Our Mission


After years of being confined to the limits of an insurance-based practice, we believe in helping our patients feel better faster, and then taking this to the next level with preventative care.  Whether their goal is to run a marathon, or walk with a friend in the neighborhood, we educate our patients on how to do these activities long-term, and we are here to help when they need a recovery session.  Our goal is to be a resource for our patients, taking them from being injured, to thriving with a healthy, active lifestyle. 

At Prevail, we provide comprehensive, evidence-based care, utilizing a one-on-one, hands-on approach without the use of aides or assistants.  We work with our patients to optimize functional movement and sports performance by determining the root cause of injury.  We develop a plan of care to achieve wellness, reduce future injury risk and redefine performance.

Our team

Dr. Kari Smith, PT, DPT

Founder, Owner, Physical Therapist


  • Duke University, BS 2003

  • University of Miami, DPT 2008


Kari grew up in the Midwest, and then enjoyed five years in Europe during middle and high school.  As a life-long athlete, Kari competed in myriad sports including gymnastics, swimming, tennis, volleyball and soccer, which allowed her to travel extensively and train with athletes from around the globe. Her experience in a wide range of sports has been a valuable component to her practice as a PT, as she understands the movement patterns, skills and techniques that are required for elite performance. 

During her undergraduate years at Duke University, Kari pursued pre-med and also majored in French. She graduated at the top of her class at the University of Miami, earning her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Kari has spent her career in the Triangle, developing her practice in orthopedics.

At Prevail PT, Kari works with runners and athletes to help them achieve their performance goals. She thoroughly evaluates each patient to determine the cause of their pain or movement dysfunction. She incorporates dry needling and manual therapy techniques, as well as sport-specific drills and corrective exercises. Kari utilizes gait analysis to help runners become more efficient, and reduce injury risk. Throughout her career, Kari has worked with a range of clients from high school athletes to Olympians.    


Runners and Triathletes

Sports Injuries (gymnastics, swimming, tennis, volleyball, soccer, golf)

Gait Analysis

Spine and pelvis

Hip and knee

Foot and Ankle


Functional Dry Needling Certified
Maitland Manual Therapy
McKenzie Method

Claire Little, PT, MPT

Physical Therapist


  • North Carolina State University, BS 1996

  • East Carolina University, MPT 1999


Claire Little grew up in Atlanta and played sports her entire life, including tennis, softball, swimming, track, and basketball.  She has stayed active as an adult with softball, tennis, running and triathlons.  She has also completed 2 MS150 rides.  This background in sports has helped her with understanding the mechanics as well as the mindset of being active in athletics.

She came to North Carolina in 1992, and graduated Magna Cum Lauda from NC State University in 1996 with a BS in Zoology/PreMed.  Claire then graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Master's Degree in physical therapy from East Carolina University in 1999.  She has worked in outpatient orthopaedics and lived and Cary since graduation.

Claire has 2 children, so she also understands how to help patients juggle work, family, play and rehabilitation.  Home exercise programs are individualized to meet the needs of each patient's lifestyle, as well as their physical limitations and expectations.

Claire's primary goal of treatment is to guide her patients toward independence with self care and symptom management by teaching them the proper tools and exercises. One of her strengths is the ability to teach her patients WHY they are doing particular exercises, and HOW they got injured in the first place.  She also finds the primary source of the chain of dysfunction, to improve long term success.  Claire has worked with runners, triathletes, cyclists, and athletes of multiple other sports.  She enjoys working with company dancers; and even has a background with pre- and post-partum related low back pain patients, TMD (temporomandibular dysfunction), neck and shoulder pain, and amputees.


Sports-related injuries


Treatment of neck and pelvis

Functional Dry Needling Certified

Laura Hudak, PT, mpt, cert mdt

Physical Therapist


  • Duquesne University, BS 2002

  • Duquesne University, MPT 2003

Laura Hudak photo_edited.jpg


Connective tissue disorders, EDS

Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy 

Spine and pelvis

McKenzie Method or MDT


Tai Chi and yoga

Sports injuries and performance (baseball/softball, tennis and other racquet sports, dance, martial arts)

Laura grew up in Ohio and has been in North Carolina since 2010.  She danced in multiple disciplines through college, with tennis and softball at various times as well.  She then started martial arts and Tai Chi as soon as she finished college, now with black belts in two systems.  Continued practice of this is a joy along with taking dance and yoga classes, but you will mostly find her outside with her husband and three sons!


In her post graduate physical therapy explorations, Laura completed her Cert MDT for Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy, dance rehab, concussion rehab, and general orthopedics.  She has worked in outpatient physical therapy for her career, spending time specializing in treatment of spine as well as connective tissue disorders such as EDS.


Laura loves being able to teach people more about how their body works, and how to best take care of it in the short and long term.  Treating with appreciation for the complexity of the human body is necessary for all movement, be it a dance or martial arts sequence or reaching up for a glass in the cupboard.   She often uses Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (or McKenzie Method) in her practice, which emphasizes empowering people to heal themselves along with the assistance of the therapist.  Tai Chi and yoga elements also show up in her exercise frequently.  Treating the whole person is the cornerstone of her philosophy.

Dr. Jared Hopkins, PT, DPT, OCS

Physical Therapist


  • Campbell University, BS 2013

  • Methodist University, DPT 2019

  • A.T. Still University, orthopedic residency 2020

Jared Bio Pic B&W.jpg

Jared is a native of Apex, NC and he completed the majority of his education in the area. He grew up playing football and continues his active lifestyle through regular exercise and playing golf.  While he has a primary background in football and golf, he has experience with multiple sports allowing a strong understanding of mechanics required for athletic success. 


He completed his undergraduate degree at Campbell University in 2013 and his Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Methodist University in 2019.  He then went on to complete an orthopedic residency at A.T. Still University in Arizona.  Following his residency, he obtained his Orthopedic Clinic Specialist (OCS). Currently, Jared is enrolled in a sports and manual therapy fellowship program through the Institute of Athlete Regeneration.  These post-professional programs have allowed him to further his specialization in manual therapy as well as rehabilitation for the athletic population.  


Jared is passionate about continuing his knowledge within the field to help patients  achieve their performance and wellness goals.  His objective for every patient who walks through the door is to find the root cause of their issue to better tailor their treatment. He believes that through manual therapy, combined with an individualized exercise program, we can get the body moving optimally and achieve high-level performance.  


Sports injuries (golf, football, baseball, soccer, basketball)


Dry Needling Certified

Orthopedic Manual Therapy



Foot and Ankle