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FPTA Spotlight: Melissa Penhollow, PTA

Where do you practice?

I work at Moffitt Cancer Center, an acute care cancer hospital in Tampa, Florida.

Tell us about your practice.

I have worked at Moffitt for over 14 years. I was primarily in Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, and then throughout the whole hospital. I have worked with patients recovering from surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation. I recently moved to the new Moffitt McKinley Hospital, which is all surgical.

What led you to become a physical therapist assistant?

After being a graphic artist for 25 years, I returned to St Petersburg College for a new career as a Physical Therapist Assistant. My interest in physical therapy was piqued by a 4-month stay in rehab following a diagnosis of Guillain-Barre Syndrome in my mid 30’s.  I had to truly start over, learning to walk again. It was a profoundly life changing experience. I could not have done it without the wonderful Physical and Occupational Therapists who worked tirelessly with me. This experience led me to my passion for rehabilitation. I have now been a PTA for more than 14 years, all dedicated to Moffitt Cancer Center.

What’s your favorite thing about being a PTA?

My favorite thing about being a PTA is watching my patients improve, and return to their lives/activities. Cancer is a scary time in people’s lives, and any help I can give to make this time easier is a win.


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