Physical Therapy Staff


Rachel LaPonsey, PT, DPT
Rachel has extensive experience in the outpatient orthopedic physical therapy setting. She has worked in outpatient clinics in both in Michigan and in the United Kingdom. Rachel initially trained as a physical therapist in London, England qualifying in 1990. More recently, she returned to studying whilst also working and obtained a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Utica College in New York.

Prior to joining the Orthopedic Institute of Michigan (OIM) physical therapy team Rachel worked for several years for the Detroit Medical Center and prior to that she worked in a private practice in Edinburgh, Scotland. This practice including working with high level athletes as well as members of the public.

Additionally, Rachel has taken numerous courses on a wide variety of physical therapy topics to develop expertise in manual therapy and functional exercise training.

Rachel is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP). She is also a member of the Sports Physical Therapy section.

Rachel has been a member of the OIM team since 2013.


Melissa Perez, PTA
Melissa has been working in the field of physical therapy since 1996. She is a 2001 graduate of Henry Ford Community College’s Physical Therapist Assistant program. She also holds a Bachelors of Science in Biology from Madonna University. Working primarily in orthopedics since graduating from HFCC, Melissa has a wide range of experience with patients from pediatric to geriatric. She is licensed as a PTA in the State of Indiana.

She has attended several continuing education courses since graduation. One of her main interests is that of manual therapy.

Melissa is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and Michigan Physical Therapy Association (MPTA). She is also a member of the Orthopedic Section of the APTA and Animal Rehabilitation Special Interest Group.

Melissa has been a member of the OIM team since January 2005.