Meet Our Staff
PT, DPT, CSCS, FMR, CAFS, FAFS, AT Ret. | CEO & Owner
Navid is the driving force behind RISE Physical Therapy’s 1-on-1 patient model. He opened RISE in 2014 after working in the industry for some years prior and witnessing frequent sub-par patient care. His goal? To give each patient a full hour of quality treatment and attention by a provider, without exception. Now, Navid runs the business and works diligently to expand our services, extend our geographical reach, and continuously educate our staff. He enjoys spending time with his wife (Alexandra) and dogs (Rumpy and Jasmine).
PT, DPT, FMR, CAFS, FAFS | Chief Operating Officer
Alex has been a part of the RISE Physical Therapy team since mid-2014, and has grown with RISE into his current role as Chief Operating Officer. Alex fell in love with RISE’s unique 1-on-1 approach, both as a patient and as a clinician. Now, Alex works to provide this 1-on-1 treatment model to other clinicians through the management of RISE’s growing operations, staff, and projects. He holds a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California, a degree in Health and Human Performance from the University of Florida (Go Gators!), and is an Applied Functional Science fellow. He enjoys his free time with his wife, Janelle, and their Goldendoodle, Jackson.
PT, DPT, CAFS, IASTM, BFR | Director of Community Relations Email Martin
Dr. Nguyen has been a part of the RISE Physical Therapy family since 2016. He enjoys helping the communities of North County San Diego get back doing the things he truly loves! His interest in physical therapy was sparked by overcoming his own injuries as a competitive basketball player and cross-country/track runner while growing up in Texas. He loves working with all diagnoses and populations, but specifically enjoys working injuries related to the shoulders, hip, knee, and ankles. Outside of the clinic, he enjoys playing basketball, running along the beach, trying new restaurants and exploring San Diego!
PT, DPT, FAFS | Senior Executive Officer Email David
David first became interested in physical therapy when introduced to Applied Functional Science in 2006. At the time he was practicing Tai Chi, Kung Fu and Qigong, and was working on his Bachelors degree in Kinesiology at SDSU. David received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from University of St. Augustine in 2010, and completed his fellowship in Applied Functional Science in 2012. David enjoys hanging out with family and friends, reading, hiking and can be found exploring the various coffee shops around the county.
PT, OCS, CAFS, CSCS | North County Director of Business Development Email Darren
Darren is a European trained physical therapist with a wide breadth of experience. He received is training from the Hoogeschol van Amsterdam, and he has maintained a lifelong passion to help people return to their lives. Darren uses his physical therapy training supplemented with a Strength and Conditioning certification to treat the whole patient. From working with soccer players in Holland, dancers in New York, Surfers in San Diego, and injured workers in Seattle, he has been able to help many people return to the activities that they love. In his free time he likes to travel, hike, play soccer, surf and golf.
OTD, OTR/L Email Aldin
Aldin enjoys helping others improve their independence to allow them to experience life to the fullest. He received his Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from the University of St. Augustine with high honors. He likes staying active by cycling and running and when not in his hometown of San Diego, you can find him backpacking in the great outdoors or exploring new cultures through traveling.
PT, DPT Email Alisha
Alisha was born and raised in Atlanta, GA. where she earned her Bachelors from The University of Georgia in Athens, GA. She eventually received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia after being inspired by her uncle’s therapeutic journey to walking again after military service. She has recently moved to the San Diego area and enjoys site seeing and cooking new recipes for her husband and daughter as well as going on long walks with their rescue dog, Apollo.
PT, DPT Email Alyssa
Alyssa grew up in New Jersey, where she fell in love with PT at a young age as she realized the impact it could have on people’s lives. She received her Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology and her Doctorate in Physical Therapy at San Diego State University, and she loves going to the beach, taking long walks with her dog, spending time at the gym, and hiking.
PT, DPT, CAFS Email Amy
Amy grew up in Southern California and finished her undergraduate degree at UC Davis, where she found a passion for movement working in group fitness and athletic training. She returned to Southern CA to receive her Doctorate in Physical Therapy at California State University of Long Beach. Amy enjoys working with patients to achieve their goals and get back to what they love. In her spare time, Amy enjoys exploring the outdoors, hiking, playing volleyball, cooking, and gardening.
PT, DPT Email Autumn
Autumn grew up in Pennsylvania and Arizona. She received her bachelor’s degree from NAU then went on to achieve her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. She has experience with both orthopedic and neurologic populations with a passion for optimizing performance and enhancing quality of life. Outside of the clinic, she enjoys running, hiking, and spending time with family and friends.
PT, DPT Email Betty
Betty graduated from the University of California San Diego with a degree in Physiology and Neuroscience. She obtained her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of California San Francisco. She has experience treating individuals from various backgrounds, but enjoys working with the orthopedic population the most. In her spare time she enjoys playing volleyball and basketball and spending time with her dog.
PT, DPT Email Brandon
Brandon grew up a San Diego native and attended San Diego State University for his undergraduate studies before completing his Doctoral degree at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA. Loving the great outdoors and activities such as hiking and surfing, he knew he wanted to find ways to encourage and help others to stay active and able enjoy the life around them. He thrives by helping to teach people to not fear movement or exercise and to embrace their body and feel resilient in the face of injury. Aside from physical activity, he enjoys exploring all things cooking, food, and drink with his wife and dog around town.
PT, DPT Email Ciara
Ciara grew up in Fairfax, Virginia, and completed her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Virginia Commonwealth University. As a former level 10 gymnast and gymnastics coach, she was exposed to many injuries, which ultimately lead to her interest in physical therapy. Ciara has a passion for movement, athletics, and providing people with tools for improving their overall wellness. In her free time, she enjoys being active, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
PT, DPT Email Claire
Claire was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. She attended the University of Oklahoma for her undergraduate degree and later attended the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and graduated with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2020. She started her career in Virginia before moving to San Diego. Claire enjoys working with all ages and making lasting changes in people’s lives. She enjoys weightlifting and hiking in her free time.
PT, DPT, CAFS Email Dana
Dana Hazlett hails from San Jose, CA. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Health Sciences from Point Loma Nazarene University and a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in San Marcos, CA. His professional interests include chronic pain, spine, and sports rehab. His passion is helping people live pain free lives. In his free time, Dana enjoys volleyball, strength training, and yoga.
PT, DPT, CAFS Email Darren
Darren is a San Diego native who earned his Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology at San Diego State University and his Doctorate in Physical Therapy at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. He developed his passion for health and fitness while working in the fitness industry, living in the gym, going on hikes, and playing basketball. He wanted to evolve and devote his skills to those who were limited by injuries and unable to perform their favorite activities. As a Physical Therapist, he believes that improving one aspect of someone’s life can positively affect all others.
PT, DPT, MFA, SFMA, CPI, PBT Email Diego
A SoCal native, Diego earned his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in 2021. Before that he had an extensive career as a professional dancer, college professor, and Pilates instructor. Diego’s motto is “move well and often” and enjoys helping his clients do just that. He enjoys streaming movies and shows, hanging out at local coffee shops and breweries, and staying fit with various activities including surfing, climbing, hiking, and dancing.
PT, DPT, CAFS Email Lee
Eric was born and raised in the Bay Area and fell in love with San Diego during his undergraduate time at University of California, San Diego. After completing his Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Chapman University, he returned to the area. Providing empathetic and skilled care to get his patients back to what they love to do is his passion. In his free time, Eric enjoys martial arts, surfing, volleyball, climbing, snowboarding, yoga, diving, and all-you-can-eat restaurants.
PT, DPT, RYT Email Gina
Gina graduated from California State University, San Marcos with a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology, then received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. She is also a yoga alliance registered yoga instructor. She is passionate about helping others by promoting a healthy, holistic lifestyle focused on movement and mindfulness. In her free time, she is doing hot yoga, traveling, or going on adventures with her golden retriever.
PT, DPT, CAFS Email Jake
Jake attended San Diego State University for undergrad, and received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of St. Augustine. While Jake enjoys all sports, he is particularly drawn to water sports and the beach. Much of his time during undergrad and PT school was spent coaching water polo, even coaching his school to a CIF championship. Unfortunately, he witnessed a variety of injuries which has lead to his desire to help injured athletes and drove Jake to pursue physical therapy.
PT, DPT, CAFS Email Katie
Katie’s passion for movement began with her participation in sports growing up, including soccer, dance, water polo, and swim. She continued to learn about the human body while pursuing her undergraduate degree at University of California, Los Angeles and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at the University of St. Augustine in San Marcos. Katie loves to use her own experience with sports and movement to help others optimize their movement to be pain free and achieve their own personal goals. When not in the clinic she enjoys hiking, spending time outdoors, swimming, and cuddling with her cat Mango.
PT, DPT Email Kayla
Kayla grew up on Long Island in New York where her passion for movement sciences began as a lifelong athlete playing softball, volleyball, and dance as well as accompanying her grandmother to PT frequently when she was little. She pursued her undergraduate Exercise Science and Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. After completing a research project in graduate school, she became certified in LSVT BIG which she uses to treat patients with Parkinson’s Disease.
PT, DPT, MTC Email Kevin
Kevin grew up on Long Island, NY and graduated from the University of St. Augustine in Florida in 2012. Over his ten years of practicing, Kevin has become passionate in both manual therapy and teaching and utilizes the above to help return his patients to their optimal function. He has lived in many different places over the years including recently moving from Maui. In his spare time, Kevin enjoys playing music, running, hiking, and exploring the San Diego area.
PT, DPT, CAFS Email Lena
Lena hails from Southern California and spent her formative years training as a ballet dancer. After she retired from dance she became a yoga instructor and completed her Bachelors of Exercise Science at California State University of Long Beach. Lena received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from Regis University in Denver, CO. Lena has spent most of her life communicating through movement, and enjoys sharing the language of movement with her patients. You can find Lena rock climbing and sunbathing on the weekends.
PT, DPT Email Ling
Ling grew up in various regions throughout Southern California including San Bernardino and Encinitas where she developed a love for the outdoors and being active. Ling completed her undergraduate studies at University of California, San Diego and her Doctorate in Physical Therapy at the University of St. Augustine. Outside of the clinic she enjoys hiking, spending time with her Australian Shepherd, Sadie, and cheering for the San Diego Padres and San Francisco 49ers.
PT, DPT Email Liz
Liz grew up in Fishers, Indiana where her passion for exercise and movement began as a competitive gymnast and cheerleader. Liz obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from Indiana University and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Rosalind Franklin University in Chicago. Her career interests include pediatrics, vestibular rehabilitation, and general orthopedics. In her free time, Liz enjoys hiking, yoga and exploring local coffee shops.
PT, DPT, CSCS, CAFS | Lead Physical Therapist, Encinitas Email Luke
Luke grew up in Minnesota and, as a lifelong athlete playing hockey and collegiate soccer, he understands the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle as well as the pitfalls associated with injury recovery. Earning his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from The University of Illinois at Chicago, he enjoys working with athletes of all ages and abilities (amateur to professional) to help them achieve their performance goals. Now living in Cardiff, Luke enjoys weight training, skiing, surfing, and spending time with his family.
PT, DPT Email Marcos
Marcos was born in California but raised in a small town in South Carolina. He grew up playing soccer but has become a big fan of every major sport. For undergrad, he attended University of South Carolina – Beaufort and later Northwestern University in Chicago for PT school. During his free time, he like to explore everything that San Diego has to offer, mostly restaurants and nature.
PT, DPT, CAFS Email Mark
Mark was born and raised in the Bay Area but is now a resident of sunny San Diego. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of California, Irvine and went on to obtain his Doctorate of Physical Therapy at the University of St. Augustine in San Marcos. Mark hopes to be an instrument of hope and change for the patients in his community. In his free time, he likes to get outdoors, watch movies/tv shows and spend time with friends and family.
PT, DPT Email Michael
Michael specializes in working with the Jiu Jitsu, Grappling, Muay Thai, Boxing, MMA, and Rugby communities. He is extremely passionate about getting athletes to return to their respective sport with improved performance and function. Hobbies include continually geeking out learning how to optimize human performance. He holds a Doctorate in Physical Therapy, is a Certified Athletic Trainer and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.
PT, DPT Email Michael
Mike grew up in Murrieta, CA and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from CSULB and his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. Mike is passionate in using movement to help others get back to the activities they enjoy and rotational sports rehab including golf, baseball, tennis, pickleball. In his free time, Mike enjoys anything golf-related, strength training, hiking, and going to Padres games.
PT, DPT, CAFS Email Morgan
Morgan grew up in Lexington, South Carolina where her love for exercise and movement began growing up as a competitive cheerleader. She received her Bachelor’s degree in exercise science at the College of Charleston then went on to achieve her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at the University of St. Augustine. She is passionate about helping others get back to the activities they enjoy and lead a long-term active lifestyle. Outside the clinic, she enjoys going to the beach, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.
PT, DPT Email Morgan
Morgan developed a passion for physical therapy due to participating in her mothers coma rehabilitation. Watching her mother relearn how to walk, and then completing a half marathon as a mother daughter team sparked a passion in her to restore movement and improve lives through physical therapy. She obtained her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Upstate Medical and her passions include powerlifting, sailing, and mountain-biking.
PT, DPT, CSCS, CAFS Email Natalie
Natalie is from Northern California and at a young age had a passion for movement and sports.
Her journey began with physical therapy following knee surgery in high school. Natalie went on
to swim at the collegiate level at LMU and earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from
Northern Arizona University. In her spare time Natalie enjoys hiking, going to the beach and
PT, DPT Email Natasha
Natasha is a San Diego native. Her passion for movement began with a love for dance and weightlifting.
Natasha earned her doctorate in Physical Therapy with honors from the University of St. Augustine. She
is dedicated to helping others optimize their function and return to what they love. In her free time,
Natasha enjoys hiking, reading, and spending time with friends and family.
PT, DPT, CAFS Email Nick
Nick grew up in the Washington, DC area. He received his Bachelor’s in Biology from Lewis & Clark College in Oregon, and his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California. His interest in PT and movement science stems from playing sports as a youth, and love of biology. New to San Diego, he enjoys spending time with his family, dog, and cat.
PT, DPT, CAFS Email Nick
Nick grew up in LA county where he earned his Bachelors degree in Kinesiology Clinical Exercise Science at California State University Fullerton. He moved to North County San Diego to obtain his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. He enjoys getting patients back to being able to do the things that they enjoy. He enjoys hanging out with his dog, hiking, and grilling/cooking with his family.
PT, DPT Email Noora
Noora was born and raised in San Diego and loves to take advantage of this beautiful city by surfing, rock climbing, playing soccer, and doing martial arts. Through her experience in martial arts, she grew a passion for healing the body with restorative motions, determination, and a naturalistic approach—which guided her into a career in Physical Therapy. She graduated from the University of St. Augustine and is passionate about pursuing her Certified Functional Manual Therapist (CFMT) from the Institute of Physical Art.
PT, DPT, CSCS, CAFS Email Peter
Peter was born and raised in Seattle. He received his bachelor’s in Civil Engineering and Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Washington. He seeks an individualized approach to treating his patients and loves working with all diagnoses and populations. These days you may find him on his free time hiking, backpacking, or attending yoga, Pilates, or CrossFit classes in the San Diego area.
PT, DPT, CAFS Email SarahMargaret
SarahMargaret is a native of South Carolina where she participated in a variety of sports growing up. Her interests included competitive swimming, volleyball, basketball, running, and horseback riding. The moving human body and the ability to optimize movement after injury has always fascinated her, especially after sustaining several significant injuries of her own. SarahMargaret received her undergraduate degree from the College of Charleston and her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of St. Augustine San Marcos. When she is not in the clinic, she enjoys hiking, going to the beach, spending time with her husband Michael, walking her beagle Lucy, and Carolina Panthers football.
PT, DPT, CCI Email Tamara
Tamara became a physical therapist in 2017 and specializes in outpatient orthopedic rehabilitation. She is bilingual in Spanish and received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree with honors from the University of St. Augustine. Her passion for physical therapy is fueled by the joy she receives from helping others regain function and get back to what they love. In her spare time, Tamara enjoys hiking, traveling, and spending time with her husband and her dog Stitch.
OTR/L, HTC, PAM Email Tiffany
Tiffany is originally from the city of Chicago, but completed her undergraduate degree at New York University, and received her Master of Occupational Therapy from Tufts University in Boston. Tiffany has a specialized interest and certification in Hand Therapy, and also works in a Skilled Nursing setting providing geriatric care. Tiffany values that Occupational Therapy combines a combination of art, creativity, and evidence based research to provide the most individualized care. Outside of work, Tiffany enjoys strength training, pickleball, yoga, cooking, traveling, attending concerts, and relaxing at the beach.
PT, DPT, CSCS, CAFS Email Tyler
Tyler grew up in Northern California before moving to San Diego in 2014 to pursue his physical therapy career. He uses his experience as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist to create the perfect program suited to your goals. If you are a golfer, Tyler has a special interest in both developing your rehabilitation program as well as improving your golf game.
PT, DPT, CAFS Email Tyler
Tyler was born and raised in San Diego and his journey with physical therapy began with a knee injury in high school playing baseball and football. He then wanted to help others achieve pain free lives with improved function and ability to achieve a happy life. Tyler received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Chapman University. He enjoys spending time with family and friends, camping, going to the beach, playing sports and watching baseball and football.
PT, DPT Email Vanessa
Vanessa, born and raised in Las Vegas, NV, first obtained her bachelors at UNLV. Now in San Diego’s Little Italy, and with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of St Augustine, Vanessa is passionate about Pelvic Floor Health, and strives to denormalize living with dysfunction. Outside of the clinic, Vanessa enjoys geeking out with games while cozying up with her dog, Obi Wan Canoli and her cat, So Kno.
PT, DPT Email Will
Born in upstate New York, Will spent his formative years in Japan, Australia, and California. He completed his undergraduate studies at Santa Clara University and received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Regis University. A lifelong tennis player, yoga enthusiast, and avid surfer, he is passionate about helping patients achieve their goals to get back to the life they want. His career interests include general orthopedics and vestibular rehab. On the weekends you can find him at the beach or looking for the best cappuccino in town.
PT, DPT, CAFS | Lead Physical Therapist, Carlsbad Email Zac
Zac is originally from Ventura County, California but made his way down to San Diego to attend San Diego State University where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology as well as a minor in Psychology. He then attended the University of Saint Augustine for Health Sciences where he obtained his Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Zac originally became interested in physical therapy in high school after suffering a shoulder injury while playing baseball. He was able to rehab his shoulder and found a passion for the healing capacity of the human body through movement. He is interested in sports and athletics and likes to focus on the body as a whole while providing his treatments. In his spare time Zac enjoys going to the beach, golfing, hiking, cooking and traveling.
PT, DPT Email Zach
Zach grew up in New Jersey, received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Pittsburgh and earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn, NY. He focuses on optimizing movement to help the human body heal. He understands that everyone’s body is unique and requires an individual rehabilitation plan to recover. New to San Diego, he plans to spend time surfing, hiking, and biking.