Meet our Clinical Staff
Melanie Brennan, PT, DPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy, CEO/Executive Director and Founder
Specialty area: Neurologic Recovery
Dr. Melanie is founder and CEO of ExercisABILITIES, Inc. She attained her Masters in Physical Therapy with honors in February, 1998 and her Doctor of PT in 2008, both from the College of St Scholastica in Duluth, MN. She has 18 years experience working in a variety of fields including 11 years in spinal cord injury and brain injury acute rehabilitation at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.
Her passion is embodied in her creation of Exercisabilities. Dr. Melanie is dedicated to improving access to rehabilitation and specialized fitness to all people who desire to continue to improve their abilities beyond our traditional medical and insurance models. Her practice specialties include spinal cord injury, locomotor training instruction from the Christopher and Dana Reeves Foundation NeuroRecovery Network, NDT (neuro-development technique) based rehab for stroke recovery, aquatic therapy and adult disability recovery. She also has advanced coursework in geriatric topics such as MS,Parkinson’s Disease, poor balance, falls, and osteoporosis.
At home, Melanie has 3 beautiful daughters and a wonderful husband. She enjoys traveling and keeping up with her busy kids cheering them on at dance, basketball, hockey, softball and even trap shooting!
Over the years, Dr. Brennan has seen many clients struggle with difficult home exercise programs, only to return to therapy later with decline due to lack of ability to complete the exercises. The lack of available wellness opportunities in the Rochester area for people with medical and/or physical dysfunction has been her inspiration to create ExercisABILITIES, Inc.
Lisa Bailey, PT
Speciality area: Senior Fall Prevention and Senior Care
Lisa has been a practicing physical therapist since graduating from the Mayo Clinic School of Health Related Sciences in 2002. She has served hospitalized patients with a broad range of diagnoses such as orthopedics, fall/ gait instability, amputee, general/ medical surgical, lymphedema, trauma, cardiovascar, and pulmonary to name a few. She has been an active student/ clinical instructor since 2007. Over recent years, she has assisted with review and creation of up to date fall prevention protocols and been able to speak on those topics in 2010 and 2012 at the MNAPTA conferences.
Lisa is a busy mother of three who enjoys spending time with her husband and 3 children. In her free time, she shares her love of music and as a vocalist at church, weddings, and other local venues. She stays active as a runner and enjoys playing volleyball.
Lisa comes to us with a vast amount of skills as an acute care hospital physical therapist from Mayo Clinic. We are excited to bring her expertise into her new role as our Falls Prevention LeadTherapist. Her experience and great energy working with older adults will benefit the entire community as she works at our clinic at the pool, and on the road at area centers and
Christine Hollman, OTR/L
Specialty area: Pediatrics
Christine has 27 years experience in the pediatric field. She has an interest in treating children with autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, sensory processing disorders, history of trauma and neglect, mental disorders and challenging behaviors as well as developing disabilities. Christine has worked in many settings including outpatient, hospital, schools, mental health, and a developmental center.
Jared Peterson, PT
Specialty Area: Orthopedic Manual Therapy and Pain Rehabilitation
Jared has been a practicing Physical Therapist since graduating from the Mayo School of Health Related Sciences in 2004. He has served in general PT practices through his career serving patients in hospital, nursing home and the outpatient orthopedic practice areas. He specializes in orthopedic patients with low back and sacro iliac pain with a hands on manual therapy approach. He also has a clinical interest in chronic pain and enjoys seeing patients with a long pain history get back to doing the things they love in life again.
Outside of work Jared enjoys spending time with his wife and 2 daughters. In his free time Jared is active in his church and also enjoys hunting, fishing, volleyball and biking.
Kimberly Pritchett, OTR/L
Specialty area: Hand Therapy
Kimberly has worked in many fields of occupational therapy, including Acute Care, Long Term Care, Outpatient rehabilitation, and Hand Therapy. She attended the University of Minnesota for her Masters in Occupational Therapy and completed training at Mayo Clinic in Hand Therapy. Her passion is returning function to patients with upper limb dysfunction diagnosis including post-operative orthopedics, conservative management for soft-tissue and nerve injuries, and neurological issues post stroke, TBI, and degenerative diagnosis. She has significant experience with orthosis or splint fabrication as well as fabrication of low-tech devices to increase functional performance. She enjoys utilizing her skills in manual therapy and has specialized training in mobilization of the shoulder complex.
At home, Kimberly has a beautiful young daughter and loving husband, who is a physician at the Mayo Clinic. She enjoys traveling with her husband and daughter to visit her family out in California, where she grew up and lived prior to marrying her Minnesota-native husband.
Kimberly brings a significant amount of experience in many OT fields and we are excited to have her initiate and build our adult Occupational Therapy program. She enjoys her job wherever she is, whether in the clinic, hospital, or at the homes of her clients.
Tessah Skoog, PT,DPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Specialty Area: Orthopedic Manual Therapy, General Care, Pediatric
Tessah graduated from the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences in 2016 with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She also graduated with her athletic training degree from Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota in 2013. Prior to her time at ExercisAbilities and moving back to her hometown in Southeast Minnesota, she found herself practicing in an outpatient orthopedic clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado learning many manual therapy and “hands on” techniques.
Tessah, her husband, and son Grayson enjoy spending time with family and friends, as well as with their furry pup, Louie. In her free time, Tessah likes to spend time outdoors, running, being active, traveling all over the US, and napping. With many changes in the last few months, she has found a great opportunity as a team member at ExercisAbilities and cannot wait to see the future growth and be a part of something special.
Rio Haack, PT, DPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Specialty Area: Neurologic Recovery
Rio graduated from Mayo School of Heath Sciences in 2017 with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Prior to this, she attended California State University, Fresno and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology-Exercise Science in December of 2013. She looks forward to working with patient’s in the outpatient neurological setting and developing a specialty as her practice continues.
Rio grew up just south of Rochester in Stewartville, MN on the family farm. In her free time she enjoys equestrian, basketball, sand volleyball, hiking, and spending time outdoors with her dog Kobe.
Laurie Brengman, RDN/LD
Registered Dietitian and Certified Health Coach
Laurie graduated with honors from UW-Stout with a degree in Food and Nutrition. She completed her dietetic internship at Mayo School of Health Science and has been a consulting Dietitian for almost 20 years. She has varied nutrition counseling experiences including hospital inpatient, long-term care, weight management, and nutrition counseling for individuals with disabilities and those with addictions. In 2015, Laurie became a Certified Health Coach to better serve her clients in their journey for improved health and wellness. It is her belief that every person deserves the chance for better health and can achieve it with the right education and support. Laurie is excited to be a part of the Exercisabilities team and motivated to help the team with their vision changing people’s lives.
In her spare time, Laurie is an avid gardener. She enjoys biking and running having completed 2 marathons, multiple half marathons and her favorite, the Twin Cities 10 miler. Recently, she has started leading group fitness classes. She is proud of being a “Star of the North” recipient for her work organizing an annual Thanksgiving morning run to support the Zumbrota area food shelf. Laurie resides in Zumbrota with her husband, 2 children and 2 dogs.
Kathy Smith, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist
Specialty Area: Pediatrics
Over 20 years of experience including school-based services, birth-to-3 home-based school services, pediatric outpatient rehab, and pediatric homecare.
Interests include treating children with autism, Down Syndrome, articulation, receptive and expressive language disorders, and many more!
Trevor Redlin, MS, CTRS
Trevor has worked with individuals who have autism, cognitive disabilities and physical disabilities for 14 years in a variety of settings which include an elementary school, community and home settings, and camp settings. He has his masters in Therapeutic Recreation and he is passionate about adapting sports and fitness for all individuals. Trevor leads our adaptive sports program as well as our Forever Strong Fitness Program. He enjoys helping those with impairments that make physical activity difficult achieve fitness, sports and wellness goals that they never thought was possible! He has been a leader in the development of our youth adaptive fitness programming as well.
Trevor is married to Annie and has two sons, Logan and Cooper. They live in Rochester and have really enjoyed making it their home. Outside of work Trevor enjoys being physically active and likes to be involved in sports and fitness such as football, basketball, softball, hiking, running, and loves to go Up North to fish.
Jordan is originally from Albert Lea, MN and have been living in Rochester for the past several years. He received my Personal Trainer diploma from RCTC, and his Bachelor from Winona State University in Health Exercise Rehabilitative Science. While attending RCTC he had the opportunity to intern at Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center as well as Crossfit Credence. Both experiences had a great environment and were very helpful.
Jordan has received training from the NRN, neuro-recovery network on activity based exercise and rehabilitation interventions with a focus on working with those with spinal cord and brain injury. In addition, he enjoys working with our diabetes prevention program as a lead trainer. Jordan enjoys working with each client to develop a plan to get stronger, move better and meet their physical and fitness goals.
Interest outside of work includes sports, biking, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends. Jordan’s passion is Health and fitness, and along with that goal is to help others achieve their goal in improving their health and lifestyle.
Zach is 22 years old from Chatfield, Minnesota. He is a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor. Zach has received training from the NRN, neuro-recovery network on activity based exercise and rehabilitation interventions with a focus on working with those with spinal cord and brain injury. Zach is passionate about helping those with these injuries meet their goals and recover movement throughout their lifespan. Zach also enjoys leading our activities in our healthy lifestyles program, in which he works with corporate wellness initiatives in the Rochester area to create a healthier workforce.
Some of his hobbies include: running, wrestling/grappling, hunting, hiking and pretty much any type of exercise.
Mackenzie Distad, EP-C, BS
ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist/Exercise Specialist
Mackenzie has graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Clinical Exercise Science from Winona State University and is certified as an Exercise Physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine. She enjoys coaching a high-school dance team and helping others to improve their overall well being through fitness and healthy living. Some of her hobbies include hiking, boating, being outdoors, watching hockey, spending time with friends and eating ice cream.
Halle has a goal of becoming an Athletic Trainer and continuing her work in the rehabilitation field. She has worked towards this goal by graduating from Luther College with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. She has also had a wide variety of observation opportunities, many of which were at the Mayo Clinic. Some of her inspiration for entering the field comes from watching her grandfather during therapy, who was a quadriplegic. She shares her passion for helping patients reach their goals, and learning from each new experience. In her spare time she enjoys training for half marathons, being outdoors, working out at CrossFit, spending time with friends and family, and taking care of her two dogs.
Alex graduated with a bachelors of science in kinesiology from the University of Minnesota. He is pursuing a career as a physical therapist. Alex enjoys teaching group fitness classes and working with clients of all abilities to improve their lives through exercise.
He enjoys playing all sports and currently plays in the Rochester Adult Soccer League. Alex is also a lifelong tennis player. Some of his other interests include weight lifting, playing the cello, and grilling.
“I have graduated from the University of Minnesota Rochester with a degree in Health Sciences. I hope to use this degree and my experiences at Exercisabilities to pursue a career in Physical Therapy. I’ve enjoyed getting to know the clients we see each day and love helping any way that I can to help them reach their goals.”
Alex enjoys staying active through strength training, playing basketball and coaching kids and teens at the Boy’s and Girl’s Club of Rochester during his free time. He has a passion for music and enjoys playing guitar with lifelong friends around Rochester and Southern Minnesota.
Sara Atkinson, E-RYT
Sara took her first Yoga class in 2006, looking for some stress-relief and relaxation, and came away with that and much more. The transformative seeds were planted and the roots grew quickly and deep. From then on, she has taught, practiced and trained as often as possible while raising two children on her own. In 2009, Sara and her friend/business partner opened Breathe Yoga Studios in Rochester, serving the community for over 7 years with classes, workshops and internationally-renowned Yoga teachers.
Sara is an Experienced 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT 200) with over 10 years of teaching experience, and continues to study yoga and life with great teachers and leaders. Her primary teacher and mentor, Max Strom, continues to be a source of guidance, inspiration and friendship, in her teaching, practice and in her life. Sara enjoys teaching all levels of students, and working with people who are committed to self-exploration and choose to live intentionally. Her classes focus on breath-based yoga movement, to elicit deep feeling, healing and personal growth. She teaches with great attention to detail, and from a heartfelt and deeply intuitive place.
Sara studied Health Promotion, Nutrition and Exercise Science in college. She is a Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant, and has been a personal chef, preparing weekly meals for individuals and families. She also studied Thai Yoga Bodywork/Massage as a compliment to her yoga teaching, and to deepen her experience with the energetics of yoga and bodywork.