Dr. David Higgins, MD
Dr. Higgins received his medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine and has been practicing in Maryland since 1991. He is board certified in orthopedic surgery, completed his residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas and did his fellowship in sports medicine at Hughston Orthopedic Clinic in Columbus, Georgia.
Dr. Higgins is an active member of the sports medicine community at the Olympic, collegiate and high school levels. His experience ranges from serving as an Assistant Medical Director at the Atlanta Olympic games and Team Physician for USA basketball championships to serving as a team physician for American University, Our Lady of Good Counsel High School and local all-star games. He is also a Master Instructor with the Arthroscopy Association of North America and a member of the American Orthopedic Society of Sports Medicine.
A native of the Washington area, Dr. Higgins is an involved member of the community. His work includes serving on the Board of Directors at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Olney, MD and on the Board of Trustees for the Catholic Youth Organization. He is also a Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve and a former Chief of Sports Medicine for the Navy.
Dr. Higgins lives in the area with his wife and dogs. They have three children. They are proud to admit that their oldest son is a former Army infantryman, who served two terms overseas in Afghanistan. Their daughter currently goes to University of Maryland and youngest son to University of South Carolina. His family has played a big role in helping him treat athletes.
Elaina Faerber, PA-C
Elaina was raised in Potomac, MD, and graduated from Winston Churchill High School in 2016. She received her bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from The Pennsylvania State University in 2020. During her time at Penn State, she was a member and captain of their Division I Swimming and Diving Team. Elaina then attended Arcadia University to obtain her Master’s of Medical Science in Physician Assistant studies, graduating with honors as class Vice President and clinical year Valedictorian in 2023. She is a member of the Physician Assistant Education Association’s national honor society, is nationally board certified, and is licensed as a Physician Assistant in the state of Maryland.
As a lifelong athlete and avid DC sports fan, Elaina has always dreamed of working with athletes in a medical setting. In her free time, Elaina enjoys going to the beach, spending quality time with her family and friends, cycling, and cheering on DC and Penn State sports teams. She is grateful and excited to join the MDSMC team and is deeply committed to providing efficient and high-quality care.
Tara Cepaitis, MSPT, PT
Tara was raised in Kensington, Maryland and graduated from Walter Johnson High School in 1993. She ventured up to Boston to earn her BS in Health Science in 1997 and Masters of Science in Physical Therapy in 1999 from Sargent College at Boston University. Upon graduating she returned to Maryland and worked for 4 years alongside Dr. Higgins in a PT owned outpatient clinic in Rockville. After seeing the kind of life care that her grandmother received, she went to work for Ashbury Methodist Village and Sunrise Assisted Living Facilities to better improve the lives of the geriatric population there. Soon enough she found herself alongside two acupuncturists in a start up PT owned clinic in Elkridge, Maryland. She was excited to work in tandem with the acupuncturists to blend the best of Eastern and Western philosophies to treat the whole health of each individual.
Tara joined the excellent health care team at Maryland Sports Medicine Center once more in 2008 on a full time basis. She is grateful for the opportunity to assist in the management of the PT clinic and hopes to bring continued growth to the practice. She looks forward to meeting her patients and to help them meet and exceed their goals.
Teresa Simpson, MPT, PT
Teresa grew up in Rockville and graduated from Rockville High School in 1992. She attended UMBC and graduated with honors in 1996 with a degree in Bio-Physchology. At UMBC, Teresa worked as a student athletic trainer for all four years working with the women’s lacrosse, soccer and volleyball teams. She gained valuable experience and knowledge in treating athletes. Teresa received her Masters in Physical Therapy in 1999 from the University of Maryland at Baltimore.
Teresa has worked the past 15 years in the outpatient orthopedic setting. She started her career as a physical therapist in Washington State and then moved back into the Maryland area in 2003 where she worked at NovaCare Rehabilitation in Waldorf, MD for seven years. She has treated patients populations ranging from teenage athletes to the elderly, as well as a variety of diagnoses: musculoskeletal, post-surgical, neuromuscular and general deconditioning. Teresa joined the Maryland Sports Medicine Team in 2011. Teresa’s vision as a physical therapist is, “to help patients return to optimal health physically and emotionally, with no functional limitations, so that they are able to live their lives to the fullest”. She strives to provide each patient with an uplifting and motivational atmosphere, so that Maryland Sports Medicine Center is a place they want to come. She looks forward to making a difference in the lives of her patients and helping them reach a successful recovery.
Audra Smith, MPT, SCS, CSCS
Audra is originally from Olney and graduated from Sherwood High School. She graduated with honors from Towson University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology and obtained a Masters of Physical Therapy degree from Shenandoah University in 2001. She has been practicing mostly outpatient orthopedic physical therapy for 16 years with a short stent in Home Health PT. In 2004 Audra got her Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) certification from the National Strength and Conditioning Association and helped to create a performance enhancement program for female soccer players. For the past few years Audra has been focusing more on sports medicine and in 2013 she passed the Sports Certification Specialist (SCS) exam through the American Physical Therapy Association. She is also a certified Emergency Medical Responder (EMR). Audra brings a diverse background of experience from general orthopedics, post-surgical patients, total joint replacements, amputees and geriatrics to her passion which are athletes of all ages.
Audra is married with two young children and enjoys spending her time with all of her family, and cheering them on during their sports and activities. She loves treating patients of all ages and ability levels from collegiate athletes to young athletes to weekend warriors. Audra joined MDSMC in 2013 and is honored to work with Dr. Higgins and the rest of the MDSMC team.
Kayla Cummings, DPT, PT
Kayla grew up in Olney, MD and graduated from Good Counsel High School in 2008. She attended University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and was a member of the women’s basketball team. She graduated in 2012, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Kayla went to University of Miami where she graduated in 2018 with her Doctorate of Physical Therapy. While at school in Miami she participate in a wide variety of electives that included learning to sail from sailors with various physical impairments including spinal cord injuries, amputations and visual impairments. Kayla was also a member of the pro-bono clinic where she worked at the University of Miami Hospital treating uninsured patients in need of a broad range of health care and health care education services.
After graduating, Kayla returned to Maryland to be close her family and friends. She is excited and honored to be a part of Maryland Sports Medicine Center’s team. She enjoys working with a wide variety of patients and looks forward to making a difference in their lives, helping them reach their goals and motivating them along their rehab journey