P.O. Box 100341
Gainesville, FL 32610-0341
Email Dr. DeFranco
Dr. DeFranco is one of our the team’s physical therapists. She earned her doctorate in physical therapy from Duke University in 2009 and her bachelors in exercise physiology from the University of Florida in 2006. She is responsible for evaluating and treating the movement disorder patients to improve their quality of life. Physical therapy focuses on improving the patient’s gait, balance, strength, flexibility, motor control, coordination, and performance in activities of daily living.
Meredith spends her time working at the CMDNR and at UF Health Magnolia Parke Rehab Center. By working in each clinic, she is able to manage treatment of our local movement disorder patients. For our non-local patients, the physical therapy team works to coordinate care to ensure patients are able to establish care with other neurologically trained therapists. Therapy facilitates increased participation in physical activity, based on the individual needs of each patient. We refer and work with personal trainers, recommend group exercise classes, support organizations such as Rock Steady Boxing, and create home exercise programs. We strongly believe all exercise is good exercise to battle neurodegenerative diseases.
Meredith helped to establish one of our local Parkinson’s disease exercise classes that is currently being held weekly at the Senior Center. She mentors students throughout the year to provide specialty clinical internships in Movement Disorders. Each year she is invited to lecture in UF’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program to educate students about Parkinson’s Disease and additional movement disorders. Meredith has mentored students to complete multiple case studies examining the impact of therapy interventions in atypical Parkinsonisms. She is also is participates on the interdisciplinary team for screening and managing patients pursuing Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery. Meredith enjoys spreading her knowledge and compassion for patients with movement disorders to support groups and educational seminars throughout the year.
Meredith is an avid runner, completing the Boston marathon in 2010-2016. She supports the local running community as a member of the Florida Track Club and previous board member. Future goals include racing to promote awareness and support for Parkinson’s Disease.