Meet The Professionals At Each Of Our 4 Clinics
Diane Baggs, CEO
Dane Kelley, PTA, Vice President of Operations
Dane has been a director with Strive for over two years and has been practicing physical therapy for over four years. Hailing from the great state of Kansas, Dane graduated from Fort Hayes State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation and Sports Management and a minor in Business Administration. After earning his Physical Therapy (PTA) license in Colorado, he has enjoyed working in the outpatient sports medicine and orthopedic setting.
Dane generally loves treating all areas of orthopedics. He is especially passionate in treating cervical disorders, headaches, and temporomandibular joint issues (TMJ). He also truly enjoys treating any issues involving the foot/ankle such as plantar fasciitis.
“I love having a positive impact on patients lives and being able to get them to where they want to be. The ability to change someone’s outlook on life is very exciting.” He is very passionate about the profession and truly believes most people can benefit from physical therapy. “I am continuously improving and evolving my skills as a clinician to better serve the community,” says Dane.
His hobbies include mountain biking, hiking, skiing, disc golf, golfing, cross-fit, traveling, and reading. “I love pretty much everything outdoors!”
Vonni Hiles is a proud Colorado Springs native, born and raised here. She earned her Medical Administration degree from Everest College. She ensures the front desk teams at all of our Strive clinic locations run smoothly. “We are all a team here and it really shows. The healthcare industry is an environment I really enjoy, and am so glad to be working at Strive!”
Vonni appreciates all aspects of physical therapy. “I especially love seeing the whole plan of care followed through. You can see pure enjoyment on the patients’ faces of being pain free. The patient and physical therapist interaction really builds a relationship to be excited about coming to physical therapy and finish the plan of care.”
Vonni is happily married to her husband, Adam, and has two sons, Domanik and Anthony. She is on the go with her sons’ sports and school activities. Vonni loves the outdoors and enjoys hiking, fishing, and camping. Other passions and hobbies include painting, arts and crafts, and cooking. “My kids love to cook and love me to teach them my recipes.”
Gabbie Krupp, Director of Marketing and PR
Amy Lopina (Barnish)
Provider and Patient liaison; marketing
Amy was born in Newton, Mass. She was raised in an Air Force family and experienced moving a lot, in different states and overseas. She’s lived in many different parts of Colorado. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Later, she obtained her Associate of Science degree in Computer Information Science.
After a skiing accident and knee surgery, she was told not to run. A year after reconstructive knee surgery, she placed third woman in the Pikes Peak Marathon and has run many since. “Physical Therapy helped get me back to running. I’m passionate about people healing and recovering. It’s so cool seeing the positive results patients get from Strive and being a part of this team.”
She has two sons in college who she adores. As competitive gymnasts, they have experienced overcoming injuries and improving strength and mobility over the years. Amy is also a certified dog groomer and does freelance writing. She enjoys spending time with her boyfriend, trail running, taking her dog on hikes, weight training, and wine tasting. Eventually, she would like to make more time for gardening, yoga, and maybe having a couple backyard chickens!
Kristina “Beani” Johnson, Rehab Tech
Beani was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ. She graduated from Scottsdale Community College with an Associates of Arts degree and obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Athletic Training. She is a certified Athletic Trainer. She enjoys working as a Physical Therapy Technician for Strive and helps at all of our locations.
“I love working in Physical Therapy because I enjoy helping patients reach their full potential and getting back to all of their daily activities.”
Beani is a self-described “crazy cat lover” — she loves cats! She and her boyfriend also enjoy getting outdoors, playing disc golf, and trying out all of the local breweries and wineries.
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Stetson Hills Clinic
Anthony obtained his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Colorado. Prior to that, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science. After graduating from University of Montana with his B.S. degree, he worked as a rehabilitation Technician for several years. This is where he developed his passion for rehabilitation and decided to become a physical therapist.
Anthony has worked in many different settings including hospitals and nursing homes before finding his home here at Strive Physical Therapy at our Stetson Hills location.
“I am excited helping my patients meet their goals and get back to their lives without pain.”
He is originally from North Central Nebraska. His hobbies include running, mountain biking, hiking, hunting, fishing, snow-boarding, and most anything outdoors. “My wife and I enjoy the great outdoors together and like bringing our son on our adventures. He loves it!” Anthony points out, “My biggest goal in life is to pass along my passions for health and fitness to him and to all of my patients.”
Allison grew up in Shreveport, LA. She earned her DPT from Louisiana State University Health in Shreveport. She is a certified dry needling practitioner. She has been a Physical Therapist for over 6 years with a background in treating spine patient populations.
Allison shares, “One of my passions includes travel, so I applied that to work and spent 2 years going from coast to coast of the US working in all physical therapy settings. I feel that has given me a well-rounded and diverse picture of my physical therapy career that I can apply to any patient situation that walks in the door at Strive Physical Therapy.”
“I have a special interest in the orthopedic population and have gained experience in treating pelvic girdle dysfunction. I am passionate about being a physical therapist because I know there are times when everyone needs a lending hand to achieve their goals.” Allison continues, “I desire to be that professional to assist our patients back to their prior level of function so that they may focus on their priorities in life with joy.”
“I love the outdoors, hiking, physical fitness, adventure, and traveling and feel that Colorado is a great place for me!”
John was born in North Haven, Connecticut. He attended college at Springfield College in Massachusetts and earned his Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy in 1996. He has been a certified hand therapist for over 11 years. He also is certified in the Occupro System of Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE’s) and has been performing FCE’s for over 20 years.
“I specialize in hand and upper extremity therapy and I have an interest in occupational medicine as well; that includes FCE’s, job site evaluations, and post offer performance testing.” John adds, “I am passionate about being an Occupational Therapist because I am able to focus on assisting people to return to their previous level of function after injury and this is a perfect parallel to the philosophy of Strive to ‘Do Life Better!’”
In his free time, John loves spending time with his wife and three children. He also enjoys teaching guitar and piano lessons.
Daniel, a native of Colorado Springs, is a Physical Therapy exercise specialist technician at our Stetson Hills location. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology from Colorado College. He then obtained his Master’s degree in Strength and Conditioning from University of Colorado in Colorado Springs.
“I love helping people recover from injury and return to the activities they enjoy the most”. Daniel also loves teaching the proper technique and forms of exercise, so they can accomplish goals outside of therapy without causing injury.
Some of Daniel’s hobbies include playing horse shoes, hiking, biking, and snow-boarding. He also loves walking his new puppy, Alpine, a Great Pyrenees mix.
Born in Tokyo, Japan and thanks to a military background, Sydnie was raised all over the country however, considers Colorado home — Ft. Collins and now Colorado Springs.
Sydnie attended Iowa State University earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science. She is especially passionate about working in out patient care and working with athletes. “My ehthusiasm for physical therapy comes from being able to truly make a difference for people’s lives not only physically, but also mentally.” Strive has provided this opportunity for Sydnie of “being able to help people get back to their own passions without pain or fear.”
In her free time, she loves hiking or going to dog parks with her collie/shepherd puppy, Boston. Sydnie also enjoys trying different breweries and exploring new adventures around Colorado Springs. Boxing and power lifting are two of her fitness passions.
Jennifer has lived in Falcon, CO most of her life and graduated from Colorado Mesa University earning a Bachelors degree in Exercise Science. Jen aspires to become a Doctor of Physical Therapy and loves the outpatient orthopedics setting. On the weekends she enjoys fishing, hiking, riding horses, and being outdoors.
Rachel Washington, Front Desk Receptionist
Rachel is a proud Colorado native from Colorado Springs. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Exercise Science with a concentration in Health Promotion from Colorado State University in Fort Collins. She then obtained her Master of Science degree in Sport and Exercise Science with an emphasis in Sport Administration from University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.
“I am passionate about working in physical therapy because I enjoy learning and knowing how the muscles and joints in the body function. I also love working with people. Strive values people and the clients they serve.”
In her spare time, Rachel enjoys hanging out with her family and friends. Rachel likes going to sports events, concerts, and movies. She also is having fun learning to play guitar and has a twin brother.
Village Seven Clinic
Taylor earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Wichita State University in Kansas. Before that, she obtained her B.S. in Biology at Southwestern College, KS where she competed in track and volleyball. She enjoys being a Physical Therapist at our Village Seven location.
Taylor has experience in multiple clinical settings ranging from general orthopedics to pediatric sports rehabilitation. She is especially interested in general orthopedics, sports medicine, and vestibular disorders. She believes in the importance of skilled manual intervention, utilizing a hands-on treatment approach, coupled with therapeutic exercises for the best treatment outcomes. She also includes patient education on how to manage symptoms at home to allow for improved quality of life. “I am very passionate about helping people achieve their goals and reach their greatest potential”.
She is a Colorado native originally from Loveland. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, biking, obstacle course racing, and spending time with family and friends.
Kiersten Armstrong, PT, DPT, Physical Therapist
Kiersten was born and raised in Linwood, New Jersey near Atlantic City. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science with a minor in Spanish. She completed her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY.
Before working for Strive, she worked as a physical therapist in Raleigh, North Carolina in an outpatient orthopedic clinic. She completed her certification in dry needling and is currently completing her spinal manipulative therapy certification. “What I love about physical therapy is meeting all different types of people and getting to build relationships with patients.
It is great to be able to be on this journey with them and to help them get better.”
In Kiersten’s free time, she likes to go snowboarding and working out. She also loves hiking with her dog, Riley and traveling to a beach when she is able to. She enjoys traveling around the United States and internationally.
Tyler is originally from Idaho Falls, Idaho. He completed his undergraduate degree in Human Movement Science at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. He furthered his studies and earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona.
“I have enjoyed working with all age groups and case mixes from sports medicine, neurological issues, geriatrics and orthopedics. These areas have all really made me appreciate the spectrum of care and keep me engaged in learning to improve the way I treat all patient types.”
Tyler values continuing his education and staying current with physical therapy techniques. He also enjoys educating his patients. “I am passionate about imparting empowerment over pain and conditions that patients have been previously unable to understand or manage on their own.” He continues, “I love teaching a patient about why there are having pain, how to correct it and helping them enhance their quality of life, providing high quality treatment to reduce patient’s symptoms with a variety of skilled interventions.”
In his free time, Tyler loves spending time with his wife, family and friends. He enjoys staying active by playing basketball, hiking, bicycling and backpacking. “I love anything that just gets me outside adventuring or playing something competitive.” His two dogs, a red heeler and a maltese yorkie mix, are often out adventuring with him.
Born in Florida, Kevin Smith moved to Colorado Springs as a child and has lived here ever since. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science – Strength and Conditioning from University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. He also holds an Associate of Applied Science degree for Physical Therapy Assistant from Concorde Career College in Aurora, CO.
“I am interested in learning new and innovative techniques.” He likes working with patients and adds, “I’m impressed with the growth and the possibility of continuous growth that can be achieved through Strive.”
Kevin loves spending time with his wife and four children. “I want to show my children that they can do anything that they want and love what they do.” With the love of the outdoors, Kevin has a triathlon goal. “I want to run an X-terra triathlon before I turn 40”.
Alex “Kam” Kamrud, PT Tech
Although “Kam” was born in Kansas, he was raised in many places because of his father serving in the Army. He experienced living in many states all over the country. After finishing high school in Pittsburgh, PA, Kam served in the U.S. Army. While serving, he suffered an unfortunate accident injuring his back stating, “I was unable to play with my god-daughter or play with my dogs. Physical therapy changed that.” He regained his strength and now says, “I feel like I got my old life back! I want to give that same feeling to patients so they can feel it too.”
In his spare time, Kam loves spending time with his wife and three dogs, binge-watching Netflix.
Jodie was born in Colorado Springs and raised in Rush, CO. She attended Fort Hays State University in Hays, KS and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Health Promotion and Wellness with a concentration in Wellness. She’s also worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant.
“I absolutely love seeing patients get better! Patients come in unable to walk without assistance and after their treatments they leave walking all by themselves with proper form and not in pain. They go from being in pain to leaving with no pain. That is very cool to see and be a part of.”
Jodie seeks to continue to learn and to become a Physical Therapy Assistant in the future. Other passions of hers include coaching varsity basketball teams and playing basketball. She also enjoys playing volleyball, hiking, camping, and spending time with her family.
Although a Colorado native, born in Estes Park, Elizabeth grew up internationally. She earned her undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree in Health Sciences with a minor in Psychology from Whitworth University in Spokane, WA. She continued her education and earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from University of Colorado. Elizabeth has earned many additional certifications including: dry needling, vestibular and concussion rehabilitation, and Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT – BIG) which trains people with Parkinson Disease to use their body more normally.
“I’ve worked with a diverse patient population from pediatrics to geriatrics, orthopedic injuries to complex medical conditions. I have particularly enjoyed working with patients with neurologic or vestibular dysfunction”, says Elizabeth. “I love teaching and it is an amazing platform for me to be a teacher. I get to educate my patients every day on how to move and function effectively. I get to inform my community on the positive impacts of the profession, and I get to teach future generations of physical therapists how to become good clinicians. Additionally, I am passionate about physical therapy because I feel that there is a rising need for and recognition of rehabilitation across the globe and I hope to be a part of meeting that need one day. I am honored to be at Strive Physical Therapy because this organization believes physical therapy is an essential way to help people to ‘Do Life Better.’ I’m passionate about serving this community by restoring people to function.”
In her free time, Elizabeth loves hiking, skiing, and playing sports including volleyball, spikeball, soccer, and basketball. Also artistic, she enjoys writing music, singing, playing the guitar and the piano. She loves traveling and learning about other cultures. She does not have any pets, but is the proud owner of two house plants.
Born into an Air Force family, Anna was born in North Carolina but raised in many locations. “We did our fair share of moving,” she says. Anna attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science. She is passionate about the field of physical therapy and continuing her education to become a Physical Therapy Assistant. Anna takes special interest in pediatric physical therapy and wounded warrior recovery.
“Seeing the recovery process makes me passionate about my position at Strive. I see people come in with so much pain and by their last visit, they are pain free. I love being a part of their recovery and help give them the tools to live a pain free life.”
In her free time, Anna enjoys being with her boyfriend, family, and cat.
Dave was born in San Antonio, Texas and raised here in Colorado Springs. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Exercise Science wit h a minor in Business Administration from Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, Colorado. He received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California. He also completed an Orthopedic Residency program.
He has a strong area of interest in sports physical therapy and sport performance for athletes of all levels. “I am passionate about physical therapy because I love to help people achieve their goals and live a high quality of life.”
Dave loves spending time with his wife, Stephanie, and his two children. He is a die-hard Denver Broncos fan! His hobbies include sports, hiking, biking, hunting, snowboarding, and listening to music.
Meghan was born in Dallas, Texas but grew up and was raised in Omaha, Nebraska. She received her undergraduate degree from University of Nebraska in Lincoln with a bachelors degree in Psychology. She continued her graduate studies at the University of Nebraska Medical Center for Physical Therapy school; earning her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree.
“I love being able to improve my patients’ lives by treating their pain and helping them achieve their goals!”
In her free time, Meghan loves the outdoors. She enjoys hiking with her husband and their two Pomeranians.
Ashley was born and raised in Winter, FL. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Sciences from University of Florida. She continued her education and completed her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in Austin, TX. Ashley is dry needling certified. She utilizes her background and training in manual therapy along with individualized corrective exercises to help achieve maximum results.
“I enjoy treating all kinds of orthopedic and neurological populations. I love helping people get back to being the best version of themselves, whether it’s a return to normal everyday living, a competitive sport, or just their favorite hobbies.”
Ashley loves the outdoors, especially when mountains are involved including hiking, skiing, and rock climbing. She enjoys running around with her dog, a 4 year old chocolate lab. Other passions and hobbies include lifting weights, listening to music, traveling, and Thai food. “I am very excited to be out West and living near the mountains.”
Natasha Balcom, PT Tech
Natasha Balcom was born and raised in Colorado Springs. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training. She enjoys being a Physical Therapy Tech at our Strive Fountain Clinic location and says, “I am passionate about being at Physical Therapy Tech because I love motivating patients and seeing them make progress and achieve their physical goals.” Natasha adds, “I really enjoy working with patients who are not as economically privileged because everyone deserves to receive care for their injuries despite their financial status.”
In her free time, she loves playing volleyball and basketball, and spending time with her family which includes her twin brother and two older sisters.
Born in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Kalie moved and grew up in Pueblo, Colorado. She attended University of Northern Colorado where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Sports and Exercise Science. She is passionate about furthering her education and plans to obtain her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in the near future.
“I am passionate about helping people transform their lives and achieve their goals through physical therapy and exercises.”
In Kalie’s free time, she loves adventuring in the mountains. “I love going to the mountains, whether it is snow skiing in the winter or hiking and fishing in the summer.”
Liz Kittridge is a Colorado native, born and raised in the Widefield/Fountain area. She obtained her degree from Pikes Peak Community College and has training in massage therapy. She has a long history of working in customer service including retail, hotel, and different specialties of medicine. “The human body has always been an interest to me growing up with a registered nurse as a mom.”
“I am happy to work with such amazing people in an amazing environment. I have always been interested in the human body! The way it moves, the way it works, and am just fascinated how the human body can be manipulated.” Liz is passionate with furthering her knowledge of the human body, its mobility, and lifestyles in general.
She loves spending time with her family. She has a young son who is the light of her life and a chihuahua, who is her son’s best friend. Liz is adventurous and outgoing and likes volunteering her time with the Mesa Ridge Senior Winterguard flag twirling team.