Our Team

Rehabilitation Services is made up of a multi-disciplinary team with advanced degrees and certifications, resulting in an exceptional depth of clinical expertise. Our therapists participate in continuing education programs, allowing us to provide patients with the latest advancements in rehabilitative care. Our team includes:

  • Audiologists
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation Nurses
  • Exercise Physiologists
  • Music Therapists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Patient Care Technicians
  • Physical Therapists
  • Physiatrists
  • Rehabilitation Aides
  • Rehabilitation Nurses
  • Respiratory Therapists
  • Restorative Nursing Assistants
  • Social Workers - Psychologists
  • Speech & Language Pathologists

Special Certifications Include:

  • Certified Hand Therapy (CHT)
  • Certified Lymphedema Therapist (CLT)
  • Neuro-Developmental Treatment (NDT)
  • Orthopedic Certified Specialist (OCS)
  • Certified Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE)
  • Certified Ergonomic Evaluation
  • Certified Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy
  • Certified Wound Care Specialty

Continuing Education
At Palomar Health, we support and encourage our staff to participate in on-going education. The average number of continuing education hours for our staff is 21 hours per year - nearly double the number of hours required by the state of California.

Our Team

Virginia Barragan, FACHE, PT, DPT, MOMT

Director Rehabilitation Services
Director Developmental Services
Director First 5 First Steps

In her role as Director, Virginia Barragan manages the entire continuum of care for Rehabilitation Services and Developmental Services at Palomar Health. She leads her extensive staff of highly skilled therapists, nurses and caregivers by example. She has been a licensed Physical Therapist since 1987. She holds a Master's degree in Orthopedic Manual Therapy and has completed advanced coursework in TMJ, wound care and orthopedics. In 2003, she received a doctorate degree in Physical Therapy from Western University in Pomona, California and has continued to impact the education of future therapists by teaching at this same university. In addition to clinical skills, Virginia is a Fellow in the American Academy of Healthcare Executives and received her certification in Health Care Executive Leadership from UCSD. Virginia also oversees the Palomar Health Developmental Services grant program for North Inland funded by the San Diego County First 5 initiative. Virginia has been with Palomar Health since 2001.

Keyvan Esmaeili, MD

Medical Director, Rehabilitation Institute


Dr. Keyvan Esmaeili has served as Medical Director for the Rehabilitation Institute since 2002. With over 9 years under his leadership the unit has enjoyed highly successful patient outcomes.

Dr. Esmaeili received his Doctor of Medicine from the American University of the Caribbean. He completed his residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of California Irvine Medical Center and completed his Transitional Medicine internship in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and his areas of interest include Spinal Cord Injury, Brain Injury and Spasticity Management.

Lea M. Vitug RN, BSN, CRRN

Nursing Supervisor
Rehabilitation Institute


Lea received her RN and BSN from the Family Clinic Colleges in Manila, Philippines in 1991. Her various clinical experiences in acute care settings include Medical-Surgical, Ortho-Neuro and Skilled Nursing make her a dynamic Nurse Supervisor for the Rehabilitation Institute. She is a Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse. Lea joined the Acute Rehabilitation Unit at Palomar Medical Center Escondido in 2008.

Joe Catral

Program Director Rehabilitation Institute


William Levanduski, MA, OTR

Manager Outpatient Rehabilitation


William Levanduski's list of certifications is enough to know he is qualified for the job of Rehabilitation Services Manager. He is a Certified Hand Therapist (CHT), a Certified Functional Capacity Evaluator (FCE) and a Certified Ergonomic Evaluator. Additionally, he holds a Master's degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Southern California, and a Bachelor's degree in Psychology. Bill has worked in a variety of medical settings in Southern California since 1988, including10 years in private practice. He has been with Palomar Health since 2001.  

Tyler Powell, DPT, CSCS, CEAS

Outpatient Rehabilitation Supervisor - Palomar Medical Center Poway


Tyler Powell has a Doctor of Physical Therapy from the University of Saint Augustine. He has been with Palomar Health since 2011 where he has focused on outpatient orthopedics with the use of manual therapy techniques to help patients reach their functional goals. Tyler is a Certified Ergonomic Assessment Specialist and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist which he incorporates in his treatments with patients. He gives ergonomic evaluations and assessments to individuals and departments at Palomar Health. Tyler helped develop and implement the custom computerized documentation system for Outpatient Rehabilitation. They variety of certifications and experiences at Palomar Health has provided him with the tools necessary to be a skilled supervisor of Outpatient Rehabilitation.

Wendy Atchley, MSN, RN 

Cardiac Rehabilitation Supervisor

Wendy Atchley MSN, RN has a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte,  a nursing degree from Mercy School of Nursing in Charlotte North Carolina as well as a Master’s degree in Nursing and Health Systems Leadership from the University of California, San Francisco.  She has been a Registered Nurse since 2005, with experience in Acute Inpatient and Outpatient Settings.  Wendy’s nursing experience includes: Cardiac Intermediate care and Heart transplant, Congestive Heart Failure, Cardiac Progressive care, Medical Telemetry, Cardiac Observation, Outpatient Surgery and Short Stay and Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation. Wendy has been with Palomar Health since 2012 as the Supervisor of Cardiac Rehabilitation. 

Ryan McCarthy, PT, DPT

Supervisor Rehabilitation Services
Center Coordinator for Clinical Education

Ryan McCarthy received his Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise and Sports Science from Oregon State University and his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from University of Saint Augustine. Ryan is certified in Neuro-Developmental Treatment (NDT) and Vestibular Rehabilitation Treatment (VRT) and helped to develop and implement the Brain Team at Palomar Medical Center. With experience in outpatient orthopedics, acute care, skilled nursing and home health, Ryan brings invaluable experience to his role as Supervisor and Center Coordinator for Clinic Education at Palomar Medical Center Escondido. Ryan has been with Palomar Health since 2012.

Amy Walsh, MPT

Rehabilitation Supervisor
Palomar Medical Center Escondido


Amy Walsh received her Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy from Texas Woman’s University. She completed certification in Neuro-Development Treatment (NTD), Vestibular Rehabilitation from the APTA and Emory University. In addition to her clinical skills, Amy has received certification in Health Care Executive Leadership from UCSD. Amy brings valuable experience to her role as Supervisor in a multiple clinical settings including skilled nursing, in-patient and out-patient rehabilitation services where she assisted in the development of an outpatient balance and vestibular program at Palomar Medical Center Escondido. Amy has been with Palomar Health since 2000.

David Day

Lead Physical Therapist
Palomar Medical Center


Jennifer Paull, DPT

Rehabilitation Supervisor
Palomar Medical Center Poway & Villa Pomerado

Jennifer Paull, DPT is the Supervisor of Rehab at Villa Pomerado and Palomar Medical Center Poway since 2014. She graduated from the University of Southern California in 1999 with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Her vast experience includes Outpatient with a focus on the running athlete, Inpatient and Skilled Nursing with emphasis on vestibular rehab and fall prevention in the Geriatric patient. Her passion lies in building a culture based on customer service. In her free time, Jennifer enjoys running, reading and playing with her children.

Devina Acharya, MA, CCC/SLP

Rehabilitation Speech Pathology Supervisor

Devina earned her Master’s Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders at San Diego State University. She has over 17 years of clinical practice working with adults in inpatient and outpatient settings, acute rehab and subacute units, and skilled nursing facilities. Her primary areas of interest include patients with tracheostomy/ventilator-dependence, traumatic brain injury, and palliative care. Devina has been with Palomar Health since 2006. In addition to her duties here, she serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology at California State University San Marcos.

Cindy Linder, RN, BSN

Regional Coordinator
Healthy Development Services

Cindy Linder joined Palomar Health in 2000 after extensive experience as a pediatric registered nurse in acute care and community health. She currently serves as the Regional Coordinator of Healthy Development Services and is responsible for the delivery of developmental and behavioral services to young children and their families throughout the North Inland Region of San Diego County. Cindy is deeply committed to providing outstanding care that meets the specific needs of each individual child and their caregiver.

W. Shirin Strauss, MA, ICCE, IBCLC

Program Director
First 5 First Steps Home Visiting Program

Shirin Strauss is the Program Director for the Palomar Health North Region First 5 First Steps Home Visiting Program serving children and families. She has over 37 years’ experience in the field of individual, family and community health. She also teaches childbirth and breastfeeding classes at Scripps. Shirin previously managed Palomar Health Outpatient Lactation Services and worked with Welcome Home Baby. She worked with Family Health Centers of San Diego as the Central and East Region Program Director for Healthy Development Services (HDS). She also worked as a Senior Program Officer for the Office of the California Governor and for First 5 Los Angeles, and previously directed 7 perinatal health programs for Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. She also co-coordinated the prenatal department at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Shirin earned a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management and Women’s Health, and is a Certified Childbirth Educator and Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Her passion is spending time with her husband and family, and contributing toward quality of life for children and families.



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