Professional Staff

The Albany Physical Therapy Team welcomes you to our practice!

Elizabeth Jennings

Elizabeth Jennings, PT, DPT

Liz is the owner of Albany Physical Therapy since March 2016. She graduated with her Master of Science degree in Physical Therapy from UCSF/SFSU in 2003. In 2020 Liz received her post-professional DPT from Evidence in Motion, with an emphasis in Executive Practice Management. She also taught Iyengar Hatha Yoga for 16 years, and when appropriate incorporates yoga/mindfulness training into physical therapy treatment.

After a thorough evaluation of the client’s physical limitations, Liz provides physical therapy treatment to support the client in reaching specific personal goals. Through thoughtful prescription of therapeutic exercise, client education, and hands-on manual therapy techniques, Liz helps direct the individual’s course of healing.

Continuing education during the last 16 years includes:

  • Maitland-based Year Long Manual Therapy Orthopedic Course
  • Certification in the Neurodevelopmental Treatment (NDT) based rehabilitation system Neuro-Ifrah: Neuro-Integrative Functional Rehabilitation And Habilitation
  • Vestibular Rehabilitation: treatment for individuals who experience dizziness, including Benign Positional Vertigo
  • Gait and Balance/ Fall Prevention

Liz's interests away from work include sharing time with family and friends; equestrianship; the visual arts; nature outings and physical fitness; yoga and meditation.

Jessica Gadayan

Jessica Gadayan, PT, DPT, OCS

Jessica attended UC Berkeley for her undergraduate degree and graduated from UCSF/SFSU with her doctorate in physical therapy in 2018. In 2019, she completed a post-graduate residency program in orthopaedics and joined Albany Physical Therapy. Jessica’s clinical interests include gait and movement analysis as well as orthopaedics across the adult lifespan. When working with patients, Jessica’s treatment focus is a combination of various manual therapy techniques with exercises to improve movement patterns and empower the patient to return to those activities that make them happy.

Jessica enjoys learning new treatment techniques and is currently working towards a certified canine rehabilitation therapist (CCRT) certification to work with canine patients in addition to humans. Outside of the clinic, Jessica enjoys traveling with her husband, visiting family, being outdoors, cooking, and trying new foods and activities.

Susan Freightman

Susan Freightman, PT, MPT, CSCS
APPI Pilates for Rehabilitation Certified Instructor

Susan, born and raised in the East Bay, received her undergraduate degree from UC Davis and her Master of Physical Therapy degree from Samuel Merritt College in 2002. She values the one-on-one communication and relationships she develops with her patients to educate and enable them to take an active role in their recovery and future health, whether that is returning to sport or improving daily function.

Susan continues to expand her professional knowledge and manual skills through continuing education courses and uses a variety of methods to create a treatment program that engages and complements each individual patient and their lifestyle. She is certified in Myofascial Decompression (cupping), Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA), is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the NSCA and has recently completed her Pilates for Rehabilitation certification through the Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute (APPI).

Outside of the clinic, Susan enjoys spending time with her husband and their two teenage sons who participate in multiple sporting activities. She also enjoys running, fitness, traveling and reading.

Laurie Hettinga

Laurie Hettinga, PT

Laurie graduated with her doctoral degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Washington in 2007.  She enjoys assisting individuals to rehabilitate from orthopedic surgery, orthopedic injury, spine surgery, overuse injury, and repetitive strain from postural dysfunction.  She also has experience with fall prevention, lymphedema management, stroke rehabilitation, and balance and gait disorders.

She has worked with patients across the lifespan, from pre-adolescents to the elderly, in the hospital and outpatient settings.  A specialty area of Laurie’s is bike fitting, an interest she is continuing to grow and expand within her practice of physical therapy.

Laurie has a passion for working with individuals to help them overcome acute or chronic pain, thus facilitating their return to full function, be it daily living or return to sport. She believes that one of the most powerful ways that physical therapy can help someone is to provide them with the tools and education they need to heal their own body and prevent future injury.

Laurie appreciates the fact that life is short and aspires to spend as much of it as she can hiking, cycling, birdwatching, traveling, and spending time with her husband, friends, and family.

Michelle Akazawa

Michelle Akazawa, PT, DPT, C/NDT, CBIS, CCI

Michelle was born and raised in the Bay Area. She received her undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley and later earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Columbia University in 2015. Her primary specialty is treating patients with balance, dizziness, and various neurologic disorders. Additionally, she has a passion for treating orthopedic injuries and strives to keep herself up to date by frequently taking continuing education courses. Some of her advanced certifications include, but are not limited to:

  • Vestibular Rehabilitation
  • Neurodevelopmental Treatment (NDT)
  • LSVT BIG for Parkinson's Disease
  • Functional Mobilization
  • Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation

Michelle’s treatment approach starts with a thorough examination and evaluation to discern the key areas of improvement. She then caters the treatment plan to these issues with a focus on manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, and comprehensive education in order to achieve the patient’s personal and specific goals.

Outside of the clinic, Michelle enjoys spending time with her husband, dog, and son born in Spring 2021. She also is an avid hiker, music lover, traveler, and enjoys trying new foods.