A native of the Clark Fork river valley, Paula grew up between Plains and Missoula, MT and Sandpoint, ID. Although she spent her early adulthood traveling overseas and about the Pacific Northwest, her love of Sandpoint brought her back to her roots.
Paula’s path to joining the physical therapy profession actually got started when working as a trainer and assistant coach for the US Alpine Ski Team. An accomplished skier and ex-racer, her professional ski career started as a coach and ski instructor in ID and MT and then overseas in NZ and Austria. Following her undergraduate degree in exercise science and physiology, Paula secured a season with the US Alpine Ski Team working on and off snow (dryland training, skills testing and physiology testing). She was the lead trainer and assistant alpine ski coach for the Development Team in Mt Hood, OR and on snow assistant coach with all levels of the US Alpine Ski Team at Mt Bachelor and Mt Hood in Oregon. A highlight of that season was working as assistant trainer with Olympians and World Cup racers which included gold medalists in Park City and in the kinesiology lab at University of Utah. During a lunch with the head trainer, he suggested that she pursue Physical Therapy and the rest is history.
Paula opened Caribou Physical Therapy, PC in 1997. Her previous work settings included orthopedic outpatient, home health and pediatric contracts and SNF rehab director and lead PT. Her area of expertise includes total joint rehab, pre and post surgeries, manual therapy, vestibular conditions, strengthening and conditioning, and treating injuries to spine, hips, knees and shoulders, soft tissue and chronic injuries. In addition, she is adept in aquatic therapy and was Dry Needling Certified (DNC) in 2019. Her background with elite athletes and job variety treating all ages gives her valuable insight and depth as a therapist. A consummate learner, Paula enjoys continuing education both in Physical Therapy and other areas that assist her in managing the clinics, coaching her kids in their various sports and volunteering her time in the community. As a therapist, Paula enjoys forming relationships and helping her clients gain control as they heal and work toward their potential. She has lots of compassion and empathy and is truly patient-centric. She contributes her success to giving quality physical therapy based on research and proven techniques while specifically listening to her patients’ needs.
Paula finds herself drawn to inclement weather and continues to enjoy the great outdoors that Sandpoint has to offer. She enjoys many outside pursuits including Alpine and Nordic skiing, mountain biking, hiking, kayaking and spending time with her husband and 3 adult sons if she can catch them.