Jey Ponti, PT, MS
Jey received his Master of Science Degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Montana in 2000. Jey is a practicing Physical Therapist as well as an owner of PTA. His treatment is focused on outpatient orthopedic and sports physical therapy. His special interests include dysfunctions of the shoulder and back. Outside of the office, Jey enjoys spending time with his wife Julie and their daughters Olivia and Allison. He also enjoys kayaking, mountain biking, skiing, and fishing during his free time. When asked about being a Physical Therapist, Jey said, “The satisfaction of working as a Physical Therapist is unmatched. It is extremely fulfilling to bring a person back to a quality lifestyle after an injury or impairment and to get them back to the activities that they love.”
Dr. Michael Cole, PT, DPT, LAT, CSCS
Dr. Michael Cole is a 4th generation Montanan born and raised in Missoula. He graduated from the University of Montana in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health & Human Performance with an emphasis in Athletic Training and in 2010 with his Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree. After graduation, he worked in Missoula creating new concussion treatment standards and helping write the law for concussion management in high school sports in the state of Montana while working in an outpatient physical therapy clinic. He also provided game coverage for multiple sports teams and athletic clubs in the Missoula Valley. In 2012 he moved to Kalispell and joined our team at PTA. Michael’s areas of specialty include acute sports injuries, athletic injury rehab, shoulder and knee rehabilitation, instrumented manual therapy, Kinesio Taping, and High-Velocity Low-Amplitude Thrust Manipulations. In his spare time Dr. Cole enjoys spending time with his wife while fishing, hiking, hunting, camping, backpacking, skiing, and serving in church.
Chris Leck PT, DPT, SCS
CEO, VPO, Physical Therapist
Chris is the CEO and VPO of our PTA clinics. He received his Bachelors of Science in Pre-Medicine from the University of Notre Dame before going on to serve 4 years as an Officer in the US Navy. He then returned to graduate school receiving his graduate degree as a Doctor of Physical Therapy at Washington University in St. Louis, the #1 PT school in the nation. Chris has worked as a physical therapist in both Seattle and Spokane prior to moving to the Flathead Valley. He enjoys being outside with his wife and three kids, and particularly likes camping, hiking, fishing and golfing. As a physical therapist, Chris relishes “the opportunity to change someone’s quality of life on a daily basis.”
Dr. Mary Dixon, PT, DPT
Dr. Mary Dixon received her Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree from the University of Colorado in 2009. She worked in outpatient clinics for five years before joining PTA in the spring of 2014. Mary’s specialty areas include pelvic and spine pain, headaches, chronic pain, total joint rehabilitation, sport specific rehabilitation, and women’s health. When asked about her favorite aspect of physical therapy, Mary stated, “I especially like helping people find and strengthen their core.” Mary, her husband, and dog Scrappy enjoy all outdoor adventures. The Flathead Valley has been a welcome landing pad for rafting, fishing, camping, mountain biking, skiing, and hiking. Mary also loves gardening, cooking, and painting furniture.
Marcus Rowan, PT, DPT
Marcus, a Helena native, graduated from Montana State University in 2015 with a Bachelors in English Literature. He went on to complete his Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Arcadia University in Philadelphia, PA. Marcus enjoys working with all orthopedic conditions, but especially those with back and neck pain and upper extremity/shoulder impairments. Before joining us at PTA, he did pro bono physical therapy work in Guatemala and Inner City Philadelphia plus volunteered in Ecuador and studied abroad in England. He is always looking forward to the next opportunity to travel or provide care and learn from others.
Marcus enjoys golfing, hiking, and backpacking but especially fly fishing with his German Shepherd, Kya.
Jake Toth, PT, DPT, Cert. DN
Jake is from Clarksburg, West Virignia where he earned a BS in Exercise Science from West Virginia Wesleyan College then went on to earn his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from West Virginia University.
Jake is certified as an Emergency Medical Responder and is TRX Sports Medicine and Functional Training Qualified. His areas of interest include sports rehabilitation, orthopedics, and myofascial dysfunctions. Jake plans to obtain his Sports Certification Specialist. Before moving to the Flathead Valley he worked in Bridgeport, WV with out-patient orthopedic patients. His wife Aly is an occupational therapist in the area. The two of them enjoy hiking, snowshoeing, snowboarding, fishing, and anything outdoors with their two Siberian huskies, Kya and Acadia.
Saul Helgeson PT, DPT, Cert-DN
Saul received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND earning a Bachelor’s in University Studies and Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Saul has worked a total of eight years in physical therapist-owned private practices, with a focus on general orthopedics. His special interests in the PT field include treating simple to complex spinal conditions, as well as foot/ankle and shoulder/elbow problems to meet the needs of his patients. Saul loves to be outdoors and participates in biking, trail running, and skiing, and he takes every opportunity to be on the water!
What does Saul like best about being a PT? “I love interacting with patients educating them about WHY they’re at therapy, HOW therapy can make them better, and WHAT they can do to prevent their issues from returning. I also love the challenge of treating a variety of conditions ranging from simple to complex, since each one is a puzzle and needs to be pieced together a very specific way.”
Trevor Eccles, PT, DPT
Dr. Trevor Eccles graduated with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Montana in 2005.
He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise and Sports Science from Oregon State University in 2002.
Trevor jointed PTA in March of 2010. He is interested in all areas of orthopedic rehabilitation. When Trevor isn’t working, he and his wife Lacy enjoy mountain biking and skiing.
Jon Otto PT, DPT
Jon grew up In Riverton Wyoming. Prior to becoming a Physical Therapist, Jon was a commercial pilot and flight instructor in Billings and worked in both the Wyoming and Arizona Air National Guard. He graduated from University of Wyoming with a Bachelors in Kinesiology and Health Promotion in 2013 and completed his Doctorate in Physical Therapy with Franklin Pierce University in Goodyear, AZ. Jon most enjoys working with patient suffering from neck, back and shoulder injuries as well as post-surgical care. Jon moved to the Flathead Valley with his wife Jamie and two daughters Hailee and Riley.
Marnie Coutts is originally from Durham, NC and earned her Bachelors of Science Physical Therapy from the University of South Alabama and her Doctor of Physical Therapy from Des Moines University. After graduating from USA, Marnie moved to the Southern Oregon Coast where she worked in acute care at Bay Area Hospital from 1988-1992. In 1996 she joined the private practice sector with Innovative Physical Therapy and South Coast Orthopedic Associates until moving to Montana to join us at Professional Therapy Associates. One of the most rewarding projects of her career was coaching a Special Olympics Equestrian team and founding Southwest Therapeutic Equestrian Center.
“People come to physical therapy with physical problems that prevent them from living life to the fullest. Too often I find folks living with problems that could be managed or solved with Physical Therapy. The best part of my job is helping my patients regain abilities they thought were lost,” Marnie says.
Outside of the clinic she enjoys ballroom dancing, Equestrian sports, dog training for competition obedience, search and rescue, and adventures in the outdoors.
Kenny Carpenter, PT, DPT, Cert. DN
Kenny joined our clinic in June of 2013. He grew up in the beautiful area of East Glacier, Montana. He graduated from high school in Plains and completed his bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Montana State University, Bozeman in 2010. Kenny completed graduate school at the University of Montana, Missoula receiving a Doctorate in Physical Therapy in May 2013. Prior to physical therapy school, Kenny worked as a firefighter for the forest service for four years on the Lolo National Forest. He has work experience in acute care, skilled nursing and outpatient physical therapy. His specialties include sports rehabilitation, manual therapy, injury prevention, work station modification, instrument manual therapy, Kinesio Taping and general health and wellness. Kenny enjoys spending time in the great outdoors of Montana with his family and friends in the Flathead Valley. He loves to hike, backpack, hunt, fly fish, travel and play basketball. Kenny looks forward to helping patients lead happy, pain free lives.
Joel Shehan, PT, MS, CSCS, Cert. SMT
Joel graduated with a Master of Science Degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Montana in 2003. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology, also from the University of Montana, and obtained his CSCS credentials in 2003 from NSCA. As a practicing Physical Therapist, Joel has worked in multiple settings, including outpatient orthopedic, skilled nursing, home health, and acute hospital care, until joining PTA in May of 2006. He has interest in all areas of orthopedic and sports related rehabilitation and training. Outside of work his interests include skiing, cycling, and hiking with his wife Quincy, son Porter, and two dogs Trapper and Lily.
Dr. Kim Givler, PT, DPT
Dr. Kim Givler graduated from Idaho State University with a Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree in 2009, following a clinical internship in spinal cord injury and neurologic trauma physical therapy in Cape Town, South Africa. A native of Montana, she returned to her home state and settled in the Flathead Valley in 2009, joining PTA in 2010. Kim’s professional interests include spine rehabilitation, maternity and post-partum care, balance and vestibular rehab, and aquatic therapy. An avid recreationalist herself, she enjoys helping the people of Whitefish and the surrounding regions get back to and stay on their feet, in the mountains, and out on the trails. In her free time, you’ll find Kim in the mountains running, hiking, rock climbing, and skiing.