Meet the Team

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

Physical Therapist, Performing Arts Specialist, Running Technique 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 18 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.

Tammy Hartmann

Physical Therapist
Crystal Lake Aquatic Clinic

Tammy Hartmann joined the Smith Physical Therapy Aquatic Rehab team in 2023. She graduated from Chicago Medical School (now Rosalind Franklin University) in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy. Her career has included working in the acute care setting, rehabilitation units for post-stroke patients, home health care, and outpatient orthopedics. 

Growing up having spent every summer living on a lake, it came as no surprise that Tammy quickly found a passion for treating patients in the pool. She has been able to apply her love of creating unique exercises specific to movements or activities that any patient, in any population, is trying to achieve, all while being in the water. Her goal is to provide therapeutic techniques in an environment that can be relaxing and challenging, dependent on patient needs. 

Tammy currently resides in McHenry County along with her husband and two children. She has been an avid water skier, both recreational and competitive, for most of her life. You can find her doing just about anything outside, any season. Cooking up a mean pot of soup or meal, watching her kids compete, and hanging with friends and family take up the rest of her time. Tammy is the epitome of "love what you do, do what you love". 

Lauren Goebel

Physical Therapist, Running Technique Specialist
Crystal Lake Clinic
Lauren Goebel joined the Smith Physical Therapy + team in early 2024. Lauren went to Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin where she received her bachelors in athletic training, minor in psychology in 2019, and doctorate of physical therapy in 2022. Lauren specializes in sports medicine, dry needling, and LSVT BIG therapy for patients with Parkinson's Disease. She has a passion for treating athletes after having played collegiate tennis and coaching youth, high school, and college tennis. She has worked with a variety of sports ranging from elementary, middle school, highschool, and D1 + D2 collegiate sports. She can help decrease your injury risk or get you back to the court, field, stage, or gym. 
Not only does Lauren love treating athletes, she enjoys treating any orthopedic condition. She has experience with aquatic therapy, TMJ, Parkinson's Disease, chronic conditions, and managing headaches. Lauren has been in and out of PT herself with various sports injuries, allowing her to connect with her patients. “I can empathize with each patient that walks in the door since I have been in their shoes. I know how hard an injury is physically, mentally, and emotionally. My injuries have given me a greater insight into helping my patients in order to individualize their treatment plan and be on their team”. 
In her free time, Lauren is a proud dog mom and loves talking about her two pups -Kona and Trixie. You can find her watching Greys Anatomy, baking cookies, playing tennis/pickleball, at the gym, shopping around TJ Maxx, and obsessing over anything Disney.  

April Flood

Physical Therapist, Running Technique Specialist
Crystal Lake Clinic

April found the field of physical therapy through multiple first-hand encounters, as she was involved in competitive gymnastics until the end of high school, and transitioned to pole vaulting in college. Her experience with many broken bones and orthopedic surgeries has given her the ability to empathize with her patients, and she has personally learned the power of exercising and rehabilitation.

April graduated from Clarke University in Dubuque, IA with a bachelor's degree in Biology in 2016, and again with her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2018. Since then, she has spent her career working in the outpatient orthopedic field, treating a variety of post-operative and non-operative patients to help them return to their desired activity levels and improve their quality of life. April enjoys working with athletes and runners, as well as post-operative and general orthopedic conditions. She has taken courses in Rock Tape, Rock Blades, and manual therapy.

When the weather is warm, April enjoys hiking on trails or kayaking/paddleboarding at Three Oaks Recreation Center. In the winter, she can be found at home crocheting stuffed animals, blankets, and hats. And when she gets the chance, she enjoys traveling to new places to relax, hike, or try new adventures.

Maureen Gies Strasser

Physical Therapist, Pelvic Health Specialist, Orthopedic Certified Specialist
Crystal Lake Clinic

Maureen graduated from Midwestern University in 2000 with a master’s degree in physical therapy and received her doctorate in physical therapy from University of Indianapolis in 2013.  She has worked in a variety of clinical settings, but has spent most of her career in outpatient orthopedics.

Maureen’s true passion is treating pelvic health conditions for both males and females where she can use her orthopedic knowledge to treat female patients through the lifespan from teenagers to menopause. She also helps males before and after prostate surgery as well as males of all ages with pelvic pain.  She also has a strong interest in helping those with bowel dysfunction including constipation. Her goal is to maximize quality of life for her patients, breaking through the stigma and making the conversation on pelvic health comfortable and empowering for all genders to maximize quality of life.

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.

Kyle Kunash

Physical Therapist Assistant, Certified Golf Fitness Instructor
Crystal Lake Clinic

Kyle joined the Smith Physical Therapy + team in summer 2023 after completing the Physical Therapy Assistant program at McHenry County College. After completing his Associates Degree, he quickly realized that he wanted more. Kyle will be pursuing his DPT in the coming years.

As a member of the Wisconsin PGA, PGA teaching professional and PTI level 1 certified instructor, Kyle has an intimate knowledge of all things golf. Bonus - he loves to play the sport himself! As a PGA Teaching Professional, Kyle is passionate about teaching the game of golf and improving how his patients/students function biomechanically.  The golf swing is a dynamic movement that requires a balance of mobility and stability while maintaining a specific posture.  Kyle enjoys seeing athletes recover from pain and injury and get back to the sport they love.

Outside of the clinic, Kyle enjoys spending time with his wife, three kids and their family dog, Augusta. Kyle is an avid golfer and competes in many Wisconsin PGA tournaments. He also enjoys fishing, competitive disc golf, soccer, swimming and camping.

 

Jennifer Myatt

Physical Therapist Assistant
Crystal Lake Clinic

Jennifer joined the Smith team in 2023 after graduating from the Physical Therapy program at McHenry County College. She has also been a licensed esthetician since 2010 and loves working with people. Jennifer is driven and has passion for continuing to learn and honing her skills as a therapist.

Jennifer's passion for physical therapy continues to grow every day. While Jennifer enjoys working with all orthopedic conditions and injuries, her focus is on balance disorders, vertigo, and concussion rehabilitation. She believes in using guided movement and education to help people get back to feeling like themselves.  She listens to her patients and is quick with a joke.

Outside of work, Jennifer loves to garden and hike. She enjoys playing games with her family and has 2 Catahoula Leopard Hound dogs. Jennifer is always up for going to a hockey game but hates the cold weather.

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.

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.

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.

You were made to move!
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