Meet Our Team

Who we are and why we love helping you

Dr. Nathaniel Hoover, PT, DPT, OCS - Clinic Director

Dr.  Hoover is a Wisconsin native practicing since May  2012

Why did you want to be a physical therapist?

After sustaining a fracture of my low back when I was 16 years old when snowboarding, I personally learned the great benefits of physical therapy. My back injury motivated me at a young age to pursue my dream of helping patients regain their function and decrease their pain to participate in what they enjoy.


Undergraduate: UW-La Crosse in Exercise Sports Science

Graduate: Doctorate in Physical Therapy at UW- Madison

Residency: UW Hospitals and Clinics and UnityPoint Health – Meriter Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency


  • Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
  • Trigger Point dry needling
  • APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructor
  • American Heart Association CPR and AED Certified (this is true for all clinicians)

What can the patient expect when they have you as a doctor?
“My patients can expect a detail-oriented, caring approach to their care. I take great pride in understanding what my patient is having trouble completing and work with them to meet personalized goals. I value education, manual therapy and exercise. I feel that if a patient can understand and learn the reason for their pain or dysfunction, they will be successful in changing it.”

What is the most important factor in a doctor-patient relationship and why?
Communication. Clinicians need to understand what a patient is going through to be able to help them most effectively. Sound communication allows for empathy, appropriate intervention, education and ultimately goal attainment.


  • American Physical Therapy Association Member
  • American Physical Therapy Association - Wisconsin Chapter - Member
    • Southwest District Committee Member
  • AAOMPT Member

FREE TIME: Dr. Hoover is a devoted husband and father to his son, Edwin.  His physical activities: Golfing, hunting, softball, biking and chasing after his rescue dog, Redbone Coonhound, Harley.


Connect with Dr. Hoover on LinkedIn

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Dr. Jennifer Jeschke PT, DPT, CMPT, MFDc - Owner

Jennifer Jeschke is a Wisconsin native, born and raised in Racine, WI. She established her career in Lake Mills in 2004 and opened Optimal Physical Therapy in 2005.

She is an active member of the Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association, currently serving as our district chair and board of directors for the Private Practice Special Interest Group.

She received her Clinical Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Areas of special interest and expertise include orthopedic and sports medicine, Injured Worker rehabilitation and injury prevention, Trigger Point Dry Needling, Myofascial Decompression Techniques, and is a Certified Golf Performance Specialist through Nike and the Gray Institute.

In her free time she enjoys volleyball, golf, swimming, travel, and running her 2 Texas rescue dogs.

Connect with Dr. Jeschke on LinkedIn

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Dr. Grace Compton, PT, DPT

Grace ComptonDoctor of Physical Therapy Graduate UW-Madison

Special interests: vestibular, balance, orthopedics, and sports.


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Mara Martin, PTA

Mara Martin, PTA

Mara grew up in central Wisconsin, moved to Madison to attend college in 2011. Mara joined Optimal in 2021 and provides physical therapy treatment at The Ranch in Marshall under Optimal Physical Therapy.  She also operates a gym in Marshall called The Ranch Training Center with her boyfriend Max.

Why did you want to be a physical therapist assistant?

In high school, I realized from my anatomy & physiology class that I was fascinated by the human body. I researched potential majors and landed on studying Kinesiology in college. I was offered many unique opportunities working with different populations of people throughout the next few years, such as in-home caregiving, volunteering with UW-Madison’s Adapted Fitness program, becoming a personal trainer, and leading multiple programs for MSCR’s Adapted Recreational Department. From these experiences, I knew I wanted to continue working with people in a healthcare setting and was most interested in the profession of physical therapy. I decided to become a PTA because it was more cost-effective for me and I was able to stay in the Madison area, where I had been building invaluable relationships for the past several years.

Why Marshall?

Marshall is a community that has been lacking in both fitness and physical therapy resources. The Ranch had already established many connections in the neighboring town of Waterloo, so we decided to expand our small personal training studio into a fully operating gym in late 2020. We knew we could offer more services with the size of our new facility, so we reached out to Optimal about expanding its physical therapy services through our gym in Marshall.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from UW-Madison
  • Physical Therapist Assistant Associate’s degree from Madison College


  • Barbell Rehab Method Certification
  • Injury Prevention Specialist Certification
  • American Heart Association Heartsaver CPR/AED Certification

Areas of special interest:

Barbell strength training, manual therapy, orthopedics, injury prevention

What can the patient expect when they have you as a therapist?

Listening to my patients because there is often much more to the puzzle underneath the surface. Being stubborn, solutions for your physical limitations can be found in many ways.

What is the most important factor in a therapist-patient relationship and why?

Trust. If you can’t trust your provider with your health, you’re not getting the care you deserve.


  • Associations: Marshall Area Business Association and the Lake Mills Chamber of Commerce.
  • Memberships: American Physical Therapy Association—Wisconsin
  • Volunteer: Assistant coach for The Ranch Training Center’s Powerlifting team

STAYING FIT: I enjoy lifting weights, biking, and hiking.

FUN TIME: Exploring new restaurants, traveling, and spending time with my malamute, Arya.

Favorite treatment and Why?

I love incorporating manual therapy techniques into my practice, particularly soft-tissue mobilization (massage). The human touch is so important for both its physical and emotional benefits, such as establishing trust with a person.


"Mara is not only my PTA with Optimal, but also my (Personal) Trainer at the Ranch Training Center, helping me to overcome some physical issues through treatment and strength. She has the ability and techniques to not only address the aches and pains that come with life, but also continue to build my strength and agility to be able to help me see my personal health goals become a reality.  Her understanding of how the body works is amazing. I ask a lot of questions and she has great answers.  She listens, she cares, and she strives to make me strong and healthy.” - Lynn P.

"Optimal Physical Therapy helped me by correcting a bicep issue that was holding back my strength gains, Mara is the best!!" - Patrick Edge

“When I decided to have my knee replacement, I knew I would have a ton of PT appointments. My insurance allowed me choices where I was able to go for therapy.  I chose Optimal PT because of its location.  From the first appointment, I felt heard, valued and respected.  The pain was incredibly intense in the beginning and Dr. Nate devised an exercise routine that allowed for recovery with respect to my pain.  He pushed me gently to respect my body and still meet my own goals.  As I work with Mara PTA at The Ranch in Marshall now, she is continuing to build on what Dr. Nate started.  She has continued to encourage me as I recover.  I would highly recommend going to Optimal PT for post-op recovery!” - Rebecca Milam

Connect with Mara Martin on LinkedIn

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Brandon Banda

Brandon Banda

Brandon Banda is originally from Milwaukee but currently resides in Oconomowoc. Brandon is a physical therapist assistant graduate from Bryant and Stratton College. He has been an active individual and has played sports the majority of his life including rugby, football, and basketball. During his athletic endeavors, he has had his fair share of injuries which required the assistance of a professional to aid in his recovery process. Through this process, he found a passion and desire to help people get better, just as others had done for him. This newfound passion led him to become a PTA. Besides his passion for client care and sports, he enjoys long walks on the beach, a relaxing 10-mile hike, and spending time with those closest to him.

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Clay Martinson

Clay Martinson Clay Martinson was born and raised in Appleton, WI, and after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a bachelor's degree in health and human performance, he has been an avid sports enthusiast throughout his life. Presently, he actively participates in volleyball, competing in the Volleyball League of America as a member of the Madison Inferno. Having faced his share of sports-related injuries and personal challenges, Clay's experiences have fueled his passion for helping others who find themselves in similar situations. Beyond his sporting endeavors, he finds comfort and joy in the outdoors, often spending quality time with his family and beloved dog.
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Greg Wunrow, PTA

Greg Wunrow, PTA

Greg is a Physical Therapist Assistant that moved here from Marshfield Wisconsin and is a former personal trainer, strength and conditioning coach, current powerlifting coach and competitor who received his associate degree from Bryant and Stratton College for Physical Therapist Assistant.

Why did you want to be a physical therapist assistant?

I have been a personal trainer, coach and competitor for years. In this journey, I found a respect for how the body moves and why we hurt. Being in personal training and coaching I was able to get people to do things they never thought possible, as a PTA I am able to help people move and feel better in a way that not only improves how they are feeling but their overall quality of life.


Undergraduate - Bachelor’s Degree in Business Marketing with a minor in communication from Carroll University

Physical therapist Assistant - associate degree from Bryant and Stratton College in Wauwatosa


Certified Personal Trainer

Strength and Conditioning Coach

Areas of special interest:

Manual Therapy

Myofascial Decompression

Strength and power training

What can the patient expect when they have you as a therapist?

I am results-driven. I like most people do not like to waste their time or money. I am a solutions person in both the restorative and preventive stages of recovery. Love it when people are feeling and moving better which equals a better quality of life.

What is the most important factor in a therapist-patient relationship and why?

Optimizing results. Delivering life-changing patient outcomes while understanding patient goals is my passion.


STAYING FIT: Powerlifting, coaching, and general fitness

FUN TIME: Spending time with my wife and our dog named Tank. I also love training for powerlifting and getting my athletes ready for meets. I just picked up golf because everyone in the clinic golfs and I can’t embarrass myself.


I love to do myofascial deep tissue work and manual therapy interventions

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Julie Larson, Office Manager

Julie Larson

Julie is the Office Manager, responsible for the non-clinical aspects of the day-to-day operations since 2018.  She has always been very passionate about people and wanted to work in healthcare all her life. After 20 years in retail, she is excited to be part of a wonderful team that has her goals and interests in mind!

When can a patient expect to engage with you?

During the intake process, I help patients with their insurance questions and make sure to get authorizations when needed. I will be there for you with all your administration needs.

What is the most important factor in patients choosing Optimal Physical Therapy?

Movement is crucial to a person’s health, quality of life, and independence.

STAYING FIT: Walking my dogs, hiking, and biking

FUN TIME:  Family, friends, massage therapy, being outdoors, and traveling.

Favorite Service at Optimal? Aquatic Therapy

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Kris Melcher, Patient Coordinator

Kris MelcherKris was raised in Beaver Dam, WI. and lives in Watertown. Her patient skills learned from Watertown Regional Medical clinic in Lake Mills and people skills as a hairdresser for 20 + years is perfect for Optimal Physical Therapy patients. She likes one-on-one interaction and making a patient’s life easier.

When can a patient expect to engage with you?

Kris makes it a goal to create a safe, positive, caring, and welcoming atmosphere for all who enter the clinic.  She goes above and beyond to provide convenient schedules for the patients.  She is thrilled to grow as a team member at Optimal Physical Therapy and looks forward to making a difference in the lives of all who enter our building.

What is the most important factor in patients choosing Optimal Physical Therapy?

Patient access to healthcare is so important. The people of Jefferson County can find unparalleled service and expertise in a very easy, uncomplicated way.

STAYING FIT: Walking, working out, paddling and snowshoeing.

FUN TIME:  Kris has been married for 36 years to her Lakeside Lutheran high school sweetheart. Spending time with their 3 married daughters, 3 grandsons, 9-month-old English cream golden retriever "Callie".

Favorite Service at Optimal? Coming soon

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“Early treatment is the key to maximizing movement, managing chronic pain and recovering from surgery and injuries.”

Dr. Jennifer Jeschke PT, DPT, CMPT, MFDc

Words from Our Patients

Your Health is Our Top Priority

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