About Us

Leanora Premeau, MPT

Leanora Premeau MPT, is a graduate of Rockhurst College (a Jesuit College), in Kansas City, Missouri. Her wide range of experience includes sports medicine, home health care and long-term care. Leanora also specializes in aquatic physical therapy, and manual therapy. She also offers therapy to seniors in their homes who may have difficulty getting to her clinic. Leanora enjoys working with multiple cultures and age groups.

Patients from all walks of life seek her expertise. Their needs range from high school sports injuries, workers’ comp injuries and seniors undergoing joint replacement rehabilitation. She also treats stroke patients and a variety of orthopedic conditions that require the experience of a physical therapist. After ten years of practice, she opened her own sports medicine clinic that has been in operation for eight years on Blake Street in Salida, CO.

Her choice to pursue a career in physical therapy was instigated by her own ski injury in 1991. This accident left her with multiple injuries, and she endured months of physical therapy. As fate would have it, this experience became a life-changing event.

Prior to the accident, Leanora had been a summer river guide in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. Winters were spent working in the ski industry. Her accident and injuries gave her the insights, discipline and focus to pursue a full-time career in physical therapy.

What makes Arkansas Valley Physical Therapy special? Leanora experienced pain and injury first-hand. She offers this understanding along with an unwavering commitment to her clients’ full recovery. Over the years, Leanora’s empathy and interpersonal skills have given her a wide range of exposure to patients from many different cultures and backgrounds.

Melinda Dierks, LPTA

Melinda Dierks LPTA has been practicing as a physical therapist assistant for 30 years. Melinda graduated with the first class of PTA’s in the State of Colorado at Morgan Community College in Ft Morgan, Colorado with an Associate of Applied Sciences degree. Melinda has worked in many therapy settings to include home health care, outpatient orthopedics, sports medicine, geriatrics and nursing homes, and assisted living facilities. Melinda participated in training in Vestibular and Balance rehabilitation in a facility in Colorado Springs for 6 years before moving to the mountains near Salida.

She enjoys working with and teaching strength and balance to all age groups and assisting her clients to return to their daily lives after injury, surgery or disability. Melinda has worked at Arkansas Valley Physical Therapy for four and a half years and is a very important and valuable part of our team. Among all of her other duties here are caring and watching over our therapy dog on site as our Scottie is part of the team too! McKenna Mae the scottie loves and watches over people through their recovery too! We have a great team!

(In Memory Of) Shona Fiona Brae, Therapy Dog

Shona Fiona Brae has worked in rehabilitation facilities for most of her life. She is a purebred Scottish Terrier. She began work at the age of 3 months. She began working in Hildebrand Care Center and Skyline Ridge nursing home in Canon City, Colorado in 2009 and worked there off and on for five years. As a puppy, she was socialized by being around many people all day long in busy therapy rooms full of people participating in therapy programs. Many days are very busy. Shona learned to tolerate being around people using walkers, canes and wheelchairs. The staff in nursing homes also benefit from Shona’s loving presence. They have hard days at work and sometimes they need Shona to help them deal with the stress of patient care on those trying days.

Shona currently works in River Valley Inn in Del Norte, Colorado since it opened in June 2018. When I started my business, I was working out of town for many years and still do but not as frequently. My outpatient clinic has grown and Shona works with me every day.

Therapy dogs provide comfort, affection and love to people in medical facilities. The optimism and happiness a therapy dog visit can provide to a patient is one that cannot be measured by doctors’ instruments or recorded in a patient’s chart. I am grateful my clinic has grown and Shona has been there by my side all the way. Her favorite things to do are hike up at Mount Princeton Hot Springs area and other Mountains nearby. She is a great fishing buddy. She loves getting into streams and rivers getting her feet and belly wet!