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Mountain Area Pro Bono Health Services

We are now offering telehealth Physical Therapy. Please contact us if you are interested in our services or have any questions.

The Student Board of the Mountain Area Pro Bono Health Clinic


Our Mission

MAPPT Students with Dr. Hudson


Our mission is to provide effective, pro bono physical therapy and social work services to the under-served and under-insured population of western North Carolina. We strive to improve quality of life, health, and function of our clients while serving the community and fostering student education. 

Physical therapists diagnose movement dysfunction that interferes with quality of life at any age, design treatment plans to restore and optimize function and prevent disability, and also promote healthy lifestyles and injury prevention by developing fitness and wellness-oriented programs.

In collaboration with other healthcare professionals, social workers contribute to patient’s health and wellness by providing mental health prevention and treatment services with special focus on behavioral and bio-psychosocial issues. Healthcare social workers help patients with the emotional adjustment to their condition and work to improve quality of life.

Who We Serve

Mountain Area Pro Bono Health Services serves uninsured or under-insured individuals in western North Carolina, regardless of socio-economic or health status. 

If you do not currently have physical therapy coverage, please call for full eligibility details: 828-227-3527.

Through the generosity of Harris Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy, Mountain Area Pro Bono Health Services is able to use their physical therapy clinic space, located on the first level of Western Carolina University's Health and Human Sciences Building at 3971 Little Savannah Road, Cullowhee, NC.

WCU Notice of Privacy Practices

Is pain limiting your ability to work or participate in activities you enjoy? Have you fallen or are you afraid of falling? Have you had an injury or illness that has limited your function? Have you had a stroke and are still trying to regain function?

Call 828.227.3527 to leave a voicemail and make an appointment. If you do not currently have physical therapy coverage, please call for full eligibility details.

Physical therapy services are provided by Doctor of Physical Therapy students under the direct supervision of licensed physical therapists.

Meet some of our clinicians:

Jon Brown
Jon earned his Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from Franklin Pierce University in Manchester, NH in 2009. He currently works in the outpatient and inpatient settings with Mission Health, primarily at Highlands-Cashiers Hospital and Angel Medical Center. He also has experience in inpatient rehabilitation and home health physical therapy. Jon has a variety of physical therapy interests which include manual therapy, soft tissue mobilization, and myofascial work. In addition, Jon has interests in working with a number of populations including geriatrics, general orthopedics, and patients with neurological and vestibular conditions. Jon is an avid runner and has completed several full and half marathons. He enjoys playing soccer, hiking, and trail running, fishing, cycling, farming, and spending time with his wife and three children.

Ansel Clayton
Ansel earned his Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from WCU in 2017. He then completed an orthopedic residency through East Tennessee State University and the Mountain Home VAMC. Ansel currently works as a staff physical therapist at Harris Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy clinic in Cullowhee, NC. As a physical therapist, Ansel finds particular interests in clinical reasoning thought processes, application of manual therapy, and the therapeutic alliance. He plans to further his professional career by pursuing a fellowship in orthopedic manual therapy.

Sandy Davis
Sandy is a physical therapist and board-certified specialist in pediatrics. She received her Masters Degree in Physical Therapy from Western Carolina University in 1998 and has been working with Harris Regional Hospital providing physical therapy to young children since 1998. She serves as the Clinical Coordinator for Harris Regional Hospital's pediatric rehabilitation services. Sandy also has a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Georgia. Prior to working as a PT, she has 12 years of experience as a social worker, primarily working with infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families.

Josh Jones
Josh earned his Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from WCU in 2015. He then completed an orthopedic residency at Nxt Gen Institute and is now a PT Board Certified Orthopaedic Specialist. Josh currently works as the Clinic Coordinator at Harris Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy clinic in Cullowhee, NC. In addition, Josh has certifications in dry needling and direct access physical therapy (DAC). As a physical therapist, Josh finds particular interests in neuroscience and pain, neurophysiology, mechanical transduction through manual therapy, and exercise programming. He plans to further his professional career by pursuing a fellowship in orthopedic manual therapy.

Elly Schmitmeyer
Elly is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she completed her undergraduate degree in Rehabilitation Sciences with a minor in Studio Arts at the University of Pittsburgh. Elly came to western North Carolina to the PT program at WCU, and she currently lives in Sylva, NC, and works at Cherokee Indian Hospital and PRN at CarePartners Inpatient Rehabilitation. Elly is particularly interested in Parkinson’s disease, stroke, balance and gait dysfunction, and vestibular rehab. Elly is certified in LSVT BIG for Parkinson’s and Tai Chi for arthritis. Elly loves to go biking, hiking, and camping in the mountains and go dancing in her free time.

Sae Smyrl
Sae earned his B.S. in Exercise Science with honors at Georgia State University in 2000 and then earned a Master’s degree in Physical Therapy at WCU in 2004. Sae has since worked as a PT throughout western NC in diverse settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, private homes, and outpatient clinics. Sae has advanced training and experience treating vertigo and other dizziness and balance issues. He is Astym certified, meaning he has the tools and training to provide the only regenerative rehab therapy currently known. He also has a passion for manual techniques to mobilize joints and soft tissue.  Sae has advanced knowledge in yoga, strength training, exercise physiology, and cycling.

"It can be hard to initially sacrifice the time on a Wednesday night when you have a busy week but the opportunity to work with the amazing supervising clinicians MAPHealth offers is unrivaled and has helped improve my clinical reasoning, my confidence on clinical rotations and my communication skills with patients. I truly believe volunteering in MAPHealth was the most valuable part of my didactic education. It reinforced what I learned in my classes and helped me prepare for working with people, which I realized was not as straightforward as I expected (despite all the "it depends" I already heard). Additionally, I found that the nature of having to defend my clinical reasoning and explain my thought process better prepared me for clinical rotations and the residency interview process." ~Anne Pursiful, Class of 2021

“It can be difficult balancing weeks of school and clinic but it’s what keeps me motivated and inspired knowing that I’m doing something I love while making a change in another’s life. The hard work and long nights are all worth it when you can see a patient progress throughout the semester while building upon our clinical reasoning skills. The more I volunteer, the more comfortable I become with the application of our knowledge and the progression of individualized care.” ~Emily Schaul, Class of 2022

Mountain Area Pro Bono Health Services Student Board members are elected each year from the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. This group of dedicated students is guided by faculty member Dr. Ashley Hyatt. The students' energy and commitment, along with Dr. Hyatt's experience and enthusiasm, make the clinic a reality. Current 1st-year students interested in joining the Student Board please complete the Application.

The Mountain Area Pro Bono Health Services is made possible by your dedication and commitment. Please be a part of the collaborative problem-solving team by submitting your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions. 

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