Meet the Therapist

Doctors Karen Baxter Furno and Monica Walsh Caraciolo are dedicated to getting you back to full pain-free functional independence. All therapists are New York State licensed and offer the most current and innovative treatments available today.

baxter furnoP.T., D.P.T.

Karen earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Science Education from North Carolina State University in 1992. She then went on to receive her Physical Therapy degree from the Hogeschool van Amsterdam in the Netherlands during 1997. She has completed her Doctorate in Physical Therapy in December of 2010. Karen began her career at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore where she rotated through acute care, inpatient rehabilitation and traumatic brain injury units while concurrently working at night in an outpatient manual physical therapy office in Wantagh.  Karen is an adjunct professor at Utica College teaching pharmacology courses to graduate students.

Karen & Monica both continue their pursuits in manual therapy taking numerous continuing education courses that have dealt with shoulder injuries, manual therapy techniques, kinesio taping as well as courses on insurance to help patients achieve the maximum benefits from their insurance. Both owners are clinical education instructors for many universities such as Stony Brook University, Seton Hall University, NYIT, and the University of Scranton. Karen & Monica are proud to be a participating member of the Hospital for Special Surgery Rehabilitation Network,  American Physical Therapy Association, and The Council of Licensed Physiotherapists.  They are committed to being trained in the newest techniques and government issues pertaining to your treatment and insurance coverage. Baxter & Walsh Physical Therapy are members of the Wantagh, and Bay Shore Chambers of Commerce.  Karen is also a member of the Bay Shore Lion’s Club.

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Walsh CaracioloP.T., D.P.T.

Monica earned a Master of Science degree in Physical Therapy from Touro College School of Health Sciences in Bay Shore in 1999 and her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Sacred Heart University in 2008. Her career began in a small, outpatient Physical Therapy office in Wantagh, NY where she worked with and learned from a master in the art of manual therapy. She worked with other therapists who were dedicated to the same pursuits and it was here that Monica met her colleague and now business partner, Karen Baxter Furno.

Prior to Physical Therapy, Monica earned a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from Siena College and worked for five years in the field. The marriage of these professions has been invaluable. “I have noticed over the years that many patients struggle with their loss of function, a change in lifestyle or trying to cope with a debilitating or chronic disease. It is important to listen to people, to hear what their concerns and frustrations are and help them cope with these emotions as we work on returning them physically to full function.” Karen and Monica quickly realized they had similar treatment styles and similar professional goals. After 3 years of working and learning together, Baxter and Walsh Physical Therapy was born.

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Maureen Brady PantaleoP.T., D.P.T.

Maureen graduated from Hunter College in 1982 with her Bachelors of Science in Physical Therapy. She worked as a therapist in acute care hospital settings, and home care before deciding that her true love was working in out-patient, private practice settings. She enjoys working primarily with patients suffering from orthopedic problems including: myofacial restrictions, musculoskeletal and joint dysfunctions, pain management and postural deviations. At Baxter & Walsh Physical Therapy her pregnant patients enjoy the comfort  of the maternity table during their treatment. As an advocate of prevention and wellness, she feels it is imperative to address balance disturbances, generalized weakness and obesity. Maureen specializes in ergonomic intervention and enjoys the challenges associated with this area of physical therapy. She continues to regularly attend seminars and conferences to expand her knowledge on subjects that would benefit her patients. She recently earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Utica College, graduating May 2011. She maintains her state license both in New York and in Florida.

Phylllis Samberg, PTA

Phyllis Samberg graduated from Nassau Community College Physical Therapist Assistant program in 2015. Her experience includes sub-acute rehabilitation and out-patient orthopedic settings. Phyllis’ background is in dance and fitness.  She has 18 years of experience at World Gym in Wantagh  as a certified personal fitness trainer, Pilates instructor and yoga instructor.

It was at World Gym that her interest and lifelong passion for knowledge was sparked. With encouragement from a DPT friend/ co- worker to further her education she became a physical therapist assistant.  Phyllis is able to use a variety of exercises suited to the individual to assist in the process of rehabilitating their injuries as well as their long term fitness goals. Her deep rooted passion is to educate patients how to live a healthy lifestyle and be injury- free through exercise and emotional well being.

Vincent Vastola, PTAA.C.E., C.S.C.S.

Vincent Vastola is a graduate of the Physical Therapy Assistant Program at Suffolk County Community College. Vincent’s experiences include subacute rehabilitation and outpatient orthopedics. Vincent has worked as a personal trainer and life coach in several top gyms on Long Island improving many clients’ lives for the last 15 years. He holds certifications with A.C.E. and C.S.C.S.  Vincent began at Baxter & Walsh Physical Therapy, PC as an aide. He was an invaluable part of the team.  Inspired by clients, fellow trainers and many health care professionals, Vincent furthered his education and became a physical therapist assistant (PTA). He has returned to Baxter & Walsh in this capacity and is thrilled to be working with patients to achieve their rehabilitation and wellness goals.