Meet Our Physical Therapists

Meet our Physical therapists

Founded in 2010, Peak Rehabilitation has grown to become a leading source of outpatient physical therapy in the Augusta, Evans and Aiken areas.

We are a privately-owned, orthopedic physical therapy clinic. At Peak, we value providing the highest-quality patient care by hiring the most talented therapists, many of which are residency-trained in orthopedics. Our positive and encouraging team of therapists strives to develop a customized treatment plan to meet your goals.

From the moment you walk in the door through your last appointment, you’ll feel a part of the Peak family.

ALLISON M. TURNER, PT, MPT
Allison completed her undergraduate education in Sports Medicine in 2000, and her Masters of Physical Therapy in 2002 at Concordia University Wisconsin. Following graduation, she has worked in several outpatient orthopedic/sports medicine clinics throughout the country. She moved to Aiken and joined the Peak Rehabilitation team in 2011. She also has previous physical therapy experience in both acute care and pediatric settings. Allison is currently treating in both the downtown Augusta and Aiken offices. She stays busy outside of the clinic with being a wife and mom to two children, playing tennis, and traveling. She looks forward to meeting you and offering a treatment and exercise program specific to your individualized needs and goals.
CALEB MELLINGER, PT, DPT, OCS, ATC, cert DN
Caleb graduated from The University of Georgia in 2011, where he studied athletic training. He continued his education at Augusta University (formerly the Medical College of Georgia) where he received his Doctor of Physical Therapy in 2014. He continued his commitment to improving patient care and outcomes by participating in an orthopedic residency program and became a board certified orthopedic specialist (OCS) in 2016. Caleb is our clinical education director to include mentorship and oversight of the residency program affiliated with Evidence in Motion and our CCE for physical therapy students. Caleb has experience working with a wide range of patients from post-surgical to local, NCAA D-1, and professional athletes. Caleb desires to care for and serve his patients well so they tangibly see improvements in their own quality of life.
CREE LAUSE, PT,M Ed.
Cree earned her first BS degree in Physical Education from Mississippi University for Women in 1977. There, she learned about physical therapy from the Kinesiology instructor, who was a PT. Cree was awarded a scholarship to earn her M Ed. at the University of Georgia in Physical Education, which she received in 1979. After that, she was able to pursue her career as a physical therapist at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, GA. She graduated from their BS program in 1981. Since that time, Cree has spent 40 years in several different areas of physical therapy, including in-patient rehabilitation for neurologically impaired patients, specific work with spinal cord injured patients, general acute care hospital work, and in-home and clinic work with pediatric patients with a variety of congenital conditions. She owned her own business for 15 years, treating children in their homes. In 2017, after 15 months of “retirement” from the pediatric world, she turned her interests to the out-patient orthopedic population when her husband had knee replacement surgery and was referred to Peak Rehabilitation for recovery. She missed working and saw another area in which to develop additional skills. She expressed an interest in working at their facility and happily joined the team in November 2017. Cree enjoys a part-time schedule which allows her time to enjoy her recreational sport of foxhunting. She owns two horses and shares them and the sport with her granddaughter.
GARY R. GILBERT PT, DPT
Gary comes from Northern California and received a B.S. in Human Movement from the University of Oregon in 1989. He then attended Army/Baylor graduating with a Master of Physical Therapy in 1992. His duty assignments included Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the Pentagon and Heidelburg, Germany from 1995-1998. Gary, his wife, and family moved to Augusta in 1998 to join Orthopaedic Associates Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine. In 2010, he and Lonnie Hergott founded Peak Rehabilitation, Fitness, and Performance LLC. Gary received his Doctor in Physical Therapy from US Army/Baylor University in 2010.
GEMMARIE LOJA-RAMISCAL, PT, DPT, OCS
Gem joined Peak Rehabilitation Fitness and Performance in 2018. She has been a practicing physical therapist for more than two decades and specializes in orthopedics. She earned her BS in Physical Therapy from the University of Santo Tomas, Philippines in 1997. She furthered her studies and attained her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the College of St. Scholastica in Minnesota in 2018. She received her Manual Therapy Certification in 2010 after completing 2-years of rigorous training through the Manual Therapy Institute. She then became a Board Certified Orthopaedic Specialist (OCS) in 2011. Gem has a great passion for the PT profession and its commitment in delivering quality and individualized care for every patient as part of the multidisciplinary team.
HAYDEN LIGGETT, PT, DPT
Hayden graduated with a B.S. in Kinesiology in 2015 from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, GA. He then continued his studies at Augusta University where he graduated with his Doctor of Physical Therapy in 2019. Hayden joined the Peak team and completed his orthopedic residency through Evidence in Motion to further his clinical expertise. An avid rock climber, Hayden has experience training and coaching both collegiate and youth competitive rock climbers and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).
KARLA N. DEAL, PT, MPT
Karla is a native of Roswell, Georgia. She received her B.S. degree in Exercise Science from the University of South Carolina, Columbia and graduated from Medical College of Georgia with a Master of Physical Therapy in 2006. Karla joined the Orthopaedic Associates team in 2008 and transitioned to Peak in 2010. She has previous physical therapy experience working in both acute care and inpatient rehabilitation settings. Karla also has experience in coaching recreational and competitive gymnastics. She enjoys spending time with her husband and two children and traveling to the beach.
KATHY A. WAGNER, PT, DPT
Kathy is a native of Bismarck, North Dakota and moved to Augusta when her husband was transferred here for his job with the U.S. Army. She received her B.S. degree in Psychology from the University of North Dakota in 1990. She spent the next few years raising her children, and then went back to school and received her Masters of Physical Therapy from Medical College of Georgia in 2006 and her Doctorate of Physical therapy in 2008. She joined the Orthopaedic Associates team in 2006, and transitioned to Peak rehabilitation in 2010. Kathy also has experience working in both acute care and inpatient rehabilitation settings. In addition to work, she enjoys active participation in local athletic events and is involved at her children’s schools and in her church.
LUKE D. HEUSEL PT, DPT, OCS
Luke grew up in Eastern Ohio and graduated with a BA in Biology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 1996. Upon graduation, Luke attended the University of New Orleans receiving a Master’s in Human Performance and Health Promotion specializing in Exercise Physiology, 1998. Luke then became a commissioned officer in the US ARMY and attended the US ARMY/Baylor University master’s degree program in Physical Therapy graduating with the Leadership Award in 2000. Luke came to Augusta in 2000 to his first duty station at Eisenhower Army Medical Center. He deployed to Bosnia in 2002 serving as the physical therapist for Task Force Med Eagle. Luke left active-duty service in 2004 and continued practicing physical therapy locally. Luke completed his Doctor of Physical Therapy in 2008 from the US ARMY/Baylor University DPT program and has recently returned to US Army Reserve status. Luke began working with Peak founders Lonnie Hergott and Gary Gilbert in 2004. In 2012 Luke returned to Peak becoming a partner in 2020. Luke’s interest lies in outpatient orthopedic physical therapy, clinician mentorship, and patient service. He has practiced as an Orthopedic Certified Specialist (OCS) since 2004. Luke also enjoys exercise performance testing in the Peak Performance Lab and was certified as a Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) in 2008. He is blessed to be married with five children.

MARIE J. HARTNEY, PT, DPT, OCS, cert DN

Marie is a native of Augusta, GA and graduated with a degree in Biology from Ave Maria University in Naples, Florida in 2010. She continued her studies in physical therapy and graduated with her Doctor of Physical Therapy from the University of North Georgia in 2014. Marie has been a member of Peak Rehabilitation since 2014. She has completed a residency program through Evidence in Motion to obtain her orthopedic clinical specialist. She presented research at the American Congress for Rehabilitation Medicine in October 2013 and has obtained her dry needling certification. Marie values clinical expertise and is eager to use her knowledge to help you obtain your goals as quickly as possible. Marie has personal interests in running and swimming, and promoting living a healthy lifestyle to improve quality of life.
MARY BETH SMITH, PT, DPT
MaryBeth grew up in the Atlanta area and graduated from Clemson University with B. S. in Pre-professional Health Sciences in 2009. She then studied at the Medical College of Georgia where she graduated as a Doctor of Physical Therapy in 2012. She has been part of the Peak team since 2017. Her experience prior to joining Peak includes working in in-patient rehabilitation and pediatric settings. Her favorite thing about being a physical therapist is getting to know her patients and helping them with their own unique physical therapy needs. She enjoys spending time with her husband and children and participating in church and school events.
MOLLY M. MCKAY, PT, MPT
Molly is a native Texan and proud of it! Molly and her family relocated to the Augusta area in 2014 and have enjoyed Georgia life. Molly, a college athlete, graduated from the University of Houston in 1995 with a B.S. in Exercise Science. She then attended the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas receiving a B.S. in Health Care Sciences and a Master of Physical Therapy in 2001. Upon graduating, Molly went to work in an outpatient orthopedic private practice clinic from 2001 to 2014, eventually becoming a partner in the practice. After marrying her husband in 2014 and moving to Georgia, Molly joined the Peak team and is active in the Peak Performance Lab where she is able to put her Exercise Science degree into practice. Molly is a triathlete and her interests include fitness, nutrition, metabolic efficiency, and training. Outside of her position at Peak, she enjoys trail running, strength training, taking care of her animals, gardening, shooting sporting clays, and spending time with her family.
VANN F. JORDAN, PT, DPT, OCS, cert DN
Vann graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2007 with a B.S. in Exercise Science and Physiology. He then attended the Medical University of South Carolina where he earned his Doctor of Physical Therapy in 2011. He is residency trained in Orthopedics and is a Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist. Vann has an extensive background in sport biomechanics and movement quality to help enhance performance and decrease risk of injury. Vann is a consultant for several area baseball programs and has worked with numerous college and professional athletes in baseball, soccer, golf, football, and basketball. He has a special interest in throwing injuries and ACL rehab/injury prevention.
VALERIE HOGAN, PT, DPT, PhD
Valerie completed her undergraduate education in Exercise Science in 2005, and her Doctor of Physical Therapy in 2008 at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. After graduation she completed an orthopaedic residency program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and became a board certified specialist in 2010. Valerie worked in outpatient orthopaedics and sports physical therapy clinics for several years before completing her PhD in Rehabilitation Science- Sports Medicine in 2016. She has transitioned to full time work in academia and is a faculty member in the Augusta University Department of Physical Therapy. She is excited to work PRN with Peak Rehabilitation to stay involved in patient care – which is really what it’s all about!

For many of us, pain has become a part of our everyday lives.

The simplest of tasks–even sitting still–cause discomfort. We can help!