Physical Therapists

Rosemary DeMello, PT

Rosemary DeMello is the Clinical Director and owner of First Steps Pediatric Therapy. Opening her own clinic  fulfilled a lifelong dream that began at the age of  12, when she realized that she wanted to be a Physical therapist. She brings 32  years experience from a variety of therapeutic settings as well as her  enthusiasm and  optimism to each child and family that she serves.

 Rosemary graduated from Boston University in 1982. In addition to her years of pediatric therapy experience, she has completed extensive continuing education in the Pediatric Therapy field. She completed the 8 week NDT Pediatric certification in Augusta GA in 1990. This course focused on evaluation and treatment strategies of children ages two through teen age years. In 1995 she traveled to beautiful Alaska where she completed the 3 week TAMO Infant certification in Anchorage AK. This course focused primarily on evaluation and treatment strategies of the newborn baby through the first 2 years of life. She has advanced training in NDT and TAMO and is a TAMO Clinical Instructor. Rosemary has assisted Ingrid Tscharnuter, the founder of TAMO, at numerous courses. In addition to these treatment philosophies, Rosemary has extensive experience and advanced training in evaluating and providing physical therapy in the NICU and the premature baby's unique needs. While at Miami Children's Hospital Rosemary traveled to other NICU's to train therapists, nurses and MD's in the bio-mechanical, sensory and handling needs of the premature baby. She has advanced training in developmental bio-mechanics, casting and splinting, Therapeutic Aquatics and MFR.  She served as Adjunct Professor at University of Miami in the Neuro-Rehabilitation in 1992 and 1993, and completed her Infant Toddler Certification while at the Mecklenburg County Children's Developmental Services Agency.

Presently, Rosemary mentors each and every therapist at First Steps and is available to attend treatment sessions with them. She currently organizes and has presented Pediatric Therapy Continuing Education Courses in Charlotte and Miami.  She has mentored numerous community therapists through the North Carolina Mentoring Program at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She is passionate about her work which is evident in each treatment she provides.  Rosemary loves to travel and one of her most memorable vacations included "dog mushing" in the Arctic Circle for a week. Rosemary can be contacted at

 Ruth Gardner, DPT

 Ruth always knew that she wanted to work with children. Out
 of this desire she began an early career as a gymnastics coach
 in both in England and the USA. She was also a preschool
 teacher for 5 years. While teaching preschool Ruth observed a
 variety of physical therapists working with children facing
 specific challenges. This led to her to pursue a new career path
 in physical therapy. 

Ruth received her B.A. (Hons) in Sport Human Movement in May 1999 from the University of Wales, Institute Cardiff, Wales.  In 2009 she completed her Doctorate of Physical Therapy, graduating from the University of St. Augustine, Florida.  While in school Ruth also completed a 12 week pediatric internship in England. There she was fortunate enough to observe all areas of pediatric therapy including Children’s hospitals, home health, special needs schools and a variety of clinics, deepening her knowledge and broadening her abilities over a wider client base.

Ruth moved to Charlotte after completing her Physical therapy degree to work with First Steps Pediatric Therapy. She has attended pediatric continuing education in TAMO and Spasticity Management. She also recently completed a week long NDT Baby Treatment course. Ruth has a great love for outdoor adventure. On any given weekend she is possibly hiking, kayaking, rafting, playing paintball, running or camping. Ruth ran the Disney half marathon in 2007, has taken a few flying lessons and has even tried Hydrozorbing. Ruth can be contacted at


Beth Whetstone,  PT, C/NDT, CSCS, CKTP. 
Beth hopes to add DBT to her name in August!

Beth graduated from The Ohio State University in Allied Medicine. She returned for pediatric focused transitional Doctorate in Physical Therapy at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions.  Beth has worked in a variety of settings including adult and pediatric orthopedic, geriatric care, and pediatric sports medicine.   She is theratog certified, NDT certified, a certified kinesiotape practitioner, a certified strength and conditioning practitioner, and a pediatric vestibular specialist.  Beth has  attended a number of intensive classes in manual techniques, sensory integration,  developmental orthopedic, and cardio-pulmonary focused interventions.  She is passionate about the benefits of physical therapy and its positive effects over the lifespan.  When not seeing patients, you will find her  curled up with a book or laughing and spending time outdoors with her  family.

Leanne Lebraque-Brown MBA, RPTA

Leanne Labrecque-Brown was born and raised on the North Shore of Massachusetts and relocated to Waxhaw, NC in the fall of 2012.  She received her Physical Therapy Assistant licensure in 2015.   Leanne’s goal as a PTA is to help each patient’s ability to move, restore function, prevent disability and lessen pain.

She attained her BS (Recreation Management) from the University of Vermont and MBA from Salem State College.  She has completed numerous athletic events including 3 Boston Marathons, Myrtle Beach Marathon & the Bay State Marathon. several 100 mile Olympic Pride Bike Rides, Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walks and Boston Walk for Hungers, North Shore Medical Center Cancer Walks & Runs, numerous 5k’s, 10k’s, half-marathons and several marathons including two Boston Marathons; 24.1 mile Make-A-Wish Trailblaze Challenge and numerou.  She is also a Massachusetts Certified Teacher for Health & Consumer Sciences, Physical Education and Reading.  

Leanne is a Christian, married, mother of four who has a passion for helping others achieve and realize their functional fitness potential.

ACE Group Fitness Instructor

AFAA  Personal Trainer.

AHA CPR Instructor.  

Les Mills Certified Body Pump Instructor

Les Mills Body Combat Instructor

Holy Yoga Certified Instructor

Sara Mintz, MS, PT

Sara has  been working as a Physical Therapist since 1998. She graduated from D’Youville College in Buffalo NY with her Master’s Degree.  Sara began working for First Steps Pediatric Therapy in August of 2014. Prior to joining the First Steps Team, she worked in several states (NY, PA, NC) and in a variety of settings, such as Acute Care, Home Care, Out-Patient Rehab, Nursing Homes, In-Patient Rehab and Brain Injury Rehab. She has worked solely in the pediatric settings since 2005 within Early Intervention, Home and Clinic Based Settings, as well as, in the School Systems.  Sara’s heart is in pediatrics and she loves working with children of all ages. When Sara is not working, she is either at the beach, by the pool, or enjoying time with her husband, 2 children, and 2 dogs.  

Meredith Pyles Ramsey, PT, DPT 

Meridit is  Gastonia, NC and graduated from Wingate University in 2013 with her Bachelors degree in Biology and has recently graduated again from Wingate in December 2016 with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Throughout college and graduate school, she always knew she wanted to be a pediatric therapist because she absolutely love working with children! Meredith attended several pediatric conferences during PT school to help further my education, as well as, had a clinical rotation working in outpatient pediatrics, and began a special needs dance class for children, which all helped to solidify her love for working with children and helped her to gain experience in this field prior to graduating. She recently got married and moved to Charlotte with her husband. Meredith loves running, hiking and being outdoors, and spending time with her family. 

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