Brandi Suffal, New PTA, Has Marietta Connections
Posted on Friday, October 15th, 2021
Brandi Suffal, the new outpatient Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) at Mercy Health/Love County Hospital and Clinic, makes an instant connection to patients who have an injury or pain.
As a child and youth gymnast, she was always interested in the way the body moves -- and how it deals with injury. While teaching gymnastics part-time, she earned a college degree in kinesiology, the scientific study of human movement.
Kinesiologists examine human movement with an eye to injury prevention and rehabilitation. Those are among Suffal’s special abilities today as she works with patients taking treatment in the Therapy Building in Marietta. “I love to help people restore their function, strengthen their muscles, and get back to work or activities with decreased pain. Sometimes learning just little techniques in body mechanics can keep a person living in their home longer,” Suffal said.
Suffal followed up the bachelor’s degree (from East Central University) with two more years in the study of physical therapy at Murray State College. She graduated with an associate’s degree and passed the PTA licensing exam in 2007.
Added to her impressive athletic and academic preparation, Suffal grew up with a mother who also was in the field of rehabilitation. Jerrie Williams spent her career as an occupational therapy assistant and instructor.
Suffal launched her own career 14 years ago, arriving at Marietta’s Therapy Building at the end of August 2021. She has worked in hospitals and clinics, in home health, and with people of all ages, from infant to adult.
She is part coach, part enthusiast, and all teacher to patients in her care. “I’m not just telling how to do a stretch or exercise, I’m working out with them, and anyone who knows me knows I love to educate in the fundamentals of correct standing, lifting, moving, and how to prevent future problems,” Suffal said.
Coaching and teaching run in the family. Her husband, Matt Suffal, coached football at Marietta a few years ago. He is now the athletic director and football coach at Dickson High School, where Brandi graduated in 2000. The Suffals live in Ardmore. They have two daughters, Brooklyn and Makynlee.
Among coworkers at the hospital, Brandi Suffal has become reacquainted with students who played for Matt at Marietta or whose children did. She replaced Brenda Beard, PTA, who retired in August after 20 years serving Love County patients.