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

David received his Master of Physical Therapy in 1995 and went on to earn his Doctor of Physical Therapy in August of 2005 from Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia. In 2015, he finished a year long fellowship level course to receive his Certification as an Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapist. In 2019, 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 over 20 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 American Physical Therapy Association and is also a member of the Florida Physical Therapy Association. He has been a triathlete and raced in ultra-marathon (over 100 mile) bike races, including the team RAAM (Bike Race Across America) in 1993. 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
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist
Certified Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapist
Craniofacial Certified
Certificate of Vestibular Therapy

Erienne graduated in 2008 with her Bachelor of Health Science and received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2011, 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. In 2015, she received her Certification as an Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapist. She received her Craniofacial Certification in January 2017 and her Certification in Vestibular Disorders in 2019. She has recently received her Board Certification in Orthopedics in 2021. She specializes in neck pain, facial pain, headaches, migraines, TMJ dysfunction, dizziness, vertigo, and all disorders above the collar bones. 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, Musculoskeletal, 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 since 2003. 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 Abagli, 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 (2012). 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 since 2017. She is currently a fellow in training with NAIOMT (The North American Institute for Orthopedic Manual Therapy) and a certified manual physical therapist (CMPT) since March 2020. 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
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist

Ilya graduated with a BA in psychology from NYU and received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the College of Staten Island in 2018. Ilya came to Gainesville by way of New York, where he worked in Outpatient Orthopedics at a Hospital for Special Surgery affiliated facility. He recently received his Board Certification in Orthopedics and is working on becoming 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. Matthew Mattisko, PT, DPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy

Matthew earned a Bachelor degree in Exercise Science from Slippery Rock University and his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from The University of Florida. Matthew specializes in working with Orthopedic and Sports related injuries and has a special interest in working with golfers, endurance and CrossFit athletes of any skill level. When Matthew is not in the clinic, you can find him on the golf course, spending time with friends and family, or watching his favorite Pittsburgh sports teams. Have questions? Email me!

Audrey Merritt, PT
Physical Therapist

Audrey joined our clinic with over 20 years experience in a variety of manual therapy techniques and is currently working towards her certification in the McKenzie Method. After graduating from Russell Sage College in 1991 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 for 2 years. 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 in 2005 where she began her training in the McKenzie method and collaborated with on site physicians for 5 years. She then pursued some personal goals of staying home to raise a family. She returns to work now with the goal of not just treating the physical body of her patients, but helping to promote whole body wellness through healthy lifestyle changes. She enjoys cooking, exercising, playing with her puppy and 11 year old son. Have questions? email me!

Tiffany Thames, PTA
Physical Therapist Assistant

Tiffany has been a Physical Therapist Assistant since 2006 with 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. In her spare time, she and her husband enjoy traveling, camping, hiking, kayaking and attending sporting events.

Ethan O'Hearn, PTA
Physical Therapist Assistant

Ethan graduated as a Physical Therapist Assistant from Santa Fe's PTA program in 2018. 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 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 grassroots soccer referee in the state of Florida since 2013 and is continuing to increase his passion and knowledge of the game. 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.

Occupational Therapy

Sharon Rosenberg, OTR/L, CHT
Masters of Occupational Therapy
Board Certified Hand Therapist

Sharon graduated with her Bachelor of Health Science and Rehabilitation Services from the University of Florida in 2005 and went onto her Masters in Occupational Therapy graduating in 2011 from Florida A&M University. She began her career at Tallahassee Memorial Rehabilitation Center as a full time in-patient rehabilitation therapist treating neurological disorders, post-trauma, general weakness, cardio-vascular decline and more. She was also working part-time at an outpatient hand therapy clinic. After 3 years of part-time OT in hand therapy, she was welcomed to the full time staff. Since 2013, Sharon has worked full-time at an outpatient hand therapy clinic and received her Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) in 2021. She is on the board of the Florida Occupational Therapy Association (FOTA) as the Government Affairs co-coordinator, a member of the American Society of Hand Therapists (ASHT), and American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and is very involved in OT advocacy. Sharon has taught Modalities and Splinting at Florida A&M University and presented at FOTA conferences on Wrist Injuries. Personally, Sharon and her husband have two young boys and moved here in August 2019 from Tallahassee, FL for her husband’s job at the McKnight Brian Institute. They enjoy family/friend time, traveling around the world, being active outside, and reading with their boys. Have questions, email me!

Business Manager

Missi Lower
Business Manager

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

Kimberely Walsh
Office Manager

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, she has been living in Gainesville since 2007. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, painting, and interior design.

If you have any questions regarding the office, please feel free to Email Me.

Michelle Theus
Administrative Assistant

Michelle joined our team in the Summer of 2017. She was born and raised here in Gainesville, FL. She graduated with a computer degree from Santa Fe College. She was previously employed at Santa Fe College for over 11 years accommodating students with disabilities. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Brittany Daniels
Administrative Assistant

Brittany joined our team in the Summer of 2021. She is originally from Louisiana, but has lived in Gainesville, FL for the past 15 years. She graduated with a degree in Health Science Medical Office and Billing Specialist from Ultimate Medical Academy. She enjoys family time, road trips, music and food! 

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

DPT, OTR/L, Exercise Specialist, LMT, and Administrative Assistants.

© 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