2019 PPS Nominations
The Private Practice Section introduces the 2019 Slate of Candidates for your consideration.
These candidates were unanimously approved by the PPS Nominating Committee and Board of Directors. PPS believes that each of these individuals will uphold the mission of the Section, and that they possess the background, talent, and character required to achieve the goals established in the PPS strategic plan.
Voting will take place on site at the 2019 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Orlando, Florida, October 30 – November 2, 2019. Online and absentee voting is open September 30 through October 25.
Voting is an important membership benefit and we urge you to participate in this election. Go to www.ppsapta.org to cast your vote.
Candidate for Director
PT, DPT, PhD
Michael Connors, PT, DPT, PhD, a board-certified clinical specialist in orthopaedic physical therapy and Fellow of the American Association of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists, is Western Regional Director for Greater Therapy Centers, a therapist-owned organization with 23 clinics in the Dallas–Fort Worth area. He has experience in operations and resource management for the outpatient orthopedic setting. Mike is the founder and principal of Metroplex Performing Arts Medicine, PLLC, providing onsite wellness and rehabilitation services to professional performing arts organizations. He has served as a member and former co-chair of the Texas GAC and president of the Texas Chapter.
Thank you to the nominating committee for slating me as a candidate for the position of PPS director. I am excited about the potential opportunity to bring my energy and passion for private practice to this position. For the past 16 years, I have maintained an active clinical practice. My journey throughout my career has led me in a myriad of different directions, from a staff therapist to an academician to a regional director in my current position. With each career direction, I have taken a multitude of experiences that have helped shape me into the person I am today.
Fifteen years ago, I ventured into the private practice world as a young, inexperienced clinic manager. Within the first year, I took that small satellite clinic from a nonproducing site to one with a full caseload. Among other things, that position reinforced my strong entrepreneurial spirit as well as my desire to succeed in the private practice arena by delivering high-quality patient care. In my current role, I manage operations of five satellite clinics in the greater Fort Worth area. I also provide leadership development and clinical mentoring to my colleagues in an effort to better prepare our new professionals in their journey to become master clinicians and future leaders of our company.
My experience as a leader at the state association level as well as my involvement in a number of national APTA and PPS initiatives has helped me to understand the issues affecting the future of private practice, in both small and large organizations. We have a tremendous opportunity to come together as never before to help protect the integrity and value of the services we provide to our patients in the private practice setting. Many of the issues, such as determining appropriate value for our services, are not a size of practice issue but rather an issue of fractured efforts across the profession and nation. As President Sharon Dunn has said on multiple occasions, we are simply better together. PPS has the voice and the ability to best serve as the catalyst and agent of change to unite the efforts across our segment of the profession and lead the effort to be a stronger advocate for the needs of everyone in the private practice setting. I have served as an advocate at the state and national effort for PPS and APTA. We have a very strong advocacy presence that represents our profession and Section, but just imagine how much stronger we would be if we could align the efforts and resources of small and large practices to best promote the value of care in the private practice setting.
In the past five years, we have witnessed more vertical and horizontal integration in health care and physical therapy. With complex ownership and payment models emerging daily, we need to stay united as a Section and sector of the profession to provide resources to members that help to best position that organization for success now and in the future. We have colleagues who own, operate, and work in a myriad of private practice settings, and we need to respect and appreciate the diversity of each of these structures. We need to be more deliberately inclusive and less restrictive at creating a seat at the table for every PPS member, regardless of who owns their organization or signs their paychecks! Now is that time!
From my background as an advocate, clinician, academician, entrepreneur, and a lover of all things PT, I feel my experience would contribute a well-rounded perspective to the PPS board that would respect and appreciate the complexity and diversity of all the collective viewpoints while also providing a unique viewpoint that represents the varied experiences I’ve had throughout my career. In the book Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Lencioni describes the foundation of every relationship as trust. With the absence of trust, no meaningful relationship can ever develop the necessary foundation to grow and move forward in the future. I’m asking for you to trust me to represent you as PPS director and help position us best to move the PPS section and the profession forward. We are all truly better together!
Candidate for Director
Craig Johnson, PT, MBA, is a partner and chief operations officer at Therapy Partners directing internal operations and support services to 16 practices with 36 locations in Minnesota and Wisconsin, focused in the areas of care management, outcomes management, compliance, and reimbursement. His passion for private practice drives his engagement in PPS and APTA, in running for a second term on the PPS Board, and involvement on key APTA and PPS payment and policy committees.
I chose to run for a second term on the PPS Board, because I believe in the power of private practice in shaping the delivery of physical therapy services in today’s health care market. At Therapy Partners we have a value statement, which we try to live each day: “We believe in the tremendous value independent physical therapy practices bring our changing health care market when they work together as a team.”
This is exactly how I view PPS, as a team working together to empower physical therapists in private practice to bring value to the health care market. This has always been my passion and has driven me to be engaged in advocacy and payment policy issues at state and national levels of the APTA and PPS, and in my business at Therapy Partners. During my first term on the board I led the board task force that guided the Milliman actuarial firm on the study and final white paper, the “Impact of Physical Therapist Services on Low Back Pain Episodes.” The white paper demonstrates the value of physical therapist services in terms that payers can understand. It gives private practices the opportunity to show their value using data that can help them better market the value of early or direct access of their services to payers and potential collaborating providers.
I am running again because the board created a new strategic plan in 2018, which is being implemented over the next three years. I want to continue to work on that plan to move it forward. The plan focuses on the pillars: Educate, Advocate, and Connect. The board has set measurable goals to help us drive the plan forward. Together with the work of the Government Affairs and Payment Policy Committee their focus is on passing a top legislative priority, advocacy to prevent adverse federal legislative and regulatory payment changes and advocating to make positive payment policy change. As the board liaison to the Payment and Policy Committee the committee work product remains high and is a very strong benefit to PPS members. I want to continue to see PPS bring about these initiatives.
Recently the board instituted a “super committee” structure to better coordinate and elevate the work of the PPS committees. This gives us the opportunity to be more effective in advancing our strategic plan, and better coordinate the work of the committees. I want to continue to improve the new structure to imbue this structural change into the culture of the board and committees.
As you know, PPS will be going through a change in its relationship to APTA, due to APTA discontinuing its association management services. There is no shortage of ambition and entrepreneurship on the PPS board and in the members; thus, the board did a thorough job of assessing our situation and determining a path forward. I do not see this as a setback, I see it as a clear opportunity to improve the management of the Section. This gives us a fresh start on getting to a higher level of management and support for the Section. The decisions the board is making give us the opportunity to set a new trajectory for PPS. I am excited to work with board members on maximizing this opportunity. I am compelled to run again for the board of directors, because I feel there is continued work to be done by PPS. The health care landscape is changing, and our businesses need to change in order to survive and thrive in today’s market. The resources of PPS, financial, volunteers, staff, and leadership need to be strong for your future success. Our resources are not limitless, yet our resolve to achieve success is not to be questioned. In a changing health care market PPS needs to put forth a team effort to empower practices to be successful in their markets. I believe the strategic plan is focused on the right areas and now must be executed. I am excited to be running for a second term on the PPS board and continue the focus on making the right decisions that will enable us to be successful as a Section and better serve our members.
Candidate for Director
Ali Schoos, PT, a board-certified clinical specialist in orthopaedic physical therapy, is the owner of Peak Sports and Spine Physical Therapy in Bellevue, Washington. Ali has been actively involved in our profession as a provider, owner, volunteer, and advocate. She has served on the private practice board in Washington State, was state insurance reimbursement chair, awarded PT of the Year for the Physical Therapy Association of Washington (PTWA), is a key contact on the state and national level, and is currently serving as a PPS board member.
I have been in love with private practice since I first worked in one shortly after graduation from PT school. It has been my good fortune to be intimately involved in every aspect of what it means to be a private practitioner/business owner. I have been in the ownership business twice, with a foray as a regional director for a national company in between. I have had the opportunity to start a practice from the ground up, doing every, and I mean every, little thing myself. Do I know how to fold towels? Hell yes. Do I want to? Hell no! Is it a valuable use of my time to do so? Ah, now there’s the question! The answer? It depends on how hungry I am. I can read a P&L, a contract, negotiate a lease, manage staff, and understand my metrics. But it started with my willingness to wash and fold my own towels.
Managing 15 clinics for a national company after owning four, then eight as a founding partner and majority owner with my husband, and back to one clinic again (by choice!), I understand what we do, as both large and small business owners. I understand how to do it effectively and profitably. And I believe in looking to the future and attempting to understand how we are going to continue to provide our valuable services as private practitioners into that future.
I have had the pleasure of serving on your board of directors for the past three years, participating in the oversight necessary to move us forward. It has opened my eyes to the huge value of PPS, beyond my former understanding. It has been humbling to work with some of our profession’s best and brightest people, and I have been honored to be able to serve you in this capacity. Through the board and committees, I have seen the results of what we can do when working to improve our social media presence and access to marketing materials, or developing metrics for our members to measure our successes and learn from each other’s mistakes. We approved the Milliman project to do a deep dive into the value of what we do for key diagnoses for the benefit of reimbursement. I have participated in advocacy on the Hill for our profession and business. And we are well into the process of establishing a new home and staff management model that best suits PPS going forward.
We cannot rest on what we have done, as there is much more to do.
We need to finalize the transition from APTA as our landlord and management services company. We have an opportunity to change how we run our business to standing on our own two feet in our own space, under our own management, while maintaining our beneficial working relationship with APTA.
We need to grab hold of telehealth, leading the charge into the limitless opportunities to enhance the health of our patients and our communities through this medium. We need to advance the physical therapist as the primary care provider for neuromusculoskeletal health, and we must ensure the development of a model that supports the private practitioner in that role.
We need to support the broadening of our horizons and expand our opportunities into nontraditional clinical models and businesses, alongside the traditional. There is a need, and room, for both. This may encompass non-insurance-based PT and the melding of a PT clinic with a fitness facility. But it also means going out into the community and working with local government as advisors on developing healthy neighborhoods, working for companies on their safety committees, partnering with hospitals and large physician groups, and being the CEO for that local hospital.
And our bread and butter has got to be to continue to advocate for and enhance the business of physical therapists, in whatever form our membership sees fit, and however it evolves.
Understanding how much work PPS has to do and the length of time it takes as a board member to get up to speed, I feel compelled to serve you for another three years, but even more, I feel honored should you choose me to do so.
Candidate for Nominating Committee
Carrie Hall, PT, MHS, graduated from St. Louis University (SLU) in 1983 with a BS in physical therapy and from Washington University (WUSTL) with a master’s in health sciences in 1986. In 1995, she founded Movement Systems Physical Therapy, Seattle, Washington. In addition to serving on the board of directors and several committees for the Physical Therapy Association of Washington (PTWA), she has also served on several faculties and is coauthor of Therapeutic Exercise: Moving Toward Function.
Since graduating from SLU in 1983, I have worn numerous hats as a physical therapist including clinician, educator, author, researcher, business owner, board member, and advocate. I have never, for a millisecond, been disinterested as a PT. The common thread that has woven my 36-year career has been “relationship.” Connection is at the heart of all we do as physical therapists. In the beginning, working at WUSTL and Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, I was in my dream job, working with some of the most legendary PTs of our time. How fortunate I was to learn from the best! They taught me how to think critically, diagnose movement impairment, develop plans of care that focus on patient engagement, and be a steward to help patients achieve transformative change. Many years later, while I was working in private practice, it became apparent that productivity standards were forcing me to shorten my time with my patients and reduce my capacity to provide best-care practice. It was clear that my only choice was to embark on my own to fulfill my vision of delivery of physical therapy care. Hence, Movement Systems Physical Therapy was founded in 1995. It has now grown to three locations and serves thousands of patients each year with one-to-one care with the Doctor of Physical Therapy in 60-minute sessions. Our mission is to take the time to care, to help our patients fulfill goals they never believed were possible—to create transformative change. My background has led me to have concern about several issues facing our profession, the future of private practice, and the role of the PPS. Sharon Dunn, PT, PhD, in her Presidential Address to the 2019 HOD, shined a light on productivity standards that threaten what makes our profession special for the provider and consumer. It is through the human connection that we care for the person in front of us. As upstream thinkers, we can look toward reimbursement rates that undervalue our true worth as a profession to society as a potential influence on these productivity standards. My roles as private practice owner, service on the PTWA payment committee, the PTWA BOD, and as a Washington Delegate have developed my understanding of these critical issues that face our profession. As a member of the Nominating Committee, I will help to identify and encourage potential qualified candidates who share these concerns that threaten our cherished profession.
Following the thread of relationship building, an additional issue of concern for PPS is to create an organization that fosters leadership that reflects the diversity of the communities and profession we serve. Diversity and inclusion are buzzwords today, but I believe they should be more than words. Those words need to be put into concrete action. How do you define diversity? As variety, multiformity, a point of difference? It only makes sense when you tie it to inclusion. Inclusion is the deliberate act of welcoming diversity and creating an environment where all different kinds of people with different points of view can thrive and succeed. Diversity is what you have. Inclusion is what you do. When we think about PPS leadership, we need to think about our entire community. Who is at the table and who is not represented? What is important to those people who are not represented and why are they not there? We need to be sure everyone has a voice and is represented by our leadership with talent and competency. We are better together. As a member of the Nominating Committee I would strive toward building diverse relationships and fostering a culture of inclusion. If we don’t do that, we will continue to have difficulty with consent to serve.
My many roles spanning private practice owner, educator, advocate, and practicing clinician have provided me with the foundation to serve as a champion of our profession and those we serve. The pillars of PPS are Advocate, Educate, and Connect. I feel I have lived those words for 36 years. If elected, I will do my best, with my fellow committee members, to encourage, identify, develop, and vet candidates for inclusive PPS leadership that reflects our values as PTs working in private practice.
Candidate for Nominating Committee
PT, DPT, MPT
Christine Klody, PT, DPT, MPT, certified strength and conditioning specialist, is the practice founder and sole owner of DPT Sport in Burr Ridge, Illinois. She earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in physical therapy from Northwestern University and has treated in private practice for almost 20 years, with over 10 years of practice management experience. A consistent member of the APTA, IPTA, and PPS, Christine was honored to serve on the pilot “mastermind” board of PPS’s invaluable networking program, Peer2Peer NetWorks.
First, I am honored to be slated as a candidate for the PPS Nominating Committee. I am passionate about our profession, both physical therapy and private practice, and excited about our future. My grandparents, who came over from Italy as immigrants during the Depression with very little, started a business in New York City, which has always impressed and inspired me. That ingrained entrepreneurial spirit from my father’s side paired with the empathy learned from the female health care providers on my mother’s side made being a physical therapist and owning my own practice a perfect fit.
As the director of my practice, I ensure that three key principles guide the DPT Sport culture: (1) Provide expert quality care of the whole person, mind and body, from the one-on-one care that we provide to our patients to the mentorship and professional development that we provide to our own team, (2) provide true “health” care across life’s continuum from wellness consults and injury prevention programs to managing injuries and pain, (3) add societal value by engaging with and providing education to the greater community.
Firmly believing in the value that physical therapists add to not only their patients’ lives but also to the health care system as a whole, fair payment and reimbursement for the care that we provide continues to be at the forefront for PPS. As a member and partner of the IPTA, I have been a strong advocate for standing up to major payers regarding statewide reimbursement issues, which has led to recent legislation in our state. Additionally, as owners, we need to be unyielding, only accepting contracts with payers who offer reimbursement in line with our level of expertise and education, while being strong advocates for ourselves with our policymakers.
As we work to demonstrate our value to payers for improved reimbursement, we need to ensure that we are not allowing payers and other intertwined business entities to dilute the quality of care that we provide to our patients. We continue to make great gains in direct access, advance our DPT educational programs, and expand our supporting research. However, if we allow our day-to-day patient care to be degraded by arbitrary numbers and unreasonable productivity quotas, we are at risk to burn out a large percentage of talented clinicians while negatively impacting the patient’s perception of what is true skilled physical therapy.
We must form meaningful connections with our patients and demonstrate to them that we are the movement experts, their “go-to” musculoskeletal provider. Historically, therapists have been focused on marketing to physicians. At DPT Sport, our focus is on educating our patients and the general public. Fortuitously, our team has “flipped the switch,” as we are being asked to present to whole hospital systems, and physicians are contacting us to build cross-referral relationships. It is our challenge as owners to see ourselves on the same plane as physicians and to market ourselves as such to both the general public and other health care providers if we want direct access to have as large of a societal impact as possible.
While I have always been quite extroverted and certainly enjoy talking, I have made it one of my lifelong goals to always refine my listening skills. I love meeting new people, learning about what drives them, and facilitating connections. Through years of experience interviewing, managing, and networking, I have honed my ability to discern both the technical skills necessary to get the job done and also just how important the softer skills are when putting together an effective, cohesive, and talented team.
Understanding the responsibilities of each unique position and assessing when an individual on my team is ready for a new challenge or leadership role and how I can best support that transition has been paramount in DPT Sport’s success.
To achieve the mission and vision of PPS, it is integral to recognize and support leaders in our private practice community who are driven and knowledgeable yet open-minded and innovative. With your vote, I hope to join the PPS Nominating Committee team to help identify these individuals to fill the right seats on the bus that will drive PPS’s future success.
Candidate for Nominating Committee
Stephen Rapposelli, PT, a board-certified clinical specialist in orthopaedic physical therapy, opened his private practice in Delaware in 1992, at the tender age of 26, because he was told by his former employer that he couldn’t afford to buy into that existing business. His private practice has since grown to three clinics and has been voted best PT business in his state for numerous years. He also serves as vice president of the Delaware PT Association, as well as sitting on the Impact editorial board.
I co-own a still growing three-clinic outpatient orthopedic practice in Delaware. I am still actively practicing while serving as the visionary of the company. (Treating patients is said to be somewhat like being in the mafia—whenever you try to get out, they pull you back in!) I am hopeful to no longer be actively treating patients by the time I get to Orlando, so that I can concentrate on mentoring and serving younger clinicians.
I feel that I am qualified to serve on the nominating committee primarily because my 13-year-old son tells me that I embarrass him because I “talk to people that I do not know.” I plan on continuing that tradition by walking up to people I do not know, finding out about them, then asking for them to serve PPS.
I hoped for years that someone would ask me to serve, and I am writing this statement because someone finally did. If I am elected to serve, I will find you as well and ask you to serve as well.
I think the most critical issue we face at PPS is the real danger of never getting good people’s ideas, energies, and efforts in promoting and expanding what PTs can do to help the public. How many times have you read about someone (not a PT) who is addressing a health need of the consumer, muttering to yourself, “We should be doing that”?
That is the kind of thinking that will result in no profession of physical therapy in our lifetime. It is time we challenge our own limiting beliefs and create our own future.
I will actively seek out those of you on the leading edge of innovation and do my best to get you to be part of the solution.