Tips & Techniques

Thoughts for 2022

Denise Smith 
January 29, 2022

Greetings from Smith Physical Therapy and Running Academy! As 2022 opens, we are grateful for the support from all of you. Last year was another challenging year in healthcare, but because of your continued support of our clinic, our races, and our therapists, we navigated the craziness and ended 2021 happy and healthy!

2021 brought us 4 new employees: Joe Estes, PT, Sarah Meyer, PT, our new running coach, Megan Sloan, and a new front office coordinator, Karie Stringer. These four brought exceptional talent and sunshine to our clinic. Joe is also a certified golf instructor and he plans on growing our golf program with a focus on helping golfers avoid pain, improve their strength and mobility, and working with local golf professionals to prevent injuries. Sarah was a great asset to our team, with her excellent hands-on skills. She has decided to leave us after a short time to pursue her desire to work in downtown Chicago, but we wish her the best and are grateful for the time we were able to spend with her. Megan is a highly-decorated triathlete and runner, and she excels with working with athletes of all levels. She loves working with our middle and high school runners, helping them to learn programming, proper training techniques, and progressing their strengthening program. Karie is also an experienced triathlete and organization master! She has come on board to help Jenee manage the front office. Together, Karie and Jenee helped us successfully transition our electronic medical records to a different company and will continue to help with making our patients’ lives easier. We can’t wait to see what Karie, Joe and Megan continue to bring to our clinic!

Dana Tress, PT is returning to teaching the community with a special focus on treatment of concussions, preventing falls, and improving the community’s understanding of preventing and treatment of headaches, jaw pain, and all things balance. She is currently returning to school herself to get a master’s degree in leadership – she is just amazing! Ashley Dougvillo, PT is continuing to grow our women’s health program and treating patients in both Kenosha and Crystal Lake. She is pregnant with her 3rd child and is due in February. We love more Smith PT babies!! In St. Charles, Megan Long and Abby Shenk have been working like crazy. Megan specializes in treating dancers, cheerleaders, and gymnasts and this year also became a certified running technique specialist. It will be fun to watch Megan as she grows our performing arts medicine program and works with many local studios, teams, and troops to help prevent injuries and help these beautiful artists return to their beloved sports after injury. Abby had a baby this year – Baby Carter is super adorable! We are happy to have her back in St. Charles, growing the clinic there and helping the many athletes of the western suburbs.

As for me, I couldn’t be more proud of our team and this company.  We celebrated 6 years this year!!  With Covid continuing to affect our communities and loved ones, I am so grateful that our work family has continued to focus on the cleanliness of the clinic, learning new skills and techniques to help all of our patients, and for their patience as we adapt as a business to the changing landscape of healthcare. In 2022, we hope to add 2 more therapists (so if you know anyone looking for a PT job, please have them email me!?) We are growing our blood flow restriction training program, adding other recovery services, and anticipating other exciting changes at our locations.

With the help of Jill Ernst, our marketing director, and Megan Sloan, we will be taking over the Patriot Run and the Santa Run of McHenry County. We are proud to partner with Trudy Wakeman from Race Production by Trudy (she is the genius behind our Crystal Lake Half Marathon). Mike Splitt has run these races for the past 9 years and we hope to continue to help him reach the goal of providing over a million dollars to our local charities. We are grateful for his trust and support as we look to grow these races (and look for some fun changes!). The Crystal Lake Aquathon will also be back for a 5th year. We aren’t sure on the date yet but it will either be the last Sunday in July or the first Sunday in August. The Crystal Lake Half Marathon will definitely be back on Sunday, September 5th. (For those who do March Madness, watch for a special promotion when you register for that race! We love our Hillstriders and are so excited to partner with them!) We will be hosting a summer running program for our middle schoolers and have special clubs/programming for middle and high school XC and track athletes in the winter and summer.

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for your love, support, and encouragement. Please call me or email me with any thoughts or comments you have that will help us continue to improve. I love hearing from you because it helps make us better and challenge our brains!

Happy New Year to all of you and wishing you health and happiness in 2022.


Meet the Author
Denise Smith graduated from Marquette University in 2002 with a Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy and has been a certified running technique specialist since 2014. She is a consultant for multiple local middle and high schools 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.
You were made to move!