Our Staff //
J. Aaron Staeben, President, | OTR/L, CHT, CEAS
Certified Hand Therapist, Specializing in Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist, and Hand
Aaron is the founder and President of Peak Performance Therapy, LLC and has been helping people on the Olympic peninsula since 2002. He is also a licensed Occupational Therapist (OTR/L), Certified Hand Therapist (CHT), and Certified Ergonomic Specialist (CEAS), with over 25 years of experience treating upper limb injuries from the shoulder to the hand.
Aaron opened Peak Performance Therapy Center in November 2011 with a strong desire to offer the best therapy service on the Olympic Peninsula, in a unique state-of-the-art specialized clinic, only offering one-on-one care. He is also certified in “Graston Technique”, Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization or IASTM. Aaron proudly served in the United States Army and gained valuable experience as an Occupational Therapist treating upper limb injuries at Darnall Army Hospital at Fort Hood, Texas.
In his free-time, Aaron is an avid golfer, gym rat, and loves to travel. Pura Vida!
Eric Palenik, | PT, DPT
Eric is well known in the community for his outstanding work specializing in orthopedic sports injuries, and has treated the people of this great community for over 12 years. He has worked with many recreational, high school, collegiate and professional athletes. His treatments focus on restoring proper body mechanics, facilitating tissue healing, and addressing the “cause” of the injury. He earned his BS in Exercise Science in 1995 and Doctorate from Slippery Rock University in 1998.
In his free-time, Eric enjoys playing many team sports and spending time with his wife and 2 children.
Sarah Mattson, Director of Physical Therapy| PT, DPT, OCS
Orthopedic Certified Specialist
Sarah is a licensed Physical Therapist and Orthopedic Certified Specialist with many years of experience treating orthopedic injuries. She specializes in shoulder rehabilitation and treatment of orthopedic and sports injuries. She graduated from the University of Kansas with a BA in Human Biology while competing as a high jumper for the KU Track and Field team. She received her MS and Doctorate of Physical Therapy from The University of Kansas Medical Center. Her passion is to help patients regain their function and mobility after an injury, resume their hobbies and recreational activities, and gain an understanding of how to continue exercise in a safe and effective way. Sarah and her husband moved to Port Angeles in 2013.
In her free-time, Sarah enjoys playing competitive volleyball, hiking, watching college sports, and exploring the outdoors with her husband and two Welsh Corgis.
Daniel Pietz | PT, DPT
Daniel was born and raised in Port Angeles graduating from Port Angeles High School in 2011. Following high school, he attended Eastern Washington University and received his bachelors degree in Exercise Science while also playing baseball for the Eastern Washington University Club Team. Daniel then attended Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, IA for his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, graduating in 2019.
Daniel enjoys spending time with his family, playing golf, and coaching baseball in his spare time.
Heidi Austin | PT, DPT
Heidi Austin joined Peak Performance in September of 2019. She earned her doctorate of physical therapy in 2011 form the University of Pittsburgh and has practiced all over the east coast. She has treated everything from NFL players and olympic swimmers, to weekend warriors and joint replacements. Heidi ran track in college and loves to analyze the biomechanics of runners, triathletes, and CrossFitters. As a mom herself, Heidi loves helping post partum moms regain their prior level of fitness. Her certifications include Graston technique, Active Release Technique, and Blood Flow Restriction, Trigger Point Dry Needling, and Women's Health.
In her free time, Heidi can be found swimming, biking, and running and spending time with her two children and husband in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
Susan Barry | PT
Susan joined Peak Performance Therapy in January of 2019. She worked as a Physical Therapist primarily in the outpatient setting for 30 years. She has worked with a wide variety of people with orthopedic injuries and/or dysfunction and enjoys helping people regain their independence through the combination of manual techniques and therapeutic exercise. Susan also has a specialty in Lymphedema and became certified in 2010. She moved to Sequim with her husband, in November 2017 and seeks activities that take her outside.
In her free-time, Susan enjoys being in the mountains hiking or skiing and is learning the art of gardening.
Thomas Keu | PTA
Thomas was born and raised in Washington State. He is a martial artist who started training when he was 12 and was eventually promoted to the head instructor position at his school. He has 10 years of instruction experience training people of all ages, ranging from 7 to 70. He enjoyed his time teaching and helping others grow stronger through physical movement which led him to pursue a career in Physical Therapy. After he received his degree from Green River College, he worked at an outpatient orthopedic clinic in Covington and recently relocated to the peninsula to join Peak Performance Therapy.
In his free-time, Thomas enjoys hiking, biking, and any activity in which allows him to explore Washington’s unique geography.
Molly Brown | PTA
Molly was born and raised in Alaska. She left to play college basketball, where she eventually fell into the world of physical therapy after tearing her anterior cruciate ligament. She had so much fun in her own rehab that she decided this was what she wanted to do – make an otherwise, painful and challenging experience, fun for others. She graduated with her BA in exercise science in Seattle and then graduated as a physical therapy assistant in 2016 from Olympic College.She married a Sequim guy, but still makes it home to commercial fish in the summers.
In her free-time, Molly enjoys swimming, fishing, hiking, bee keeping, gardening, wine tasting, quilting and a good laugh!
Kasey Welch | PTA
PROFILE to come
Erin was born in Louisiana, and due to her father’s career, moved around a bit as a child. She spent her formative years in Jakarta, Indonesia, later moving to Texas for college and to be closer to extended family. Her background is in the dental field, which she worked in for 9 years. She moved to Seattle in 2011 and fell in love with the Pacific Northwest. She later fell in love with our Occupational Therapist Aaron (yes, two Aaron/Erin’s in the office!) and moved to Sequim in 2014.
In her free-time, Erin enjoys hiking, playing her violin, a good glass of Syrah, and travel.
Amber is a long-time resident of Sequim, attending all Sequim Schools and graduating in 1995. After graduation she obtained her Master Florist degree and worked in the floral industry for 8 years. She then switched gears and spent the next 12 years working in the dental field, before joining our team in 2016. She has been married to her husband Eric for 17 years.
In her free-time, Amber enjoys horseback riding, reading, watching movies and spending time with her family.
Chad Gaskill |
Chad was born and raised in south central and south western Idaho until moving to Sequim in 2011. After doing a variety of jobs, Chad decided to go back to school in 2008 and received a Bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Stevens-Henegar College in Boise, ID in 2011. For hobbies, Chad enjoys collecting board games and painting miniature for tabletop gaming. Being a dad to five children, he really likes a good “Dad” joke!
Danielle Florea |
Danielle moved to Washington from Southern California in October 2020. She loves animals, going out to restaurants with friends, DIY projects and exploring the PNW with her 6-year-old rescue Yorkie, Patty.