Health in Balance has an exceptional team of physical therapists led by founder Kaite Van Laanen.
I can say that the results of my physical therapy are excellent and quite satisfactory. My therapist was a wonderful, knowledgeable therapist, quite deserving of the highest praise, both as a therapist and as a friend. The staff at HIB are all pleasant and friendly, combining business and a friendly atmosphere. I would definitely (and have) recommended Health In Balance to anyone in need.LB, Patient
Kaite Van Laanen, PT, DPT, graduated from Chicago's Northwestern University Medical School in 2000 with a master's degree in physical therapy and then went on to complete her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree through the University of St. Augustine in Florida in 2003. After several years of living in Chicago, she decided to return to her hometown of Mequon, as she knew it would be a perfect place to raise her family and begin her career. After a few years of working in other practice settings, Kaite had a clear vision of what she wanted her patient’s physical therapy experience to be and this drove her to open Health In Balance Physical Therapy in Mequon in 2004. She has since been able to provide the highest quality physical therapy experience for every client with the model she has designed: treatment of the whole person, one patient at a time.
Kaite has experience treating orthopedic patients with specialties in temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain; sports-related shoulder, hip and knee injuries; and running injuries including foot and ankle pain. She uses a manual approach as well as functional strengthening, and believes treating the whole body, not just the injury, is what allows patients to achieve a full recovery and return to the active lifestyle they deserve.
Kaite and her husband Chad live in Mequon with their four children, Olivia, Will, Julia and Jameson.
I cannot believe it has been 15 years since I graduated from PT school! There have been many highlights along the way, but the most important one would definitely be the year I opened my own practice and realized my dream of being able to treat my patients exactly the way I felt they deserved to be treated. While every year poses new challenges, I am so grateful every day to be able to work in an independently owned PT clinic that allows me and my staff to provide the very best physical therapy care possible. I am so fulfilled by my work and being the guide to a patient’s recovery from pain and injury is an incredibly rewarding and humbling profession. Really, every patient’s life I touch is a highlight on my journey.
A patient can expect that they will have plenty of time to talk and I will listen. They can expect a thorough top to bottom evaluation of their body and all of the systems involved so that I am sure to get to the root cause of their pain or dysfunction. Their time spent with me in the clinic will involve primarily manual work and then careful, thorough instruction in exercises and activities to build on the manual work I have performed outside of the clinic. I will be in contact with their primary care physician and/or specialty physician with any concerns or recommendations I have throughout their PT care. I will be available to them for concerns or questions and if I do not have the answer, I will do my best to find it. My patients can expect to develop a long lasting relationship with me and come to see me as “their” physical therapist. My patients do not need to fear PT. They will see improvements in their pain, mobility, strength and function and will enjoy their experience as they do.
The most therapeutic part, both physical and mental, of my day is my workouts…often my best thinking is done while I exercise (no music or tv during my workouts!) After the end of my college basketball career I took up distance running but found after a few short years that it was taking a toll on my hips and knees, so I decided to try triathalons and I fell in love. The cross training of swimming, biking and running is a perfect balance for my body and I add in strength training and yoga throughout the week as well. Racing gives me a goal to work towards, keeps me committed to my programs, and gives me the adrenaline rush and competition I need to keep me motivated to get up every morning at 5AM to exercise!
My most favorite hobbies and activities outside of work are times spent with my family. We spend much of our time attending sporting events, as everyone in my house is involved in sports year round. Chad and I love being at every game if possible. When we finally get to take a break, we love to travel and I have four very adventurous children that enjoy experiencing new places every year. We are very blessed to have such a beautiful family.
Colleen graduated from Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wis. in 1999 with a Master's degree in physical therapy. She has been working in outpatient orthopedics since graduation. Colleen combines manual techniques, exercise, and education to help her patients reach their goals. She specializes in women's health, sacroiliac dysfunction, TMJ dysfunction, vocal cord dysfunction and concussion management. Colleen enjoys treating a variety of orthopedic conditions as well as post surgical clients. Colleen likes working with athletes and running injuries and challenges her patients to return to an active lifestyle.
The highlights of my professional career have been having so many patients return and refer their friends to me through the years. I have also really enjoyed being an integral part of helping and watching Health In Balance grow since 2006. I enjoy teaching my clients how to help themselves and manage their bodies to stay healthy and active. I began treating pelvic health in 2011 which has fit very well with the orthopedic treatments of pelvic pain that I have enjoyed treating for years and have helped me to resolve pain and dysfunction in many individuals!
A patient can expect me to listen to their concerns, problem solve with them as a member of their team, and help them reach their functional goals. I believe in using a combination of manual therapy, exercise and education in order to return my clients to independent management of their symptoms and return to function. l like to educate each session as I only have the opportunity to spend a little time with my clients, but they are with themselves 24 hours per day. If I can teach them exercises or self help techniques, they can feel better faster.
To stay healthy I eat well, run, bike, strength train, do the elliptical machine and engage in a lot of active play with my 3 kids. I do not spend much time sitting (except on my 30 minutes commute or when acting as the carpool parent). I believe that I need to be a good role model for my patients by taking good care of my body so I can lead by example.
My favorites hobbies are running, gardening, boating, coaching and being a Girl Scout leader for my daughters. I also enjoy volunteering at school and spending as much time outdoors as possible. I enjoy being active with my husband Jeff and 3 kids. We enjoy biking, hiking, traveling and playing outdoors with them as much as possible! When our family is not at a kids sporting event, we are usually practicing or playing outside in the yard! I enjoy reading books for my book club when I have a few minutes of quiet time.
Maria has been practicing physical therapy since 2000, when she earned her Master's in Physical Therapy from UW-Madison. Her clinical background has a strong focus on outpatient orthopedics and manual therapy, in which she completed a 2.5 year program through the Manual Therapy Institute. Her philosophy is centered around educating her patients in order to help them understand why they experience their symptoms, as well as collaborating with her patients, in order to help them reach their goals. She is well versed in all aspects of orthopedic rehabilitation, and has additional training in the treatment of running and sports-related injuries, spine injuries, and sacroiliac joint dysfunction. She is also trained in treating vestibular dysfunction as well as post-concussion syndrome. Maria and her husband, Pete, have three kids (Carter, Rachel, and Samantha), and reside in Jackson, WI.
My professional journey started at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Milwaukee. I was fortunate enough to participate in an intensive manual therapy program over the course of 2.5 years, that strongly shaped the therapist I am today and eventually led me to Health In Balance Physical Therapy.
I treat the whole person, with an emphasis on posture and body mechanics, via hands-on treatment that incorporates my manual therapy skills.
Being a mother of three kids keeps me active and busy. I love to run and do strength training to stay in shape and keep my sanity. (I am a much more pleasant person on the days that I have had a chance to work out, just ask my husband, or my co-workers).
My list of favorite things to do would include any combination of the following: running, baking, watching my kids’ soccer games, maybe a little bit of shopping, reading a good book, going to a Badger game, and of course spending time with family and friends. For me, it doesn’t get any better than that.
Gretchen graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2010 with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She has been working in outpatient orthopedics since graduation and earned her board certification in orthopedics in 2016.
Gretchen combines manual techniques, progressive exercise and education to help her patients achieve their goals. She has a special interest in post-operative patients, as well as treating the injured worker. She has taken continuing education emphasizing manual treatment skills and neuromuscular re-education and uses these techniques to decrease pain and restore the body’s proper mechanics.
I have enjoyed working in an outpatient setting that exposes me to a variety of ages and diagnoses. This has allowed me to keep my manual treatment skills sharp, as well as challenge my creativity as a physical therapist to return patients to a wide variety of daily activities.
I generally provide hands-on manual therapy after assessing range of motion and joint mobility deficits. Then, I choose specific exercises that reinforce the hands-on treatment. I will listen to your concerns and make sure that we are working toward the same goals. I also ask for a lot of feedback during treatment to make sure that you are comfortable.
I enjoy anything that mixes up my gym routine and introduces a new challenge. My favorite activities are yoga, tennis, downhill skiing and hiking.
I live in Shorewood with my husband and daughter. We love to do anything outdoors during the short Wisconsin summers. I also enjoy cooking, baking and reading in my spare time.
Meredith is excited to join the Health in Balance team as a personal trainer and class instructor! She recently moved to Milwaukee from the east coast. Meredith grew up in New Jersey and was a teacher of the deaf in Philadelphia for the past four years. In college, she studied communication disorders and later education in grad school. Her passion for health and fitness started at the ballet barre as a toddler. She has played multiple sports, studied dance, and different fitness programs. She is an ACE Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer. She began teaching group fitness classes in 2012. Her fitness classes draw upon movements, inspiration, and teaching methodology from her dance, sports, and education background. Some of her fitness classes include Piloxing, barre, ballet barre, cardio sculpt, and Zumba. Her mission is to improve the lives of others by sharing health, wellness, and fitness.
I am a class nut! I love working out in a group, it boosts my energy and motivation. I love taking dance classes, strength training/bootcamps, TRX, barre, and pilates. I enjoy workouts that focus on strength, and balance and use a mix of bodyweight exercises and weights. I also incorporate yoga and stretching in my weekly exercise practice. When working out alone, I create mini-classes for myself, or, when it’s warm out, I like to go for a run.
Dancing is my favorite thing do. I love taking all types of dance classes, especially modern, jazz, and musical theater. In the past, I have performed in and choreographed many musicals - I love being on a stage. I also enjoying seeing plays and musicals and reading. When the weather warms up, I like being outside, hiking, and exploring new places.
Sarah graduated from the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee with a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration and Business. She joined the Health In Balance team prior to graduation and has enjoyed bringing a business-minded approach to her work. Using her organizational skills as well as keen attention to detail, Sarah is responsible for the billing and reimbursement for Health In Balance. She enjoys working somewhere that leaves people happier and healthier!
I find the best workouts to be outside! So I am always looking for new trails to hike as well as going on many walks with my dogs and bike rides to explore new areas.
I enjoy spending time with my family and my dogs, as well as attending car shows and autocross events.
Katie graduated from Washington University in St Louis in 2005 with a doctor of physical therapy degree. She has practiced in a variety of settings including orthopedics, neurological rehabilitation, pediatrics, and geriatrics. Since 2009, Katie has focused her practice on treating male and female pelvic floor dysfunctions and pregnancy/postpartum issues. She was co-owner of a private practice in Maryland until recently relocating to the Milwaukee area. Katie is committed to continuing education and has taken courses in pelvic dysfunction, pregnancy and postpartum, manual therapy techniques, visceral manipulation, craniosacral therapy, lymphatic drainage, and Pilates. In 2014, Katie became one of the first therapists in the country to earn her Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioner Certification (PRPC) through the Herman & Wallace Institute. Katie has seen great results in her patients when combining the benefits of visceral manipulation techniques, specificity of core and pelvic exercises, and manual techniques to improve tissue mobility and function. Katie is committed to providing the best care possible to help her patients to reach their goals and improve their quality of life. Katie is excited to return to Wisconsin and join the team at Health in Balance!
Physical therapy has provided me with many travel and professional development opportunities over the years. I have been fortunate to work with patients in Maryland, Arizona, Minnesota, Hawaii, Colorado, and Wisconsin. Working in both urban and rural settings with very diverse patient populations has given me a great opportunity to meet amazing and interesting people. I love getting to know my patients well and helping to problem solve each individual case.
A patient can expect me to be someone who listens and truly cares about his or her individual case. I believe patient education is an integral part of physical therapy and that the patient needs to be an active part of creating and progressing his or her treatment plan. I find that when my patients truly understand why they are receiving or participating in specific treatments they are more likely to follow through with their home exercises and recommended modifications. If I do not have the answers to a patient’s questions I am willing to work hard to find them.
I love being active and enjoy a wide variety of activities such as running, hiking, yoga, and barre classes. I find that higher intensity exercise is a great way for me to manage stress while yoga and walking help keep me grounded.
I love being outdoors, spending time with my husband and son, traveling, and watching football. We are excited to be back in Wisconsin to enjoy the lakes in the summer!
Kristin graduated from Marquette University with a Master of Physical Therapy degree in 1999. She has worked in pediatric, outpatient orthopedic, and sports medicine clinics throughout the country, and officially joined the Health In Balance team in 2014. Kristin has advanced training in biomechanical running analysis including prescription of custom orthotics; prevention and rehabilitation from running-related injury including low back, hip, knee, ankle, and foot issues; prevention and rehabilitation from throwing and serving-related injury including shoulder and elbow issues; Graston Technique for alleviating soft tissue restriction; and pelvic wellness including treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction, incontinence, and pre-natal and post-partum issues. Kristin lives in Mequon and stays active keeping up with her three busy guys: husband, Erich and sons, Andrew and Landon.
I bring a unique treatment background to Health In Balance as I have had the opportunity to work in outpatient orthopedic and sports medicine settings in a variety of locations including Green Bay, Alabama, North Dakota, and Minnesota. Experiences from each clinic have challenged me to be adaptable and continue growing as a therapist, never allowing me to be a stagnant health care provider. After all my adventures, I am thrilled to be back home as a part of the tremendous Health In Balance team. I love getting to know my patients and their families and guiding them toward achieving their personal goals that ultimately make their lives better. The relationships that I have been fortunate to form with people over the years are definitely the highlights of my professional journey.
I am an active listener that will take the time needed to ensure that your questions and concerns are fully addressed. Sessions will be goal-oriented, always taking into consideration what you are hoping to achieve from coming to see me. I am dedicated to making sure you understand the origin of your pain to optimize recovery, prevent recurring injury, and ultimately manage symptoms on your own. Using a combination of hands-on treatment techniques, stretching and strengthening exercises, and education on proper posture and movement patterns to minimize further injury, you can expect a comprehensive approach to recovery and wellness. I really enjoy my job, so you can also expect at least one smile or laugh each session.
I have a gift for sleeping! I absolutely need good rest, and quality sleep is a key component to staying well. Consistent exercise and daily movement are a must—walking, running, biking, body-weight exercises, yoga, playing with my boys, working in the yard—the endless combinations keep me feeling my best. In addition, I always feel better if I am drinking plenty of water and watching what I eat—a solid breakfast and tons of veggies!
I enjoy reading, going for a walk or run, and spending time with my family. I had played sports growing up including volleyball in college, and now I take pride watching my sons in action. Erich and I drive all over creation just to cheer them on in our spare time! We all love going to Bucks games, and we often watch high school, college, and professional sports live and on TV. When we all have free time (which sadly is not very often these days), you can find us playing basketball, volleyball, baseball, football, tennis, ping pong, or swimming. I also like watching documentaries and mindless celebrity reality shows—what a confusing combination!
Katie graduated from Concordia University Wisconsin in Mequon, Wisconsin in 2017 with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She has had experience working in outpatient orthopedics as well as acute care and long-term rehabilitation. Katie grew up in Minnesota, but recently bought a home in Port Washington with her husband Zach. Her general treatment interests include the lower extremity, shoulder and neck pain, balance and proprioception, oncology, and pediatrics.
I have enjoyed working at Health in Balance for the last five years while attending undergrad and grad school. Upon completion of grad school, I am more than excited to rejoin this team as a full-fledged physical therapist.
I enjoy anything outdoors. I really enjoy long walks by the lake with my husband and our new puppy. I also enjoy Zumba either at a class or at home on the Wii. Strength training is also incorporated either with home videos or weight lifting at the gym.
I enjoy fishing, especially at our family cabin in Minnesota. I enjoy weekend camping trips as well as any time spent with my family. I enjoy baking and cooking when time allows as well as choir and hand bells.
Adam graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology. Along with personal training at Health In Balance, Adam is currently an Assistant Manager at a gym, and has over a year and a half of personal training experience under his belt. He was born and raised in West Bend, and just recently moved to a condo there with his girlfriend! He has always had a passion for fitness, being healthy, and helping others who try to follow that path.
I try to stay on a consistent exercise routine, getting to the gym 4 to 5 times a week and combining both strength and cardiovascular training to stay as balanced as possible. If the weather gets nice I try to do as much swimming as I can or take jogs through town.
I enjoy any activity outdoors, whether it be hiking, fishing, hunting, you name it. In the summer, I spend most of my time off swimming and spending days out in the sunshine. If I’m not spending my time outside, I am a sports fanatic, so if there is a good game on, I’ll be watching it. Most of all, I am a HUGE football fan. So once fall rolls around you can find me any given Sunday with friends and family cheering on the Green Bay Packers to victory.
Charise graduated from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in 2006 with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science. She has a hospitality background and spent years working in finance before taking some time off to travel the country. Upon returning home she found the opportunity to join the Health In Balance team as an administrator. Charise loves the aspect of helping people feel better that comes with working at Health In Balance.
I practice yoga and pilates. In the warmer months I enjoy hiking and swimming.
I love reading, traveling, trying new restaurants, and spending time with family and friends.