Physical Therapy

Dr. David Lower, PT, DPT, Cert. MDT, CMPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Mechanical Diagnosis and Treatment (McKenzie Method)
Certified Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapist
Partner/Manager

David earned his Doctor of Physical Therapy from Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia. He finished a year long fellowship level course to receive his Certification as an Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapist. Continuing to advance his skills, he became certified in MDT (Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy. McKenzie Method). The MDT treatment principles promote the body's potential to repair itself. MDT assists with accurately diagnosing patients and eliminating symptoms while restoring full function. David was born and raised in Gainesville and has been professionally involved in the field for many years. His experience spans sports medicine (emphasis on shoulders and knees), post-surgical rehab, stroke and brain injury, geriatrics, foot and ankle injuries, orthotics, and spine rehab. David is a member of the APTA and FPTA. He has been a triathlete and raced in ultra-marathon (over 100 mile) bike races, including the team RAAM (Bike Race Across America). David is married and has five children. He enjoys cycling, going to the beach, and spending time with his family. Have questions? Email Me

Dr. Erienne Blanchard, PT, DPT, OCS, CMPT, CFC, Cert. DN
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist
Certified Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapist
Craniofacial Certified
Certified Dry Needling
Certificate of Vestibular Therapy
Partner/Manager

Erienne graduated with her Bachelor of Health Science and received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy, both from the University of Florida. She was born and raised in Gainesville, Florida. She is a member of the Florida Physical Therapy Association and the American Physical Therapy Association. She has achieved Board-Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist, the highest specialization in outpatient orthopedics. She specializes in neck pain, facial pain, headaches, migraines, TMJ dysfunction, facial palsy, dizziness, vertigo, and all disorders of the neck and face. She is knowledgeable in all areas with all musculoskeletal disorders. She teaches with the University of Florida Doctor of Physical Therapy Program as an Adjunct Lecturer in Differential Diagnosis, Exercise Science, and Functional Anatomy. Have questions, email me!

Dr. Alicia Hopkins, PT, DPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy

Alicia received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Andrews University in Michigan, and has practiced in California, Oregon, Wyoming, and now Florida. She received her undergraduate degree from Andrews University in Anatomy and Physiology. She was a student teacher in the anatomy lab. Alicia has specialty care in post-mastectomy and Women's Health. Alicia and her husband have two small children. They enjoy traveling to new destinations as well as being active as a family outdoors. She enjoys ocean sports such as kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling, and would love to learn how to surf. Have questions, email me!

Dr. Shlomit Albagli, PT, DPT, CMPT, CDN
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Manual Physical Therapist
Certified Dry Needling

Shlomit graduated from SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University in Brooklyn, NY, with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree. She moved to Bloomington, IN and practiced at St. Vincent Hospital, where she gained vast experience with orthopedic, neurological, and cardiopulmonary conditions. In 2017 Shlomit joined ATI Physical Therapy, to focus on output orthopedic setting, as her interest in treating chronic pain conditions, specifically spine conditions, grew greatly. Shlomit received her certification in trigger point dry needling and been practicing with the use of dry needling. She is currently a fellow in training with NAIOMT (The North American Institute for Orthopedic Manual Therapy) and a certified manual physical therapist (CMPT). Shlomit has a vast knowledge in all musculoskeletal conditions and specializes in spine conditions, lower back pain, neck pain, and chronic pain. Shlomit relocated to Gainesville Florida in 2020, following her husband’s new faculty position at the University of Florida. In her spare time, she loves to hang out with her two kids and husband and enjoys her early morning runs. Being originally from Israel, and living in different places in the USA, Shlomit loves traveling and learning more about different people and cultures. Have questions? Email me!

 

Dr. Ilya Rud, PT, DPT, OCS, Cert. DN
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist
Certified Dry Needling

Ilya graduated with a BA in psychology from NYU and received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the College of Staten Island. Ilya came to Gainesville by way of New York, where he worked in Outpatient Orthopedics at a Hospital for Special Surgery affiliated facility. He has achieved Board-Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist, the highest specialization in outpatient orthopedics and is certified in Dry Needling.  Ilya is passionate about learning new Manual Therapy techniques and is enjoying his new life in Gainesville with his girlfriend and two cats. Have questions? Email me!

Dr. Chris Carpenter, PT, DPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy

Chris received his doctorate in Physical Therapy from the university of Florida. He received his undergraduate degree from North Greenville University, in Greenville South Carolina, where he played college lacrosse for 4 years. Chris specializes in athletic and sport injuries, and has a special interest athletics, low back pain, golf, and balance. Chris enjoys exercising, playing golf, the beach, animals and finding new restaurants.  Have questions? Email me!

Audrey Merritt, PT, BSPT
Physical Therapist

Audrey joined our clinic with a variety of manual therapy techniques and is currently working towards her certification in the McKenzie Method. After graduating from Russell Sage College, she began her career at a rehabilitation hospital in NY with a focus on manual therapy for chronic pain, neurological conditions and spine patients. She then moved to Dallas, TX to pursue theological studies at Christ for the Nations Institute. Upon returning to full time work, she continued her focus on orthopedic manual therapy and partnered with a premier Orthopedic Physician group that served as Olympic team support. She also served as guest lecturer at UT Southwestern Medical Center for lymphedema management. She transitioned to Spine Team Texas where she began her training in the McKenzie method and collaborated with on site physicians. She enjoys the multi-faceted approach of treating the physical needs of her patients as well as promoting whole body wellness through healthy lifestyle changes. She enjoys cooking, exercising, playing with her puppy and her son. Have questions? email me!

Tiffany Thames, PTA, BAS, CMPTA, CKTP
Physical Therapist Assistant
Bachelors of Applied Science
Certified Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapist Assistant
Certified Kinesio Tape Practitioner

Tiffany has been a Physical Therapist Assistant with a primary focus in Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. Tiffany has worked as an Office Manager, Director, and Clinical Instructor for PTA students throughout her career. She has also worked as a traveling therapist and has been licensed in over 10 states. Originally from Mississippi, she moved to Gainesville from Juno Beach, FL in 2017. She has continued to pursue her passion of Physical Therapy with receiving her Certification in Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy as well as her Bachelors in Health Service Administration. She has also received her Certificate in Kinesio Taping. She is an Adjunct Professor within the PTA program at Santa Fe College. She also assists the clinic as our Clinical Coordinator of Education for all students. In her spare time, she and her husband enjoy traveling, camping, hiking, kayaking and attending sporting events.

Ethan O'Hearn, PTA, CMPTA
Physical Therapist Assistant
Certified Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapist Assistant

Ethan graduated as a Physical Therapist Assistant from Santa Fe College. Ethan is a member of the Florida Physical Therapy Association (FPTA) as well as the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). He has a passion for sports medicine as well as outpatient orthopedics. Ethan has received his Certificate of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy. Ethan has been an athlete all his life as he grew up playing baseball but switched to playing soccer in high school. He played soccer both competitively and for school and continues to play pick-up games in his free time. Ethan has been a certified USSF Florida Soccer Referee since 2013 and is continuing to increase his passion and knowledge of the game. He spends most of his weekends officiating soccer matches across the state of Florida and has even represented Florida Soccer Referees (FSR) at a national soccer tournament. In his free time, he loves being active, participating in all kinds of athletic events (Soccer, Pickleball, Ultimate Frisbee, fitness challenges, etc), spending time with friends and family, and cheering on all forms of Gator athletics.

Business Manager

Missi Lower
Business Manager
Partner

Missi is originally from Tallahassee. She moved to Gainesville to go to College. She graduated from the University of Florida in 1993 with a Bachelors in Zoology and a Masters in Science Education. She has worked in public and private schools as a Math and Science teacher. She left teaching to be a full time mom and homeschooled her and David's five children. Missi is excited to work in health care and build the business that she and her husband have started here. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, with God, playing volleyball, swimming, and vacationing at the beach. If you have any questions regarding billing or clinic needs, please feel free to Have questions, email me!

 

Administrative Assistants

Kimberly Walsh
Billing Coordinator

Kimberly joined our team in Spring 2016. She has 10+ years experience as an administrative assistant in merchandising, budget, and advertising management. Originally from Nebraska, Kimberly moved to Gainesville and started working with us in 2016. She has worked as an Office Manager until she moved to Arkansas in 2022. Kimberly and her daughter, Adrienne, now handle the billing remotely for GPTW.  In her free time, she enjoys gardening, painting, and interior design.

If you have any questions regarding the billing, please feel free to Email Her.

Olivia Manning
Administrative Assistant

She was born and raised here in Gainesville Florida. She has over 10 years of management and accounting experience. In her spare time, she enjoys worshiping the Lord at the Church of Christ here in Gainesville, Fl. She also enjoys cooking, baking, spending time with family, and reading the Holy Bible. Her favorite scripture is Philippians 4 : 13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.

Ashley White
Receptionist

Ashley was born and raised in Gainesville, FL. She studied at Santa Fe for business management. She likes how Gainesville has evolved over the years. In her free time, she likes to cook, spend time with friends and family, and enjoys all kinds of kid friendly things.

Allison Harriss
Administrative Assistant

Allison has lived in North Florida all her life. She has experience in cake decorating, management, and customer service. She enjoys reading the Bible and growing with God. She also enjoys spending time with her husband, twin girl toddlers, and dog, Lady. Allison likes to crochet, golf, exercise, read, go to the beach in St. Augustine, and to visit the mountains in the fall. She loves cooler weather, drinking coffee, and listening to music on a cozy porch. 

We are always open to new staff who fit our DNA. Please submit applications via email for:

Doctor's of Physical Therapy, Exercise Specialist, Massage Therapist, and Administrative Assistants.

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© 2015 Gainesville Physical Therapy & Wellness, LLC

Gainesville Physical Therapy & Wellness, LLC.    4113 NW 6th St., Suite B/C, Gainesville, Fl 32609     Phone: 352-376-6300   Fax: 352-372-0661    info@gainesvillephysicaltherapy.com