Nominating Committee Slate of Candidates for 2017 Elections


Notice of Nomination

The Nominating Committee recommends the following slate for the Board’s consideration for the PPS 2017 Election.

Posted for your consideration is the slate of candidates unanimously selected and approved by the Nominating Committee for the PPS 2017 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 Section.

Voting will take place at the 2017 Annual Conference & Exhibition in Chicago, Illinois.

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

Candidate for President


Sandra (Sandy) Norby, PT, DPT

2017 Candidate – President

Sandra Norby, PT, DPT, is CEO and cofounder of HomeTown Physical Therapy, LLC. She received her BS in Athletic Training and master’s of physical therapy from the University of Iowa and her doctorate of physical therapy from the University of Montana–Missoula. Sandra is married to Kim Norby, CFO and cofounder of HTPT, LLC. They have five grown children and four grandchildren. They split their time between their homes in Des Moines and Arnolds Park, Iowa.

Candidate Statement:
HomeTown Physical Therapy (HTPT) was founded in 2005 with its first location in Le Mars, Iowa. We have expanded our footprint to six locations: four startups, two acquisitions, and own two of our buildings. Our strategic goal is to expand to 15 clinics in the next 10 years. HTPT is also a management services company that provides administrative, compliance, human resources, financial management, and IT services to our team of clinics. This is my primary role. HTPT offers a variety of management, leadership, and ownership opportunities for therapists to grow and expand their careers. A major step in my ability to achieve our growth and mentorship strategy was to retire from patient care, which I did in June of this year.

I have served two terms as Director on the PPS Board of Directors (2010–2016). I was the At-Large member of the Executive Committee in 2012 and 2016.

I am currently a board director for the Institute of Private Practice Physical Therapy.

My pathway to leadership in the Private Practice Section started with my involvement in the Iowa Chapter as Chair of the Payment Policy Committee. I served on the PPS Payment Policy Committee, which I subsequently chaired prior to my election to the Board of Directors. I was recognized as a certified coding trainer by APTA and participated in focus groups for coding change initiatives.

I am honored to be a past member of APTA’s Public Policy and Advocacy Committee, which led me to another passion for advocacy, and I am now a Key Contact for APTA, PPS, and the Iowa Chapter.

I am honored to be the 2017 recipient of APTA’s Federal Advocacy Award and the 2015 recipient of APTA’s Health Policy & Administration’s R. Charles Harker, Esq. Policy Maker Award. I am honored to have lived an experience that became the compelling story for locum tenens and to be able to testify on behalf of physical therapists to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

In addition to government policy, I have served as an Iowa Chapter delegate in APTA’s House of Delegates. I feel strongly that this experience of intricately understanding and participating in how policy of our Association is made, is vital to the level of leadership I am slated to run for. Giving back to our Association and to educational programs continues to be a passion of mine. I have lectured at several PT programs in my region on payment policy and entrepreneurship. Nationally, I have presented on leadership and health information exchange.

In my opinion, there are three critical issues that PPS has to deal with over the next three years.

Payment: There are several avenues for ensuring the right payment for our profession. I support quality initiatives while minimizing administrative burden and truly embrace data as king. Collaboration and innovation is key to success in some markets, while being fiscally mindful will breed success in other markets. With my background in legislative and collaborative ventures, I feel that I am poised to lead our board of directors and PPS to a solution.

Health Care Reform: There are many unknowns and many predictions with the current state of federal and state legislation. Transparency on the topics and education for our members is key in navigating through this period in US health care. I am confident that in partnership with APTA, members will be able to navigate and plan as long as education is easily available and understood.

Membership: PPS membership has been a vital ingredient to my professional success. Bringing our message to all PT business owners and asking them to not only join but to passionately contribute is key. My gift in building relationships will foster the baton handoff from our veteran leaders to the emerging leaders. Bringing institutional knowledge, historical perspective, and futuristic thought to PPS will ensure success for all of us.

Candidates for Vice President


Daniel (Dan) Mills, PT

2017 Candidate – Vice President

Dan Mills, PT, currently serves as Vice President of the Private Practice Section. He is the sole owner of Performance Rehab Clinics, a multisite, PT-owned, outpatient PT business in Salt Lake City. His practice focus is general orthopedics and occupational medicine. He is passionate about Ironman triathlons, backcountry skiing, fly-fishing, and family. He just completed his tenth humanitarian trip to Africa and his third full Ironman. He has served on APTA committees including Finance and CSM Review (on behalf of PPS). He has also served as PPS Treasurer.

Candidate Statement:
I am the sole owner of Performance Rehab Clinics in Salt Lake City, Utah. I have been the owner of a PT-owned business for 17 years. I currently treat patients 20-30 hours a week.

I served on the PPS Board of Directors as the Treasurer and now Vice President. As Vice President I was involved in the hiring of our current Executive Director, providing guidance to the Annual Conference Program Workgroup, and guiding the annual review of the PPS strategic plan. During my time on the Board, our financial strength has progressed to among the healthiest of nonprofits. Member benefits have expanded. A lobbyist has been hired. Metrics for measuring financial stability have been developed. Two new committees have been developed and funded to enhance PR and marketing and to provide state-of-the-art educational resources for private practitioners. Funding for local battles that have national implications has been expanded in the areas of Payment Policy and Legislative Action. The quality and experience at PPS Annual Conference have been improved. I oversaw the negotiation of two separate management contracts with APTA to the financial benefit of PPS. These experiences have given me an exceptional vantage point. I believe my vision of the future, tied with my understanding of the financial realities of PPS, uniquely qualify me.

I was recently a member of the APTA Finance Committee. During this time, the analysis of the APTA buildings took place. I had a unique opportunity to interface with some of the stakeholders about the future of APTA’s space. With APTA’s plan to build a new headquarters, I’m uniquely qualified to provide context and insight as to PPS’s placement and role on that new campus. I have represented PPS on the CSM Review Committee that determines the future of that meeting. This includes advocating for current and future PPS members and their interests in this meeting. I currently represent Utah in the APTA House of Delegates. I sit on the board of a charitable organization that has provided 600,000 wheelchairs in the developing world. I have shepherded the process of implementing the World Health Organization (WHO) Wheelchair Training for wheelchair programs within this organization. I have assisted in curriculum development and assisted the WHO implementation process of this new curriculum. I have also pushed for a PT evaluation for every wheelchair recipient served by these organizations.

In the transition to a new PPS President, I provide significant institutional memory and continuity. This will be my last term on the PPS Board. I intend to strengthen the recent legacy of fiscal strength.

PPS must ensure the growth of private practice. This includes providing our members with tools needed to adapt to a changing marketplace. The next issue is to help consumers realize that their private practice physical therapist is their best, underutilized resource.

During my tenure on the Board, PPS has gained an unprecedented voice in the political arena. This voice needs to expand, especially in light of the ever-changing political landscape regarding health care regulation at the national level.

We must demonstrate why we belong at the table when determining the future of health care both in terms of policy and legislative action. These efforts must expand on the state and federal level. I believe I am the best-qualified candidate to lead this effort.


Angela Wilson Pennisi, PT, MS

2017 Candidate – Vice President

Angela Wilson Pennisi has been a practicing physical therapist for the past 20 years, graduating from Columbia University in 1997, and is a board-certified clinical orthopedic specialist. She has been the sole owner of PhysioPartners in Chicago, Illinois, since 2000, a business that has grown to two locations with 15 staff members and associates. She has been an active legislative advocate for physical therapy on the state and federal level and works to continually recruit others to engage in the promotion and advancement of the physical therapy profession. She lives outside of Chicago in Evanston, Illinois, with her husband and children, enjoying yoga, cycling, paddleboarding, and sailing in her leisure time.

Candidate Statement:
Serving as your Treasurer over the past three years has been an honor, and I thank you for your consideration in the upcoming election. I am committed and determined to further your success as a physical therapist in business if you elect me as PPS Vice President.

I have been the sole owner of a private practice for the past 17 years, founding my clinic in Chicago only three years after graduation. Through the knowledge and skills that I gained through involvement with PPS, I grew from a new solo practitioner to the sole owner of two clinics, employing five other physical therapists and supporting the independent practice of four other associates. I have carefully crafted a clinic environment that promotes clinician autonomy and innovation, mentoring several staff members to achieve board certification, and supporting of each of them in reaching their highest possible standard of practice and personal development.

I am well qualified to serve as your Vice President through my history of service to PPS and the profession. As your Treasurer, I have worked to streamline the budget process and revised the presentation of financial information to enhance clarity for the Board of Directors. I have improved transparency and communication with PPS’s many active committees, empowering them with the financial information they need to generate the most member benefit from their work. After years of triple-digit surpluses, PPS’s investment in member benefits, advocacy, and payment initiatives is now more commensurate with its revenues.

Prior to my work as Treasurer, I served on the Editorial Board for Impact magazine for four years and as Managing Editor from 2012 to 2014, overseeing the rebranding of the magazine and launching of the Impact microsite. The magazine enjoyed double-digit growth during that time, and Impact magazine continues to be cited as a top benefit enjoyed by PPS members. On the state level, I have served as president of our Private Practice Group in Illinois and remain an active Key Contact for Illinois Representative Jan Schakowsky.

With my experiences volunteering in multiple roles, I am confident that my skills and abilities now will best serve the section as Vice President. In January, PPS will set a new strategic plan for the next three years, and I will advocate for a bold path forward that will measurably increase the influence of our members and the profession with payers, legislators, and patients. PPS must further invest in data-driven tools to understand the needs of our members, demonstrate the value of physical therapy to payers and patients, and provide PPS staff and volunteers with the technology and resources to maximize the use of their time and talents.

I am confident that PPS will continue to serve the needs of the budding entrepreneur with investments in world-class education and leadership development opportunities for our members. By building on our influence with payers, legislators, and the public, PPS has a unique opportunity to assertively advocate for and advance the position of physical therapy in society. Advancing the profession on both these fronts simultaneously will take the vision, focus, and leadership that I have demonstrated through every contribution I have made to PPS to date. I respectfully and appreciatively ask for your vote this November.

Candidates for Director


William (Bill) Pfister, PT

2017 Candidate – Director

Bill Pfister Jr., PT, is one of eight partners in RET Physical Therapy, a group of independent, 100 percent physical therapist–owned practices with 23 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 of the Private Practice Section (PPS). I am honored to be considered for this position for the second year in a row. I have been a physical therapist for 13 years. My experience and passion have always been in promoting the profession of physical therapy in private practice. I believe serving as PPS Director will be the perfect opportunity for me to blend my innovative and entrepreneurial spirit to help further our goals for our profession and for PPS.

I began my journey 12 years ago when I became clinic director of a struggling practice in 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, I was able to right the ship in four short years and bring it to a top-performing clinic of the 23 clinics we now have in our practice. We have grown successfully through innovation, hiring great clinicians, collaborating with other health care professionals, and providing effective staff development. I am fortunate to have supportive partners who understand the value of PPS to our profession and support my involvement in leadership within PPS.

My prior experience growing an individual private practice and now being responsible for growing a multipractice physical therapy business has forged a unique perspective in understanding the challenges that face both large and small private practices. It is because of these experiences I feel qualified to represent our PPS membership in the pursuit of keeping both small and large private practices healthy, viable, profitable, and 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.

For the last three years, I have served as the Assistant Managing Editor of our PPS Impact magazine. I have also served on the Impact Editorial Board, and contributed as an author. By serving in these capacities, I have met many innovative physical therapists and owners who are willing to share with our members ways to improve, innovate, and thrive in private practice. More importantly, I have had the opportunity to develop 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 of Care, Payment Reform, and Population Health via the Triple Aim are critical issues facing our profession today. I see each of these areas as an opportunity for our profession to improve the way we do business. Balancing the patient and payer expectations of quality of care are both areas that are forcing new business strategies to emerge. Regarding payment reform, CPT code re-valuation, ACOs, and third-party administrators are creating uncertainty on the future of reimbursement. We have been charged with the responsibility of population health and are the best equipped to provide it, but the public at large is unaware of what physical therapists do and how we can help them.

Without continued persistent engagement from PPS, we may not successfully capitalize on these opportunities. 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.

If elected to the Board, I plan to be a visionary member and passionate advocate to help our profession address these challenges and other mission-critical objectives. I intend to be a catalyst of change, working diligently to move our profession and businesses forward.

It would be an honor to serve on the PPS Board. Thank you for considering my nomination.


Brett Roberts, PT, DPT

2017 Candidate – Director

Brett Roberts, PT, DPT, is the owner of Roberts Physical Therapy and Inertia Solutions, an integrative wellness company. He is a founding member of Wisconsin’s Private Practice Special Interest Group and has served as director (2011–2015) and legislative chair (2006–present) for the Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association. At the national level, Dr. Roberts served on the PPS Innovative Business Model Task Force in 2015 and gave a “What I Believe” talk at the Graham Sessions in 2014.

Candidate Statement:
Knowledge is power. —Sir Francis Bacon

I’d like to thank the nominating committee for putting me in a position to help steer our profession toward tomorrow’s opportunities. Throughout my life I’ve been fortunate to have many mentors who have helped create the ideal laboratory to succeed, fail, recalibrate, and retry. I’ve met many of these mentors through the Private Practice Section’s various networking opportunities and educational venues. As the sole owner of a small practice, I understand the role of PPS in providing a life raft to those owners who may feel adrift.

Roberts Physical Therapy opened its doors in March 2006 and has evolved to include five practice locations. With support of staff and colleagues I’ve been fortunate to be able to shift away from patient care to focus on setting our corporate strategy and culture. Our aim is to have all clinicians residency trained, board certified, and business savvy.

I’m excited about the future of private practice and the various ways we will be able to capitalize on opportunities ahead. In order to truly rise up and seize these possibilities, we need to make sure we use our greatest weapon—knowledge—to our advantage.

If elected as Director, I will work to ensure we continue to advance the collective knowledge base of our members. There are three main areas that PPS must address over the next three years.

Analytics: There has been a growing trend over the last several years to focus on collecting outcome data on our treatment approaches. While I commend those who have pushed this analytics train down the tracks, I feel it has been too narrowly focused on clinical data. Other data gaps include employee engagement, health care purchasing, and demographic trends. Access to this data and understanding how to use it can help us improve our collective strategic decision making. We need resources, tools, and education to help us use data to identify risk, make decisions, and seize opportunities.

If elected, I will help to guide efforts to develop PPS’s analytical strategies. Over time this “rising tides lifts all boats” approach can help our members thrive in their local markets.

Education: Our profession has always had a superb clinical focus on entry-level training. This has created a void in the basic understanding of business principles. We need to fill this void and improve the business savviness of our future employees and partners. With education and mentoring, our upcoming millennial workforce will progress our profession’s ability to market the value of our services, provide services in an economically viable model, and meet the needs of our customers. This higher level of understanding will improve the ability of practice owners to run their business.

If elected, I will work with PPS to improve collaboration with educational institutions to help develop business-savvy clinicians.

Viability Through Disruption: Tomorrow’s opportunities and threats exist both inside and outside traditional brick and mortar clinics. As consumer purchasing habits change, as the financing of health care changes, and data becomes more accessible, we need to make sure that PPS can meet the complex challenges ahead. Disruptive technologies will profoundly change our profession as we know it. Having a well-thought-out legislative agenda can help us balance potential threats against potential opportunities for growth. One such area includes telemedicine across state lines. Why should an arbitrary state line dictate which patients a qualified physical therapist can assist? Direct access took 56 years to pass in all 50 states. Can we afford a similar drawn-out battle? My legislative experience will help guide PPS’s legislative agenda through potential disruption of our profession.

As Director, I will help ask the challenging questions and won’t be afraid to express alternative ideas that challenge the status quo. Thank you for considering my nomination. Please vote for Brett Roberts, PT, DPT, for Director. I look forward to creating a better tomorrow!

Candidates for Nominating Committee


Julie Ellis, PT

2017 Candidate – Nominating Committee

Julie Ellis, PT, is the founder and co-owner of Center for Physical Rehabilitation (CPR) in Twin Falls, Idaho. CPR is celebrating 30 years of physical therapist–owned practice with two outpatient clinics and numerous specialty programs including general outpatient, Certified Hand Specialist, women’s health, vestibular/concussion rehab, prosthetics, industrial, and wellness programs. Julie has been a clinical educator for 30 years and received the Idaho Award for Clinical Instructor of the Year in 2007. Julie is a Pilates and yoga instructor and a BrainyEX-certified health coach. She has been active in APTA/PPS as a Board member and on several committees.

Candidate Statement:
I am running for PPS Nominating Committee and would like to provide information about my practice, my experience in PPS leadership, and also discuss some issues that are critical to the business survival of our profession.

I am cofounder and principal owner of Center for Physical Rehabilitation (CPR) located in Twin Falls, Idaho. We have two traditional PT clinics, onsite PT at local industries, a medically oriented gym as well as separate wellness programs. In addition to treating patients 30 hours per week, I am responsible for DPT staff development. I am Clinical Coordinator for internships with universities and also perform daily administrative duties related to keeping our practice financially healthy.

My clinic celebrated 30 years of practice in April 2017. My biggest passion is treating patients. My biggest frustration is the increasing administrative burden to keep financial stability in our practice. I am very concerned about the high copays that are placed on our insurance subscribers, which cause us to alter our plan of care based on their ability to fund a copay.

My PPS and APTA experience is broad. I am past Idaho Chapter President and have participated in several House of Delegate debates. I served on the PPS Board of Directors from 2003 to 2014. In my 11 years on the PPS Board, I served as Secretary and as a Board member. I have attended a total of 20 PPS Conferences and have met a wide variety of PT leaders from every state in the US. I also have good relationships with many of our educators from universities across the nation. I have personal connections with many of the new DPT professionals and new graduates due to our clinical education program. I believe the fact that I have great connections across the nation will add strength to the members of the Nominating Committee.

Several years ago at Graham Sessions we took the Clifton StrengthsFinder, and my top strengths were Strategic, Learner, Futuristic, Positivity, and Woo. I feel these strengths will add to the Nominating Committee.

Our profession is at an exciting time, but we face many critical issues that challenge a practice’s ability to stay financially sound. We will need a strong leadership that is nimble enough to move quickly as health care legislation changes. Important issues I feel we need to address this year include legislation to help our Medicare beneficiaries and also addressing increasing student loan debt.

Thank you for considering me as a Nominating Committee member.


Karen Litzy, PT, DPT

2017 Candidate – Nominating Committee

Dr. Karen Litzy graduated with her MS in physical therapy from Misericordia University and then with a DPT in December of 2014 from Misericordia. She is currently the owner of Karen Litzy Physical Therapy, PLLC, a concierge physical therapy practice in New York City. She consults with PT colleagues on how to start and maintain an out-of-network PT practice and is also the host of the world-renowned “Healthy Wealthy & Smart” podcast.

Candidate Statement:
I am the owner of Karen Litzy Physical Therapy, a concierge practice in New York City where I treat my clients in their homes, gyms, or offices. As the sole owner, I am responsible for everything from scheduling client appointments, marketing, maintaining a successful online presence, executing strategic social media campaigns, and expansion plans. Most importantly, though, I am responsible for treating patients for an average of 30 visits a week.

Additionally, I have expanded my business to include the “Healthy Wealthy & Smart” podcast. I have recently added a new series to the podcast called the “Physical Therapy Side Hustle.” My vision with this podcast series is to inspire, educate, and empower those looking to become physical therapy entrepreneurs. As the host of the podcast I am responsible for overseeing a virtual team, conducting all of the interviews, booking guests, and doing all of the necessary research for each episode.

Last year I organized the Women in PT Summit (WIPT), which was an instant success. Curating that summit was a huge learning experience and taught me to multitask, manage many moving parts, improvise, and execute a live event from conception to completion.

I joined the Private Practice Section (PPS) over three years ago to be more involved with my fellow physical therapy entrepreneurs and to take advantage of all of the resources PPS has to offer. Since joining PPS, I have attended an annual meeting, which helped to forge many positive relationships with business owners from across the country. I had the opportunity to see how others are running their businesses and learned and grew through those relationships.

Last year, I was proud to represent PPS, along with Robert Snow, at the APTA National Student Conclave. We spoke at two sessions that generated so much interest we spoke for 3 hours in each session.

My experience working with PPS has been nothing but positive, and I would like to bring that energy with me as part of the Nominating Committee. My experience of starting a unique business model, engaging and learning from business professionals inside and outside of the physical therapy profession, and my ability to engage people on both a global and individual level will be a huge asset to PPS and the nominating committee.

I also consider myself to be a “super connector.” I give the podcast a lot of credit for this, as I have been fortunate enough to meet so many great people. In the age of social media and fast-moving lifestyles, we sometimes forget that having real-life conversations are invaluable to our growth as people and business owners. Being able to connect with another person is a special gift and I intend to bring that ability with me to the nominating committee.

In my opinion, these are the most critical issues facing the PPS over the next three years.

Payment: With the state of the health care system in flux at the moment, it is critical as a member of PPS to stay abreast of the current payment systems for all physical therapy private businesses and the various scenarios that may affect these businesses in the future. My role in this issue would be to make sure that we vet and nominate the right people with sufficient knowledge in the payment arena to ensure that the voices of our members are heard in a simple but powerful way. I would also advocate at the state and federal level with lawmakers to ensure our voices are heard.

Greater Diversity: Diversity is more often than not a positive force in businesses and communities. So it stands to reason that diversity of physical therapy business models and business owners will only strengthen PPS. Being able to learn from people with different backgrounds will not only make PPS stronger but will leave a positive impact on the physical therapy profession. This will only increase our membership, as it will be thought of as progressive, diverse, and inclusive. As part of the Nominating Committee I will work to seek out new, fresh ideas and business owners to add to an already strong membership base.

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