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Congratulations to our 2018 Award Winners!

Friday, March 2, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Katie Maher
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The 2018 awards were presented on Friday, Feb. 23 at CSM 2018 at the HPA The Catalyst Annual Business Meeting in New Orleans, LA. Learn about our winners below, congratulations! 

2018 Outstanding Service Award: 
Kerry Wood, PT, DPT

Kerry Wood is the former Director of Clinical Education/Director of PT Student Affairs for a developing DPT program.  When the college determined they were not going to continue to develop the program, Kerry returned to her roots serving as a per diem physical therapist in the Acute Care and Inpatient Rehabilitation settings at University of Vermont Medical Center.

Kerry spent more than 25 years in management for the Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation Center of the University of Vermont Medical Center, and serving as an adjunct professor at Simmons College and the University of Vermont; Rehabilitation and Movement Sciences prior to her position at the developing DPT program. Kerry has been involved with HPA The Catalyst and APTA in various capacities, including Vice President of HPA, serving on various task forces, LAMP faculty member, committee member and board member.

She loves patient care, sharing this life journey with her best friend and husband, Richard Wood, time with family and friends, and being “Mimi” to her grandchildren. Kerry’s passion for global health and social responsibility are fueled by learning and sharing of her Native American Abenaki heritage and she spends her free time making traditional Abenaki Baskets.

2018 R. Charles Harker Award: 
Eva Norman, PT, DPT, CEEAA

Dr. Eva Norman, PT, DPT, CEEAA, is a physical therapist due to a life changing event where she truly believes that physical therapy saved her life. Her desire to give back to the profession she loves deeply and her frustrations with the current health care system spending millions of dollars treating preventable diseases led her to create Live Your Life Physical Therapy in 2015. Her cash-based business is focused on bringing prevention, wellness and health promotion through an interprofessional team to the home and community throughout the MN Twin Cities metro.

Dr. Norman’s passion for health policy and advocacy related to prevention and health promotion led her to serve on the MN Physical Therapy Association’s State Government Affairs Direct Access Task Force where she grew the grassroots to cover almost every district in the state. She also helped organize the first PT Legislative Day in St. Paul, MN. Both of which led to legislation passing to improve access to physical therapy.

Her passion continued on to Federal Government Affairs, where she has served as a Federal Key Contact since 2003 and Federal Affairs Liaison for MN since 2007. She has worked tirelessly to develop relationships with key members of Congress which have led to her Congressman who is on the House Health Ways & Means subcommittee becoming the lead sponsor for the APTA’s Medicare Direct Access bill and Medicare Therapy Cap bill. Her strong desire to get federal legislation passed fueled her fire to join the PT PAC, who is the sole fundraising arm of the association to help influence and access legislators to champion physical therapy legislative issues at the federal level. Today, she chairs this million-dollar PAC and you will find her in a red coat asking for $20 from every member so that we can become the largest healthcare PAC in the country and have influence like no other profession.

2018 LAMPLighter Award: 
Amy Lafko, PT

Amy Lafko's path has been varied but she has always strived to demonstrate qualities of leadership regardless of role. Amy received her BS in Clinical Science and then MSPT at Ithaca College. She began her PT career at the University of MD, Shock Trauma Center (Baltimore) and progressed to a Director of Rehabilitation at Levindale, where she shed light on the broad scope of therapy services. This included increased wound care services, the first Acute Rehab pulmonary inpatient rehab program in the state of MD and a low-level brain injury program on the LTAC unit. After several years as a traveling therapist to places as varied as California, Hawaii and Colorado, Amy returned to Pennsylvania to become the Director of Clinical Operations-Rehab at WellSpan Health.  

While at WellSpan Amy provided leadership support for a Level-1 Trauma hospital, as well WellSpan's large Home Care Agency, which received HomeCare Elite status. During this time, Amy completed her MBA at Loyola University of MD and then became associate faculty for Loyola. In 2016, Amy challenged herself to move beyond rehab and became the Operations Administrator for WellSpan's Urgent Care facilities. While at WellSpan, Amy became involved with HPA The Catalyst’s LAMP Leadership program as a participant in 2011. Starting in 2012 she joined the faculty and in 2016 became the Chair of the LAMP Leadership Committee.

Amy is in transition again, having launched her own consulting company called Cairn Consulting Solutions. Amy will be consulting on organizational effectiveness with a focus on employee engagement, professional development and supporting people through the entire lifecycle of an employee. 

2018 Dr. Ronnie Leavitt Award for Leadership in the Promotion of Social Responsibility in Physical Therapy:
Denise English, PT

Denise English, PT, is a University of Pittsburgh graduate who believes she spent her early career preparing for the mid-career opportunities that would change the focus of her work.

In 1996, while enjoying clinical practice as a generalist, she presented on Lamaze childbirth education techniques, as part of a women’s health exchange, in Moscow, Russia, and volunteered in a clinic for the underserved in Pittsburgh. In 1998 she traveled to rural Haiti and became convinced of the benefits that training of basic rehabilitation workers would bring - while facilitating and awaiting the eventual presence of young Haitian physical therapists to guide the development of the rehabilitation system in their own country.

Since 2001, Denise has been volunteering with Health Volunteers Overseas in Haiti as a project director for rehabilitation related educational projects at the national and provincial level. The most recent is a collaboration with the Société Haïtienne de Physiothérapie.

HPA The Catalyst Technology and Innovation Award:
Daniel Vreeman, PT, DPT, MSc

Dr. Daniel Vreeman is an Associate Research Professor and the Regenstrief-McDonald Scholar in Data Standards at the Indiana University School of Medicine. He is also a Research Scientist and the Director, LOINC and Health Data Standards at the Regenstrief Center for Biomedical Informatics. Dr. Vreeman’s primary research focus is on the role of standardized clinical vocabularies and standards to support electronic health information exchange. He leads the development of LOINC, a freely available international standard for identifying health measurements, observations, and documents. Today, LOINC has more than 58,000 registered users from 170 countries and it has been translated into 18 variants of 12 languages. More than 30 countries have adopted LOINC as a national standard. Dr. Vreeman also provides leadership to the terminology services that underpin the Indiana Network for Patient Care, the nation’s largest inter-organizational clinical data repository with more than 10 billion clinical data elements. He is the author of the book LOINC Essentials: A step-by-step guide for getting your local codes mapped to LOINC. Dr. Vreeman also teaches medical informatics at Indiana University.

Dr. Vreeman's innovative work in informatics has been recognized with many honors. In 2017, Dr. Vreeman was elected as a fellow to the American College of Medical Informatics, which is the honorary college of elected informatics fellows from around the world who have made significant and sustained contributions to the field of medical informatics and who have met rigorous scholarly scrutiny by their peers. In 2017 he was also awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from Duke University Physical Therapy Alumni Association. The Indianapolis Business Journal selected him for the 2015 Forty Under 40 list. He was the senior author on a paper about the urgent need for competencies in biomedical informatics within physical therapy education that was published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Education. This paper earned the 2010 Stanford Award from the Education Section of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), given to the paper with the most influential ideas for physical therapist education.

Dr. Vreeman has been a long-time member of the American Physical Therapy Association, and active in the Section on Health Policy and Administration since 2000. From 2007 to 2013 he served as the President of the Technology Special Interest Group of the APTA HPA The Catalyst section. He is also a member of the American Medical Informatics Association, the American College of Medical Informatics, and Health Level Seven International.

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