MEET THE STAFF
Staci Deschamps Griffin, DPT
Staci graduated with a B.S. in Ecology from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA in 2002. She returned home to Alaska and worked in a variety of jobs in the environmental field. After a few different injuries, physical therapy treatments, and changes in the economy, Staci was inspired to become a physical therapist. In April, 2015 she graduated with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences from their San Diego campus. Staci’s interests are in manual therapy and patient education. She is excited to continue expanding her treatment approaches including myofascial release, Strain Counterstrain.
In 2017 Staci received her Certification in Advanced Dry Needling (CMTPT).
Staci enjoys exploring Alaska’s wild lands with her husband via hiking, skiing, rafting, and mushroom hunting. She also loves traveling throughout the world experiencing new landscapes and cultures.
Hal Egbert, PT, OCS
Hal is a 1971 graduate of the University of Washington. He served over 21 years in the U.S.Public Health Service initially at the National Institutes of Health; followed by the Seattle USPHS Hospital in Seattle and lastly at the Alaska Native Health Hospital until 1992. He has practiced in private clinics since and founded United Physical Therapy in 1997. He enjoys all areas of orthopedic physical therapy and recently was re-certified in 2012 as Orthopedic Clinical Specialist.
Hal has over 40 years of Physical Therapy and Managerial experience and enjoys sharing his knowledge with other professionals.
Dennis Poirier, PT, Manipther, OCS
Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist 1984 graduate University of Washington Physical Therapy program.
1998 Masters of Manipulative Therapy from Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia.
One year post graduate manual therapy residency program with emphasis on spine treatment.
Member of the American Physical Therapy Association, Orthopedic section.
Member of the Amercian Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists.
Lori Sivitz, PT
Lori Sivitz is a 1989 graduate of the University of Florida. She moved to Anchorage in 1992 and has worked in various Orthopedic settings through 2000. After taking time with her family, Lori returned to practice joining UPT in May of 2005. Concurrently, Lori is a Birth Assistant at Geneva Woods Birth Center and enjoys working with women's health issues including pregnancy, post partum and pelvic floor dysfunction. In 2011 Lori participated in the Discover Physio series (Integrated Systems Model) in Vancouver, Canada
Claire Trujillo, DPT, COMT
Claire earned her Bachelor of Arts in English in 2017 from Carleton College, where she ran cross country and track. In 2021 she graduated from Concordia University, St. Paul with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy and moved back to her hometown of Anchorage, Alaska. Claire completed her Certification in Orthopedic Manual Therapy with the Ola Grimsby Institute and is currently adding dry needling to her practice tool box. Claire is excited to begin her clinical career in the community she grew up in. An avid runner and cross-country skier, Claire enjoys working with athletes and helping them pursue their goals. Outside of work, Claire enjoys reading, writing, drawing, and exploring the outdoors. Claire practices at both the Midtown and South clinics.
Felicity (Tia) Wood, PT, DPT
Tia grew up in a fishing town off the coast of Maine where she participated in every available sport team and worked an assortment of manual labor jobs. Working physically demanding jobs as well as being a youth athlete instilled in her an appreciation of the importance of physical wellbeing. After an initial career as a geologist, she returned to school to become a Physical Therapist. She graduated from Pacific University with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy. Tia enjoys working with patients from all walks of life. She particularly enjoys getting to understand what each patient is motivated by and helping them work towards their individual goals. Outside of work Tia enjoys all outdoor activities as well as cooking large meals with friends and family. Tia practices at both the Midtown and West clinics.
Jo Young, PT, DPT, CMP
After an initial career as a wildlife biologist, Jo returned to school and received a degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Montana in 1996. Since graduating, she has practiced primarily in outpatient orthopedic settings in Anchorage and enjoys working with the general orthopedic as well as sports injuries. She has extensive experience rehabilitating knees. In 2002, she completed a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree through the Ola Grimsby Institute. For her dissertation, she applied an eccentric exercise protocol to rehabilitate athletes with patellar tendonitis. Jo is a certified Mulligan practitioner. She also recently completed professional training using the Integrated Systems Model, a "whole body" approach to evaluating and treating patients. In 2017 Jo received her Certification in Advanced Dry Needling (CMTPT).
Leah Einhorn, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT
Leah is born and raised near Chicago, Illinois. She graduated with degrees in Exercise Science and Psychology from North Central College in Naperville, IL and then went on to receive her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at the University of Illinois in Chicago in 2010. Since that time, she has achieved her Orthopedic Clinical Specialist certification through the American Physical Therapy Association and has completed a Fellowship of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She also has training in Vestibular Rehabilitation and is certified in Dry Needling and is excited to contribute these skill sets to the United team. She enjoys exploring trails and playing the piano, and hopes to one day eventually catch an Alaskan salmon!
Alec Kay, MSPT, DMT, OCS, ATC, FAAOMPT
Alec initially began his career working in sports medicine at the University of California, Davis as an undergraduate where he received a Bachelors of Science in Exercise Physiology and was Certified as an Athletic Trainer in 1988. He was also a four year letterman in basketball as an undergraduate. He continues to enjoy working with athletes as his interest in sports medicine continues. Alec was awarded a Masters of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of the Pacific in 1990. He attended a 6 month full time residency in Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) in Vallejo, CA, after working for several years in acute care and neurological rehabilitation. His additional post-graduate studies included completion of a Master of Orthopedic Manual Therapy in 1997 and a Doctor of Manual Therapy degree in 2000, with a dissertation on the lumbar spine. After completion of his DMT, Alec was appointed to the faculty of the Ola Grimsby Institute Post-Professional Consortium and is currently teaching advanced techniques in manual orthopedic physical therapy locally and in other states, as well as presenting as an invited speaker. He is the Director of the OGI Fellowship program in manual therapy. Additionally, Alec is the current president of American Physical Therapy Association Alaska. Alec has an operational use of the spanish language. He is board certified as an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist.
Alec was trained and certified as a ChiRunning instructor in 2006. These classes teach energy efficiency and injury prevention. These classes are taught periodically throughout the year. If you are interested in learning more about Chi Running, please visit their web site at www.chirunning.com.
Alec became an owner of United Physical Therapy in 2001 and now serves as President.
Taylor Miller, PT, DPT
Taylor grew up in Northeast Oklahoma. He received a Bachelor of Science in Health Education and Promotion from Oklahoma State University in 2013. He worked as an exercise specialist for five years prior to beginning physical therapy school. In 2021, he graduated with a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Following graduation, he spent a year practicing in Kansas and has completed Functional Dry Needling Level One and Level Two Certifications through Evidence in Motion. Areas of interest include dry needling, myofascial pain syndromes, general orthopedics, and resistance training. He is planning on completing an orthopedic manual therapy residency through the Ola Grimsby Institute and hopeful to become a Fellow of the American Academy for Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists. Outside of the clinic, Taylor enjoys hunting, fishing, and spending time with his family.
John Polonowski, PT, FAAOMPT
John was born and raised in Rockford, Michigan. While attending Marquette University 1995-2001, John was a four year letter winner and all conference USA honor roll on the basketball team. He earned a Bachelor of Art with a degree in psychology and a Master of Physical Therapy. John has worked in many outpatient orthopedic clinics around the country as a travel physical therapist. His travels first brought him to Alaska in 2005. He completed a one-year manual therapy residency with the Ola Grimsby Institute in 2006. John enjoys treating general orthopedic injuries and has a special interest in the shoulder complex. In his free time, John can be found skiing the steep and deep or fly fishing around the great state of Alaska.
John completed the written and practical examination with distinction for Fellowship training in orthopedic manual therapy through the Ola Grimsby Institute in January of 2015.
Congratulations to John Polonowski for being awarded Fellowship status to the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists (www.aaompt.org). Fellowship status in this organization is the highest level of manual therapy recognition in the US. Through the Ola Grimsby Institute, John completed the rigorous study for his Residency training in 2006 and completed his year of Fellowship study in 2014, being recognized in Louisville, KY in October of this year. This is a reflection of John’s exceptional commitment to improving his clinical mastery, a core value of United Physical Therapy. The Fellowship year included classroom hours perfecting manual techniques, clinical decision making, exercise prescription, and 150 hours of mentorship study under instructors. John has 2 small children and quickly acknowledges the incredible support from his wife in his academic and career endeavors. Great work John!
Bryan Templeman, DPT, ATC, FAAOMPT
Bryan received his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA in 1992. He gained his Certification in athletic training and worked with the sport medicine program as an athletic trainer at Westmont College for 6 years. He returned to school and earned a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Samuel Merritt University in 2008. Following graduation he completed a 6-month postgraduate residency in Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation at Kaiser Vallejo hospital. Bryan worked at UC Berkeley California where he split time working at an outpatient physical therapy clinic in the student health center and working in the training room as a member of Cal’s sports medicine staff. He recently has moved to Anchorage, and is currently enrolled in Ola Grimsby ‘s post-doctoral program in manual therapy.
Bryan works locally with some sports organizations now in Anchorage providing sports medicine support.
Bryan completed the written and practical examination with distinction for Fellowship training in orthopedic manual therapy through the Ola Grimsby Institute in January of 2015.
In 2017 Bryan received his Certification in Advanced Dry Needling (CMTPT).
Kelsey Granley, DPT
Kelsey attended Eastern Washington University where she received her BS in Biology in 2007. In 2011 she graduated from Western University of Health Sciences with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. In 2012 she became certified in Dry Needling from the Spinal Manipulation and Dry Needling Institute. With this training she has specialized into treating chronic pain and other diagnoses. Her favorite people to work with are those that suffer from headache and back pain. Currently she is working on her spinal manipulation certification. She recently moved to Alaska in October 2015 to work at United PT and for a new adventure. Kelsey grew up with horses and cars in Northwest Montana. She had an affinity for horses and her brothers had an affinity for motors and racing cars. As a result her hobbies include anything outdoors including horseback riding, fishing, hunting, and hiking.
Kara Mathys PT, DPT, COMT, Astym Certified Provider
Kara grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin and is an avid Packers and Badgers fan. She attended the University of Wisconsin - Madison, finishing her BS in Kinesiology in 2011 and Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in 2014. She completed a Manual Therapy Certification in 2016 and worked in Chicago for a total of 7 years. After her third visit to Alaska, she decided to leave the big city-life behind for good and moved to Anchorage at the end of 2020. She is currently finishing a Fellowship Certification and her Dry Needling certification.
She loves outdoor activities of all varieties and recently learned how to Nordic ski. In the summer she enjoys hiking, camping, and fishing with her friends. While proud of her Wisconsin roots, she is excited to explore everything Alaska has to offer.
She enjoys treating all musculoskeletal injuries with an emphasis on manual therapy and strengthening. She also performs video gait analysis for runners, weight lifting assessments, and Astym therapy. She strives to empower patients with knowledge and exercise to maximize their physical therapy outcomes.
Samuel O’Melia, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS
Sam was born and raised in the Northwoods of Rhinelander, Wisconsin. He attended
Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science
in Exercise Physiology in 2018 and earned his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in 2020.
Following graduation, Sam elected to pursue a one-year residency in orthopedic physical
therapy with the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics, where he received specialty
training in orthopedic rehab, conducted research on patient evaluation measures, and assisted
in teaching PT students about musculoskeletal assessment/treatment. He earned his Board-
Certification as a Clinical Specialist in Orthopedic Physical Therapy in 2022, and he has also been
a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist since 2019.
Sam has previously helped develop research studies pertaining to optimal exercise in chronic
pain populations, and he has an ongoing interest in pain neuroscience. His other areas of
interest as a clinician include sports and post-surgical rehabilitation, as well as treatment of
runners and weightlifters. Sam believes that open and consistent communication with his
patients is one of the most valuable aspects of a successful rehab journey; he loves devoting
time to getting to know his patients and collaborating with them. Outside of the clinic, Sam
enjoys exploring the outdoors with his wife and dog. He likes to be active with resistance
training, hiking, and trail running around the area.
Katie Ronsse Libby, PT, DPT, COMT
Katie was born in Bethel, Alaska and earned her B.S. in Biology in 2004 from the University of Denver while concurrently competing as a member of the NCAA D1 Championship winning ski team. Following a post-collegiate career in cross-country ski racing and coaching, Katie attended University of Utah’s Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program and graduated in 2014. For her doctoral project, she focused on manual treatment for the Temporomandibular Joint, which is a special interest in addition to sports medicine and pediatric orthopedics. Katie became certified in Trigger Point Dry Needling in 2016, a Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist in 2018, and is currently working toward becoming a Certified Mulligan Practitioner. She is an active member of the Alaska Physical Therapy Association and the Orthopedic Section of the American Physical Therapy Association. Katie aims to provide tools for clients to be independent and sustain gains in the long term. When Katie is not in the clinic, she enjoys self-propelled travel in wild places. She also enjoys returning to Bristol Bay each summer to fish in the family commercial fishing operation.
Regan Rodig, PTA
Regan is a fifth-generation Alaskan and has lived in several different Alaskan communities. After working as a licensed massage therapist for eight years, she graduated from the physical therapist assistant program at UAA in 2021. She loves working with and forming connections with patients of all ages. Outside of work, Regan enjoys being active, playing cards and spending time with her family and two dogs.
Anne Blount, DPT
Anne received her undergraduate degree in marine biology from Jacksonville University in Florida in 1989. She worked as a marine biologist and animal behaviorist for many years before deciding to begin a second career as a physical therapist. Anne graduated with high honors from the University of St. Augustine in 2005, receiving a doctor of Physical Therapy. She moved to Alaska and worked for Active Alaskan PT, an out patient orthopedic clinic in Seward, before settling in Anchorage and accepting a position with United Physical Therapy. Anne completed a manual therapy residency program with the Ola Grimsby Institute to continue her education in manual therapy of the spine and extremities. Anne has completed training in Vancouver, Canada, using the Integrated Systems Model, a "whole body" approach to evaluating and treating patients.
Anne completed the written and practical examination with distinction for Fellowship training in orthopedic manual therapy through the Ola Grimsby Institute in January of 2015.
In 2017 Anne received her Certification in Advanced Dry Needling (CMTPT).
Erin Danielson, PT, DPT, OCS, COMT
Erin received her undergraduate degree in Health Promotion from the University of Northern Iowa. She then graduated from Creighton University in Omaha receiving a Doctorate of Physical Therapy, followed by a residency in Orthopedics also at Creighton. She moved to Alaska and has worked in Anchorage since 2011. Erin became a Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist through the International Academy of Orthopedic Medicine for both the spine and extremities. She is also trained through the Vodder school for Manual Lymphatic Drainage. She is working towards her next certification in Trigger Point Dry Needling.
She enjoys working with a wide variety patients, specializing in orthopedic spine conditions, movement and gait analysis, lymphedema disorders, neurological conditions including Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson's Disease, as well as post-concussion and vestibular conditions. Her passion is making a difference in people's lives; an advocate for her patients and the physical therapy profession. Outside of work she enjoys recreating in the Alaska outdoors all year round.
Elizabeth Finocchio PT, DPT, COMT
Elizabeth grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Middlebury College in Vermont and completed her pre-requisites for physical therapy school at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. In 2014, she received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Pacific University in Oregon. After graduation, she moved to Alaska with her husband, where she began practicing physical therapy in Anchorage and Seward. She completed her certification in Orthopedic Manual Therapy through the International Academy of Orthopedic Medicine for both the spine and the extremities. She is currently completing her certification in Trigger Point Dry Needling. She enjoys working with orthopedic patients from all walks of life and helping them on their path toward reaching their goals. Outside of work she can be found pursuing the many outdoor activities the Alaska wilderness has to offer. Elizabeth practices at both the West and Downtown clinics.
Chad Ross PT, DPT, COMT
Chad was born and raised in Arizona. He graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2001, then followed his dream of moving to Alaska. Since that time he has gained a variety of experience in the field. He pursued further education in orthopedics and manual therapy with completion of Certification in Orthopedic and Manual Therapist through the International Academy of Orthopedic Medicine. He served as program director and consultant for a medium-sized Occupational Health program incorporating on-site physical job analysis, employee return to work testing, and industry safety practices.
He is currently working toward certification through the Postural Restoration Institute, which gives him a whole-body systems integration approach to assessments of functional movement. He is trained in a specialty program for individuals with Parkinson’s disease, certified in LSVT-Big though LSVT Global since 2020. He values giving back to the community. He has volunteer experience with the Alaska Dance Theater, Special Olympics, and for various community athletic events. Chad has also represented the profession as a volunteer Physical Therapist for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games and is a current board member of the Alaska chapter of the America Physical Therapy Association.
Brooke Lewis PT, DPT, COMT, OCS
Brooke was born and raised in Waxahachie, Texas. She has always loved the mountains, which is what ultimately brought her to Anchorage in 2016. She has her undergraduate degree in Health and Kinesiology from the University of Texas at Tyler, and she graduated with her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2015 from Hardin-Simmons University. She is a Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist through the International Academy of Orthopedic Medicine, and she is a Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist. She has a special interest in treating patients with vestibular disorders, concussions, and balance difficulties, as well as overhead athletes and endurance athletes. Brooke is one of the physical therapists who travel with the US Cross Country Ski Team when she is able to during their world cup race seasons, and she has a high interest in optimizing elite athletes’ ability to obtain their goals. When she is not in the clinic, you may find Brooke mountain or fat biking, hiking, fishing, paddle boarding, cross country skiing, snowboarding, trying to snag a public use cabin, throwing a ball for her golden doodle, or scratching her pot bellied pig’s belly.