Juliana Ament PT, DPT, MOMT, OCS
Julie Ament has been practicing physical therapy in North Pole since 1995. She earned her Master of Science Degree in Physical Therapy from Arcadia University in Philadelphia in 1990. She completed her Doctor of Physical Therapy with Regis University in 2012. Additionally she earned an Advanced Masters in Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy from the Ola Grimsby Institute in 1999 and completed Residency and Fellowship training in Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy. Julie is Board Certified as an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist in Physical Therapy by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties, and is certified in Dry Needling.
In her spare time Julie likes to garden, fish, camp, bike, ski and enjoy the Alaskan outdoors. She is a supporter of Nanook Sports, and is a fan of the Seattle Seahawks, the North Pole Patriots, and the Eielson Ravens.
Peter Bryant, PT, DPT
Peter Bryant graduated from Husson University located in Bangor, ME, in 2018 with a Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree. He followed his traveling dream to Interior, AK to practice Physical Therapy where both his grandfather and father loved. Peter has been working at North Pole PT since graduation and enjoys the opportunity to work in orthopedics. He has an interest in manual therapy as well as vestibular rehabilitation. He aims to receive his manual therapy certification in the future.
In his free time, he is excited to explore the Alaskan outdoors and culture with Auri, his Siberian husky. He enjoys downhill skiing, hiking, snow machining, swimming, and skijoring.
Melissa Bunselmeier, DPT
Melissa Bunselmeier graduated in 2014 from the University of Montana in Missoula Montana with a Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree. She spent her first 4 years as a physical therapist in Barrow, Alaska where she gained experience in a number of orthopedic, neuromuscular, and chronic pain conditions. She enjoys the opportunities at North Pole PT to work with sport specific rehabilitation while continuing to work with chronic pain and chronic disease patients.
Melissa grew up in Delta Junction and her love for interior Alaska and all it has to offer brought her to North Pole. She loves the outdoors and looks forward to sharing many experiences of fishing, camping, hiking, and hunting with her young daughter.
Laura Fields, DPT
Laura Fields has been working as a fill in therapist for the North Pole physical therapy since she retired from the Air Force, offering over 20 years of experience with orthopedic injuries and sports injury recovery. She also works with sports teams in our community, preventing injury and keeping athletes in the game. Laura served over 20 years as an officer in the US Air Force, practicing physical therapy and deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan to keep our troops on Mission and fit to fight. Laura also works with the US Olympic Committee, on call for sports medicine coverage at Olympic Training Centers and competitions.
When she is not in the clinic or on a Sports side-line, she is traveling the world – skiing, sailing, canoeing, biking, canyoning, kayaking… Anything outdoors!
Kaitlin Freienmuth, PT, M.Sc., NREMT, RYT-200
Kaitlin Freienmuth graduated from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland in 2013 with a Master of Science in Physiotherapy degree. Kaitlin is originally from Minnesota however, and after volunteering at the Iditarod in 2018, she caught the Alaska bug and moved even further north. She has worked in many different clinical settings but has found a home in outpatient practice. She is a registered yoga teacher, aquatic therapy certified, certified in dry needling and kinesiotaping, certified in LSVT-BIG, and has most recently taken to treating concussions alongside orthopedic, sports, chronic pain, vestibular, neurological and pediatric conditions. She is working toward her Sports Clinical Specialty with a belief that everyone is an athlete in some way or another.
Outside of physical therapy, Kaitlin enjoys spending time outside with her two dogs, Maddie and Lucy, hiking, kayaking, cross-country skiing, and trying any new adventures Alaska has to offer.
Nicholas Hodges, DPT
Nicholas Hodges graduated from Texas Woman’s University in Dallas, Texas in 2018 with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy Degree. Nicholas wanted a snowy version of Texas so he packed his bags and moved up to North Pole Alaska to fulfill his dream of becoming Santa Clause. He chose North Pole PT due to the welcoming culture of the clinic and the vast learning experiences available to him through North Pole PT. While this is his first full-time job out of school, Nicholas has past experience working with neurological and vestibular disorders. Nicholas is embracing sport specific rehab and orthopedic rehabilitation and loves the opportunity to learn from each and every patient.
Nicholas’ passions outside of the clinic include: snow-shoeing, hiking, dog-petting, mountain biking, skiing, star gazing, travelling, and just about ANYTHING outdoors.
Alec Kay, PT, DMT, OCS, ATC, FAAOMPT
Alec initially began his career working in sports medicine at the University of California, Davis as an undergraduate where he was Certified as an Athletic Trainer in 1988. Alec completed a Masters of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of the Pacific in 1990. He attended a 6 month full time residency in Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) in Vallejo, CA, after working for several years in acute care and neurological rehabilitation. His additional post-graduate studies included completion of a Master of Orthopedic Manual Therapy in 1997 and a Doctor of Manual Therapy degree in 2000, with a dissertation on the lumbar spine.
Alec was appointed to the faculty of the Ola Grimsby Institute Post- Professional Consortium and is currently teaching advanced techniques in manual orthopedic physical therapy locally and in other states, as well as presenting as an invited speaker. He is board certified as an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist, a Fellow of the
American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists (AAOMPT), and certified in dry needling.
Alec sees patients in Anchorage at United Physical Therapy and is the current president of North Pole PT where he consults on clinical cases and does fill in patient care. He is loving getting acquainted with North Pole and Fairbanks.
Outside the clinic he spends a lot of time traveling to teach and explore and is passionate about running in the mountains and working with runners. He enjoys teaching ChiRunning workshops…. check out www.chirunning.com for more information.
Jim Pasek, PT, MPT
Jim Pasek is a 1998 graduate of the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. He has worked in Fairbanks as an out-patient orthopedic and chronic pain physical therapist since 1999. Jim has received his manual therapy certifications with IAOM- US. Jim specializes in disorders of the cervical and lumbar spine. He is also interested in injury prevention in sport and recreational athletes.
Jim’s interests outside the clinic include biathlon, downhill skiing, snow machining, biking, hunting, camping, photography, and working on his old car.
George Salmon, PT, MPT
George Salmon is a frequent physical therapist provider with North Pole Physical Therapy doing both part-time hours and fill in practice. George is a long time Fairbanks man attending UAF for Physical Education and working locally as a personal trainer. He attended Physical Therapy school at Northern Arizona University and returned to Fairbanks to be an active member of the skijor community. George has done advanced training and Residency with the Ola Grimsby Institute in Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy in addition to his regular mindful choices of continued education in physical therapy. George and his wife Cindy Salmon, registered dietician, also own and operate Jammin’ Salmon’s Physical and Nutritional Therapy in Fairbanks.
Shawna Smith, DPT
Shawna Smith graduated from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, MI in 2014 with a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. The first five years of her career was spent as a travel physical therapist in various environments and facets of physical therapy. After 13 contracts and eight states, Shawna took the opportunity to check Alaska off her bucket list and pursue Pelvic Floor therapy, which has been a passion of hers over the years. By the time her first Alaskan contract ended, she had decided she like it here. Since then, she has hung up her traveling shoes and decided to stay a while. Shawna has primarily worked in outpatient orthopedics and has been working on progressing her skills and knowledge in Pelvic Floor health for the last year and half.
Outside of therapy, Shawna does like to hike and be outside like most Alaskans. However, she is also not afraid to hole up inside, watch movies, and play board games with her friends. Whether inside or out, her favorite four-legged companion, Lily—a rescue dog, is always nearby. Shawna is also heavily involved in local dance groups, a passion of hers for 14 years, and may open up about where she performs if you come to see her in the clinic.
Brenda Karella was born and raised in North Carolina but Alaska has been home most of her life. She has worked in administration for more than 20 years with 12 years as an office manager for a pediatric therapy facility. She lives in North Pole and joined North Pole Physical Therapy as our Office Manager in the summer of 2017. She loves the outdoors, traveling, and most of all, family.
Breanna McGee was born and raised in North Florida. Breanna moved to Alaska December of 2017 following her husband in his ministry as a youth pastor. There have been many life changes since moving here two weeks after getting married. Starting over in a new place far away from family has been both challenging and rewarding. Since moving her Breanna and her husband have really been welcomed by the community and developed great relationships with many as well. To top off the move to Alaska, Breanna and her husband welcomed their first child, a baby boy, October of 2018. Joining North Pole Physical Therapy in November of 2018 has been a blessing for Breanna and she looks forward to see what the future hold for her here.
Tara moved to North Pole, Alaska in 1988 when her father was transferred here by the Air Force. Tara finished out her school years at North Pole High School. After being a stay at home mom, and the kids went off to school, she attended UAF and became a Certified Medical Assistant. Tara spent 10 years in the Orthopedic field as a CMA before joining the administrative staff at North Pole PT.
Betty Vinson, one of our Southern Belles, is a receptionist in our office. She has more than 25 years of administrative and professional office experience. Originally from Tennessee, she has fallen in love with Alaska. Her faith and life experiences have made her optimistic, giving her a sense of humor and eagerness to laugh. A few of her favorite past times are family, the outdoors, and enjoying God’s handiwork.
Rebecca Ferguson, PT, DPT
Rebecca “Becca” Ferguson graduated from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City in 2020 with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree. She is a military spouse, which is what brought her to Alaska. Becca is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but completed her undergraduate degree in Cedarville, Ohio, spent some time in Wichita Falls, Texas, moved to SLC, Utah and is now here in North Pole. Becca was previously a high school science teacher as well as a volleyball and basketball coach before pursuing her goal to become a physical therapist. Becca has years of experience working in neurological and orthopedic physical therapy and also completed a clinical rotation at Tanana Chiefs Conference where she fell in love with Alaska Native culture. She very much enjoys the unique experience that North Pole PT brings and enjoys the diverse patient population. Becca has interests in manual therapy, dry needling, pelvic floor, and yoga and plans to pursue continuing education in these areas in the future. She has a passion for health and believes that the best approach to physical therapy is a holistic one! Becca also loves photography, hiking, traveling, and her dog, Winston.