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Advanced Competency in Home Health Faculty
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Meet the authors and faculty for Advanced Competency in Home Health.

 Melissa Bednarek Photo Melissa Bednarek, PT, DPT, PhD, Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy, received her Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Biology and Psychology from St. Bonaventure University, followed by a Master of Physical Therapy from MCP Hahnemann University. Following four years of acute care experience, she returned to graduate school to complete a PhD in Physiology at Virginia Commonwealth University. Upon completion in 2009, she joined the faculty in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA, where she is currently an Associate Professor. Dr. Bednarek teaches exercise physiology, cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy and the pharmacology thread in the curriculum. To enhance her teaching, she has continued to practice in outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation and home health and became a Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy in 2014.
 Christine Childers Photo Christine Childers, PT, MS, Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Geriatric Physical Therapy, received her Bachelor’s degree in Physiotherapy from the University of East Anglia, England. In 1998 she moved, with her husband then serving in the USAF, to Utah where she became licensed to practice in the US. During their 8 years in SLC, Utah Chris practiced in the skilled nursing arena and in 2005 she gained her MS in Gerontology from the University of Utah the same year she became a board certified Geriatric Clinical Specialist. In 2006 she moved to California, again working in the skilled nursing arena until she transitioned into the academic setting in 2012, working as an assistant professor for the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. Teaching full time she maintains her clinical skills through home health visits. Chris is currently serving on the Geriatric specialty council of the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialist, is a content expert for the specialty examination and is working on her PhD in Health Psychology from Walden University.
 Nancy Donovan Photo Nancy C. Donovan, Ph.D, PT received a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts in 1985 in the discipline of Exercise Science, with a specialization in Motor Control. She has been a professor at Miami University of Ohio, The University of Illinois and in the Department of Physical Therapy at The University of New England. She has worked as an outpatient therapist at an independent clinic and in the inpatient and outpatient departments in two hospitals. Currently, she is a Home Care Physical Therapist for Androscoggin Home Health and Hospice in Maine. Nancy served as the Director of Research for the Section on Women’s Health for six years, and as Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy for 13 years. Nancy provided pro bono physical therapy at a free health clinic for 13 years. In February 2017 she received the Elizabeth Noble Award from the Section on Women’s Health. The award is the highest honor given by the Section on Women’s Health and is given to individuals who have provided extraordinary and exemplary service to the Section on Women’s Health. During her free time Nancy enjoys kayaking, bicycling, hiking, cross-country skiing, gardening, and establishing bird and butterfly habitats at her home in Bridgton, Maine.
 Arlynn Hansell Photo Arlynn Hansell, PT, Home Care Coding Specialist – Diagnosis, Home Care Clinical Specialist – OASIS, Certificate for OASIS Specialist-Clinical has been a physical therapist in the home health setting since October 1998, holding positions of field therapist, rehab manager, and quality/compliance assurance. She currently owns Therapy and More, LLC, a company which assists agencies in achieving therapy documentation and practice excellence in order to better position themselves against auditors. In addition, she provides OASIS auditing, ICD-10 coding for home health and hospice, and end of episode quality reviews.
 Francine Hepler Photo Francine B Hepler, PT, MS is a physical therapist for 34 years with 25 years of experience in home health care. Other areas of special interest include geriatrics, education and clinical instruction. Francine earned a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy in 1983 and an Advanced Master of Science in Physical Therapy Education in 1991. She will graduate with a DPT in May 2017 and is on course to attain her specialist certification in geriatrics in March 2017. She has extensive experience in the educational setting and was responsible for the development of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Delaware Technical Community College. In addition to coordinating the PTA program she was a primary Faculty Member, student mentor, Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education, and Clinical Instructor.
 Diane Huss Photo Diane Huss, PT, DPT has been a Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Neurologic Physical Therapy since 1997. She received her B.S. in PT from the University of North Dakota, a Master’s Degree in Adult Fitness with a minor in Higher Education from James Madison University in Virginia, and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Montana. Dr. Huss established the rehabilitation services program and was the Rehabilitation Manager for Continuum Home Health Care, the University of Virginia’s home care agency for 18 years and is now providing direct services in patients’ homes. For the past 14 years she has also served as the physical therapist consultant with the functional neurosurgery team that performs implants and management for Deep Brain Stimulation and MR Guided, Focused Ultrasound for Movement Disorders at UVA. She is the physical therapist consultant for the Neurology Department’s Movement Disorders Program, supporting complex patient care, telemedicine, and education and research activities; co-authoring several publications with these teams.
 Mary Marchetti Photo Mary T. Marchetti, PT, PhD, Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Geriatric Physical Therapy, has been a physical therapist since 1992, and a GCS since 2002. She earned her B.S. in Physical Education/Adapted Physical Education from Bridgewater State College (Bridgewater, MA) in 1989, and then received a B.S. in Physical Therapy (1992), M.S. in Physical Therapy/Neuromuscular Focus (1998), and Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Sciences (2014), all from the University of Pittsburgh, Oakland, PA. As a faculty member at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA since 1995, Dr. Marchetti has taught in a variety of courses. Currently, she teaches Psychology of Illness and Disability, basic Examination Methods, and Special Topics in Geriatrics, as well as contributing to the neuromuscular sequence and various other courses. Dr. Marchetti began working in inpatient acute rehabilitation, then in skilled nursing, and acute care/ICU. She has worked in home health since approximately 2000. Her research interests include developing educational programs for staff in personal care homes and assisted living facilities, and balance in older adults with cognitive dysfunction. She has presented at various local and national conferences.
 Photo Unavailable Steve Noveshen, PT, MPT, Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy is a licensed physical therapist, an Orthopedic Certified Specialist and an APTA Certified Instructor with extensive clinical experience. Mr. Noveshen is currently a practicing clinician at Providence Health and Services in Portland, Oregon in the sports physical therapy setting. Previously, he worked at the University of California, San Francisco outpatient faculty practice as well as private outpatient practices in San Francisco, Concord, and New York City. Mr. Noveshen has treated a wide range of various orthopedic, neurological and geriatric conditions and has worked with numerous MMA athletes, collegiate baseball, basketball and former professional football players. Mr. Noveshen went through a hands-on year-long course focused on Maitland techniques and theories, a specialized Australian manual therapy approach to treatment. He currently treats full-time and serves as a clinical instructor for local physical therapy students. Mr. Noveshen has presented at the University of California, San Francisco Orthopedic Seminar on functional testing to return to sport for upper extremity injuries. He graduated from the University of Arizona with his BS in Physiological Sciences and earned his master's degree in physical therapy from California State University, Long Beach.
 Nick Panaro Photo Nicholas J Panaro, PT, DPT, Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Geriatric Physical Therapy, has been a licensed Physical therapist since 2003 upon graduation from Saint Francis University in Loretto, PA with a Masters in Physical Therapy. In December 2015 He completed his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Temple University. Dr Panaro has been practicing in Home Health for 10 years as an employee of UPMC Home Nursing Agency. As a home health physical therapist, he has been active in Same Day Joint Replacement Protocol initiated by his Agency as well as participated in data collection for CMS CJR program since 2014. Dr Panaro also has advanced certifications as both a Performance Enhancement Specialist (PES) and Senior Fitness Specialist( SFS) from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). In 2004, he co-founded Sports Evolution, LLC providing performance enhancement programming for young athletes ages 8 and up using evidence based training techniques and program design while emphasizing proper movement patterns and injury prevention.
 Donald Shaw Photo Donald K. Shaw, PT, PhD, D.Min., Fellow of the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, is a Professor in the Physical Therapy Program at Franklin Pierce University - Arizona Campus. Prior to his present position, Dr. Shaw was a Professor of Physical Therapy at Nova Southeastern University and at Midwestern University. In 2002, he joined the physical therapy faculty at Texas State University and developed their Telehealth Program. His academic career began at East Carolina University where he was an Associate Professor in the Physical Therapy Department. Clinically, he served as Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation at Saint Thomas Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee and as Adjunct Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Shaw is a Fellow and former national board member of the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. He has lectured and presented research in Argentina, Scotland, Ireland, the Peoples Republic of China, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and throughout the United States. His published work appears widely in medical journals including the Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, Respiratory Care, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Journal, Heart and Lung, Journal of Allied Health, and the American Journal of Cardiology. He has received both university teaching and scholarship awards.
 Photo Unavailable Sara Ruhlman, PT, Certified Lymphedema Therapist, graduated from Russell Sage College in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy. She began practicing in the Outpatient/Sports Medicine setting for the first 16 years of her career. She became a Certified Lymphedema Therapist (LeDuc Method) through the Coast-to-Coast School of Lymphedema Management in 1998. At that time, Sara was instrumental in developing, marketing and operating the first Lymphedema treatment center in her region, while employed at Lewis-Gale Medical Center. She was presented with the opportunity to transition into the Home Health setting as a Rehabilitation Director in 2010 and was promoted into the role of the Home Health Administrator at that agency in 2011. Sara is now employed as the Executive Director of the Lynchburg and Bedford, Virginia branches of Gentiva Home Health, an Affiliate of Kindred At Home. As an experienced home health administrator, Sara has gained valuable knowledge of home health regulations and operations. She enjoys mentoring others, building strong interdisciplinary teams, improving processes and developing programs for the benefit of the staff members and the patients and families they serve. Sara has always maintained a strong interest and focus on ethics and compliance during her leadership roles, and has completed a certification in Healthcare Ethics, Law, Management & Policy. She also values the opportunity to volunteer in her community. Sara has guest lectured at Jefferson College of Health Sciences on Vascular Insufficiency and Lymphedema, and is currently the President Elect of the F.R.E.E. Foundation (Foundation of Rehab Equipment and Endowment), in Roanoke, Virginia.
 Shelene Thomas Photo Shelene Thomas, PT, DPT, EdD, Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Geriatric Physical Therapy, is an Assistant Professor in the School of Physical Therapy at Regis University whose main role is mentoring the Clinical Instructor and student through Clinical Education. She also assists in the Management of Applied Physiology course series as it relates to the sub-acute patient in home care. As a P.T. who has worked in the home health field for over a decade, improving the connection between clinic and academics is her passion, which plays out in one way as Chair of the Colorado Clinical Educator’s Forum. Dr. Thomas also continues to practice physical therapy with the Visiting Nurses Association of Denver. She is a graduate from the University of Denver and Creighton University, completing a Bachelor’s of Arts and Doctorate in Physical Therapy degree, respectively. She recently returned to Creighton to complete her Doctorate in Education with an emphasis in Interdisciplinary Leadership. With this degree, she plans to add to current conversations through research about interprofessional education and practice. Dr. Thomas received her Geriatric Specialist credentials in May of 2015 and is a member of APTA, where she is engaged in the Home Health, Geriatrics and Education Sections. She assists the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) by being an on-site reviewer.
 William Walsh Photo William D. Walsh, PT, Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Geriatric Physical Therapy, currently serves as the Co-Director for the Advanced Competency in Home Health program. He is the owner/consultant for Golden Aspen Healthcare Consulting, LLC and continues to provide direct patient at Presbyterian Home Health in Albuquerque, NM. His clinical practice has focused on providing care to the geriatric client across the continuum of care for the over 24 years with the past 12 years of clinical practice in the home health setting. He is Board Certified Specialist in Geriatric Physical Therapy. He holds B.S. in Physical Therapy, a Master of Arts Foundation of Education and a Master of Business Administration. His ongoing clinical education has focused on the assessment and treatment of the frail elder.
 Diane Wrisley Photo Diane M. Wrisley, PhD, PT, Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Neurologic Physical Therapy Emeritus, is an Associate Professor in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Wingate University, is Director of Post-professional Programs and has emeritus status as board certified in Neurologic Physical Therapy. Dr. Wrisley holds a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from the State University of New York at Buffalo, a post-professional master’s degree from Old Dominion University and a PhD in Rehabilitation Science from the University of Pittsburgh. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Balance Disorders Laboratory at the Neurological Sciences Institute of Oregon Health & Sciences University under the mentorship of Dr. Fay Horak and Dr. Robert Perterka. Dr. Wrisley has received pre-doctoral and post-doctoral fellowship grants from the National Institute for Deafness and Communication as well as funding from the Foundation for Physical Therapy. She has over 30 years of clinical experience and has extensive experience in the evaluation and treatment of patients with vestibular and balance deficits and was awarded the APTA Neurology Section’s award for Clinical Excellence in Neurological Physical Therapy in 2002. She is a fellow of ABPTRFE credentialed Educational Leadership Institute and has been a fulltime faculty member for over 12 years. Dr. Wrisley has published numerous research articles and book chapters and presented both nationally and internationally. Her research interests include sensory influences on balance including the role of the cervical afferents on dizziness and balance, the evaluation and treatment of balance disorders, and physical therapy outcomes for people with vestibular and balance dysfunction.
 Sharan Zirges Photo Sharan Zirges, PT, DPT, MSHA, is a physical therapist with 30 years of experience in home health, acute, geriatric, and neurological rehabilitation. Currently she is the program director and assistant professor in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at South University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She completed her Post-professional DPT at A.T. Still University in June 2016. Sharan has lectured, written and researched on fall prevention, fear of falling, and balance rehabilitation both nationally and internationally.

 

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