Slate of Candidates for 2022 Elections

The APTA Private Practice introduces the 2022 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 will open on September 28, 2022, and will remain open until October 21, 2022. The candidates will be formally presented to the membership at the APTA Private Practice Annual Conference in Aurora, CO, during the General Business Meeting on November 3, 2022. Voting will re-open during the Business Meeting on November 3, and will conclude November 4, at 3:00 pm Mountain Time.

We urge all members to participate in this election.

Vote Now


(2 positions open):

Staci Lyons, PT
Lisa M. Mackell, PT, MPT
Donna Newman, PT, DPT
Dave Powers, PT, DPT, MA, MBA

Nominating Committee
(1 position open):

Will Humphreys, PT
Alice G. Schoos, PT
Clay Watson, PT, MPT


Candidate Bio:

Staci Lyons, PT is the Owner/Founder of Pinnacle Medical Wellness in Washington State. She has owned multiple private practice locations for 18 years while developing a model for integrating a multi-disciplinary approach to health promotion and disease prevention in the outpatient therapy setting. In addition to private practice ownership, Pinnacle also drives collaboration through partnerships, joint ventures and consulting relationships with other healthcare practices interested in specializing in this aspect of care delivery.  

Candidate Statement:

My name is Staci Lyons and I am asking for your support of my candidacy to serve as a Board Member for the APTA Private Practice.

I started my career in 2000 working for a large national chain of physical therapy practices. During my tenure as a Clinic Director, I took on a challenge of leading a low performing clinic to achieve and exceed the volume and financial standards. This experience created a spark that ignited the flame of interest in business management and, ultimately, clinic ownership. In collaboration with my husband, Josh, I started Pinnacle Physical Therapy in 2004. We grew to 4 physical locations in almost as many years and felt the 'trial by fire' lessons that so many solo private-practice owners experience. Around this time was when I was first introduced to the APTA Private Practice. I loved this organization for my first interactions. The unique opportunities that this section provides to professionals are exceptional. Participation has afforded me the chance to truly collaborate and learn from other people in practice without feeling the competition or conflict that sometimes exists when sharing in your local community. After several years of actively taking part in the annual conference, I was given the opportunity to serve on the Annual Conference Work Group where I spent 6 years helping to coordinate the educational content for this event. Being on this committee gave me a view of the incredible breadth of knowledge that the members of this section possess. I also saw that there was great interest and value in having experts from outside our profession deliver content and unique perspective to help shape our practices and provide context in a rapidly changing healthcare climate. This experience helped to shape my belief that our organization needs to embrace those with different professional backgrounds, specialties, business structures, and practice models. As a Board Member, I would support and advocate for ensuring that our membership model allows for and encourages a large and diverse population of members to help all parties involved expand our knowledge and see different perspectives. I ultimately see our ability to diversify and mold our practices to be nimble in a transforming healthcare system as a critical issue facing our profession today. The APTA Private Practice could be instrumental in helping to accomplish this.

Over the course of my career, a natural progression of my care delivery occurred, and Pinnacle Medical Wellness was born. While I worked with patients to restore their function and return to the activities they loved, I realized there was also opportunity to improve and protect their overall state of health. It is well known that we are facing a significant national health crisis. While most would immediately think of CV-19, the pandemic of chronic disease and declining health started far before 2020. My passion for developing relationships with patients and helping them back to the best version of themselves naturally grew to include helping them identify modifiable health risk and participate in activities to promote improved health. As movement specialists, I see physical therapists as key stakeholders in the healthcare system to advocate for and participate in health promotion and disease prevention. This expanded scope of practice has provided countless opportunities to work with other healthcare professionals and systems to provide the wrap-around care needed to achieve this heavy lift. Such collaboration has given me experience in unique business arrangements including partnerships, joint ventures, management contracts and consulting. If elected, I would use my experience in an array of business structures to represent the diversity of our membership.

One of the most critical issues I see facing our profession is our unstable value proposition. This can be seen in reduced reimbursements, heightened utilization limitations and a poor community awareness of the breadth of our services. We need to engage and activate our members in legislative advocacy, payment reform, improved outcome validation and reporting, and unified community outreach in order to solidify our profession's seat at the table in the evolving healthcare model. If elected, I hope to serve as a valuable contributor to the APTA Private Practice leadership as we continue to expand our potential as an organization and a profession. Thank you for your consideration.

Candidate Bio:

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 32 centers across four states. Lisa is an Impact Editorial Board Member, and past APTA Private Practice CSM Program Workgroup Chair and APTA PA Pediatric SIG Chair. Lisa has given workshops at PPS, CSM and APTA PA conferences. Lisa also serves on two non-profit boards and is an adjunct professor at two institutions.  

Candidate Statement:

I am honored to have the chance to run for Director. I am grateful to the nominating committee for slating me and recognizing my commitment and passion for PPS. I currently serve as an Impact Editorial Board member and a Key Legislative Contact, and previously served as the APTA Private Practice CSM Program Chair for 6 years. In Pennsylvania, I served as the Pediatric SIG chair for 6 years, and currently have a nomination to our Governor for the Pennsylvania PT Licensure Board. I am also an adjunct professor in a DPT and PTA program, honored for the opportunity to strengthen the skills of our future professionals.

My involvement in APTA Private Practice began in 2000 as I was growing my pediatric practice. I was hooked since my first annual conference. I watched attendees express concerns for their practice and our profession but also gratitude for the support, mentorship and friendship they have received from PPS. I knew instantly that not only was I grateful for my membership, but that I wanted to get to know the key people running the APTA Private Practice. I committed then to myself to get involved!

A little about me. I started a pediatric practice in 1991 and grew that business to 32 centers across 4 states before retiring in 2020. I was not a APTA Private Practice member when I started my business, but 9 years later. I was a busy mom and wife with two small children. I know the 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. As a director on the board, I will help other practice owners find the resources and time to commit to PPS, while juggling their business with their family life. I will challenge our board members to find ways to help these practice owners connect and stay involved.

The experience of growing my practice from a home care agency run out of our home, to a multi-center, multi-state company with private investors, I possess the skills to represent all sizes of practices in PPS. Whether you are dealing with emptying your trash cans while cleaning your office on a Sunday afternoon, trying to hire your first employee, preparing board reports and analyzing EBITDA, or selling your practice, I can offer my experience and knowledge to both the board and members.

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 APTA Private Practice but also APTA. I am determined to work to increase APTA Private Practice diversity, not only through minority practitioners, but also women, new graduate clinicians, and niche practice owners. I believe that building our membership with a broader range of practice settings and specialties will strengthen our organization and what we can continue to offer practitioners and owners. I have heard from many pediatric friends, or other women in private practice, that they didn't know that APTA Private Practice was a place for them to turn to for business advice, mentorship, and friendship. For years, I have worked with APTA Private Practice committees and the board, challenging us to find ways to engage and capture membership from diverse and niche practice owners.

I have cherished the conversations and debates that I have participated in with other APTA Private Practice members at annual conferences, Graham sessions, virtual meetings, or over the telephone, confronting reimbursement, legislation, competition, and practice survival strategies. We are an incredible organization with so many gifts within our membership. We can only improve by attracting more diverse practices and clinicians and sharing our talents and resources with a larger membership. I have a strong affinity for billing and reimbursement, and have helped practice owners negotiate higher rates, maximize their collections, and obtain new contracts.

I am confident that I have the qualifications to be a Director. I pledge to fully engage with our board, committees, and membership. I value service and enjoy fostering relationships; I will reach out and ask members to offer their service to APTA Private Practice and empower them to become involved.

Again, I am humbled by this opportunity and gratefully ask for your support, trust and vote.

Candidate Bio:

Donna Newman is the President of Advanced Physical Therapy and Sports Rehab in Kansas City, with 4 locations surrounding the KC area. She has been a PT for 38 years and private practice owner for 34. Appointed by the Governor in 1994, she served on the Physical Therapy Advisory Board to the State Board of Healing Arts. She understands that our progress as a profession requires establishing relationships from Main Street, USA to Capitol Hill.

Candidate Statement:

My name is Donna Newman. I was 10 years old when my dad became disabled. My family saw firsthand the help and most importantly HOPE, that physical therapy can give. My calling to be a PT was born. I graduated from the University of Kansas School of Physical Therapy in 1984 and returned there in 2013, earning my DPT. In 1988, I founded Advanced Physical Therapy and Sports Rehab. Our mission is high quality, compassionate and inspiring care; our team's daily calling is to LOVE. Listen..Observe..VaIidate..Evaluate. I am in awe of how completely they answer the call.

2020 brought focus to the changes and challenges created by Covid 19. This gave me the opportunity to see and do things differently. My irreplaceable peers in P2P and I, met weekly to wade through those unchartered waters. We find ourselves today, as private practice owners with awesome, dedicated teams and challenging opportunities. Our profession has changed and grown in a million different ways. We have morphed from an ancillary service to professionals with state-of-the-art skills, who are sought out directly from the public. We have invested significant personal resources in ourselves to become PT's and beyond that, many employers have invested in us, to become the best professionals we can be. We have made many gains, but as PT's with Direct Access in private practices, there is still so much more to be accomplished.

We need: TO TAKE OUR MESSAGE TO THE PUBLIC, AS WELL AS CONGRESS. The question is….WHAT IS OUR MESSAGE? At the last annual conference, we had to defend and vote on even keeping our name? How do we become a household name when we haven't satisfactorily defined it amongst ourselves? To me, this is the fundamental question on which all of APTA Private Practice is built and expands from. The general public can envision what a nurse, massage therapist, psychologist and chiropractor are just by the title. I spend 10 minutes, numerous times a day, explaining that I am a PT private practice owner and what we do. I believe PPS/we, should spend our dollars where it matters most…branding and promoting our message to the public for Direct Access. We should hire a sharp consultant like Donald Miller for example, to help us create a national brand awareness campaign. If your uncle hurts his back…PT should be his first treatment of choice, not chiropractic. The public should think PT First…instead of PCP and meds, chiropractors etc. I have been a private practice owner for 34 years and as a profession, we haven't been successful at branding and marketing ourselves. Nor should we innately have that skill. But we need help…professional help, to make our message a reality.

Another concern is dubious private practice owners causing PT burnout, which is causing a morale and staffing crisis in our profession. Caring people become PTs to help people; not bark orders at 3 or 4 injured people at a time. There are numerous private practice owners who are expecting PTs to treat 25 to 30 patients per day. That is simply wrong. No one wins…not even the owner, because of PT burnout and turn over. They may think it's efficient, but it is so short sighted. And such a blight on our profession.

Honorable private practice owners genuinely want to do right by their dedicated teams. We want high tides to raise all ships. Unfortunately, "decreased reimbursement” is a term that we all use constantly, and a very real threat. The physical therapy field is overtly undervalued by Insurance companies, as is demonstrated by our ever- decreasing reimbursement. Reduction in reimbursement affects every person and part of your organization.

In closing, embracing a new way is paramount to our future. Let's "access” our well- earned place in healthcare through our Direct Access message.

Consider these building blocks:

  • Name and claim who we are as a unified body.
  • Become a sought out, household name for wellness and care.
  • Recognition may garner more respect from Insurance companies to affect reimbursement.
  • Add cash services to treatment options.
  • With increased reimbursement and cash services, inspire and elevate hardworking therapists.

Patients First by Using PT First!

Thanks and Blessings, Donna

Candidate Bio:

Dave Powers, PT, DPT, MA, MBA has been a Physical Therapist for 40+ years. He has extensive experience and training in management and leadership, yet has maintained his hands-on clinical skills. Dave is the owner and CEO for the Center for Health Enhancement and Rehabilitation Services in Pacific Palisades California. Dave is actively involved in APTA and the rehab community, holding local, state and national offices. He continues to help move the profession forward in an ever-changing healthcare environment.  

Candidate Statement:

I have been blessed to be a physical therapist, a profession I truly love. I have had a wonderful journey throughout my career. After graduating from physical therapy school, I started working in hospital settings, ending as the Administrative Director of Rehabilitation Services at UCLA Medical Center. I then moved on to be the Regional Vice President of Rehabilitation Services for one of the major hospital companies. After I learned they only cared about the stock holders, I felt it was time to move fully into private practice. During those first years I started a consulting business with a major focus on setting up and running practices. Presently my consulting has been more focused on legal cases. Over the years I have consulted on more than 700 cases. I also started a small cash-based home health business where we see patients in their homes, offices and/or work sites.

Over the last 20 years I have also set up and run two very successful clinics. Last year I was approached by a company that wished to purchase one of my clinics. I decided to sell and downsize my practice. The selling of the clinic to large organization was a great learning experience. I presently operate my other clinic in the town where I live. My staff have built a great reputation in the community. I plan on keeping that clinic for many years to come.

I have stayed very active in our profession. On the state level I have been member of California Physical Therapy Association (CPTA) Board of Directors twice, just finishing a six-year term as the Finance Officer. I am continuing as a member of the CPTA Finance Committee. I have also been a member and Chair of CPTA's Nominating Committee. For more than 10 years I was the Chair of the CPTA's Private Practice Special Interest Group and 4 years in the Treasurer position. Served as the Director of CPTA's Management Forum for 4 years, served on CPTA's Assembly Representatives, served as Member of CPTA's Reimbursement Committee, served as Member CPTA's Ethics Committee, served as Member CPTA's Political Action Committee, served as Member of CPTA's FUND, and served as Member of CPTA's Quality Practice Committee.

On a national level, I have been a Key Contact APTA's Government Affairs, Vice President and President of the Section of Administration, APTA House Delegate, Member and Chair of APTA's Nominating Committee, Member of APTA Private Practice Awards Committee, Member of APTA's Consultant for Coding Initiatives, Member of APTA's Consulting Services, and attendee of APTA's Federal Government Affairs Forum 3 times over the years.

Heath care is very dynamic and same can be said for the physical therapy profession. Over the years we have seen major changes in the way we receive health care in the United States. Many of the changes have been for the better. The Affordable Care Act signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2021 with major provision intended to make health coverage more affordable. This is all good, but has some negative consequences for Physical Therapist in private practice. Over the last twelve years we have seen major efforts to decrease reimbursement for outpatient physical therapy services. Where we are not the only health care providers being targeted, we need to be a strong voice and opposition to stop seeing a continual decrease in what we are paid for our services. Physical Therapist in private practice need to know their value. APTA Private Practice is a strong voice in helping our membership being heard on the Hill and in the health care community.

I have been mentored and worked with many of APTA's top leadership during my career. Our colleagues have taught me how to be a team player and a strong leader. Years of experience in both my work world and serving APTA have given me a solid foundation. I would be honored to serve APTA Private Practice in a leadership position. We need leaders that are strong and dedicated to help lead and direct Private Practice into the future. I would be honored to be a member of the team that sets the course in helping get us there. The world is full of challenges, but challenges give us opportunities.

Candidate Bio:

Will is a serial entrepreneur, physical therapist, and speaker. At 17, he fell off a mountain breaking both arms and legs leading him to become a physical therapist. Later, he became a practice owner and built a company with multiple locations for 15 years. Today, he teaches others the lessons he learned from decades of consulting, and practice. His greatest joy is his wife of 20 years and four sons.  

Candidate Statement:

My passion is to help Physical Therapy entrepreneurs create impactful change for both their patients, their industry, and their lives. This is directly in alignment with the Private Practice section and the amazing work that has been created by talented leaders of our industry.

As a private practice owner, there are two companies that I have ownership of and some administrative responsibilities. The first company is called Rise Diagnostics. Rise is a standalone electrodiagnostic physical therapy center in Wasilla Alaska. My primary function is to serve as a consultant with my partner who is the CEO. I currently have 50% ownership of that business.

The second company I have ownership of is Empower Physical Therapy. This is a multi-state outpatient orthopedic practice. I currently have approximately 3% ownership of this company which was created when I sold my private practice in 2018. I currently serve as a consultant to that group focusing on marketing, recruiting, and strategic development.

Since I have sold my practice, I have created the Healthcare Business Academy. Its' purpose is to teach future PT leaders and entrepreneurs how to start and scale their own practice.

The Healthcare Business Academy serves as a parent company of other services that I have developed for PT entrepreneurs. It is also a youtube channel I use to teach future leaders how to navigate the pitfalls of private practice. Under the HBA, I have a few companies that occupy most of my time.

I own 50% of a physical therapy-specific medical billing company called In The Black. I am currently CEO of this company and spend most of my time coaching the Private Practice members in developing their businesses. We have roughly 27 employees at the moment.

I also own 100% of Rockstar Recruiter which is a consulting company that teaches PTs how to hire physical therapists in a unique and successful way. I run this alone in a group coaching format.

Lastly, I own 60% of a company called MultiplExit. This company works together with In The Black in helping Physical Therapy practices create exit strategies in a way that promotes our industry and their personal goals. It contains all I wish I knew prior to selling.

My background will serve others greatly in this office. I feel like I have been fortunate enough to experience life as a student, physical therapist, small practice owner, large practice owner, consultant, and supportive service provider (billing, etc).

My only intention is to try to better our industry with what I feel is the only true support we have as entrepreneurs…the PPS. I will leverage everything I know in order to help support not just the areas of responsibilities I am over but also anyone else that I can help.

Any success that I've had has come from learning from generous men and women who have “been there” before.

I'm not a natural or born leader. I want to give back to that community that has given me so much and show future entrepreneurs that if I can do it…anyone can.

Candidate Bio:

Ali Schoos, PT and APTA board certified orthopedic specialist, is the proud cofounder of Peak Sports and Spine Physical Therapy in the greater Seattle area. Ali has been involved in the business of physical therapy as an owner, provider, advocate, and volunteer for over 40 years, including serving on the board of APTA Private Practice (PPS) for the past 6 years.

Candidate Statement:

I am grateful.

I am grateful for the wide array of business experiences I have had as a physical therapist. I have been a staff PT and the manager of a hospital-based sports medicine clinic with connections to major baseball. I owned a profitable single practice, merged with my husband's three clinics, and sold them. I was the Group Director for a national PT company, buying, opening, and overseeing 15 clinics in the greater Seattle area. I went back into private practice in 2000, and my husband and I opened 8 clinics. This time we brought our staff up into partnerships with us. This last one is my favorite model to date. I am grateful for all my pivots, as I learned something new each time. And I am grateful that we have been able to share our financial and community success with other PT's.

I am grateful for the opportunities that have come my way. I have treated professional athletes, helping me realize I preferred my weekend warrior and student athletes more. I was a monthly featured guest speaker on a sports medicine radio program, touting the benefits of PT and answering (crazy) questions live. I was an expert witness in a class action lawsuit against an auto insurer for PT's in our state, which we won. I have spoken in front of physicians, physical therapists, athletic trainers, coaches, and parents, becoming more involved in my communities every time. I am grateful that I tend to say yes when presented an opportunity. It has helped me grow within my profession. And I believe in helping other PT's see their own potential and opportunities.

I am grateful I joined APTA as a student, staying with it all these years, and have been able to see first hand how important volunteering and advocacy is for our profession and our patients. I started as a member of the orthopedic SIG in my state, as secretary and then chair. A stint with APTA house of delegates. A nine year stretch as insurance liaison for APTA WA, during which time my first child arrived. I was honored with PT of the Year for my work. A short mom break and a second child later, I was back at it as a board member for APTA WA Private Practice SIG, one of the most active in the nation. I have worked on legislative advocacy as a key PT for APTA Private Practice and APTA and was instrumental in facilitating the governor to mandate treatment and payment parity for telehealth in WA state during the pandemic. I have served on APTA task forces for telehealth and primary care PT. I am currently serving on the BOD for PPS, finishing up my second term.

I am grateful for the honor and privilege of helping to lead our section into a new location, a new management model, through covid, and into a new strategic plan. I am grateful for a fulfilling life of volunteering and advocacy for our profession. I am grateful for the lifelong friends I have made here and the many PT's who inspire me every day, new grads and seasoned PT's alike. Because of my experiences, I believe I can now help our section best as a member of the Nominating Committee, tapping others to guide us into our future. I would like to encourage those who are already active to take the next step in their own leadership journey. To facilitate “fresh” PT's to get involved. To promote all PTs in finding their passion within our section and profession. Our future leaders are here, members of PPS. They will see us through the technological revolution coming to healthcare, the advancement of healthcare equity, and the establishment of physical therapists as primary care providers.

I would be most grateful for your vote of confidence that I can find these leaders among you.

Candidate Bio:

Clay Watson is the owner of Western Summit Rehabilitation, a provider of home-based therapy services and PT/OT and ST staffing for 30 home health and hospice agencies. Clay is the former president of the Homecare and Hospice Association of Utah, the 2020 recipient of the Excellence in Home Health Therapy Leadership Award from APTA Home Health, Physical Therapist of the Year for APTA Utah in 2021 and a member of PPS' Key Contact Task Force.

Candidate Statement:

I founded my practice 15 years ago because I did not fit into a clinic. I still do not fit into a clinic.

Even though I'm not a traditional clinic owner, my practice has grown and thrived for many years. As a member of the nominating committee, I hope to lend my diverse ownership experience to the voice of traditional APTA Private Practice members.

The reason I'm in business is that few things get me more excited and passionate than connecting with people for positive action. The passion for connection drives my practice and my personal life. I used that passion to grow my practice into a regional leader in home based therapy services, providing 20,000 therapy encounters per year.

20,000 encounters is small potatoes for some APTA Private Practice members and quite a lot for others. One of the biggest reasons my company grew to this scale is that I've long felt a connection and mentorship with other APTA Private Practice members.

Even though the core focus of APTA Private Practice is geared towards the ownership and operation of outpatient clinics, APTA Private Practice has long nurtured practice model diversity. The connection with other practice owners that APTA Private Practice facilitates is what keeps nontraditional thinkers like me in the fold. As a member of the Nominating Committee, I'll seek to bring more practice diversity into PPS.

While we all need more exposure to innovators, we can't forget that innovators need more exposure to us! APTA Private Practice is the profession's best chance at bridging the gaps between practice innovation and practice failure. This dynamic is essential for filling in the gaps for the coming waves of value based care.

Advocacy experience:

Every practice owner faces the grind of business ownership, tempering their passion through the years. All of us are affected by payment policy, workforce and recruiting challenges, pandemics, business cycles and aging with our families.

My response to those challenges has been to advocate for our profession. This led to volunteering for the APTA in several capacities, along with volunteering for our state homecare and hospice association.

During my term as president of the Utah Homecare and Hospice Association, we gained the largest ever rate increase for home-based services in our state, magnified that rate increase via coding changes across our ACO's, gained legislative funding for technology grants to improve coordination of care and acquired/merged with our state hospice association. I also served on the steering committee for a statewide Falls Prevention Alliance, which allowed advocacy with state and regional leaders across our healthcare system.

Change is a constant factor in private practice. As a member of the Nominating Committee, I'll help APTA Private Practice recruit private practice innovators who can help serve and shape the section as we prepare for the future.


Nominating Committee

Stephen Rapposelli PT, DPT

Stephen Rapposelli, PT, DPT


Kendell Jno-Finn PT, DPT

Kendell Jno-Finn, PT, DPT

Carrie Hall PT, MHS

Carrie Hall, PT, MHS