Premier Physical Therapy was founded by Eric in 2008. After working as a PT in a variety of locations, Eric realized his dream of running his own clinic to provide a higher level of care to patients in the Santa Cruz area. As a physical therapist/owner, Eric’s hands on approach to patient care and results based rehab drive Premier Physical Therapy and its staff to exceptional, compassionate care.
Eric received a Masters in Science in Physical Therapy degree from the Arizona School of Health Sciences in 2000. He also graduated Magna Cum Laude from Grand Canyon University in 1997 majoring in Human Biology and minoring in Exercise Physiology. He is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and California Orthopedic Physical Therapy Section. During the past 14 years, Eric has done extensive post graduate training in manual therapy, movement dysfunction, and sports medicine. His recent training has been in Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS), Spinal Manipulation, and Shoulder and Knee rehabilitation. Eric’s desire to continually improve his skill and knowledge are what keep Premier Physical Therapy on the cutting edge of rehab.
Eric lives in Aptos with his wife and 3 children and during his free time loves doing “dad” stuff, surfing, and playing beach volleyball.
Charlene is a Licensed Physical Therapist with over 15 years of experience. She has been with Premier PT since 2009.
She is a graduate of California State University Sacramento, with a B.S. degree in Physical Education with an emphasis in Kinesiology, and a B.S. degree in Physical Therapy.
She began her career in Santa Cruz, California at the Dominican Hospital Neurological Rehabilitation and Acute Rehabilitation Facility. She then worked in a Pediatric Clinic, before transitioning into the field of Orthopedic Rehabilitation with Dominican Out-Patient Rehabilitation for 9 years. While with Dominican, Charlene launched the Aquatic Rehab, and pre and postpartum rehabilitation programs. These programs went on to be added to the Dominican Hospital Personal Enrichment Programs.
Over the years, Charlene has consistently added to her skills by attending many excellent continuing education courses related to aquatic, pre and postpartum rehab, shoulder, knee, back, neck, trigger point release, myofascial release, exercise prescription, running, pilates and functional orthopedic classes to enhance her knowledge and manual physical therapy skills.
Charlene is married and has 3 wonderful daughters. She enjoys, first and foremost, spending time with her family, and many outdoor activities including surfing, kite surfing, motocross, snow skiing, wakeboarding, volleyball, camping, hiking and working out at the gym.
Sean has been a Physical Therapist Assistant for 6 years. He has worked in the outpatient orthopedic setting for all six of those years. He enjoys helping people recover from injuries so that they can get back to their active lifestyles. Sean received his B. A. in Community Studies from U.C.S.C. and then went on to study Physical Therapy at Ohlone college in Newark C.A.. He received his A.S. degree in 2008 and has been practicing as a PTA every since. Sean is skilled in Trigger Point manual Therapy as well as Myofascial Release.
Sean grew up in South Lake Tahoe California and was very involved in athletics in High School. He moved here to Santa Cruz to go to college and quickly got involved in ocean sports. He is a active surfer and also enjoys cycling. He also still loves to visit Tahoe to ski and snowboard.
Natalia grew up on the East Coast, in the small town of Tenafly, NJ. She earned her undergraduate degree from Rutgers University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology and Psychology.
Warmer weather and bountiful opportunities for a year-round healthy lifestyle drew Natalia to California. Her first stop was Southern California, where she attended Azusa Pacific University, earning her doctorate degree in Physical Therapy in 2007.
Early in her years in Southern California, she set her sights on a move to Northern California. In 2010, after a few years in orthopedic outpatient practice in San Dimas, CA, she moved to the SF Bay area, continuing work in private practice orthopedics in San Jose, CA.
By 2014, the dream of living and working in Santa Cruz County became a reality when she joined the team at Premier Physical Therapy!
When she is not treating patients, Natalia loves the outdoors, enjoying nature and California’s beautiful weather. She loves to exercise, hike, run, read and cook. Her special interest is in integrating health, fitness and nutrition for optimal living.
Anna Spix grew up in Oakland, California. She earned a BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from University of California at Berkeley and her MPT from California State University, Long Beach.
In past lives, she has worked as a computer engineer, started and operated her own pet care business, and worked at local organic farms. She remains an engineer at heart, but her focus has changed to the human body.
Anna is a movement specialist who treats orthopedic conditions of the spine and extremities with manual therapy, exercise, and education. She believes that movement is essential for happy, healthy living and restoring this system is of the highest priority for mental and physical well being.
She lives in Santa Cruz with her husband and 2 dogs. She enjoys family hikes, working out, ocean and pool swimming, biking, reading, gourmet food and travel.
AJ has been a practicing orthopedics and sports physical therapist for over 15 years. He received his Bachelors in Physical Therapy from Manipal University, a Deemed Institution, in India. He moved to the United States in 2003.
AJ has attended various courses over the years. He holds certification in Manipulative Therapy from the University of Michigan, Flint. He is also certified in Graston Technique, Level 1 Australian Mat Pilates and Functional Taping Technique.
AJ joined Premier Physical Therapy in 2016. Previously, he worked in a variety of settings — ranging from out-patient orthopedics at Kaiser Permanente to, most recently, PAMF in Santa Cruz. He specializes in orthopedics, sports injuries, spinal issues and manual therapy.
While away from Premier, AJ enjoys spending time with family, running, swimming and weight lifting.
“This is my second series of sessions with Premier Physical Therapy. I’ve been to a good many PT organizations is my 70+ years, and I’ve never had a better experience. I had the option, this second time, to select any PT shop I wanted, but I chose Premier. They don’t make it easy, but they are also encouraging with every step. I don’t believe you could make a better choice if you need physical therapy.” – Michael