Meet the Founders
The Bridge Adaptive Sports and Recreation was founded by a unique team of medical professionals, community advocates and athletes who over the years have bonded together through a mutual goal: to eliminate the barriers to participating in physical activity in our community.
Danny Meyer, PT, DPT
Danny Meyer, PT, DPT is not your typical “West Sider''. He’s not afraid to venture across the imaginary “borders” of Cincinnati if it means promoting movement across the lifespan. Still, if you are from the West Side, we bet you can find out how you're connected through a mutual friend or family member.
Danny is a pediatric physical therapist and a member of the Outpatient Neurorehabilitation Team at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC). His clinical experience includes treating a wide variety of orthopedic and neuroglial conditions with a focus in post-traumatic injury rehabilitation. In striving to maintain physical activity levels following discharge from therapy services, he has helped to develop a series of wellness opportunities in the Cincinnati area to help bridge the gap between the clinic and the community through a program at CCHMC called be.well.
He is a Certified Adaptive Recreation & Sports Specialist as well as a Certified Brain Injury Specialist. His research interests include the physiological, psychosocial and functional outcomes associated with participation in community-based activities and sports for children with any disability.
If you want to catch Danny outside of work, you can likely find him on the mountains (hills) of Cincinnati either mountain biking or snowboarding.
MeMe Earnest, DPT, ATC
MeMe is passionate about the intersection of neurological rehabilitation, increasing access to sustainable healthcare, research, and adaptive sports medicine in improving the quality of life and overall health of individuals with disabilities. For her, The Bridge is where these things meet.
Originally from Ft. Wayne, IN, MeMe is a Board-Certified Neurologic Clinical Specialist and a 2019 graduate from the University of Cincinnati’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program. She received her BS in Athletic Training in 2016 from Wheeling Jesuit University; she furthered her training by completing a neurologic physical therapy residency at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center. MeMe is currently a treating therapist in the University of Cincinnati Neurorecovery Lab and adjunct professor in the University of Cincinnati’s Doctor of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training Programs. She serves as the Director of Sports Medicine for the Greater Cincinnati Adapted Sports Club - which houses the 2021 National Wheelchair Basketball Association Junior Varsity National Champions! She is also the Vice Chair for the Adaptive Sports Special Interest Group in the American Academy of Sports Physical Therapy, and assists with the care of Team USA Wheelchair Rugby. Her clinical and research interests include maximizing shoulder health for wheelchair users and sports performance enhancement for adaptive athletes.
MeMe’s motto is to “meet the people where they are” and she is excited to do so with The Bridge team!
Renee Loftspring, PT, EdD
Born a Buckeye in Toledo, Ohio, Renee has dedicated herself to growing adaptive sport and recreation opportunities in Cincinnati over the past 14 years including serving as a USA Hockey Disabled Section Representative the last 13 years. She co-founded two nonprofits serving youth and adults with primary physical disabilities in SW Ohio: the Cincinnati IceBreakers’ Sled Hockey program (est. 2007), and IRON CORE: Adapted Strength and Conditioning (est. 2019). Renee’s background includes a BS in Secondary Science Education from The Ohio State University (1982); BS in Physical Therapy from University of Pittsburgh (1986); M.Ed. (2000) and Ed.D. (2006) from the University of Cincinnati in Instructional Design and Technology and Higher Education, respectively. She has been clinically active in physical therapy for nearly 35 years with an emphasis encompassing Neuro Rehabilitation. Renee was an adjunct instructor for six years in the Health Sciences Division of the University of Cincinnati prior to earning her Ed.D. where she then became employed full-time as an Assistant Professor at the University of Mount St Joseph, teaching primarily Neuro Rehabilitation topics in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. Renee is co-author of a book chapter in a neurological rehabilitation academic text, has presented talks and posters around the country on numerous topics including the benefits of exercise and sport for persons with physical disabilities, growing adaptive sport programs, critical thinking in the physical therapy classroom, spasticity, wound care and wheelchair positioning and seating. It was serendipitous that Renee became acquainted with the other co-founders of The Bridge.
Victoria Heasley, MD
Victoria is a physician at the University of Cincinnati in the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine departments. She always knew she wanted to be a physician but in high school she started to realize that she loved engineering. She decided to become an engineer and a physician in order to “bridge the gap” between the two fields to help further create and develop medical devices. It was not until medical school when she found her true passion in adaptive sports equipment design! Athletes often require equipment for their sport, but the available equipment is not a one-size-fits all. There needs to be solutions and modifications to equipment to make it usable, which is where Victoria comes in. By working with other engineers, clinicians, therapists, and many disciplines, amazing solutions were designed from extensive collaborations.
Through the love of adaptive sports equipment and adaptive sports medicine, Victoria met some friends in the area who all had the same level of excitement for adaptive sport and the rest is history....the Bridge was formed.
Jacob Counts grew up in Covington, Kentucky and attended University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where he was a member of the men's wheelchair basketball team and earned a B.S. in recreation and human performance. After college, Jacob played wheelchair basketball professionally in Germany and Italy as well as serving as assistant coach for the University of Alabama's men's wheelchair basketball team. Jacob was a member of the USA National Wheelchair Basketball Team from 2007 to 2010 and competed in the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, China. In 2014 Jacob founded the Greater Cincinnati Adapted Sports Club with the mission of promoting adapted sports and recreation for youth and adults with a disability. At work Jacob is currently the Director of Programming at Skool Aid whose mission is to enrich the lives of children through quality After-School, In-School and Summer Programs online and off. At play Jacob is head coach of the Cincinnati Dragons, Greater Cincinnati’s first youth wheelchair basketball team, and Greater Cincinnati Adapted Sports Club’s flagship program.
Brent Zeiser, CFP®
Brent was born and raised in Cincinnati, OH and graduated from Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business. After school, he decided to introduce the country’s palate to what some would say is culinary perfection – Cincinnati chili. Brent taught middle school math for two years in San Antonio, TX as a Teach For America Corps Member. He then changed gears and started working for Vanguard as an investment specialist in Scottsdale, AZ. Brent holds his Series 7 and 63 securities licenses and obtained his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation in 2019. He currently works on Vanguard’s Personal Advisor Services team in Philadelphia, PA. While Brent’s role at Vanguard is to help better the lives of his clients financially, he still holds a passion for education. He helps promote My Classroom Economy, a program that teaches students core investment principals by creating a microeconomy in the classroom. Brent is honored to partner with such a talented and highly regarded (as professionals and as people) team to help make adaptive sports more accessible for athletes and families.