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MissionFIT LLC. was established in 2017 in Baltimore, MD by husband and personal trainer Rick Plona.  Dr. Jess joined his team a couple years later as they continued to serve the surrounding communities as a trainer and physical therapist, as well as nutrition coaches.

In April of 2022, Rick and Jess followed their hearts and moved to Apex, NC.  In July of 2022, Dr. Jess took a leap of faith to follow her dreams and started MissionFIT Rehab & Performance LLC. She is very excited to be working with various gyms and teams serving Apex community and the surrounding areas!

Our team

Dr. Jessica Mertz PT, DPT, PN1

Jess is a licensed doctor in physical therapy, certified nutritionist, and barre instructor.  She was born in upstate NY where she studied biology and was on the competitive dance team at the University of Albany.  Jess has a passion for fitness, and all forms of movement. During her PT career, she has really enjoyed working with runners, triathletes, OCR, dancers/gymnast, youth sports, and fitness professionals.  Jess has 8 years of experience working in the orthopedic and sports medicine field, including start-up clinic management and leadership roles.


Jess believes you can be an athlete at any age, and she will inspire you to live your best life. She loves being able to contribute to making her community a healthier, and more active place. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family, cooking, participating in races and training, and talking walks with her black lab Maximus.


  • Neumann University - Doctor of Physical Therapy

  • University of Albany - B.S. in Biology, Minor in Spanish


  • Functional Dry Needling (EIM/NAIOMT)

  • COMT training (IAMT)

  • Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA)
  • Postural Restoration Institute (pelvis)

  • Blood Flow Restriction (Owen's Recovery)

  • Precision Nutrition Level 1 

  • NASM Mental Toughness

  • SoulBody Barre Instructor

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