MS, PT, Cert MDT, L.Ac.
Director / Owner
Physical Therapist, Acupuncturist
Director / Owner
Physical Therapist, Acupuncturist
David Vrsalovic earned his Master of Science in physical therapy from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. Through his years of continuing education David has become a certified provider of Active Release Techniques and the McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Treatment of the Spine. His training and studies have focused on manual therapy and osteopathic techniques. David went on to earn a second Masters degree and a board certified license in Acupuncture. Following acupuncture school, he developed and completed an independent study with cadavers comparing acupuncture meridians to peripheral nerve distribution and myofascial pathways. This has allowed him to bridge the intellectual gap between manipulative medicine and acupuncture. By superimposing the body’s anatomy with a traditional acupuncture map, he has developed a comprehensive understanding of the body’s different pathways of energy supply and function. David practices numerous styles of acupuncture, including: trigger point dry needling, classical Chinese, Japanese meridian, and auricular. Through this highly specialized training, David has developed a unique and holistic approach to the evaluation and treatment of orthopedic disorders.
Kate received her physical therapy degree from NYU. Her continuing studies took her to California where she completed a year long residency and certification in Australian Manual Therapy. Subsequently, she has studied craciosacral therapy, zero balancing. A.R.T and Neurodevelopmental Technique. Kate’s specialized pediatric training includes infants with hypotonia and developmental delay, torticollis, genetic disorders, and cerebral palsy. Her unique combination of orthopedic manual therapy and pediatric specialties brings a wonderful balance to Focus’s staff. Her handling skills and facilitation of typical movement patterns are also influenced through her study of Pilates and Yoga. Kate believes in looking beyond a patient’s diagnosis to see the whole person and to formulate a treatment approach accordingly.
After completing a Health and Exercise Science degree at The College of New Jersey, Shannon went on to earn her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Columbia University. She grew up playing elite soccer and competed through college, which led her to work with the Philadelphia Union Major League Soccer team when she was a Student Physical Therapist. This experience sparked a strong interest in working with athletes of all ages as she later completed the EXOS Performance Specialist Certification. In her free time, Shannon enjoys playing soccer, traveling, and expert level hiking.
Clinical Integrative Nutritionist
Jessica received a Bachelors of Science in Food and Dietetics from New York University. Following several years in the field, she developed an interest in utilizing food sources to help heal the body. She traveled to the west coast to study at the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon, where she received a Masters of Science in Integrative Nutrition. Jessica uses her knowledge to help normalize inflammatory issues that plague many of us. She utilizes nutrition and supplement protocols to aid women with fertility. Jessica enjoys working with mothers to create healthy and nutritious meals for children of all ages. Her scope includes lecturing on numerous topics: cancer care management, nutritional concerns for addictions and dependencies, organic foods and nutrition related to chronic illnesses. We hope that Jessica can help each of us learn how to maximize our health potential through the benefits of proper food sources.
Elly Mandarakas graduated from Montclair State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. She and Focus Physical Therapy co-founder, Cathy Stephenson conceived the Pilates program at Focus. Through her years of practicing movement, she began to regard the body not only as artwork but also as an essential vehicle for living a long and healthy life. Shortly after she was introduced to Pilates, she earned her certification from Pilates Association International. Elly works with various clientele including; professional athletes, serious athletic students, pre and post-op patients, specific populations- including vision impaired, Parkinson’s, MS, arthritis, Fibromyalgia and back and neck pain to name a few. She also holds a certification in dance and acro-tumbling levels I, II and III through Dance Educators of America. Elly has performed with numerous companies contemporary and modern dance companies in the NYC/NJ area. Her diverse experience compliments the variety of clientele who seek wellness at Focus Physical Therapy.
Alexandra is a graduate of Montclair State University. A Dean’s List and Honors recipient, she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a Minor in Musical Theater. After recovering from a back injury, Alexandra took interest in Pilates. It was recommended to her to help keep her body healthy and injury free. Alexandra received her first Pilates Certification from Steele Pilates in New York City. Then continued her education with BASI Pilates. “Pilates is a great way to cross train for any physical activity. You relieve stress, gain flexibility, and leave class feeling taller!” Alexandra has continuing education credits in Pre and Post Natal Pilates, Pilates for the Aging Population, Dancers and Athletes, and is currently working toward a Neuroplasticity credit. She currently dances professionally for Darrah Carr Dance, Jennifer Chin, Moe-Tion Dance Theater and DiMauro Dance Company. She is also on staff at Hofstra University and Union County College where she teaches Dance.
Throughout his many years of junior, varsity and collegiate sports, Derek has developed a passion for health and fitness. He received his personal training certifications from the World Fitness Association and the National Academy of Sports and Medicine. Now Derek assists a variety of clients on an array of levels, from those looking to build strength and endurance to those who want to improve their overall health. Derek has been an integral part of the Focus team for numerous years in many roles and has gained insight into how best to work with the rehabilitative and sport-centered client. He is the assistant varsity basketball coach and the head JV track coach at Montclair High School. Derek is currently completing his B.A. in Exercise Science at Montclair State University.
Rolpher / Structural Integration
Minki Kim thinks you are a unique individual. You are more than just a set of issues that need correcting. You’re a whole person with feelings, behaviors, thoughts, and goals with social roles within a larger community and society. He emphasizes client-centered care whereby the patient’s goals and meaningful activities provide a framework for personalized therapy. He treats you as a whole person and wants you to feel heard, seen, and listened to. You don’t neatly fit into a biomedical mold, rather I mold my abilities towards you, your story, and your goals. “With a background in Rolfing Structural Integration, I employ a spectrum of touch to induce calm and ease rather than excite and stress the system. I promote self-dependence, confidence, and control back into people’s lives.” He tries his best to rely on evidence and science-based research to effectively promote our natural ability to heal and move by using hands-on techniques, movement/exercise approaches, and education. He has a background in psychology and finds himself down plenty of rabbit holes in anatomy and physiology, science-based care, honing his humanistic/person-centered care, neuroscience, and pain research. In his off time, he’s with his 2 young kids, likes to cook, and settling in in his new home in NJ.