Staff


Physical Therapy

Rusty Burlingame PT, MS graduated with a masters in physical therapy from Boston University in 1999.  He moved to Alaska directly after school and has worked since that time in outpatient orthopedics.  He has training in advanced manual therapy techniques through the Ola Grimsby Institute.  He uses a variety of manual skills to take his patients out of pain and back to function.  He spends his time off hunting and fishing all over the great state of Alaska.


Pamela Burlingame PT, MS graduated with her masters degree in physical therapy in 1999 from Boston University. She primarily focuses on patients with central neurological disorders and enjoys working with all ages of clients, newborn to geriatric. Pamela enjoys taking a functional approach with each patient and strives to maximize their independence. She loves the variety in her job and her ability to make life-changing improvements in each of her patients' lives.


Pam grew up in Fairbanks and spends her free time with her family and friends enjoying Alaska's culture and vast outdoors. She is passionate about dance and is the director for the company EnLiven based out of Sonja's Studio of Dance in Wasilla.


Jacob Arvidson PT, DPT was born and raised in Eagle River, Alaska.  He graduated with his doctorate of physical therapy from the University of Saint Augustine for Health Sciences in Florida in 2005 and joined Alyeska Physical Therapy in 2006.  The Doctorate of Physical Therapy program at the University of Saint Augustine has an excellent reputation for their emphasis on manual therapy.  In his free time Jacob enjoys spending time with his wife and children as well as fishing, hunting, camping and woodworking.


Heather D. Wengler, PT, DPT, MPT, CCI graduated from the University of Nebraska Medical Center with her Master of Physical Therapy in 2002 and went on to finish her Doctor of Physical Therapy in 2005.  In 2005 she became a credentialed clinical instructor with the American Physical Therapy Association.  Current and past work experiences involve the evaluation, consultation, treatment planning, and education of patients with neurologic injuries including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke, and progressive neurologic disorders.   These work experiences have been across the treatment spectrum to include acute care, inpatient rehabilitation, intensive outpatient day program, and traditional outpatient physical therapy settings. 


While working at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln, NE, Dr. Wengler helped to establish a therapy-based Adaptive Sports and Recreation Program.  Additionally she served as the Amputee Program Leader and was an advisor to Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) to establish criteria for the initial development of the Amputee Specialty Accreditation. 


She has worked with William Beaumont Army Medical Center (WBAMC), Ft. Bliss, TX to establish the physical therapy portion of the Traumatic Brain Injury Program and was the lead Physical Therapist for the Traumatic Brain Injury Team at WBAMC from 2009 to early 2012.   She has additional training with manual therapy with orthopedic patient or neurologic patient with orthopedic concerns.  She is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), APTA Neurology Section, Vestibular Special Interest Group, and the Alaska Physical Therapy Association.  Specialties include vestibular rehabilitation, Bioness L300 certified fitter, video electronystagography (VNG/ENG), and dynamic posturography. 


In her spare time, she enjoys activities with her husband and 2 sons, reading mysteries, and watching football and following the Nebraska Huskers.  She is hoping to start quilting more this winter. 


Mandi Ehlers, MSPT graduated with a Masters of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Montana in 2003. She was born and raised in Alaska and returned to work here after school. Mandi has worked in a variety of settings including: home health therapy, aquatic therapy, vestibular therapy, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation. Her primary focus has been outpatient orthopedic therapy. Recently, Mandi has participated in craniosacral training and looks forward to incorporating this into her treatments. Mandi loves sports, photography, and all the recreational activities that Alaska provides.

Teresa Gool, PT, MS graduated with a Masters in Physical Therapy from University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in 1997. Immediately after she headed for Alaska and started working in Eagle River prior to calling the Matsu Valley home. She has enjoyed seeing a variety of orthopedic and neurologic patients in her career, but her passion as a physical therapist is with manual therapy. With experience in employing various techniques (Mulligan, Strain Counterstrain, Craniosacral, and John Barnes Myofascial Release) to ease pain and increase her patients' functional level, she appreciates Myofascial Release on a personal level and knows the power behind this hands on approach.

She is also an artist, currently concentrating in mixed medium mosaics. Her other passions include biking, hiking, snowmachining, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, gardening, exploring Alaska, attending live theatrical performances, hosting murder mystery dinner parties, and is always ready for the next adventure.

Stephanie McCoy, PTA has over 20 years of experience in physical therapy. She graduated from Colby Community College in Kansas in 1989.  Stephanie has worked in a variety of settings including: outpatient orthopedics, early intervention, inpatient rehabilitation, home health, cardiac rehabilitation and outpatient pediatrics.  She loves working with young children and their families.  Stephanie is an avid sports fan and enjoys biking and quilting.


Catherine Ohmann, PTA, graduated from Spokane Falls Community College in Washington in 2011 and has been working with Alyeska Therapy ever since. While her desire to improve lives started in pediatrics, her experience with orthopedic and neuromuscular patients has given her a passion to work alongside people of all ages, to decrease pain and improve mobility, to get you breathing and back to doing what you love. Catherine also loves to play guitar, go on road trips, hike mountains, and fish for salmon.


Occupational Therapy

Speech Therapy

Deanna Yoder-Black, MS, CCC-SLP/L is an Alaska transplant originally from South Dakota.  She received her master's degree from Boston University in 2006.  She then worked for an allied health staffing company in the lower 48 while her husband was in the military.  During that time, she worked in schools, acute care hospitals, rehabilitation hospitals, long-term care facilities, outpatient clinics, schools, NICU, assisted living facilities and more.  She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our team with patients in all age ranges.  Deanna's primary interest area is neurological disorders and their effects on speech, language and cognition.  She sees patients who have these disorders as a result of traumatic brain injury, stroke, cancer, or progressive diseases.   She is a member of Special Interest Group 2: Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, as well as the Academy of Neurologic Communication Disorders and Sciences.   Deanna has presented about the relationship between speech, language, and cognition. She is a peer reviewer for the Traumatic Brain Injury subgroup for The American Speech Language Hearing Association.


Erin Walker, M.S., CCC-SLP/L graduated with her masters in Speech-Language Pathology from Harding University in 2014. Erin enjoys working with children of all ages in feeding, swallowing, social communication, speech, and language. She has also had experience in speech pathology in rehab, private clinic, and school settings where she worked with patients on cognition, swallowing, apraxia, aphasia, voice, language, speech, and selective mutism. With a bachelors in vocal music education and a certification in the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment for individuals with Parkinson disease, Erin enjoys working with pediatric and adult voice patients. While in school, she worked with special needs children in Scotland and taught English to ESL students from various countries. Erin also spent a summer in Russia working with voice patients and teaching English. 


Kim Prayner, M.A., Au.D., CCC-A/SLP has over 20 years of experience in the Communication Disorders field. Kim is a licensed and certified Audiologist after initially receiving her Master’s degree in Audiology from the University of North Carolina in 1994; she received her Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Northern Colorado in 2014. Kim earned her Doctoral degree in Audiology from the University of Florida in 2003. She is passionate about working with pediatric patients and finding ways to maximize their communication skills. Kim has worked in the hospital, private practice, school, acute care, and hearing aid manufacturing settings. She has a vast array of experience working with children who have apraxia, autism, cleft palate, cognitive disabilities, dysfluency/stuttering, hearing loss, non-verbal language, social skills deficits, and speech/language deficits. Kim is a member of the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA)’s Special Interest Group 1: Language, Learning, and Education and a member of ASHA’s Special Interest Group 12: Augmentative and Alternative Communication.


Originally from Pennsylvania, Kim lived in Fairbanks for over 10 years before moving to Wasilla. She spends her free time with her family, kayaking, fishing, snowboarding, and enjoying the outdoors.

Front Office Staff

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