Physical Therapists

Meet the Physical Therapists at Dr. Peter Howard’s office, part of Florida Ortho Surgeons with offices in Palm Harbor and New Port Richey.

Michelle Patterson has been a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant since 2012. She is a graduate of Broward State College with an Associates of Science Degree. Born and raised in Rhode Island then moved to Florida where she has lived for the past 30 years. Michelle’s inspiration to pursue a career in Physical Therapy came from her personal experience with sport related injuries being a former dancer. Her career as a PTA started in skilled nursing and then transitioned to Orthopaedic clinics specializing in sports injuries and post-surgical skills.

In her spare time Michelle enjoys teaching dance, traveling, and spending quality time with her family.

Physical Therapist Assistant

Rachel has been a Physical Therapist Assistant since 2019. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Community Health at Florida Gulf Coast University and her Associate’s degree in Physical Therapist Assistant at Broward College. Rachel has gained experience in outpatient orthopedic physical therapy and skilled nursing. She is certified in neurofascia therapy and instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization techniques, such as ASTYM and Gua Sha. Rachel is excited to provide quality patient care to the community.

Rachel was born and raised in the East Lake/Palm Harbor area. In her free time, she enjoys paddle boarding, spending time at the barn with her horse, Spirit, and hanging out with her family.

Jamie King has been treating as a Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant for the past 23 years and has experience in acute care setting, skilled nursing rehabilitation, and outpatient physical therapy. She received her associates degree in Physical Therapy at Jefferson State Community College in Birmingham, Alabama in 1999. Jamie started working for Florida Sports Orthopedic and Spine Medicine in September and is excited to continue her career experience with this company. Jamie enjoys helping patients regain their strength to allow them to return to activities and hobbies without pain!

Jamie is married and a proud mother of a son and daughter. When not at work you can find Jamie singing at her church, going to the beach with her family, or spending time with her dogs in the pool.

Physical Therapist Assistant

Catherine has been a Physical Therapist Assistant since 2020. She earned her bachelors degree in Health Services Administration in May of 2022, and earned her Associates degree in Physical Therapist Assistant at St. Petersburg College. Catherine has worked in pediatric physical therapy prior to working for Florida Sports Orthopedic & Spine Medicine. Catherine is excited to gain more experience in Orthopedic/Sports Physical Therapy and help patients get back to doing what they enjoy!

Catherine was raised in the Palm Harbor/ Dunedin area. In her free time, she likes to go kayaking, doing CrossFit, and spending time with family.

Alysha has been a Physical Therapist since 2004. She earned her Bachelor’s degree with honors in Health Science at the University of Florida and remained at UF to earn a Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy. Go Gators! Alysha earned a Doctorate degree of Physical Therapy from the University of South Florida in 2013. Alysha has spent the majority of her career practicing in outpatient orthopedic physical therapy. She has taken several manual therapy courses and utilizes a wide array of hands-on treatment techniques. Alysha uses instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization techniques, such as the Graston Technique. She is a certified by the American Institute of Balance to treat dizziness and vertigo disorders. Alysha is a Certified Kinesiotaping Practitioner. She is excited to offer high quality, evidence based Physical Therapy at this facility.

Alysha is married and has one son. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling and going to Walt Disney World.

Tracey came to Florida from Wisconsin to attend the University of Tampa where she received her Bachelor’s Degree. She earned her Masters of Science in Physical Therapy at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, but returned to Florida where she is raising two teenage sons with her husband, Clay. Tracey has worked in multiple settings in Pasco County for 25 years. This includes Acute Rehab, Skilled Nursing, Home Health Care and generalized outpatient therapy, and is very happy to be settling into Outpatient Orthopedics at Florida Sports Orthopedic and Spine Medicine. She is also trained in Dry Needling.

In her spare time, Tracey loves to paddle board or kayak and camp with her family and dog, Kramer. If you want to talk sports, she is a huge fan of the Tampa Bay Rays and Green Bay Packers!

Natasha has been a Physical Therapist since 2012. She earned a Bachelor’s in Science and Athletic Training from USF in 2009. She had the opportunity to work with numerous sports teams at USF, St. Leo University and various High Schools. Upon graduation at USF, Natasha earned a Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy from FAMU. Natasha has experience working in the rehab subacute setting, as well as orthopedics and neuro outpatient settings. Natasha was born and raised in former Yugoslavia and moved to the USA, in the Tampa Bay area in 1997. Natasha is fluent in both English and Serbo-Croatian. Natasha is excited to help patients return back to their sports and hobbies.

Natasha enjoys spending time with her family. She has one daughter and a labradoodle. She enjoys reading books, especially mysteries, going to the beach, working out and running. Natasha has passion for music, attended music school and played piano since the age of 6. Her favorite sport is basketball. “Go Warriors and Huskies.”

Scott Eckardt has been a physical therapist for over 25 years and received his bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from Downstate Medical Center located in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1998. He received a master’s degree in healthcare administration from Walden University in 2013.

While practicing in New York, Scott served as a consultant for the Nassau County Police Department and was also named Physical Therapist for the Costa Rica Soccer tournament held in Jaco Beach, Costa Rica in 2007 and 2008.

Scott is one of only a few physical therapists in the Tampa Bay area that is credentialed in MDT. The Mckenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT) is a highly effective evidenced based assessment and management protocol for patients with musculoskeletal problems in the spine and extremities.

Scott strongly believes in empowering his patients by helping them understand their condition, self-manage, and prevent future occurrences.

While not at work Scott enjoys exercising, fishing, golf and spending time with his wife and three children.