Staff

David Ettinger, PT, DPT, GCS
Physical Therapist
Owner, Forward Physical Therapy

David was introduced to the field of Physical Therapy after experiencing a serious knee injury, having surgery and spending 9 months in physical therapy. He went on to study at Columbia University and earned his Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2007. David has extensive experience with orthopedics and geriatrics in both the outpatient and homecare setting. In 2011 David founded Forward Physical Therapy. In 2013 he earned board certification in geriatric physical therapy. When he is not working he enjoys listening to and playing music with his children.


Michelle “Malkie” Cizma-Fridman, PT, DPT
Physical Therapist

Malkie received her Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science from CUNY Brooklyn College in 2007. Her love of exercise and medicine led her to Physical Therapy. In 2010 Malkie earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from SUNY Downstate Medical Center. Malkie administers high quality personalized treatment to each patient with her upbeat, cheerful attitude. She has experience treating a wide variety of orthopedic injuries, total hip and knee replacements, and neuromuscular disorders. Malkie is passionate about women’s health and pelvic floor dysfunction. Seeing a need for more specialists in this field she began the long journey toward clinical specialization in women’s health. She has taken countless continuing education courses and has built a loyal base of patients who see amazing results and refer their friends and family.


Eleanor O’Connel, PTA, LMT
Physical Therapist Assistant

Eleanor grew up in Brooklyn and joined the swim team while in school. Along with being physically active she believes in treating the body naturally. She studied at The Swedish Institute of Massage Therapy where she received a license in Massage Therapy. She then attended NYU where she received a degree in Physical Therapy Assistant, and the Sivananda Yoga Institute in upstate NY to become certified as a Hatha Yoga Instructor.

She is a seasoned therapist, combining thirty years of experience in these fields. When she is not working she enjoys spending time catching up with family and friends, cooking a meal together or going on a hike. She also enjoys doing yoga or reading a good book.


Chantel Bermejo, BS, CF1
Exercise Specialist

Chantel has a passion for fitness and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It began after joining Team and Training, an organization that brings awareness to and helps fund the fight against Leukemia and Lymphoma. Chantel loves to share this passion to help others maintain a healthy lifestyle. After graduating from Brooklyn College with a Bachelor’s of Science in Kinesiology, Chantel continued honing her skills at a high-end fitness company. Chantel loves to challenge herself. Whether it’s lifting something heavy overhead, or backpacking along Australia’s coastline. Chantel has a background in dance, triathlons, long distance running, weightlifting, and Crossfit. She hopes to complete a full Ironman in the future.


Otis Collier Jr, MS
Exercise Specialist

Brooklyn born and raised in Brooklyn, Otis has always been into the physical activity lifestyle but truly pursued fitness for his own health to help fight off obesity. Otis has turned his passion and discipline to helping others discover their true fitness potential. A lifelong learner, Otis pursued an education in fitness and earned a Masters Degree in Exercise Physiology from Columbia University. Otis has the rare ability to take the complexity of the human body and exercise and deliver the information in an understandable and useful manner. He has helped over 100 clients achieve their goals by merging post-rehabilitation and strength training concepts into effective and fun programs using pain-free exercise. Otis believes in the idea of helping others achieve their goals more than leading them. He passionately designs every clients exercise program with their goals as his guidance (despite the cost to his sleep!)


Aviva “Mrs. B.” Brickman
Patient Representative/Office Manager

Aviva, A.K.A. Mrs. B, is the glue that holds the office together. Whether it’s helping resolve insurance issues or moving the schedule around to accommodate a patient’s needs, she is the go-to person to make sure every patient gets the best level of service and care possible. She takes pride in her work and is genuinely happy when she can help someone in need.


Miriam Balken
Patient Care Coordinator

Miriam is the “face” of Forward PT. She is the first one you see when you walk in and the last one you see when you walk out. She is always wearing her signature smile and makes every patient feel like they are coming to hang out with friends. She brings years of experience to the job and always goes above and beyond to make sure every patient’s care is coordinated to perfection.


Lily Ng, MS, OTR/L

Lily went to the University at Buffalo where she received her combined Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Occupational Therapy and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology in 2019. Lily has experience with common diagnoses within the geriatric population as well as experience working with hand and upper extremity diagnoses. She believes in a holistic approach to treatment that considers the person, diagnoses, and how all elements may affect both mental and physical health. She strives to connect with every patient because she believes that the relationship between the therapist and the patient is key to creating goals that are meaningful to the patient. She is passionate about helping her patients achieve their goals and regaining function in their everyday activities.

Lily spends a majority of her free time in the gym training for powerlifting. She is a nationally-qualified competitor for the USA Powerlifting federation and is currently ranked in the top 3 in NY state in her weight class and division. Her love for powerlifting has also taught her the importance of proper body mechanics in daily activities. When she is not at work or in the gym, she is spending time with her ADORABLE fur son Leo, family, and friends.