Deborah Brienza graduated Magna Cum Laude from Tufts University with a degree in Occupational Therapy in 1988. She became a Certified Hand Therapist in 1994 and holds a Certificate in Health Care Management from New York University. Deborah began her career working in acute care at St. Lukes/Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York, New York. In 1991, Deborah established the Hand Therapy Program for Dr. Salvatore Lenzo, MD, an attending physician at the Hospital for Joint Diseases. During her seven years with Dr Lenzo, Deborah gained valuable clinical instruction and was able to observe surgery as well. In 1998, Deborah joined Hand in Hand Rehabilitation and became the Director in 2004. A member of the American Society of Hand Therapists and the American Occupational Therapy Association, Deborah is known for her intuitive expertise in maximizing patient’s functional independence via compensatory strategies and use of adaptive equipment. 

Deborah A. Brienza, OTR, CHT



Joann DiStasi, OTR, earned her degree in Occupational Therapy in 1987 from New York University. Joann has an extensive background in Rehabilitation Medicine, including positions as Senior Therapist at Mount Sinai Services at Elmhurst, ABILITIES Health and Rehabilitation Services, Long Island Jewish Outpatient Rehabilitation Medicine Services, and St. Charles Rehabilitation at Albertson. She is also currently affiliated with Orthopedic Associates of Manhasset. Over the years, Joann has served a diverse patient population and has developed clinical experience treating a wide variety of diagnoses. She joined Hand in Hand Rehabilitation in 1995. Joann offers expertise in myofascial release, shoulder rehabilitation and manual therapy techniques and continues to be interested in creative problem solving and innovative splinting

Joann B. DiStasi, OTR

Clinical Specialist

Patricia Nicholes, OTR, CHT, graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Occupational Therapy from New York University in 1985. Possessing an extensive orthopedic background, Patty worked for 6 years at St. Lukes/ Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York, New York, where she was Senior Clinician of the Outpatient Service, serving a hand and upper extremity population. In 1991, she joined Empire State Occupational Therapy and became a Certified Hand Therapist in 1992. Continuing her studies at NYU, Patty earned an MPA in Health Management in 1992. Working alongside the area’s most respected hand surgeons, Patty has held positions at the Hospital for Joint Diseases and Orthopedic Associates of Manhasset. She joined Hand in Hand Rehabilitation in 2004 where she continues to specialize in hand and upper extremity rehabilitation.

Patricia A. Nicholes, OTR, CHT

Certified Hand Therapist

Eileen Meehan, OTR,CHT, received a BA in Sociology and Psychology from SUNY Stonybrook in 1998 and earned a Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy, Magna Cum Laude, in 2002 from Touro College. Eileen worked for 3 years at The Hospital for Joint Diseases in New York, New York in both Inpatient and Outpatient Rehabilitation and developed expertise in the treatment of both neurological and orthopedic diagnoses. Eileen continued her specialization in Hand Therapy and held positions working with Salvatore Lenzo, MD, NY, NY, and Hand Surgery Associates, NY, NY, before joining Hand in Hand Rehabilitation in 2006. Eileen became a Certified Hand Therapist in 2008. Eileen’s special interests include wrist rehabilitation, hand trauma, arthritis and shoulder disorders. 

Eileen Meehan, OTR, CHT

Certified Hand Therapist

Our therapists are dedicated to ongoing professional development and utilize the latest research and treatment techniques in their programs. If you would like more information regarding a specific therapist or area of specialization, please contact us.

Karen Kayton, ORT/L, CHT, eeceived a MA in Occupational Therapy from New York University. She began her career working at Lincoln Hospital and then Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. While there, Karen found her niche working in Orthopedics and became the Supervisor of the Outpatient Clinic. Karen continued her Career specializing in Hand Therapy in a Physician Owned Practice working with Drs. Kenneth Kamler and Robert Gluck. She later joined NYPT OT Vitaris Rehabilitation as Director of their Garden City office. In 2011, Karen joined Hand in Hand Rehabilitation where she continues to offer clinical expertise in Hand and Upper Extremity Rehabilitation.

Karen Kayton, OTR/L, CHT

Certified Hand Therapist


  1. Hand Evaluation & Therapy

  2. Upper Extremity Evaluation & Therapy

  3. Custom Static & Dynamic Splinting

  4. Activities of Daily Living Evaluations

  5. Equipment Prescription & Training

  6. Thermal & Electrical Modalities

  7. Ergonomic Consultations

  8. Manual Therapy Techniques

  9. Cumulative Trauma Prevention

  10. Burn Rehabilitation

  11. Manual Edema Mobilization

  12. Wound Care

  13. Scar Management

  14. Individualized Home Exercise Programs


Long Island

346 Westbury Avenue

P.O. Box 204

Carle Place, NY 11514

516.333.1481 tel

516.333.0549 fax

New York City

153 East 87th Street, Suite 1A

New York, NY 10128

212.472.1000 tel

212.472.1066 fax

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