2016 PPS Election


Notice of Nomination

Posted for your consideration is the slate of candidates unanimously selected and approved by the Nominating Committee for the PPS 2016 Election. 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 Private Practice Section.

Voting will take place at the 2016 Annual Conference & Exhibition in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Voting is an important membership benefit and we urge you to participate in this election.

Candidates for Director


Craig Johnson, PT, MBA

2016 Candidate – Director

Craig Johnson, PT, MBA, is a partner and Chief Operations Officer at Therapy Partners where he directs internal operations and support services to 15 practices with 32 locations in Minnesota and Wisconsin, focused in the areas of care management, outcomes management, compliance, and reimbursement. He has many years of involvement in PPS and APTA, serving as president of the MNPTA, and on key APTA and PPS payment and policy committees.

Candidate Statement:
I feel very fortunate to be slated for the Board of Directors of PPS. My passion for private practice stems from growing up with and being mentored by a father who was a dentist that started his own practice, was president of the Minnesota Dental Association, and served on many national committees of the ADA. I recognized his example to me when, after attending my first state conference, I sat down and wrote him a long letter about how proud I was to be a physical therapist, and a member of this professional organization. This passion for our profession burns inside me; I know it is fueled from those years growing up.

I value what I believe most private practice owners value: creating a quality service that will attract customers, and receiving reasonable payment for those services. It is a simple formula that can work even when health care reform is swirling around us. It is keeping this formula alive for current and future private practitioners that I most fervently want to see continued for a long time.

I started my first private practice five years after graduation. I have been a clinician, manager, and owner, wearing all the hats within a private practice. Currently, I am a partner and Chief Operations Officer of Therapy Partners, Inc. (TPI), a management service organization, with 15 independent member practices and 32 clinics in Minnesota and Wisconsin. TPI is involved in value-based payer contracts and has successfully leveraged outcomes to improve payment. I direct internal operations and lead the support services to the practices in the areas of care management, outcomes management, compliance, and reimbursement.

My work within the profession has prepared me to be an effective board member to lead us through this time of change. I served on the APTA POPTS Committee, and was active on an APTA Governance Workgroup. I put together two innovative models of care for value-based payment, which were presented at ATPA Innovation 2.0, one of which received a small grant as honorable mention. As a two-term president of Minnesota PT Association, I lead a chapter governance model change and an extensive strategic planning process to position physical therapy higher in care delivery and more prominent in society. I currently serve on an APTA and Industry Outcomes Task Force, the PPS Payment Policy Committee and APTA Public Policy and Advocacy Committee, and am a PPS Key Contact.

I believe there is tremendous opportunity ahead for private practice, if we focus on delivering value, defined as outcome/cost. By collecting and analyzing cost and outcome data we can improve our competitive advantage in the marketplace. PPS should help practices develop strategies that leverage data to achieve a better strategic position.

Our challenges in practice and payment are changing the clinical pathway, innovative strategies, and leadership in the health care industry. We have to change our place in the continuum of care, which will require collaboration with other providers. PPS and APTA must put a major push on changing the clinical pathway that will better deliver value and increase access. Innovative value-based payment models are evolving, but further strategy development is required with regional or national payers, and CMS’s payment reform. PPS is a leader in the profession, yet must lead in the health care industry by supporting innovators, bold leaders, and change agents through developing a platform where members will be educated and heard.

With my knowledge and experience, I am able to leverage my influence and contribute to a visionary board and elevate private practice as the valued provider. It would be an honor to serve on the PPS board.


Bill Pfister Jr., PT, MPT, CLT

2016 Candidate – Director

Bill Pfister Jr., PT, MPT, CLT, is one of seven partners in RET Physical Therapy, a group of independent, 100 percent physical therapist–owned practices with 19 locations in Washington State. He also sits on the Board of Directors for RET, helping provide strategic insight to guide the future of the practice. He manages a full clinical caseload and assists in operations management and business development for RET.

Candidate Statement:
I would like to thank the Nominating Committee for slating me as a candidate for Director. I am honored to be considered for this position. I have been a physical therapist for 13 years. I am very fortunate to have supportive partners that understand the value of PPS to our profession and support my involvement in leadership within PPS. My experience and passion have always been in private practice and promoting the profession of physical therapy. I believe serving as PPS Director will be the perfect opportunity for me to blend my innovative and entrepreneurial spirit to help further the goals we all share for our profession and our section.

I began my journey 11 years ago when I became the Clinic Director of a struggling practice in a community called Puyallup, a suburb of Seattle. At that time, there were 13 clinics in our group and my clinic was at the bottom of the company for both production and revenue. With hard work and perseverance (and no personal life), I was able to right the ship in four short years and turn it into one of the top-performing clinics. Of the 19 clinics we now have in our practice, we have grown successfully through innovation, hiring great physical therapists, collaborating with other health care professionals, and providing mentoring and guidance to staff.

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

Presently, I serve as the assistant managing editor of our PPS Impact magazine and have done so for two years. Prior, I served on the Impact Board for one year, and have also contributed as an author. By serving in these capacities, I have had the distinct pleasure of meeting many innovative physical therapists and practice owners who are willing to share ways to improve, innovate, and thrive in private practice. More importantly, I have had the opportunity to develop some amazing friendships and encounter established mentors along the way. I believe the more involved and engaged you are, the more effective you can be in fostering growth and change. I will be a voice of progress and represent the daily challenges of private practices of all varieties, sizes, and settings.

I believe that quality, payment reform, and population health via the Triple Aim are present opportunities for our profession to improve the way we do business; however, without continued persistent engagement from PPS we may not successfully capitalize on them. These factors will have an impact on our revenue streams. It is imperative that PPS be able to help its membership adapt and continue to thrive as these opportunities unfold. I intend to be a catalyst of change, working diligently to move our profession and businesses forward. Please vote for me so that I may advocate and become an agent of change to meet our collective goals.


Brett Roberts, PT, DPT

2016 Candidate – Director

Brett Roberts, PT, DPT, grew up in a family business selling worms. While working for Wormart he gained the skills and entrepreneurial creativity required to grow from 19 locations to 140 locations in three states. Because of this experience, he decided to make the leap into private practice less than three years after graduating from UW Madison’s Physical Therapy Program in 2002. He has been the sole owner of Roberts & Associates Physical Therapy, S.C., and its three locations for over a decade. He recently launched Inertia Solutions, LLC, which combines the convenience of a 24-hour fitness facility with the expertise of Doctors of Physical Therapy. He is also a founding member of Kinexcare, a collaborative effort between eight independent private practice owners. At the state level, he is one of the founding members of Wisconsin’s Private Practice Special Interest Group and served in the dual role of Director (2011-2015) and Legislative Action Committee Chair (2006–present). At the national level, he served on the PPS Innovative Business Model Task Force in 2015 and gave an “I Believe” talk at the Graham Sessions in 2014.

Candidate Statement:
We are facing a monumental shift in health care and the opportunity to thrive as a profession has never been greater. Legislative strategy and a creative approach to problem solving are two strengths that I bring to the table that can help guide our profession into the future. We are seeing the cards fall in many favorable ways and how we respond to these opportunities and avoid missteps will help create our future. The three critical issues facing our profession can be summed up in three words: Drugs, Money, and Jobs.

Drugs—Big Pharma dealt us a winning hand by pushing our nation to the tipping point in the opioid addiction epidemic. Appropriately, physical therapy is being pushed to the forefront to help address this growing problem. Continuing to ride this momentum holds the key to our future success. As Director, I will ensure we always look at ways to effectively market our services to the right person at the right time and help to establish and promote connections with other health care providers and decision makers.

Money—With a dramatic shift in patient financial responsibility and the emergence of cost control measures (narrow networks, inability to opt out of Medicare, etc.) the financial future of our profession will continue to evolve rapidly. While many see this as a negative, bleak future, I feel there is great opportunity if we understand how to identify and effectively communicate the benefits of our profession to the appropriate stakeholders. I’ll advocate for shifting control from third-party entities to individuals and self-funded companies. This will help demonstrate our true value in the health care marketplace.

Jobs (Steve Jobs, that is)—Our profession is ripe for technological disruption. I believe this could be the very catalyst to propel our profession forward into the 22nd century. Having a well-thought-out legislative agenda can help us balance potential threats (such as tele-PT provided by non-PTs) against potential opportunities for growth. For example, should an artificial boundary such as a state line really limit who can benefit from tele-medicine? Direct access took over 56 years to pass in all 50 states. Can we survive another drawn out state-by-state battle or do we push for something bigger? As Director, I will help ask the challenging questions and won’t be afraid to express alternative ideas to push our profession forward.

Thank you for considering my nomination. I look forward to creating a better tomorrow!


Ali Schoos, PT, OCS

2016 Candidate – Director

Ali Schoos, PT, OCS, is a founding owner and current owner and director of Peak Sports and Spine Physical Therapy in Bellevue, Washington. Ali served on the board of PPSIG in Washington state for six years, was state insurance reimbursement chair for nine years, and is currently serving on the state legislative committee and the standards of practice panel for ACOs and ACNs. She was named “Washington State PT of the Year” in 1993. She has been a national delegate, attends PPS conferences, and presented a “What I Believe” talk at the Graham sessions this year.

Candidate Statement:
I am passionate about physical therapy, and especially about delivering it from a private practice model. I, along with my PT husband, helped develop Peak into 7 clinics, offering ownership via sweat equity to PTs who had worked with us or one of our partners. It is a great source of pride and accomplishment to witness the number of PTs with whom we’ve worked who are now owners, some in our company, and others on their own, including the president of PTWA and the chair of PPSIG. Mentoring the next generation of private practice owners is something we should all embrace, recognizing that every good PT who opens a clinic “in my backyard” is raising the profile of our whole profession and opening our doors to a wider audience. I have opened multisite private practices twice, ran 15 clinics for a large national company, and am now back to owning and operating one PT clinic as I focus on other venues. This includes promotion of PTs as primary care practitioners and raising Alzheimer’s awareness, and learning how to tweet and be a guest speaker on podcasts to advocate for physical therapists via social media! I believe in giving back and following your passion, so I also serve on the board of my local YMCA-facilitating development of a larger community center where so many healthy living services can be accessed inexpensively. I am fortunate to serve on the King County Regional Alzheimer’s Advisory Committee.

I believe the role of PPS is simple, and the job is big: to help the private practitioner thrive and add value to the health care continuum, while promoting private practice physical therapists as the primary care provider for musculoskeletal health.

We need to:

  1. Identify the needs of the upcoming generation of DPTs as potential private practitioners. PPS should work to build a bridge between the current generational way of doing business with all of the knowledge and mentorship that brings to the table, to the social media savvy and disruptive business models of the #FreshPT (the up and comers!).
  2. Provide information, education, and metrics to our membership to be able to advocate and negotiate for collaborative contracts with payers, engage politicians for our inclusion in health care bills, and demonstrate the value of “PT first” to consumers.
  3. Develop a marketing campaign and social media presence to educate the public about what private practice PTs do and the value we add to the health care consumer. We should learn from, and perhaps join forces with, the PT collective that is leading the online promotion currently. Physical therapists should be providing the premier online content for the consumer about musculoskeletal health: i.e., “WebPT.”

I envision a world where physical therapists are the primary care providers, and most cost effective choice, for musculoskeletal health care. We will be seeing patients once a year to make sure they are keeping their bodies moving well. We will be using telehealth to make some visits easier, more accessible, or less costly. PTs will be the providers of online content for injury avoidance and recovery. Thank you for the opportunity to help move us toward the future vision of physical therapists as a Board member of PPS.


Kathryn B. Stenslie, PT, DPT

2016 Candidate – Director

Kathryn B. Stenslie, PT, DPT, is Vice President of Operations for HPRC, Inc., a rehabilitation organization that serves patients in 10 locations across 3 states in the Southeast. She has 18 years of private practice experience in clinical practice, personnel management, and business management for outpatient orthopedic, home health, and hospital contract settings. Kathy resides in Columbus, Georgia, with her husband and three children. She is heavily involved in the triathlon community and currently training to complete her fourth Ironman.

Candidate Statement:
Thank you to the Nominating Committee for the opportunity to run for the Private Practice Section’s Board of Directors. I had the privilege of serving on the PPS board from 2007–2010 and am honored for the potential to serve once again during a much different time for private practices around the country. We will be celebrating a 60-year legacy for the Section this October. The many mentors I have in the Section have had a tremendous impact on my professional path and I am humbled when I reflect on the ways they have shaped and directed the path of this Section. I am truly grateful to them as this serves to deepen my belief in the business of private practice and motivates me to contribute to the Section and its leadership.

I have been in private practice for all 18 years of my career and actively involved as a PPS member for the past 12. My career has been filled with diverse opportunities to serve patients and communities across the spectrum of clinical and business perspectives. I currently serve as Vice President of Operations for HPRC and contribute to patient care 20–25 hours a week. I oversee our home health division, hospital contracts, and recently facilitated a new mobile business model of practice. I am also currently establishing an outcomes program initiative for our company. Due to this experience in diverse practice environments, I feel well equipped to serve you and the Section during a time filled with challenges but also great opportunity.

During the past several years, through involvement on the Membership Development Committee, I gained knowledge and experience about what is meaningful to the member. Significant increases in membership occurred as a result of this Committee’s efforts including a 30 percent increase in student memberships. As Vice President of the Private Practice Section Institute Board, I assisted in the planning and execution of the 9th Annual Graham Sessions. This year’s attendees were effusive regarding their experience in attending the “think-tank”-style event. No doubt one of our greatest challenges has been physician-owned physical therapy services. While these entities remain, I believe health care consolidation is one of our most critical issues now and into the future. We currently face restructuring of payment methodologies, including bundled payments. We must demonstrate our value by providing data that shows the effectiveness of our services. I hope to bring my experience in balancing our role as a strong private practitioner in an environment that is dominated by expanding hospital-based health care systems. My expertise in relationship building and negotiation contributed to the efforts enabling our practice to be the first to provide services under direct access within a hospital system in Georgia.

It is incumbent on leadership of the Section to foster innovation and support the growth of new and emerging models that are beginning to make headlines. There is a need for new private practices to open and expand in spite of the challenges today. I believe they will need to look much different than the traditional brick and mortar practice we have been accustomed to. For example, an emerging trend that is being seen are physical therapy private practices employing or contracting with physicians. I believe this is just one example and there is opportunity for many more.

With continued strong efforts in grassroots, state, and national advocacy efforts, we will demonstrate our value and ensure that we have a place at the table to negotiate our position as a recognized leader in health care. I ask for your support and vote for the Board of Directors.

Candidates for Nominating Committee


Alan Balavender, PT, MS

2016 Candidate – Nominating Committee

After graduating from Quinnipiac University with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy, Alan began his career in outpatient orthopedics. Alan went on to complete his master’s degree in Organizational Behavior from the University of Hartford. He left the field of PT to pursue his entrepreneurial spirit as a partner in a health care consulting firm. The firm focused on the development of provider networks and alternative care delivery systems throughout the United States. Longing to return to the profession, Alan accepted a clinical position with Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Center of Waterbury, Connecticut. In 2000, he purchased the practice. Alan remains committed to private practice with a vision to create a company driven by customer service, clinical excellence, and meaningful relationships.

Candidate Statement:
I found the profession by accident, left it, and I am very fortunate to have returned!

My parents were both small business owners. As the youngest of five boys, I grew up on stories about business ownership. My parents believed that having “your name on the door” meant something. While I was in high school, two of my older brothers graduated from PT school. I soon followed: same degree, same school. It was what I knew!

I left PT after five years to experience a broader scope of health care and be an “entrepreneur.” Those eight years were great lessons in success, risk, and failure. I had the privilege of working with great people, seeing the country, and occasionally making a living! I was drawn back to the clinical environment, missing the satisfaction of caring for people. I started working once a week at a small practice. Two years later, I purchased the clinic with the goal of creating a private practice which encouraged ownership by clinicians. Since 2000, PTSMC has grown to 17 locations in Connecticut. There are 15 partners and 180 employees. PTSMC has been fortunate to be recognized by our employees as a Top Workplace in Connecticut for the last six years.

In my opinion, the three most critical issues facing PPS in the next three years are:

Payment: This has been and always will be one of the top concerns of private practice. The three-party system we operate in can create disconnects among the provider, customer, and entity paying for the service provided. Regardless of the evolution of payment models, it is imperative we remain engaged in the conversation at every level. We must continue to create value to all stakeholders.

Collaboration: I believe we are living through an unprecedented, systemwide health care change. As private practice physical therapists, we will be offered and encouraged to consider business models and care delivery systems that look very different than they did just a few short years ago. We need to be open and proactive in creating and supporting collaborative efforts that don’t compromise our principles.

Profession Adaptation: As one who grew up in the profession that has historically been perceived as an “ancillary provider,” I think our profession has made extraordinary progress. To recognize the APTA vision of “Transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience,” we must accept the position of movement and musculoskeletal experts. We must be willing to work to the limits of our license and push those limits further. Physical therapists must transition from “episodic care” and take the lead in becoming our customer’s “PT for Life.”

Most of my career has been finding the best people, challenging, growing, and supporting them. With your vote, I would like to continue to do so as a member of the PPS Nominating Committee


David Qualls, PT

2016 Candidate – Nominating Committee

David Qualls, PT, has been president of Rehab Institute, Inc., dba Qualls & Co., in Sulphur, Louisiana, for the past 37 years. The corporate name has changed several times to meet the demands of the community and the advancing scope of professional practice. In addition to providing treatment, prevention, and wellness to patients and clients, volunteer service to the church, community, and profession have always been a high priority at Qualls & Co.

Candidate Statement:
I am honored to be slated for a position on the PPS Nominating Committee. I take this nomination very seriously. The Nominating Committee is the most important committee of an organization. This is the committee that interviews and recommends a slate of candidates that will lead the organization. Pretty awesome task, I think.

I have practiced for 42 years, the last 37 in private practice. After starting my career in the hospital setting, I saw there were rules and regulations that hindered me from practicing the way I wanted. In 1979, I opened my first practice. I have been a solo practitioner and have had partners, up to four. I have experienced practice from hospital inpatient, hospital contracting, extended care facilities, home health, wellness, geriatric psychiatry, large national corporate outpatient, and independent practice. I have had administrative, financial, and patient responsibilities at one to 30 sites in five states. After the Balanced Budget Act, I returned to my original practice and grew it. Now I have downsized and practice in a small rural community. With the exception of two years in the early 90s, I have treated patients and carried out the administrative duties.

I have been a member of the Private Practice Section for almost 30 years. After my first meeting, I was hooked. I thought that first meeting was the greatest! Finally, someone was speaking about the business of physical therapy and not getting chastised for it.

I served on the PPS Board of Directors from 2009–2012. After one term, I felt I had accomplished the goals I was called to do, so I chose not to seek a second term. I currently serve as a director on the Institute of Private Practice Physical Therapy Board and also served on the most recent PPS Strategic Planning Committee. Last fall, I was asked to represent the Private Practice Section on the Louisiana Patient Access Resolution Committee. The recommendation of this committee lead to the draft of the Patient Access to Physical Therapy Legislation, which just passed the Louisiana legislature. While preparing for my presentation to this committee, I reviewed the PPS History Project and once again appreciated the dedication of our early founders and their goals for private practice in physical therapy. Also, I have served in leadership positions in the local and extended church, my community, as well as in LPTA and APTA.

As PPS leaders work to achieve our mission of supporting the physical therapist in business, we must continue our advocacy for appropriate payment for our expertise as movement specialists. Support for access to physical therapy without restrictions remains paramount. It is important that we continue to recognize and promote the importance of private practice physical therapy and its impact on our profession and on government advocacy now and historically. We need to continue our support of the small private physical therapy practice from which this section birthed. This includes increased public awareness of their importance in the local community. These smaller practices need the Section’s expertise and guidance. They have ideas to share, just as our large corporate members do.

If elected, I do not need to possess all the skills required to complete our Section’s Mission but rather need to be able to recognize and recruit individuals who exhibit the skills needed to accomplish this mission. I can do that. I have served for a long time and I love it. I know and understand the commitment that is required to serve. I have the ability to share my experience with those who are considering serving PPS as we evaluate what might be the best position for them. I love to talk to people and enjoy individual one-on-one conversation. I am a good listener. Everyone needs affirmation and the simple ask validates that.

I would love to serve PPS again, this time as a member of the Nominating Committee. My service has prepared me for this position. The time is right for me, and the position is ideal for my skill set. I ask that you give me your vote of confidence. See you in Vegas!

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