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The Team

North born and raised in Warroad, MN, Julia is excited to serve people in Thief River Falls and the surrounding areas, which has the added benefit of being close to extended family. Her and her husband, Wyatt, have 2 wonderful children, Mia (3) and Hudson (1).


Julia earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from the University of North Dakota in 2016. Dr. Julia is experienced in a multitude of specialties including orthopedic conditions, neuromuscular impairments, spinal dysfunction, vertigo, balance deficits, and post-surgical rehabilitation. She enjoys working with people of all generations and levels of function. Julia's heart lies in the outpatient setting with specific devotion to injury prevention and empowering clients to get back to doing what they love. 

Julia has a passion for optimizing functional performance through a hands-on and individualized approach; combining the latest research with the latest technology. Julia is a certified MDT therapist for evaluating and treating spinal disorders and joint and muscle impairments of the extremities. Julia is also the only Certified Dry Needling, (cert DN) therapist in Thief River Falls, MN. 

In her free time, she enjoys family and friends, gardening, fishing, hunting, and watching the Vikings, SKOL! 

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Julia Nelson

Co-Founder & CEO

Alicia Backer

Co-Founder & COO

Alicia is also north born proud. Being raised in a small town just northwest of Thief River Falls, she truly feels like this is home. She has strong roots to the community that began during high school, continued in college, and has carried on into recent years. Alicia earned her Physical Therapist Assistant degree in 2010 from Northland Community & Technical College in East Grand Forks and has found most joy working in private practice over the last 8 years. Authentic connections and quality time are Alicia's top priority in life, both personally and professionally. 

Professional adventures and peer networking are drivers for Alicia. She enjoys speaking at national events, attending conferences, and currently satisfies a position on Impact Magazine's Editorial Board. 

Alicia and her husband, Les, have 5 children, Jonathon, Isabella, Tyson, Josie, and Camdyn. Outside of work you will find Alicia supporting her kids at all of their activities, coaching women's basketball at the local junior college, working out, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. 

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Cathy Metelak

Co-Founder & Front Office Administrator

Cathy was born in northern Wisconsin and moved to North Dakota as a teenager. She attended Dickinson State University before moving to Grand Forks. In 2005, she graduated from Josef's School of Hair Design and worked in the field for 2 years. 


Digi-Key drew her to Thief River Falls where she met her husband, Brian. They have 4 amazing children, Cole, Leah, Annabelle, and Kinley as well as 3 dogs (Toby, Teddy, & Cooper) and a cat (Flash). Cathy and Brian love conquering house projects together and at times you may find their house looking like an episode of "Fixer Upper". Their absolute favorite thing to do as a family is to take road trips. They have been to Arizona and Florida (twice) where they enjoy seeing sights and exploring as they go.


Cathy joined the physical therapy world over 2 years ago. She has enjoyed getting to know patients while hoping to put a smile on their face. It's watching patients get back to doing what they love that is so rewarding to Cathy. 

In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family and friends, dabbling in photography, and doing pretty much anything outdoors. As long as it doesn't involve flamingos Cathy is in!  

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Katie was raised in the northwestern twin cities area but moved to Thief River Falls in 2022 with her husband, Ben, who works as a Mechanical Engineer for Arctic Cat. 

Katie earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from the University of North Dakota in 2022. She enjoys working with a variety of patients including orthopedic conditions, pre- and post-surgical rehab, spinal dysfunction and balance deficits. She has been working in the outpatient setting for the last year and a half and is looking forward to getting to know the community.
Outside of work you will find Katie spending time with family and friends, reading and playing with her 1- year-old yellow lab, Boone.

Katie Mercure

Physical Therapist

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