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We are here to help you build your skills and confidence as a manual therapist.  We want to empower you with the tools to take your expertise to the next level.


ASPIRE OMT is a post-professional planned learning experience that focuses on evidence based clinical practice, mentorship, and education. In the ASPIRE system, clinical reasoning and biomechanics are given a strong emphasis.  The institute is formatted to allow flexibility for professionals to advance at their own pace as time, finances, and experience allows. The structured programing is designed to take clinicians from new graduates to skilled professional, with a steady progression of skills.  There are 11 courses that make up the core curriculum. They are offered in 3 day sessions(1 online, and 2 on-site). The faculty and lab assistants provide courses that are heavy in the lab portion, giving time for guidance to allow our clinicians to excel in competency. When the first 6 courses are completed, the clinicians may take oral examinations and earn a certificate of manual therapy(COMT). After the final 5 courses and examination, they will earn a certification in Spinal Manipulative Therapy(SMT).  These courses can also be taken as CEU’s(21 hrs per course).


Our goal is to engage, educate and empower each individual to ASPIRE to new levels in their education. Faculty and CFI’s can be available for discussions of difficult cases, technique practice, or study groups in preparation for our oral exams. Contact them personally for details.


Our team of instructors and mentors is highly invested in bringing you the latest evidenced based and clinical proven methods of musculoskeletal assessment and treatment. We want to help you maximize your patient outcomes and satisfaction, and create lifelong relationships.



Meet The Team

Erl Pettman

Founder & Senior Faculty

Erl Pettman DScPT, FCAMPT,  has been teaching Orthopedic Manual Therapy(OMT) since 1977. He is founder, senior faculty, and lead examiner for ASPIRE OMT. Erl serves as an adjunct professor in the post-professional DSc Program at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, MI. He has owned two clinics, and founded two OMT institutes. His contributions to world of manual therapy include many presented papers and articles, as well as his book Manipulative Thrust Techniques.  For a complete bio, see the link below.

Erika Fabian


Erika Fabian, DScPT, FCAMPT, FAAOMPT, graduated in 1993 at Semmelweis Medical University in Budapest Hungary. She immigrated to Canada and earned a BScPT from the University of British Columbia in 1996. She also became a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Physiotherapy in 2005. She earned a Doctor of Science degree at Andrews University in 2015. She was also accepted as a Fellow with the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Therapists. She is currently working at her own practice and provides clinical mentoring and instruction for students. Erika loves the ocean and when not working, she is surfing and enjoying the beautiful island of Maui.

Laura von Wullerstorff


Laura von Wullerstorff, DScPT, OCS, COMT, FAAOMPT, opened LvW physiotherapy in Belgium, in 2009, and is specialized in spine and sports injuries as well as antenatal and pelvic floor rehabilitation.  Laura owns and operates her own physiotherapy consulting business which allows her to teach manual theory courses globally as an instructor and examiner. Laura supports her patients to strive for a balanced approach to both health and body, whilst encouraging the therapists she teaches to continually seek certifications and education to help patients reach these goals.  She is a POSE method running instructor and fitness coach.  When not in the clinic she either running herself or enjoying spending time with her family outdoors.


Valerie Coolman


Valerie Coolman, DsCPT, OCS, COMT, FAAOMPT completed her Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy from Andrews University in 2006. She passed the Certified Manual Therapist (CMPT) exam in 2005 with distinction and Orthopaedic Certified Specialist (OCS) exam awarded by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) in 2008. She also passed the Certified Manual/Manipulative Therapist (COMT) exam in 2008, with distinction. Dr. Coolman became a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (FAAOMPT) in 2010. She has served as the Director of the Post-Professional Physical Therapy Program at Andrews University as well as an Orthopaedic Fellowship Director.  She currently serves as the Chair of the Leadership subcommittee for AAOMPT and Faculty for ASPIRE OMT, Erl Pettman's newly founded institute.  She continues to collaborate and teach at Andrews University in the Post-Professional Department. Valerie is passionate about treating patients and assisting others to embrace the value of health, proper movement, and nutrition at her private clinic, Northwest Orthopaedics & Wellness, as well as mentoring other PTs on a journey of pursuing excellence.  In her spare time, she enjoys supporting her children in various activities, as well as cheering on her husband, Head Coach of Valparaiso Varsity Basketball.  The Coolman family believes that athletics provides an opportunity for life-lessons on and off of the court while recognizing the great pressure and stress placed on coaches and their families. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, the Coolman Family pursued a long-time dream, and Championship Standards was founded to bring support to other Coaching Families trying to maintain the "HOME COURT ADVANTAGE."

Stacy Soappman


Stacy Soappman, DScPT, OCS, COMT, FAAOMPT, graduated from Andrews University in 2001 with her MSPT degree, and 2011 with her DScPT degree.  She became a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical THerapists in 2011.  Stacy believes that physical therapy is a combination of science and art and when we combine those two things we do our best work with patients.  When not in the clinic you can find me outside with my family, hiking, biking, camping, eating chocolate and reading books under the trees.

Bruce Franke


Bruce A Franke Jr DScPT, OCS, COMT, MTC, FAAOMPT, received his PT degree from the College of St. Scholastica, in Duluth MN in 1987. In 2002, Bruce became a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy (FAAOMPT). Bruce graduated with his DSc from Andrews University in 2016. Bruce has enjoyed conducting clinical research and has presented at multiple national and international conferences including the World Congress for Low Back and Pelvic Girdle Pain in Barcelona, Spain  (2007); Singapore (2016); and Antwerp, Belgium (2019); and at the World Congress of Orthopaedics (WCOR) in Xian, China (2015) and Seoul, South Korea (2016).Bruce instructed as adjunct faculty in the Evidence-Based Practice course with the College of St. Scholastica (Duluth, MN) Bruce has also enjoyed providing residency, fellowship, and instructing courses in manual therapy and therapeutic exercise in his private practice, Desert Palms Physical Therapy, Movement and Yoga Studio, in Tucson AZ. Many months of the year, Bruce is also continually inspired with his NGO volunteer teaching and mentoring of physical therapists in SE Asia


Amber Bell

Clinical Instructor-Faculty-In-Training

Fitness Instructor

Amber Bell, DScPT, COMT, OCS, FAAOMPT, graduated from Andrews University with an MSPT degree in 2002 and with a DScPT degree in 2006. She became a Certified Manual Therapist (CMPT) in 2005 and a Certified Orthopedic Manipulative Therapist (COMT) in 2007. Amber received her Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS) certification through the APTA in 2008. She became a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy in 2009. Amber has lab assisted at all levels of the core curriculum with Valerie Coolman, Terry Pratt, and Erl Pettman. She loves mentoring and participates in CMPT and SMT online study groups at the request of students.  Amber currently lives in Maine with her husband and two children. They enjoy lots of outdoor activities including horse-backing riding, boating/kayaking, and skiing, as well as time with extended family, friends, and church groups. She especially enjoyed homeschooling her children.

Clinical Instructor, Faculty-In-Training

Joe Krugh

Joe Krugh, DScPT, COMT, FAAOMPT, became a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists in 2007.  He earned his post-professional Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy degree from Andrews University in 2009.  Joe strives to treat his patients skillfully, and also aims to empower them with knowledge to remove all potential barriers to their maximum performance and function.  He enjoys running, hiking, traveling, coaching/watching his kid’s sports activities, and managing the family hobby farm.

Randy Castleman

Clinical Instructor

Randy Castleman MSPT, OCS, COMT, FAAOMPT,  graduated from Andrews University with an MSPT degree in 1999. After graduation he continued his education, earning his Orthopedic Clinical Specialist certification (OCS) in 2005.  He became a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy (FAAOMPT) in 2012. Randy has attended numerous other educational programs including NAIOMT, Institute of Physical Art, Connect Therapy with LJ LEE, and visceral work through Barral Institute. He has lab assisted for both NAIOMT and the Institute of Physical Art. He has been a Certified Fellowship Instructor (CFI) since 2012. In his free time, Randy enjoys outdoor activities including hiking, backpacking, snowboarding, fly fishing, boating and spending time with his family.

Randy currently lives in College Place, WA where he is the clinic owner of Total Motion Physical Therapy.


Dina Kramer

Clinical Instructor

Dina Kramer, PT, OCS, COMT, FAAOMT graduated from the University of Michigan in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy. She is certified in Vestibular Rehabilitation, Trigger Point Dry Needling, and a Credentialed Clinical Instructor with the APTA. Dina completed her manual therapy certification with NAIOMT achieving CMPT in 2010, COMT in 2014 and NAIOMT Fellowship in 2015. She is the owner of Kramer Physical Therapy, an outpatient private practice, in Knoxville, Tennessee. When she is not at work you will find her hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains or digging in her groovy garden.

Bret Swigard

Clinical Instructor

Bret Swigard MPT, OCS, LJLCP, FAAOMPT, COMT, c. MDT, has over 20 years of clinical orthopedic experience.  He is a PT instructor, mentor, consultant, clinic owner and clinician.  Bret has enjoyed worked with professional athletes, professional dancers, collegiate athletes, and weekend warriors. He has had the honor and pleasure of training with some of the best PTs in the US and Canada and has a passion for sharing his knowledge and experience.  Bret has won several awards including Eastern Washington University’s Clinical Instructor Award, the Mary Shields Wilson Award for Academic Excellence, and the Most Outstanding Student in the EWU Biology Department.  Bret is a consultant for the International Ballet Academy in Kirkland Washington and owns Innova Physical Therapy in Redmond Washington.

Karen Greeley

Clinical Instructor

Karen Greeley, PT, OCS, COMT, FAAOMT, trained at St Mary’s Hospital School of Physiotherapy in London (UK) from 1981-1984. After graduating she worked at Northwick Park Hospital in North London for 2 years before traveling and working in Australia, New Zealand and S.E. Asia. She arrived in Seattle in 1989 where she specialized in orthopedics and gained her manual certifications through the North American Institute of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy to their advanced level. She has also been progressing through the ConnectTherapyTM Program with LJ Lee PT, PhD in Vancouver, BC.


Cameron Gomez

Clinical Instructor & Specialty Faculty

CAMERON L. GOMEZ PT, DPT, OCS, COMT, FAAOMPT, Lac. Cameron graduated with honors from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons with a DPT 2008.  In 2014, Cameron obtained his COMT, and in 2017, Cameron became a Fellow in the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists.  Cameron also went on to obtained a Master of Science in Acupuncture from the Tri-State College of Acupuncture in 2018. Cameron founded Cameron Gomez Physical Therapy & Acupuncture, and works on-site with the New York City Ballet and the School of American Ballet.  His former career as a professional ballet dancer fuels his ongoing passion for helping dancers to achieve and maintain their optimal health and performance levels.  In addition to his clinical work, Cameron is adjunct faculty at Columbia University Program in Physical Therapy, where he teaches two elective courses, one in dance medicine and the other on the rehabilitation of foot & ankle injuries.   In his spare time, Cameron enjoys spending time with his partner, playing with his family of fur-babies, lifting weights at the gym, running, traveling to tropical islands, surfing, and scuba diving.

Kathy Berglund

Specialty Faculty

Kathy Berglund DScPT, OCS, COMT, FAAOMT graduated with a BS degree in physical therapy and an MA degree in sports medicine and athletic training from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.  Kathy earned her DScPT degree from Andrews University. Kathy became a Certified Orthopedic Manipulative Therapist in 1998; a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Therapy in 2000,  board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist in 2001. 

Kathy served as physical therapy director of the sports medicine clinic in Kalamazoo, MI.  She went on to become a professor at Andrews University serving as the orthopedics coordinator and later the director of the post-professional degree program in physical therapy, until 2016. She then returned to clinical practice and has been working in outpatient orthopedics. She has been a national and international teacher in orthopedic manual therapy for many years. Kathy’s clinical focus remains sports medicine and manual therapy but has also expanded to include working with chronic pain patients.

Specialty Faculty

Laurie McLaughlin, DScPT, FCAMPT,  graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy from McMaster University and received her Advanced Diploma of Manual and Manipulative Physiotherapy from the Canadian Physiotherapy Association with distinction. She was a chief examiner for the Orthopaedic Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association before completing a Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy at Andrews University in Michigan. She is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor at McMaster University.

Laurie has specialized in orthopaedic physiotherapy for over 30 years working in multidisciplinary environments as well as in private practice. She develops and teaches continuing education courses nationally and internationally for health professionals on a variety of topics including Spinal Manipulation, Breathing Evaluation and Management, Myofascial Management, Advanced Clinical Reasoning, and a Lumbar Spine Masterclass. She has written several book chapters as well as presented at scientific conferences and published in peer reviewed journals. Laurie is also a member of the Canadian Spine Society, a group made up of predominantly spine surgeons and has presented several times at their annual national meetings on the spinal triage program she codeveloped with Dr Dunlop, a spine surgeon.

Laurie McLaughlin


Dr. David Musnick MD

Specialty Faculty

David Musnick MD is board certified in Sports Medicine, Internal Medicine and Functional Medicine. He has been faculty at Andrews University since 2000 where he teaches Module 2 of Frequency Specific Microcurrent. Dr. Musnick has been in practice in Bellevue WA for 30 years at Peak Medicine-

He has taught Physical Therapists Medical Screening, Functional Medicine and Chronic Pain material for 20 years. 

He has taken up to level 3 NAIOMT courses. He has developed the Functional medicine Approach to Pain Management as well as the Functional Medicine Approach to Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussion. Dr. Musnick is an expert in Nutrition, Sleep Medicine, Chronic Pain Management, IBS, SIBO, Hypermobility, Prolotherapy, Autoimmune Disease, Fibromyalgia, Viral illness and Immune Function. His teaching is packed with information as well as new and functional methods of analysis. He is also an expert in Frequency Specific Microcurrent to treat the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nervous system as well as disc, muscle and facet disorders. Dr. Musnick has written numerous book chapters including but not limited to: An Integrated Approach to Healing Concussion in Integrative Neurology Oxford University Press 2020,

Tendinopathy in Metabolic Therapies in Orthopedics, and Osteoarthritis in Metabolic Therapies in Orthopedics. 

Specialty Faculty-Clinical Instructor

Susan Clinton

Susan Clinton, PT, OSC, WCS, FAAOMT is board certified in orthopedic and women’s health physical therapy, a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Therapy, and a board certified health and wellness coach. She is an international instructor of post-professional education in women’s health (including GI issues in women), orthopedic manual therapy, and business psychology. She is on faculty at Andrews University in the Doctor of Science in PT program, a Master Coach for the Integrative Women’s Health Institute. She is an adjunct faculty at many other universities and is an active professional/clinical mentor. Susan is the co-founder and board member for the foundation: Global Women’s Health Initiative. Susan is co-owner of Embody Physiotherapy and Wellness in Sewickley, PA. Susan enjoys walking / hiking, country line dance and ballroom, and is an avid supporter of music, the arts, and international objectives for women’s health.

Phil Plante

Clinical Instructor

Phil Plante, DScPT, MA, FAAOMPT, founded Action Potential Physical Therapy in 1997 with the goal of providing world class physical therapy in a local setting. His passion for treating patients in the Colorado Springs community continues to this day. In addition to practicing physical therapy full time, Phil is a Fellow with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Therapists, providing advanced fellowship training to therapists from all over the nation. Phil holds his Doctor of Science in Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, MI. Additionally, Phil has the elite title of Certified Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapist (Level 4) through the North American Institute of Orthopaedic Manual Therapists. He has a Master of Arts degree in Sports Science from the University of Denver in Denver, CO as well as a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from Rockhurst College in Kansas City, MO. Phil earned his undergraduate degree in Community Health Education from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, CO. In his free time, he enjoys cycling, playing baseball, and fly fishing and relishes spending time with his wife, Eva, and their two daughters.


Brock Charleston

Clinical Instructor

Brock A Charleston, PT, DPT, COMT, graduated from Purdue University in 1996 with a double major in Sports and Movement Science and Psychology.  He went on to complete his Doctor of Physical Therapy from Finch University/The Chicago Medical School in 2001.  After working 5 years in the Midwest, he had the opportunity to move to Maui, Hawaii and since 2008 owns and operates Lahaina Physical Therapy an orthopedic outpatient clinic.  After successfully completing his CMPT certification in 2016, he enrolled in a fellowship program where he completed his COMT certification and successfully completed his fellowship in December 2020.  Brock is always excited with the opportunity to work with fellow ASPIRE trained or certified manual therapists to continue to expand his practice.

Clinical Instructor

Jamie Ford, PT, DPT, COMT earned her Bachelor’s of Science from Bemidji State University in Minnesota in 2010. She then went on to complete her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Pacific University in Oregon in 2014. Following graduation Jamie moved to Kaneohe, Hawaii where she began her career with Fukuji & Lum Physical Therapy Associates, Inc. It is here where she was first introduced to Erl Pettman and was inspired to become a fellow in orthopedic manual physical therapy. Jamie became a Certified Manual Physical Therapist (CMPT) in 2017, and a Certified Orthopedic Manipulative Therapist (COMT) in 2018. She then completed her fellowship in orthopedic manual therapy in 2020 through the North American Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy. Jamie continues to work for Fukuji & Lum Physical Therapy at their Windward Occupational Rehab Center where she specializes in outpatient orthopedic conditions. Outside of work, Jamie enjoys all types of athletics and outdoor activities, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

Marcus Neal

Clinical Instructor

Marcus Neal, DScPT, OCS, COMT, FAAOMPT, grew up in Phoenix, Arizona with an interested mind and a penchant for learning.  He completed his Bachelor’s of Science with a major in Kinesiology from Arizona State University in 2003.  He went on to earn his Doctor of Physical Therapy at Northern Arizona University in 2006.  Soon after graduation Marcus joined Desert Palms Physical Therapy in Tucson, Arizona.  Marcus has continued his education while in practice completing his Certified Orthopedic Manipulative Therapist (COMT) with North American Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy in 2014 and Orthopedic Certified Specialist (OCS) in 2016.  Marcus became owner of Desert Palms Physical Therapy in 2014.  He became a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic and Manual Physical Therapists (FAAOMPT) in 2020.  He is now working towards a degree in advanced manual therapy and clinical research; DScPT from Andrews University.  Marcus now focuses his time on teaching and clinical education of learning physical therapists while continuing direct patient care and clinical research.

Jamie Ford


Aaron Fuerst

Clinical Instructor

Aaron Fuerst PT, DPT, FAAOMPT is a 2001 graduate of Washington University – St. Louis School of Medicine program in physical therapy.  Aaron holds his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from A.T. Still University and is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists.  Aaron currently serves as the Clinical Educator for Riverside Medical Center where his focus is quality control, staff professional development, and patient outcomes.  Aaron is also employed as an adjunct faculty member within the Kankakee Community College PTA program specializing in the areas of orthopedics and manual therapy.  In the past, Aaron has worked in both hospital-based and private practice orthopedic physical therapy settings and was President and owner of Axcess Physical Therapy in Kankakee IL from 2008-2019.   Personally, Aaron enjoys spending time with family and friends and currently resides in Bourbonnais, IL with his wife Nikki and four children.  Aaron is involved in the community and serves as the Head JV baseball coach at Bishop McNamara Catholic HS in Kankakee and the current Director of Baseball Operations and pitching biomechanics instructor for the House of Sports travel baseball organization.

Christopher Thurston

Clinical Instructor, Faculty-In-Training

Dr. Christopher Thurston received his Doctor of Physical Therapy from the University of South Florida in 2012 after completing his undergraduate degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Florida.  His later achievements include being recognized as a board certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS) in 2015 and a Certified Manual Physical Therapist (CMPT) in 2016. In 2019, he became a Certified Orthopedic Manipulative Therapist (COMT) and a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (FAAOMPT). He considers himself a lifelong learner and truly enjoys devoting the time to helping others reach their full potential. He has previous experience as a mentor in both sports and orthopedic residency programs and is an APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructor. He has successfully completed Emory and APTA’s Vestibular Rehabilitation: A competency-based course. His abstract was selected for poster presentation at the 2018 AAOMPT conference titled, “The Manubrial Test: A Novel Assessment for Regional Interdependence in Adolescent Overhead Athletes: A Case Series.” He currently works at the University of Miami in the outpatient orthopedic setting treating patients with injuries related to orthopedics, vestibular dysfunction and concussion. As a University of Florida alumni, Dr. Thurston is an avid Gator sports fan. He also enjoys music, the adventures of being a foodie and a good laugh with his family and friends.

Julie Moore

Clinical Instructor

Dr. Julie Moore DPT, OCS, COMT, FAAOMT has over 20 years of experience in the physical therapy field. She returned to school to pursue a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree and graduated in 2013. She is board certified as an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist through the American Physical Therapy Board of Specialties and is a certified orthopedic manipulative therapist (COMT) through the North American Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy (NAIOMT).  She achieved fellowship status in the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists (FAAOMPT) after completing NAIOMT's fellowship program.  She has enjoyed assisting in the past with clinical research related to pelvic girdle kinetic testing and the associations to lumbopelvic-hip pain, lower quarter load transfer, and movement impairments while working in Tucson, Arizona.  Over the years, she has worked in many different settings and has loved all of them and the unique knowledge and challenge each requires.  Julie is passionate about learning and loves to share her knowledge with others while at the same time learning from them.       


Gail Elliott

Clinical Instructor

Gail Elliott DScPT, OCS, COMT, FAAOMPT, received her Bachelors in Physical Therapy from Northwestern University in 1980.  Her Masters in Orthopedic Physical Therapy from University of Indianapolis in 1993. She completed her DSc at Andrews University in 2020.   She Received her FAAOMPT in 2016.  She is the Director of the Postprofessional Program at Andrews Universi