l Function Better Physical Therapy - Skilled Outpatient Physical Therapy, Personal Training, Wellness and Nutritional Consulting, Message Therapy, Group Fitness Classes
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Dr. Joseph J. Martin, PT, OCS
Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist

President and Founder
Function Better Physical Therapy
and Personal Enrichment Centers

Board Certified
Orthopedic Clinical Specialist

Licensed Physical Therapist


Dr. Joe Martin, PT, OCS was born and raised right here in the Mohawk Valley and attended Whitesboro Schools until 8th grade when he relocated to Frankfort Schuyler and graduated high school in 1989. Joe enlisted in the army and served in Saudi Arabia and Iraq in 1990-91 during Desert Storm. He subsequently attended Herkimer County Community College and Utica College and became a licensed Physical Therapist in 1997. In 2007, Joe achieved board certification as an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist. He is an expert in musculoskeletal medicine and has a unique way of connecting with patients of all ages and conditions. He has 2 full years of Doctoral Studies at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse and is currently working on completion of a patient case study for publication in a peer reviewed journal. . Joe feels that his purpose in life is to embrace and guide patients, friends, family, and colleagues to a path of personal enrichment through compassion, clinical expertise, motivation, and leadership. He has invented several fitness and healthcare related products and sold them all over the world, is the author of multiple exercise and fitness DVDs, and has his own local television show...Function Better TV! Joe has significant passion for helping people and he loves the physical therapy profession. He founded Function Better in 2002 in Herkimer, NY and has since opened a clinic in Whitesboro in 2003, Rome in 2008, Utica in 2009, and his most recent offering to the public happened on January 15th 2011 when the doors opened to a 12,000 square foot Wellness Complex featuring STUDIO55 Elite Group Fitness in Yorkville, NY. In 2009, Joe began donating his time by providing the public with wellness seminars designed to teach and empower individuals to take control of their destiny, prevent and manage disease more efficiently, and live happier and healthier lives. He has been happily married to Kimberly Martin for almost 18 years and feels so lucky to have 3 amazing children; Kayla 17, Joey (JT) 14 and Justin 11.

Kimberly Martin,
Human Resource Manager

Kimberly is Joe's amazing wife and has been instrumental in the growth and development of Function Better since 2002 when it opened. She anticipates graduating in May of 2010 with her Bachelors in Business Management from Suny Institute of Technology. Prior to her joining Function Better, Kim worked in governmental agencies, retail businesses, and she had early education and training in early childhood curriculum and Occupational Therapy Sciences. One of her favorite career memories was inspiring and rehabilitating individuals suffering from mental illness. Kim is a natural interior decorator, loves chocolate covered strawberries, and is a sensational mother and provider of 3 beautiful children and a cute little Pomeranian she calls indius of a puppius.

Kevin M. Kress, DPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy

Kevin has faithfully worked at Function Better since 2002 as a Physical Therapist Assistant and Certified Personal Trainer. Kevin recently graduated from Utica College in May 2009 with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. He has been successfully treating patients of all ages and ailments for the past 7 years as well as coaching fitness clients to better health and weight loss, along with teaching a variety of fitness and strength training classes. His special interests are in treatment of the spine, shoulders, knees and core training. He has attended numerous continuing education courses over the years and is well trained and experienced in the McKenzie Method of Spinal Rehabilitation. He is currently an active member of the Sports and Orthopedic Sections of the American Physical Therapy Association and New York Physical Therapy Association. He is the proud father of 3 beautiful girls and in his spare time enjoys relaxing with his family, traveling, golf, and watching his favorite NY sports teams.

Dan Patterson, PTA, HFS

Physical Therapist Assistant

ACSM Certified Health and Fitness Specialist

Personal Trainer

Les Mills Body Pump Instructor

Les Mills Body Attack Instructor

Dan has been employed with Function Better since 2005 and has developed excellent manual therapy skills and has attended numerous continuing education courses. Dan has extensive training in the McKenzie Method of Spinal Rehabilitation and is well versed in strength training, sports conditioning, sport rehabilitation, and wellness applications. Other than physical therapy, Dan also provides personal training services and is a Certified Health and Fitness Specialist. (Only a handful that are specialised in the state of New York let alone in Central New York). Dan is also passionate at teaching group fitness where he is certified in Les Mills Body Pump, and Body Attack (First one to offer this program in Central New York). In the past he has also as an instructor in BurnBoxAbs, Boilermaker Training/ Running, Skiing Pro, Kid Fit, Healthy Seniors, and Dynamic Athletic Programs.

Trina Lazarek, LMT

Trina Lazarek, LMT graduated from Morrisville-State College with an AAS degree in Massage Therapy. She graduated at the top of her class and excelled in all areas of the program. She is a wife and mother of two small children and resides in Verona. She is highly passionate about Massage Therapy, because she understands on a personal level the many benefits and effects massage therapy can have on a persons mental and physical health. She is a warm and compassionate therapist who makes any one feel welcome and comfortable. Visiting her in one of our relaxing massage rooms will be more than just a luxury, but will bring about a new sense of well-being to the recipient of one of her massages.

*Trina is a self -employed massage therapist who is well respected and practices within the Function Better facilities in Yorkville.

Click here to learn more about massage therapy or to set up an appointment

Tami Shaut,
Manager of Administrative Operations

Tami has been performing medical administrative duties since the year 2000. In 2009, she was appointed to management because of her outstanding customer service and administrative due diligence. Although her responsibilities include data organization and submission she values patient relationships above all! Tami specifically states “What makes my job so enjoyable is seeing the patients when they finish their therapy with a happy face knowing they are 100 % satisfied….that is what makes me want to get up in the morning and come to my job at Function Better. Tami currently oversees administrative operations at all centers and works intimately with our in house billing manager, Jen Phillips to provide a seamless administrative operation.

Aaron Mallace, M.S., C.S.C.S.

After a life full of passion for fitness and exercise I started pursuing an exercise science degree over 10 years ago. After finishing my Associates Degree from HCCC in 2002 I transferred to Alfred University where I completed a Bachelors Degree in 2004. Being that I wanted to be at the very top of my field I pursued and completed a Masters Degree from Ithaca College in 2005. Shortly after graduation I also obtained the highly esteemed credential of Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), the only accreditied personal training certification in the world. I have been working for Function Better as an Exercise Physiologist, Personal Trainer, Wellness Coach and Group Fitness instructor since 2005. I have assisted hundreds of various people working towards acheiving there fitness goals, with a phenomenal rate of success. No matter what your fitness needs, if it is great results that you are after then come see me today.

Michael M. Gus, PT, DPT, MS, OCS, Cert. MDT, CSCS

I have been practicing physical therapy since 2000 after graduating from Ithaca College with my Master of Science degree in Physical Therapy. In 2004, I earned the Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy Certification in the McKenzie Method, which is an evaluation approach utilized internationally to assess and treat disorders of the spine and extremities. I became a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association in 2006. In 2008, I attained Board-Certification in Orthopaedics from the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. I completed the Doctorate of Physical Therapy program at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY in 2010. I am currently a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the McKenzie Institute - USA. I enjoy working with clients to restore their functional limitations, with a preference for working with athletes of all ages. A native of Sauquoit, I currently reside in New Hartford with my wife and son.

David Phillips, PTA

Dave has been employed with Function Better since 2010. He graduated from Herkimer County Community College in 92 with a degree in Physical Education and again in 99 with his Physical Therapy Assistant degree. He comes to the Function Better team with over four years expierence as a personal trainer and ten years expierence as a PTA.

Dave enjoys spending time with his girlfriend Janine and her two children Anthony and Allie Rose. Dave is a certified Reiki practitioner with the Reiki Shiki Ryoh school of Reiki and is a black belt and certified instructor with the Americian Martial Arts Institute. He also holds the rank of Tashi (expert student) in the samurai sword school, Takenouchi-Hagan-Ryu-Mastuno-Candall school of Iaido.

Nan Conney

Kerry Daly

AFAA Certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor
Certified Johnny G Spin Instructor
Licensed Zumba Instructor: Basics 1 and 2

I have over 14 years of experience in the fitness industry. Fitness and staying healthy are passions of mine. I love to help people reach their goals while enhancing their quality of life. Seeing my clients and class members with more energy and self confidence is the biggest reward. It inspires me to know that I am changing people's lives.

Marc Giordano PTA, NASM-CPT, YFS

Marc recently finished up his A.A.S degree to become a Physical Therapist Assistant at Herkimer County Community College in May of 2011. Marc is also a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and a Level 1 Youth Fitness Specialist through the International Youth Conditioning Association. Marc teaches the TRX Suspension trainer group fitness class at Studio 55. He completed TRX Training's (Formerly Fitness Anywhere) group suspension training course in Boston, MA in September of 2010. Marc is starting his Bachelor's degree in Health Studies at Utica College in the fall of 2011.

Eileen Klosek, Studio 55

Get ready to ride! Join Eileen at Studio55 for a heart-racing, calorie-burning Spinning experience and be ready to smile the whole time. Famous for her cheery personality, love of a good (& bad!) joke and warm and welcoming attitude towards all, Eileen has been leading her classes to heightened levels of physical fitness and self-confidence since her 1998. Her rides, both challenging and diverse, offer both new and veteran Spinners an excellent full body workout in a comfortable environment. Eileen, a Certified Spin Instructor, brings the same mentality to her class as she does to all areas of her life: do everything with joy, make “work” fun and make good friends along the way.

Judy Nelbach

Joanna Premo

Peggy Lantry

Elaine McCabe

Jane B. O’Connor, LCSW
NETA Certified Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor
Les Mills Body Step Instructor

Hailing originally from New Jersey and having spent 15 adventurous years in Boston, I moved to South Utica with my fabulous husband Timothy in 2005. I graduated from Hartwick College with a BA in Psychology and continued my education at Rutgers University where I received a Masters in Social Work. I have worked in the field of Mental Health since 1986 with most of my career being devoted to clinical social work in an Adult Inpatient Psychiatric Setting. I am currently employed on the inpatient unit at Faxton-St. Luke’s Healthcare. My passion for exercise has allowed me to commit deeply to my work in the mental health field. For me, it is not only the most effective coping strategy and "my addiction," but it is a large part of what makes my mind, body and soul feel alive! This deep-seated passion for promoting good physical and mental health led to my decision to become certified in Group Exercise and Personal Training. I began teaching BurnBoxAbs in 2007 and am now carrying out a dream I have had for many years to teach Step Aerobics. My overall goal is to help people learn to love exercise, embrace its many benefits and find balance mentally, physically and spiritually!

Valarie Slater

3061 Rt. 28
Herkimer, NY 13350
Phone: (315) 717-0020
Fax: (315) 717-0024
New Hartford / Washington Mills
3900 Oneida Street
Washington Mills, NY 13479
Phone: (315) 982-9133
Fax: (315) 982-9139
5094 Commercial Drive
Yorkville, NY 13495
Phone: (315) 768-8521
Fax: (315) 768-7882
305 E. Locust Street
(Inside Ava Dorman Building)
Rome, NY 13440
Phone: (315) 281-8089
Fax: (315) 281-8431
600 Culver Avenue
Culver Avenue Plaza
Utica, NY 13502
Phone: (315) 734-9904
Fax: (315) 734-9905
578 Seneca Street, Suite 1
Oneida, NY 13421
Phone: (315) 280-0776
Fax: (315) 280-0783
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