Physical Therapists

Andrew

Andrew Choi, Master of Physical Therapy, Director of Physical Therapy / Partner

Andy completed his Bachelor’s Degree at UCLA, then, received his Masters in Physical Therapy from Mount St. Mary’s College in 1998. He returned to work at the UCLA Outpatient Rehabilitation Department for five years. Andy specializes in analyzing and correcting form and alignment with functional and sports activities. His athletic background in sports (which include martial arts, basketball, volleyball, snow sports, golf, and tennis) allows him to have a better understanding of how to specifically diagnose and correct faulty movement patterns.

Nicola

Nicola Nakase, Doctor of Physical Therapy

Nicola has been practicing physical therapy for 12 years, specializing in orthopedics and sports medicine. She has been a provider for the US Olympic Beach Volleyball team (2007-2013), which allowed her to travel all over the world on the FIVB tour. She has also worked with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2003. Nicola earned her doctorate in Physical Therapy from USC in 2002 and her bachelor of science degree in Kinesiology with a minor in Business Administration from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1999. She has found her career in physical therapy to be rewarding on many levels, including offering her the opportunity to meet interesting people from all over the world.

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Michael Piekarski, Doctor of Physical Therapy

Mike completed his Bachelor’s degree at Binghamton University, double-majoring in Psychology and History, before earning his doctorate of physical therapy at Stony Brook University in 2015. Mike has experience in outpatient orthopedic clinical work, as well as geriatric imbalance and vestibular rehabilitation. Mike is a dedicated martial artist and an active competitor in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, mixed martial arts, submission grappling, and muay thai. In addition to being passionate about martial arts, Mike also spends time weightlifting, hiking and playing with his cats.

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Minchul Jung, Doctor of Physical Therapy

Minchul began his career in health and fitness by getting involved with physical activities like practicing and teaching martial arts. He went on to serve in the U.S. Army SWAT Team as a member of the Special Reaction Team, where he spent countless hours training and protecting many politicians and celebrities. Minchul suffered a severe back injury during his training in the Army, and he recovered through exercises prescribed by an Army physical therapist. This gave Minchul the passion for helping others experience life fully through fitness. Minchul graduated from The University of Southern California with a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. He is a graduate from The University of Kansas with specialized studies in Kinesiology and Exercise Science.

mike

Kerry McMahon, Doctor of Physical Therapy, CSCS

Kerry received her Bachelor of Art in Dance and a minor in Psychology at Loyola Marymount University. Upon graduation, she received her Pilates Certification with Dance Specialization from BASI, and has been teaching for 7 years in variety of settings. Kerry received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from New York University in 2015. During her time at NYU, she gained clinical experience in a variety of settings including Neuro ICU, Outpatient Orthopedics, Sport Therapy, and Acute Care. She became Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Certified Kinesio-Tape Specialist, and SFMA certified to further enhance her knowledge in the field and apply them to her care. Kerry believes it is important to provide care that is unique to each individual to reach their goal and beyond using a multi-faceted approach including: manual techniques, neuromuscular re-education, Pilates, Therapeutic exercise, and movement analysis. In Kerry’s spare time she enjoys spinning, dancing, Pilates, continuing to learn, and keep a healthy lifestyle. .

Fitness and Performance Coaches

Morice

Maurice Taylor, ACSM

Maurice has been involved in the fitness industry since 2004 and has remained a certified personal trainer with the ACSM since 2006. He has almost a decade of experience working with a diverse range of individuals and personal trainers, specializing in many issues anging from weight management to athletic performance. For the past 3 years he has focused on not only training but teaching and motivating people with weight and health issues to implement the necessary changes in their life to reach their fitness goals and maintain them.

Leah Roth

Lea Roth, CSCS

Lea has a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from Cedarville University and is a certified strength and conditioning specialist through NSCA. She spent the past 7 years working with athletes, rehabilitation patients and fitness clients ages 3-78, addressing each person’s unique goals and needs. Her primary focus is improving movement through functional strength and mobility. As an athlete and high school basketball coach Lea is passionate about sports, lifting heavy weights, and all types of athletic endeavors – all interests which infuse her coaching philosophy that physical fitness can be an enjoyable part of a balanced lifestyle.

billy

Billy Kane, AFAA

Billy is a certified personal trainer and kickboxing instructor through the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America. Billy brings years of experience personal training and coaching athletes of all ages. He is a former competitive kick boxer and has experience coaching both Muay Thai and Kickboxing. His diverse background allows him to work with individuals of all ability levels.

Julian

Julian Hess, NASM

Julian has a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a concentration in Physiology from Emmanuel College in Boston, Massachusetts. He is a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer. He has over 800 hours of experience working as a physical therapy aide and is currently applying to programs for his Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT). Julian was named MVP in the Ocean League for Volleyball during his senior year at Santa Monica High School when the team won the CIF championship. He went on to a successful college volleyball career, but was hampered by an array of injuries requiring surgeries for both radial collateral ligaments in his thumbs as well as a labrum repair in his right shoulder. These experiences propelled Julian to a greater understanding of the importance of health and wellness.

VERT Leadership Team

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Walter Theis, MD, Founder / Managing Partner

Dr. Theis is a graduate of Colgate University and earned his MD at Cincinnati College of Medicine, before completing his Internship-Residency at USC Medical Center. Dr. Theis previously served as the Director of four Emergency Centers in Southern California including Saint John’s Hospital and Health Center. Since the founding of VERT, Dr. Theis has worked with over 50 professional athletes and personal trainers on sports conditioning and rehab.

Andrew

Andrew Choi, Master of Physical Therapy, Director of Physical Therapy / Partner

Andy completed his Bachelor’s Degree at UCLA, then, received his Masters in Physical Therapy from Mount St. Mary’s College in 1998. He returned to work at the UCLA Outpatient Rehabilitation Department for five years. Andy specializes in analyzing and correcting form and alignment with functional and sports activities. His athletic background in sports (which include martial arts, basketball, volleyball, snow sports, golf, and tennis) allows him to have a better understanding of how to specifically diagnose and correct faulty movement patterns.

Kevin

Kevin Theis, General Manager / Partner

Kevin graduated from UC Davis in 2005 in Biology with an emphasis in Neurology and Physiology. He has been an athlete his whole life playing in sports such as baseball, basketball, soccer and golf. Since 1998 Kevin has developed extensive knowledge of the VERT Isokinetic machines and how to integrate their workouts into sports fitness. He began his duties within the medical billing department and by developing cardinal knowledge in both medical insurance and VERT machines worked his way up to becoming the general manager of VERT.