Slate of Candidates for 2020 Elections
The Private Practice Section introduces the 2020 slate of candidates for your consideration. After a careful review, we believe the individuals slated possess the background, talent, and character needed to achieve the goals established in the strategic plan and to carry out the mission of the Section. Absentee voting is open now. The candidates will be formally presented to the membership during the PPS Member Business Meeting, October 28, 2020, and voting will conclude October 30, at 3:00 pm EDT.
We urge all members to participate in this election.
Mike is President and CEO of Rock Valley Physical Therapy, a Private Practice with 50+ locations in Iowa and Illinois. Mike received his MPT and his MBA from the University of Iowa. He is an adjunct faculty member in the DPT Programs at St. Ambrose University and the University of Iowa. Mike has served on numerous PPS committees, co-founded Pee2Peer Networks, started the KPI Benchmarking Initiative and served as a Director on the PPS Board.
Accompanying the many challenges brought by these turbulent times comes the opportunity to make our great profession better. I have chosen to run for PPS President because I believe now more than ever as entrepreneurs we are obligated to seize this time to make ownership more attractive and viable tomorrow than it is today. My vision to accomplish this has been shaped by the many mentors through my life that have taught me that with ownership comes the responsibility of stewardship, that community and cooperation will outlast competition and that creativity and discipline are complimentary.
Growing up on a farm as the son of a self-employed construction worker taught me many valuable lessons. Watching my dad leave a stable job to start his own business at age 41 taught me to not let the inertia of status quo stand between you and your dreams. The stewardship principle that we do not inherit the farm/land from our parents but rather are renting it from our grandchildren instilled the virtue of responsibility. I believe leaving the future of our great profession better than we found it is our responsibility and I believe the autonomy of "ownership" is essential in achieving that goal. I believe we can build upon the great work of past volunteers to make ownership easier for all of us and more attractive for those who come after us. I look forward to finding solutions where our weeks are focused on our client and coworker's welfare and our weekends and evenings are filled with family not finances.
Build Community Through Co-Operation
A great African proverb states, "If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go together". Co-founding Peer2Peer Networks and Midwest Therapy Network has brought this saying to life for me. Peer2Peer has made it clear how important connection is for us and why we must continue to evolve opportunities for like-minded practice owners to collaborate and grow. Midwest Therapy Network has shown that Private Practices with similar values and a shared vision can leverage their collective strength for shared benefits whiles they continue to compete. We must start dialogue with people we have previously seen as competitors within and outside the industry. Even the naive optimist in me realizes that not everyone will share all points of our vision. That's ok. Being able to disagree amicably in some areas while finding shared interest in others is the key to developing the relationships and thereby leverage necessary to enhance our access to our services, reduce administrative burden and finally get fair payment. Focus on these three areas makes everything else we do easier or unnecessary. We must be willing to move beyond independence and embrace interdependence. Let's go far together!
Discipline is the key to creativity
The experiences in scaling an organization from 3 to 50+ offices have made me reluctantly appreciate the great freedom that comes from structure, process and measuring success. Serving on various committees and the PPS Board resulted in many friendships, an appreciation for the amazing volunteer base that "runs" PPS and also revealed the inefficiencies of the operating structure. With the recent hiring of AH to manage the Section, now is the time to leverage that relationship to make it easier for our generous colleagues to share their expertise and resources with Members. Building a more efficient "chassis" will allow us to go further-faster-together. As the "business section" of APTA, I look forward to the day where people don't join PPS (or APTA for that matter) out of professional duty but rather because "they can't afford not to join". We must and can create a tangible and measurable Membership value proposition that will grow our section and thereby our ability to influence (or do I dare say transform) society.
A special thanks to you who have given me the confidence and support to run and to the Board of PPS for slating me for President. If you share my passion and vision for our great profession, I kindly ask for your support, ideas and vote. If you don't, I'm even more interested in your thoughts and ideas-please reach out.
Angela Wilson Pennisi is the sole owner of PhysioPartners, celebrating 20 years of service with two locations in Chicago. Ms. Pennisi is a graduate of Columbia University, has been certified as a clinical orthopedic specialist since 2008, and is currently enrolled in the tDPT program at Arcadia University. She has served on the PPS board continuously since 2014. She has two grown sons and lives with her husband Chad in Evanston, Illinois.
Serving as your Vice President for the past three years has been one of the most gratifying roles of my career. My clinics are facing the same difficulties as yours in the pandemic, and I have never appreciated PPS's resources as much as I do today. I am committed to supporting your recovery from this crisis if you elect me as PPS President.
In an emergency, the elemental characteristics of an organization become apparent, and this has held true for both my clinics and for PPS. In my clinics, I have never been prouder of our staff as they conduct themselves with grace in the face of adversity, demonstrating their capabilities as they rebuild their caseloads and with it, our clinics. It is a bittersweet juxtaposition to feel such joy in realizing the return on the investment that we have made in their development while simultaneously witnessing the losses associated with the pandemic.
For PPS, we are grateful for the financial reserves that have allowed us to continue the work of the Section without facing some of the hard decisions that many of us had to make in our practices. I have been humbled by the prolific work of the COVID Advisory Task Force, with members serving at great personal sacrifice. The rewards of serving with these amazing colleagues have been rich as we face the greatest challenge of our careers together.
While this pandemic will be a defining moment for most of us, we also are finding ourselves with unique opportunities to drive our profession forward. PPS must seize upon advocacy opportunities to secure the future of private practice, including ensuring permanent inclusion of physical therapists as providers of telehealth, establishing telehealth standards that protect our patients and practices, and eliminating future reductions in Medicare.
My experiences with PPS during the prior ten years have been formative in preparing me to serve as your President. I first experienced the value of my membership serving on the Impact editorial board and then as managing editor, as members shared their expertise solely for the purpose of helping each other. My previous service as Treasurer informs my in-depth understanding of PPS's finances and contracting relationships, allowing me to be a good steward of our resources.
Upon becoming Vice President, PPS embarked on the process of selecting a new headquarters following APTA's phasing out of management services. Since PPS has been my home for almost 20 years, finding the right strategic partner in managing our association was of paramount importance to me.
I was charged with leading the task force to evaluate more than 20 proposals. After your PPS board unanimously decided to embark on a new relationship with Association Headquarters, I helped nurture this new relationship by also serving on the Transition Task Force. I am confident that we are on the right bus with the right people in the right seats, following the promotion of Carrie Stankiewicz to Chief Operating Officer.
However, while we may be on the right bus with the right people, how exactly will we determine the route from here? We are in uncharted waters, and the lessons we have learned from the past may not help us in the future. PPS and its members will need to adapt to new territory without a map, requiring a thriving organizational culture that will allow our volunteers to contribute at their highest level.
As Vice President, I have worked to build that culture, which has allowed us to be nimble in our response to the pandemic, and will not only ensure PPS's survival, but also its ability to thrive in the future. While we may not have a map, our mission of championing the success of the physical therapist in business, as well as the strategic plan set under my tenure as Vice President will help us navigate an uncertain future. I am confident that our best path to recovery is the one that we embark on together.If you elect me as PPS President in October, I will continue the work this board has started, leading PPS and your practices on the journey to recovery and promoting a thriving environment for our profession for the future.
Michael Connors, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS, FAAOMPT is the Vice President of Clinical Operations for Texas and Arizona for Athletico Physical Therapy. In this current position, he is responsible for the operations for the Texas, Phoenix and Tucson markets. With working for both independent private practices and larger therapy companies, I have the knowledge and expertise to appreciate the important issues impacting growth and sustainability in both situations.
Thank you to the nominating committee for the opportunity to be slated as a candidate for the position of PPS Vice President. For the past 17 years, I have enjoyed a productive career as a clinician, educator, administrator, operator, and owner. In each of these roles, I have experienced a myriad of different situations that I feel makes me a great candidate for PPS Vice President.
At the start of my career, I first ventured into the private practice environment as a manager of a small satellite clinic. From there, I moved into a more regional role, overseeing operations for a local private practice. That experience, along with other development opportunities, set the stage for my current role as VP of Clinical Operations for Athletico. In my current role, I oversee operations across two states and three distinct regions. One of my favorite parts of my role is to help develop the future leaders of our organization and the profession. These experiences have provided me with insight into the challenges and opportunities facing both small and large private practice organizations.
I am excited about the potential opportunity to bring my expertise, energy, enthusiasm and passion for private practice to this position. My past leadership experience has been diverse at both the local, state and national levels. As Past President of the Texas Chapter, I had the opportunity to serve our state association with 7000+ members. I am most proud of the expansion of our direct access in September 2019, allowing for the ability to evaluate and treat a patient without a referral. This endeavor involved the coordination of the efforts of many individuals, while also keeping the strategic priorities of our members as our guiding light during the process. The role of the VP requires providing support to the Executive Committee to meet the member priorities for PPS.
COVID-19 has also presented challenges in how we operate our practices and meet the needs of our patients. I started my role with Athletico about a month before the start of the pandemic. What better time to start a new role as a senior manager then during a pandemic? This time period has reinforced the importance of being nimble and changing direction quickly in response to changing times and situations. With this experience, I feel that I can bring that knowledge to the PPS board to best position the section with the uncertainty on the horizon in healthcare.
Lastly, we have a value issue in our profession. The value that we put upon on our services in not on par with the value placed upon us by payers and other professions. We need to develop systems to better demonstrate our value to society. We need to be able to assess those outcomes to best demonstrate our efficacy in transforming lives to improve the human condition. We need to continue to be tireless advocates for our patients, our services and our colleagues. We must not sit by idly while other professions work to impinge upon our practice acts and payers devalue our services.
PPS has the voice and the ability to best serve as the catalyst and agent of change to unite the efforts across our segment of the profession and lead the effort to be a stronger advocate for the needs of everyone in the private practice setting. We have a very strong advocacy presence that represents our profession and section, but just imagine how much stronger we would be if we could align the efforts and resources of small and large practices to best promote the value of care in the private practice setting.
From my diverse background as an advocate, clinician, academician, entrepreneur, administrator, operator and owner, I feel my experience would contribute a well-rounded perspective to the PPS board that would respect and appreciate the complexity and diversity of all the collective viewpoints while also providing a unique viewpoint that represents the varied experiences I've had throughout my career.
I'm asking for you to trust me to represent you as PPS Vice President and help position us best to move the PPS section and the profession forward. We are all truly better together!
Amy Snyder, PT, DPT, is a second-generation private practice owner. Her practice, PT Plus Management operates 8 clinic locations in southeastern Wisconsin. She has served as PPS Secretary for the past 5 years and currently chairs the COVID-19 Advisory Committee. Amy is a founding member of the Wisconsin Private Practice SIG, and PT Plus Management is a member of KinexCare, a Wisconsin private practice network that champions early and direct access to physical therapy.
I would like to thank the Nominating Committee and membership for the opportunity to be considered for the office of Vice President. Serving the Section as Secretary has been an honor and a privilege. I have had the opportunity to serve the Section in many roles throughout the years. I was a member of the Annual Conference Program Work Group. As a Board member I have served as liaison to the CSM Program Work Group, Administrator's Network, Awards Committee and Bylaws Committee. These experiences will help me to be successful as Vice President as they provide a broad basis of knowledge and understanding of the work of the Section.
I am proud to be a second-generation private practice owner. I believe that this provides me with a unique perspective on our history. I currently co-own PT Plus Management with my husband Mark. I continue to grow professionally as a physical therapist and as a business owner. I have maintained my clinical practice part time while also leading our administrative and management team.
The mission and role of the Private Practice Section has faced a critical challenge this year as we have navigated the COVID-19 Pandemic. The health care delivery, regulatory and business changes each of us faced have been rapid and unfamiliar. PPS met these challenges with grit and determination. The volunteer members who collaborated with the COVID-19 Advisory Committee created content, advocated for legislative and regulatory changes, and delivered education at a pace we have not previously seen from our Section.
As PPS led this effort, the questions we faced were equally important as the content we delivered. What do our members need? How else can we help them? Where are our blind spots? What are the downstream effects? What are the unintended consequences? In asking these questions, we challenged each other and the Section to evolve and grow. This adaptability in the face of uncertainty reminded me of the value of membership and my passion for service to the profession. We must learn from this moment in time and use it to challenge and shape our future. Perhaps more than ever, PPS is uniquely positioned to unify our members, provide leadership for our profession and guide your practices to success.
PPS membership is both varied and vast. We represent members in a variety of practice settings and business models. PPS is the place where we can combine our efforts. We are stronger when we work together.
PPS can harness this strength and size to lead our advocacy efforts. The payment issues that we face are critical for our business success, as well as how our profession is valued in health care. We must not waiver as we deliver the message of physical therapy's value.
At the center of these efforts are our patients. Maximizing the impact of physical therapy is central to why I serve PPS and why I wish to serve as your Vice President. Every community should have access to a private practice physical therapy clinic. PPS must continue to deliver the education and knowledge to guide our members in this ambitious endeavor. We will bring our best and brightest minds to help you find solutions and success. PPS must continue to evolve and modernize our delivery of these resources.
PPS also serves as a connection to our peers. These relationships will foster your professional development and personal growth. Our members have an entrepreneurial spirit, a desire to serve others and strong business sense. These skills and connections will prepare us for whatever challenges lie ahead. PPS is here to help you along that journey, just as it has been there to support me through the years.
Finally, I seek the position of Vice President to not only serve today's members, but to propel us into the future. It's a future that offers tremendous opportunities. The Board of Directors must guide PPS to sound governance and financial oversight, innovative delivery of our educational resources, professional advocacy and engagement of our membership. My nearly five years of experience on the PPS Executive Committee will help us to be successful today and for future generations of practice owners.
Dr. Rob Worth is the President/CEO and co-owner of Advanced Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine in Appleton, WI. He has served the PT profession in a variety of roles within the APTA over the past 25 years, including past-President of the Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association and Federal Affairs Liaison. He has been actively involved in PPS for many years and currently serves as a Director on the PPS Board of Directors.
Let me start by expressing my sincere gratitude to the PPS Nominating Committee for selecting me to be slated to run for the position of Vice President, and thank you to all of the individual PPS members who have been enthusiastically supportive of me running for this position. After 25+ years of service to the APTA in a variety of positions and 20+ years as a PPS member, I am very excited to potentially have the opportunity to serve as a PPS Vice President.
A little bit about my practice: Established in 1998, we have grown to 24 clinics in Wisconsin, as well as providing on-site direct access PT services at several industrial companies, YMCA's, universities, and a local Free Clinic for the underserved. Though we have been blessed with steady growth we continue to prioritize staying grounded in the same values and culture we have had since we were a single location practice. My role in our practice is daily clinical patient care, program development, involvement in our clinic's orthopedic clinical residency program, and most importantly - leadership. A few years ago our practice implemented an innovative and inclusive progressive ownership model that has provided an ownership opportunity tract for all eligible therapists within our practice designed to foster and grow the private practice mentality for the benefit of our practice and our profession.
A little bit about my APTA/PPS involvement: My APTA Private Practice Section background and involvement includes – PPS membership since 1998 and attended nearly every PPS annual conference since then, past University Initiative task force member, Education Committee 2012-2016, Awards Committee 2013-2015, Graham Sessions participant 2012-2020, Innovation Task Force member in 2014, PPS Nominating Committee 2014-2017, current participant in the PPS Peer-2-Peer program, PPS COVID Advisory Group Executive Committee Member March 2020-present, and Director on the PPS Board of Directors 2018-present.
National level APTA activities include– Previous Chief Delegate and current Wisconsin Delegate to the APTA House of Delegates; Invited speaker/panelist at 2013 nationally broadcasted APTA Innovation Summit on Collaborative Care. APTA Sections COVID Task Force, APTA Public Policy & Advocacy Committee 2019-present.
State level APTA activities include – Past President of the Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association and past Federal Government Affairs Liaison, current Legislative Key Contact.
Awards for professional involvement include – 2014 Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association Outstanding Service, 2014 Small Business of the Year (Fox Valley region Chamber of Commerce), 2013 PPS Jayne L . Snyder Private Practice of the Year, 2005 IndUS International Award for cross-cultural contributions in healthcare, 2004 Fox Cities Community Clinic Volunteer of the Year Award, 2000 Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association Physical Therapist of the Year Honorable Mention.
What are the most critical issues that PPS has to deal with over the next three years and how would I address these if elected?
- Helping PPS members get to the best version of their "new normal" – It has been an incredible experience serving on the PPS COVID Advisory Group, though there is more work to be done to assist members navigating their practices through this pandemic.
- Payment - We need to have a multi-pronged approach to improve payment for our services that optimizes reimbursement under the current model but also boldly move forward in showing all that physical therapists can offer within the emerging model of value-based healthcare.
- Innovation and collaboration – Within PPS we need to facilitate innovation in practice as well as innovation in how we let the public and legislators know the value that PT can bring to this new era of healthcare. Collaboration with other health care professionals, health care systems, insurers, and the business world will be key.
- The next generation – It is incumbent upon us to identify, mentor, and grow the next generation of private practitioners within our own practices and in the leadership of our association.
When all this COVID is over, we can focus on what we learned and being better and stronger than we ever were, both in our practices, in ourselves, and in leading our profession into a bold new future.It is for all of these reasons and more that I am running for PPS Vice President and I ask for your vote!
Dr. F. Scott Feil was born and raised in Islip, NY. After graduating he moved to North Carolina where he received his BA in English from Wake Forest University, his Masters in Physical Therapy from East Carolina University, his DPT from University of St Augustine, where he also received his Doctorate in Education. He's the owner of Epic Therapy and Wellness, PTEducator.com, and FGI Consulting, an adjunct professor, and loving husband and father of two.
I'd like to start by saying thank you! Thanks to the nominating committee for slating me to run for a PPS Board of Directors position. Thanks to my family for understanding my passion for my profession and allowing me to pursue amazing opportunities to make an impact in the world. Also, I'd like to thank YOU, members of the APTA's Private Practice Section for taking time to get to know me and how I intend to make a difference in our section and our profession, which I hope will translate into improving your lives and businesses.
The world is currently going through difficult times. Small businesses and clinics are closing at alarming rates. We can argue about semantics regarding why Physical Therapy clinics are suffering and closing, or we can adapt, adjust, and face this new post-pandemic world head on. I believe doing things the old way will no longer suffice. We need new leaders with fresh ideas, continually thinking outside the box to help private practices not only survive but thrive in these new settings. My entire platform revolves around one word: DIVERSIFICATION. Diversification of skill sets (I'm not just talking clinical), diversification of membership (not only PPS, but the profession as a whole), and diversification of revenue streams (I literally wrote the book on this).
I own Epic Therapy and Wellness Mobile Practice. I'm a one man show: Clinician, front desk, aide, and marketer are hats I wear throughout my days. This allows me to personally diversify my skill sets in arenas I would have never dreamed such as social media, digital marketing, and lead generation. I believe in these times, and moving forward, we need to specialize in media first, and physical therapy second. We could be the best physical therapist in the world, but if nobody knows who we are, we won't be able to help anyone.
I have been an APTA member for 17 years and PPS member for the last three. I joined PPS due to my close, personal relationships with many of those who were already members and shared with me not only the benefits but the speed at which the section reacts and adapts. My goal is to listen to the membership of PPS and react and respond accordingly, but in an even faster nature, because as we've seen, speed not only wins, but could be the difference in thousands of families lives. Leaders don't worry about making the right decision, they figure out how to make the decision right. The inability to make decisions is what kills opportunity. I've worked with several private practice owners and members of PPS on projects through my online education platform and consulting business that have taught me these valuable lessons, and they are lessons I look to implement if elected. I also feel my versatility in the profession has allowed me to foster these amazing relationships with those in my network further qualifying me for this position. From business owner, to adjunct professor, to podcast host, to everyday clinician, my diverse use of my skill sets from English Major to DPT to EdD has allowed me to dabble in several important circles both within and outside of the field of physical therapy and allowed me to keep my finger on the pulse of current events and needs.
When discussing critical issues PPS will be facing, how we reinvent ourselves as physical therapy practices in this digital age is top priority. I have written a book that outlines the multiple streams of revenue that I currently generate. While I feel nobody is completely recession or depression proof, I feel that diversifying your revenue streams as a private practice owner is one major solution to that problem and I aim to educate as many PPS members as I can. Another critical issue is reimbursement levels and current value of our services. I feel as though examining and implementing population health and consulting can help show not only the public, but businesses and corporations as well, the true value that physical therapy can bring to the table. I hope that you'll think outside the box with me and consider voting me as one of your Directors.
Jenna Kantor, PT, DPT is the owner of Jenna Kantor Physical Therapy PLLC (JKPT) in Pittsburgh, PA, treating singers, actors, and dancers. She sits on the Board of Directors for Fairytale Physical Therapy, which brings musical theatre shows to children in hospitals and teaches choreography that is secretly composed of therapeutic exercises. She is currently serving on the PPS PR & Marketing Committee and Key Contact Committee. She is active legislatively and a proud PT-PAC Eagle.
I would like to thank the nominating committee for slating me as a candidate for Director. I have been honored to serve my profession in many capacities on the state and national levels. On the state level, I was initially a Co-founder and Advocacy Chair for the New York Physical Therapy Association (NYPTA) SSIG. I continued my involvement as a committee member for the NYPTA Greater New York (GNY) Legislative Task Force and Social Media Committee. I have served as a Delegate for the NYPTA Delegate Assembly and as an alternate delegate for the House of Delegates. I have worked with physical therapists throughout the United States who are both APTA members as well as nonmembers. This allowed me the opportunity to listen and learn about the needs of large and small private practice owners in order to better serve the community.
As a boutique private practice owner and a treating physical therapist, I believe my skills and experience will be of value to the PPS Board. I run a mobile PT practice that specializes in treating musical theatre performers. Because of its small size, I handle all the documentation, treatment, administrative, marketing, networking, and financial duties. This allows me to better understand small business providers in PPS, which gives me insight into their unique needs. I will use this understanding in my leadership as a Director to best serve diverse private practices that serve in either one or multiple spaces.
On the nonprofit side, I have co-founded, served as a Board Member, and run Fairytale Physical Therapy (FTPT) for 5 years. Forming and leading this organization has me well prepared for the role of Director. Collaborating with the other board members and leading volunteers has been a highly rewarding experience that has pushed me to grow as a team player. During my tenure, I have actively sought strategies to improve our communication, methodology for expansion, and mission to not only enhance our service, but also to enhance my ability to lead while working in the trenches alongside the board and volunteers.
One of the PPS bylaws is to provide leadership in enhancing the role of PTs as autonomous health care professionals. In the director position, upholding this bylaw will be a firm pursuit of mine. From my time with FTPT and as a teacher and mentor to future dance physical therapists, I've learned how to best raise up each individual in PT treatment and business skills. My motto is to share everything I know as I continue to level-up my own knowledge. Raising each other up in business helps elevate the profession and patient care, so I give all I can.
I also have experience with "creating mechanisms for enhanced leadership development and involvement" (PPS Bylaw I). Currently, I am teaching and mentoring student and professional PTs who want to treat dancers through my Dance PT Program. For each student, I envision them either drawing in a new niche of patients where they work or eventually running their own part or full-time practice. Like our members, each future leader is different and I've learned to alter what I teach in order for each person to thrive.
In the PPS, I have volunteered on the Marketing and PR Committee and the Key Contact Committee. The leaders of these committees have taught me how to be an eloquent leader who understands and listens to all personalities with different business strengths. They have taught me the power of delegating to committee members who each have an uncanny ability to hold their own. These groups have given me insight into the strength of all the members in this section. Each one is an inspirational superhero and I want to see them all succeed. I promise to continue to bring that to light as a Director.My goal is to support PPS members in multiple ways. As a Director, I will listen and collaborate in order to best serve membership at large along with future and potential members who need this supportive community. As a board member, I will work with my colleagues to take progressive action that furthers the physical therapy profession. Thank you for your support, and I ask for your vote.
Bill Pfister Jr., PT, DPT, is the CEO RET Physical Therapy. He is one of 10 partners in RET PT Group that is composed of 38 locations in Washington State. He also sits on the Board of Directors for RET, helping provide strategic insight to guide the future of the practice. He has served as PPS Director for the past three years and is running for his second term.
My name is Bill Pfister and I have been a physical therapist for 17 years. It has been an honor to serve as PPS Director and I am excited to be able to run for a second term. My experience and passion have always been in promoting the profession of Physical Therapy in Private Practice. These past three years have been the perfect opportunity for me to blend my innovative and entrepreneurial spirit to help further the goals of our profession and section. During my tenure we have had some pivotal accomplishments from hiring Association Headquarters as our association management company, to leading our membership through a pandemic to name just a couple. There is still so much more to be done and I am committed to serving in this same capacity.
I began my journey 15 years ago when I became the Clinic Director of a struggling practice in a suburb of Seattle. At that time, there were 13 clinics in our group and my clinic was at the bottom of the company for both production and revenue. With hard work and perseverance, I was able to transform this clinic in 4 years and change it to the top performing clinic. We now have 38 clinics in our company and it continues to be at the top. We have grown successfully through innovation, hiring great clinicians, collaborating with other healthcare professionals, and providing effective staff development.
In October of 2018 RET PT Group strategically partnered with Confluent Health which is led by Larry Benz, a former PPS Dicus Award winner. This January, I was appointed to CEO of RET and now help provide strategic insight and guide the future of our company. I am fortunate to have supportive partners that understand the value of PPS to our profession and support my involvement in leadership within PPS.
My prior experience growing an individual private practice and now being responsible for leading and growing a multi-practice physical therapy enterprise have forged a unique perspective in understanding the challenges that face both large and small private practices. It is because of these experiences I feel qualified to continue to represent our private practice section membership in the pursuit of keeping both small and large private practices healthy, viable, profitable, and delivering undeniable value to the patients we have the privilege to serve. I want to continue to help private practice owners grow and continue to protect their businesses.
During the last three years serving as a director of PPS I have been involved in many influential decisions to further our section. Most recently serving on the CV-19 advisory board during which we met twice daily for many weeks to help lead our members through this unprecedented time. Prior to being elected to PPS board of directors I served in the assistant managing editor of our PPS Impact Magazine. I have also served on the Impact board, and contributed as an author. By serving in these capacities, I have met many innovative physical therapists and owners who are willing to share with our members ways to improve, innovate, and thrive in private practice.
More importantly, I have had the opportunity to develop amazing friendships and encounter established mentors along the way. I believe the more involved and engaged you are, the more effective you can be in fostering growth and change. I will continue to be a voice of progress that represents the daily challenges of private practices of all varieties, sizes, and settings.
I believe that leading our membership through the CV-19 pandemic, payment reform, and continued advocacy around providing and obtaining payment parity for telehealth are present opportunities for our profession to improve the way we do business; however without continued persistent engagement from PPS we may not successfully capitalize on them. These factors will have an impact on our revenue streams. It is imperative that PPS be able to help its membership adapt, and continue to thrive as these opportunities unfold. I intend to be a catalyst of change, working diligently to move our profession and businesses forward.
If elected, I will continue to advocate and be an agent of change to meet our collective goals.
Carrie Hall, PT, MHS has been a physical therapist for 37 years wearing the hats of practitioner, educator, and author on the topics of the movement system and therapeutic exercise. In 1995, she founded Movement Systems Physical Therapy in Seattle, WA. She is a strong advocate of physical therapy, serving on the Board of Directors of PTWA, Delegate to APTA, and on several committees internal and external to the profession.
For 37 years I have been an unapologetic zealot for our profession. As a novice PT at Washington University in St. Louis, one of my first lessons was the concept of "the path of least resistance." In the human movement system, the body takes the path of least resistance. This path may have short term gains but can lead to long term problems. It turns out that this concept is a metaphor for life as well – there are no short-cuts. Later in my career, my inspirations shifted toward psychosocial realms. Sociologist, Brene Brown, PhD, LMSW became my mentor through her books, TED talks, and podcasts. Her lessons, combined with those of early mentors, shaped my career decisions, my practice, and the philosophy of my company. Movement Systems Physical Therapy was born in 1995 out of the desire to provide a diagnostic approach toward treating the Movement System. Our mission is to diagnose and treat the underlying biopsychosocial causes/contributors to movement-related conditions and empower our patients to fulfill goals they never believed were possible – to create transformative change. Building this company from ground zero while raising 3 daughters was no easy task, definitely NOT the path of least resistance. But nothing I did in those 37 years put me to the test like the period beginning in mid-March of 2020.
"You cannot get to courage without walking through vulnerability." This quote, by Dr. Brene Brown, has been my mantra in recent years. Those words were put to a test I never would have imagined when Seattle became the first epicenter for COVID-19 and I was faced with the decision to close my doors or stay open. I had to consider an array of health and safety factors for both patients and staff. What I kept coming back to is the fact that physical therapy is an essential health care service. People still are getting injured, still are in pain, still are managing chronic neuromusculoskeletal conditions, and still need our assistance to optimize their movement, remain healthy, and live their fullest life. I determined that — provided I take every precaution to protect the health and safety of our patients and staff — I would remain open to serve those in need. As licensed healthcare providers, we are empowered and obligated to analyze the risks and benefits and determine the best delivery of care method for our patients, crisis or not.
During the peak of exhaustion from the responsibility, courage, and vulnerability it took to keep ourselves and patients safe and healthy during the pandemic, we were hit with the realization of another, more devastating plague that had been infecting our country for centuries – the plague of systemic racism. As a member of APTA and PPS, I am fully aware of the work that has been done to recognize the deficiencies that exist in our healthcare system by addressing the issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and acknowledging the social determinants of health. The pandemic and rise of black lives matter have brought us to a crossroads in healthcare. It is time to confront the deep roots of racism that provide people like me the privilege of whiteness while adversely affect the long-term health of racial and ethnic minorities.
Beginning in mid-March, private practices around the country experienced devastating declines in patient visits as people stayed home to protect themselves from the omnipresent fear and reality of COVID-19, putting our profession and our role in society to the test. Temporarily, barriers were eliminated that prevent broad-based access to our services (including telehealth) and care was shifted from physician offices and surgical suites to the PT office. We have much work to be done to make these changes permanent, but they pale in comparison to the work ahead in removing the destructive force of systemic racism that keeps many people from receiving our services every day. Tackling these issues will not be easy, we cannot take the path of least resistance, we must walk through vulnerability to get to courage. If elected, I will do my best, with my fellow committee members, to identify, encourage, develop, and vet candidates for PPS leadership that reflect these values with an enduring commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Avery Schroyer PT, MPT, is the owner of Titan Physical Therapy in Lexington, Ky. Currently, he is the Secretary for APTA Kentucky, a role he has held since 2014. He founded Kentucky's Physical Therapy Night Out. He serves on APTA Kentucky's Legislative Advocacy Committee and the State Political Action Committee.
First, I want to thank the Private Practice Section Nominating Committee for reaching out and slating me. It is an honor to be asked for the potential to serve PPS.
When I graduated from the University of Kentucky, I began serving as Secretary for our State Chapter. While serving on the board, I have been able to work with many committees and help with multiple projects. I have learned many lessons from my time on the executive committee, and I have learned the importance of having strong leadership. These lessons, I will apply to PPS to help us continue to be a leading example for our profession.
As our country and our profession faces unprecedented times, there is even greater importance for PPS to be led by the best. I will strive for us to maximize our diversity, while we work toward common goals that reflect our interest for both our profession and society. This will help us better represent the needs of our members.
When I opened my practice, I was looking for a new and better way to operate while serving my community. I wanted to be forward thinking and develop a business that was more resilient. I have learned many lessons, from my hybrid practice, of the intricacies of Medicare and the benefits of direct-to-consumer marketing to operate my clinic successfully.
These are qualities that I see frequently being shared and sought within our community. Often in the pages of IMPACT, I find articles addressing these very topics. I became a member of PPS before I established my private practice. I found PPS to provide a wealth of knowledge, and its deep resource of members were always willing to help answer questions. We need to continue to bring in quality and expertise in multiple areas, to help us grow and support our members and profession.
I am immensely proud of how PPS has taken the helm this year to help support not just our section, but our profession as a whole. I want us to continue to be a resource to all.
I hope to be able to count on our senior members to be willing to continue to answer the call to serve. I think our success is dependent on being able to draw on their knowledge and experience. I want to acknowledge, as well, that there is a new wave of practice owners who have become disenfranchised with traditional clinics and practice models. They are innovating how physical therapy will be delivered in the future. It is critical, as private practice is changing, that we draw from those who are making that change. With the many different areas that are trying to encroach on our profession, it is important to take lessons from the past and merge them with new ideas to help us come together.
I would be honored to serve on the Nominating Committee. I have gone out of my way to meet people in our profession since the time I was a student. One of the best things about our association, and this section, are the connections and friendships that are made. I look forward to meeting you and many more of our members. I look forward to drawing on the diversity we have in our section, to continue to promote a strong board in this ever-changing landscape, for us to reach our professional and societal potential.