Staff

Meet Our Therapists

Barb Engberg - physical therapy grand island ne in Grand Island, NE

Barb Engberg

Physical Therapist (Owner)

Barb Engberg is a 1992 graduate of the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She was born and raised in Grand Island and graduated from Grand Island Senior High. Barb initially practiced in Lincoln at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital. She then worked in New York City at New York University Medical Center where she founded and developed the Lymphedema and Women’s Health Physical Therapy program. Since returning to Grand Island in 2003, Barb has continued to develop services for the treatment of men’s/women’s health, lymphedema, aquatics, and general physical therapy. Barb is a member of the APTA, both on the national and state level. Her hobbies include coffee drinking, gardening/pulling weeds, and keeping up with her two amazing children, Grace and Trey.

Matt Hilligas - physical therapy grand island ne in Grand Island, NE

Matt Hilligas

Physical Therapist (Owner)

Matt is a 2014 graduate of Creighton University, where he received his Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Prior to completing his Physical Therapy education, Matt attended Wayne State College where he played baseball and majored in exercise science and applied human and sport physiology. Matt was born and raised here in Grand Island, NE and was a graduate of Grand Island Senior High. Matt enjoys treating patients throughout their entire lifespan but has a passion for athletes of all kinds. Locally, Matt is a board member for the Grand Island Little League, a member of the advisory committee for the medical pathway at Grand Island Senior High, he belongs to Young Professionals, Leadership Tomorrow Class 30, was selected as a top 35 under 35 in 2016 by the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce. Matt and his wife, Amber, live in Grand Island. Matt is passionate about his faith, family, and his community. In his spare time, you will find him chasing his three children (Banks, Parker, and Kollins), coaching youth athletics, teaching Sunday School, and faithfully cheering on the Huskers.

Jeremiah Johnsen  - physical therapy grand island ne in Grand Island, NE

Jeremiah Johnsen

Physical Therapist (Owner)

Jeremiah Johnsen was born and raised in Beatrice, NE. He attended undergraduate school at the University of Nebraska at Omaha where he earned his General Sciences degree. He graduated in 2005 from the Mayo Clinic Medical School of Health and Related Sciences with his master’s degree in Physical Therapy. Jeremiah and his wife Karen moved to Grand Island, NE in late 2005 where he has worked as an outpatient Physical Therapist ever since. He has been on several community boards including the Red Cross, St. Francis Foundation and Hall County Extension. He is on the Mission of Ministry Council at Peace Lutheran church and has been an active Sunrise Rotarian since 2009. When not working, Jeremiah spends his free time watching and coaching his children’s activities. Jeremiah and his wife Karen have three children: Katie, Lauren, and Carter.

Amber Hilligas - physical therapy grand island ne in Grand Island, NE

Amber Hilligas

Physical Therapist

Amber is a 2012 graduate of Creighton University, where she received, with honors, her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She received her bachelor’s degree in human biology from Chadron State College in 2009. Amber grew up in her favorite small town, Sutherland, NE, where she stayed active with athletics and dance. She has experience practicing in multiple physical therapy settings, including orthopedics, pediatrics, neurological rehabilitation, hospital, assisted living, and skilled nursing facility. Amber has a special interest in working with patients with neurological and balance conditions, along with treating babies in the NICU and babies with torticollis. Amber is trained and certified in LSVT BIG Training (treatment of Parkinson’s Disease and other movement disorders), and treatment of Vertigo. Amber and her husband, Matt, live in Grand Island. Her faith, family, and three children, (Banks, Parker, and Kollins) are most important to her. As a family, you can find them cheering on the Huskers, at their children’s activities, and teaching Sunday School.

Nicole Thompson - physical therapy grand island ne in Grand Island, NE

Nicole Thompson

Physical Therapist

Nicole is a 2019 graduate from the University of Nebraska Medical Center where she earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy, with honors. Prior to attending physical therapy school Nicole earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from the University of Nebraska Kearney. Nicole became passionate about rehabilitation through a personal experience with her grandfather who was receiving physical therapy. She enjoys treating patients of all ages and has had experience in multiple settings including outpatient orthopedics, inpatient rehabilitation, pediatrics, and aquatics. Nicole is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and the Nebraska Physical Therapy Association. She is also the co-founder/director of Live Well’s functional strength training program entitled Live Stronger. The program was launched in October 2021 with a mission of improving the health and fitness of individuals over the age of fifty in the Grand Island area and surrounding communities. In her free time Nicole enjoys staying active and exploring the outdoors with her husband, Mitchell, along with other family members and friends.

Mitchell Thompson - physical therapy grand island ne in Grand Island, NE

Mitchell Thompson

Physical Therapist

Mitchell is a graduate of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, having received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy, with honors, in 2019. This was following his four years at Wayne State College, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Biology. Mitchell was born and raised in Arlington, NE where his passion for physical therapy began. Mitchell was heavily involved in athletics, and like clockwork, he sustained a significant injury nearly every high school football season, requiring the expert care only a physical therapist can provide. Thus, spurring him on his journey to his profession today. Mitchell currently serves as an inpatient, hospital therapist. He enjoys treating patients throughout the lifespan with everything from musculoskeletal to neuromuscular ailments. His professional interests include geriatric, vestibular, and orthopedic rehabilitation. Mitchell is also Co-founder and Co-director of Live Stronger, Live Well’s socially based fitness program for older adults. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his beloved family. His favorite activities include hiking, hunting, playing pickleball, and staying active.

Susan Hageman - physical therapy grand island ne in Grand Island, NE

Susan Hageman

Physical Therapist

Susan attended Chadron State College for undergraduate studies and then received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2003. Susan has completed courses in all three levels of CAPP-pelvic training through the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), as well as further training in pelvic therapy for both men and women. She is a member of the pelvic health section of the APTA, Leadership Tomorrow class 33, PEO, STOP Fund, Grand Island Coalition of Trafficking, and Third City Christian Church. When not in the clinic, you will find Susan with her family: husband Travis and sons Andrew and James. She enjoys hiking, fly fishing, being outdoors, and spoiling their goldendoodle.

Joseph Coufal - physical therapy grand island ne in Grand Island, NE

Joseph Coufal

Physical Therapist

Joe is a 2021 graduate from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, where he received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy with honors. Prior to completing physical therapy school, Joe attended Regis University in Denver, Colorado and obtained his bachelor’s degree in Health and Exercise Science. Joe grew up in Broomfield, Colorado, and moved to Nebraska for PT school in 2018. Joe has a passion for working with patients with neurological conditions but has treated patients of all ages and conditions with experience in both the acute care/rehab setting as well as the outpatient setting. Joe is certified in LSVT BIG training (Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease) and is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association including the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy, and the Nebraska Physical Therapy Association. In his free time, Joe enjoys golfing, hiking, camping, playing cornhole, and spending time with family.

Samantha Sattler - physical therapy grand island ne in Grand Island, NE

Samantha Sattler

Physical Therapist

Samantha is a 2021 graduate from the University of Nebraska Medical Center where she earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree, with honors. In 2014 she received her bachelor’s degree in biology/life sciences from Wayne State College as a member of the Rural Health Opportunities Program (RHOP). Samantha grew up in the rural community of Stuart Nebraska where she actively participated in a variety of sports and activities. She enjoys treating patients of all ages and has experience in a variety of settings including outpatient orthopedics, inpatient rehabilitation, pediatric, and geriatric care. Samantha currently resides in Palmer Nebraska where she loves to help her boyfriend with a variety of activities on his family farm/ranch. In her free time you can find Samantha outside enjoying the sunshine on a long run or reading a good book.

Jodi Suminsk - occupational therapy grand island ne in Grand Island, NE

Jodi Suminski

Occupational Therapist

Jodi received her Doctorate of Occupation Therapy from Creighton University. Jodi grew up in Grand Island. Following graduation, Jodi practiced in Indiana for 3 years working in geriatrics and outpatient settings. Since returning to Grand Island in 2007, she has practiced in a variety of settings including acute hospital, pediatric outpatient care, assisted living, skilled nursing facilities including memory care. She also has extensive experienced in geriatrics with specialization in wheelchair positioning/fitting, adaptive devices/home modification and dementia training. Jodi is certified in interactive metronome, PAMS and completing her certification for Geriatric care.

Pam Thomas Peters - speech therapy grand island ne in Grand Island, NE

Pam Thomas Peters

Speech Language Pathologist

Pam is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Kearney receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Disorders and Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology. Pam is 25 years’ experience practicing in the field of Speech Pathology ranging from pediatric to adult outpatient rehab, ICU, acute and progressive inpatient care, NICU, and inpatient rehabilitation. She is a certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and has received certifications in providing the following treatment interventions: LSVT Loud (Lee Silverman Voice Therapy), Vital Stim swallow therapy provider, DPNS (Deep Pharyngeal Neuromuscular Stimulation), Myofascial Manual Release, Beckman Oral Motor interventions, PIOMI (Premature Infant Oral Motor Interventions), McNeill Dysphagia Program, PROMPT, and perform analysis of Modified Barium Swallow Studies. Special interests are in neurological disease disorders, head and neck cancer rehabilitation, swallowing and voice disorders. Her passion is to provide best practices to all patients along their journey to achieve maximal potential. Pam is a native Nebraskan residing in Grand Island where she raised her three sons Brian, Eric, and Kevin. Favorite pastime is being a Grammy two energetic grandsons and spending quality time with her family and friends.

Meet our Physical Therapist Assistants

Rachel Propp - physical therapy grand island ne in Grand Island, NE

Rachel Propp

PTA

Rachel is a graduate of NECC, where she received her PTA degree. Rachel grew up in Norfolk, NE where she was active in competitive dance. She has experience practicing in multiple physical therapy settings, including orthopedics, skilled nursing facility, neurological and balance as well as 16 years of practicing in women’s health and lymphedema. Rachel enjoys outdoor activities, triathlons, running and spending time with family and friends. Rachel is also a certified Body Pump instructor at the Hastings YMCA. Rachel and her husband, Shaun, live in Hastings and have three children, Braedyn, Greely, and Brody.

Rachel Schroeder- physical therapy grand island ne in Grand Island, NE

Rachel Schroeder

PTA

Rachel is a board-certified Physical Therapist Assistant receiving her degree from Northeast Community College. She provides orthopedic and aquatic care and is also a certified lymphedema therapist. Rachel is a member of the American and Nebraska Physical Therapy Associations. Her hobbies include running and spending time with friends and family.

Hillary Gooder - physical therapy grand island ne in Grand Island, NE

Hillary Gooder

PTA

Hillary is a 2000 graduate of the NECC PTA Program. Raised in Aurora, NE she was active in track and volleyball. She also worked in the Physical Therapy Department at the local Community Hospital, where her interest in the physical therapy progression initiated.

After graduating from the PTA program at Northeast Community College in Norfolk NE Hillary received her Certificate for Strength Training Specialist in 2004. She is also a member of the American Physical Therapy Association. Hillary has over 22 years of PTA experience and specializes in Total Joint Replacement Therapy, assisted in leading a Total Joint Replacement Program that earned the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Distinction Award.

Hillary has experience and proficiency in acute care, skilled care, outpatient orthopedic and neurological rehabilitation. Hillary, her husband, and three children live in Phillips, NE. She enjoys working on construction projects, gardening, working in the yard, and four-wheeling with her family.

Hillary Gooder - physical therapy grand island ne in Grand Island, NE

Elizabeth Holmes

PTA

Liz grew up in Nehawka, Nebraska and graduated from Southeast Community College with her PTA degree. She has practiced in a variety of settings including outpatient, acute inpatient, skilled rehab facility, and home health therapy, with years of experience in geriatrics and balance. She enjoys yoga and weightlifting as well as hunting and fishing with her husband in their spare time.

Trisha VanDiest - physical therapy grand island ne in Grand Island, NE

Trisha VanDiest

PTA/STS

Trisha graduated with highest honors from the Northeast Community College Physical Therapist Assistant program in 1999. She is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and the Nebraska Physical Therapy Association. Trisha earned her Recognition of Advanced Proficiency for the Physical Therapist Assistant in Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy from the APTA in 2012. Trisha is also a member of the Advisory Committee for the Northeast Community College PTA program. She has further training and proficiency as a strength training specialist. Trisha has practiced in a variety of physical therapy settings, including outpatient orthopedics, acute care/rehab, lymphedema, aquatic therapy, and pediatrics. Trisha and her husband, Zachary, have three children, Benjamin, Lauryn, and Olivia.

Rachel Sundberg - physical therapy grand island ne in Grand Island, NE

Rachel Sundberg

PTA

Rachel Sundberg is a 2020 graduate of NECC, where she received her PTA degree. She grew up near the small town of Clarks, NE and was active in volleyball and track during high school. Rachel had had experience practicing in a variety physical therapy settings including skilled nursing facility, acute inpatient, Home Health, and Outpatient therapy. Her hobbies include running, spending time with family and friends, traveling and watching various sporting events.