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Take Control. Prevent Injuries. Eliminate Pain.

Meet our team.
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We firmly believe that the therapist and the patient should decide the plan of care – not the insurance company. You shouldn’t have to go back to your activities without feeling ready. Nor should you have to wait for pain in order to seek knowledge on how to prevent it. We give you back your control and provide you the care you deserve with treatment plans customized around YOU.

Denise Smith

Physical Therapist, Certified Manual Physical Therapist, 
Running Technique Specialist, Owner
Crystal Lake Clinic

Denise Smith graduated from Marquette University in 2002 with a Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy, is a consultant for the Russian Olympic/National Triathlon Team, and instructs courses in Kinesiology at McHenry County College. Denise also travels the country as part of the Pose Method education team with a lecture series on injury prevention and treatment along with the running technique certification course.

She is a recreational runner and triathlete who loves spending time with her two active children and husband. As a busy mom, Denise understands the importance of using your time wisely and opened Smith Physical Therapy + Running Academy to help her patients get better faster and to help athletes run smarter.

Denise has spent her years obtaining certifications that allow her to treat each patient as an individual with a focus on hands-on manual therapy techniques, functional movement patterns, return to sports testing, and advanced treatment of athletes of all levels. Read about Denise's reasons for starting Smith Physical Therapy + Running Academy in this article by The Northwest Hearald.

Denise's advanced training includes: Certified Manual Physical Therapist, Pose Certified Running Specialist, Pose Certified Sports Technique Specialist, Functional Movement Screen Specialist, Gary Gray 3DMAPS Specialist, Certified Graston Technique Specialist, Y-Balance Test Specialist, ACL Injury Prevention and Return to Sport Specialist.

Dana Tress

Physical Therapist, Certified Concussion Specialist, Ergonomic Specialist
Crystal Lake Clinic

Dana Tress graduated Summa Cum Laude with her bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from Bradley University in 1997 and joined Smith Physical Therapy in March of 2017. She has worked in a variety of clinical settings, but has spent most her career working in outpatient orthopedics and neurology.

While she enjoys working with all orthopedic conditions and injuries, Dana has focused more than half of her career on extensive continuing education and training on dizziness, vertigo and balance disorders, concussion management and treatment, return to play/work progression, as well as headache treatment and management.

Dana’s combination of manual skills, functional movement analysis, balance and vestibular techniques, and clinical instruction techniques allow her to personalize each treatment to every individual. Additionally, Dana is a Certified Concussion Specialist, Certified Clinical Instructor, Certified Ergonomic Assessment Specialist, Gary Gray 3DMAPS Specialist, and Graston Technique® provider.

Megan Long, PT, DPT

Physical Therapist, Performing Arts Specialist
St. Charles Clinic

Megan graduated with a doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2006. She has been working in outpatient orthopedic for the past 14 years treating athletes, performing artists and general orthopedic injuries. She is a Graston Technique trained clinician as well as specializes in kinesiology taping, and manual therapy techniques . Megan has a passion in treating patients in the performing arts community including traditional dance, competitive dance, gymnastics, ice skating and cheerleading. Personally, she has been a dance instructor since 1995 in areas including ballet, pointe and conditioning for dancers. Megan is excited to join Smith Physical Therapy and Running Academy and bring performing arts therapy to the community.

John Novak

Physical Therapist, Aquatic Rehab Specialist
Crystal Lake Aquatic Clinic

John earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Houston in 2003. He spent the next 8 years working as a part of a multidisciplinary team in residential and in-patient psychiatric treatment settings. Seeking a career shift, John was determined to combine his interests, skills, and clinical experience in a field where he could continue helping others improve their quality of life. John earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Northern Illinois University in 2016. He is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, the Illinois Physical Therapy Association, and the Academy of Aquatic Physical Therapy.

John is passionate about utilizing water to help individuals of all ages return to function. In the water he specializes in treating a diverse population of patients. This includes but is not limited to those facing surgical and injury rehabilitation, chronic pain management, joint dysfunction, and neurological disorders. John also enjoys the challenge of helping individuals who have had difficulty tolerating or have had minimal success with traditional land based physical therapy.

In his free time John can be found working on cars, playing sand volleyball, swimming, hiking, fishing, golfing, bowling, and embracing his inner bird nerd. He also has an inability to ignore dogs and is compelled to say hello to every single one that crosses his path.

Tracy Kroening

Physical Therapist Assistant
Crystal Lake Clinic, Crystal Lake Aquatic Clinic

Tracy has an Associate’s Degree in Physical Therapy, a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Studies and an Elementary School Teaching Certification.

She previously worked as an elementary school teacher and tutor, and embarked on a second career in physical therapy after being a stay-at-home mom for 13 years. Her passion for physical therapy came later in her adult life, when her father suffered a stroke, and she witnessed firsthand his progress with physical therapy. “I love seeing people benefit from therapy, decreasing their pain and improving the way they move and function in the world.”

After completing her Associate’s Degree in Physical Therapy in 2015, Tracy found herself specializing in spinal and back health. She loves a challenging case and has a drive to learn and grow with each new patient.

Outside of work, Tracy enjoys dancing, hiking and anything that gets her closer to the water, including traveling, boating, stand up paddle boarding, scuba diving and surfing.She was born and raised in Canada, but now calls Crystal Lake home along with her husband, Mike, two daughters and fox red lab, Timber.

Kirsten Rowland

Physical Therapist Assistant
Crystal Lake Clinic, Crystal Lake Aquatic Clinic

Kirsten Rowland graduated from McHenry County College with her Associates of Applied Science as a Physical Therapist Assistant in 2020, joining Smith Physical Therapy in June of 2023. She began her career in an orthopedic setting, working with post-operative patients and athletes within the community.

She enjoys working with the orthopedic population, but also has interest in rehabilitation of the overhead athlete, pelvic floor dysfunction, foot and ankle dysfunction, as well as aquatic rehabilitation at Smith Physical Therapy + Aquatics. Kirsten is passionate about helping patients not only feel better, but move better; returning to the things they love to do and be a part of. She loves a challenge, and is willing to work patiently with those who are dedicated to their rehabilitation as much as she is. Kirsten is also a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and Illinois Physical Therapy Association.

Outside of the workplace, Kirsten enjoys hiking, film photography, and traveling. She also paints in her spare time, and is more than willing to curl up with a cup of coffee, a good book, and her cat Zion on a cold and rainy day. She was born in Freeport, Illinois, but has called McHenry home since 2008.

Megan Sloan

Director of Special Programs, Running Technique Specialist

Megan was a patient at Smith Physical Therapy and Running Academy (a few times!) before she joined the team in March of 2021. She graduated from the University of Illinois in 2010 with a degree in Communications. Since then, her experience in health & fitness, chiropractic offices, and education, have helped shape her into a very well-rounded professional. Megan is also an RRCA (Road Runner’s Club of America) certified running coach and has been coaching runners of all ages for the past 7 years. Having finished 14 marathons and 7 Ironman triathlons, she is no stranger to stepping outside of her comfort zone. She believes that hard work, discipline, and a positive and open mind can get you what you are striving for.

Megan has been a part of the McHenry County community since the ripe age of 10 years old and does not plan on leaving anytime soon. Her heart belongs in Crystal Lake with her husband Robert. Megan is an avid runner and triathlete with a passion for good food and competition.

Jill Ernst

Director of Marketing and Community Relations

Jill joined the Smith PT team in October 2020. She attended Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL, obtaining a degree in public health in 2011. After college, Jill spent 9 years working in wellness, fitness, special events and community engagement. She is an ACE certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor and a Schwinn indoor cycle instructor and uses her knowledge from these certifications to help others stay active and fit. 

As a McHenry County native, growing up in Marengo, Jill believes in the power of community collaboration, servant leadership and volunteering; she is a 2015 graduate of Leadership Greater McHenry County. In her spare time, she enjoys running, biking, gardening and cooking. Between 2012 and 2015, Jill ran the Chicago Marathon twice and Boston Marathon once. She is always up for friendly competition – whether it be a running a race or a simple game of cards. Jill and her husband, Andrew, have three young children and a yellow lab that accompanies them most places they go.


Karie Stringer-Arand

Patient Experience Coordinator
Crystal Lake Clinic

Karie joined the Smith Physical Therapy & Running Academy in May of 2021 as the Patient Experience Coordinator. Karie comes to the Smith Team with years of experience as the manager of Dick Ponds Athletics from 2011 to 2020. She also has been certified by the Road Runners Clubs of America since 2005 and coaching runners ever since. At the same time in 2005, she added Race Directing to her resume and directed 4 different annual races for Lifetime Fitness in Algonquin from 2005 to 2017. Karie also coordinated the Run Club at Lifetime Fitness in Algonquin from 2003 to 2019 and she is currently the Cycle Club Coordinator since 2008.

Karie is a mom of 3 to Jordan (26), Madison (18), & Ethan (17) and new puppy Dakota. She has been racing in the endurance world since 2001 and enjoys traveling and racing with her husband Greg. With over 30 full marathons and 4 Ironman Triathlons under her belt, she doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon!

Kim Roseland

Patient Experience Coordinator
Crystal Lake Clinic

Kim joined Smith Physical Therapy + in June of 2022 as a Patient Experience
Coordinator. She’s been a Patient of Denise’s for the past 12 years and is super
excited to be part of the Smith family! Kim graduated from Valparaiso University in 1992 with a degree in Sociology. After spending many years being CEO of the
Roseland Household and earning her PhD as a Child Activity Coordinator and a
Masters in Patience Management, she decided to enter the world of Helping others’ outside her home. She’s worked for Weight Watchers, a naprapath and multiple chiropractors. Kim loves watching patients work towards being pain free.

Kim is a mom to Allison, Emily and Benjamin. In her free time, Kim loves spending time with her family and friends, crafting, traveling and working out (no running forher unless being chased by a bear)!

Thania Garcia

Patient Experience Coordinator
Crystal Lake Aquatic Clinic

Thania joined Smith Physical Therapy team in February of 2023 as a Patient Experience Coordinator. While studying psychology at The University of Iowa, she began her customer service career managing a few local restaurants, and through her experience she discovered a passion for helping others in any way possible! After moving back to be closer to her family, she found the perfect place in Smith PT+, where after just her first day she saw the amazing impact our therapists had on every single person that walked through our doors.

In her free time Thania enjoys spending time with her family, going on adventures with friends, crafting, and baking.

Haley Lamansky

Patient Experience Coordinator
St. Charles Clinic

Haley joined the Smith PT + team in the summer of 2023 as a Patient Experience Coordinator. She has her associates degree in Paralegal Services through Illinois Central College. While studying, Haley found her passion for physical therapy working as a receptionist for a clinic in Bloomington, Illinois. She spent two years learning to love PT and truly found her calling. She plans on going back to school to attain her Physical Therapy Assistant degree.

Haley grew up in DeKalb, IL, not too far from our St. Charles location. Now back north, Haley enjoys spending her time exploring the Windy City, attending White Sox games and spending time with family. You might see her walking around downtown St. Charles with a stroller, but don't be fooled, the stroller holds her two cats, Tom and Jerry.

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