Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy

American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)

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FASIG Vice President/Education Chair

Mark Erickson, PT, MA, DScPT, OCS

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Candidate Profile
I was fortunate to attend PT school at the University of Wisconsin – LaCrosse when James Gould and George Davies were faculty members. One of the lasting effects from my entry-level education has been my commitment to excellence. I have aimed to uphold a similarly high standard throughout my 36-year career as a clinician and educator, teaching orthopaedic PT at entry, residency, and continuing education levels for 27 years. I earned an advanced masters and advanced clinical doctorate degree, as well as NAIOMPT, Feldenkrais and OCS certifications. I’ve held faculty positions since 1992 and currently teach the foot/ankle case at Florida Gulf Coast University where I hold an Associate Professor position. I have served as a state district Nominating Committee Chair, a representative to the APTA house of delegates, and as a PT program director. Additionally, I’ve always maintained a clinical practice since entering the profession.

Candidate Statement:
I believe our profession and our practice is in jeopardy. Reimbursement for physical therapy services continues to be cut while education costs rise putting our future at risk. We need bold initiatives to advance entry-level education, residency and fellowship training while providing cost-effective, efficient avenues to advance clinicians’ skills. I believe the FASIG is well-positioned to better support meaningful foot and ankle research, educational opportunities, and legislative initiatives. Our SIG, partnering with AOPT leadership and other groups, must lead with an integrated perspective. The strategic plan should be broadened to be more inclusive thereby being more attractive to membership from both internal and external sources leading to growth. I believe we must incorporate education initiatives that create more practitioners with an entrepreneurial mindset and the associated skill set to advance our practice with a goal of elevating us to first-provider provider status in society. I believe if we create excellent practitioners, excellent research, excellent marketing, and excellent lobbying we can become the practitioner of choice consistent with our vision. I believe my desire, talents and lessons learned throughout my 37 years in practice provide me with a unique skill set that will help advance our SIG in sustainable ways.

Jeff Houck, PT, PhD

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Candidate Profile
Dr. Houck completed his physical therapy degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and received a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Iowa. Dr. Houck is presently the Director of Research at George Fox University and is a research scientist at University of Rochester Medical Center. He has treated patients for 32 years including patients in Japan, Africa and the US. Dr. Houck has given several international, national and local presentations related to evidence based practice, clinical biomechanics, patient reported outcomes and primary care physical therapy. His funded research (National Institute of Health and Private Funding) includes clinical outcomes, controlled trials, and lower extremity biomechanics. His focus on foot and ankle has included biomechanics, clinical care, and outcomes. His current research focuses on foot and ankle care, primary care physical therapy, and the biopsychosocial model applied to physical therapy using the patient reported outcomes information measurement system (PROMIS).

Candidate Statement:
It has been my privilege to work with therapist passionate about making a difference in patients with foot and ankle problems the last 3 years as Vice President of FASIG. The energy, commitment, and innovation that is building is exciting and has led to me applying to lead for another term. I am especially excited to 1) see foot and ankle specialty practice evolve, 2) expand collaborations with other foot and ankle societies, and 3) continue to initiate and expand roles for physical therapy students in FASIG. The ongoing collaboration with the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) is an exciting opportunity to work with medical doctors and support staff (e.g. physicians assistants) to advocate and validate models of conservative care and care for pre/postsurgical foot and ankle patients. A specific goal is to expand collaboration with AOFAS at APTA CSM meeting, between FASIG and AOFAS, and hold the a FASIG continuing education seminar that supports foot and ankle specialty practice. Finally, NEW ideas from FASIG members are welcomed. Innovative models of conservative care are needed. The FASIG initiatives should embrace new value based care models and innovative ideas of members. Together we can effectively harness our energy and advance foot and ankle outcomes for patients.

Megan Peach, DPT, OCS, CSCS

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Candidate Profile
I began my career as a physical therapist in 2009 after graduating with a doctorate in physical therapy from Duke University. I completed an orthopaedic manual therapy residency at Kaiser Permanente and shortly thereafter I began my current employment at Excel Physical Therapy in Bozeman, Montana. I currently have my CSCS and OCS certifications and am an active member of both the APTA and Montana chapter of the APTA. Since 2016 I have instructed a variety of coursework at Montana State University as an adjunct professor in the Health and Human Development Department. Clinically, I have focused my practice on the knee, foot, and ankle, running related injuries, and post-operative rehabilitation of the previously mentioned regions. Professional development and outreach include participation in sports medicine journal club, presenting to the community on topics of running injury prevention and common foot and ankle conditions, and presenting on foot pathology and footwear as an assistant instructor for a continuing education course on treating the injured runner.

Candidate Statement:
The future direction and organization of the FASIG is essential to the progression of physical therapists’ understanding of evaluation and treatment of the foot and ankle. This can be achieved by focusing on continuing education, encouraging professional communication, and increasing resources for clinicians. My professional experience in education as well as my passion for continued learning qualifies me as an excellent candidate for Vice President of the FASIG. Ongoing education is an essential part of my growth as a practitioner as evidenced by my history of organizing community education seminars and injury prevention events, managing student physical therapists and serving as a clinical instructor, a current teaching appointment as an adjunct professor, and a recent appointment as an assistant instructor for a continuing education course. Communicating with and establishing relationships with referring providers is also an integral part of my practice treating foot and ankle patients and is a tool that I believe the FASIG can encourage among physical therapists. Communication with physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and podiatrists can improve the continuum of care between physical therapists and referring providers resulting in improved patient experiences. Finally, current and relevant resources must be made available to physical therapists to advance clinical practice, promote growth among practitioners, and to ensure high levels of standards of care. The FASIG is the optimal organization to serve as the primary resource for physical therapists evaluating and treating the foot and ankle. Organizing educational experiences, encouraging communication among professionals, and developing resources are my objectives in applying for Vice President of the FASIG with the primary goal of promoting and providing ongoing opportunities for physical therapists to improve evaluation and treatment of the foot and ankle.

FASIG nominating committee member

Leigh Alexander, PT, DPT

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Candidate Profile
I am a new graduate working in a private outpatient orthopaedic clinic, and I am interested in getting more involved with the APTA. While in school, I attended CSM and most AOPT, PASIG, and FASIG programming in New Orleans and Washington, DC. I was selected as one of fifteen third-year DPT students for the 2019 AOPT Mentorship Program, which allowed my first experience of the APTA on a national level as more than a dues-paying member. The foot/ankle complex is one of my favorites because of its complexity, as well as my long history of injury to the area due to over 24 years of competitive Irish dance so far.

Candidate Statement:
Participating as a member of the Nominating Committee allows increased involvement in a group about which I am passionate with the leadership of more senior members. FASIG is a diverse group of skilled clinicians who care about a complex that was taught to most in school but that makes many PTs, upon seeing a foot or ankle evaluation on their schedule, nervous. When the new editions of JOSPT and PTJ are published, meaningful articles on knees, spines, and hips are common. The effects of the foot and ankle complex on these joints are studied, but the focus and conclusions usually remain with the other joints. To advance the practice of orthopaedic foot and ankle physical therapy and maintain excellence in that area, we must advocate for more practical, mainstream foot and ankle research in PT journals. We must nominate and support candidates who want to not only maintain what has been done so far, but who will continue to push the field to further that mission. To do this, we must consider contributions from outside of traditional research universities and hospitals. FASIG must connect with local clinics, smaller universities, and, most importantly, the patients who rely on our work. As a Nominating Committee member, I will advocate for people who truly want to further the mission of FASIG. As PTs, we must advance our practice; however, our practice is nothing if we cannot benefit the patients it is meant for. Thank you for your consideration!

Ed Jones, PT, DHSc, OCS

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Candidate Profile
I am an Assistant Professor in the Krannert School of Physical Therapy at the University of Indianapolis teaching lower quarter musculoskeletal content in the Physical Therapy programs. I also continue an active clinical practice at Community Health Network in Indianapolis treating a variety of conditions including foot and ankle with orthotic fabrication. My education includes a BS from Indiana State University in 1997, an MS in Physical Therapy in 2002 and Doctorate of Health Sciences in 2015, both from the University of Indianapolis. I have been an ABPTS Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist since 2013. I have published studies using manual therapy for the foot and ankle and presented his research at state, regional, and national meetings. I have served as Nominating Committee Chair for the INAPTA’s central district and currently serve as Vice-Chair for the Indiana Orthopedic and Manual Therapy Special Interest Group.

Candidate Statement:
Having been a practicing clinician for over 15 years, I have appreciated the work that the FASIG has completed. I have been looking for a way to be more involved and contribute to this work. I feel that this position is a good step toward this involvement and a chance to make connections within the profession. My experience as a practicing clinician gives me perspective on the day-to-day life of clinicians. I continue to practice and stay grounded in the experiences and issues that clinicians currently face in treating foot and ankle conditions. I also bring with me an academic perspective as a result in my faculty position at the University of Indianapolis. I teach in the musculoskeletal and manual therapy sequences of our curriculum and have a perspective of the student and faculty. Finally, I have experience in leadership roles, having served on the Nominating Committee for our state APTA chapter, Vice Chair of the Indiana Orthopedic and Manual Therapy Special Interest Group, and serving as faculty advisor for our Student Outreach Clinic (pro-bono). I feel that these experiences and perspectives will help me in this role on the FASIG Nominating Committee – the area of clinical interest that has held my passion throughout my career. I look forward to serving the profession that has provided me so much opportunity and fulfillment if elected.

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