Kristin Ballenger, P.T., D.P.T.
Kristin has been practicing physical therapy since 2009, and is the current Director of Physical Therapy at CHPT. Kristin has a true passion for helping her patients abolish their pain symptoms and achieve a better quality of life. She enjoys treating a wide variety of diagnosis including orthopedic injuries, post-surgical cases, neurological disorders, and women’s health conditions. Since having children of her own, she has loved working with prenatal and postpartum women experiencing pelvic pain, incontinence, or back/SI joint pain. Kristin has a holistic approach to treatment – using the body to heal itself – but understands further medical treatment may be indicated at times. “Working at CHPT has been a true joy. I am able to give my patients the one-on-one care they deserve – resulting in great outcomes with physical therapy.”
Kristin graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She then went on to earn her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Rosalind Franklin University. When she is not working, Kristin enjoys spending time with her family and friends; traveling; and exploring our wonderful city of Chicago.
Lauren Alpert-Zeunik, DPT, CSCS, USATF-L1
Lauren Alpert-Zeunik, DPT, CSCS, USATF-L1, who has always called Chicago home, began at CHPT in 2017. She graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, where she was also a 17 time All-American in track and field. She then attended Duke University and graduated in 2015 with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Her professional passions lie in orthopedics and pediatrics with emphases on running injuries, pediatric motor control and pre/postpartum women. She is a certified strength and conditioning specialist with abilities to program workouts and personal training for all ages, and is USATF-L1 certified to coach high school and collegiate track and field athletes. She was a coach with Illinois Wesleyan University track and field for 2 years, who won the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field National Championship while she was on staff. She is currently working toward certifications in Graston Technique and Trigger Point Dry Needling, and also practices kinesiotaping on a regular basis as she is a certified practitioner. Her training is heavily manual therapy oriented and with patient education at the forefront.
She is happily married and has a beautiful baby girl born in July of 2017. When she’s not treating patients or with her family, she enjoys running in all its forms, other exercise, exploring new places and therapeutic (house)cleaning and organizing.
Jennifer Cundiff, P.T.A., Office Coordinator
Jennifer has been a practicing Physical Therapy Assistant for over 12 years. She earned her PTA degree at Fayetteville Technical Community College in North Carolina. Jennifer has a strong background in orthopedic, postural and stroke rehabilitation, but is willing to take on any musculoskeletal challenge. Her philosophy is to educate each patient of their condition and their potential; as this is absolutely necessary for the success of rehabilitation. Jennifer also wears the hat of Office Coordinator at CHPT and enjoys the challenge of organizing, integrating care and creating the most positive experience for both patient and provider!
Heather Koder, Physical Therapist Assistant, PTA
Newest member of the CHPT team, Heather graduated from the University of Iowa in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Health and Human Physiology. She worked at a medical fitness facility associated with Swedish Covenant Hospital where she was a fitness specialist with a specialty in training and teaching swimming to children, adults, and special needs. In 2018, Heather enrolled at Oakton Community College to pursue an Associate’s Degree as a Physical Therapist Assistant. Heather is a firm believer that creating interpersonal relationships with her clients to promote each individual’s own path to health and wellness is the key to success.
Chris McElroy, Doctorate of Physical Therapy, DPT
Christopher is a Chicago native who earned his Doctor of Physical Therapy from Governors State University, and his Bachelors in Movement Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He believes in one-on-one, individualized, functional physical therapy and has a focus on spinal movement/pain/injury, and utilizes the McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), as well as traditional methods, to address musculoskeletal and neurological conditions. Christopher also served in the United States Army as a Cavalry Scout for five years prior to his career as a physical therapist. It was during his time in the military in which he gained an appreciation and passion for physical fitness and nutrition. Christopher is proud to be a part of the CHPT team and to give back to the
community in which it serves.
AJ, Licensed Massage Therapist, LMT
AJ has been practicing massage therapy professionally since 2006. She left a high-stress corporate job in 2005 to seek a work-life balance, a healthier career, and a healthier lifestyle. After completing massage school and licensure requirements, AJ pursued more training in Thai massage, Sports Massage, Prenatal, Myofascial Release, Facelift, Deep Tissue, and Oncology Massage. By combining these and other modalities, AJ believes in customizing each treatment to fit the patient’s current and future treatment goals. AJ truly appreciates the privilege to be of service to others by helping patients achieve their health goals.
Barb Murakami, Licensed Massage Therapist, LMT
Barb is passionate about wellness and loves to help others which she has done most of her adult life. Needing a flexible career and wanting to stay in the wellness field, she enrolled in The Soma Institute in Chicago where she obtained her license in Clinical Massage Therapy and graduated with honors in 2009. Barb is a consummate professional and prides herself on her communication skills. She is extremely detailed in her work and does not believe in passing an issue or doing incomplete work. She specializes in neck and low back pain but will aid you in improving your overall health. Ailments from everyday wear-and-tear as well as medical concerns are addressed and are melted away by the power of massage.