Our physical therapists offer years of experience to provide a thorough and precise evaluation. Coastal Rehabilitation therapists have outstanding and diversified skills in the fields of physical and occupational therapy. 

Laurel Huntingford


Laurel grew up in Raleigh, NC and after experiencing a shoulder injury in high school decided to pursue a career in Physical Therapy. Laurel received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from East Carolina University in 2008 after receiving her undergraduate degree in Exercise Physiology from East Carolina in 2004. Laurel’s personalized approach to physical therapy is drawn from her 10 years of clinical experience in the outpatient setting. She has been employed by Coastal Rehab since 2008 and loves serving the patients of the closely knit Outer Banks community. Her interests include orthopedics with emphasis on the treatment of shoulder pathologies and sport related injuries. She has received recognition from working with local high school sport’s coaches, staff and players. Laurel finds providing optimal care for her patients and seeing their improvements to be extremely rewarding. In her free time, she enjoys spending time on the water enjoying all the Outer Banks has to offer with her husband and two children.

Jay Johnston


Jay, as he likes to go by, joined the Coastal Rehab Team in 2014 and practices at the Kitty Hawk Location, in the Marketplace. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from James Madison University and his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Old Dominion University. He recently earned the professional designation of Orthopedic Certified Specialist (OCS). This is a board certification granted by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists (ABPTS). Board certification involves a demanding examination process providing assurance to patients and the medical community of a therapist’s skills and abilities. Approximately 9% of the physical therapists in the United States are Board Certified in a specialty and only 5% of therapists are Orthopedic Certified Specialists. Those with this advanced certification are considered to have a great depth of knowledge and skill in this specialty area of physical therapy. James has also completed a 6 course series, over 6 months in preparation at the Virginia Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy Institute, (VOMPTI), in Charlottesville Virginia to help prepare for the exam and its practical application.  

He enjoys treating a variety of general orthopedic conditions and staying up to date on evidence based practices.  He works with his patients to formulate individualized treatment to achieve optimal results for a wide array of conditions. He lives with his wife and daughter in Southern Shores, where he enjoys surfing, sailing, and all that the Outer Banks has to offer.

Mindy Drew


Mindy has been a physical therapist at Coastal Rehab since 2003. She attained an undergraduate degree in Exercise Physiology from East Carolina University in 2001 and received a master’s degree in Physical Therapy from East Carolina in 2003. Mindy has received advanced training in manual therapy through the University of St. Augustine. Additionally she is an APTA credentialed clinical instructor.

She emphasizes the importance of staying up-to-date on the latest evidence-based therapy practices and techniques. She appreciates how important this is not only as a healthcare provider, but also as a consumer. She emphasizes a hands-on manual approach with her patients. Her experiences include orthopedic, pediatric, vestibular, geriatric, and neurological rehabilitation as well as work place and ergonomic therapy. She also performs home health care and completes home safety and wheelchair assessments. Mindy’s special interests include orthopedic and sports medicine as well as work hardening/work conditioning to maximize each individuals’ functional return.

Justyn Yager


Justyn Yager joined the Coastal Rehab team in 2016. He received his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Old Dominion University. His areas of interest include chronic pain, lower extremity biomechanics, and balance/falls risk. He has experience treating a wide variety of patients including vestibular, lymphedema, hand therapy, foot pain, knee pain, post op patients, chronic pain, falls risk, and deconditioning. He is certified in dry needling and began providing these services in 2019. He left his career in counseling to pursue his doctorate in physical therapy, so he enjoys the relational aspect of physical therapy and believes in treating the whole person. Outside of work he enjoys being outdoors and spending time with his family.  

Jessica Yager


Jessica Blystone Yager has worked at Coastal Rehab since she graduated from Duquesne University in 2003 with her Masters Degree in Physical Therapy. She is from Elizabeth City and has enjoyed working in her hometown area. Jessica primarily works at the Elizabeth City outpatient clinic location, but also does home health in Gates, Camden, Pasquotank, Perquimans, and Chowan counties. She enjoys working with a diverse patient population, but has a special interest in lymphedema treatment. Jessica has attended several continuing education courses in manual therapy techniques, hand therapy, and lymphedema treatment. She is also a credentialed clinical instructor with the APTA, for Physical Therapy students.

Dean Dowdy


Dean earned his Bachlor’s of Science and Associate’s in Physical Therapy degrees while playing baseball at Chowan College (1994-1998). Dean’s love for sports led him to pursue a degree in PT at East Carolina University, earning his Master’s degree in 2000. Dean joined the CRI team in February 2001 and, over the last 12 years, has focused on sports and general orthopedics. Dean is actively involved with the local sports teams and enjoys working with athletes of all ages. Dean also works closely with the head Athletic Trainer at Currituck County High School to monitor athletes and ensure a team approach to treatment. Dean continues to improve his skills and knowledge through continuing education courses with a focus on manual techniques and sports injuries. Dean has developed several off-season workouts and throwing programs for local middle and high school baseball teams. When Dean is not working, he volunteers with the local sports teams and enjoys spending time with his son and daughter.

Bernie Blystone


Bernie Blystone is the founder of Coastal Rehab Inc. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Physical Therapy , Pittsburgh Pa. in 1975 and has been a Physical Therapist in the Albemarle and Outer Banks for over thirty years. He was Chief of Physical Therapy at Albemarle Hospital prior to going into indepentent, private practice. He has served as Medical Advisor to the Albemarle Arthritis Foundation and is a member of the North Carolina Physical Therapy Association, the American Physical Therapy Association. He is a member of Rehabilitation Associate Network. As a Physical Therapist, Mr. Blystone specializes in evaluation and treatment of disorders that affect the neuro-muscular-skeletal systems. He is a general Physical Therapist with special interest in the spine, joint replacement rehab, balance disorders, shoulder pain/dysfunction, arthritis and osteoporosis. Mr. Blystone has an athletic past participating, interscolastically, in football, basketball and track while summers were devoted to baseball. He enjoys working with athletes both young and old. He performs electromyograms [EMG] and nerve conduction studies [NCV]. I am very experienced and have participated in the rehabilitation process with thousands of patients who are referred by many physicians in and outside of our geographical area. Mr. Blystone is an avid outdoorsmen who enjoys hunting, fishing and golfing. He is a member of Evangelical Methodist Church and the Albemarle Emmaus Community. He is married to Jean, a retired cardiac rehab nurse at Albemarle Hospital. They have a son, Benjamin, and a daughter, Jessica.