Meet Our THerapists

Knowing and trusting your therapists can play a big role in achieving the highest outcome in your recovery process. Our team of medical professionals – including physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and social workers – has the expertise and passion to address your specific outpatient rehabilitation needs. Please take a moment to learn about a few of our therapists.

 

Mary Beth Zabel, PT, DPT

Director – Outpatient Clinic

What is your favorite thing about practicing?
The look on a patient’s face when "I can't" becomes "I can". I enjoy seeing the progress and confidence come out in the patients when they start achieving their goals. Rehabilitation is not easy, so if I can contribute to the patient keeping a positive/motivated attitude, I have done an important part of my job.

What is your philosophy/focus when it comes to PT?
Individualization is very important to me when it comes to my patients and physical therapy. Not every technique works for every patient and I respect that. My job is to inspire the patient to enjoy the process/journey and to make it a genuine environment for growth and change. 

What do you do outside of physical therapy?
I enjoy cooking with new recipes and traveling. I've been overseas four times and appreciate experiencing cultural diversity. I am a weekend warrior when it comes to running, as some of my favorite mornings are spent along the water in lower-town St. Paul and ending with coffee. I also recently adopted a puppy named "Winnie" who is both time-consuming and lovable!

 

Derek Johnson, PT, DPT   


What is your favorite thing about practicing?
My favorite thing about being a physical therapist is being able to help identify the cause of my patient’s problems, and being able to provide the necessary treatment to guide them through their recovery.

What is your philosophy/focus when it comes to PT?
My philosophy towards physical therapy is that while there are many lifelong endeavors, physical therapy should not be one of those things.  I believe that the role of the physical therapist is to provide the knowledge and the tools necessary to help patients ultimately help themselves, and empower them to maintain their highest level of function beyond PT.  I feel that developing trust is the foundation to success and my primary focus when I meet a patient for the first time is to ensure that there is a general understanding of each other’s goals and expectations.

What do you do outside of physical therapy?
Outside of physical therapy, I stay active spending time with family and friends.  I also keep busy with various house projects, gardening, hiking, biking, playing with my dogs, snowboarding, and spending time at the lake.

 

Kara Pioske, PT, DPT

  


What is your favorite thing about practicing?
I love getting to know and spend time with my patients – find out who they are, what they like to do, and then be part of their journey to get back to those things. I really enjoy watching my patients succeed.

What is your philosophy/focus when it comes to PT?
I am very hands-on – I am with my patients every step of the way, sometimes even doing the exercises with them! My focus right now is mainly orthopedics with a little bit of neuro and sports rehabilitation mixed in.

What do you do outside of physical therapy?
I spend most of my time outside of work with my friends and family. And while I love to travel, my favorite place in the entire world is my family’s cabin, so I spend as much time up there on the boat as possible! I played volleyball in college, and I love to play and watch most sports.

 

Chad, PTA, CBIS  


Tell us about your background in rehabilitation therapy.
I have been practicing for over 20 years in several different settings. I enjoy feeling that I am able to work with patients in any situation, due to my well-rounded background. I am a Certified Brain Injury Specialist, giving me a strong knowledge base in neurological disorders. I also enjoy orthopedics, and have become a Certified Athletic Trainer. I regularly attend educational seminars, as furthering my knowledge is very important to me as a PTA.

What is your favorite thing about practicing therapy?
I enjoy complex cases the most. When other clinicians or even the patient thinks that there is no hope, I feel confident that with a little extra time and specialized programming my patient can rehabilitate and achieve a potential above expectations. I offer support and education to help patients set their own goals because I have found that when a patient is invested in their treatment plan, they are more likely to have success. There is nothing better than helping a patient achieve a goal that they set for themselves.

What do you do outside of PT?
I enjoy spending time with friends and family and  being as active as possible. I love Fitbit challenges (my personal best for one week is 104,985 steps!). On weekends, you would most likely find me biking through the city, enjoying local restaurants, and taking in Saints’ games.

 

Nicole, PTA, CBIS


Tell us about your background in physical therapy.
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Science from St. Cloud State University. I completed the Physical Therapy Assistant program at St. Catherine’s University and received my Associate’s Degree of Applied Sciences. I have spent two years working as a rehabilitation tech at a skilled nursing facility where I assisted physical therapists with the treatment of a variety of complex patient diagnoses. I am also a Certified Brain Injury Specialist (CBIS) which has given me the background to be able to provide quality care to patients with brain injuries.  

What do you enjoy about practicing Physical Therapy?
My favorite thing about practicing PT is watching the patients learn and progress. Being part of someone’s healing process is very rewarding – as well as getting to see the patient gain a part of their lives back.

What do you do outside of PT?
Outside of my work, I love taking my dog, Oliver, for walks around our neighborhood and the surrounding lakes. I also play in a sand volleyball league in the summer and indoor league during to winter.

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   Are you a PATIENT?

If you are committed to get well, you will not fail at Legacy Rehabilitation Group
– Gladys, former patient