues.

Why I serve as a mentor: I enjoy watching the residents grow as clinicians from the beginning to the end of the residency. I enjoy helping them figure out what to focus on versus what is less important.

Sarah van der HorstSarah van der Horst, PT, DPT, Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Women’s Health

Undergraduate school: Oberlin College

Graduate school: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Professional interest: Orthopedic physical therapy for individuals of all ages and activity levels with a focus on underserved communities. Treating Spanish speakers in their native language.

Why I serve as a mentor: To ensure we have critically thinking providers in our profession that will focus on improving the lives of our patients with evidence based practice. For the joy of teaching and seeing a person apply what they have learned in real time.

Current Residents

Ruba RazaRuba Raza, DPT

Undergraduate school: Appalachian State University

Graduate school: East Carolina University

Professional interest: My passion is treating patients with various pelvic diagnosis', including: urinary urgency, stress urinary incontinences, patients pre and postpartum, pelvic pain, and constipation (plus so much more). I am also very excited to learn more about treating patients who are transgender, as well as pediatric patients through this residency. I would say I am most passionate about treatment of pelvic pain diagnosis', such as vaginismus, chronic pelvic pain, and dyspareunia.

Why I chose to do a residency/fellowship program at UNC: Having had two previous clinical rotations at UNC, I experienced how UNC stands out in providing excellent mentorship for their students, as well as PT residents. The team at UNC truly wants to see you succeed and always put in the time and effort to help you grow personally, and professionally.

What I like about Chapel Hill, NC: Being from the Durham area, I have always loved this area and even decided to buy a house here. There are so many activities and things to do around here- from going to breweries to hiking, and everything in between, I feel like I never run out of new and fun options! This area is also growing super fast and so there are always new and fun restaurants to try.

Jennifer CastilloJennifer Castillo, PT, DPT

Undergraduate school: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Graduate school: Creighton University

Professional interest: Women's Health/Pelvic Health PT

Why I chose to do a residency/fellowship program at UNC: I chose to do a residency at UNC because of the well-rounded opportunity, including research, teaching, didactic work, and mentorship during clinical practice. The entire staff is welcoming, helpful, and excellent at what they do! I am very excited to be one of the first Women's Health PT Residents and can't wait to grow as a clinician with UNC's support during this year!

What I like about Chapel Hill, NC: So many different options of things to do! All of food choices are delicious and the outdoor activities are awesome to see the beautiful greenery. I can't wait to go to a UNC sporting event!

Salary, Tuition and Benefits

Residents are full-time employees (with competitive salary and benefits). Residents also receive Paid Time Off for vacation, sick and holiday time off from clinic work. There is no tuition associated with the program.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants must be residents of the U.S. and have NC PT licensure prior to August 1st.
  • Applicants must have clinical experience in women’s health either via completion of full time clinical experience and/or work experience.
  • Applicants must have completed APTA approved pelvic health level 1 course or equivalent.


Applications for 2023-2024 will open October 1 through December 162022. Please go to RF-PTCAS.

We will invite strong candidates for an interview on Monday February 13, 2023.


Reach out to Kristel Maes

Information on Student Affiliations

Rehabilitation Therapies, Therapy Services Educators
Kristel Maes, PT, DPT
Amber Corbin, MA, CCC-SLP
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