Dr. Annette Smith

Dr. Annette Smith

Owner, Physical Therapist

I grew up in Urbandale, Iowa along with my four older siblings and attended Des Moines Christian School K-12. My family and I bonded over countless sporting events, including softball tournaments, track meets, basketball games, and volleyball matches. My sister and I enjoyed a few years of jazz and marching band together, but the trumpet and saxophone are a bit dusty now. Missions trips to Guatemala and Honduras were also memorable and life-changing events during these years. Following high school I moved to Ames where I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology and Health Science along with a Spanish Minor. During my time at ISU, I enjoyed the Salt Company at Cornerstone Church, club softball, and intramural basketball. I was also lucky enough to spend a Summer in Turkey teaching English along with a Summer in Spain sharpening my Spanish skills while interning at Fisio’s Clinica in Valencia. Following graduation from Iowa State, I ventured off to Sioux City, Iowa to pursue my Doctorate of Physical Therapy. During my time at Briar Cliff, I was able to learn from various physical therapists and physicians both across the U.S. and abroad during a missions trip with S.T.A.N.D. the Haiti Project. The people I met and things I learned during these three years was truly an indescribable blessing. Following graduation from Briar Cliff, I was a traveling physical therapist for a short while before settling down at FYZICAL Therapy and Balance Center for three years. During this time, I was able to gain additional experience working with complex vestibular conditions. In August of 2022, I opened the doors to Mountain Laurel Physical Therapy in hopes of bring excellent care to individuals struggling with unresolved physical ailments, ranging from unresolved dizziness to chronic pain. As someone who has experienced the ramifications of a busy health care system, I have seen patients fall through the cracks. It became my mission at Mountain Laurel to make sure this was not the case and to provide patients with attentive, individualized care that they might not have been receiving elsewhere. Aside from my role as a business owner and physical therapist, my main priority and love is my family. My husband Casey and I live in Clive along with our daughter, Margot. We are blessed with parents who live nearby in Urbandale and Boone. They are the real M.V.P.s and help us out immensely with childcare. We are grateful for each of them!

I earned my Doctorate of Physical Therapy and spent three years at FYZICAL Therapy and Balance Center and 1 year at Mountain Laurel Physical Therapy. My  certifications include FYZICAL Vestibular Training Levels 1 and 2, Complete Concussion Management Incorporated, Functional Dry Needling Level 1, and the Institute of Clinical Excellence Pregnancy and Postpartum for the Fitness Athlete

My faith in Jesus Christ is the driving factor in my life. My desire is to be attentive to His calling for my life and to follow where He leads, treating others with love and kindness along the way.

“You can do hard things.”

I own Mountain Laurel Physical Therapy and am also a physical therapist who specializes in treating various vestibular disorders and orthopedic complaints. I enjoy helping patients get to the bottom of dizziness which is complex and multifactorial in nature. Multiple systems need to be considered when discussing dizziness, lightheadedness, vertigo, etc. I provide a thorough neurological and vestibular examination along with an orthopedic examination to assess a person’s current limitations. I enjoy collaborating with otolaryngologists, neurologists, and cardiologists to provide a team-based approach that will get patients feeling better faster. Taking the time for such communication among patients’ providers is one of the top priorities at Mountain Laurel Physical Therapy.

I want to help patients find the root of their problem and to truly regain function that has been lost. Oftentimes this looks like dizziness that has persisted for months or years without answers. Other times this looks like pain that has kept someone back from activities they love, like playing with their kids, hiking with family, or spending time with their gym community. Being in network with fewer insurance carriers allows me to provide higher-quality care to each patient who walks in the door. This makes patients happier because they are getting faster, and this is more sustainable for my well-being as a provider.

What is Dr. Annette Reading, Watching, or Listening To?

Coach Carter is my favorite movie. The Minimal Mom is my all-time favorite podcast. Atomic Habits is one of my favorite books.

When I am not working, you will find me lifting weights in the garage or at the gym with my husband, drinking multiple cups of coffee with a journal and a good book, or watching the most recent documentary on Netflix.                                                                                                                            

Patient Testimonials

 “Annette is wonderful. She is compassionate and comprehensive. She has teamed with me through every step of my vestibular treatment. I sought out Annette after experiencing vertigo spells (new to me) with my vestibular migraines. I have felt listened to and validated. She also teams with my other providers. Effective and worth my time.”

-Jennifer Gilmore

“Annette helped me find fast relief for my symptoms of dizziness that have negatively affected my life since having children. She was very thorough and her clinic offered a warm and welcoming atmosphere. She was able to identify the root cause of my symptoms and I felt immediate improvement! I would highly recommend Annette for anyone who is experiencing dizziness and vertigo!”

-Katherine Mehloff

“So thankful for Mt.Laurel PT & Annette! I’ve been struggling with daily vertigo like symptoms since January, which were causing a big disruption in my daily life. She listened carefully, did several assessments, took my symptoms seriously and came up with a treatment plan. I’ve been steadily improving with symptoms happening only a few times a week and greatly improved in severity. She is kind, thorough, personable, professional and knows her stuff! I wouldn’t hesitate to reach out if you are in need!”

-Ruthanna Johnson

“Annette and her staff are professional and extremely knowledgeable. They provide high quality care that is superb. For anyone suffering with vertigo or balance issues these are the experts you need to utilize. I would give them my highest recommendation without hesitation.”

-Steve Johnson