The American Health Council has welcomed Dr. Deborah B. Riczo onto its prestigious Physical Therapy Board in recognition of her impressive 38 years of service to the healthcare sector. Dr. Riczo is the current president of Riczo Health Education, a company she formed in 2011 dedicated to providing health education to consumers as well as health professionals. This education is provided in the form of live courses, webinars, speaking engagements and consulting.
Dr. Riczo has always been passionate about broadening her knowledge of the human body and the intricacies of how it works from a young age. After researching a variety of possible career choices in the healthcare sector, Dr. Riczo chose Physical Therapy and has never regretted it. She graduated summa cum laude from Cleveland State University in 1980, BS in Physical Therapy, and in 1991 with her MEd, Masters in Education. She went on to achieve her DPT, Doctor in Physical Therapy from Marymount University in 2009.
She practiced clinically at MetroHealth Medical Center, a large urban county hospital in Cleveland, OH for over 30 years. During that time she held an administrative role in the Industrial Rehabilitation program, achieving CARF accreditation for the program, and assisted with the development of the breast cancer and women’s health programs. She developed her present expertise in sacroiliac dysfunction, pregnancy and postpartum issues as well as general orthopaedics.
While working at the hospital and enjoying her work in obstetrics, Dr. Riczo along with 2 fellow therapists decided to take their knowledge out to the community in the form of prenatal and postpartum fitness classes. They became entrepreneurs and contracted this program to area hospitals from 1983 to 1993. These classes not only were fitness classes geared toward the participants’ specialized needs, but had a strong educational component that varied week to week. Soon there was a need for postpartum classes, and then classes after the postpartum period. Dr. Riczo felt strongly regarding the importance of fitness during pregnancy and postpartum, (not well accepted during this time period in the 80’s). She proposed and was accepted to present at the American Physical Therapy Association Combined Section meeting in 1984, 1991 and 2012 on the topics of exercise during pregnancy, her specific program, “Momercise”, and the prenatal patient. Dr. Riczo published on this topic, including in the CardioPulmonary Journal, 1987, the Journal of Obstetric and Gynecologic Physical Therapy, 1989, and in the Orthopedic Physical Therapy Clinics of North America, 1996.
She developed an interest in back pain during pregnancy and postpartum, and began focusing on this area clinically and in her literature readings, becoming a sought out expert in sacroiliac dysfunction and pelvic girdle pain among her healthcare colleagues and physicians. Dr. Riczo published a highly acclaimed (Wooden Book Reviews, in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Practice, August 2018) self-help book entitled Sacroiliac Pain, understanding the Pelvic Girdle Musculoskeletal Method, available at OPTP.com and Amazon.com. Dr. Riczo developed the Pelvic Girdle Musculoskeletal Method (PGM Method) and has been teaching this method to physical therapists since 2011 through Riczo Health Education. This is also offered as a collaborative course, Simplifying Sacroiliac Dysfunction with the American Physical Therapy Association’s Section on Women’s Health. An introduction/review of this method can be found in a webinar, Tackling Sacroiliac Dysfunction and Pelvic Girdle Pain, hosted by Motivationsceu.com. Dr. Riczo presented on this topic to the American Physical Therapy Association Combined Section Meeting in 2018. She has been the instructor at the Cleveland State’s (CSU) DPT program for the sacroiliac portion of the spine course since 2013 and a guest lecturer at CSU since earlier in her career. Dr. Riczo served as adjunct faculty to the Cleveland State University DPT program from 2009 to 2012.
To see over 100 professional speaking engagements that Dr. Riczo has delivered across the US and publications see www.RiczoHealthEducation.com, about Dr. Riczo. Webinar and course topics include, but are not limited to, sacroiliac dysfunction, pelvic girdle pain, pregnancy, postpartum, core strengthening, breast cancer, industrial rehabilitation/ergonomics, and wellness/lifestyle topics.
Speaking engagements, courses or webinars are tailored to the audience, with very clear objectives, always emphasizing the goal of working toward a healthy lifestyle driven by the consumer. Providing evidenced based and clinically based education in an understandable, relevant manner is at the heart of the mission. This is important because Dr. Riczo believes health education has the potential to assist with transforming lives and the healthcare industry in general.
Dr. Riczo enjoys her community and professional activities as well. She is the pro-bono physical therapist for WomanKind Cleveland (over 20 years), a non-profit organization that serves women who are pregnant that do not have health insurance. She has been active in the American Physical Therapy Association which she is now a life-long member. She serves on the Executive Board of the Ohio Physical Therapy Association as a Director. She has held numerous positions at the district level in this association. She is an active member of the Women’s Health Section (over 35 years), Orthopaedic Section and Education Section of the American Physical Therapy Association. She is also currently serving on the Executive Board of the Cleveland State Alumni Association as Secretary and is a member of the Cleveland State Visiting Committee for the College of Sciences and Health Professionals.
When reflecting on her successes, Dr. Riczo gives credit to her deep, ingrained passion for learning, being self-driven, and her desire to influence others health and well-being through education. She teaches that education holds the key to positive life improvements.
Dr. Riczo is also proud of her personal achievements. These include over forty years of marriage to a supportive and wonderful husband, two amazing adult children and one spunky, smart and beautiful grandchild. She lives a life based on optimal health/wellness choices and is a pescatarian (vegetarian who eats fish). Outside of the office, Dr Riczo enjoys sailing, jogging and yoga. She is a supporter of many different charities, including WomanKind Cleveland, Catholic Diocese Charities, Unbound, World Wildlife, Habitat for Humanity and the Humane Society.
Dr. Riczo projects she will be very proactive in the next five years. She is planning to publish another self-help book or two, grow her speaking opportunities and webinars, further develop her blog, and investigate podcasts and interviews. You can reach her through www.RiczoHealthEducation.com.
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President of Riczo Health Education
- Riczo Health Education is dedicated to providing innovative health care education and consulting services to health care professionals, consumer groups and individuals.
- They believe that dedicated clinicians who blend evidenced-based practice with sound clinical experience and knowledgeable consumers can change the face of health care.