Staff

Heather Ritchie, PT – Clinic Director

Heather Ritchie, PT – Clinic Director

Hailing from Canada, Heather graduated from the University of Manitoba and moved to Honolulu, Hawaii and began her Physical Therapy career in orthopedic rehabilitation in 2004. She moved to sunny Southern California in 2007 and has been exclusively involved in the private practice setting ever since. Heather enjoys getting to know each client so she can provide quality, comprehensive one-on-one therapy for each patient. Her approach is to treat the patient, not just the diagnosis. She feels this allows her to provide the most thorough rehabilitation. Heather believes that correct posture and alignment, along with strong core muscle strength, is important for all patients to help return them to their sports, their hobbies or even to their basic daily activities. She also believes that education is fundamental in having each patient understand their body and how they can help limit or prevent re-injury. Heather is a strong yoga practitioner and enjoys bringing what she’s learned in her yoga studio to her patients. She is also a Registered Yoga Teacher. She teaches an introductory yoga class at Corona del Mar Physical Therapy which is open to everyone. This class is an invigorating full-body flow to explore the yoga postures and fundamental principles of Vonyasa yoga. This class is a foundation-building yoga class that will stretch and strengthen every muscles through movement and breath. Heather lives in Costa Mesa with her husband. In her free time, Heather spends her time cooking, baking, traveling and exploring all that Southern California has to offer with her husband and the wonderful friends they have made here.
Joanne Mimm, CHT, PT

Joanne Mimm, CHT, PT - Physical Therapist

Joanne Mimm graduated from California State University, Northridge School of Physical Therapy in 1982 and went on to complete her Advanced Masters in Physical Therapy at Loma Linda University (LLU) in 1996. She became a board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist in 1994, and also achieved her Certification in Hand Therapy in 1996 to become a CHT. She has taught at Loma Linda University, School of Physical Therapy as a clinical faculty member and has been a guest lecturer at Chapman and USC, School of Physical Therapy. Over the past 20 years she has specialized in hands, founded the South Orange County Hand Therapy Study Group, and continues to have a passion for learning and helping others return to the activities they love. In her free time she enjoys golf and hiking.

Dr. Michael Fernandez, PT, DPT   - Physical Therapist

Michael graduated from Azusa Pacific University in 2021 with his Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy. Before that he received his B.A. in Psychology and Social Behavior from the University of California, Irvine. His first day of going to school at UC Irvine was also his first day working for SoCal PT and Corona del Mar Physical Therapy. Michael spent 6 years with the company working as a volunteer, Physical Therapy Aide, and Front Office Manager. He now returns after his schooling to work as a Physical Therapist for the company he grew up loving to work for. Michael is also bilingual in Spanish and has a background of experiences in orthopedics, pediatrics, telehealth, and chronic pain patients.

Michaels approach to physical therapy is patient centered in which he enjoys creating a specific plan of care for a patient's specific needs and goals. He likes to implement the most up to date and studied biomechanical research to his treatment plans to not only assist in treating the patients injuries or pain but also to prevent from any future injury or issues. Michael was also published in the International Journal of Exercise Science for his review on warm up strategies and injury prevention for running sport athletes. While Michael loves being a physical therapist, he also has a love for business and healthcare administration. He has also received a certificate in Business Administration from UC Irvine and a certificate in Health Sciences from Coastline Community College.

Michael enjoys spending time with friends and family in his free time. He also enjoys watching and playing basketball, going to Disneyland, listening to music and comedy, cooking, and trying new restaurants as a food blogger. So feel free to ask for recommendations!


Melissa Magdangal, OTD, OTR/L, HTC - Occupational Therapist

Melissa Magdangal was initially inspired to pursue a career in occupational therapy following working as a hand therapy aide at Newport Hand Center. She graduated from UC Irvine receiving her BA in Psychology and also received the Chancellor's Award of Distinction due to her exceptional contribution to UC Irvine through leadership, community service, & research. Melissa went on to obtain her Master's of Occupational Therapy degree from San Jose State University, and continued on to complete her Doctorate of Occupational Therapy at the University of Southern California. Throughout her graduate studies Melissa has gained experience in both pediatric and adult rehabilitation settings, however has been primarily interested in working with individuals following neurologic or orthopedic injury. Melissa's past experiences include working with individuals following life-changing illness or injury such as stroke, traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injury, and hand & upper extremity rehabilitation. Melissa completed her doctoral residency at Newport Hand Center, and is continuing to pursue advanced specialization in hand and upper extremity rehabilitation. She continues to be involved in hand therapy study groups and is hoping to become a certified hand therapist (CHT) in the near future. She is extremely passionate about providing compassionate and client-centered care, which can be evidenced by the positive relationships and trust she builds with her patients. In her free time you can find her enjoying the outdoors, hiking, travelling, or creating new pottery pieces. 

Nicole Reeves,   - Occupational Therapist


Heather Sanchez, B.A. – Office Manager

Graduated from Mt. San Antonio College in 2021 with an Associates Degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences. I enjoy getting to know each and every client that walks through the doors of Corona Del Mar Physical Therapy/Newport Hand Center. After graduating from Mt. San Antonio College, I moved to Huntington Beach. I enjoy spending quality time with my husband Mike and three boys, Nathan, Andre and Johnny. I love watching my three boys play roller hockey in West Covina. I like to travel, cook/barbecue, watch movies, and go to the beach. I love creating everlasting memories with my loved ones and friends.

Kennith Tran - PT Aide

Kennith Tran is an upcoming junior at the University of California, Irvine at the school of Biological Sciences, specialized in Exercise Science. Prior to working at Corona Del Mar Physical Therapy, Kennith worked with athletes by shadowing athletic trainers. Transitioning from the courts to the clinical setting, Kennith greatly enjoys working alongside the wonderful physical and occupational therapist, thriving to learn and serve the patients in the best way possible. During his free time, you could catch Kennith at the gym training for his next powerlifting meet with the UCI team. Implementing the skills gained through powerlifting into patient care, Kennith strives to help each patient find their optimal recovery, strengthening/conditioning route, as each and every individual's case is different. Kennith looks forward to getting the chance to work with you!

Dylan Casaroli, B.S. - Physical Therapy Aide

Dylan Casaroli was born and raised in Fresno, California. Currently, he is an undergraduate studying neurobiology at the University of California, Irvine. After graduation, he plans to attend medical school with the career goal of becoming an orthopedic surgeon. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with friends, playing sports like football and golf, watching movies and football, and hiking.

Jarrod Delin, B.S. - Physical Therapy Aide

Jarrod is a recent graduate from the University of California, Irvine with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychological Science. He is also a volunteer at a pediatric occupational therapy clinic and a private karate instructor for special needs children. Jarrod is passionate about the importance of emotional and physical well-being in people. He plans on pursuing occupational therapy school with the aspirations of becoming an occupational therapist. During his free time, Jarrod enjoys playing the piano, watching basketball, and eating food with friends and family.

Megan Duong, B.S. - Physical Therapy Aide

Megan is a recent graduate of the University of California, Irvine with a B.S. in Public Health Sciences. She joined the team under the impression that it would solidify her aspirations to become an OT, however, her eyes were opened up to PT. What Megan likes most about being an aide is the ability to connect with patients through humor and having a good laugh, which she believes to be important to recovery and rehabilitation. When she’s not preparing to apply to graduate school or working in the clinic, she spends her time weight lifting, going on hikes, taking day trips with her friends, and spending time with family. 

Alyssa Lim - Physical Therapy Aide

Born and raised in Gilroy, Alyssa moved to Southern California to attend the University of California of Irvine to study Psychology and Criminology. Originally wanting to study law she switched over to occupational therapy after realizing that she enjoys helping patients one on one. She plans on applying to graduate schools to study OT with a focus on hand therapy this fall. Having worked at the CDM clinic for over a year now, Alyssa has gained an invaluable experience from the staff and their patients. In her free time, Alyssa enjoys playing ultimate frisbee, camping, and getting coffee with friends.

Vivian Ngo, B.S. - Physical Therapy Aide

Vivian currently attends the University of California, Irvine as a biological sciences major. After graduation in 2024, Vivian plans to apply to PA school in hopes of becoming a physician assistant with a specialty in neonatology or obstetrics. Throughout high school she was on the water polo and swim team. Now she enjoys swimming, hiking, and going to the gym. Her favorite thing to do is travel and her favorite place she’s traveled to is Thailand. Vivian enjoys the physical therapy community because everyone is very welcoming.

Alisha Chen, B.S. - Physical Therapy Aide

Originally from San Francisco, Alisha Chen graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a B.A in Psychology and Social Behavior, and a minor in Education. She has a love for helping people and working in the healthcare field. In her free time, she enjoys baking, reading, watching shows, and traveling.