Meet The Team

Prevail Physical Therapy
Your physical being is an important element of how you experience life through body, mind and spirit. How you move through the world, figuratively and literally, is important to us. Human movement is so amazing and complex, that we believe it deserves a depth of study equally impressive, and a variety of methods to solve problems. Our clinicians all have a deep and personal understanding of how important it is to be able to be active, and how difficult it is when something impedes that ability. We have chosen our professional pathway not just to make a living, but instead to make a difference, in the lives of our clients as well as in contributing to our profession and our communities.
Bruk Ballenger

Bruk Ballenger PT, DPT

  • Doctor of Physical Therapy
  • Founder of Prevail Practices
  • Biomechanics and Sports Medicine specialist
  • custom orthotics

Bruk Became a U.S. Army Physical Therapy Specialist in 1989, earned a B.S. in Physical Therapy in 1997, and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2015. He has an eclectic PT experience, but specializes in working with athletes and active people. He has extensive manual therapy experience, but takes a legitimate biomechanical approach in diagnostic evaluation and treatment strategies. Bruk’s philosophy is to empower clients to engage in their therapeutic process through knowledge and hands-on assistance.

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Bruk’s physical therapy career started in 1989 after graduating from the U.S. Military Academy of Health Sciences as a Physical Therapy Specialist. In 1997 he graduated from the University of Washington with a B.S. in Physical Therapy, and in 2015 earned a Doctorate in Physical Therapy.

Bruk’s driving passion is to help people enhance their lives and overcome barriers by affecting the experience one has with their body in the physical-spiritual-emotional connection. He gains inspiration from witnessing countless people, from children to Olympians, prevail over their challenges.

Bruk had a diverse PT work history before settling into sports medicine and orthopedics, including a tour in Saudi Arabia for the first Gulf War with 50th General Hospital, school district pediatrics, and inpatient neuro rehabilitation. Early in his career, Bruk felt that the value of physical therapists was not adequately delivered in a normal clinic, so in 2003 he co-founded Real Rehab Sports + Physical Therapy with Izette Swan. Their patient-centered service model and culture created rapid growth over the years, and was a testament to Bruk’s philosophy of “personal & professional mastery with social contribution.” In 2016 Bruk left Real Rehab to create a new organization that is built to emphasize and grow this philosophy, and better serve active people and athletes, which is how Prevail Physical Therapy was born.

As a lifetime “athlete,” Bruk has played soccer, basketball, baseball, soccer, wrestling, ultimate, rowing, softball, and running track and distance events. He has competed in triathlons from sprint to Ironman distances, Cyclocross, and done many endurance biking events. He enjoys skiing, snowboarding, alpine climbing, running, cycling and swimming. As a Dad he has enjoyed coaching his kids’ teams in basketball, soccer, flag football and wrestling.

For several years, Bruk professionally coached triathletes, runners and cyclists. Other notable accomplishments include;

Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (expired)

USA Triathlon Level I coach (expired)

Certificate in Sports Medicine and Human Performance from University of Washington

Certified in Advanced Biomechanics of the Lower Extremity from Movement Performance Institute

Certified in Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization

Certified Mobility WOD practitioner

Certified in Guru and F.I.S.T. bike fit systems

See Bruk’s entire Curriculum Vitae here

Alison Gillespie

Alison Gillespie PT, DPT

  • Doctor of Physical Therapy
  • Specialist in Bike Fitting
  • Sports Biomechanics. RRCA Running Coach

Alison has worked in the outpatient orthopedic setting since graduating from the University of Washington and employs a variety of physical therapy techniques. She strongly believes in education and preventative maintenance to allow patients to actively participate in their own care. She did a residency program in manual therapy with the Ola Grimsby Institute and training in bike fitting through Michael Sylvester of Bicycle Fitting Services and Kit Vogel of CyclePoint.  

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Alison grew up in the great Pacific Northwest happily exploring dance, skiing, climbing and soccer. This transitioned into a high school and college career in distance running, followed by more hiking, climbing and skiing. After completing a bachelors degree in geology at Whitman College, she spent several years completing a masters in geology and delving into the mysteries of glacial landscapes in the Sierra Nevada. She found physical therapy a natural fit for a born problem-solver and completed her education with a doctorate of physical therapy at the University of Washington.  

Alison also completed advanced clinical training at Movement Performance Institute in movement analysis and rehabilitation of conditions related to movement dysfunction. This is especially relevant to athletes who are interested in improving their running, skiing, climbing or soccer performance or who are returning to dynamic sports after injury.  

 

When not nose-deep in textbooks or dreaming up new ways to use technology, Alison can be found training for her next ultramarathon, learning how to stay on her mountain bike, or backcountry skiing in the world-famous fresh Cascade powder/cement. 

Cari Matthews

Cari Matthews PTA

  • Physical Therapy Assistant
  • Metabolic Efficiency Specialist
  • Endurance Multisport

Cari Matthews brings to Prevail Physical Therapy extensive personal and professional experience and passion for endurance sports. Cari enjoys blending her skills as a Physical Therapy Assistant and endurance multisport coach to bring unique insight and value to her patients and clients. She is certified in Advanced Biomechanics of the Lower Extremity and is trained in multiple bike fitting methodologies. Cari is also one of just a handful of Metabolic Efficiency Training Specialists (METS level II).

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Cari Matthews brings to Prevail Physical Therapy extensive personal and professional experience and passion for endurance sports. Cari enjoys blending her skills as a Physical Therapy Assistant and endurance multisport coach to bring unique insight and value to her patients and clients. She is certified in Advanced Biomechanics of the Lower Extremity and is trained in multiple bike fitting methodologies. Cari is also one of just a handful of Metabolic Efficiency Training Specialists (METS level II).

She is deeply interested in a multi-factorial approach to help athletes and active people to optimize movement mechanics, improving functional strength, balancing physical and life stresses, and addressing mental and emotional energy contributions for overall health and quality of life experience.

Cari utilizes her knowledge and experience of endurance sports to better understand and treat the patients she sees. She also uses her knowledge as a therapist to assist her athletes in creating a stable platform to safely reach their goals, with a priority in injury prevention so that they can minimize unplanned breaks in training and ultimately improve their experience and performance.  After all, the training journey should be an ongoing process to be thoroughly enjoyed!

As a PTA, Cari has had the unique opportunity to work with, and be mentored by many of the highly respected physical therapists, offering a diversity of hands-on training and education opportunities. Through this experience she has developed a specific interest in biomechanics, and has completed extensive training at Movement Performance Institute to earn a certificate in Advanced Biomechanics of the Lower Extremity. She enjoys retraining movement mechanics, from simple daily movements, to high level athletics.

Cari is one of just a handful of Metabolic Efficiency Training Specialists (METS level II). Metabolic Efficiency focuses on the utilization of energy in all types of sports, and can be used as a manipulator of overall health, wellness, and metabolic disorder potential. Individual strategies for exercise, nutrition, and recovery are all utilized to improve Metabolic Efficiency.

Cari is a strong proponent of a multi-factorial approach to life, and strongly encourages clients to consider stress/recovery balance, be it physical, mental, spiritual, social, or other.  She recognizes that there is never a “one size fits all” approach to any endeavor, and seeks to help clients discover and eliminate the personal roadblocks to recovery.

Outside of work, Cari likes to explore the beauty of the great Pacific Northwest, usually with her energetic teenage son. She is happiest while on her bike, but also enjoys hiking, bike camping, open water swimming, and snowshoeing. She is eager and willing to try any activity, and recently has taken up and interest in not falling of a pair of skis! She has been a competitive triathlete for over 15 years, and has completed four Ironman triathlons along with countless shorter distance races and ultra-marathons.  While no longer as competitive and she used to be, she can be found participating in multiple distance triathlons, X-TERRA racing, cyclocross, and other varied challenges.

Trainings and Certifications

Movement Performance Institute

Training peaks university

USA Triathlon

USA Cycling

Bikefit.com (Cycle Point)

Bike PT, bike fitting and mechanics

Guru and F.I.S.T Bike Fitting

Slowtwitch power

Metabolic Efficiency Training Specialist

Kinesio taping

Giselle Doan
Giselle grew up in the heart of Shoreline and attended Shorewood High School, she has worked within the medical field since graduating high school. She has a background in Business Management and Accounting, and holds a certification in Medical Billing. She has worked as a Billing Specialist for over 15 years, and has is considered a “Pitbull” when it comes to insurance billing amongst her peers. 
When she is not in the office, she is being a mom chasing her toddler Alexander and infant Matthew around.

Madi moved to Seattle in 2016 & has since fallen in love with the PNW! She is currently pursuing a degree in environmental engineering at the University of Washington.

She has always taken a keen interest in health and fitness, having worked in the medical field for 4+ years.

In her spare time she enjoys running, hiking, rock climbing, longboarding, & reading.