Our Team

Marilyn Johnson, PT

Marilyn Johnson, P.T. and owner of Innovative Physical Therapy has been a physical therapist for 33 years starting out specializing in sports medicine treating professional and amateur athletes. Over the years she has widened her skills through extensive continuing education to provide excellent service to all types of patient populations. She graduated from Children’s Hospital School of Physical Therapy in Los Angeles with a Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Physical Therapy and from the University of California in Santa Barbara with a Baccalaureate Degree in Health Studies. She started Innovative Physical Therapy in 1994.

Marilyn’s diverse experience, extensive knowledge, and passion for Orthopedics includes special interests treating the temporal mandibular joint (TMJ), the cervical spine, the sacroiliac joint (SIJ), the ankle and foot (including fabrication of custom orthotics), and peripheral neuropathies. She uses a unique evaluation style to determine the cause of symptoms and then through the use of hands on techniques and functional training delivers highly effective treatment to her patients.

Outside of physical therapy, Marilyn enjoys spending time exploring Seattle with her oldest daughter Sara and son-in-law Eric and hiking the many trails in San Diego. with her youngest daughter Katie. You can also find her on weekends combing the beaches of North County San Diego with her black Labrador, Bentley; cooking up a storm of gourmet dishes with friends; or heading out to a rock or country music concert.

Lindy First, PT, DPT

Lindy First, DPT is a licensed Doctor of Physical Therapy and owner of Innovative Physical Therapy. She received an undergraduate degree in Exercise Science/Pre-med and a minor in psychology from George Washington University, Washington D.C and a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from USC.

As a former Tennis Division I Scholarship athlete, Lindy has a passion for health and fitness and a thorough understanding of movement and body mechanics. Lindy’s strong manual skills and extensive knowledge in strength, resistance, and sport-specific training allow her to excel in rehabilitating patients with orthopedic injuries and training all ranges of athletes for return to sport.

In addition to rehabilitating patients with orthopedic conditions, Lindy specializes in treating Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction, Headaches, Sacroilliac joint dysfunction, and Cervical pain. Integrating skilled manual therapy, patient education, and therapeutic exercise, Lindy has developed her own style of physical therapy to achieve her patient’s goals.

When Lindy is not at the clinic, you can find her hiking the beautiful trails of San Diego with her husband Matt, their two kids, Louie & Charli, and their golden doodle, Onyx. She also loves exploring new restaurants in town, cooking up her own recipes from scratch, taking Pilates classes, and spending time with her tight knit family at local Farmer’s Markets.

Monique Lassaga-Bishop, DPT

Monique Lassaga-Bishop, DPT is a licensed Doctor of Physical Therapy. She completed her Undergraduate degree of Kinesiology Pre-Physical Therapy at San Diego State. Monique continued at SDSU and earned her Doctorate Degree in 2018. Through the Program at SDSU she became passionate in helping others and learned new and innovative methods that allows her to customize each patient’s plan of care.

From a young age Monique was involved in many sports and had a peaked interest in the human body and its functional abilities. As a pole-vaulter, she found that understanding the relationship between different muscles groups was important to her success.  In high school, through direct experience, Monique decided physical therapy was the right career for her.

In her free time Monique enjoys being outdoors at the local beaches and parks with her friends and attending live music events. She leads an active lifestyle playing beach volleyball on a club team and regularly practicing Pilates and yoga.

Brandon Brym, PT, DPT

Brandon Brym, DPT is a licensed Doctor of Physical Therapy. He completed his undergraduate studies at The University of Colorado in Boulder, where he received his degree in Integrative Physiology. There he discovered his passion for physical therapy while working as an assistant in the exercise physiology lab. After working for a sports medicine clinic in Boulder for a couple years, he moved to San Diego where he obtained his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from The University of St Augustine for Health Sciences.

As a multiple sport athlete, Brandon has always had a passion for health, wellness, and athletic performance. Given his years of experience in strength training and conditioning, Brandon specializes in sports medicine and return to sport rehabilitation. During his tenure at The University of St Augustine, Brandon received advanced training in both manual therapy and movement dysfunctions. His treatment approach emphasizes restoring optimal functional movement utilizing a specific biomechanical approach.

In his free time, you can find Brandon out enjoying a ball game at Petco Park or checking out the many beaches San Diego has to offer.

Rodney Alford II DPT

Rodney Alford II DPT is a licensed doctor of physical therapy. He completed his undergraduate degree of health and human sciences and pre-physical therapy at Northern Illinois University as well as a minor in psychology. He went on to achieve his Doctorate of physical therapy at NIU in 2016. During his time at Northern Illinois University, Rodney honed his manual therapy skills and cultivated his ability to properly diagnose and treat a variety of patient diagnoses.

Rodney has always had a passion for people, health, and athletics and participated in soccer and junior Olympics of track as a youth. After experiencing a myriad of his own injuries, Rodney became fascinated with the rehabilitation process and the potential for the human body to recover through the art and science of physical therapy. Rodney plans to continue his growth as a clinician by specializing in orthopedics and manual therapy and approaching each client as a unique case.

New to San Diego, Rodney enjoys exploring the many beautiful neighborhoods and attractions San Diego has to offer. He is an avid music and movie lover and loves to attend live sporting and performance art events. He also enjoys participating in Jiu-Jitsu, kayaking, and jumping into community soccer games.

Alissa Haight, NCMT

Alissa Haight is our Nationally Certified Massage Therapist and has been with Innovative Physical Therapy for over 10 years. She attained her massage certification at Golden State Massage Therapy College in Bakersfield, CA in 2006. Though she specializes in deep tissue and Swedish massage, she is also trained in prenatal, reflexology and sports massage. She received a certification of Myofascial Release in 2013. Each massage is customized to the client’s need to ensure the maximum benefit is reached each visit.

In her spare time, Alissa enjoys playing beach volleyball with friends and going to comedy shows.

Kristi Emanuel, MT

Kristi is a graduate of Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego. She specializes in Deep Tissue and Swedish massage but is also trained in Tui Na, Thai, and Prenatal Massage. She often combines several modalities during to tailor to each clients’ specific needs. Kristi is also a group fitness instructor for the YMCA of San Diego County and specializes in Aquatic fitness.

In her free time, Kristi enjoys swimming, hiking, and listening to live music.

Katie St. Louis CPT, RYT

Katie is a certified Pilates instructor and a registered Yoga teacher. She grew up dancing as a child and teen in Ontario, Canada dancing both competitively and recreationally. Katie was first introduced to both Yoga and Mat Pilates in her early 20’s and though no longer in the dance world, Katie found Pilates to be the continuation of the movement that her body craved while Yoga allowed the centering and mindfulness she desired.

Her passion for movement continued to evolve throughout the years and after moving to San Diego and starting a family, Katie decided to become fully certified in both fields to be able to take her own practice further. In 2015 she was certified through Club Pilates Comprehensive Pilates Teacher Training and in 2017 became certified in Vinyasa Yoga. Katie teaches  both group and private mat Pilates, private Pilates Reformer sessions, Vinyasa and Hatha Yoga and is certified in TRX and Trigger Point fascial release, Barre Above, and Perinatal Corrective Exercise. Katie focuses on the mind-body connection and combines different modalities and techniques to help her clients reach their goals and feel like their best selves. She takes pride in the light bulb moments that she can watch her clients have and truly believes that movement heals, every day. Katie’s love for Pilates and Yoga have allowed her to help people improve their own and that is what matters most to her.

When Katie is not in the studio, you can find with her family at the beach, in one of San Diego’s newest restaurants or reading a good book in her backyard hammock.

Rachel K. Owen

Rachel K. Owen is our Corrective Exercise Specialist and Lead Physical Therapy Aide who has been support staff with Innovative Physical Therapy since 2015. She graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Pre-Physical Therapy. Rachel has diverse fitness experience as a Stand-Up Paddle Board instructor and personal trainer to clients with a variety of functional fitness levels. Her certifications also include CPR/AED and Waterfront Lifeguard.

Throughout her own experiences as a former patient of physical therapy for a Lumbar spine injury, she recognized her enthusiasm for health science, fitness, and wellness. This prompted her special interests to include functional fitness focusing on core and back strengthening, but she has also developed a passion for working with the elderly population as well. She utilizes a perfect combination of strengthening and stretching to create a personalized training program for the most effective course to reach clients’ goals and improve quality of life. She provides personalized attention, professional instruction, and her creative and dynamic personality also keeps exercises exciting.

In her spare time, you can find her hiking, golfing, enjoying yoga, biking, paddle boarding, or exploring the outdoors in San Diego from the beaches to the mountains.

Annika Soltero, Office Manager

Annika Soltero, our Office Manager, received her certification in Front Office Medical Assisting from Southwestern Community college in 1998. She now has over 18 years experience with Innovative Physical Therapy. Annika is responsible for all the day to day operations of the clinic. In addition to managing the office, Annika also handles all of the insurance and billing needs for IPT. In her spare time she loves baking, watching football and spending time with her family. Annika is also our office HIPAA compliance officer. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your privacy or our policies & procedures, please do not hesitate to contact her.

Michelle Fortt, Front Office Administrator

Michelle Fortt is our administrative specialist who has over 5 years’ experience and is passionate about customer service, health, and fitness. Her work history has given her the skills to work in a healthcare office setting and handle patients’ needs. In her spare time, she likes to work on diet plans and enjoys CrossFit classes. Her favorite exercises are cycling through the city of San Diego and perfecting box jumps.

Find Us

Innovative Physical Therapy has been in San Diego since 1994. We are manual therapists believing in a hands on, one on one, approach to physical therapy. Contact us using this form or give us a call.

TEL (619) 260-0750 | FAX (619) 260-0201

Mission Valley

5030 Camino De La Siesta Suite 220
San Diego, CA 92108

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