Jackson Hitchner, PT, DPT

Orthopedic Physical Therapy Resident

Hometown: Mooresville, NC

About: Jackson knew he wanted to work in healthcare because he had a passion for the health of his community and beyond. While working on his Exercise and Sport Science degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Jackson developed a passion for physical therapy, volunteering at the university hospital system. He loved that he was able to foster relationships with patients throughout their plan of care and help them succeed. After graduating, Jackson was accepted into the Medical University of South Carolina's Doctor of Physical Therapy Program where he would obtain his DPT.

Throughout his time in PT school, Jackson talked with many staff and alumni about the opportunities participating in a residency could offer. At Harris Health, he loved the idea of receiving great mentorship, in combination with treating a unique patient population very few other places can offer. Knowing that the values of Harris Health matched with that of Jackson's, he was ecstatic to accept the orthopedic residency offer.

Evelyn Villarreal Laclede, PT, DPT

Orthopedic Physical Therapy Resident

Hometown: El Paso, Texas

About: Evelyn was born, raised, and completed all of her education in El Paso, Texas. She discovered the career of physical therapy after going through rehab for shoulder pain in high school. While still not knowing what she wanted to study in college, Evelyn volunteered at a hospital emergency department where she loved to use her Bilingual English-Spanish language skills to communicate with patients. After deciding to pursue physical therapy, she became involved in research to examine the University of Texas at El Paso, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program’s Spanish language training program and has published in peer reviewed journals.

During her physical therapy rotations across different cities in Texas and out of state, Evelyn realized that she loved the orthopedic setting. She had several clinical instructors who pursued residency and fellowship programs which inspired her to pursue further education. She worked for a year in a private practice clinic in El Paso before applying for the Harris Health Residency Program. Evelyn hopes to improve her clinical skills through residency to improve access to care for non-English speaking patients and underserved populations.

Evelyn loves to spend time with her husband and her dog, visit/hike at National Parks (she has been to 8!), and enjoys bouldering at climbing gyms.

Sara Rundgren, PT, DPT

Orthopedic Physical Therapy Resident

Hometown: Waxahachie, TX

About: Sara has known she wanted to work in the rehabilitative world since her senior year of high school while volunteering at a pediatric clinic that provided physical, occupational, and speech therapy. After graduating high school, she attended Texas A&M University where she majored in Kinesiology-Motor Behavior with a minor in Psychology. During undergrad, she spent 2 summers in Chicago working as a physical therapy rehab aide in an outpatient orthopedic clinic. This experience solidified her desire to become a physical therapist.

She graduated from A&M in 2018 and moved to Houston to attend Texas Woman’s University to obtain her doctorate in physical therapy. During PT school, she had the privilege of completing a clinical rotation with the Harris Health System at Quentin Mease and Sareen Clinic. This was a transformative period for her where she got to truly see all the ways a physical therapist can provide holistic care. Outside of the classroom and clinic, Sara volunteered with RSVP and Hearts in Motion.

Sara is so thrilled and honored to be part of the Harris Health family. In the future, she hopes to obtain her Orthopedic Clinical Specialty certification and work in both orthopedics and pelvic floor physical therapy.

Nicole Hoppe, PT, DPT

Orthopedic Physical Therapy Resident

Hometown: Houston, TX

About: Nicole has known that she wanted to become a physical therapist while she accompanied her grandmother to her physical therapy appointments while in high school. After graduating from high school, Nicole attended University of Texas at Austin with degrees in Exercise Science and Spanish. Upon graduation, Nicole worked as a rehabilitation aide in an outpatient neurologic clinic that solidified her desire to become a physical therapist.

She then moved to San Antonio to attend the University of the Incarnate Word’s School of Physical therapy where she would obtain her DPT. During PT school, Nicole had the opportunity to complete a clinical rotation within the Harris Health System at Fournace Place. It was here that she learned she loved the orthopedic setting and saw the great mentorship provided by faculty and the care provided to the unique patient population that they serve. Nicole is excited and honored to be a part of the orthopedic residency and hopes to further develop her clinical skills.

Outside of the clinic, Nicole enjoys spending time with her family, bouldering at climbing gyms and volunteering through the Junior League of Houston.

Cruz Armas, PT, DPT, ACSM-EP

Orthopedic Physical Therapy Resident

Hometown: Brownsville, TX

About: Cruz has known he wanted to work in rehabilitation since his sophomore year at Rivera High School where he got the opportunity to observe physical therapists at Valley Regional Medical Center. After high school, he attended Texas A&M University- Kingsville (TAMUK) and majored in kinesiology with a focus in pre-physical therapy. Also, he later obtained a master’s degree in kinesiology at the same university. During his time at TAMUK, Cruz was involved in leadership opportunities such as being a graduate assistant, president of the pre-physical therapy club, captain of the student bowl team, and taught an exercise class. He found a passion in exercise physiology and biomechanics.

During physical therapy school at Texas Woman’s University, he did four rotations including acute care, sports pediatrics, outpatient orthopedics, and inpatient neurological rehab. Cruz realized that it was rewarding when he provided care to patients who required resources, financial assistance, and transportation. Also, it was a fulfilling experience for him when providing care for vulnerable patients who required assistance and helping to advocate for themselves to receive the best care. His greatest desire is to make an impact in the underserved population and grow as a clinician to provide holistic care. Harris Health System Orthopedic Residency aligns with Cruz’s ultimate goal.

Cruz is thrilled to be part of the Harris Health family. After residency, Cruz plans to become a Board-Certified Specialist in Orthopedic Physical therapy, become an adjunct professor, become a clinical instructor, and engage in research.

John Schaefer, PT, DPT, CSCS

Orthopedic Physical Therapy Resident

Hometown: Rochester, MN

About: Growing up playing golf, basketball, and high jumping for his track and field teams, John experienced his fair share of injuries and surgeries early on in life. These instances allowed him to connect with a variety of PTs who not only helped him fully recover, but also ensured him that his future did not have to be one full of pain. Inspired by these interactions and following shadowing opportunities, he applied to Saint Louis University’s (SLU) 6-Year Direct Admit PT Program.

During PT school, John volunteered at SLU’s Health Resource Center Pro Bono Clinic, treating uninsured patients throughout Saint Louis. Seeing the impact that he could have on this population in terms of patient advocacy and improving health literacy, he began seeking opportunities to positively impact similar populations. After speaking with SLU Alumni, he found Harris Health’s Residency Program and was drawn to the emphasis on primary care, extensive mentorship, and the unique patient population within the system.

Additionally, John is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and enjoys working with endurance athletes interested in cross training. Outside of the clinic, John loves to cycle, lift weights, travel to new places, and spend time with friends and family. In the future, he plans on obtaining his Orthopedic Clinical Specialty certification and pursuing his interests as they continue to expand. He is extremely excited and grateful to have the opportunity to join the Harris Health family!



  • Sarah (Zehler) Ammons, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT, Texas Woman’s University
  • Dana Tew, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT, Texas Woman’s University


  • Joseph Elliott, PT, DPT, University of Texas Health Science Center
  • Annette Karim, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS, FAAOMPT, Texas Woman’s University


  • Alex Bonhomme, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT, University of Miami
  • Ali (Jeffus) Vargo, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT, Texas Woman’s University


  • Germaine Herman, PT, DPT, OCS, University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Jamie Partridge, PT, DPT, OCS, Texas Woman’s University
  • Martina (Quivers) Void, PT, DPT, FAAOMPT, Texas Woman’s University


  • Rocio Antone, PT, DPT, OCS, OT, Texas Woman’s University
  • Tabbetha (Cruse) Neve, PT, DPT, OCS, Texas Woman’s University
  • Sarah (Lohmann) Worth, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT, Saint Louis University


  • Jim Heafner, PT, DPT, OCS, Saint Louis University
  • Elizabeth Lemos, PT, DPT, OCS, Texas Woman’s University
  • Stephanie Lynch, PT, DPT, OCS, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Taryn Jurgella, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT, University of New England


  • Nicole Baker, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT, Azusa Pacific
  • Gina Herrera, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT, Texas Woman’s University
  • Allison Smith, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT, PhD, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Eric Spencer, PT, DPT, OCS, University of Miami


  • Nick Allen, PT, DPT, OCS, University of Kansas Medical Center
  • Lauren Geiger, PT, DPT, OCS, University of Vermont
  • Amanda (Esmond) Koenning, PT, DPT, OCS, University of Texas Medical Branch
  • Cinnamon Martin, PT, DPT, OCS, Texas Woman’s University


  • Chris Cimo, PT, DPT, OCS, University of St. Augustine
  • Pablo Estrada, PT, DPT, OCS, University of Texas at El Paso
  • Dana Hill, PT, DPT, OCS, University of Southern California


  • Emily Aven, PT, DPT, OCS, University of Incarnate Word
  • Amy Hsieh, PT, DPT, OCS, Texas Woman’s University
  • Thomas Latimore, PT, DPT, OCS, University of Incarnate Word


  • Jaclyn Brooks, PT, DPT, OCS, University of New England
  • Melissa Clarke, PT, DPT, University of Florida
  • Reka Kovacs, PT, DPT, OCS, Texas Woman’s University


  • Allison Butcher, PT, DPT, PhD (c), OCS, Texas Woman’s University
  • Oluwatosin Victoria Olowoyeye, PT, DPT, MS, Texas Woman’s University


  • JR Alexander, PT, DPT, ATC Medical University of South Carolina
  • Zachary Beauchamp, PT, DPT, University of New England
  • Jave Del Rosario, PT, DPT, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center