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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.

Abby Schenk

Physical Therapist, Running Technique Specialist
St. Charles Clinic

Abby Schenk is proud to be a part of Smith Physical Therapy and Running Academy. She was born and raised in Ohio and then studied Allied Health and Pre-med at Otterbein College. She was captain for the Cross Country, Indoor, and Outdoor track team during her undergraduate years. After graduation, Abby obtained her doctorate in physical therapy at St. Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania in 2013. Initially she grew a passion in neuromuscular disorders when she covered clinicals at the Rehabilitation Institution of Ohio but soon felt pulled to work in orthopedics and sports medicine. 

Following graduation, Abby moved to Chicago with her husband where she began working for Advocate Medical Group, where she excelled working in the athletic and sport populations. She also enjoyed working registry at Marian Joy Rehabilitation and Delnor Hospital. Abby specializes in vestibular rehabilitation and sports-specific training for all athletic populations. Her specialties include utilization of Rock tape, Rock blades, ASTYM, myofascial release, and other manual techniques. In 2018, Abby became a Pose certified running technique specialist. 

During her personal time, Abby enjoys all physical activities including skiing, running, CrossFit, and Olympic lifting. Between 2015 and 2016 she completed the Cleveland, Boston marathon, and Fox Valley Marathon. Traveling the world with her husband and spending time with her Labrador retriever is Abby’s way to relax and enjoy life.

Ashley Dougvillo

Physical Therapist, Certified Manual Physical Therapist, 
Running Technique Specialist, Women's Health Specialist
Crystal Lake Clinic, Kenosha Clinic

Ashley Dougvillo joined Smith Physical Therapy and Running Academy in 2019. She graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI in 2008, receiving her Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in Biomedical Sciences. She then went on to attend Northwestern University in Chicago, IL to complete her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2010. She is a Certified Manual Therapist and has additionally obtained specialty certifications in the Pose Method of running, kinesiotaping, FMS/SFMA, and ASTYM.

Ashley has a true passion for working with all age levels and abilities, but as both a runner and mother, she has a special interest in treating running-related injuries and women’s health. When she is away from the office, Ashley enjoys trail running, hiking, exploring history and spending time with her family.

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.

Joe Estes

Physical Therapist, Certified Golf Fitness Instructor
Crystal Lake Clinic & St. Charles Clinic

Joe Estes graduated Cum Laude with his bachelors of science degree in Kinesiology from California State University, Fullerton in 2010, and then completed his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, CA in 2013. He worked for Athletico Physical Therapy for nearly 8 years, where he ran the company’s Golf Rehab/Performance program for 6 years in Oak Brook, IL. Joe joined Smith Physical Therapy in July of 2021. He has spent his career working with outpatient orthopedics and sports medicine, specializing in golf rehab and performance,.

While he enjoys working with all orthopedic conditions and injuries, Joe has focused most of his interest on extensive continuing education and training on golf rehab/performance, shoulder pain and post-operative rehab, soft tissue dysfunction, and low back pain. Joe is a TPI certified Golf Fitness Instructor and a certified manual trigger point therapist, which allows him to perform dry needling.

During his personal time, Joe enjoys spending time with his wife, 2 children, and Goldendoodle. He enjoys golfing, sports/activities with his family, trying new coffee shops, meeting up with friends, and attending church. If you are a golfer, Joe also hosts his own podcast called Golf Rx, which is all about golf injuries, golf rehab, and golf performance. Check him out wherever you listen to your podcasts, and follow him on Instagram @JoeEstesPT.

Lauren VanValkenburgh

Physical Therapist, Women's Health Specialist
Crystal Lake Clinic

Lauren graduated with a bachelor's degree in Integrative Biology from the University of California, Berkeley in 2017. She went on to get her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in 2022. She has completed her Pelvic Health level 1 certification through the APTA and is currently finishing her Masters in Healthcare Administration at Rosalind Franklin. She looks forward to continuing to learn and expand her knowledge base!

With a particular interest in the intersection of pelvic health and wellness, Lauren firmly believes that everyone should be able to enjoy the activities they love without pain or fear. In her free time, she enjoys running and CrossFit style workouts and holds her OL1 certification as a CrossFit coach. She also finds joy spending time with her family, baking lots of treats and hanging out with other people's dogs.

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.

Jenee Springinsguth

Patient Experience Coordinator
Crystal Lake Clinic

Jenee enjoys working with the patients at Smith Physical Therapy and is honored to be a part of such a wonderful team. She attended Chaffey College in Southern California and has obtained multiple accounting based certificates over the years. While her background is in accounting and office management, she spent the past 3 years working as a case manager in adoption. Jenee is most excited about combining the two and sharing her love of people and knowledge of accounting while providing excellent customer service to out patients.

In her spare time she enjoys outdoor activities such as Rock Climbing, Hiking and Cycling. She has 3 young children who she loves spending time with and taking on adventures such as travelling or just seeing local sites like State Parks or Six Flags.

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!

Paul Craigen

Accelerated Medical Billing Specialists (Billing)

Paul Craigen brings more than ten years of health revenue cycle management experience to the Smith Physical Therapy and Running Academy family. Paul earned a Master of Business Administration from Webster University and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Bradley University in Peoria IL. His experience and leadership have been focused on developing and delivering technology-driven business services and solutions, as well as providing outstanding client service. With extreme attention to detail, Paul is a valuable asset to the Smith PT+RA team and will be able to help answer our patient’s insurance medical billing questions. 


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