Our Team


Dan Parobek - Physical Therapist

Dan is co-owner of Combined Therapy Specialties.   He earned his degree in Physical Therapy from Loma Linda University in Southern California in 1983 and has been licensed to practice Physical Therapy in North Carolina since he moved to North Carolina in 1988.  Since 1992, when he and Howie Dortch established Combined Therapy Specialties, they have worked together to provide the highest quality rehabilitation care for their friends in Asheville and the surrounding region. 

With over 30 years of PT experience, Dan’s areas of expertise include working with all orthopedic injuries and conditions, pain management, work rehabilitation, and neurologic conditions.  Dan has special interest in orthopedic issues (especially shoulder pain, injuries, and post-surgical conditions), benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), complex regional pain syndrome in children, teens, and adults, and balance/stability issues in the mature population. 

Dan enjoys the problem-solving part of physical therapy- identifying and addressing the perpetuating factors that cause acute and chronic issues and then designing and implementing a physical therapy/exercise program to resolve these issues.  He also enjoys getting to know his patients as he works with them towards achieving their goals. 

When not at work, Dan enjoys spending time with his family, facilitating study groups within his church community, hiking in the Blue Ridge mountains, and gardening.




Howie Dortch - Occupational Therapist

Howie Dortch has lived in Asheville since 1987.  He graduated that same year with a Master of Science degree from Boston University in Occupational Therapy.  His area of specialization is in Hand and Upper Extremity Rehabilitation.  Howie worked with the Hand Surgeons at Asheville Hand Center until 1992 when he and Dan Parobek opened Combined Therapy Specialties.

With 28 years of experience in Hand Rehabilitation, Howie has seen every kind of hand injury/issue imaginable.  He is skilled in Custom splinting for every possible application, from fracture of the humerus, to mallet finger and everything in between.  Howie has worked with all the hand surgeons in Asheville and has earned a reputation for being patient and thorough in his treatment approach.

As a private practitioner, Howie is able to provide personalized one-on-one care that yields positive outcomes for even the most challenging and severe cases.  He is able to manage his schedule to accommodate each individual clients’ specific needs, and insure that each will receive the time and quality care they deserve.

Howie looks forward to guiding you through this challenging process of restoring hand function and healing.  He Can Help!  Please call for more information or to schedule an appointment.

When not providing care at his clinic, Howie can be found enjoying time with his family, working in his yard, and hiking in the Bent Creek or Mills River recreational areas with his dog Lily.



Lydia Pierce - Physical Therapist

Lydia joined the Combined Therapy team in 1996.  She graduated from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1986.  After working in acute care and in-patient rehabilitation, she began specializing in oupatient orthopedics 25 years ago.  

Lydia moved to Asheville in 1994 and feels privileged to have raised her four children in the great playground of Western North Carolina.  She and her husband enjoy running, hiking, biking, and camping any chance they can. 

Lydia is skilled in assessing joint dysfunction to discern the underlying cause of pain, rather than treating only the symptoms.  She enjoys working to help restore full maximum function for ankles/feet, knees, hips and shoulders, but is particularly excited to help resolve spine dysfunction and pain.  She is accomplished in implementing McKenzie Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT).  Her approach includes manual therapy along with focusing on teaching patient independence, rather than dependence on the therapist.  Assisting her patients in resuming the activities they love is what makes her job so satisfying.