Advanced Therapy at Sharon Hospital provides hands-on care combined with technologically advanced equipment. The goal of the center’s staff, which includes physical, occupational, and speech therapists, is to help patient’s return to their maximum function quickly and effectively. Our team of therapists provides one-on one care that is individualized to meet your needs.

  • Physical Therapy/Sports Therapy  
  • Occupational Therapy  
  • Speech and Language Pathology  

Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday

Please feel free to contact us for additional information:
Advanced Therapy at Sharon Hospital, 50 Hospital Hill Road, Sharon, CT 06069

  • 860.364.4065 | phone
  • 860.364.4466 | fax

How do I get to Sharon Hospital’s Advanced Therapy Rehabilitation Center?

We are located in Sharon Hospital.  You should plan to park in the front parking lot of the hospital and enter through the main entrance.  Once you are inside the hospital the receptionist in the front will direct you to our department.

Meet Our Team: 

Melissa Braislin, MS, CCC-SLP, Department Manager, 860.364.4446


Physical Therapy Team:

Ginny Billups, Rehabilitation Technician

Jeff Litishin, PT, DPT

Drew Matsen, PT, DPT, OSC, CSCS

Carola Monroe, PT

Robin Mostachetti, MS, PT

Mark Pillsbury, PT, DPT, VR

Gregory Sukow, MSPT

Ellen Walker, PT, DPT, CFMT

Occupational Therapy Team: 

Jessica Bannerman, OTR|L

Norman Askinazi, MA, OTR|L

Speech Therapy Team:

Katherine Askinazi, MA, CCC-SLP

Melissa Braislin, MS, CCC-SLP, Department Manager

Katja Schultz, MA, CCC-SLP

Haley Wheeler, MA, CCC-SLP


Frequently Asked Questions:

What should I expect from therapy?
You will receive a comprehensive evaluation from a licensed therapist.  Your therapists’ assessment along with your personal objectives will be combined in order to determine appropriate goals and a treatment plan that is right for you.  Once the treatment plan has been established you will work together with your therapist to reach those goals.  It will be your responsibility to perform the prescribed home exercise program in order to maximize your recovery.

What should I bring with me to my first therapy appointment?
Please arrive to your appointment 15 minutes ahead of time in order to complete the appropriate paperwork.  In order to receive therapy you will need to have a prescription from your physician.  You will also need to bring your insurance cards with you.

What should I wear to therapy?
Wear appropriate loose fitting clothing.  You may want to bring shorts/sweats/T-shirt to change into.

Will my therapy be covered by my insurance?
Therapies are usually covered either in part or full by most major insurance plans.  The hospital will bill your insurance company direct at the end of each month.  Co-pays will be due at the time of service.  You may want to call your insurance company and review your coverage prior to treatment.

What can I do at home in conjunction with therapy to make me feel better?

  1. Discuss with your therapist how you might modify the activities that cause your pain.  They may be contributing to your inflammatory or degenerative process.
  2. Try to determine what activity is causing your symptoms and let your therapist know.  Your therapist can help to find alternative ways of doing things.
  3. Apply ice to an acute/new injury for 15 minute intervals, with at least 60 minutes between each interval, several times a day
  4. Heat can be used for stiffness and achiness as long as it is not a new or acute injury
  5. Walking is beneficial as long as it does not increase your symptoms even if it is for 15 minutes a couple of times a day.
  6. Continue to do your home program provided by your therapist and use proper body mechanics
  7. Drink plenty of water to help reduce soreness-typically eight tall glasses a day and more on therapy days.
  8. Work on relaxation techniques. Some pain may be increased by muscle tension and stress

Sharon Hospital Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine

The physical therapists at Sharon Hospital have years of experience in treating a wide range of diagnosis that spans all age groups.  Our therapists have extensive training in manual therapy and continue to enhance their skills through ongoing continuing education and inservicing programs.  Our department has state of the art equipment available.
Some of the common injuries/conditions that we see at Sharon Hospital are:

  • Sports Injuries (knee and shoulder injuries pre and post operatively)
  • Arthritis (joint replacements)
  • Neck and Back Injuries
  • Osteoporosis
  • Women’s health (pregnancy, pelvic floor dysfunction)
  • Neurological Impairments (Stroke, Parkinson’s disease, MS, Lyme’s disease, TBI)
  • Balance disorders
  • Arthritis
  • Amputations (orthotic and prosthetic training)
  • Pediatrics
  • Cancer

Manual Therapy:  The integrated use of soft tissue and joint mobilization combined with neuromuscular rehabilitation and therapeutic exercise to effectively evaluate, treat and restore function to the injured area (joint).

Related websites:


Sharon Hospital Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapists help people restore their ability to perform activities of daily living that may have become impaired due to disability, injury, or illness.  The primary goal of the occupational therapist is to work with the patient in order for patients to function at an optimum level of ability.  Occupational therapy is unique to each individual and their environment.  People of varying ages receive occupational therapy to help them participate in daily activities.  Occupational therapists assist people in overcoming their medical conditions to perform everyday tasks that may have once been considered simple.
Some of the conditions that are commonly seen by occupational therapists are:

  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Other neurological conditions (Lyme, Gullian-Barre)
  • Orthopedic Injuries of the shoulder/elbow/wrist and hand
  • Hand therapy
  • Pediatrics (Developmental, Sensory Integration)
  • Arthritis
  • Amputations of the upper extremity

Occupational Therapists are instrumental in performing safety evaluations, recommending appropriate adaptive equipment and providing strategies to ensure safety while developing and maintaining independence within their home environment.  Customized programs to improve one’s ability to perform daily activities are the overall goal.  During this process guidance to the patient, family and caregiver is provided.  A person needing OT could be an individual facing change related to aging, a child who may be having difficulties performing tasks in school or even be a family member experiencing or coping with an illness.  People requiring the skills of an Occupational therapist could be just about anyone for any number of reasons who are unable to do the things in life they wish or need to do.

Related websites:
Sharon Hospital Department of Communication and Swallowing Disorders

Melissa Braislin, CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist, Sharon Hospital | 860-364-4065


Adults who require speech therapy services typically have one of the following; Stroke, Acquired Brain Injury, Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, Dementia, or other neurological disorders, Head and Neck Cancers or vocal pathology.


Adults can be affected by one of the following communication disorders. An individualized therapy plan is created to meet you and your family’s goals to improve their ability to communicate.

Aphasia is difficulty with speaking, understanding spoken language, reading comprehension and/or written language. This includes difficulty with word retrieval. Therapy is centered on your wants and needs and often involves your family and caregiver to help with communication outside of the therapy setting.

Apraxia is a neurological disorder characterized by motor difficulty planning the movements necessary for speech. Therapy will focus on ‘retraining’ and practicing the correct speech movements for sounds over and over. PROMPT is a therapy technique that may be used to help improve your ability to speak.

Dysarthria involves the muscles of the mouth, face and respiratory system, which may be weak, move slowly, uncoordinated or not move at all. Therapy will focus on improving the strength and coordination of the speech subsystems (respiration, phonation, articulation, resonance) to improve communication and learning strategies to improve speech clarity.

Cognitive Disorders are typically seen with acquired brain injury or neurological disorders. It includes difficulty initiating, planning, organizing and evaluating tasks, memory deficits, difficulty with orientation, and trouble with attention. Therapy will focus on improving your ability to complete vocational, household or educational tasks independently.

Voice Disorders are typically due to vocal nodules, paralysis, vocal cord bowing, vocal cord tension and/or vocal abuse. With voice disorders, the voice typically sounds hoarse, breathy, or harsh. Therapy focuses on improving your vocal hygiene and learning to use your voice more effectively.

Head and Neck Cancers can cause voice disorders and in some cases require a laryngectomy. Options for communication with laryngectomy may include trachoesophageal prosthesis, electrolarynx and esophageal speech.


Meet with others who share the same challenges as you, learn coping strategies and listen and learn through group discussions about adjustments, communication and social activities. There is a Stroke Support Group that is held every Friday. Please call 860-364-4065 for the time and location.


Dysphagia is difficulty with chewing or swallowing which can result in aspiration.

Modified Barium Swallow/Videofluoroscopic Swallow Study is a functional test that assesses the swallowing mechanism using x-ray. It is also referred to as a Videofluoroscopic Swallow Study (VFSS) as is performed by both the radiologist and the speech pathologist. The x-ray images the passage of food from the mouth through the throat, and into the esophagus. The images are evaluated for abnormalities in the swallowing mechanism and to look for signs of aspiration.

Clinical Swallowing Assessments and Swallowing Therapy is available at Sharon Hospital. Treatment will depend on the cause, symptoms and type of swallowing problem you are experiencing. An exercise program, specific strategies or postures or specific diets may be recommended.


Pediatrics that require speech therapy services include children who have Developmental Speech/Language Delays, Autism/PDD/Asperger’s Syndrome, Down’s syndrome, Brain Injury, Cleft Palate, Cerebral Palsy, Seizure Disorders. Children can be affected by one or more of the following.


Pediatrics can be affected by one of the following communication disorders. An evaluation is completed to determine how your child understands and expresses language when related to what is ‘typical’ for a child of the same age. An individualized therapy plan is created with you and your child to help improve their communication skills.

Articulation/Phonological Disorders are when your child has difficulty producing sounds correctly. Every sound has a different range of ages when your child should say them correctly. An articulation or phonological disorder is when these mistakes occur past a certain age.

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders are when the tongue moves forward in an exaggerated way during speech and/or swallowing. The tongue may lie too far forward during rest or may protrude between the upper and lower teeth during speech and/or swallowing.

Childhood Apraxia of Speech is difficulty saying sounds, syllables and words, not due to muscle weakness or paralysis. Your child knows what he or she wants to say, but his/her brain has difficulty coordinating the muscle movements necessary to say those words.

Language Disorders are when there is difficulty understanding or using language (both oral and written) to communicate thoughts, ideas, and feelings.

Stuttering is when your child’s speech is not fluent. Dysfluencies are the disruption of speech and can be described as part or whole word repetitions, prolongations or sound blocks while speaking. This usually starts in childhood and can last into adulthood.


Feeding disorders are when your child may have difficulty coordinating suck/swallow/breath, transitioning between textures, chewing, and/or swallowing. Therapy could focus on improving muscle strength or tongue movement, chewing, accepting different textured foods and liquids, improving sucking and/or drinking ability, and/or altering food textures to ensure safe swallowing.

Related websites:

Other Information:

Volunteers:  We encourage people interested in any of the therapy fields to spend some time volunteering in our department and shadowing our therapists.  This is a great opportunity to observe current techniques and also experience patient care.

Students:  Advanced Therapy at Sharon Hospital acts as a clinical site for several nearby colleges for physical therapy and speech therapy in order for students to complete clinical affiliations required for a degree.