Passionate about exercise to combat disease progression

MDT Education Solutions, LLC is an Atlanta based company formed in 2014 to provide education opportunities that will expand access to quality exercise options for people with Parkinson's disease (PD). The founders are passionate about providing hope and inspiration to people living with PD by equipping them to take control of the disease progression. They are committed to helping as many people as possible access exercise as an important tool for managing disease progression.

The Founders

Dr. Madeleine E. Hackney, Ph.D, Certified ACE Personal Trainer holds a BFA in Dance from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, and a Ph.D. in Movement Science from Washington University in St. Louis. She has also been an American Council on Exercise (ACE) certified personal trainer since 2000. She is a Research Health Scientist at the Atlanta VA Center for Visual and Neurocognitive Rehabilitation and an Associate professor of Medicine, in the division of General Medicine and Geriatrics, Department of Medicine, Emory School of Medicine. Dr. Hackney had a successful professional dance career and taught fitness, Pilates, yoga and dance classes before graduate school. 

Her doctoral work characterized the effects of gender, attention, disease and unfamiliar skills on locomotion by examining backward and dual task gait to gain insight into which tasks need the most rehabilitative emphasis. She also began inquiry into the analysis of challenging exercise programs: traditional exercise, Tai Chi and partnered dance & tango classes, designed to improve physical function and quality of life in people with Parkinson Disease (PD), older adults and those with serious mental illness.  

Currently, Dr. Hackney aims to determine the characteristics of physical rehabilitative strategies, in terms of movement pattern and timing, dosage, duration, and intensity to enhance balance, mobility and quality of life and reducing fall risk for older adults with low vision as well as those with PD.

Her research has received media coverage in the New York Times, Scientific American, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, National Public Radio and in Musicophilia, by Oliver Sachs. Dr. Hackney has presented her work about exercise for those with PD at international meetings, such as the Movement Disorders Society, the International Society for Posture and Gait Research, the Society for Neuroscience, the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine- American Society of Neurorehabilitation Joint Educational Conference and the Gerontological Society of America. 

Dr. Doherty Riebesell, PT, DPT, GCS, is a physical therapist in Charlotte, NC. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Indiana University where she was an All American swimmer. She earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2009. Doherty specializes in the treatment of geriatric patients and those with neurological dysfunction.  Doherty is a Board Certified Geriatric Specialist (GCS). She has written articles for the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) on physical therapy for Parkinson’s disease, as well as presented at multiple patient/family seminars on Parkinson’s disease. 




This overall body of evidence suggests that vigorous exercise should be accorded a central place in our treatment of PD. It should be encouraged and emphasized as potential strategy for a more favorable disease course.
— J. Eric Ahlskog, PhD, MD

Dr. Tricia Creel, PT, DPT, NCS, is a physical therapist in St Louis, MO. She works for the American Parkinson Disease Association - Greater St. Louis Chapter as Program Coordinator. Tricia earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina and received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2009 from Georgia State University. Tricia specializes in the treatment of neurologic disorders, with an emphasis on Parkinson’s disease. Her other clinical interests include vestibular rehabilitation and balance impairments. Tricia is a Board Certified Neurologic Specialist (NCS). She is also certified in vestibular rehabilitation. She has written articles for the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) on physical therapy for Parkinson’s disease, as well as presented at local and national conferences on Parkinson’s disease. 


MDT trained instructors are providing safe, evidence based exercise programming all over the country. We are proud to have trained health and fitness professionals for so many great organizations.