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News & Press: Recognition

2019 Home Health Section Awards

Monday, January 14, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Robin Childers
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The 2019 Home Health Section Awards will be presented during APTA’s Combined Sections Meeting on Friday, January 25, 2019 at the conclusion of the Home Health Section Business Meeting at approximately 8:00 pm in the Marriott Marquis Liberty Salon J, Washington, DC.

Friends of Home Health Award

Justin Elliott PhotoJustin Elliott has been a part of the APTA team for 17 years having joined the association in January of 2002. He has served as Vice President for Government Affairs since 2015, overseeing APTA’s Congressional, Regulatory, Quality, and State Affairs advocacy efforts. He previously served as the APTA associate director of State Affairs from 2002-2008, and director of state government affairs from 2008-2015.

Prior to joining APTA, he worked at KM Strategies, a government affairs and issue management firm. He was the Communications Director for Supervisor Penny Gross of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and served as a campaign manager on her successful re-election campaign. He also served in the offices of former U.S. Senator Charles Robb and Congressman Tom Davis, both of Virginia.

Justin received his bachelor's degree in Communications and minor in Political Science from Virginia Tech. He is a member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and the Public Affairs Council.

Justin has given his support and expertise to the Government Affairs Committee as he has kept the Home Health Section informed of legislation that would affect home health and our patients. He has been an active participant in the Section’s Government Affairs Committee conference calls and has given freely his advice on items specific to home health. In addition, he is on the monthly teleconference call for the Federal Affairs Liaisons during which he presents issues pertinent to home health in the legislative arena.

Justin is being honored with the Section’s Friends of Home Health Award with recognizes an individual or group who has made an enduring contribution to the home health industry and is an advocate for the profession of physical Therapy.

Excellence in Clinical Practice Award

Tommy Dean PhotoTommy Dean, PT, DPT graduated top of his class as the Academic Excellence Award recipient in both undergraduate and graduate studies at Tennessee State University. Tommy has utilized his Physical Therapist skill set in multiple settings with much of his time in home care. Tommy began his home care career in 2012 as a staff therapist. Since that time Tommy has served multiple roles in the home health industry including Rehab Manager, Administrator, Director of Therapy Services and Vice President of Operations for a Medicare certified home health agency in Tennessee. Tommy is a Certified OASIS Specialist and used his knowledge of home care to lead the development of a program for educating therapists on regulatory requirements that led to a 100% billing accuracy for all therapy claims over the past five years at his previous Home Health agency. He is an active member of the APTA Practice Committee and has been instrumental in the development of several tools including the Meeting Medicare’s Medical Necessity Requirement tool and the current Home Health Toolbox 2. Tommy has also expanded his knowledge and skill set over the past two years by studying the effects of opioid and alcohol addiction on functional capacity. Tommy is currently the owner and operator of multiple office-based opioid treatment and alcohol addiction recovery centers located in Tennessee and Alabama.


Denise Wagner PhotoDenise Tillery Wagner, PT, DPT, Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Geriatric Physical Therapy, is a Physical Therapy Supervisor Johns Hopkins Home Health Services. She received her BS in physical therapy from Old Dominion University and her DPT from Arcadia University. A Geriatric Clinical Specialist, certified by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists, Denise has over 20 years of experience treating geriatric patients in their homes. She also received her OASIS Certification. She supervises an interdisciplinary rehabilitation team for home- based services and works with the Johns Hopkins Home Health Services management team to promote evidence-based patient care and program development. She has taken an integral role in developing programs for interdisciplinary management of patients with heart failure and COPD. She has contributed to developing the first home health AM-PAC tools for mobility, activity and cognition. She has also developed a seating and positioning evaluation team for homebound patients.

Dr. Wagner is being recognized for her excellence in clinical practice in the home health setting by her peers at Johns Hopkins Home Health in Baltimore for her leadership in handling evaluations for specialty wheelchairs and in driving a Process Improvement Group.

Excellence in Home Health Leadership

The Excellence in Home Health Leadership Award recognizes the exceptional contribution of a Home Health Section member in promoting home health physical therapy practice. There are three recipients of the award this year:

Christine Childers PhotoChristine Childers, PT, BSc (Hons), Ph.D. received her bachelor’s degree in Physiotherapy from the University of East Anglia, England. 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 2018 she completed her Ph.D. in Health Psychology from Walden University. In 2006 she moved to California, working in the skilled nursing arena, until she transitioned into the academic setting at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in 2012. Teaching full time, she maintains her clinical skills through home health visits, and in 2015 was nominated as one of the founding co-directors for the Advanced Competency in Home Health certification that she continues to lead both as director and contributing faculty for the live section. Chris is a content expert for the Geriatric Clinical Specialist exam, is an advanced item writer for the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy, and currently serves on the board of the Allen Cognitive Network where she enjoys working closely with her OT colleagues in promoting quality treatment and understanding for individuals with cognitive deficits. 

Chris was nominated by fellow faculty members in the Advanced Competency in Home Health program for her leadership in development of the program. Her professional skills as a treating clinician, educator, and administrator permeate all aspects of her interactions with patients and educators.

Bud Langham PhotoBud Langham, PT, MBA has been a physical therapist for 20 years and has held leadership roles in a variety of acute and post-acute care settings. He currently serves as Chief Clinical Officer for the Home Health and Hospice Division of Encompass Health and is based out of Dallas, TX. He leads the company's efforts to promote evidence-based practice, patient centered care, and innovative care practices with the goal of achieving the highest level of quality and patient satisfaction. Bud has been with Encompass for 10 years. He obtained his degree in Physical Therapy and MBA from the University of Oklahoma.

Bud was nominated for this award by his peers on the Home Health Government Affairs Committee for the expertise in management and finance he contributes to this Committee. He gives generously of his time to communicate the impact of regulatory changes to physical therapy in the home care setting. He brings wisdom and thoughtfulness to all aspects of the Committee’s work.


Jamie Lowy PhotoJamie Lowy, PT received his Masters of Science in Physical Therapy in 1998 from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. He has worked in the home health setting since 2000 as both a field clinician and manager. In 2016-7 he joined the Home Health section’s Practice Committee and has worked with fellow members to produce clinical resources including the Incontinence Toolkit, Chronic Pain management in Home Health, and Meeting Medicare’s Medical Necessity Requirement. Other Practice Committee projects currently underway include the Toolbox 2.0 and developing a Clinical Ladder program. Jamie is also the Practice Committee’s liaison for PTNow which allows clinicians to access clinical practice guidelines and associated research for all the APTA’s sections. At CSM 2018 in New Orleans, he had the privilege of presenting with current Section President Dee Kornetti and immediate past President Cindy Krafft, who graciously tolerated his first presentation jitters and insistence on wearing a kilt.

Within the many roles a home health PT may have to play, Jamie has taken his experience with the Section Practice Committee and brought it local, working with his fellow agency clinicians to train in incontinence management, improved documentation, and chronic pain management. More recently he has started work at community primary care clinic that provides a variety of medical services for low-income, homeless, and migrant laborers as the sole PT to help bridge the gap for our patients that we discharge from home health services but then have little to no therapy follow-up.

Preceptor Award

Sharon Siegel PhotoSharon Siegel, PT has been a practicing physical therapist for over 32 years, after she received her B. S. in Physical Therapy from Washington University School of Medicine Program in Physical Therapy in her hometown of St. Louis, MO. She subsequently obtained her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Arcadia University in 2014. Her early career experience was in acute care and neurorehabilitation settings in both clinical and management positions, but she soon settled into the home health arena. Sharon ran a private practice for 10 years focusing on home health services to pediatric and adult populations. She continues to find her one on one interaction with patients in the home setting both productive and rewarding, and she currently works with Johns Hopkins Home Care Group where she has practiced for the past 12 years after relocated with her family to Baltimore, Maryland. Over the last 10 years, she has enjoyed her role as preceptor which has afforded her the opportunity to train many newly hired therapists who have remained valuable team members. Sharon has been a member of the APTA since 1985.

Sharon was nominated by her colleagues at Johns Hopkins Home Care Group for the initiative, excellence, and high standards she has brought to developing orientation materials and practices at their organization. She is instrumental in challenging new staff to bring their very best to practice in the home care setting.

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