Our Team

Our Team

Highly skilled team of medical professionals

Kokanee Physiotherapy

Our highly skilled team of medical professionals are here to guide you down the right path and keep you moving in the right direction.

Anna Pauly

physiotherapist

Joe Melo

physiotherapist

Laurie Morelli-Valiquette

Physiotherapist

Anna has 12 years of experience as a physiotherapist and over 25 years of experience in orthopedic injury rehabilitation. She holds multiple degrees including a Bachelor in Kinesiology, a Master of Science in Physiology, a Master of Science in Physiotherapy, and a two year diploma in remedial massage therapy. She played on the varsity basketball teams for The University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba. Her University of Winnipeg team was inducted into the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame, the Manitoba Basketball Hall of Fame, the Sport Manitoba Hall of Fame and the Canada West Hall of Fame. Anna has participated at the national and international level in Ultimate Frisbee, as well as downhill mountain bike racing in BC and Alberta.

Anna was a sole proprietor as a massage therapist for 10 years before completing her Master of Science in Physiotherapy at the University Of Alberta. Upon completion of her education Anna worked as a physiotherapist for 4 years at the University of Calgary. Here she gained experience working with Olympic level athletes, sport medicine physicians, orthopedic surgeons and participated in research studies relating to rehabilitation for osteoarthritis, concussion, and injury prevention.

During her career as a physiotherapist, Anna has continued her education and holds the following accreditations:

Needling courses: Anatomical Acupuncture, Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS),

Orthopedics and Manual Therapy Courses: Canadian Physiotherapy Association Levels I-III courses, Spinal Manipulation, various courses for the shoulder, neck and low back and hip

Concussion Management

Balance and Dizziness rehabilitation: Vestibular rehabilitation

Running Analysis

Bike Fitting

Women’s Health courses: Pelvic Floor rehabilitation, Female Urinary Incontinence Rehabilitation, Dyspareunia (pelvic pain)

Men’s Health Courses: Post-Prostatectomy Rehabilitation, Male Urinary Incontinence

Breathing Courses: BradCliff Level 1

Joe Melo
MPT, BHK

Joe earned his Master of Physical Therapy degree from the University of British Columbia in 2011 after completing a Bachelor’s degree in Human Kinetics. He has completed post-graduate certifications in anatomical acupuncture (CAFCI), orthopaedic manual therapy, and chronic pain management. Joe recently became a certified Gunn IMS (intramuscular stimulation) practitioner through the UBC Faculty of Medicine’s Sports Medicine Division (CGIMS). He also provides custom knee bracing services.

Joe’s treatment approach utilizes postural and movement re-training, dry needling, manual therapy, and pain science education to help patients achieve their unique therapy goals. When he’s not in the clinic, Joe can usually be found spending time with his wife and son enjoying everything the beautiful surroundings of Nelson have to offer.

Physiotherapist

Originally from the eastern township in Quebec, Laurie graduated from Sherbrooke University with a Master’s degree in Physiotherapy.

Laurie is passionate and experienced in perineal health. She believes there is a need for increased pelvic health knowledge and awareness of pelvic health conditions in our community. She believes that pelvic issues such as urinary incontinence or pelvic pain, even though they are common, shouldn’t be considered normal and should be addressed by experienced and considerate health professionals and more accessible.

Laurie is very excited to be part of the Pelvic Health Team at Kokanee Physiotherapy. She offers services to help treat issues such as

  • Urinary incontinence
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Postpartum and perinatal concerns: such as preparation for birth, pain during pregnancy, recovery after birthing and return to sport post-partum)
  • Scar tissue management (C-section, episiotomy, tearing)
  • Diastasis
  • Low-back pain/SIJ pain/Glute pain
  • Constipation

Laurie has extended her postgraduate training in pelvic health to include; return to running postpartum, c-section rehabilitation, pushing in birth, pelvic floor health with weightlifting, and pelvic pain associated with pregnancy. She is currently taking courses on coccydynia (tailbone pain) and will complete her Dyspareunia (pain with intercourse) Vulvodynia? course in February 2024. She is always reading and listening to podcasts on the latest discoveries in research with regard to pelvic health and orthopedic conditions. In addition, she has completed her level 1 in management of running injuries with the Running Clinic.

She is very interested in sports therapy and loves helping her patients return to the many different activities and hobbies that matter to them. Whatever activity you love, or are just hard on your body, Laurie will make sure you have all the tools and help you need to forget about your injuries, aches and pains to allow you to be out there working hard and your life.

Her treatments are evidence based and focus on orthopedic assessment, manual therapy, patient education, and personalized progressive exercise program.

Kevin Kelly

Physiotherapist

Lara Thiessen

Kinesiologist

Jessica Demars

Physiothreapy

Kevin Kelly
BSc Physiotherapy

Kevin is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario where he received both his Honors Bachelor of Arts degree in Kinesiology and Honors Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy. Kevin is now a member of the College of Physiotherapists of B.C as well as the Canadian and B.C Physiotherapy Associations.

Kevin recently moved from Kitchener-Waterloo where he has been a practicing physiotherapist since 2002. With extensive experience treating various injuries and conditions ranging from various sport related injuries, post orthopedic surgeries as well as pain resulting from motor vehicle collisions. Kevin understands the importance of a thorough initial assessment in order to understand and appropriately treat the condition at hand. He believes communication and education of the physical ailment with the patient is important in a timely recovery.

In his spare time, Kevin enjoys participating in Triathlons/ Ironmans, which has helped him develop a better understanding of care with the aging athlete. Kevin Is also an avid snowboarder, hiker and traveler.

Therapies Include: McKenzie Method | Kinesiotaping |Post-Operative Rehabilitation | TMJ Treatment | Certificate of Manual Therapy.

Lara Thiessen
BScHK

Lara completed her BSc in Human Kinetics at the University of Guelph. After her degree, she moved to Nelson to live amongst the mountains that always felt like home. She is now a registered kinesiologist with the BC Association of Kinesiologists.

With 10 years of experience in recreational facilities and private clinics, Lara recognized the universal importance of movement, in injury rehabilitation and overall health and well-being. Her passion has become working with people of all ages to get them moving effectively so that they can do what they love. She takes a balanced approach to address strength, endurance, muscle activation, body awareness and targeted relaxation. Whether it is injury recovery and prevention or strengthening for everyday life and sports, she wants you working smarter not harder.

Lara also has experience in ergonomics, return to work programs, chronic pain and hydrotherapy. She has additional certifications in Custom Orthotic Therapy with The Orthotics Group, Older Adult Programming with the BCRPA and Weight Training Instructing with CFES.

When she isn’t working, she can be found downhill and cross-country skiing, hiking, mountain biking, whitewater paddling, or doing aerial silks.

Jessica Demars

Coming soon..

Janel Halenko

RMT Massage

RMT Massage

Janel’s lifelong pattern of seeking physically and mentally demanding experiences is exactly what led her to her career as a Registered Massage Therapist. Prior to Janel’s education at The West Coast College of Massage Therapy, she was involved in varsity cross-country running for York University in Toronto, worked the arduous job as a tree planter for eight years and was a forest fire fighter and camp medic for the BC Fire Center.

Inspired by the active community, Janel began her own business, The Little Spruce Massage, on Vancouver Island in 2021. She then took to the woods and treated tree planters during the 2022 season with Torrent Silviculture. She now works with people in the Nelson community, eager to enhance the lives of those seeking adventure and wellness.

In her practice, Janel is passionate and determined to explore exactly what is limiting her patients, causing pain and discomfort and will not waste any time in manipulating tissues and getting to the source. Janel’s treatments are very intentional. Every experience will be unlike the last, implementing techniques specific to individual need and desire. She works rhythmically and with the body in front of her, using a steady and firm hand. There is an intensity in which she treats, ideal for those looking to feel a difference in their bodies or to experience ongoing maintenance. Soreness may result the following day from treatment.

Janel has been all over Canada and is now on the steady hunt for a place to call home. Nelson’s small and active community is what brought her here, and she is hoping to insert herself into the acro yoga community and hike as often as possible. When she is not working, she is still using her hands. She enjoys gardening, wood working, foraging, playing guitar, making crafts, going to the gym and running around with her dog, Muskie.

Rochelle Wright

Front end

Bria Bell

Front end

Lauren Penfound

Front end

Bria Bell
Administration

Bria Bell is a born and raised Nelson local. She completed the Resort and Hospitality Management Program at Selkirk college in 2019. Since then she has gained experience in both Health Care and Tourism throughout BC and has supervisory experience. Bria acquires strong leadership and organizational skills. She is a great addition to the Kokanee Physio team. When she isn’t working, she can be found camping, on adventures with her dog, kayaking and gardening.

Rochelle Wright
Front end

Rochelle is a local, born and raised in Nelson. She has over 4 years experience as an office administrator, her administrative experience and love for sports makes her a great fit for the Kokanee team. In her free time she can be found, spending time with her husband, two children, practicing photography, downhill biking, camping, kayaking and hanging out with her many animals.

Lauren Penfound
Administration

Bio coming soon.. 

Physiotherapy treatments involve a number of different treatment techniques

Physiotherapy treatments involve a number of different treatment techniques

to reduce pain and dysfunction, to promote health, and keep people moving.

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