Slate of Candidates for 2021 Elections
The Private Practice Section introduces the 2021 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. voting will take place onsite at the 2021 Annual Conference Exhibition in Dallas, Texas. Absentee voting online will open October 5.
We urge all members to participate in this election.
(1 position open):
Michelle Collie, PT, DPT, MS
Jennifer Lesko, PT, DPT
(1 position open):
Stacey Alberts, PT, MPT
Lisa Mackell, MPT
(2 positions open):
Mike Connors, PT, DPT, PhD
Jenna Kantor, PT, DPT
Chris Leck, PT, DPT
Kelly Sanders, PT, DPT, ATC
Rob Worth, PT, DPT, MS, ATC/L
(1 position open):
Terence C. Brown, PT, DPT
Kendell M. Jno-Finn, PT, DPT
Michelle Collie, PT, DPT, MS is the CEO of Performance Physical Therapy, a private practice with 15 locations in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Michelle received her Bachelors of Physiotherapy from Otago University in New Zealand, and her Advanced Masters and Doctorate from MGH Institute of Health Professions. Michelle has been a Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist since 2006. Michelle serves as the chair of the PPS Marketing and PR Committee, and as the President for APTA-Rhode Island.
Being a leader can be lonely, especially in the early days. Eighteen years ago, I was that lonely leader. I purchased Performance Physical Therapy and went from staff physical therapist to owner, overnight. Suddenly I was the sole owner of a private practice with 16 employees, and I literally knew nothing about business. And I was 8 months pregnant. I made two Amazon purchases that month; 'Finance for Managers' from Harvard Business School Publishing and 'What to Expect the First Year'.
Four weeks later I became a mother, unfamiliar with the challenges, yet joys, of motherhood. Simultaneously I was a new private practice owner, unfamiliar with every aspect of business! But I had an underlying yearning to take on both new roles; to listen, learn, and have the courage to overcome fears and doubts, and essentially nurture both of my 'babies'.
In 2003, I traveled to Florida with my 4-month-old to my first PPS annual conference. I chose the sessions carefully, sat in the front row, diligently listened, and took notes. During each break, instead of networking I returned to my room where my husband eagerly handed me a hungry baby. This year, we celebrate my sons eighteenth birthday, and yet I still remember that first PPS conference vividly. I was inspired, excited and so happy. I left with the knowledge that I had found my tribe – and this was without even spending time at a bar!
My journey as a leader was not lonely for long, and I credit PPS for this. In 2011 I joined the initial PPS Marketing and Public Relations Committee and have continued to serve as the chair for 6 years. Grateful to receive a board service award in 2019, it has been a pleasure to work with the committee, as well as the PPS board and other committee leaders, to develop powerful tools and resources for our members in the area of marketing and PR.
As a member of the pilot Peer2Peer group, my leadership, communication, and business skills have continued to evolve. I credit this opportunity to where I am today. This program has led to lifelong, earnest friendships that not only support, but challenge me. Three years ago, it was suggested I consider hiring a CFO for my practice. My uncertainty and my group's encouragement led me to spend a week at Harvard, living on the HBS campus completing "Finance for Senior Executives". Later that year I found myself presenting on finance, rather than marketing at annual conference. My love for numbers, budgeting, statistics, and finance was fueled.
As a member of the COVID Advisory Task Force I worked alongside a group of amazing colleagues to help hundreds of private practitioners including myself, successfully navigate PPE, loans, grants, quarantine, messaging, marketing, telehealth and more. The pandemic solidified we are better together and gave me a greater appreciation of the efforts of our board. While COVID had many challenges, one of the benefits was further reinforcing the need to master financial management, both in my company and PPS, so that I could contribute an even greater role.
While my eighteen-year-old may not need my nurturing anymore, PPS continues to need board members focused on caretaking for our changing profession. We need strong but approachable leaders that can guide members through the repercussions of the pandemic, ongoing payment challenges, and the continued poor messaging of who we are and our value in health care. But it also needs leaders that remember the days of navigating private practice alone. PPS serves all members, whether large multi-clinic practice, next generation practitioners, new, lonely practice owners, or those in unique, niche practices. My goal as a board member is to make all members recognize the value PPS brings by being a listening ear so that no one feels alone in their journey. I am seeking the position of treasurer, where I can use my knowledge, experience, and desire to provide financial oversight, serve our members and nurture the future of our profession.
I am truly grateful to those who have supported my run for treasurer for the Board of PPS and ask that you consider me for your vote.
Jennifer Lesko PT, DPT is the owner and director of Therapeutic Associates (TAI) West Seattle in Seattle, Washington treating a full caseload. She sits on the TAI Board which has 90 Physical Therapist owned and operated clinics in the Pacific Northwest. She served on the APTA Public Policy and Advocacy Committee and was Washington Chief delegate for 9 years. She is a current delegate and is active legislatively. She is the current PPS Treasurer.
Serving as your Treasurer for the last 3 years has been my honor. During my tenure, the Section has been through many changes and challenges, which we on the board navigated while maintaining the financial health of the Section. Shortly after the start of my term, PPS hired Association Headquarters (AH) as our new management company. This decision and transition required significant focus and due diligence on the part of the board, and I believe we chose the right partner to help PPS deliver on its mission. During this time, we also transitioned through a change in executives before ultimately engaging Carrie Stankiewicz as PPS's new Chief Operating Officer (COO). The Treasurer and COO work very closely together through budgeting and financial decisions, and I have the utmost respect for Carrie and thank her for her deep commitment to our Section.
My leadership journey and education in the finances of PPS began with four years as a member of the Finance Committee under two different treasurers and two different executive directors, which thoroughly prepared me for the role of treasurer. During that time, we implemented a reserve fund, not knowing what 2020 had in store. Due to this insightful and strategic planning, PPS was able to ride the storm of lower revenues due to the pandemic's effects on our membership and annual conference. Like many of you, the Section had to be nimble and adapt over the last year, and Carrie and I worked closely with the board to cut spending when we could and be creative to continue the business of the Section. I am grateful for all the volunteers in PPS who were flexible and adapted to virtual meetings. The effectiveness of these formats will allow PPS future savings while connecting with more of our members on a different level.
As a member and chair of the finance committee, I was active in promoting and awarding grants to our members for grassroots efforts to combat payment, regulatory and practice issues that are unique to private practice owners. Advocacy allows private practitioners to educate and foster collaboration with key stakeholders on these issues. Fights for fair payment, practicing at the highest level of our education and training, as well as identifying opportunities to promote PTs as the musculoskeletal movement provider of choice are ever present. As Treasurer, I aim to be responsible with your money, yet targeted in spending for the good of our members.
In my 22-year career, I have served my profession in many capacities at the state and national levels. My volunteerism began on the state legislative committee, and I have engaged in many legislative and regulatory fights in APTA Washington. I have served on APTA task forces, the Public Policy and Advocacy Committee and continue to serve in the House of Delegates. I have worked with physical therapists from all over the country with a wide range of backgrounds and talents to collaborate on creative and strategic ways to move the profession forward. I understand the needs of the private practitioner, as an owner and a front-line treating therapist who carries a full caseload every week, and I bring these skills and perspectives to the PPS board.
In addition to advocacy, the PPS strategic plan includes developing and delivering resources to promote business excellence and facilitate a community for members to engage and connect. As Treasurer, I bring my in-depth knowledge of PPS finances to inform the board's discussion, and I consider the diversity of our members and work to balance their needs while promoting our members' individual excellence and success.
I have practiced with Therapeutic Associates for my entire career and am a current shareholder and member of the Board of Directors. As one of the first private practices in the country celebrating 69 years in physical therapy business, we have been active and present in the private practice community from the beginning. I feel very fortunate to be part of a company with a commitment to and legacy of professional leadership, continued learning and professional association involvement.
I look forward to continuing my work in service to you as Treasurer of PPS. Thank you for your consideration, and I ask for your vote.
Stacey Alberts, PT, MPT is the current Secretary for PPS seeking re-election. Stacey has served as a PPS Director for 5 years and committee chair for 3 years. Stacey is owner of Total Rehab with three locations in Iowa. She has been active in legislative and payment policy initiatives for Iowa, regionally, and nationally and has held several leadership roles with the IPTA and PPS Brings with her experience from other leadership opportunities and in areas of finance.
My name is Stacey Alberts and I am running for re-election for the Secretary position with the Private Practice Section of the APTA.
I am the owner of Total Rehab which has three clinic locations in central Iowa. Total Rehab primarily deals with an outpatient orthopedic population in which my main role is 70% administrative and 30% clinical. Our clinic vitality has come from decisions early in my practices to withhold from signing substandard contracts. Our clinics have utilized direct access to market to the public which has been critical in withstanding the changes with health care reform and healthcare consolidation. About 70% of our clinic referrals now come from word of mouth. Our clinics have been very specific with the services we offer as a way to maintain our quality while being extremely cost efficient.
As a PPS board member, I have served under 3 Presidents, 3 CEO's and a rotating Board all of whom have demonstrated passion and vision for the section. During my terms, I have had the opportunity to interact with PPS staff, PPS committees, most of the PPS chairs, and numerous members and non members. I have been active on the state and national level which includes being past president for our state Special Interest Group, organization of the Midwest Therapy Network where I am a director, several APTA and PPS capitol hill visits, previous State Policy and Payment Reform Forums, state reimbursement committee and government affairs committee, and as well as serving the Chapter as Iowa Physical Therapy Association Treasurer. Other leadership positions held outside of PPS and APTA include: Church Foundation President, Board Member for First State Bank, and Head Varsity Softball Coach-Lynnville Sully High School.
Prior to CoVid, I would have said the most critical issues affecting the Private Practice Section are operational. Obviously CoVid put a stress on our clinics and association at levels I have never witnessed. The response of our members and staff and leadership was remarkable in how they truly rose up to assist one another through this point in time. PPS has been moving toward a more streamlined structure for committees. A structure to enhance our internal collaboration and efficiency in providing information to our membership. Streamlining the process moves the association to increasing our efficiency which all of us do in our practices daily and became incredibly important as we navigated through the early days of CoVid. I believe we as an association will need to make decisions on who our membership will be in the next 10 years and have the systems to help us make those decisions. Through healthcare consolidation, there has been a changing face to who our members actually are. The private practice section may service not only owners of practices, but managers, executive staff, and office administrators.Thank you for your time and consideration, I would greatly appreciate your vote this fall for Secretary of the Private Practice Section.
Lisa Mackell, MPT, is the Founder/Retired President of the Theraplay Family of Companies, providers of children's physical, occupational, speech, and educational services, with six companies, 32 centers, school contracts, and over 1100 staff. Lisa is the Pediatric SIG Chair for Pennsylvania, an Impact Editorial Board Member, and past PPS CSM Program Workgroup Chair. Lisa is also Board President of Learning to Lead, a non-profit teaching leadership and entrepreneurship skills to middle and high school students.
It is with great honor that I stand here running for Secretary on the PPS Board. I am extremely grateful to the nominating committee for slating me and recognizing my commitment and passion for PPS. I also thank all of you, my fellow PPS members, who have befriended, supported, and challenged me, while helping me to grow in my practice, leadership, and volunteer skills.
I am a pediatric physical therapist! We are rare in PPS, but from the first annual conference I attended, I knew I belonged. I started a pediatric company in 1991 called Theraplay. My husband joined full time 12 years later. When we had 7 outpatient centers, we partnered with private equity. I enjoyed sharing our values, policies, and methods with other pediatric owners, helping them become part of something larger. I became passionate about the quality of our services across our six companies, focusing on excellence in clinical care and compliance.
Our profession is charged with transforming society; I believe we need to transform our organization as well. There is a lot of talk about diversity, within not only PPS but also APTA. I am determined to work to increase PPS diversity, not only through minority practitioners, but also women, new graduate clinicians, and niche practice owners. Although we are largely represented in PPS by adult orthopedic practitioners, I believe we need to focus on a broader range of practice settings and specialties. I have heard from many pediatric friends, or other women in private practice, who didn't feel they had a place to turn for business advice, mentorship, and friendship. I always shared about PPS. For years, I have worked with PPS committees and the board, challenging us to find ways to engage and capture membership from diverse and niche practice owners.
I was not a PPS member when I started my business, but 9 years later. I was a busy mom and wife with two small children. I know what a challenge it is to be a business owner and a full-time parent, striving to do both at your best, and constantly feeling that one is suffering. I want to help other practice owners find the resources and time to commit to PPS. I will challenge our board members to find ways to help these practice owners connect and stay involved. This pandemic has taught us all the value of the virtual life; meetings, conferences, and patient care can all be successful virtually. I promise to continue to explore these options to maximize membership capture and engagement.
Recent times have hit our practices hard. Many of our friends and neighbors have been forced to close their doors. Others, with a goal of starting their own practice, changed their minds, fearful of the risks. PPS must think outside the box. We need to help our colleagues discover their passion for starting or expanding their own practice and ensure that the tools for them can be found within PPS. We should explore creative reimbursement strategies for those practitioners that provide specialized one on one care but have been forced to accept standard reimbursement.
My experience in building a company with 32 centers and over 1100 staff has provided me with skills of leadership, attention to detail, policy development, and holding people accountable. I believe I have the qualifications to be PPS Secretary; I pledge to being fully engaged with our board, committees, and membership. I value service and enjoy fostering relationships; I will reach out to members that have not yet felt compelled to offer their service to PPS and empower them to become involved.
We are physical therapists and physical therapist assistants. We do not sit back and wait for things to happen. We, PPS, cannot relax and hope things improve. We cannot just pray for better times. We are an incredible organization with so many gifts within our membership. I trust we can only improve by attracting more diverse practices and clinicians and sharing our talents and resources with a larger membership. I believe people want and need PPS but simply haven't found us yet. Give me the chance to help them find us.
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 Director, and thank you to all of the individual PPS members who have been enthusiastically supportive of me serving a second term in 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 have this opportunity to make an even bigger impact on our profession.
A little bit about our practice:
Established in 1998, we have grown to 26 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 as President/CEO of 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 attendance of nearly every PPS annual conference since then. Over the years I have had the privilege of serving our PPS membership by being involved in the University Initiative task force, Education Committee, Awards Committee, Graham Sessions, Innovation Task Force, PPS Nominating Committee, Peer-2-Peer program, PPS COVID Advisory Group Executive Committee, and currently serve as a Director on the PPS Board of Directors with an amazing group of individuals.
National level APTA activities include serving as a Wisconsin Delegate to the APTA House of Delegates for nearly 20 years, including representation as Chief Delegate; APTA Sections COVID Task Force; current APTA Public Policy & Advocacy Committee.
State level APTA activities include serving as President of the Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association and serving as Federal Government Affairs Liaison. I continue to advocate for the PT profession as a Legislative Key Contact.
Awards for professional involvement include – Fox Cities Community Volunteer of the Year Award, Small Business of the Year (Fox Valley region Chamber of Commerce), Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association Outstanding Service, Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association Physical Therapist of the Year Honorable Mention, PPS Jayne L . Snyder Private Practice of the Year, IndUS International Award for cross-cultural contributions in healthcare.
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?
- Serve the needs of the PPS members, especially the small and non-traditional practice owners, to give them the resources they need to survive, grow, and thrive in this evolving healthcare environment.
- 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.
Jenna Kantor, PT, DPT is the owner of Jenna Kantor Physical Therapy PLLC 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 6 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 the way the board did so well during the pandemic last year. 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 profession.
Michael Connors, PT, DPT, PhD is the Vice President of Clinical Operations for AZ and TX for Athletico Physical therapy. In this position, I am responsible for the oversight of operations for 40+ clinics across three regions. I have served as a member and former co-chair of the Texas GAC, a national delegate to the House of Delegates, President of the Texas Chapter, and on a number of different PPS committees and task forces.
Thank you to the nominating committee for slating me as a candidate for the position of PPS Director. I am excited about the potential opportunity to bring my energy and passion for private practice to this position. For the past 18 years, I have strived to support my profession in any capacity possible. My journey throughout my career has led me in a myriad of different directions from a staff therapist to an academician to an executive in my current position. With each career direction, I have taken a multitude of experiences that have helped shape me into the person I am today.
Fifteen years ago, I ventured into the private practice world as a young, inexperienced clinic manager. Within the first year, I took that small satellite clinic from a non-producing site to one with a full caseload. Among other things, that position reinforced my strong entrepreneurial spirit as well as my desire to succeed in the private practice arena by delivering high quality patient care. In my current role, provide leadership development and clinical mentoring to my colleagues in an effort to better prepare our new professionals in their journey to become master clinicians and future leaders of our company.
My experience as a leader at the state association level as well as my involvement in a number of national APTA and PPS initiatives has helped me to understand the issues affecting the future of private practice, in both small and large organizations. We have a tremendous opportunity to come together as never before to help protect the integrity and value of the services we provide to our patients in the private practice setting. Many of the issues, such a determining appropriate value for our services, are not a size of practice issue but rather an issue of fractured efforts across the profession and nation. As President Sharon Dunn as said on multiple occasions, we are simply better together. 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. I have served as an advocate at the state and national effort for PPS and APTA. 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.
In the past five years, we have witnessed more vertical and horizontal integration in healthcare and physical therapy. With complex ownership and payment models emerging daily, we need to stay united as a section and sector of the profession to provide resources to members that help to best position that organization for success now and in the future. We have colleagues that own, operate and work in a myriad of private practice settings and we need to respect and appreciate the diversity of each of these structures. We need to be more deliberately inclusive and less restrictive at creating a seat at the table for every PPS member, regardless of who owns their organization or signs their paychecks! Now is that time!
From my background as an advocate, clinician, academician, entrepreneur, and a lover of all things PT, 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. In the book Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Lencoini describes the foundation of every relationship as trust. With the absence of trust, no meaningful relationship can ever develop the necessary foundation to grow and move forward in the future. I'm asking for you to trust me to represent you as PPS director and help position us best to move the PPS section and the profession forward. We are all truly better together!
Chris is the CEO of PTA Physical Therapy, a private practice with 7 locations in Montana. Outside of work he is a husband, a father of 3 (boy, 2 girls), and a youth coach. He is a DPT graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Notre Dame. He currently serves on the Finance and Marketing committees and has served on 3 Boards for national and local organizations.
Who I am and why I am running
I grew up in rural Idaho working on a farm and learning the value of hard work and perseverance. I believe we are at a critical juncture in healthcare that demands perseverance. I have a passion for furthering our profession and believe we have a tremendous opportunity to enhance our value and expand our scope of practice. Through intentional collaboration and entrepreneurship, we can be a large contributor towards changing population health and enhancing others' quality of life, for life.
"Collaborate or Die"
I started my journey as a PT with a strong desire to create a model of traditional outpatient practice coupled with preventive care and health promotion. My early clinical experience in this model, coupled with my background as a US Naval Officer; prepared me to step into a director role with Therapeutic Associates Inc (TAI) outside Seattle. Under the leadership of former PPS President, Steve Anderson, I grew as a clinician and leader. Steve and TAI fostered a spirit of collaboration that is a hallmark of my leadership style. I bring this collaborative spirit to all boards and organizations I am fortunate to serve.
In my current role as CEO of PTA Physical Therapy, I have organized local private practice owners to create a Private Practice Association aimed at educating the public about the value of physical therapy. If we can knock down the competitive barriers amongst private practice owners, we can multiply our impact.
Large or Small - Let's grow together!
After 9 great years with TAI, I chose to pursue a personal growth opportunity. I had just been elected to the TAI Board of Directors and was running a highly profitable practice in Seattle. Yet I took a risk to leave TAI for my current position, and this afforded me the opportunity to get involved with PPS and learn from our great members. Having run a single practice for 9 years, I understand the perspective of the single clinic owner. As a managing partner of 10 clinics and a member of TAI's Finance Committee, I also understand the challenges that large PT companies face. My current position affords me the perspective of the medium-sized practice and the challenges of being an owner of a company of that size. Because of these experiences, I feel well-prepared to represent each perspective on the PPS Board. It is my contention that PPS exists to further our profession from a financial, clinical, and public-facing perspective. I will represent clinics of all sizes with these principles guiding the way.
Challenges Ahead – Choose Significance over success!
As we embark on the post-COVID period in private practice, never has the value of movement and activity been more in focus. Several studies have shown that people who were physically inactive prior to the pandemic were more likely to be hospitalized, be admitted to the ICU and ultimately die from COVID-19. These new realities add to what was already a great opportunity to impact our communities. Although we all have achieved great success in our professional and personal lives; I believe we can have more significance by embracing a holistic approach to PT and collaborating with other lifestyle professionals. We can do so much more than eliminate pain and return people to prior level of function. We may change biomarkers and impact population health in an unprecedented way. If we band together to gather data and show our value, we have an opportunity to finally get fair reimbursement. If elected, I will create more opportunities to help our profession become more significant.
Kelly Sanders, PT, DPT, ATC serves as President of Movement for Life, an employee owned private practice with a family of clinics in Arizona, California and North Carolina. Kelly has served on multiple PPS committees and task forces including Impact magazine, payment policy, telehealth and value based care and is currently serving as a Director on the PPS Board since her appointment in late 2020.
My involvement in PPS started in 2005 as a member of the section's 50th anniversary task force. In this role, I had the opportunity to interview key people and write articles for Impact throughout 2006 celebrating the golden anniversary of PPS. That year, the "greats" shared with me our section's origins, the hard fought battles, the challenges and wins of the first five decades. I heard about the life-long friendships and support, the shared knowledge and the collective advocacy the section provided. It made me want to be a part of a group born out of so much determination and grit, but also connection, advocacy and education, tenets the section still lives today.
In terms of my background, I grew up in a small business. I watched my father start as a journeyman carpenter in San Francisco, move our family to a small rural community and start a construction business. Throughout my childhood, I watched my dad and his two partners work hard, build a team of loyal employees, provide opportunity for others and ultimately grow a company that reflected their values. When I graduated from PT school, private practice made sense as my first job; I had seen that a small business would care deeply about the quality of service and those they employed, because I saw how important community reputation had been in our family's small business. A year after graduating, I met Jim Glinn, Jr, and he shared his vision that you could accomplish more with a team than you could alone. My husband (also a PT) and I joined his practice, opening its fourth clinic and we have continued to build on the tenants of Jim's vision, becoming his partners and supporting the same opportunity of running a clinic that had been afforded to us. In my current role as President of our practice, I have learned so much. We have been through payment issues, the loss of key team members, cash flow shifts, transitioning our team from a PT owned to employee owned organization, the succession of our founder and of late, navigating a global pandemic. I understand the challenges of running a small business, I have been in "it" since I was a toddler. I still remember that Christmas when my mom made me a dress out of an old tablecloth and that same year hiding behind the door as I watched my mom cry as she learned my parents owed more money in taxes than my dad brought home that year.
It is these collective experiences growing up in a small business, volunteering with the section over the past 15+ years and working in and on my own practice that make me confident I will make meaningful contributions to the PPS Board of Directors. In the short time I have served on the PPS board, it has become even clearer to me that we are in a critical time for our profession both in terms of the issues we face as well as the opportunities in our midst. The decisions we make today will affect the next generation of practice ownership. We must be open to the changes on the horizon and find thoughtful solutions with those we serve in mind. We are balancing payment issues, rising costs, and educating and guiding fellow PT's to fill the gaps of what is not well represented in PT school curriculums – the business behind our profession. In my time with our practice, it has grown from four to 26 locations and we have found ways to have clinics work together to share expenses and resources but also knowledge. I envision similar ways we can all work together with PPS as the collector or coordinator. Exploring how we can better share resources, knowledge, education, experiences and have a larger collective voice, whether in advocacy with legislators, payers and beyond is one of my priorities. Driving membership and increasing the numbers in our ranks will be important to accomplish this goal.
I am grateful and honored that the nominating committee has slated me to run for a director position on the PPS Board. I humbly ask for your trust and vote in representing this great section.
Terry Brown PT,DPT, COMT has been a physical therapist for 36 years. He is the COO of Pro.Active Therapy in Frankfort, Kentucky. He has served the profession at both the state, and national level and is a past President of the Private Practice Section.
My belief has always been that our profession has given me much more than I have given it, and it's our responsibility to leave it better than we found it. For the past 36 years I have worked to do this. I began at the Kentucky state chapter level serving in multiple positions including two terms as chapter president. I spent 20 years as a delegate in the APTA House of Delegates and was elected to the APTA nominating committee, serving as its chair. My true love has always been private practice and as I developed leadership skills, I turned my service towards PPS. I was elected to serve as a Director and subsequently was elected two terms as Vice President and a term as President of PPS. Because of this diversity of service, I have a unique skill set to continue serving PPS on its nominating committee.
My above listed experience has also allowed me to meet a diverse group of young leaders in our profession, and to watch them progress in their service and growth through committees and as board members. I have been exposed to their skills and personalities that can only be known through close work relationships. My time on the PPS Board has given me a unique insight into the make up of an effective board and will allow me to seek young leaders who will advance the present board's effectiveness.
Our profession is challenged with workload issues, administrative burdens and payment disparity. These will continue to require skilled leaders as the PPS board navigates these waters. We are also blessed with opportunities that properly leveraged will allow growth of the entire profession of physical therapy. PPS will be a leader in this growth and will require resilient and diverse board members.
The past year and a half has been difficult for all of us. It has challenged our practices and our psyche. It has made us look differently at many things. Through it all PPS has been a constant, leading the way in helping us survive and thrive in our altered environment. As a member of the Covid Task Force I experienced firsthand PPS members at work, excelling at leadership.
My background, my personal relationships, my power of persuasion and my dedication to PPS allow me a unique opportunity to gain commitments from highly qualified members to serve in leadership. As a member of the PPS nominating committee I will use all of this experience and first hand knowledge to put forth candidates that will continue to drive, challenge and lead our section for the future.
Kendell M. Jno-Finn was born in Dominica, West Indies and moved to Alabama in 1999 to attend Samford University. There, he earned a Bachelor's in Education with a concentration in Exercise Science and completed his Doctorate in Physical Therapy at The University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2007. Since graduating he has worked in private practice. After growing an existing practice, he ventured out to establish his own full spectrum health and wellness practice.
We all learned a great deal in physical therapy school and for some of us the things we weren't exposed to drove us to seek spaces that fostered our growth. My experience with PPS has been just that. My first PPS conference was in 2019 and after the first few hours I knew that I was in the right place. I felt so strongly about this that I sought out people to figure out how I could be more involved. These conversations led to me serving with the CSM Program Workgroup and as a PT PAC Ambassador for Alabama. The truth is, I feel that I should have been at a PPS conference even as a student.
During the first semester of PT school, I created the name and general framework for the company I now operate. The classmates I shared this with thought I was a bit crazy since we hadn't completed our first year of school. After becoming a partner in an outpatient practice a couple years into my career, the need for a more fertile growth environment became even stronger which ultimately led the creation of the company I envisioned in PT school. M3Endeavors grew from a performance company into a hybrid PT practice into a wellness and lifestyle brand.
Starting and growing companies can be fun and challenging at the same time. These experiences gave me the skills and clarity to grow through what was an uncertain 2020. The pandemic has been tough, but I think back to a video I did as part of my leadership series on innovation. As a profession we must find ways to innovate, be proactive and find growth opportunities or face the task of fight to preserve the status quo. As PT's we are reimbursed pennies compared to the value, we truly add to our clients lives. That will not change by solely switching to cash pay models or increasing new referrals via social media and search engine optimization. We must find ways to collaborate, build meaningful relationships and lead the way to what healthcare should be.
Serving for a few years at the chapter level, as part of the Governmental Action Committee and Nominating Committee, has given me some insight into the need for engaging those within our profession. Running for this position is an extension of my desire to use my abilities to continue moving the ball forward. There are many opportunities to network and build relationships at conferences nationally and I want to use those opportunities to identify and support potential PPS members and leaders.
Through the experiences I have had growing teams and businesses, there is an appreciation for identifying the right people and getting them engaged in a big goal. By utilizing this concept, I feel we can capitalize on the wealth of leaders we have within PPS. At the 2020 Graham Sessions I was asked about running for office and my response was why not… The person who asked then asked me what an unsuccessful campaign would mean… the answer, then and now, is simply a learning opportunity.