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Staff

Dr. Ingrid Wu, PT, DPT

Physical Therapist
Dr. Ingrid Wu earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Therapy from National Taiwan University. She moved to the United States in 2003 to continue her graduate studies at the University of California, Davis, where she earned her Master of Science degree in Exercise Science. While at the University of California, Davis, she wrote her thesis, based on clinical and sports performance lab research, on the “Effects of Oral Contraceptives on Exercise Performance in Endurance Athletes”. In 2009, Dr. Wu earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Loma Linda University. Dr. Wu is a ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist.

After obtaining her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, Dr. Wu began a rigorous six month internship at COASTherapy. As an intern, she developed advanced techniques in manual therapy, prescriptive exercise, and motor control in the orthopedic population. At the completion of her internship, she left COASTherapy to practice as a full-time physical therapist where she continued to develop various and effective methods in patient treatments, while gaining experience working with different physical therapists and patient populations.

Dr. Wu rejoined COASTherapy in fall 2011, and has since focused her attention on the fast growing field of Women’s Health. In 2013, she completed the Herman & Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute’s Pelvic Floor Series. This course of study provided additional focus on treating both female and male pelvic pain and dysfunction issues, in addition to caring for the pregnant patient.

Emily Popoff, PT, DPT

Physical Therapist

Emily earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Pre-Medical Studies from the University of Notre Dame in 2008. After spending her undergraduate years learning the importance of social justice and responsibility Emily spent the next two years with Americorps, volunteering with at-risk youth in Southern California. Emily returned to school after her service was completed and in 2013 she earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Southern California. While at USC she participated in nutrition and physical wellness counseling to low-income families in East Los Angeles and created training programs for athletes participating in the Special Olympics. She also participated in the creation of an ACL tear risk assessment and prevention program for use by youth sports teams.

Understanding that Sports Medicine needed to incorporate several disciplines of physical therapy, Emily participated in a 4-month internship at the Long Beach Memorial Pulmonary Care Clinic as a member of a multi-disciplinary care team. She gained the knowledge to better understand the impact of lung diseases on therapy and exercise and how to appropriately create a wellness program for an individual with a lung pathology.

To further her education in the area of Sports Medicine and Orthopedics, Emily completed a 4-month internship at D1 Sports Training and Therapy in Knoxville, TN, where she worked with Division 1 Collegiate and professional athletes during their rehabilitation. She learned the importance of balance between manual therapy and exercise in athletic rehabilitation and increased her knowledge to create varied and unique exercise programs for all levels of athletic ability.

Emily joined the staff at Ando and Aston in November of 2013 where she continues to advance her physical therapy education and knowledge, most notably in the area of manual therapy.

To help her understand and meet the needs of her patients, Emily is a member of the APTA Sports Medicine Section and the CPTA.

Heather Ackley, DPT

Physical Therapist

“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway” -John Wayne

Heather Ackley began her academic career by earning her Bachelor of Science in Human Physiology with a minor in Chemistry from the University of Oregon. As an undergraduate, she nurtured her passion for combing health and science by working as a certified personal trainer and as a fitness instructor for several years.

She continued her education at Chapman University in Orange, California where she earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. While in Physical Therapy school Heather worked as an anatomy teaching assistant. As part of her clinical training she spent a 16 week affiliation with COASTherapy Physical Therapy where she was mentored in advanced techniques in manual therapy. Currently, in addition to her work at COASTherapy, she is an anatomy lab instructor for the Crean College of Health and Behavioral Science at Chapman University. Heather has focused her practice efforts on both orthopedic injuries and the special issues surrounding women and men’s health. She has additional experience working with patients suffering from neurological impairments such as stroke, cerebral palsy, and traumatic brain injuries.

Currently Heather is pursuing post-professional studies in manual therapy with the Institute of Physical Art. Additionally she is expanding her expertise in Women’s Health by participating in the coursework offered by Herman & Wallace. Heather is a current member of the American Physical Therapy Association.

In her free time, Heather enjoys anything outdoors and involving music.

Winnie Ma, PT, DPT

Physical Therapist

Winnie earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Biology from University of California, Davis. Winnie continued further education at Western University of Health Sciences where she obtained her doctorate degree in Physical Therapy in August 2012. In February 2013, Winnie began her career at UC Irvine Medical Center – Women’s Healthcare Center to pursue her interest in Women’s Health Physical Therapy. Winnie works closely with Urogynecologists, and collaborates with faculty in the OBGYN Department.

In preparation to obtain board certification as a Women’s Health Clinical Specialist and provide evidence based practice, Winnie is currently enrolled in continuing education courses with emphasis in pelvic floor dysfunction, pregnancy and obstetrics, pelvic pain, associated orthopedic conditions, yoga and Pilates. Winnie is passionate about nutrition, health, fitness and yoga.

Winnie is a member of the following organizations to help her understand and meet the needs of her patients:

  • APTA Women’s Health Section

Charlena Zamarripa PTA, FOC

Physical Therapist Assistant
Functional Orthopedic Certification

“I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to provide a service that promotes physical well being to such a diverse population of patients on an individualized basis”

Char graduated from California State University at Long Beach State with a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education, Athletic Training. She began her career at COASTherapy in 1987 as a part-time physical therapy aide. During this time she also held the position of Head Athletic Trainer at Canyon High School. In 1990 she became full-time staff for COASTherapy, and by 1993, due to her extensive work experience in out-patient and in-patient physical therapy, Char was able to successfully challenge the California State Boards for a Physical Therapist Assistant License.

Working at COASTherapy has not only provided valuable hands-on experience, but also the opportunity for her to attend continuing education courses that have progressed her skill level and education in physical therapy. In 2003, Char became the first Physical Therapist Assistant in the country to earn the exclusive Functional Orthopedic Certification (FOC) from the Institute of Physical Art in Colorado.

Today, she continues at COASTherapy as the Facilities Supervisor where she oversees the physical clinic and continues to provide excellent care to patients.


Elizabeth Ando, MBA, CBC

Operations Officer

Elizabeth has over 20 years of progressive operational, administrative, consulting and corporate executive experience with organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies to mid-sized medical practices. Her broad scope of experience includes operations, change management, project management, technology, marketing, business development, P & L management, and client relations. She has opened new businesses, changed and improved existing businesses, and closed and transferred assets for multi-billion dollar enterprises.

Elizabeth’s unique perspectives come from being both an owner and an employee. She has owned a consulting firm, a Pilates studio, physical therapy clinic and two billing and collecting companies. She has significant experience in delivering bottom line results to both small and large organizations in the financial services, trust, loan servicing, and healthcare industries. As a Guest Lecturer in Chapman University’s Physical Therapy Program she shares her knowledge and experience with future physical therapists who have an interest in owning their own clinics.

Elizabeth compliments her experience with a Bachelor or Arts in Business Administration with an emphasis in Retail Management and a Master of Business Administration. She holds a certification from the Business Professional Advertising Association as a Certified Business Communicator (CBC).

Consultant to Women’s Health Program

Patty Morita-Nagai, PT, WCS

Physical Therapist
Certificate of Achievement in Pelvic Physical Therapy APTA
Women’s Health Clinical Specialist

Patty earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Kinesiology and Physical Education from California State University Long Beach and continued there to obtain her Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy in 1992. From 1992 through 1997 Patty began her physical therapy career at Long Beach Memorial Hospital where she was not only an orthopedic and spine therapist but also the Center Coordinator of Clinical Education.

In 1998 Patty joined COASTherapy as a Supervisor Physical Therapist where she and Dr. Art Ando, physical therapist and practice owner began the development of the Women’s Health program. Understanding that Women’s Health integrated many disciplines of physical therapy and ancillary services such as Pilates, Patty obtained her certificate from Stott Pilates in Essential Matwork in 2002.

To further her career in Women’s Heath, in 2005 Patty joined the UCI Women’s Healthcare Center as a staff therapist and Women’s Health Specialist and she remains on staff there today. At UCI Patty was responsible for Collaborating with Faculty in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology working closely with Fellowship trained Urogynecologists. She is currently participating in a prospective study to examine the effectiveness of treating Pudendal Neuropathy.

To improve the opportunities for patients to receive excellent care in the area of Women’s Health and pelvic floor dysfunction Patty returned to COASTherapy in 2011 to add program development and treatment to the program she and Dr. Ando began back in late 1997.

Patty is a member of the following organizations to help her understand and meet the needs of her patients:

  • American Urogynecologic Society
  • International Pelvic Pain Society
  • APTA Women’s Health Section
  • American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Consultant to Women’s Health Program

Patty Morita-Nagai, PT, WCS

Physical Therapist
Certificate of Achievement in Pelvic Physical Therapy APTA
Women’s Health Clinical Specialist


Patty earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Kinesiology and Physical Education from California State University Long Beach and continued there to obtain her Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy in 1992. From 1992 through 1997 Patty began her physical therapy career at Long Beach Memorial Hospital where she was not only an orthopedic and spine therapist but also the Center Coordinator of Clinical Education.

In 1998 Patty joined COASTherapy Physical Therapy as a Supervisor Physical Therapist where she and Dr. Art Ando, physical therapist and practice owner began the development of the Women’s Health program. Understanding that Women’s Health integrated many disciplines of physical therapy and ancillary services such as Pilates, Patty obtained her certificate from Stott Pilates in Essential Matwork in 2002./p>

To further her career in Women’s Heath, in 2005 Patty joined the UCI Women’s Healthcare Center as a staff therapist and Women’s Health Specialist and she remains on staff there today. At UCI Patty was responsible for Collaborating with Faculty in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology working closely with Fellowship trained Urogynecologists. She is currently participating in a prospective study to examine the effectiveness of treating Pudendal Neuropathy.

To improve the opportunities for patients to receive excellent care in the area of Women’s Health and pelvic floor dysfunction Patty returned to COASTherapy in 2011 to add program development and treatment to the program she and Dr. Ando began back in late 1997.

Patty is a member of the following organizations to help her understand and meet the needs of her patients:

  • American Urogynecologic Society
  • International Pelvic Pain Society
  • APTA Women’s Health Section
  • American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology