Niel Visser, PT, DPT
Niel Visser was born and raised in South Africa. From a young age he was passionate about sports, and excelled in rugby, track and field, tennis and surfing. His love of sports, and a sustained back injury, would introduce him to physical therapy and lead him to pursue it as a career. After two years in the military and a gap year in Europe, Niel enrolled at the University of Stellenbosch, graduating in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy. Seizing an opportunity to work and travel, Niel came to the USA in 1995, and worked in various settings across the country as a PRN therapist. He gained experience working in in-patient rehab facilities, acute/sub-acute care, nursing homes, home health, outpatient orthopedics, sports medicine and work hardening. In 1999 Niel took a position in Spartanburg and became the clinical area coordinator overseeing four outpatient facilities. He co-founded Advanced Therapy Solutions, Inc. in April of 2003 and, with his business partner, Dillen Hartley, has seen their business grow from one clinic and two staff members to four facilities and 37 employees. Niel received the Butch Buchanan Award for Clinical Excellence from SCAPTA in 2007, in recognition of his contributions and outstanding performance in the practice of physical therapy. In 2014 Niel completed his Doctorate in Physical Therapy with emphasis on Executive Practice Management through Evidence In Motion. He and his team also received the Faculty Favorite Award in the Business Plan Competition. Niel has a special interest in treating spine patients pre- and post-operatively, as well as sports injuries. He enjoys staying up to date on the latest therapy related research. When he is not at work, Niel enjoys playing racquetball, hanging out with family and friends, and following his favorite sports teams.
Mareli Klopper, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT
Mareli Klopper qualified as a Physical Therapist from the University of Pretoria in South Africa in 1995. She spent the next few years of her career travelling and working in various settings and countries, including South Africa, the United Kingdom, Namibia and the USA. In 2009, Mareli returned to the USA and after working in an acute hospital setting in Louisiana for a year, she joined ATS in Spartanburg (2011) to continue working in outpatient Orthopaedic Physical Therapy, her preferred clinical environment. She completed her Doctorate in Physical Therapy through Evidence in Motion in 2013. Mareli is recognized as an Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist by the American Physical Therapy Association and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists. In her free time, she enjoys riding her dual-sport motorcycle in the Blue Ridge Mountains with her husband.
Shellye Godfrey, OTR/L, CHT
Shellye Godfrey, Occupational Therapist and Certified Hand Therapist, joined the ATS team in 2008. After graduating from the State University of New York, she began her career at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami where she focused on hand injuries, burns and amputees. She worked at the Hand and Upper Extremity Burn Unit of North Carolina Memorial Hospital for five years. In 1982 Shellye transitioned to Asheville Mission Hospital where she established a Hand Rehab Unit. She owned her own private practice, the Hand Center, in Greenville for 19 years. Shellye is a former President of the American Society of Hand Therapists, and has lectured extensively internationally and nationally on splinting, burn injuries and prosthetic training. She is published in the Journal of Hand Surgery, the Journal of Hand Therapy and in multiple Hand Therapy text books. Shellye enjoys spending time off at her home in the mountains, cooking, and taking care of her dog, Yogi.
Julia Shuler, PT
After completing her undergraduate work at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, Julia Shuler received her Physical Therapy degree from the Medical University of South Carolina in 2006. Julia worked in inpatient, outpatient and home health settings before joining ATS in 2012. She devotes most of her free time to her husband and two small girls, and enjoys worship and fellowship at her
Edith Connor, COTA
Occupational Therapist Assistant
Edie Connor grew up in Worcester, Massachusetts where she earned her AS in Occupational Therapy from Becker College in 1990. She has worked as an outpatient therapist for 24 years, specializing in Upper Extremity and Hand Rehabilitation. She has also served honorably in the US Army as a Staff Sergeant, a Medic and Orthopedic Technician. Edie is a recent addition to the ATS team, joining us in August of 2014. When not working, Edie enjoys camping, fishing, traveling and home renovations.
Heather Brown, PTA
In 1998, Heather Brown graduated as a Physical Therapy Assistant from the Greenville Technical College. She worked in the acute and sub-acute care setting at St. Francis Hospital in Greenville until 2003. During this period she also did part-time work for a nursing home facility. She spent the next few years at Spartanburg Regional Restorative Care Hospital, where she dealt with joint replacements, strokes and traumatic injuries. Heather celebrated her 10th anniversary with ATS in 2014. She hopes to one day teach a PTA program to extend her love of teaching. Heather’s evenings and weekends are filled attending her son’s football and baseball matches.
Blake Givens, DPT
Blake received her undergrad from the State University of New York in Cortland, NY, with a degree in Physical Education in 2005. After graduation she accepted a position as an aquatic director in the recreation department for the City of Myrtle Beach, SC. Blake held this position for 8 years before returning to school to pursue the advanced degree of Doctor of Physical Therapy from the University of St. Augustine in St. Augustine, FL. Blake graduated in 2015 and joined Advanced Therapy Solutions in 2016. She enjoys working in the outpatient environment and has a passion for aquatic therapy. Blake enjoys being active and spending time with her family.
Chelsea Lynch, PTA
Chelsea Lynch began a career coaching volleyball in 2008 as the Head Coach for Pickens Middle School and for various travel volleyball clubs. In 2009, she received her certification to work as a Personal Trainer. After several years working as a volleyball and exercise coach, Chelsea decided to pursue a career in Physical Therapy. Chelsea completed a clinical rotation with Advanced Therapy Solutions prior to graduating from the Physical Assistant program at Grenville Technical College in 2013. She was thrilled to accept a PRN position with the company immediately after graduating. Following that, Chelsea worked with a short-term rehabilitation facility where she treated strokes, joint replacements, and overall debility. In 2016, Chelsea returned to the ATS family to work at the Spartanburg Westside facility. In her free time Chelsea enjoys various fitness activities, exploring the outdoors, and traveling.
Melanie Collett, LMT, CPMT
Melanie M. Collett, LMT, CPMT is a 2003 honors graduate from The Greenville Tech Massage Therapy Program in SC. She is certified through The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. She specializes in Swedish, Deep Tissue and Trigger Point Therapy. Melanie also became certified in Pediatric Massage in 2013 from The Georgia Massage School in Atlanta. She has been a massage therapy business owner since 2003 and has worked with Advanced Therapy Solutions since 2009.
Natalie Smith, LMBT
After working in a variety of healthcare facilities, including cardiology, gynecology, and chiropractic since 1999, Natalie decided on a more holistic approach in massage/bodywork therapy. She graduated from Alpha School of Massage, Greenville, SC in 2004. Since then Natalie has been working in the Upstate as an independent contractor and owns a mobile massage service. Most clients would describe Natalie’s massage techniques as “gentle but firm”. Many modalities are used in her sessions, such as active and passive stretches, along with myofascial release. Deep tissue, sports and neuromuscular massage are among her specialties. When not massaging, Natalie’s passions are family, friends and good health.
Dixie Whetsell, CMOM
Originally from Nashville Tennessee, Dixie Whetsell moved to Spartanburg in 1990. She started working at ATS doing wellness screenings in 2004. Over the course of the next two years, as the company grew, Dixie’s administrative role evolved as well, eventually expanding into the position of Practice Manager that she holds today, overseeing all ATS facilities. Dixie is a Certified Medical Office Manager and is currently pursuing certification in related health care areas. She enjoys the great outdoors and loves hiking in the mountains, especially in the fall.
Lena graduated from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, with a Bachelor of Arts degree, and earned a post-graduate diploma from AAA School of Advertising in Cape Town in 1994. She joined her husband, Niel, in the United States in 1995, and together they traveled extensively before settling down in Spartanburg. She worked in the public relations industry for several years before officially joining the ATS team in 2008. Lena manages Accounts Payable and Human Resources for the company. She loves spending time with her husband and two sons, listening to music, reading and traveling when time affords it.
Larry Godfrey has been Facilities Manager and therapy technical aide for Advanced Therapy Solutions since 2008. In his younger years Larry traveled extensively, and served his country in the Vietnam War. He is the person to call when light bulbs need to be replaced, faucets drip, or a stray spider finds its way into the kitchen. He also ensures that the Westside clinic runs smoothly every day with clean linens and towels. As the Westside clinic’s self appointed goodwill ambassador, Larry reminds us every day that “there is always something to be grateful for”. Larry is married to Shellye Godfrey, CHT at ATS. The couple makes the long drive from Bat Cave, North Carolina every day to the Westside Clinic of ATS. Larry enjoys spending time at their beautiful home in the mountains where he practices his woodwork hobby in his spare time.
Rachel grew up in Belvidere, NJ and recently moved to Spartanburg. She graduated from Warren County Community College with an Associates Degree in Fine Arts in 2011. Taking a turn, Rachel worked as a Medical Assistant for three years before joining the staff at ATS early in 2016. In her spare time she enjoys the outdoors, gardening and spending time with friends.
Becky Lowe joined ATS in December of 2016 as Intake Coordinator at the Spartanburg Westside facility. She graduated from Virginia College with an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science for Medical Office Administration. Becky was on the President’s List and inducted into the National Honors Society. She is also a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. Becky is mom to two daughters, Jocelyn and Jasmine. In her free time she enjoys movies with her two princesses, and listening to music.