SPEAKERS

Amy Lafko, MSPT, MBA

Owner and Principal | Cairn Consulting Solutions

Amy Lafko is a national speaker and the Founder and CEO of Cairn Consulting Solutions. Amy believes you need to grow your people to grow your business; thus, her goal is to help organizations select and keep good people. Amy helps her clients achieve organizational excellence by decreasing turnover through employee engagement strategies—as well as team and leadership development. Amy earned her MSPT from Ithaca College and her MBA from Loyola University of Maryland. She is also a certified professional behavior analyst.  

Amy leverages more than 20 years of professional leadership experience, primarily focused on operational leadership in a variety of healthcare settings and with organizations of varying sizes. Additionally, Amy has served as the American Physical Therapy Association’s section of Health Policy and Administration Chair for the LAMP Institute of Leadership. Her clients include financial firms, healthcare organizations, and association boards of directors.  

Barbara Gillett

Vice President of Operations and Revenue Cycle Management | WebPT

In 1995, Barbara Gillett accepted a position at BMS Practice Solutions. At the time, BMS was a small company with only a handful of employees and clients—and one small office in Upland, California. Fast-forward 23 years, and Barbara has helped BMS grow to serve hundreds of outpatient rehab practices with more than 100 employees working in five hub offices across the country. Earlier this year, BMS joined the WebPT family. Today, Barbara serves as WebPT’s Vice President of Operations and Revenue Cycle Management. With a long tenure in the healthcare industry—specifically, in outpatient rehab billing and collections—Barbara is uniquely qualified to not only understand the billing and collection needs of rehab therapy professionals, but also translate those needs into process improvements and actionable financial strategies practice owners can implement to achieve growth.

In her free time, Barbara likes to walk and ride her bike outdoors—as well as travel with her family and five grandsons.

Benjamin Barron, MSPT

Director of Business Development | Collectivity

Born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, Ben is a graduate of Boston University, where he earned his BS in health studies and MS in physical therapy. During his more than 15 years in the industry, he has spent time in the world of education, early intervention, and inpatient rehab, but he’s spent the last decade in outpatient orthopedics. Ben was a partner and Director of Business Development at ProEx Physical Therapy until 2017, when he and his partners completed the sale of their 18-clinic practice to Professional Physical Therapy. During his time at ProEx, Ben was instrumental in creating Collectivity Billing, a nationwide, outsourced revenue cycle management company. He continues to be part of the executive team of Collectivity, which has nearly 50 private-practice clients in 25 states.

Brian Hartz, DPT, MPT, OCS, CSCS

Owner/President of HARTZ Physical Therapy

Brian Hartz, DPT, MPT, OCS, CSCS, is the founder and owner of HARTZ Physical Therapy, which opened in 2000 and has since grown to four clinics. Brian is passionate about optimizing employee retention and staff engagement as the means to attain practice goals. Throughout its 18 years of operation, HARTZ PT has recruited and developed motivated practitioners; to date, Brian has never lost a physical therapist. In addition to outstanding staff retention and satisfaction levels, the HARTZ PT team has volunteered more than 8,000 hours and donated more than $175,000 to local charities. When Brian is not at the office, he enjoys swimming, completing various home renovation projects, and traveling with his wife, Amy, and three children.

Bruce Watson, PT, MS

 CEO and Founder | 48 Consulting Group, LLC

Bruce Watson, PT, MS, believes in the value of private practice physical therapy. His interest in the profession goes back to its early years—specifically, World War II, when his grandfather contracted the polio virus and received care from a physical therapist. Subsequently, other members of his family—and Bruce himself—have been on the receiving end of a physical therapist’s care. As a result, Bruce understands the significant value that physical therapy provides within the healthcare system and has been a staunch advocate for the past 20 years.

Following graduation from Washington University School of Physical Therapy in 1997, Bruce began his career as a treating physical therapist. In the years that followed, Bruce found his true calling serving in an outreach, business development role for a growing practice in the Midwest. It was this role that sparked his passion for educating other medical professionals about the value of physical therapy—and the development of an outreach model that led to significant market positioning and growth, as well as respect in the medical community as a leader in the physical therapy industry.

Bruce has worked in small, medium, and large privately held and equity-held practices across the United States. He welcomes the challenge of positioning physical therapy services within the existing medical market dynamics and understands the challenges private practice owners face with ever-increasing consolidation, physician-owned physical therapy organizations, and closed-hospital networks. He’s been a trailblazer—often bucking industry trends to move away from referral-based business growth modeling and instead building relationships with medical providers, increasing individual market reach, and helping physical therapy practices improve strategic initiatives.

Ultimately, Bruce is happiest when he’s pounding the pavement selling physical therapy services; coaching others; helping private practices develop strategic, data-driven initiatives; or sharing ideas to help private practice physical therapy. Recently, Bruce created his own company in honor of his late grandfather so that he can roll up his sleeves; have deep, meaningful, and challenging conversations with private practice owners; and identify ways that private practices can continue to thrive in an ever-more competitive marketplace.

David Elton

Senior Vice President of Clinical Programs | Optum

Dr. David Elton has been with OptumHealth since 2001, where along with his colleagues, he supports the UnitedHealth Group’s mission of making the healthcare system work better for everyone. In addition to driving value for the Optum Behavioral Health business unit, Dr. Elton is a member of the UnitedHealth Group’s Opioid Task Force and Pain Management Work Group. Currently, Dr. Elton is very focused on removing barriers to evidence-based conservative care for patients with musculoskeletal pain.

Ellen Strunk, PT, MS, GCS, CEEAA, CHC

Principal | Rehab Resources and Consulting, Inc.

Ellen R. Strunk, PT, MS, GCS, CEEAA, CHC, has worked in various roles and settings as both clinician and manager/director. Presently, Ellen owns Rehab Resources & Consulting, Inc., which specializes in helping customers understand the CMS PPS in the SNF and home health settings—as well as outpatient therapy billing for all provider types. RRC provides a variety of services, including interdisciplinary medical record reviews, compliance risk analyses, Medicare certification for rehabilitation agencies, clinical program development, and operational and clinical process architecture to support therapy management. Ms. Strunk lectures nationally on the topics of regulatory compliance in the post-acute care space and coding, billing, and documentation to meet medical necessity guidelines and payer regulations.

Heidi Jannenga, PT, DPT, ATC

President and Co-Founder | WebPT

As president and co-founder, Heidi leads WebPT’s product vision, company culture, and branding efforts, while advocating for the physical therapy profession on a national scale. She co-founded WebPT after recognizing the need for a more sophisticated industry-specific EMR platform and has since guided the company through exponential growth, while garnering national recognition. Heidi brings with her more than 15 years of experience as a physical therapist and multi-clinic site director as well as a passion for healthcare innovation, entrepreneurship, and leadership.
An active member of the sports and private practice sections of the APTA, Heidi advocates for independent rehab therapy businesses, speaks as a subject-matter expert at industry conferences and events, and participates in local and national technology, entrepreneurship, and women-in-leadership seminars. In 2014, Heidi was appointed to the PT-PAC Board of Trustees. She also serves as a mentor to physical therapy students and local entrepreneurs and leverages her platform to promote the importance of diversity, company culture, and overall business acumen for private practice rehab therapy professionals. In 2015, Heidi was named the AzPTA’s Physical Therapist of the Year.
Heidi was a collegiate basketball player at the University of California, Davis, and remains a lifelong fan of the Aggies. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences and exercise physiology, went on to earn her master’s degree in physical therapy at the Institute of Physical Therapy in St. Augustine, Florida, and obtained her doctorate of physical therapy through Evidence in Motion. When she’s not enjoying time with her daughter Ava, Heidi is perfecting her Spanish, practicing yoga, or hiking one of her favorite Phoenix trails.

James Rough, CFE, CHC, CCEP

President  | SunHawk Consulting, LLC

James Rough, CFE, CHC, CCEP, is president of SunHawk Consulting, LLC—a US-based disputes, compliance, and investigations consulting firm with expertise in the healthcare, life sciences, and insurance industries. Mr. Rough is a certified healthcare compliance professional, certified fraud examiner, certified compliance and ethics professional, and graduate of FBI Citizens Academy. For 17 years, US and international clients have trusted Mr. Rough to perform independent fraud investigations and compliance effectiveness assessments; consult on complex contract disputes, including quantification of damages; and perform complex data analytics on large datasets and sample selections using various methods. He also has served as an independent technical advisor to state auditors and the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS). Mr. Rough’s unique combination of formal financial, fraud, and forensic training is coupled with significant experience in various healthcare industry segments and familiarity with associated large transactional, financial, and regulatory datasets. This knowledge base ensures he’s able to provide his clients with multi-faceted expertise when they are facing compliance, internal and external investigation, litigation, financial accounting, and other compliance challenges.

Jason L. Kelsey, PT, DPT, MTC

Assistant Vice President of Outpatient Rehab and Sports Medicine | WellStar Health System-WCO

A visionary business development executive, Dr. Kelsey, PT, DPT, MTC, has more than fifteen years of experience directing strategic, organic, and acquisition growth initiatives in the healthcare industry—as well as a proven ability to drive rapid and sustained revenue and market growth via acquisitions, integrations, startups, and turnarounds.

Currently, Dr. Kelsey serves as the Assistant Vice President of Outpatient Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine Services for the WellStar Health System, Georgia’s largest mission-driven, not-for-profit hospital system (operating 11 hospitals, nine urgent care centers, three health parks, and more than 240 medical office locations). As the leader of outpatient services, Dr. Kelsey increased patient access services from 28 outpatient locations to 50 locations in 18 months, which resulted in a $34 million net revenue increase. During this period, Dr. Kelsey assumed responsibility for the system’s six outpatient wound care centers and hyperbaric chambers and transitioned two centers to in-house operations. Additionally, Dr. Kelsey spearheaded the development of metro Atlanta’s first hospital-based occupational medicine department that provides comprehensive services to the Atlanta workforce.

Previously, Dr. Kelsey held the role of Director of Business Development for BenchMark Rehab Partners, a leading, growth-oriented provider of outpatient rehabilitation services with a regional footprint across 12 states. Dr. Kelsey led an accelerated acquisition effort to open a key target market and achieve $7 million in annual revenue within two years. As Director of Operations in Florida for TLC Rehab, Inc., the outpatient rehabilitation division of Therapy Management Corporation, Dr. Kelsey turned around an unprofitable division with 21 facilities in only two years.

Earlier in his career, Dr. Kelsey served as the Regional Director of Operations in the North Florida Region for The Weston Group, a nationwide provider of physical, occupational, and speech therapy within assisted living/independent living communities. Over a four-year tenure, he transformed a failing region with negative revenues into the company’s top performing region, generating $3 million in annual revenues. Additionally, he has held successful roles as VP of Operations and physical therapist in the outpatient rehabilitation sector—as well as club manager for a therapy-focused health club.

Dr. Kelsey holds a doctorate of physical therapy and a bachelor of science in exercise science and is a licensed physical therapist in Georgia and Florida with certification in manual therapy.

John Wallace, PT, MS

Chief Business Development Officer of Revenue Cycle Management, WebPT

John Wallace, PT, MS, brings more than 35 years of experience in private practice orthopedics—as well as acute hospital, acute rehab, home health care, skilled nursing, sub-acute care, and sports medicine—to his current role as WebPT’s Chief Business Development Officer of Revenue Cycle Management. He has been invited to speak at numerous national healthcare events on the topics of payment policy, compliance, practice management, and rehabilitation economics and is a coding and payment policy consultant to several APTA components. He also serves as an alternate to the AMA RBRVS Update Committee. Additionally, John has held positions with the APTA Board of Directors, the Foundation for Physical Therapy, and the California PTA.  

Kimberlee Gould

President and Founder | MEDbook Solutions

Kimberlee was the director of finance for a PT-owned-and-managed company with multiple locations. Her deep experience and versatile skill set afford her a unique ability to speak to all aspects of the financial side of a PT practice. From outsourced accounting and advisory to day-to-day operational oversight and long-term financial management, Kimberlee and her team focus on providing the strategic and actionable insights physical therapy professionals need to grow and scale their businesses.

In her personal time, she enjoys golfing (starting and finishing with the same ball is always the goal), wishing football season never had to end, and traveling.

Nancy Ham

CEO | WebPT

Nancy Ham joined WebPT as CEO and a board member in 2016, bringing with her a wealth of experience in successfully establishing, developing, growing, and operating private and public healthcare information technology companies. As CEO, she focuses on developing innovative strategies to help guide the company through its next phase of growth.

Prior to joining WebPT, Nancy served as CEO of Healthagen Population Health Solutions, an Aetna company. There, she oversaw several tech businesses, including Medicity, the market leader in clinical data exchange and interoperability. Before that, Nancy was President, CEO, and a Director of MedVentive (later acquired by McKesson), a provider of performance analytics that enabled ACOs and payers to manage cost, efficiency, and quality. Her experience also includes executive roles at Sentillion, ProxyMed, Healtheon/WebMD, and ActaMed Corporation. She also spent five years in leveraged finance at GE Capital.

Named by HealthData Management as one of Health IT’s 25 Most Powerful Women Thought Leaders in 2016, Nancy holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Duke University and a master’s in International Business Studies (MIBS) from the University of South Carolina. In her free time, she enjoys traveling the world, mountain biking, and being outdoors—no matter the season.

Neil Washington, PT, ATC, CSCS

Director of Outpatient Programming | Northeast Rehab Hospital Network

Neil Washington, PT, ATC, CSCS, received his bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from Quinnipiac College (University) in 1999. He is a nationally certified athletic trainer (ATC) and certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS). He has been with Northeast Rehab since 2008, taking on several roles, including Director of Hospital Outpatient Rehab and Director of Outpatient Programming. Neil has helped develop and expand several programs for the Network—including the Driver Rehab program—and heads the Best Practice Committee. His strengths include sports medicine and exercise-based rehab. Neil also provides PT/ATC services as a member of the USOC Volunteer Sports Medicine Program. He has worked with all levels of athletes, from developmental to Olympic medalists. Most recently, he was on tour with the US Men’s and Women’s National Bobsled and Skeleton teams during World Cup training and competition in Russia, Germany, and Austria in 2013 and 2015. He also was a member of the 2007 Pan American Sports Medicine team, working with the Men’s National Basketball team. Neil enjoys training for local triathlons and coaching local triathletes as a USAT Level I Certified Coach. He lives in Londonderry, NH, with his wife of 16 years and three children.

Paul Martin, MPT, CBI, M&AMI

President, Martin Healthcare Advisors, LLC

Paul Martin, MPT, CBI, M&AMI—founder and president of Martin Healthcare Advisors (MHA) —is a nationally recognized expert on the development, management, and eventual exit strategies of physical therapy businesses in the middle market. Since 2000, he has successfully helped more than 350 rehabilitation businesses maximize value and profitability through the development and execution of strategic business and succession plans. As a consultant, mentor, and speaker, Paul draws from his long history of success in healthcare mergers and acquisitions, business development, healthcare reimbursements, and operations to show business owners how to create significant value throughout their entire organizations.

Randy O’Neil, MSPT 

Director of Outpatient Training and Orientation | Northeast Rehab Hospital Network

Randy O’Neil, MSPT, is a physical therapist and graduate of UMass-Lowell with more than 20 years of experience in outpatient orthopedics. He currently works for Northeast Rehab Hospital Network, a large rehab organization with four IP facilities and 20 outpatient satellites located in southern New Hampshire and northeastern Massachusetts. In addition to being a treating therapist and an outpatient clinic manager, Randy holds the title of Director of Outpatient Training and Orientation. In this role, he is responsible for outpatient onboarding of all new clinical staff, leading Northeast Rehab’s outpatient utilization review, co-leading outpatient best practices, and overseeing the growth and development of Northeast Rehab’s network-wide outpatient hand therapy and neuro programs.

Rick Gawenda, PT

Founder and President | Gawenda Seminars & Consulting, Inc.

Rick Gawenda, PT, is a licensed physical therapist with more than 26 years of experience and the Founder and President of Gawenda Seminars & Consulting, Inc. In 1991, Mr. Gawenda graduated with a bachelor of science degree in physical therapy from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He is also Director of Finance for Kinetix Advanced Physical Therapy, a private practice with two locations.

Mr. Gawenda has provided valuable education and consulting to hospitals, private practices, skilled nursing facilities, and rehabilitation agencies in the areas of CPT coding, ICD-10 coding, billing, documentation compliance, revenue enhancement, practice management, and denial management as they relate to outpatient therapy services. He has been presenting nationally since 2004 and currently presents on more than 80 dates per year at locations across the United States.

Mr. Gawenda is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and Michigan Physical Therapy Association (MPTA). He formerly served as president of the APTA’s Section on Health Policy & Administration as well as the Michigan Association of Medical Rehabilitation Program Administrators.

Mr. Gawenda is the author of “The How-To Manual for Rehab Documentation: A Complete Guide to Increasing Reimbursement and Reducing Denials” and “Coding and Billing For Outpatient Rehab Made Easy: Proper Use of CPT Codes, ICD-9 Codes and Modifiers.”

Russell Olsen

Vice President of Innovation and Product Management | WebPT

Russell Olsen joined WebPT as Vice President of Innovation and Product Management in 2017. In this role, he is responsible for category design, product management, user experience, and product discovery—as well as applying disruptive innovation approaches to accelerate growth while solving customer and market problems. Russell brings with him deep experience in both healthcare and growth companies; over the course of his career, he has delivered innovations impacting millions of lives.

Prior to WebPT, Russell was Vice President of Offering Management at Truven Health, an IBM Company. There, he led the integration of Watson and machine learning into the Truven payer portfolio. Prior to Truven, Russell inspired the creation of—and then launched—Watson Care Manager for IBM Watson Health across multiple markets. While at IBM, Russell also led many research initiatives and directed them to achieve commercial outcomes. Additionally, Russell led innovation and product management for Phytel, where he developed and orchestrated a product portfolio that resulted in the company’s growth and emergence as a market leader in provider-led population health as well as its ultimate acquisition by IBM Watson Health. Before that, Russell led MDdatacor to apply its NLP technology insight in support of PCMH and physician quality reporting. He began his career at Ernst & Young, supporting financial audits of Fortune 500 companies.

Russell graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in electronics and information technology. He is passionate about disruption, behavior change, habit design, and integrated care models. He also has more than 10 years of experience as a youth basketball and soccer coach. In 2018, Becker’s Hospital Review included Russell in its prestigious Rising Stars: 90 Healthcare Leaders Under 40 list, which recognizes executives who have demonstrated an innovative approach to patient care and health system improvement.

Ryan Klepps, PT, DPT

Co-Founder of Strive Labs | Director of Onboarding and Member Education at WebPT

Ryan Klepps, PT, DPT, is WebPT’s Director of Product Management for its PRM product and the co-founder of Strive Labs, Inc. His passion lies in providing physical therapy clinics with the technology and know-how to launch sophisticated marketing and engagement campaigns that optimize patient retention and create a community of patient evangelists. Ryan graduated with his doctorate in physical therapy from Quinnipiac University. He then went on to serve as a capstone advisor in the school’s PT department, primarily focusing on patient compliance, patient satisfaction and loyalty, patient-provider alliance, and patient outcomes. He also served as the membership chair on the board of directors for the APTA of Massachusetts.

Scott Hebert, PT, DPT

Director of Product Management – PRM | WebPT

Scott Hebert, PT, DPT, is WebPT’s Director of Product Management for its PRM product and the co-founder of Strive Labs, Inc. At Strive Labs, he oversees new product development and business strategy. He has guided Strive Labs to becoming a leader in the patient relationship management (PRM) space, with more than 2.5 million patients currently being managed through Strive Lab’s system. Scott graduated with his doctorate in physical therapy from Quinnipiac University, where his research in patient engagement—specifically in relation to home exercise instruction—and patient satisfaction ultimately led to the founding of Strive Labs.

Previously, Scott served as the chair of the APTA of Massachusetts All Payers Database Research Group, a small committee focused on collecting and analyzing payer data from the Massachusetts Center of Health Information and Analysis (CHIA). In that role, Scott worked to design and implement data collection strategies and coordinate outcomes analysis.

Sharon Dunn, PT, PhD, OCS

President | APTA

Born and raised in Shreveport, LA, Sharon L. Dunn, PT, PhD, OCS, graduated with a BS in physical therapy from the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) in 1987. In 1996, she completed a master’s of health sciences degree, and in 2006, she earned a PhD in cellular biology and anatomy. Sharon obtained ABPTS certification in orthopaedic physical therapy in 1996—as well as recertification in 2006 and 2016. She utilizes this content expertise in her teaching, research, and clinical practice.

Sharon has been on the faculty at LSUHSC since 1990, currently serving as Associate Professor in the DPT program and Chair of the Rehabilitation Sciences Department. In 2008, Sharon developed a post-professional residency program for orthopaedic physical therapy at LSUHSC, which has since produced 23 graduates.  

Sharon’s service to her professional organization began when she was a student and has continued to evolve throughout her career. She has served as the State Government Affairs Chair, Louisiana Chapter President and Vice President, and Chapter Delegate. She currently serves as President of the APTA (after serving as the Vice President and on the Board of Directors). Her passions are advocacy, member engagement, and our profession’s potential to add great value to a disrupted health delivery system.

In her spare time, Sharon enjoys a good debate, playing Canasta, boating, college football, and anything outdoors.

Stephania Bell, PT

Injury Analyst | ESPN

Stephania Bell, PT, joined ESPN as a senior writer and injury analyst in 2008. A licensed physical therapist, board-certified orthopedic clinical specialist, and certified strength and conditioning specialist, Bell regularly appears on ESPN’s NFL and fantasy football coverage—including SportsCenter, The Fantasy Show, and Fantasy Football Now—in addition to co-hosting ESPN Audio’s Fantasy Focus Football podcast.

Bell has been part of the Sunday morning Fantasy Football Now pregame program since she joined ESPN and part of the Fantasy Focus Football podcast since its inception in 2008. She started working on the podcast as a contributor before her promotion to co-host alongside Matthew Berry and Field Yates in 2016.

Bell also contributes to NFL Live, Baseball Tonight, ESPN Radio, and ESPN.com—and she has filed features for Sunday NFL Countdown and other programs, including stories on Jason Garrett and former South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore.

Prior to joining ESPN, Bell worked for Kaiser Permanente in San Jose, California, and taught at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy Fellowship. She has held teaching positions in the physical therapy programs at Samuel Merritt College and the University of Kansas and has lectured nationally on various topics. She has also served as a consultant for athletes and performing artists with complex conditions.

Bell was elected to positions in the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists (AAOMPT) and was heavily involved in the early stages of developing standards for credentialing of post-professional residency and fellowship programs. She remains active in both the AAOMPT and the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

Bell graduated from Princeton University with a degree in French literature and earned a master’s degree in physical therapy from the University of Miami as well as certification in orthopedic manual therapy from the Ola Grimsby Institute.

Bell has received many honors and awards. Most recently, she was elected to the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame in 2017, becoming the organization’s first female inductee. She also was named a Top 40 Influencer by UpDoc Media, a digital media and marketing company specializing in physical therapy and healthcare services.

Other major honors for Bell include the University of Miami Alumni Fellowship Award, the AAOMPT John McM. Mennell Service Award, and the Media Orthopedic Reporting Excellence (MORE) Award from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS). She is the first ESPN recipient of a Newswomen’s Club of New York Front Page award, which recognizes newswomen in the New York metropolitan area for excellence in journalism.

Veda Collmer, OT

Chief Compliance Officer | WebPT

Veda Collmer is the Chief Compliance Officer at WebPT, a leading provider in health information technology (HIT) practice management software for rehabilitation therapists. Veda received her bachelor of science degree from Utica College of Syracuse University and her juris doctorate from City University of New York School of Law. In 2012, Veda was awarded a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Public Health Law Fellowship, which she completed at the Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. She is the New York State Bar Association Public Health Committee Chair and serves on the board of the Arizona Occupational Therapy Association.