Cianci was drawn to working in physical therapy after watching her mother, a special education teacher, volunteer with the Special Olympics and other inspiring events that engaged these unique populations. Soon after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from the University of Scranton, Cianci “fell in love with working with older adults,” and went on the receive a Master’s Degree in gerontology from St. Joseph’s University.
Starting at Pennsylvania Hospital in 1994, Heather became a Board Certified Geriatric Clinical Specialist and began to focus those skills on patients with Parkinson’s disease. She is also a Board Member for Cure PSP.
“Parkinson's is a lifetime journey and I have the honor of being with them on the journey,” says Cianci of her patients. “It is a rare find to have a job that doesn't feel like a ‘job.’ The ability to have time to spend with my patients to get to know them, their families, and their needs is truly a gift."
Heather’s career as a physical therapist at Penn Therapy & Fitness is also a journey—one that has allowed Heather to work with cutting edge technologies and therapies, with a culture of continual learning and education. Throughout her career, Heather has presented for the Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association (PPTA), written publications for the National Parkinson Foundation and chapters in books about rehabilitation in addition to lecturing on both national and international levels
“Being able to work in a specific specialty area has allowed me to continue to grow in my knowledge and be seen as an expert in my field,” shared Cianci.
Aside from celebrating 20 special years with the organization, this year marks 19 years of yet another journey—her marriage to her husband, Paul. Together with their two sons, Alec (10) and Leo (7), Heather and her husband are excited to share their family journey with their newly-adopted miniature pinscher, Alvin.
In addition to making an impact on the lives of countless of patients over the past two decades, Heather lifelong friendships with coworkers and dedicated clinicians throughout her career here.
“I work with the most amazingly dedicated group of therapists anywhere! Every day we learn, laugh and support one another and our patients.”