Susan Chalela, MPT

Susan Chalela, MPT, is the founder of The Chalela Physical Therapy Institute for EDS and CCI/Cervical Instabilities. Susan received her Master of Physical Therapy degree from the Institute of Physical Therapy in St. Augustine, FL, and has over 20 years of clinical experience as a licensed physical therapist. During her career she has been involved in multiple domains to include outpatient, orthopedics, sports medicine, aquatic therapy, ergonomics, neurological rehabilitation, industrial medicine, osteoporosis, APPI Pilates as well as dry needling. 

In recent years, Susan has devoted herself to the study and treatment of patients with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and other hypermobility disorders. She works closely with Dr. Sunil Patel, one of the premier neurosurgeons specializing in CCI and other EDS-related spinal complications, and has helped his patients to successfully avoid surgery while regaining function and reducing pain. She also lectures nationally for the Chiari and Syringomyelia Foundation.

As someone who lives with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome herself, Susan understands the experiences of this patient population and works tirelessly to advocate for and advance the treatment of her fellow zebras. Her unique approach to physical therapy is based on her own experience surviving a stroke – while relearning to walk and talk, she learned about the importance of neuroplasticity and proprioception. Today she combines her expertise in biomechanics and neuroplasticity to successfully treat patients of all stripes.

Beth Marks, MPT

Beth Marks has been practicing physical therapy since graduating from MUSC in 2004. She has worked in many different settings, but has found her passion in working with neurological disorders. She loves working with clients to improve their quality of life through physical therapy. 

In her free time, she loves spending time with her two teenage daughters.

Kari Mahannah, Office Manager

Kari Mahannah manages the office, front desk, and back-end business needs of The Chalela Physical Therapy Institute for EDS & CCI/Cervical Instabilities. She has her Bachelor of Science in Public Health from The University of South Carolina (Go Gamecocks!) with a minor in Psychology. She also received her Certification in Surgical Technology from Midlands Tech, and worked at MUSC as a Certified Surgical Technologist.

Kari’s passion is working in surgery, and she has been a part of countless amazing surgical procedures. Kari is also a fellow zebra! In her free time, Kari enjoys being in nature, baking, and crafting.