OUR PHYSICAL THERAPISTS:
Chris Leck – PT, DPT, SCS
CEO & VPO
Chris is the CEO and Vice President of Operations 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.”
Michael Cole – PT, DPT, LAT, CSCS, Cert. DN
Kalispell – WF Stage
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, Mike enjoys spending time with his wife while fishing, hiking, hunting, camping, backpacking, skiing, and serving in church.
Mary Dixon – PT, DPT, CFMT
Kalispell – WF Stage
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.
Mary’s areas of specialties include pelvic floor treatment for urinary incontinence and pain, internal and external manual treatments for coccyx (tailbone) pain, and post-partum checks for pelvic floor & core strength especially DRA (diastasis rectus abdominus).
Trevor Eccles – PT, DPT, Cert. DN
Kalispell – Downtown
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.
Kim Givler – PT, DPT, Cert. DN
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.
Saul Helgeson – PT, DPT, CMPT, CAFS, Cert. DN
Kalispell – WF Stage
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 been treating patients since 2009, with a focus on general orthopedics. His special interests include treating simple to complex spinal conditions, neurogenic pain syndromes, and a myriad of degenerative joint and musculoskeletal overuse conditions. Saul employs a variety of interventions to help decrease pain, promote tissue healing, and improve movement quality such as Dry Needling & myofascial cupping, joint mobilizations/manipulations, Mulligan/muscle assist techniques, and local/global muscle faciliatory techniques to promote stability in a hypermobile or unstable joint.
Saul is a Certified Manual Physical Therapist through the North American Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy, which is a rigorous post-graduate certification process that focuses on advanced clinical reasoning and the application of manual treatment techniques to improve patient outcomes.
He is only 1 out of 7 therapists in the state of Montana and 518 nationally that has this distinction.
Greg Johnson – DPT, PT, CSCS
Kalispell – Downtown & Lakeside
Greg received his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Montana in 2017. For his undergraduate studies, he attended Eastern Washington University and studied Exercise Science. He worked as a certified personal trainer for over 10 years and, since 2015, has been a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
Greg uses his passion for fitness, rehabilitation, and optimizing human movement to help his patients meet their goals and reach their peak performance.
Jon Otto – PT, DPT, Cert. DN
Bigfork & Lakeside
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 patients 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.
Jey Ponti – PT, MS, Cert. DN
Jey received his Master of Science Degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Montana in 2000. His treatment is focused on outpatient orthopedic and sports physical therapy, and 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.”
Andrew Lane, PT, DPT, CFCE
Columbia Falls & Whitefish
Andrew Lane grew up in Petaluma, CA. He completed his undergraduate degree in Kinesiology from California Polytechnic State University in 2001, and then went on to for his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in 2015. Andrew is certified to perform Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE), a comprehensive evaluation that measures strength, endurance, physical demand work level and positional tolerance. He joined PTA in 2017, and lives in Whitefish with his older brother.
In his spare time, Andrew enjoys kayaking, hiking, backpacking, snowboarding, cross country skiing, swimming, basketball and baseball.
Marcus Rowan – PT, DPT, Cert. DN
Kalispell – WF Stage
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.
Joel Shehan – PT, MS, CSCS, Cert. SMT, Cert. DN
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.
Marcia St. Goddard – DPT, CSCS, Cert. DN
Marcia completed her Doctorate degree in physical therapy at The University of Montana 2011. She has over 6 years of manual therapy skills and functional movement exercise training, with additional certificates including NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA), and Functional Movement Screen Certified Professional (FMS) She has worked with many professional, college and high school athletes. She has completed numerous courses in the management of orthopedics, sports medicine and spinal conditions, with professional interests in post-surgical rehabilitation, injury prevention and performance enhancement.
She has completed more than 2 dozen 10Ks and a handful of half marathons, and also enjoys CrossFit. When she’s not helping her patients move and feel better, she can be found playing outside in the Polson community with her two daughters.
OUR PHYSICAL THERAPY ASSISTANTS
Lakeside & Polson
Nora Buffham, a native of Szeged, Hungary, works as a Physical Therapy Assistant in our Lakeside and Polson Clinics.
She earned her Physical Therapy Assistant AAS degree from Flathead Valley Community College in 2017, and joined PTA as a new grad.
Nora and her husband live in Columbia Falls with their son, and 3 cats. She and her family enjoy hiking, camping and traveling, and she also likes to garden and “tinker.” Nora enjoys helping her patients do life better.
Josh joined PTA as Physical Therapy Assistant in our Whitefish clinic in 2012.
He grew up in Pine Bluffs, WY, and graduated with his AAS degree, as a Physical Therapy Assistant in 2010, from Laramie County Community College. He loves physical therapy, and helping people recover function so they can continue to do the things that they love.
Josh and his wife Lee enjoy skiing, whitewater kayaking, mountain biking and anything outdoors, with their dogs Moose and Sarah.
Prior to joining PTA, Josh spent 4 years in the USAF, and worked as a raft guide and ski resort employee.
Kalispell – Downtown
Blake was attracted to physical therapy like so many others after having a positive experience in recovering from his own injury.
He took his first job in the field 4 years ago upon earning his license through the PT Assistant program in Great Falls.
He then had the opportunity to become a member of Professional Therapy Associates and move to the beautiful Flathead Valley.
He enjoys helping people and watching them work hard at improving their overall quality of life through healthy exercise and manual therapy.
Blake, his wife Chelsey, and their two children Grayson and Harper enjoy summer days on the lake and playing in the snow all winter.
Penny graduated from Green River Community College with a Physical Therapy Assistant AAS degree in 1994. She has practiced for over 23 years, focusing on out-patient orthopedics and sports physical Therapy, with an additional 20 years work history as a personal trainer and fitness instructor. Penny is a practiced Physical Therapy Assistant who specializes in personalized therapy exercise, functional exercise progression and stabilization techniques. Penny works in our Columbia Falls clinic, and is pleased to be with a group of therapists who each strive at helping our patients do life better.
Angela Lay, AAS
Kalispell – WF Stage, Downtown & Columbia Falls
Angela graduated from Carrington College in 2012, with her Physical Therapy Assistant AAS degree. She grew up in Arizona, and worked in medical billing before joining PTA.
In her spare time, Angela enjoys spending time with her Shepherd Mix dog, Maggie, and hiking, fishing, boating, camping, hunting and cross-country skiing.
Kalispell – WF Stage
Kalani was born and raised on Oahu, Hawaii, is a former varsity high school football coach.
He played collegiate football at the University of Montana Western, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Human Performance. Kalani received his AAS in the Physical Therapy Assistant program from Flathead Valley Community College, in 2017.
One of his favorite quotes is “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life,” by Muhamad Ali.
When asked how he got involved in PT, Kalani said, “I love the profession of physical therapy and everything it stands for. I am so grateful that I can help individuals of all ages regain function that has been lost, recover from acute or chronic injuries, and pass on my knowledge of function that will be useful for the rest of their lives.”
Kalani loves to be physically active and partake in just about anything involving the outdoors. In his free time, you will find him snowboarding, hiking, camping, and adventuring with his wife Molly, and their two daughters.
Kalispell–Downtown & Columbia Falls
Kirby received her Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of Montana Western in 2012, and her AAS Physical Therapy Assistant degree at Flathead Valley Community College in 2016. She joined the PTA team as a new grad in 2016 and enjoys helping people get back to doing what they love.
Kirby grew up in Laurel, MT, and moved to the Flathead with her husband Reed, and their dog Cheyenne. Their daughter Harlo joined their family in June of 2017. They enjoy camping, hiking and rafting in the summers, and doing anything outdoors.