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 Specialist

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 Running Analysis, Treatment, & performance.
  • 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. 

Alison Gillespie

Algerae Bergstrom PT, DPT

  • Doctor of Physical Therapy
  • Pelvic Floor Rehab 
  • Women’s Health

Algerae is passionate about evidenced-based physical therapy interventions to help people find movement patterns that can help them get back to living their fullest life. She believes that healthcare practitioners should collaborate, not compete, for best patient care. And as a pelvic floor physical therapist. She has found it a great service to provide talks not only to PEPs and mother’s groups but also to local doctors’ offices to let them know what she can provide and treat as a pelvic floor PT. She loves learning and sharing what she’s learned in a manner that is practical to patients’ symptoms and lives. She enjoys orthopedic physical therapy as well as pelvic floor physical therapy as they commonly overlap.

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Algerae grew up in the Pacific Northwest in the San Juan Islands. After finishing her bachelor of science in Human Biology at Seattle Pacific University and then completing her Doctor of Physical Therapy at the University of Washington her roots have grown deep. In her free time, she can be found (trying to) help re-model her old house, gardening, traveling and exploring the Pacific Northwest. 

Alison Gillespie

Drew Williams PT, DPT

  • Doctor of Physical Therapy
  • Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopeadic Physical Therapy
  • Selective Functional Movement Assessment Certified
  • USA Track and Field 1
  • USA Weightlifting 1
  • Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Drew started his career as an Army physical therapist after graduating from US Army-Baylor University in 2009.   Since then he has been practicing in various outpatient orthopedic settings.  Drew’s goal as a therapist is to help remove barriers to proper movement patterns, to identify and minimize harmful actions/behaviors, to teach efficient movement patterns, and to facilitate the integration of various parts and systems to optimize function.  Drew combines manual techniques with a strong emphasis on proper exercise instruction and execution.  He strives to give people information and tools they can use to remove the fear of movement and to empower them to take ownership of their bodies in both the short and long term.  He believes that a whole body approach to care is far superior to treating only the symptomatic area. 

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Drew is a transplant to Washington after having lived in multiple states across the US including South Carolina, North Carolina, Texas, Louisiana, and Alaska.  He also had the unique opportunity to live in Kenya for five years as a child.  Upon returning to the US he went to high school in South Carolina where he played HS and club soccer and ran cross country.  He then went on earn his B.S. in Exercise Science at the University of South Carolina and his Doctorate of Physical Therapy at US Army-Baylor.  During his time at Army-Baylor he had the privilege of serving alongside several very talented and dedicated physical therapists including the orthopeadic manual physical therapy fellows at Brook Army Medical Center. After graduating he served as an active duty Army physical therapist in Alaska, Washington, and Afghanistan before separating at the end of 2013.  Over the past several years he has worked in various civilian outpatient clinics.      

Drew is firmly committed to being a lifelong learner.  He has benefited from doing multiple courses through the Institute of Physical Art (IPA) and The Institute of Manipulative Physiotherapy & Clinical Training (IMPACT) as well as becoming certified in Selective Functional Movement Assessment through Functional Movement Systems.  In addition he has completed multiple independent courses on physical therapy topics, running performance, weight training, and nutrition.  He continually looks for opportunities to consult with and learn from others who have more expertise or experience in a given area.

Drew has a passion for injury risk reduction and he feels this almost always go hand in hand with performance enhancement.  A person that moves efficiently is less likely to suffer overuse injuries and a person with multiple movement options has a greater ability to avoid some traumatic injuries.

Outside of work Drew can be found spending time with his wife and kids, playing guitar, working on his mobility and strength, studying different performance or rehab strategies, training for his next ultramarathon, or enjoying various outdoor adventures. 

 

Alison Gillespie

Catherine Jhung Nutting PT, DPT

  • Doctor of Physical Therapy
  • Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopedic Physical Therapy
  • Specialist in Pelvic & Maternal Health
  • Sports Biomechanics
Catherine is a strong believer in the transformative effect of physical therapy and empowering people to be healthy and active throughout all phases of life. She believes in collaborating with patients in their recovery journey to tailor individualized, goal-oriented treatment approaches. Catherine has worked in outpatient orthopedic physical therapy during her entire career and uses a combination of functional manual therapy, motor control activities, and activity-specific training. She has specialty training in pelvic health and is passionate about working with people across the pregnancy spectrum. Catherine emphasizes a holistic view of health and activity, and she is passionate about encouraging people to pursue lifelong health.

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Catherine earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Seattle Pacific University in 2008, and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Washington in 2011. She is a board certified clinical specialist in orthopedic physical therapy (OCS). Through her career in physical therapy and her own athletic adventures, Catherine recognizes the importance of building strong foundations for complex movement patterns. She believes in physical therapy as not only treating symptoms, but also preventing injuries. Her commitment is to healthy movement that creates a lifetime of activity and joy.

Catherine’s enjoyment of working with patients with multi-dimensional lower extremity conditions evolved to include treating pelvic health issues. She is especially passionate about helping people along the pregnancy spectrum. She created a virtual postpartum Return to Performance program which combines postpartum rehabilitation with a functional movement progression for athletes to return to the activities they love. 

Catherine has been an outdoor and movement enthusiast her entire life. As a young athlete, she played indoor volleyball, soccer, and basketball which evolved into triathlons and outdoor volleyball. She is currently enjoying open water swimming, cycling, and hiking with her partner and child. She also likes travelling and has volunteered on physical therapy education projects in Moldova and Honduras.

Cari Matthews

Nicole McVarish PT, MScPT

  • Physical Therapist 
  • Integrated Systems Model (ISM) Practitioner 
  • Manual Therapy
  • Strength conditioning

Nicole is a skilled orthopedic physical therapist and brings to the Prevail PT team an holistic approach to full body assessment and treatment using the Integrated Systems Model. She taught the Integrated Systems Model and abdominal wall studies with Diane Lee & Associates from 2012-2019. She has an extensive manual therapy background with the North American Institute of Manual Therapy, in addition to sports conditioning and is a certified yoga teacher. She has a background in acute care, rehabilitation, and pain management settings, and she also taught a clinical physical therapy course internationally in Ethiopia.  

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Nicole graduated from Dalhousie University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, and completed a Masters of Science in Physiotherapy at the University of Alberta in 2008. During her Masters degree, she worked at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital as a program assistant to rehabilitate patients with multiple orthopedic injuries, burns, amputations and stroke.  

After graduation, Nicole joined a medical and surgical team at the Royal Alexandra Hospital to further her knowledge in an acute care setting, and she moved to British Columbia in April 2009 to work with a pain management program. While dabbling in multiple practice areas Nicole developed a passion for orthopedic practice and continues to practice in this area.  

Nicole is fascinated by the connectivity and integration of the body and uses a holistic treatment approach. In May 2010, Nicole became proficient in The Integrated Systems Model – a framework for whole body assessment and integrated treatment, the approach practiced extensively at Diane Lee & Associates. She is skilled at providing patients with a biomechanical and real-time ultrasound imaging assessment and then developing a unique program (including manual therapy, exercise, and education) for a multitude of conditions and patient-specific goals. Nicole joined the teaching team at Diane Lee & Associates in 2012.  She continued to practice and teach physical therapy in Canada through 2019 with focus on the Integrated Systems Model and abdominal wall studies. 

Nicole added yoga, acupuncture and dry needling to her treatment ‘toolbox’ with a wonderfully taught 200 hour YYT (Yoga Teacher Training with Shibui Yoga) completed February 2013 and AFCI Certification (Acupuncture Foundation of Canada Institute) completed February 2011. 

In 2011, Nicole travelled to Ethiopia to teach a physical therapy course at a teaching hospital and was also involved in the clinical aspects of physiotherapy, including serial casting for babies with clubfoot.  Since 2019 Nicole has been pursuing further manual therapy education with the North American Institute of Manual Therapy. 

Aside from her passion in physiotherapy, Nicole’s hobbies include swimming, cycling, running and sometimes all three…hockey, Shotokan Karate, many cycling disciplines and general adventuring. Nicole loves movement – she leads a small weekly track workout as well as a group weight-lifting session. Her patients love her ‘bubbly spirit’ and always feel lighter, brighter, and enlightened after every visit. 

Cari Matthews

Tom Dostal PTA

  • Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Certified FMT
  • NASM Certified Personal Trainer

Tom Dostal has been a Physical Therapist Assistant since 2016. He earned an Associate of Occupational Science Degree with Highest Academic Achievement from Pima Medical Institute in 2016, and has been working in outpatient rehabilitation ever since. Tom is trained in many facets of physical therapy: he has successfully completed courses in manual joint mobilization for the P.T.A. from NAIOMT, has basic training the STOTT Pilates Rehab program, and is Rocktape Certified in Functional Movement Training, specifically utilizing kinesiology taping, cupping, and other instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization techniques. He has been a Certified Personal Trainer with NASM since 2012. Tom’s goal is to work with patients in the shared facilitation of their rehabilitation, resulting in the achievement of each patient’s personal goals.  

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Prior to his career in physical therapy, Tom earned a Bachelor of Music Degree (Honors Program) and State of Iowa Teaching Credential from The University of Iowa. From there he went on to a twenty-year career teaching and performing as a percussionist in venues worldwide. The discipline and meticulous attention to movement required in performance, ability to instruct others via cultivated analysis of function, and a passion for human anatomy inherited from Tom’s father (a PT, PhD, and instructor at university) set the table for his eventual transition to working in PT.  

In his free time, Tom enjoys weight lifting, cycling, running, hiking, cooking, watching films of all sorts, as well as reading and the continued study of all things in the realm of health and fitness. He still “gigs” as a professional drummer and percussionist when the opportunity arises, and keeps a modest profile playing with a few popular area bands 

Giselle Doan
Giselle Doan has been a part of the Prevail PT team since early 2019 & has had the pleasure of growing with the company into what it is today. She started at Prevail as a Patient Service Coordinator & has since assumed the positions as Office Manager and Billing Specialist, running things from behind the scenes. She has 18+ years of administrative experience in the healthcare field, with a degree in Business Administration and Accounting, as well as additional certifications in medical billing.

Giselle grew up in the heart of Shoreline and attended Shorewood High School. She is a Mother of 3 (1 girl, 2 boys) and is still very much a part of the community she grew up in.

Kenzie is from Montana but has lived in Seattle for 5+ years and loves the PNW. She has worked in the healthcare field for over 6 years in a variety of specialties and settings. She is very excited to now be a part of the Prevail PT team. In her free time, she enjoys dance, theater, movies, music, family, and friends.