Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy

American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)

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meet the 2020 candidates
2020 Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Election:

Treasurer
Judith Hess, PT, DHS, OCS, CMPT, Cert. DN
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Candidate Profile:
Judy Burton Hess completed her Master of Physical Therapy degree at Duke University and received a Doctor of Health Science from Midwestern University. Dr. Hess has more than 28 years of clinical physical therapy experience, primarily in the outpatient orthopedics, as well as many years as a hospital administrator and academic faculty member. Dr. Hess is certified by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties as an Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist (OSC) and a Certified Manual Physical Therapist (CMPT). She also holds a certificate in dry needling and is a Fellow-In-Training in Orthopaedic Manual Therapy through NAIOMT. Dr. Hess is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, the Academy of Physical Therapy Education and the Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy (AOPT). She served on the AOPT Finance Committee from 2014 to 2020, and has been an East Central District Representative to the Illinois Physical Therapy Association Assembly since 2015.

Candidate Statement:
Throughout my 28-year career as a physical therapist, I have reaped the benefits of professional development, expansion of the physical therapy profession, and changing physical therapy practice patterns. I recognize that many of the changes in physical therapy practice have been the result of the efforts of the APTA and the AOPT. Over the past decade, I have looked for opportunities to give back to the profession of physical therapy. From 2014 to 2020, I have had the pleasure of serving on the AOPT Finance Committee. Throughout this time, I have been exposed to the mission, goals, and activities of the AOPT, and its Board of Directors. As a member of the Finance Committee for the past 6 years, I have gained an understanding of operational and financial requirements of the AOPT. My career path, as a clinician, administrator, and faculty member, have provided me with opportunities to develop skills related to budgeting and financial planning, communication and teamwork, strategic planning, and program/curriculum development. I have a strong desire to continue to serve the AOPT as the treasurer for the next 3 years and look forward to the opportunity to work with other members of the Board of Directors and Committees to achieve the goals of the AOPT.

Director
Beth Collier, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT
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Candidate Profile:
Beth Collier is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at Mercer University. She is a Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic PT and a Fellow of AAOMPT. Currently, she is a Doctoral Candidate at Creighton University in the Interdisciplinary Leadership program. She has experience working in hospital-based, university-based, and private practice outpatient clinics. She also has established research and has published multiple journal articles and book chapters pertaining to orthopaedic PT, clinical reasoning, and leadership. She has served as the Vice President of APTA Georgia for two terms, Board member of the Georgia Foundation for Physical Therapy, and as a member of APTA’s Leadership Development Committee. Beth has also served as the CEO for a non-profit service organization and has participated in multiple international professional collaboration opportunities in Kenya and Guatemala.

Candidate Statement:
A strong professional association, such as AOPT, is imperative to support the initiatives of physical therapists within their communities. My personal mission is to support others so that they may realize their own passions and potential. I desire to serve as an AOPT Director because I believe that this role supports my personal mission and passion and would allow me to support an integral organization, other PTs, and the patients that they serve. As an AOPT Director, I would be afforded the opportunity to collaborate with SIGs, EIGs, and committees to understand the unique contexts of PTs with a diversity of backgrounds and interests. In working to understand the goals and needs of these members, I would also be afforded the opportunity to represent their voices in discussions with the AOPT Board. I believe the upcoming years will present many challenges and opportunities for the AOPT. Many members may be facing financial hardship and a rapidly changing practice landscape in the face of a pandemic. A social movement emphasizing diversity, equity, and inclusion is highlighting the need for organizations to explore their structure and business to identify opportunities to be more inclusive. As an AOPT Director, I will harness my listening skills, authenticity, and creativity to embrace conversations that challenge the status quo to understand the needs of our members and work to progress the Academy. I am excited to strategically work to advance our profession by working side by side with our members to transform our communities.

Director
Jake Magel, PT, PhD, DSc, OCS, FAAOMPT
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Candidate Profile:
I am a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Utah in the Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training and a 20-year member of the Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy. I completed manual therapy fellowship training and received a DSc in Physical Therapy from the US Army-Baylor University Post-professional Doctoral Program in Orthopaedic and Manual Physical Therapy in 2001 and a PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences from the University of Utah in 2015. I am board certified in orthopaedic physical therapy, a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic and Manual Physical Therapists (AAOMPT) and Chair of the AAOMPT Practice Affairs Committee. My research focuses on the management of patients with musculoskeletal conditions and I have presented original research nationally and internationally. I have practice physical therapy for 25 years and mentored students and colleagues for nearly 20 years. I am a 2018 recipient of the AAOMPT Mennell Service Award.

Candidate Statement:
The mission of the Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy (AOPT) is to be a world leader in providing resources to optimize movement and musculoskeletal health, and its related strategic plan aligns with my work, experience and passions. I would like the opportunity to contribute to the AOPT as Director by providing leadership and service in several areas. Research plays a foundational role in AOPT’s mission. We are challenged to continually demonstrate the value of physical therapy (PT). My research focuses on understanding the value of orthopaedic physical therapy practice and I am excited to provide leadership that will help to achieve AOPT’s goal of enhancing payment for services by demonstrating the value of physical therapy. A general lack of public awareness of the benefits of early PT for orthopaedic conditions is an additional ongoing challenge. While research demonstrates the beneficial effects of early PT for conditions such as low back pain, patients consistently consult other provider types when choosing to access healthcare. With this challenge in mind, I will champion AOPT’s goal to position members as experts in managing movement and functional performance. Our educational programming needs to focus on evidence-based guidelines to reduce variability and inappropriate care and to improve outcomes. I teach experienced physical therapists, entry-level DPT and PhD students. I will use this expertise to impact our programming and ensure its alignment with clinical practice guidelines. I look forward to serving and contributing my expertise and energy to AOPT’s Board work.

Director
Derrick Sueki, PT, PhD, DPT, GCPT, OCS, FAAOMPT
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Candidate Profile:
Derrick Sueki is the Program Director of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Azusa Pacific University, the owner of two physical therapy clinics in Southern California, and author of two orthopedic textbooks and multiple publications. Over the past 20 years, he has served in leadership capacities at both the national and local levels. Nationally, he has served as Council member and then as the Chair of the Orthopaedic Specialty Council and currently serves as the Public Relations Chair of the Pain Special Interest Group. He has also represented the APTA and Academy at the Joint Commission Task Force on Non-Pharmacological Management of Opioids, at the Integrative Pain Care Policy Congress, and currently leads workgroups tasked to explore pathways to clinical specialization, residencies, and fellowships in pain. As a researcher, he is a behavioral scientist with his primary area of study in the relationship between memory, learning, and chronic pain.

Candidate Statement:
There have always been challenges in physical therapy, but 2020 has brought on new sets of challenges that are unprecedented in the 100 years that the APTA has existed. Opioids, COVID, and racial inequities have impacted our profession. Prior to the pandemic, the opioid epidemic had taken control of public consciousness and the APTA responded by expanding branding to target our role in pain rehabilitation. But, this left huge holes in implementation and a need to standardize entry-level and post-professional pain education, provide tracks towards specialization, and increase research to support both of these endeavors. Focus shifted in 2020 and during the initial phases of COVID, my clinics experienced a 70% reduction in patient visits. Concurrently, my DPT program was required to bring entire courses online and shift the curriculum to provide clinical opportunities for students. In research, we struggled to find funding sources in an economy with little money and subjects in a world where physical separation was required. Opioids, COVID, and racial inequalities have shifted society but also provided opportunities for growth and change. Physical therapy is at a unique crossroad and I believe it is the Academy’s role to help guide physical therapy through these times. I have helped guide the profession’s response to the Opioid epidemic and now with a first-hand understanding the clinical, educational, and racial challenges faced as a result of current events, I believe I can help shape the Academy’s response to racial inequities and the COVID pandemic as well.

Nominating Committee Member
Jason Tonley, PT DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT
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Candidate Profile:
My name is Jason Tonley, PT DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT. I currently serve as the program coordinator for the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship programs where my primary responsibilities include: coordination, teaching and mentorship within our Orthopaedic Residency, Persistent Pain, Spine and Sports Fellowships as well as patient care. I have previously served as a Finance Committee member, chair of the Residency and Fellowship Education Committee and currently serve as an Abstract reviewer for the AOPT. At the national level, I have served as the chair of the Program Services Council and member of the Program Credentialing Committee for ABPTRFE. At the state level, I currently serve as a Research Committee Member for the CPTA. In addition to the professional services above, I have had the honor to be able to speak at CSM and several state conferences.

Candidate Statement:
I have enjoyed serving on many committee positions at the State, Academy and National levels. I have enjoyed working as part of a collective group. My experience in AOPT leadership positions has shown me first-hand what an innovative leader the Academy is and has been. I believe the achievements of the Academy are a reflection of the passionate volunteers that give so willingly to its growth. Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to have colleagues that saw something in me and helped me grow. This led me to participating in many opportunities to provide service to my community and my profession. These experiences have also inspired me in my career path as a Residency and Fellowship Program coordinator. In my current role, I help to facilitate the development of young professionals to not only provide valuable care to patients but also assist them along their path to serving the profession, in whatever way that inspires them. As an active member in the residency and fellowship circle, I am surrounded and in contact with many like-minded individuals that have a passion to serve. This allows me an unique opportunity to able to connect people to opportunity. By connecting people to opportunity for both our experienced and younger professionals we are effectively mentoring our future leaders to move the Academy forward. Serving in the role as a nominating committee member selfishly allows me to continue my passion to help provide opportunity for others to grow in theirs

Nominating Committee Member
Derek Vraa, PT, DPT
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Candidate Profile:
Dr. Vraa is a co-founder of the USAF Tactical Sports & Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy Fellowship Program where he serves as senior faculty, mentoring fellows and teaching didactic coursework. Prior to moving to Colorado, he spent over a decade treating complex pain patients in private practice. He has lectured/taught at a number of physical therapy schools in the upper Midwest. Derek is a board certified orthopedic clinical specialist, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, certified in dry-needling and completed his Fellowship training in Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy through Regis University in Denver, CO. He has spoken at CSM, AAOMT, the US Air Force Advanced Training Course, has 6 published abstracts, and authored a chapter in the Travell, Simons & Simons Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction 3rd edition textbook. Additionally, Derek serves as the AAOMPT Academic and Clinical Faculty Special Interest Group Vice-President and as an IFOMPT External Auditor for AAOMPT/ACOMPTE.

Candidate Statement:
One issue that I am passionate about is sharing educational resources to other therapists in order to advance the profession. The AOPT functions to serve its members by providing information, support research and works for the advancement of orthopaedic physical therapy practice. The Nominating Committee’s critical role is to seek out a diverse group of candidates that represent all areas of orthopedic practice to have input into the Academy with the intent of promoting the specialty practice across a wide variety of practice environments. The qualities necessary for Nominating Committee members are active involvement in the profession, strong communication skills, and the ability to work collaboratively for common goals. Additionally one must be self-reflective in a leadership role like the Nominative Committee to ensure that objectives and policies benefit all members. I believe I have the qualities necessary to fulfill the role of Nominating Committee. Being an active member in AAOMPT gives me the opportunity to network with multiple candidates. My experience as co-founder and senior faculty of a Fellowship program has given me the skills for creating policies and initiatives within our program that promotes a better educational experience and improved patient care.

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