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 36  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




Jennifer Battaglia, PT

Jennifer’s journey began with a degree in Exercise Science from the University at Buffalo, but after a volunteer experience at the Buffalo Children’s Hospital, she decided that Physical Therapy was what she wanted to pursue. She graduated from Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY with a Master’s degree in Physical Therapy, and began her first 16 years of her career at NewYork Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. She gained extensive experience with both the adult and pediatric populations who often required high levels of medical care and follow up.

When her family started to grow, she left the hospital environment and began working with children in the elementary school setting, as well as making home visits.  Her husband’s recent job transfer to Charlotte has led her career to First Steps Pediatric Therapy. She is excited to be part of this wonderful and dedicated team.

When she is not working as a Physical Therapist, she is a dedicated figure skating, hockey, gymnastics and dance mom.


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, PT

Hi I’m Sara Mintz! I have been working as a Physical Therapist since 1998. I graduated from D’Youville College in Buffalo NY with my Master’s Degree. I began working for First Steps Pediatric Therapy in August of 2014. Prior to joining the First Steps Team, I 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. I’ve worked solely in the pediatric settings since 2005 within Early Intervention, Home and Clinic Based Settings, as well as, in the School Systems.  My heart is in pediatrics and I love working with children of all ages. When I’m not working, I am either at the beach, by the pool, or enjoying time with my husband, 2 children, and 2 dogs.


Kathryn Fronczak, PT, DTP, PCS

Kate is from Chicago, Illinois and recently moved to Charlotte in March 2017. She graduated with her Master’s in Physical Therapy from Saint Louis University in 2004. She then went on to  receive her Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2010 from Saint Louis University as well.  She became a Pediatric Certified Specialist by the APTA in 2012. 

            Kate has worked in pediatrics her entire 14 year career. Before moving to Charlotte, Kate worked in a large Chicago Children’s Hospital in both acute care  and outpatient settings. She has extensive experience in the NICU and with medically complex children. Kate has always had a passion for children and finds great joy in celebrating the big and small milestones in her patients. When she is not working, Kate enjoys spending time with her two young boys and husband exploring what Charlotte has to offer

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