Slate of Candidates for 2023 Elections

The APTA Private Practice introduces the 2023 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 October 3, 2023 and will remain open until October 26, 2023. The candidates will be formally presented to the membership at the APTA Private Practice Annual Conference in Austin, TX during the General Business Meeting on November 3, 2023. Voting will re-open during the Business Meeting on November 3, and will conclude November 4, at 3:00 pm Central Time.

We urge all members to participate in this election.

 

President
(1 position open):

Ben Boyle, PT, DPT
Mike Horsfield, PT, MBA

Vice-President
(1 position open):

Russ Huffstetler, PT, DPT
Bill Pfister, PT, DPT
Rob Worth, PT, DPT, ATC/L

 

Director
(1 position open):

Dimitrios Kostopoulos, PT, DPT, MD, PhD, DSc
Nick Nordtvedt, PT, DPT
Jennifer Schnieders, PT, DPT

Nominating Committee
(1 position open):

Jenna Kantor, PT, DPT
Kelly McFarland, PT, DPT
Steven D. Newton, PT, DPT, MBA

 

Candidate Bio:

Ben Boyle, PT, DPT, MsOL, FAAOMPT is the Chief Clinical Affairs Officer for IRG Physical & Hand Therapy focusing on clinical leadership, regulatory, and payer issues for 40 clinics in Washington. He also has demonstrated strong leadership in several key roles including President with APTA WA. A strong legislative and community advocate, he has led many successful legislative initiatives in the state and continues to serve on several boards in the community.  

Candidate Statement:

Thank you to the nominating committee for the opportunity to be slated as a candidate for the position of Private Practice President. For the past 20 years I have enjoyed professional success as a clinician, administrator, leader, and executive. My strong orientation toward continuous personal and professional development has helped me acquire the leadership skills that have prepared me to serve as Private Practice President.

Prior to beginning my career in physical therapy, I had the opportunity to work as part of a socio-technical consulting group for large government, for-profit, and non-profit organizations. Perhaps my biggest takeaway from this experience was the leaders of successful organizations instill or in many cases re-establish responsible autonomy, promote adaptability in the face of complexity, identify meaningful tasks, and delegate the whole tasks based on the individuals or groups respective strengths. These have been guiding principles for many of my leadership roles throughout my career and provide insight into how I would approach the role of President.

I initially began my physical therapy career as a physical therapist in an outpatient setting of a large hospital group. I was fortunate to have significant support in my clinical development, but also mentorship in the operational aspects of a large health system. I relocated to Washington in 2009, becoming a Clinic Director for a practice north of Seattle. Utilizing strong clinical and leadership skills, I was able to significantly increase our revenue while maintaining strong clinical outcomes. Becoming one of the highest performing clinics in the practice group. Perhaps what I am most proud of during this time is creating a culture of continuous professional development and mentorship among the clinical staff that has produced several emerging leaders in the private practice setting.

In my current role as Chief Clinical Affairs Officer with IRG Physical and Hand Therapy I am responsible for the clinical leadership and mentorship of our providers, using peer to peer mentoring, monitoring of clinical outcomes, and providing education and training on best practices. Additionally, my role encompasses regulatory compliance and development of payer and employer relationships. My experience in these areas has allowed our organization to successfully navigate the consistently changing regulatory landscape, but also increase payment by successfully participating in CMS MIPS program and implementing organizational wide usage of remote therapeutic monitoring codes.

I am a strong advocate for private practice and the physical therapy profession. I have been successful in many leadership roles with APTA WA including, District Chair, Delegate, Legislative Chair, and President. During this time, I have spearheaded the passage of legislation relevant to private practice; focusing on prior authorization, the regulation of health benefit managers, payment parity for telehealth, expedited provider credentialing, reimbursement for pandemic related personal protective equipment, and updating Professional Service Corporation laws to allow physical therapy practices to form partnerships with other healthcare professions.

I believe the biggest challenges facing Private Practice in the next several years are payment for services, access to services, and expanding our relative presence and social capital in the health care and community environments. I see several opportunities in the payment arena that include legislative advocacy efforts for inflationary adjustments to commercial provider contracts and scaling our participation in the direct to employer and self-insured marketplace. We also need to address access barriers in private practice, from both the workforce and administrative burden perspectives. APTA Private Practice is well positioned to serve as a catalyst and leader in expanding the presence and promoting the upward mobility of physical therapy and private practice specifically in the healthcare and community environments. A collaborative approach accounting for the strengths of the organization and its members will be instrumental in achieving these goals.

My diverse experience in multiple practice settings and leadership roles along with a dedication to service, has prepared me for the role of Private Practice President. As President I will focus on listening, collaboration, and guiding our organization towards meaningful action on the challenges and opportunities our members face. I am honored to be nominated to serve the members of APTA Private Practice and humbly ask for your vote.

Candidate Bio:

Mike is CEO of Rock Valley Physical Therapy, a therapist owned and led organization with 60+ locations in the Midwest. Mike received his MPT and his MBA from the University of Iowa. He is an adjunct faculty member at St. Ambrose University and the University of Iowa. Mike has served on numerous APTA committees, co-founded Peer2Peer Networks, started the KPI Benchmarking Initiative and currently serves as President of APTA Private Practice. 

Candidate Statement:

Working alongside your brave Board and talented team during such a challenging time for our Profession, our Section and our businesses these past three years has truly been a gift. Seeing this courageous and hardworking group of staff and volunteers seize the opportunity of crisis to embrace and execute transformational organizational change has been inspiring. Hours spent on necessary, invisible and thankless work of aligning infrastructure and strategic partnerships with mission. So together, we can build that community of business leaders that will ensure every person in every community gets the care they need.

What Was!

Your businesses and our Section stepped up beautifully when needed most during the pandemic. However, the return to “business as usual” for both was more elusive than predicted. For our Section, the loss of not being able to host an in-person conference, rising costs and an uncertain stock market left our Section with an unsustainable budget. The same was true for most of our businesses. Continued downward pressures on payment and rising costs pinched already narrow margins for most. Your Board leaned in to this uncertain time, reexamined, refocused and reallocated our limited resources to ensure our success was your success. They concentrated on what you need most vs what we always been done. The result was a fiscally responsible budget that provides more resources focused on what matters most.

What Is!

Improving access and payment for our services makes everything else we do easier. It is your Board's top priority. The formation of the Payment Consortium with the Academy of Orthopedic Physical Therapy is a new and innovative approach to tackling this difficult issue. In collaboration with APTA, this new structure pools the resources and expertise necessary to go on the offensive to improve payment and access at the state level. Aligned priorities with a coordinated and bold strategy to learn faster and move quicker are the capabilities of this new structure. Recent success in multiple states provides proof that we can win. Your talented and dedicated Payment Consortium team looks forward to creating blueprints for success that you can utilize in your communities. Together we can make it easier for all of us to take care of our co-workers and communities.

Facilitating lasting friendships with people who “understand” has always been a strength of APTA Private Practice. Strong attendance at annual conference in Denver and continued raving reviews of Peer2Peer Networks did not stop our team from looking for new ways to improve the Member experience. Our recently launched PT Business Bootcamp facilitates networking for new Members and helps orient them to the many resources available at APTA Private Practice.

What Can Be!

What you do matters! Why you do it matters more! So many people need you, and it should not be this hard for you to help them. As leaders, it is our collective responsibility to bridge the gap between “what is and “what can be”. Together, we can and must make it easier for all of us to take better care of our communities.

Thanks for this front row seat to your inspiring stories and for the opportunity to work with a courageous Board, self-less volunteers, and a talented team that shares your “why”. It would be my honor to have your support and continue to walk alongside you for the next leg in this beautiful journey to “what should be”.

Together . . . We got this!

Candidate Bio:

Russ Huffstetler PT, DPT, CIMT, Cert DN President, Co-Founder, and an advocate for excellence. With a passion for physical therapy, Russ has excelled in orthopedics and sports-specific practice growing Dynamix Physical Therapy to 15 locations. Russ brings unmatched expertise in a customer-based community model of care and leadership development. He actively gives back through service and involvement in his church and community. Russ finds joy in family, nature, and the pursuit of knowledge.  

Candidate Statement:

As a President and Co-Founder with a deep-rooted passion for physical therapy, I am excited to announce my campaign for the position of PPS Vice President. Throughout my career, I have constantly strived to provide exceptional care and unmatched service to my community. I firmly believe that continual learning and becoming an expert at any craft makes that craft fun!

My extensive training in manual therapy, including certifications as a Certified Integrated Manual Therapist and in dry needling, has equipped me with the expertise to address the complex needs of patients in spinal rehabilitation and sport rehabilitation/performance. I am a member of professional associations, including the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), Tennessee Physical Therapy Association (TPTA), and the Private Practice Section (PPS) of the APTA.

Recognizing the importance of business acumen and leadership, I continually seek opportunities for growth and learning, whether through books, podcasts, or engaging in speaking engagements. I believe in giving back to the community, serving on community boards, and actively participating in my church. Family is a source of joy and strength for me, and I cherish the time spent with my wife, children, and the tranquility found on our family farm.

As we navigate the future, it is crucial for us to raise awareness of our profession and assert ourselves as stewards of physical therapy. We must equip PPS members with the necessary tools to effectively scale their practices and gain market share within a competitive landscape. I feel a leadership coaching network of recognized coaches that can be accessed by PPS members at a discount will assist practice owners to empower future leaders in our organizations.

It is time to break free from the race to the bottom influenced by outside interests and third-party payors, who have exploited our own data to the detriment of our customers and our practices. We must champion our services and products while advocating for significant wins that will shape our profession for years to come. We must be willing to go to battle not through emails, but through forming deep rooted relationships politically. The only way we stop the burn is with fire, we must be willing to dive deep and gain insight that can be used to stop insurance companies from indiscriminately, discriminately choosing the winners in physical therapy.

At PPS, we must revolutionize our approach to become a dynamic force in shaping public opinion and transforming the perception of our esteemed profession. Gone are the days of being solely a member-facing organization. It's time to step into the spotlight, utilizing the power of social channels to launch impactful public and political awareness campaigns.

Our goal is clear: we aim to redefine the public's perception of physical therapy and position ourselves as the guiding voice in our industry. No longer will we let misleading commercials compare a home LegXercise to the expertise of a skilled Physical Therapist. Perception is reality, and it's time to reclaim the narrative.

By embracing our role as public ambassadors, we can showcase the immense value and impact of our profession. We understand that private practice owners don’t view PT as an ancillary service or a side hustle. Together, we can elevate physical therapy to its rightful place, molding the public's opinion and solidifying our profession's importance.

I envision a new vision statement for PPS that sets ambitious goals, challenging us to make a lasting impact. Furthermore, I am committed to addressing the involvement of national and international private equity funds within the private practice realm. We must devise models with and without outside funds that preserve the integrity of physical therapy and remain customer focused. We should strive as private practice owners to always place PPS members in positions of influence within funded organizations.

I humbly ask for your support as we strive to elevate the status of physical therapy, lobby for significant advancements, and advocate for the best interests of our profession and the individuals we serve. With your trust and partnership, we can create a future where physical therapy thrives and our impact on the lives of countless individuals is unparalleled.

Vote Russ Huffstetler for PPS Vice President, and let's shape the future of our profession together.

Candidate Bio:

Bill Pfister Jr., PT, DPT, CLT, has served as PPS Director for six years and is now running for Vice President. Most recently, Bill served as CEO of RET Physical Therapy, a 38-clinic practice in WA, and served on the Board of Directors for RET for the past seven years. Bill has been a physical therapist for 20+ years and is committed to providing strategic insight to guide the future of the physical therapy profession. 

Candidate Statement:

My name is Bill Pfister and I have been a physical therapist for 20 years. My experience and passion have always been in private practice orthopedics and promoting the profession of physical therapy. I believe serving as Vice President of APTA Private Practice will allow me to build off the past 6 years of board service and provide an opportunity to perform meaningful work that will further the goals of the APTA Private Practice Section and its members.

A brief background on me. I began my professional leadership journey in Washington State 18 years ago with RET Physical Therapy where I became the Clinic Director of a struggling practice in Puyallup, WA, located an hour south of Seattle. At the time there were 13 clinics in our group throughout the Seattle area and the clinic I took over was at the bottom for both production and revenue. Through four years of hard work, I was able to turn around the clinic and bring it to the top performing clinic in the company producing approximately 2000 patient visits a month. Over the past decade I have contributed to the continued growth of RET by developing new leaders, taking advantage of market opportunities, and waking up every day focused on serving my team, patients, and our community partners.

In January 2020 I was appointed CEO of RET just a couple months prior to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. At that time, RET had grown to 36 clinics in Washington State. These past few years have been very challenging for anyone in Private Practice. So many battles won and lost, and most of all lessons learned. Serving on the Private Practice Section board for the last 6 years and during this unprecedented time in our profession has been something I am very proud of. Currently I am starting a new chapter on my professional journey where I look forward to continuing to serve and give back to the profession of physical therapy.

My prior experience growing a small, individual private practice and being responsible for growing a larger, multi-site physical therapy business have forged a unique perspective in understanding the challenges that face both large and small private practices alike. It is because of these experiences I feel qualified to represent our Private Practice Section membership in the pursuit of keeping private practices healthy, viable, and profitable while delivering undeniable value to the patients we have the privilege to serve. I want to continue to help private practice owners grow, thrive, and protect their businesses.

Serving as a director on the PPS board has been a wonderful experience. By serving in this capacity, I have had the great pleasure of meeting so many brilliant physical therapists and business owners who are willing to share with our Section ways to improve, innovate, and overcome challenges so that our private practices may flourish. More importantly, I have had the opportunity to develop some amazing friendships and have found many mentors along the way. I believe the more involved you are, the more effective you can be in fostering growth and change. If elected, I will be a voice of progress and represent private practices of all varieties and settings as we all share similar challenges.

I believe that payment, staffing, and cost of education are the present opportunities for our profession to explore and attempt to resolve so that our businesses may rebound from the impacts of Covid-19 and ensure that the future of our private practice profession remains bright. Through continued persistent engagement and collaboration of PPS with APTA and other stakeholders, we have a real opportunity to move the needle in these areas. It will be important for PPS to be able to help its membership adopt, adapt, and continue to have success as these opportunities unfold. I intend to be a catalyst for getting things done so that we can continue to move our profession and businesses forward.

I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to serve and represent the membership of PPS in this capacity. Please vote for me so that I may advocate and engage these issues on your behalf.

With Gratitude,

Bill Pfister Jr. PT, DPT

Candidate Bio:

Dr. Rob Worth is the President/CEO and co-owner of Advanced Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine in Appleton, Wisconsin. He has served the PT profession in a variety of roles within the APTA over the past 25+ years, including past-President of APTA Wisconsin 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.

Candidate Statement:

Let me start by expressing my sincere gratitude to the APTA Private Practice Nominating Committee for selecting me to be slated to run for the position of Vice President and thank you to all of the individual APTA Private Practice members who have been enthusiastically supportive of me running to serve 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 my practice:

Established in 1998, we have grown to 28 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, fostering the growth and development of our team members, 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 annual conference since then. Over the years I have had the privilege of serving our membership by being on many committees/task forces and currently serve as a Director on the APTA Private Practice 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 over 20 years, including representation as Chief Delegate; APTA Sections COVID Task Force; APTA Public Policy & Advocacy Committee.

State level APTA activities include serving as President of the APTA Wisconsin 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), APTA Wisconsin Outstanding Service, APTA Wisconsin Physical Therapist of the Year Honorable Mention, APTA Private Practice Jayne L. Snyder Private Practice of the Year, IndUS International Award for cross-cultural contributions in healthcare.

What are the most critical issues that APTA Private Practice has to deal with over the next three years and how would I address these if elected?

  1. Serve the needs of the 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.
  2. 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, as well as diversification of payor sources beyond traditional insurance to include such approaches as direct to employer services.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

I am excited to be part of helping each of you as PPS members in your practices and contribute to leading our profession into a bold new future. It is for all these reasons and more that I am running for APTA Private Practice Vice President to continue our great work and I humbly ask for your vote!

Candidate Bio:

Dr. Kostopoulos is an accomplished Physical Therapist and a respected Board Certified Clinical Electrophysiology Specialist with over 31 years of experience as a private practice owner. As a renowned expert, best-selling author, and co-founder of Hands-On Companies, Dr. Kostopoulos has held office in APTA sections and local PT private practice advocacy organizations. He has been honored with various business and humanitarian awards for his dedication and contributions to the field of Physical Therapy. 

Candidate Statement:

I am honored to announce my candidacy for the position of Director on the Board of Directors for the Private Practice Section (PPS) of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Drawing upon my extensive experience in the field, I am confident that I am well-suited to make valuable contributions to the goals and objectives of PPS APTA.

In my assessment, there are three pressing issues that require immediate attention from PPS APTA, and I am committed to dedicating the next three years to making progress in these areas.

Reimbursement: First and foremost, reimbursement is a critical challenge that constantly threatens the survival of physical therapists (PTs) in private practice. I pledge to take the lead in identifying and pursuing all available legal and advocacy avenues to not only safeguard reimbursement but also enhance it for private practice PTs. By collaborating closely with PPS APTA, we can actively address this matter and strive for equitable compensation.

Protection of Private Practice PT: The protection of private practice PTs and their interests nationwide must be given utmost priority. As our profession continues to evolve, it is essential that we proactively navigate potential challenges. I will take the initiative to assess the threats faced by private practice PTs and work in conjunction with APTA and local chapters to advocate for the long-term sustainability of our practices.

Private Practice PT: A Primary Care Provider: Lastly, we must endeavor to expand the role of private practice physical therapists as primary care providers. By embracing this expanded role, we can significantly contribute to improving access to quality healthcare while elevating the profile and influence of our profession. My plan includes identifying collaborators within and outside our profession to help us achieve this goal, including advocating for full recognition by Medicare and other insurance carriers as primary care providers.

With my experience as the co-founder of six physical therapy clinics in New York and an additional two in Florida, established through partnerships with fellow physical therapists, I possess firsthand knowledge of the intricacies and challenges of private practice. These clinics offer a comprehensive range of services, including physical therapy and diagnostic testing such as EMG and Musculoskeletal Ultrasound testing. Over the course of the past 31 years, I have gained valuable insights into the operational aspects of private practice through my involvement in the development and expansion of these clinics.

Moreover, I have actively engaged in advocacy efforts for our profession, devoting my time and energy to promote and advance physical therapy. By participating in various APTA sections and components, I have collaborated with colleagues to broaden the reach and impact of our profession. The combination of my business acumen, professional experience, and advocacy background equips me with the necessary expertise to effectively contribute to the goals and objectives of PPS APTA.

I firmly believe that with the collaboration of each private practice PT and the leadership of PPS APTA, we can shape a brighter future for our profession and practices. Therefore, I humbly request your vote and support in my nomination for Director of the PPS APTA Board of Directors. With your trust and partnership, I am confident that together we can drive positive change and make lasting contributions to the field of private practice physical therapy.

Candidate Bio:

Nick Nordtvedt is the VP of Clinical Development for Dynamix Physical Therapy in West Tennessee where he has worked for the last ten years. Nick has worked in several outpatient settings since graduating PT school from the UT Health Science Center in 2007 but has found his true home in this fast-growing private practice. He also maintains his role as a clinic director at one of Dynamix's fifteen clinics. 

Candidate Statement:

I am honored to be nominated for a position on the PPS Board of Directors, representing the dedicated physical therapists of the Private Practice Section. With my experience as the Vice President of Clinical Development at Dynamix Physical Therapy, I have gained valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities faced by our profession. I am passionate about advancing the practice of physical therapy and believe that I can contribute significantly to the growth and success of private practices across the country.

As the VP of Clinical Development, I have been responsible for the clinical training of new PT, PTA, OT, and OTA hires at Dynamix. This role has allowed me to understand the needs and concerns of newly graduated therapists as they enter the workforce in private practice, as well as the challenges brought with seasoned therapists who have come to work for Dynamix further into their careers. I have developed comprehensive training programs that emphasize evidence-based practices, patient-centered care, and the development of strong clinical skills. I believe that employers offering sound training in outpatient care is fundamental to a young therapist's career, and thus the growth of the physical therapy profession in private practice. If elected, I will strive to give similar advice and resources via the APTA Private Practice Section.

Additionally, I have served as a key contact for legislative work aimed at advancing the practice of physical therapy. I understand the importance of advocating for our profession, promoting policies that improve patient access to physical therapy services, and working for fair reimbursement for our valuable work. I have actively engaged with state and federal policymakers, educating them on the benefits of physical therapy and the role it plays in improving patient outcomes in the communities which they represent. I believe that we must continue advocating for fair reimbursement through equitable policies and by fostering relationships with policymakers and their staff.

Looking forward, I believe there are critical issues that the APTA Private Practice Section should address over the next three years. First and foremost, combatting decreased reimbursement for physical therapy services is of utmost importance. We must work together to ensure that our services are adequately valued and reimbursed, enabling us to provide quality care to our patients while sustaining thriving private practices. We simply cannot accept third party reimbursement that is less than the cost of the service we provide. We should not be expected to reduce time spent with patients to make up the difference in cost. We must remain proactive in our engagement with insurance providers, policymakers, and other stakeholders to educate them on the value and cost-effectiveness of physical therapy, and the difference that physical therapists make in the communities in which they serve.

Lastly, the ability to scale and grow private practices is crucial for our long-term success. We need to continue providing resources and guidance to help practice owners navigate the changing complexities of business management, strategic planning, and technology. We all know that business strategy is a grossly undertaught piece of physical therapy education and continuing to foster this education through PPS while embracing the technology now available to growing businesses will only help educate the next generation of young therapists.

In conclusion, as a physical therapist with experience in private practice and as the VP of Clinical Development at Dynamix, I am committed to advancing our profession and supporting the needs of physical therapists in private practice. I bring a deep understanding of the challenges we face and a vision for the future of our profession. If elected to the Board of Directors, I will work tirelessly to address critical issues such as improving reimbursement, highlighting the differences that our members make in the communities they serve, and growth of private practices. Together, we can strengthen our profession, enhance patient care, and ensure the long term of success of physical therapists in private practice.

Thank you for considering me for candidacy. I would be honored to have the opportunity to serve you and represent the interests of private practice physical therapists on the Board of Directors.

Candidate Bio:

Jennifer Schnieders, DPT, is the Owner/CEO of Outbound Physical Therapy and Rehab in Jefferson City, Missouri. Outbound began as a mobile practice in 2012, adding a physical location in 2015. Despite pandemic challenges, Outbound opened a second location in late 2021. Jennifer served as President of APTA Missouri from 2017-2023, Council of Chapter Presidents Chair in 2022, APTA Private Practice Key Contact Subcommittee from 2019-2021, and is currently a PT-PAC Ambassador and APTA/PPS Key Contact.

Candidate Statement:

My name is Jennifer Schnieders, DPT, and I am thrilled to have this opportunity to serve APTA Private Practice, its members, and our profession. My practice began as a joint venture with a colleague and friend. We recognized a need for therapy services delivered to patients who were not homebound but had difficulty finding transportation to and from the clinic setting. Having three young boys at home, I personally needed the flexibility and autonomy that being self-employed would provide.

I spent the first 12 years of my career working for hospital-based outpatient clinics as both a staff therapist and clinic director. It was in these roles I learned that policies were often part of the larger organization and change was a long, tedious process. In addition to being able to provide a valuable service to patients in my hometown, an immediate benefit to being in private practice was the ability to make changes quickly to better serve patients.

My practice is relatively young but has overcome significant obstacles in its history. Just a year after starting, my business partner, who handled the contracting, credentialing, billing, and business responsibilities, was killed in a car accident. I was immediately thrown from the patient-care partner into the sole owner role, with much to learn and overcome. Of course, I could have cut my losses and gone back to work for someone else, but I knew that we had started something unique, viable, and needed in my community. The following year I registered for my first PPS Annual Conference, and traveled to New Orleans, not knowing any other members of the section. It was exhilarating, and I met many of the people there that I credit now for coaching and mentoring me through the ups and downs of practice ownership.

In 2015 my company had outgrown its capacity to see patients exclusively at their home and opened a brick-and-mortar clinic. We maintained some of our in-home business line, hired additional therapists, and eventually outgrew that space. During the pandemic I was able to retain all staff and we came back bigger and better than before. I opened a second location in November 2021, and it was immediately profitable.

I share this story with you because during my trial-by-fire private practice “training” I have maintained a consistent caseload, implemented training and structure needed for a multi-clinic practice, and served both my state component, APTA Private Practice, and APTA. I know first-hand what challenges our clinicians face with documentation, authorizations, billing, and reporting. I understand the burden of covering patients for an absent therapist, assuming an entire caseload for a new-hire who didn’t pass the board exam, and how to manage a 10-hour day of patients scheduled every 30 minutes while trying to keep up with documentation. I am my company’s CEO, CFO, COO, HR Director, Chief Compliance Officer, and IT Help Desk. I know what it takes to run a successful business in one of America's lowest reimbursed states, and how to turn lemons into lemonade.

My leadership experience includes serving our Association, Section, and Component as APTA Missouri President (2017-2023), Council of Chapter President Chair (2022,) PT-PAC Ambassador (2018-present,) and PPS Key Contact Subcommittee (2019-2022.) I have also served in my local community on several local non-profit boards and fundraising committees. My experience in servant leadership and interest in advocacy has honed skills critical to the successful functioning of the Board of Directors. I recognize the value of a cohesive team, sharing the workload, and showing appreciation. I know when to listen, how to communicate effectively, and how to compromise. I understand the art of disagreeing without disrespect.

There is much work to be done to improve access to therapy, protect our practice from competing professions, receive fair payment for our expertise, and recruit talent for our businesses. It is my turn to provide support and guidance to section members in the way I was afforded 10 years ago. I will never claim to have all the answers, nor will I propose a self-serving agenda as a Board member. I will, however, pledge to serve each member of APTA Private Practice with the passion and profound commitment expected of our Board of Directors.

Candidate Bio:

Jenna Kantor, PT, DPT owns Jenna Kantor Physical Therapy PLLC, a boutique practice specializing in treating performers, located in Pittsburgh, PA. She sits on the Board of Directors for Fairytale Physical Therapy, a non-for-profit organization that brings musicals to children in hospitals and teaches choreography that’s secretly composed of therapeutic exercises. She serves on the PPS Marketing & PR Committee, APTA Pennsylvania's Finance Committee, Social Media Committee, and HOD.  

Candidate Statement:

I want to thank the PPS Nominating Committee for slating me as a candidate for the Nominating Committee. I have been honored to serve my profession in many capacities on the state and national levels. On the state level, I was a Co-founder and the Advocacy Chair for the APTA New York Student Special Interest Group. After graduation, I continued my involvement as a committee member for the APTA New York's Legislative Task Force and Social Media Committee. In Pennsylvania, I am a current member of the Finance Committee and the Annual Conference Sustainability Task Force. I have served as a Delegate for the APTA New York Delegate Assembly and as an alternate delegate for the House of Delegates for both New York & currently in Pennsylvania.

As a boutique private practice owner and a treating physical therapist, my skills and experience will be of value to the Nominating Committee. Because of its small size, I am responsible for 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 in the Nominating Committee to best network with individuals serving diverse private practices operating in one or multiple spaces.

On the nonprofit side, I co-founded, served as a Board Member, and operated Fairytale Physical Therapy (FTPT) for five years. Collaborating with the other FTPT board members and leading our volunteers has been a highly rewarding experience that has pushed me to grow as a team player. During my tenure at FTPT, I have actively sought strategies to improve our communication and methodologies for expansion. My goal is to regularly improve my leadership skills while working in the trenches alongside the other nominating committee members. Forming and leading this organization has me well prepared to join the Nominating Committee.

One of the PPS bylaws is to provide leadership in enhancing the role of physical therapists in business as autonomous healthcare professionals. As a member of the nominating committee, I am dedicated to diligently upholding this bylaw through strategic networking, elevating deserving individuals, and actively promoting independent and accomplished PPS members. By doing so, I aim to propel the influence of physical therapists in the healthcare profession and foster their continued advancement.

I also have experience “creating mechanisms for enhanced leadership development and involvement” (PPS Bylaw I). Currently, I teach and mentor students 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 for each person to thrive. After mentoring with me, I encourage them to be members of PPS to help them further advance their business.

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. I've also seen the strength of all the members in this section and I promise to elevate them as part of the Nominating Committee.

Within the Nominating Committee, I will listen and collaborate with members to navigate the process of finding future PPS leaders who can continue to serve the private practice community. It would be an honor to be of service to help elevate PPS. Thank you for your support, and I ask for your vote.

Candidate Bio:

Kelly McFarland is the owner of Premier Rehab Physical Therapy. With an amazing growing team, she has opened 7 clinics and is now leading 28 clinics in Texas with the Private Practice mindset and vision. Currently serving her 6th year as the Awards Committee Chair, Kelly has been a speaker at several PPS conferences, has served as a Key Contact fighting for the profession at Capitol Hill, and has been published in IMPACT magazine twice.

Candidate Statement:

It has always been important to me to be a member of the Private Practice Section. As a young entrepreneur and owner of a physical therapy private practice business, I wanted to work alongside others who had the same vision as I did. I also wanted to be among those who believed in the profession and were willing to share their ideas in support of one another and ultimately for the betterment of our physical therapy profession as a whole.

I found my place here in the Private Practice Section of the APTA over 20 years ago, and for that I am grateful. During that time, I have volunteered for PPS in several different capacities. I served on the membership committee, was published in IMPACT magazine twice, was a voice at capitol hill with our PPS group, served as a key contact, and volunteered on the awards committee as a member and as the committee chair for two terms. Volunteering in all these positions has given me the privilege of working with so many talented individuals, and I have learned more than I ever thought possible. As I wrap up my 6th year serving as the Awards Committee chair, I am looking to see how I might be able to continue to utilize my energy, passion, and talents in the Private Practice Section again in support of the physical therapists in business.

In my experience as a private practice owner, I have continued to see the challenges evolve as I have transitioned from the owner of one physical therapy clinic to now twenty-eight here in Texas. Obviously, you don't need me to tell you that the job of leading these teams of varied sizes requires implementing continuous and constant changes. Instead of resisting change, I have learned to embrace the idea that change is going to happen whether we like it or not. Most importantly, I feel it is in our best interest to be as much of an influence to the change as we can, so we might be able to help guide it in a direction that could be helpful to everyone!

As a private practice owner, I never wanted to be that stagnant practice simply because I was the owner, and I could practice comfortably if I chose to. I have also never been the type of person who wanted to do things a certain way just because “that's the way it's always been done.” However, to operate differently requires a lot of effort, a clear vision, a willingness to be open to change, and finally a willingness to embrace that change. I feel like this describes me best - a willingness to work at great levels, cast the vision and embrace and help guide the change. I am thankful for the private practice section being what it was 20 years ago and thankful for its evolution into what it is today!

I believe our profession, like every profession, is seeing great challenges, as we move through this ever-changing and demanding decade. I also believe it will take strong leaders who are grounded in the vision of the section, willing to give their time, and skillful in varied areas to help us continue to press on through these ongoing changes we find ourselves facing today.

It will take great leaders to represent our profession who are serving in our key leadership roles to continue to move us through these changes.

This is the focus of the Nominating Committee role that I am asking for your vote for today.

Because I am grateful for the PPS section;
because I am passionate and not fearful about supporting our profession and continuing to support the profession contributing to the change as much as I can;
because I don't believe in being stagnant; and
because I have the energy and desire to serve;
I ask that you vote for me to fill the Nominating Committee position for PPS,
so, I may continue to serve you!

Let's continue to push this Physical Therapy Profession Forward!

Candidate Bio:

Steven is a dedicated, passionate entrepreneur in physical therapy with 35 years of unwavering experience. He values the transformative impact of positive thinking and presence in building relationships and leads by example. With a diverse background as an academic, private practice owner, consultant, and mentor, Steven is eager to apply his extensive knowledge and make a meaningful impact in his field.

Candidate Statement:

The experience I had 35 years ago was truly life changing. Back then, I was honored to receive the first Minority Academic Excellence Scholarship from the APTA. Initially, being unfamiliar with the APTA, I expressed my interest in interning at their headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. Even though they didn't have an existing internship program, I was granted the opportunity after outlining my objectives. It was an incredible 12-week period that allowed me to witness the behind-the-scenes efforts of the physical therapy profession.

During my time at the APTA headquarters, I gained invaluable insights into the challenges our profession faces. I saw firsthand the threats posed by other professions seeking a share of our domain, the difficulties in defining and safeguarding the image of a physical therapist, and the struggles encountered in creating a more inclusive and diverse field. This experience solidified my commitment to the long-term journey ahead. I knew then, as I still know now, that I am fully dedicated to this profession.

Before long, I discovered that working in private practice was where my true passion lay. I managed two clinics for So Cal Physical Therapy, and in 1992, I seized the opportunity to purchase the Riverside location, which I renamed PerformaX Physical Therapy. Despite also being a full-time faculty member at Loma Linda University and completing my MBA at the University of Redlands, I felt ready for this venture. Within two years, PerformaX grew into a comprehensive wellness center specializing in sports, health, and fitness. What started as a 350 sq/ft practice expanded to 5000 sq/ft, employing physical therapists, an exercise physiologist, and a registered dietitian. PerformaX became a household name in the community. In recognition of my entrepreneurial achievements, I was nominated for entrepreneur of the year in 1997 and 1998 by the Inland Empire Chamber of Commerce and Merrill Lynch, respectively. In 1999, I sold PerformaX and relocated to Burbank, CA.

Teaching is not just a passion of mine; it is an intrinsic part of who I am. Whether in a classroom, at conferences like CSM, APTA National Student Conclaves, or even to patients in my practice, I derive immense satisfaction from sharing my knowledge with others. I have had the honor of being the commencement speaker for Colorado University, Denver, and the University of North Texas upon the request of the students. The latter was a program designed to create a pathway for minority men interested in pursuing physical therapy.

In 2009, I established PerformaX Elite Physical Therapy, Golf & Wellness Center in Burbank, California. As the sole owner, I am grateful to employ 11 clinical and 3 administrative staff members. While my Clinical Director of Physical Therapy oversees the clinic's day-to-day operations, my role entails referral development, contracting, statistical management (KPIs), billing oversight, and visionary strategizing. On the clinical side, I perform TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) assessments, employment testing (Post Offer & Fit for Duty), on-site workplace safety assessments, and the development, training, and oversight of employer wellness and fitness programs.

For over 25 years, I have been an active member of the APTA, consistently joining the Orthopedic and Private Practice sections throughout my tenure in private practice. The resources provided by each section have been instrumental in my success, and I am profoundly grateful for them. During my recent visit to New Orleans, Louisiana, where I attended the Graham Sessions, I felt a calling to apply for the nominating committee position. So many of the issues our profession faced back in 1988 still exist, and it is imperative that we actively engage rather than remain on the sidelines.

When I was 24 years old, I walked into a room and met two pioneers who forever changed my life: Lynda Woodruff PT, PhD, and Leon Anderson Jr. PT. They shared an unwavering love for physical therapy and a mutual passion for creating a more inclusive and compassionate profession. I consider myself blessed to have learned so much from them, as well as from my other mentors and the numerous trials and triumphs that have shaped me into the person I am today. If you will have me, I believe it is now time for me to give back.

 

Nominating Committee

Carrie Hall PT, MHS

Carrie Hall, PT, MHS

Chair

ALI SCHOOS PT

ALI SCHOOS, PT

 
Kendell Jno-Finn PT, DPT

Kendell Jno-Finn, PT, DPT