Leadership & Staff
Scott A. Filler
Chief Executive Officer
Scott has been HealthSouth Altoona’s CEO since 1998. He brings with him more than 25 years of healthcare experience. Scott holds a bachelor’s degree in management, with a minor in finance from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and a master’s degree in business administration from Saint Francis University. A life-long resident of Altoona, Scott is a graduate of Altoona Area High School.
Rakesh (Rocky) Patel, D.O.
Dr. Patel has been an attending physician at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Altoona since 1997 and became the hospital’s medical director in 1998. Dr. Patel is board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation and is committed to helping each patient recover the strength and independence to return to work, to play and to living. He is a leader in the care of patients with spinal cord injury, amputation, orthopedic and musculoskeletal conditions; providing the most effective treatment to meet each patient’s individual needs. Dr. Patel was an associate professor at the Schwab Rehabilitation Center/University of Chicago from 1996-1997. He was an intern at Olympia Fields Osteopathic Medical Center and completed his residency at the world-renowned Schwab Rehabilitation Center/University of Chicago. He completed his undergraduate education at the University of Illinois and attended medical school at the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Rakesh Patel, D.O. is an independent private practice physician whose office is located at the hospital.
George R. Berger
George has been the hospital’s controller since 2009. He brings more than 16 years of healthcare experience to HealthSouth Altoona. George holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Saint Francis University and is a graduate of Bishop Guilfoyle High School.
Christine R. Bowser
Christine has served as the administrative supervisor since 1998 and has been employed with HealthSouth Altoona since 1986. She has more than 25 years of healthcare experience. Christine received an associate degree in specialized business in 1985 from the Altoona School of Commerce and is a 1982 graduate of Bishop Guilfoyle High School.
Mary Gen Boyles
Director of Nursing Services
Mary Gen has served as chief nursing officer since 1990 and has been an employee of the hospital since 1985. She has been employed in healthcare for nearly 35 years. Mary received her diploma from the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing in 1974 and received her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1976 from Pennsylvania State University. She is a 1971 graduate of Bishop Carroll High School.
Cheryl Buechele, CMB
Cardiac Program Co-Coordinator
Cheryl became the supervisor of the respiratory department in March 2012. She has been a respiratory therapist for 15 years and has been an employee since 2007. She is the co-coordinator of the cardiac program.
Susyn Catherine, RN, CRRN, MSN
Cardiac Program Co-Coordinator
Susyn has been a registered nurse for 28 years and has been an employee since 2004. She has a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in nursing degrees from Penn State.
Ilene Fellabaum, RN, CRRN
Orthopedic Program Coordinator
Ilene has been the hospital’s orthopedic program coordinator since 2006 and employed at HealthSouth since 1993. She has over 20 years of nursing experience. Ilene received her Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse (CRRN®) designation in 2011 and her degree in nursing from Altoona Hospital School of Nursing in 1991.
Director of Human Resources
Chris has been the director of human resources since 1998 and employee since 1989. She has more than 20 years of healthcare experience. Christine received an associate degree as a legal assistant from Mount Aloysius in 1983 and received her Human Resources Certificate from the Society of Human Resources Management in 2002. She is a 1981 graduate of Bishop Guilfoyle High School.
Theresa Friedenberger, RN, Patient Safety Coodinator
Director of Performance Improvement
Theresa has been with HealthSouth since 1996. She has more than 17 years of clinical experience and almost 10 years experience in infection prevention and control. Theresa has been the hospital’s infection control coordinator since 2007. She will assume the position of director of performance improvement in September 2012. Theresa received her associate degree in nursing from Mount Aloysius College in 1994 and is a graduate of Bishop Guilfoyle High School.
Mark Garrett, PT
Director of Therapy Operations
Mark has been the director of therapy operations since June 2013. He graduated from Temple University in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in physical therapy. Prior to his current position, Mark served as a senior physical therapist and was the coordinator of the Spinal Cord Injury Program.
Jennifer Hibbs, PT, MS
Traumatic Brain Injury Program Co-Coordinator
Jennifer has been the traumatic brain injury co-coordinator at HealthSouth Altoona since 2008. She has been a physical therapist for more than 20 years, with 17 years of experience in working with people who have survived a traumatic brain injury. She holds a bachelor's degree in physical therapy from the University of Toledo and a master's degree in allied medicine from Ohio State University. Jennifer is a graduate of VanWert High School in Ohio.
Aaron Meintel, OTR
Co-Coordinator Stroke Program
Aaron became the CVA(stroke) Program co-coordinator in 2013 after being an active member of the team since her hire in April 2011. Aaron obtained her master's degree in occupational therapy from Saint Francis University in May of 2010.
Ann Marie Montgomery, MA, CCC-SLP
Director of Speech-Language Pathology/Brain Injury Program Co-Coordinator
Ann Marie became the brain injury program co-coordinator in 2008. She joined the HealthSouth team in 1996 as the department director of the speech pathology department and has been an active member of the brain injury and stoke programs ever since. She has been working with individuals with acquired brain injury since 1990 after obtaining her master’s degree in speech language pathology from Ohio University.
Hugh D. Newman, III, D.O.
Program Medical Director
Dr. Newman has been an attending physician at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Altoona since arriving here from the University of Chicago in 1997. Dr. Newman specializes in rehabilitation of neurologic disorders and is especially passionate about traumatic brain injury. Dr. Newman has been the director of neurotrauma at HealthSouth Altoona since 1997 and serves as the chairman of the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Altoona Regional Health System. Together with other medical leaders in our community, Dr. Newman provides brain injury and concussion awareness to high school and collegiate athletic programs throughout central Pennsylvania. Dr. Newman works closely with the rehabilitation team at HealthSouth Altoona to provide rehabilitation excellence to our patients and their families. Dr. Newman graduated from the University of Scranton and Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his internship at Long Beach Memorial Hospital in New York and his residency at the University of Chicago, training at world-renowned Cook County Hospital, Rehab Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago’s Schwab Rehabilitation Center.
Hugh D. Newman, III, D.O. is an independent private practice physician whose office is located at the hospital.
Karen Stormer, OTR
Co-Coordinator Spinal Cord Injury Program
Karen graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 1983. She came to HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Altoona in 1988 and began her work on the spinal cord injury unit. Karen also coordinated the student program for both Level I and II occupational therapy students. She accepted the spinal cord Injury co-coordinator position in March of 2014.
Director of Case Management
Darla has been the director of case management since 1997 and a hospital employee since 1985. She received an associate degree from Mount Aloysius in 1985 and a degree in nursing in 1995 from Mount Aloysius. Darla has more than 25 years of healthcare experience. She is a 1967 graduate of Penn Cambria High School.
Director of Plant Services
Bill has been the director of plant services since 1990 and is responsible for maintenance, housekeeping, laundry, safety and security. He is the chairman of the Safety Risk Committee. Bill has been a hospital employee since 1986 and has more than 26 years of healthcare experience. He is a 1972 graduate of Altoona Area High School.
Cynthia L. Watters
Director of Marketing Operations
Cindy has served as the hospital’s director of marketing operations since 2001 and has been an employee since 1996. She has over 35 years of healthcare experience. Cindy received her associate degree in nursing from Mount Aloysius College in 1973 and is a graduate of Cambria Heights High School.
Michelle Weaver, PTA
Co-Coordinator Orthopedic Program
Michelle graduated from Central Penn College in Summerdale, PA in 1990 with an associate degree in applied technology (physical therapy assistant). She joined the HealthSouth team in 1990. Michelle became the coordinator of clinical education for inpatient PT/PTA students in 2013 and in 2014, she became the co-coordinator for the Orthopedic Program.
Heather Weston, LPN
Co-Coordinator Spinal Cord Injury Program
Heather started at HealthSouth - Altoona in 2001 as a rehab tech. In 2007, she attended the Greater Altoona Career and Technology Center to become a licensed practical nurse. In 2008, Heather took a full time job on the spinal cord injury team. She became a co-coordinator for the Spinal Cord Injury Program in 2014.
Rebecca A. Winkler
Director of Outpatient Services
Becky has served as the director of outpatient services since 2001 and employee since 1992. She has more than 20 years of healthcare experience. Becky received her bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation counseling in 1988 from Pennsylvania State University and is a graduate of Bishop Guilfoyle High School.