Our People


Steve Ferdig, PT, DPT, OCS - Director

Steve Ferdig is a board-certified orthopedic clinic specialist and serves as the Director of the UMPT Clinic.  Dr. Ferdig graduated with his Bachelor’s degree in Human Physiology from California State University at Long Beach in 1991 and received his Master of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Southern California in 1993.  He completed a year-long manual therapy program emphasizing spinal treatment through Folsom Physical Therapy in 1995.  Dr. Ferdig served as Adjunct Faculty for 20 years in the Department of Physical Therapy at Chapman University.  In 2011, Dr. Ferdig completed his transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at Chapman University.  He was the owner of an outpatient orthopedic physical therapy practice, Specialized Physical Therapy, for 14 years.  Dr. Ferdig teaches examination and treatment of the spine in the musculoskeletal tract of the DPT program at UM.  His passion is to empower individuals to maximize function through education, exercise and self-management techniques.  When not working in the clinic he can be found fly fishing and enjoying time with family.


 
Troy Adam, PT, DPT, NCS

Troy Adam graduated with his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from The University of Montana in 2016.  He went on to receive his board certification as a neurologic clinical specialist in 2020.  He serves as a clinician for the UMPT clinic and as an adjunct faculty member for the school of physical therapy.
 
In the university’s outpatient clinic, Troy specializes in treating patients who have neurologic impairments and those with complex medical diagnoses.  He is a certified LSVT Big practitioner as well as a trained therapist in body weight support treadmill training.  He is a level two certified clinical instructor, and mentor’s students in the clinic 7 months out of the year.  The main patient population that he serves are those with spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, TBI, and MS.
 
His contributions to The University of Montana’s physical therapy program include laboratory instruction in Anatomy, Musculoskeletal Examination and Evaluation, Foundations of Physical Therapy, Cardiopumonary System, Exercise Physiology, Physical and Electrophysical agents, and Physical Therapy and the Healthcare System. 


Jaclyn Carson, DPT, LSVT BIG Certified

Jaclyn Carson is a Clinical Physical Therapy Instructor at the University of Montana in the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science and Clinician at the University of Montana Physical Therapy Outpatient Clinic.  Dr. Carson completed her undergraduate training at The University of Montana in Health and Human Performance – Health Promotion.  She finished her DPT at the University of Montana School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science.  Dr. Carson’s current teaching responsibilities include documentation, fundamental skills, neurologic rehabilitation, electrophysiological agents, clinical reasoning III, PNF and primarily treats patients with neurologic deficits and complex medical conditions at the on-site clinic independently in the mornings and in a 1:4 preceptor to SPT ratio in the afternoons in the Integrated Clinical Experience model.  She has also worked in a variety of settings in 1:1 and 1:2 models.  She specializes in Parkinson’s Disease and is a Physical Therapy Faculty Scholar at Parkinson's Foundation in addition to being involved in the root efforts of addressing the needs of women with Parkinson’s Disease through the Parkinson’s Foundation.  She is also serving a two year term as Clinical Director at Large for the National Consortium of Clinical Educators addressing the needs of the institutional pairings.



Audrey Elias, PT, PhD, OCS

Audrey Elias is a board-certified orthopedic clinical specialist and clinical researcher. Following her DPT in 2009, she completed her orthopedic residency with a focus on manual therapy with Therapeutic Associates, Inc. in Port Angeles, WA. She returned to Missoula in 2012 to begin work on her PhD, exploring adaptations in muscular control associated with re-training force absorption following knee injury, completed in 2015 under Dr. Ryan Mizner. She then completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada before returning to the University of Montana as clinical faculty in 2017. She is passionate about pushing the envelope of physical therapy, and understanding how the mind and body interact to create dysfunctional motor patterns after injury. She is primarily involved in clinical mentorship through the Integrated Clinical Education program, and teaches Clinical Reasoning, Imaging, Pharmacology, and Soft Tissue Mobilization in the DPT program. Her clinical specialties include return-to-sport following lower extremity injury, performing arts physical therapy, and occupational health. She also serves as Associate Director of the University of Montana Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency program and teaches in the Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy continuing-education series. Audrey is a member of the Specialization Academy of Content Experts of the Orthopedic Section of the APTA and an Item Writer for the Orthopedic Specialist examination, a Yale Scientific Teaching Fellow, and a mentor through the Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy mentorship program. Awards include the APTA Research Section Traveling Fellows Award funding training in best practices utilizing dynamic ultrasound for research with Dr. Jason Franz at UNC-Chapel Hill, and the Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Clinical Research Grant - New Investigator Award. Outside the clinic, Audrey can be found running trails, alpine and cross-country skiing, biking, or tap dancing—stomping on a floor is good for the soul!

 


Jake Mischke, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT

Jake Mischke is a Clinical Physical Therapy Instructor and Orthopedic Residency Director at the University of Montana School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science. Dr. Mischke graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutrition and Exercise Science from the University of Nebraska in 2008 and received his Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from Creighton University in 2011. He completed a one year ABPTRFE-accredited residency program in Orthopedic Physical Therapy at Creighton University in 2012 and became a Board-Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist in 2013. Dr. Mischke went on to complete a one year ABPTRFE-accredited Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy Fellowship at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He was recognized as a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic and Manual Physical Therapists in 2013; a distinction held by <1% of practicing physical therapists in the United States. Prior to moving to Montana, Jake served as faculty and mentor in the University of Illinois DPT and Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy Fellowship programs. His role at the University of Montana includes treating patients, teaching in the DPT program, and overseeing the Orthopedic Residency Program. He has several peer-reviewed publications and has presented on numerous topics at regional and national conferences. Jake excels at treating patients with a wide-variety of orthopedic and sports-related injuries. Outside of work, Jake enjoys spending time outdoors with his family.

 


Sue Ostertag, PT, DPT, NCS, LSVT BIG Certified

Dr. Ostertag completed her BS in Physical Therapy from the University of Montana in 1993 and the transitional DPT program at Arizona School of Health Sciences in 2007. She worked as a Physical Therapist in a variety of settings before returning back to the University of Montana as a clinic director and Clinical Faculty in the UM PT School. Sue moved into the role of Associate Director of Clinical Education in 2018, and Director of the MT Geriatric Education Center in 2020. As UMPT faculty, Susan teaches neurological rehabilitation, interventions, and a lifespan/geriatrics course as well as inter-professional labs and clinical education courses. She is engaged in clinical practice, service learning, and inter professional-education as well as serving as a board member for the Neural Injury Center.  Her clinical practice at UMPT focuses on neurological rehabilitation and geriatrics.  She provides consultations, mentoring, and student instruction intermittently throughout the year.  She has been an APTA Neurological Board Certified Specialist since 2011 and was recently awarded the 2019 APTA Neurologic Educator of the Year Award. 


 
Jennifer Bell, PT, ScD, COMT

 


Ken Thompson –Administrative Support



Molly Blair, CES

Molly Blair is the Program Coordinator for the New Directions Wellness Center. Mrs. Blair graduated from the University of Montana with her Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science. She has 18+ years of experience working with clients with physical disabilities, chronic conditions, and other disabilities in an accessible fitness gym.  Molly regularly works with the physical therapy staff to design and implement exercise & fitness programs for clients.
 
She is certified through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) as an Inclusive Fitness Trainer and through the American Council on Exercise (ACE) as a Clinical Exercise Specialist. Molly is trained in body weight support treadmill training as well as working with the RTI bike.
 
She is passionate and committed to improving the lives of people with disabilities and chronic diseases through exercise, adaptive recreation, and wellness.

Other Resources

Campus Recreation Center

Disability Services for Students