In-Home Evaluation, Treatment, and Prevention of Falls

Our Therapists

Frank Hielema, PhD, PT received his physical therapy education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  After working on the island of Curacao for one year, he returned to North Carolina where he began to specialize in geriatric physical therapy, developing a particular interest in recovery from hip fracture.  He received his PhD in Epidemiology from the School of Public Health at UNC, Chapel Hill where he studied how variations in the quality and quantity of care provided to patients with hip fracture affected recovery in skilled nursing facilities.  After serving as the Director of Rehab Program Development and Quality Improvement for the Hillhaven Corporation, he started SureSteps in 1999.  The catalyst for starting SureSteps was publication in medical journals of research that showed that intervention in the home in reducing the risk of falling was effective, and could decrease the chances that a hip fracture could occur.  Frank provides services in central Raleigh, Cary and other western, southern and eastern Wake County communities.

Carroll Fernstrom, OT earned her degree in occupational therapy from East Carolina University.  She has practiced in Winston-Salem, NC, Annapolis, MD, and Richmond, VA.  Her career has focused on physical disabilities and rehabilitation in a variety of settings.  She specializes in working with older adults, with expertise in arthritis, upper extremity problems, pulmonary rehab and neurological impairments.  Carroll has contributed to and reviewed several books on standards and documentation guidelines in healthcare, including publication of her S.A.F.E. Home Safety Assessment.  In addition to helping clients modify their home for safety, she provides individualized treatment specific to each person’s needs.  Carroll joined SureSteps in 2002.  She provides services in Raleigh and northern Wake County communities.

Nandita (Nan) Garg, OT received her undergraduate degree from California State University in Hayward, and her Masters in Occupational Therapy from California State University in San Jose.  She began her career in the hospital setting in California.  Prior to joining SureSteps in 2001, Nan worked with NovaCare, the Hillhaven Corporation, and Legacy Healthcare, providing services in the skilled nursing facility setting as a clinician and in management of clinical operations.  Nan has over 15 years of geriatric experience and uses her skills to help clients safely perform activities of daily living through training in functional mobility, increasing strength, endurance, coordination and balance, as well as recommending environmental modifications for safety and providing caregiver training.  Nan provides services in Cary and other western, southern and eastern Wake County communities.