Bianca Cantwell graduated from Franklin Pierce University where they earned their Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree in 2013. During her time as a student she gained experience in a variety of specialty settings including wound care, outpatient orthopedics, foot and ankle injuries, Aquatics and sports rehab. She has taken additional courses in Functional Dry Needling and brings that expertise to the Phoenix West Location. In Bianca’s off time, you can find her enjoying hiking, playing tennis, reading a good book, or spending time with her husband and Black Lab rescue dog Loki.
Gilbert Higley, Chandler Ocotillo
Brandon Navarro graduated from A.T. Still University in 2010 earning a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. As a student, Brandon enjoyed experiences working with local Orthopedic Surgeons in both an inpatient and outpatient setting. Upon graduation, Brandon chose to specialize in Orthopedic Manual Therapy and completed a 2 year journey with the International Academy of Orthopedic Medicine-U.S. In his time as a physical therapist, he has had the opportunity to work with patients of all walks of life from 6 year old fracture care to 98 year old golfers looking to return to the course. He has worked with professional athletes, collegiate athletes, high schoolers, work injuries, return to work training, as well as everything in between. In addition, Brandon spent 6 years as a professor teaching at Chandler-Gilbert Community College and A.T. Still University in the subjects of Human Anatomy and Physiology, Pathophysiology, and Neurology. Outside of patient care, Brandon loves his family and keeping up with his twin boys and their sporting endeavors. He loves golf, exercise, and woodworking.
I have been treating the Buckeye community for over 12 years. I have a wide range of training and experience working in a more rural community. I enjoy seeing patients get better for one body part then return later to address additional areas to improve their overall quality of life.
David Nelson graduated from A.T. Still University where he earned his Doctorate in physical therapy in 2019. David moved from Connecticut to Arizona in 2016 for graduate school in Mesa, AZ. During his time as a student, he gained experience in a variety of specialty settings, including orthopedics with a focus on low back, neck, and all extremities. He has taken additional courses in dry needling and manual therapy and brings those expertise to Avondale. He became the Clinic Director at the Avondale clinic in late 2019. In David’s off-time, you can find him enjoying a hike or going backpacking with friends, wife, and dog (Frankie the toy schnauzer) or rooting for the Patriots to win another super bowl. When he’s not enjoying the AZ sun you can find him deep in the research looking up how to best treat his patients.
Eric Aldava, a Buckeye native, graduated from A.T. Still University where they earned their clinical doctorate in physical therapy in 2019. During his time as a student, he gained experience in a variety of specialty settings, including outpatient physical therapy with a focus on treating all ages from the pediatric patient to the older adult. He has taken additional courses in dry needling and rehabilitation of multiple surgical procedures, bringing that expertise to this location. He takes pride in taking a holistic approach treating the patient as a whole. In Eric’s off time, you can find them enjoying hiking with his wife and 2 boys or playing basketball.
Clinic Director / Doctor of Physical Therapy
Mesa Red Mountain
Fernando received his undergraduate degree in Public Health with a minor in Spanish from Brigham Young University in 2012. He then pursed his graduate studies from Hampton University and earned his Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2019. He began his career as an outpatient orthopedic Physical Therapist here in the valley and he is now the Clinic Director at Empower Physical Therapy in Scottsdale, AZ.
He has a firm belief that all patients can achieve a healthy and active lifestyle by providing high quality hands-on care, patient education, and an individualized plan of care approach. He believes in developing strong relationships and concentrating on the patient’s goals. He is currently looking to pursue his manual therapy and dry needling certifications to further develop his on-hands approach.
Fernando has a strong passion for sports as he participated in basketball, track, cross-country in high school. He continues to enjoy his love for sports today as an avid runner and cheering on his favorite NBA team, the Utah Jazz. He loves spending his free time with his beautiful wife and cat.
Kayla Scotch attended Pacific University in OR where she received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2014. Kayla enjoys treating a variety of conditions, but especially those related to orthopedics, vertigo, and concussion. Kayla is dry needling certified and also utilizes techniques such as kinesio-taping and cupping. Outside of work, Kayla enjoys being active whether it’s walking her dog, hiking, or biking. She also likes to travel and try new restaurants.
Lindsay Mangan graduated from Northern Arizona University where she earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy is 2017. During her time as a student she gained experience in a variety of specialty settings with a focus on outpatient orthopedics, total joint replacements, hip arthritis, geriatrics, and sports rehabilitation. She has taken additional courses in vestibular rehab, balance training for the aging adult, and is FMT Blade certified bringing that expertise to our Paradise Valley clinic. In Lindsay’s off-time, you can find her playing board games, hiking, backpacking, and enjoying local breweries with her family and friends.
Melisa Curry graduated from University of Kentucky where she earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2013. Since graduating, she has worked in the outpatient orthopedic setting, treating a variety of injuries and ailments. In 2018, Melisa received her Certification in Orthopedic Manual Therapy which improved her skillset and tailored her patient outcomes. Melisa’s favorite part of being a physical therapist is working with patients to regain their quality of life and seeing the joy that brings to people. In her spare time, you can find her enjoying the lake with her family and cheering on the Kentucky Wildcats.
Director of Operations (Phoenix West Region)
Dr. Michael Edgington is a husband, father, physical therapist, and educator. He received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from Midwestern University in Glendale, AZ. Upon graduation, he obtained a manual therapy certification (MTC) from Evidence In Motion, a certification in dry needling (Cert. DN) from the American Academy of Manipulative Therapy, and completed a post-doctorate residency in orthopedic manual therapy. This rigorous path stressed the acquisition of current best-evidence as well as leading-edge psychomotor and manual skills needed to be a specialist in the area of orthopaedic physical therapy.
Michael has spent his entire career exclusively in outpatient orthopedics; using his educational background in biology, physiology, sport biomechanics, movement quality, and manual therapy to collectively address all aspects of human performance. He specializes in all sports and orthopedic injuries, as well as enhancing the quality and performance in active populations across the age spectrum.
While qualified to handle the rehabilitation for all orthopedic conditions, Michael has an affinity for treating current and former military personnel, first responders, CrossFit athletes, Olympic weight lifters, golfers, and overhead athletes (baseball, softball, volleyball). With advanced training in joint mobilization, joint manipulation, soft tissue techniques and dry needling, he provides the most effective and evidenced-based conservative treatments available.
Michael is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association, has served as adjunct faculty at Midwestern University and is continuously pursuing training and education for the betterment of his patients. He has been employed by Empower Physical Therapy since January 2018 & currently serves as both Clinic Director of the Goodyear clinic and Director of Operations for the Southwest region of Arizona.
Director of Operations (Phoenix North Region); Clinic Director (Glendale clinic)
Rebecca Workman began practicing physical therapy in 2013 in Colorado where she had the opportunity to work with a wide variety of individuals including competitive high school and college athletes, white and blue collar workers and the retired community. While her clinic specialized in treating the spine, she developed close relationships with local orthopedic surgeons and was able to regularly work with individuals after many other surgeries including complex ankle, knee and shoulder reconstructions, joint replacements non-operative, preventative care. In addition to her manual therapy mentorship program, Rebecca became certified in Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy in order to work more deeply with those who suffer from vestibular dysfunction and concussions. Rebecca moved to Arizona in 2020 to further her carrier and be closer to family after introducing a new baby into the world! When Rebecca isn’t in the clinic you can find her in the mountains with her Husband, introducing her baby to all the fun outdoor adventures that they love…or watching Star Wars!
Heidi Erpelding graduated from Mesa College in Grand Junction Colorado in 1988 with a Bachelor’s in Biology and from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in 1990 with a Bachelor’s in Physical Therapy. She has taken at least 50 additional courses in orthopedics over her 31 years of practice. In Heidi’s free time she competes in triathlon, biking, running and hiking. She has completed 19 full Ironman triathlons including 2 in Kona, Hawaii in the World Championships. She loves spending time with family and traveling with visits to 9 different countries and 32 states so far.
Jody Maluski graduated from University of Wisconsin- LaCrosse where she earned her BS in Physical Therapy degree in 1987. During her time as a student, she gained experience in a variety of specialty settings including orthopedics with a focus on total joint replacements and spinal cord. rehabilitation. She has taken additional courses in IASTM/Graston, Rock taping and Dry Needling and brings that expertise to Maricopa. Jody’s favorite part of being a PT is working with her team mates, interacting and getting to know her patients and seeing patients succeed. In Jody’s off time, you can find her enjoying camping, hiking, playing golf when she can with her friends and family. She also enjoys spending any time that she can with her son who is now officially “adulting”.
I have been a therapist for 17 years with various experience in skilled nursing and outpatient settings. I was fortunate to mentor under a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Specialist which allowed me to gain a greater understanding of decreasing chronic pain and improving movement awareness. I am passionate about helping patients achieve their personal goals and focusing on maintaining a positive attitude!
Physical Therapist Assistant
Physical Therapist Assistant
Brittnee Maus graduated from GateWay Community College where she earned her Associates for Physical Therapist Assistant in May of 2013. During her experience in outpatient Physical Therapy she learned a variety of skills including Kinesiotaping 1&2, Cupping therapy, IASTM, and an LSVT BIG certification for Parkinson’s patients. Brittnee’s favorite part about being a PTA is helping patients work toward healing and returning to daily life without limitations as well as educating patients in anyway possible to better themselves. In Brittnee’s off time, you can find her spending time with her boyfriend at home with their dog and rabbit, playing video games, as well as spending time with her family here in Phoenix and in California.
Chris Tang graduated from Hunter College Physical Therapy with a BS degree located in New York City in 1990. He has experience in Strain Counterstrain, and muscle energy techniques and has been a Certified Hand Therapist for over 20 years.
Alyssa Fukumae graduated from Midwestern University where she earned her degree in 2021. During her time as a student, she gained experience in outpatient settings with a focus on a variety of orthopedic conditions. Alyssa loves being a Physical Therapist because of the connection she can form with her patients and her ability to help her patients achieve their goals. In Alyssa’s time off, you can find her exploring, eating, and powerlifting.
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Angela Gonsalves graduated from Campbell University where she earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2020. During her time as a student, she gained experiencing in a variety of specialty settings including post-operative rehab, wound care and cancer rehab, sport rehab and pelvic floor rehab. She has taken additional courses in women, men’s, pediatric, pregnancy/post-partum and sports pelvic rehabilitation and brings that expertise to the Verrado Community. Angela’s favorite part of being a PT is helping patient’s achieve their goals through conservative care. In Angela’s off time, you can find her at the local F45 gym, and exploring all the the West Valley has to offer with her husband and daughter.
Cecilia Calderon graduated from Franklin Pierce University in Goodyear, AZ where they earned their Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in 2020. She has experience with myofascial cupping and kinesiotaping, and brings that expertise to Phoenix West. She treats all different conditions and diagnoses, but especially enjoys working with strength athletes and the geriatric population. In Cecilia’s off-time, you can find her at the gym, on hiking trails, or watching crime documentaries on Netflix.
Chief Operations Officer
I am a life long learner and teacher of those things that help educate the mind, inspire the heart and feed the body. I have graduated from 4 universities with a focus on healthcare and am a licensed physical therapist, athletic trainer and Chief Operations Officer for private practice outpatient physical therapy company. I continue to learn more about myself as I interact with other professionals on life’s journey learning how to best impact others. I have been married 31 years and have 4 adult children and am looking forward to being a grandparent.
Chandler Sun Lakes
Kallie Akamine graduated from Temple University where she earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2017. After graduating, she moved to Arizona where she has been practicing in an outpatient orthopedic setting ever since. She is certified in IASTM and Dry Needling, and likes to take an individualized, evidence based approach to patient care. In her free time, Kallie enjoys hiking, camping, and doing anything outdoors.
Kyle Koch graduated from South College where he earned is Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2017. During his time as a student he developed experience in a variety of settings but with greatest focus in the outpatient orthopedic setting. His university offered a strong focus on developing an understanding for pain neuroscience as well as cultivating an evidence based approach to care. He has taken additional courses through Phoenix Manual Therapy to develop expertise in management of orthopedic conditions from head to toe, and continues to pursue this. His focus is to help get to the source of dysfunction and help patients be able to take better control of their overall condition. In Kyle’s off time, you’ll find him spending time with his wife Taliena and their pom-poo, Guster, playing disc golf, exercising, playing or attending live music, and seeking out the next favorite local restaurant.
Clinic Director; Doctor of Physical Therapy
Kylie Collins graduated from Midwestern University in Glendale, AZ where she earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2017. While qualified to handle the rehabilitation for all orthopedic conditions, Kylie has a passion for treating post surgical patients, active duty military, golfers, athletes, active adults and vestibular dysfunction. She also has her advanced certification in Vestibular Rehabilitation and enjoys restoring function to the dizzy patient. With advanced training in joint mobilization, joint manipulation, and myofascial decompression cup therapy, she provides the most effective and evidenced-based conservative treatments available.
Chief Clinical Officer
Matt Figueroa graduated from Northern Arizona University where he earned his Master of Physical Therapy Degree in 1994. During his time as a student, he gained experience in a variety of specialty settings, including orthopedics and acute care with a focus on sports rehabilitation, post-operative and industrial rehabilitation. Matt completed his Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2016 with emphasis on manual therapy intervention and functional integration. He has taken additional courses in shoulder rehabilitation in the overhead athlete and Dry Needling. In Matt’s off-time, you can find him enjoying golf, hiking, running, skiiing, scuba diving and Bible study with family and friends. His favorite is spending time with his wife of 29 years.
My name is Matthew R Denton, and I graduated with my DPT from Franklin Pierce University February 2021 in Goodyear, AZ. My clinical experiences throughout school lead me to enjoy working in various environments, where I learned that I enjoy working with older populations, individuals with amputations, and individuals with spinal cords injuries. One of my clinical experiences was working with Empower back in 2019, which lead me to seek joining the team once again. Outside of my profession, I love music (extreme art forms being my favorite), hiking to summits with my wife, playing with our kids and our dogs, and being a voice for the voiceless. I have been vegan for over nine years and enjoy new plant-based foods/cuisine with my wife.
Clinic Director; Doctor of Physical Therapy
Scottsdale Old Town
Michael Akins graduated from A.T. Still University where he earned his Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2021. During his time as a student and early career, he gained experience in a variety of specialty settings including Acute care, Outpatient Orthopedic and worked in the Emergency department. He has taken additional courses in Vestibular Rehabilitation and Dry Needling and brings that experience to Old Town Scottsdale. Michael’s favorite part of being a PT is helping his patients improve their quality of life and return to their past level of function. In Michael’s off time, you can find him enjoying hiking, working out and traveling with his wife Lindsey and his son Liam.
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Mike Haile graduated from Northern Arizona University where he earned a doctorate in physical therapy in December of 2021. During his time as a student, he gained experienced in both the acute care and outpatient orthopedic settings. Mike’s favorite part of being a physical therapist is being able to work directly with patients to help them achieve their therapy goals. Prior to embarking on a career in PT, Mike earned a degree in culinary arts and worked for 2 decades in the restaurant industry. Although Mike no longer works as a chef, he still enjoys the creativity of cooking and likes to share his creations with friends and family. Other things you can find Mike doing in his time off is gardening, hiking, camping, bowling, and surfing when he gets near an ocean.
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Bio coming soon…
Sloane Myers-Lenz graduated from A.T. Still University in Mesa, AZ where she earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2021. During her time as a student, she gained experience in a variety of specialty settings including outpatient orthopedics, inpatient acute care, sports medicine, and vestibular dysfunction. Sloane also has her certification in Vestibular and Concussion Rehabilitation as she has a special interest in treating those recovering from concussions and dizziness disorders. Sloane’s favorite part of being a PT is having the unique opportunity to build relationships with her patients and creating a treatment plan dedicated to getting them back to what they love to do. During Sloane’s free time, you can find her spending quality time with friends and family, exercising, and trying new restaurants.
Clinic Director; Doctor of Physical Therapy
Wesley Watson graduated from A.T. Still University where he earned his Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2019. During his time as a student, he gained experience in a variety of specialty settings including outpatient and inpatient physical therapy with a focus on orthopedics and neurological. Wes’s favorite part of being a PT is being able to see people progress, when they thought that they wouldn’t. In Wes’s off time, you can find him enjoying drawing, outdoor activities and a good board game with their family and friends.
Chandler Central, Chandler Ocotillo
Erika graduated from Gateway Community College in 2008 with an Associates of Science in Physical Therapy Assistance. In her years of clinical experience, she has obtained extensive knowledge in treating people of all ages with orthopedic and sports related injuries. She has advanced continuing education with certifications in ASTYM and LSVT BIG working with our Parkinsons population. Erika’s hobbies include spending time with her family and friends as well as traveling the world.
Physical Therapist Assistant
Franklin Mikels graduated from Brookline College where he earned his Physical Therapist Assistant degree in 2021. His favorite thing about physical therapy is working with a variety of different patients and helping them reach their goals towards improved function and quality of life. In his spare time, Franklin enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter. He enjoys being active with his family, including activities such as exercising, playing sports and playing games together.
Hannah Adamo graduated from Carrington College in 2021 with her physical therapy assisting degree. She gained experience in outpatient orthopedic and sports med clinics as a tech, and completed clinical rotations in outpatient pediatrics and inpatient neurologic and orthopedic settings as a PTA student. Hannah’s favorite part of being a PTA is helping patients return to normal function and better quality of life. In Hannah’s off time, you can find her enjoying any kind of water sport with her friends.
Jennifer Celaya was born and raised in Minnesota. She attended St. Catherine University in Minneapolis, MN for her AAS in Physical Therapist Assistant and Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN for her Bachelor of Arts in Health and Exercise Science. The past 8 years she has focused her time on outpatient orthopedic treatment primarily in Coolidge, AZ along with the surrounding Phoenix region. Jennifer’s favorite part of being a therapist is the relationships she has built with her patients over the years. In Jennifer’s off time, you can find her hiking with her dog, rooting on Minnesota sports teams (SKOL!), reading a book, spending quality time with family and friends, or exploring the world with her husband.
Mesa Red Mountain
Jodi Pearce graduated from AT Still University and has been practicing as a Physical Therapist since 2000. She enjoys treating a variety of conditions including orthopedics, post-surgical, chronic pain, scoliosis and postural disorders, and vestibular disorders. As a Physical Therapist, Jodi’s goal is to make sure every patient gets the attention and care they need to help achieve their goals. She uses her 21 years of experience with a variety of diagnoses, patient education and a large dose of humor to attain positive outcomes. Jodi became a PT because she wanted to have a positive aspect on people’s lives. Seeing the smile on a patient’s face when they are able to do something they previously could not do is her favorite part of being a PT.
Josh graduated from Brookline College with his degree as a Physical Therapist Assistant in 2017. He enjoys treating a multitude of populations including postural disorders, pelvic health, chronic pain, vestibular, post-surgical, and orthopedic conditions for all areas of the body. Josh is also a Level 1 Certified Pilates Instructor, getting his certification from Reformed Pilates in 2019. Josh’s favorite part about being a therapist is that he finds great personal reward and joy in knowing that he had a role in seeing the patient’s quality of life and function restored. In his off-time, you can find Josh hiking and spending time with his wife and 3 dogs.
My name is Justin Best. I am a father of 2 wonderful boys who are the most important things in my life. I first became interested in therapy after serving as a Combat Medic in the United States Army. After discharge I moved from Pennsylvania and shortly there after enrolled at Pima Medial Institute to achieve my goal of becoming a Physical Therapist Assistant. I graduated in 2018 and Empower gave me my first opportunity. During my time at Empower I have grown a lot. I have seen a variety of conditions ranging from complicated neurological disorders to a simple pain in the neck. Over this time I have greatly developed my manual therapy skills and consider that to to be my specialty. In my free time I enjoy watching sports and spending time with my children.
My name is Leanna Morgan, and I am originally from Lenoir, North Carolina. I have been married to my best friend, Wesley, for the past eight years. We moved to Arizona in 2017 after having lived in San Diego for four years. We have two furry friends at home, Blue and Missy. Blue is a four year old Weimaraner and Missy is a four year old Pomeranian. I have been a PTA for almost seven years, and I am always looking to learn something new about my field or improve my technique. My favorite diagnosis to work with is the vestibular system and total knees.
Lindsey Taylor graduated from Brookline College where she earned her Associate of Science of Physical Therapist Assistant. During her time as a student, she gained experience in a variety of outpatient settings with focus on neurological and orthopedic therapy. Lindsey’s favorite aspect of being a PTA is the opportunity to improve patients’ functional abilities in order to provide them with a better quality of life while also educating them along the way. In Lindsey’s off time, you can find her enjoying traveling, camping, and spending time with family and friends.
Chandler Sun Lakes
Madison Moncel graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2018 and from Carrington College in 2021 where she earned her Bachelors in Exercise Science and PTA certification. During her time as a student, she gained experience in a variety of specialty settings including outpatient clinics and athletic training rooms. She has taken an interest in vestibular rehabilitation and pelvic health which she hopes to bring that expertise to Chandler Sun Lakes. Madison’s favorite part of being a PTA is being able to connect with patient’s as well as make daily life easier. She hopes to make physical therapy an enjoyable place to be. In Madison’s off time, you can find her taking care of her daughter, going to the gym, or watching movies. She loves spending time with her family and traveling whenever she gets the chance.
Chandler Sun Lakes
Maryam Arastoo attended Physical Therapy school in Iran and graduated in 2009. She enjoys treating a variety of patient populations including orthopedic conditions, sports rehab, post-surgical, chronic pain, and scoliosis/postural disorders. Maryam also utilizes speciality treatments with her patients including IASTM and Kinesiology Taping to help her patients improve during their treatment sessions. Maryam has had an interest in physical therapy since she was young, as both of her parents are also Physical Therapists. She enjoyed watching her parents help their patients, which feeds her passion for her craft: helping her patients improve upon their quality of life.
Nicole “Nikki” Czekaj is a native of Michigan. She graduated from Central Michigan University receiving her Master’s in physical therapy. She has been practicing in Arizona for 15-plus years with a specialty in outpatient orthopedic physical therapy with a focus on complicated spines, shoulder and foot Rehabilitation and reconditioning for individuals with fall risks. She has established her niche with her creative therapeutic programs, interactive manual skills and her enthusiastic style. Nikki is devoted to working with her patients to ensure a successful outcome and a satisfactory Physical Therapy experience. In her free time, you can find her hiking, biking and caring for her plants. She enjoys experiencing new restaurants/breweries with her husband.
I have been working in physical therapy for over 10 years and have been practicing as a PTA since 2016. During my time working in physical therapy, I have gained great knowledge in ways to treat people from all the therapists I have worked with and still learning new and unique ways to treat people through movement. In my off-time, I enjoy exercising myself through various forms of workouts from yoga, resistance training or running. Travelling and exploring new areas is an activity I do as a hobby.
Chief Executive Officer
Steve DiPaola is the CEO and Physical Therapist of Empower Physical Therapy. He is a board certified Orthopedic Specialist from the American Physical Therapy Association. Empower is based in Phoenix and is the by product of a passionate, dedicated group of physical therapist founder- unifying behind a shared vision of patient first and therapist centric culture. Previously he served as COO of Physical Rehabilitation Network (PRN) from 2013-2018, a group of 110+ joint venture partnered physical and hand therapy clinics. Also prior experience includes AVP of Physiotherapy Associates, from 2006-2013. Steve has also been an affilitate faculty member and advisory board member at Regis University Schools of Physical Therapy in Denver, CO. He was a member of the State of CO PT Licensing Board from 2012-2019.