Skip to content

Planting Seeds of Wellness, One Root at a Time.

At Root, we recognize how frustrating it can be to experience pain or dysfunction without being able to find relief or improvement.

Our goal is to help you return to living a full and healthy life, rather than just existing. That’s why we’re dedicated to helping you gain an improved understanding of your body and your challenges, enabling you to make informed decisions about your treatment.

Our therapists work closely with you and your other healthcare providers to understand your individual needs and to develop a personalized plan that promotes your overall well-being. With Root, you can gain a deeper understanding of your body and take control of your health so that you can live your life to the fullest.

Pediatrics

Amanda Mattucci, MOTR/L
Occupational Therapist

Hannah Haugen, PT
Physical Therapist

Karna Johnson, PT
Physical Therapist

Samantha Doolittle, MA CCC SLP
Speech Language Pathologist

Health & Wellness

Kezia Peterson, MOTR/L
Owner, Occupational Therapist

Lindsey Petz, PTA
Physical Therapy Assistant

Kristi O’Connor-Nyquist, PT
Physical Therapist

Rooted in Care.
Grown in Health.

Amanda Mattucci

Occupational Therapist (MOTR/L)

Amanda, a born and raised Montanan, began her educational journey at the University of Montana where she received a bachelor’s degree in Human Health and Performance. After receiving her degree, Amanda began to work alongside children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in their homes as an Autism Trainer. This experience is where Amanda’s interest in occupational therapy grew into a lifelong mission. Amanda decided to continue her education in occupational therapy receiving her master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Mary in 2017. Amanda has gained experience in pediatrics working in an outpatient setting as well as furthering her education in the SOS approach to feeding, kinesiology taping, and infant handling. Her most recent continuing education includes the oral motor assessment of infants along with working towards completion of her Certified Lactation Counselor. When Amanda is not working, you can find hunting for huckleberries, picking flowers, weeding her garden, and discovering the wild places with her husband and adventure pup, Vinny.

MISSION STATEMENT:

I am an occupational therapist who aspires to create a welcoming environment for children and their families using creative solutions to overcome their challenges. I hope to provide holistic support and education to children and their families allowing them to gain confidence in their new skills to live a meaningful life. My hope is that children and families I serve do not feel alone in the journey and they are able to see possibilities not the challenges ahead.

Hannah Haugen

Physical Therapist (DPT)

Hannah is a pediatric physical therapist. She gained experience working in Denver, Colorado treating kids with a variety of diagnoses and in various settings. Hannah and her husband are excited to be back home in Montana with their baby girl. In their free time you can find them boating, hiking, camping, cooking, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.

Clinical Focus Areas:

  • Early Intervention (ages 0-3 years)
  • Neurological, genetic and other conditions including: Spina bifida, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, noonan syndrome, digeorge syndrome, muscular dystrophies, polymicrogyria, spinal muscular atrophy, epilepsy, angelman syndrome, autism, hip dysplasia
  • Torticollis and Plagiocephaly
  • Toe walking
  • Developmental Delay

Education & Training

  • Northwestern University, Doctorate of Physical Therapy, 2019
  • Montana State University, Bachelor of Science in Health and Human Performance and Exercise Science,
  • 2015
  • Dynamic Movement Intervention (DMI) Level A and B Registered Practitioner
  • Strider Bike Early Learning and Inclusive Learning Certified Instructor
  • Foot Management: orthotic prescription, serial casting, night splints
  • Breathing and Postural Control
  • Gait training
Karna Johnson, PT

Karna Johnson

Physical Therapist (MS PT)

Karna Johnson received her Master of Science in Physical Therapy from Widener University in Chester, PA in 1999. She has experience working in general outpatient orthopedics, rehabilitation post head injury including traumatic brain injury and stroke, Pediatrics, hippotherapy and aquatics. All of these areas have helped her build a foundation in understanding how biomechanics, postural control, motor learning and our various sensory systems have a profound effect on how an individual functionally moves and interacts with their environment. She has a holistic mindset and team approach to treatment, desiring to partner with families in helping each child reach their full potential. She enjoys utilizing creativity and purposeful play in her treatment sessions to engage children in a fun and meaningful way while still working toward their gross motor and mobility goals. She also enjoys learning and growing in her skills as a physical therapist, most recently completing continuing education for addressing: Toe walking, Breathing with postural control, Torticollis, Pediatric Bowel and Bladder dysfunction and Assessing Adaptive Equipment and Mobility Needs. When she is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband, two children and two Golden Retrievers biking, hiking and cross-country skiing. She also enjoys gardening and reading. She enjoys utilizing creativity and purposeful play in her treatment sessions to engage children in a fun and meaningful way while still working toward their gross motor and mobility goals. She also enjoys learning and growing in her skills as a physical therapist, most recently completing continuing education for addressing: Toe walking, Breathing with postural control, Torticollis, Pediatric Bowel and Bladder dysfunction and Assessing Adaptive Equipment and Mobility Needs. When she is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband, two children and two Golden Retrievers biking, hiking and cross-country skiing. She also enjoys gardening and reading.

Samantha “Sam” Doolittle

Speech Language Pathologist

Sam is a pediatric speech therapist who’s worked in Gallatin Valley since 2019. Prior to locating to Montana, she worked as an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) specialist in the greater Denver Metro area. Though she primarily works with children, she enjoys working with individuals at all stages of life. Sam’s work experience includes nearly a decade of adult and pediatric home health, skilled nursing, acute and subacute rehabilitation, schools, and pediatric outpatient therapy.

While away from work, Sam enjoys her time spent traveling, hiking, backpacking, camping, canoeing, cross-country skiing, gardening, cooking, reading, or cozying up with the family cat. Born and raised in rural South Dakota, Sam frequently travels home to spend time with her family or to help out at their family’s homesteaded ranch.

Clinical Focus Areas:

  • Complex communication Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) Speech generating device (SGD) Natural Language Acquisition/gestalt language processing (echolalia)
  • Early speech and language development
  • Receptive-expressive language Listening/understandingReading comprehension Verbal expression Written expression
  • Reading and spelling
  • Pragmatics and social language
  • Cognitive-linguistic Attention/memory/executive functioning/learning
  • Motor speech/phonological/articulation Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS)
  • Hearing/aural rehabilitation

Other Areas of Experience:

  • Autism
  • Developmental delays
  • Neurologic disorders
  • Dysphagia/swallowing
  • Fluency/stuttering
  • Telehealth

Education & Training

  • Member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), since 2015
  • M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology, Western Washington University, 2014
  • B.S., in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a Certificate for Speech-Language
  • Pathology Assistant (SLPA), University of Northern Colorado, 2012
  • Natural Language Acquisition (NLA) Trained Clinician
Kezia Peterson

Kezia Peterson

Owner, Occupational Therapist (MOTR/L)

Kezia Peterson is an Occupational Therapist and founder of Root Therapy & Wellness. As a result of multiple car accidents, resulting in chronic back and neck pain, as well as migraines and vision concerns, she understands this impact that this has on an individual’s ability to engage in daily activities, as well as work and play, and the mental challenges that can result from coping with pain on a daily basis.

Her understanding of pain has led her to pursue multiple different modalities of training, with the goal of helping her patients by meeting them where they are at, understanding their goals, and ensuring that they have the best team of providers to help them get to the root of their dysfunction in order to allow their systems to achieve healing from every level possible.

Clinical Focus Areas:

  • Upper extremity injuries
    – Hand/wrist/elbow/shoulder pain
    – Fractures
    -Arthritis
    -Sprains / Strains
  • Chronic pain
    – CRPS – Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
    – Back/neck
    – Headaches / Migraines / Concussions
    – Abdominal pain

Education & Training

  • B.S in Psychology, North Dakota State University, 2003
  • M.S. in Occupational Therapy, University of Minnesota, 2009
  • Visceral Manipulation [VM1, VM2, VM3, VM4]
  • Myofascial Release
  • Craniosacral therapy [CS1, CS2]
  • Somato Emotional Practitioner Certification
  • Kezia is currently undertaking the certification process to become an SEP – a certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. This allows for her to support her patients in moving on from past traumas that may be contributing to their inability to move past pain patterns. She will complete her advanced level training and earn her certification in January 2024.

Lindsey Petz

Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA)

Lindsey discovered her passion for Physical Therapy when she sustained a lower back as a result of a car accident that occurred in high school. Going through her own PT journey she fell in love with the career and rehab process. She believes in teaching self-advocacy and promoting lasting wellness through personalized care. She is here to help guide you with the necessary tools and skills to address your injury and improve your overall health.

In Lindsey’s free time you can catch her hiking or camping with her husband and two dogs. She also enjoys weightlifting, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends.

Clinical Focus Areas:

  • Injury prevention and rehabilitation
  • General deconditioning
  • Back/Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Hip and knee pain
  • Core instability

Education & Training

  • Montana State University, Bachelor of Science in Health and Human Performance, 2017
  • Lake Washington Institute of Technology, Associate of Applied Science Physical Therapist Assistant, 2021
  • Myofascial Decompression

Kristi O'Connor-Nyquis

Physical Therapist (MS PT)

Kristi has been a Physical Therapist for 20+ years and has experience in outpatient physical therapy and cardiac rehabilitation. Her treatment approach includes education, exercise and manual treatment to assist in improved quality of life and to meet specific individual goals.

Outside of work, Kristi spends her time volunteering for multiple youth sports groups. She also enjoys hiking, running, working in her yard and spending time with family and friends.

Clinical Focus Areas:

  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Balance / Falls
  • Injury prevention and rehabilitation
  • Hip and knee pain
  • General deconditioning

Education & Training

  • University of Montana, Bachelor of Science in Health and Human Performance, 1993
  • University of Montana, Master of Science in Physical Therapy, 2000
  • Manual techniques including Maitland and Mulligan
  • Treatment of Spine and peripheral joint dysfunction
  • McKenzie techniques