2017 Salon: #ChoosePT: Adding value and collaboration to address a national opioid health crisis

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Contact leahy@libertysquaregroup.com to be added to the #ChoosePT Discussion. 


Salon—a gathering of influential thought leaders from different domains of knowledge


In June 2016, The American Physical Therapy Association launched the #ChoosePT campaign.  This public service campaign was developed to provide national awareness to the role that Physical Therapy could play in early pain management and as an effective alternative to opioid pain medication.  Targeted efforts also included additional support to states struggling with high opioid use and suffering the most from serious consequences of overdose. The fight against the Opioid Crisis has many battlefronts from pain prevention, addiction prevention, harm reduction and treatment & recovery.  We need many stakeholders targeting action based on their expertise but we must also step outside of our silos and see the 30,000 foot view.  No one can concur this alone. These are our neighbors, family, and friends battling addiction or starting down a path that could lead to addiction.  This does not have to be but we need communication pipelines, structures for cross setting and discipline collaborations and improved access. 




Anthony Delitto, PhD, PT, FAPTA


Anthony Delitto is the dean of the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS) and professor in the Department of Physical Therapy. He received his BS in Physical Therapy from SUNY Buffalo, NY, his MHS in Physical Therapy and his PhD from Washington University, St. Louis, MO. He is active in the Sections on Orthopedics and Education, and Past-President of the Section on Research for the APTA. Delitto has authored or co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed research papers. He actively treats people with painful musculoskeletal disorders and his current research is focused on implementing classification and treatment effectiveness studies into quality improvement initiatives. He is also conducting trials in exercise interventions for people with Parkinson's disease. He was awarded one of the first large pragmatic trials from the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), a multi-site, $13-million grant (the TARGET study) to investigate innovative ways to reduce the transition of acute low back pain by having physical therapists partner with primary care and deliver psychologically informed physical therapy to patients with acute low back pain who are at risk for persistent pain.



Ami Faria PT, DPT


Ami Faria PT, DPT received her Bachelor of Science in PT from the University of New England and her tDPT from MGHIHP.  Ami also holds a Professional Certificate in Organizational Leadership from Philadelphia University.  Ami has practiced in the acute care, home health care, outpatient and long term/skilled nursing care settings.  She has been with Genesis for 12 years and in her current role as Director of Reimbursement for 2 years.  Her passion is Federal Advocacy and she currently serves as the Federal Affairs Liaison for NHAPTA in addition to being the Chief Delegate.  Ami is married and is a mom of 2 beautiful kids, Aaron who is 10 and Amelia who is 8.



Ed McDonough, COO GateHouse Treatment Centers


As Chief Operating Officer of GateHouse Treatment of New Hampshire, Ed ensures that all staff members remain focused on applying the company’s core principles of compassion, service, and integrity to the early recovery process of their clients. He also oversees the day-to-day operations of GateHouse of New Hampshire, including staff and facility management at the New Hampshire location.


Ed earned his compassionate perspective while walking the difficult road to recovery himself. In 2011, his own life was miraculously saved when he became an alumnus of GateHouse Treatment and launched his personal mission to help others find hope, meaning, and authentic recovery. He carried this passion into a clinical position at the Tewksbury State Hospital Detox, where he honed his skills for helping find sobriety and a more fulfilling life.

It was also while working at the Tewksbury Detox that Ed began to collaborate with his closest friend and GateHouse founder Nathan Irvine to reach even more people who were suffering in the grips of addiction. Together, Ed and Nathan have combined the guidance of the 12-Step Approach with proven clinical methods to establish Gatehouse as one of the leaders in substance abuse treatment.



Chris Sullivan, former NFL athlete & advocate against addition


Chris Sullivan grew up in North Attleboro, MA.  He was always involved in athletics.  In high school, he was the captain of the football, basketball & track teams.  He generally made great choices and with that came many offers for a full football scholarship to college.  He chose Boston College, as it was only 50 minutes away from his hometown.  His family was always a big part of his life and he wanted that hometown feel.  Driven with an ability to succeed, he starting in 48 consecutive games at BC.  He had a great work ethic and was able to graduate in 3 1/2 years and was working on acquiring his Masters degree.  He was fortunate enough to be drafted by the New England Patriots in 1996 after graduating.

Chris should have been on top of the World, as he succeeded in becoming an NFL football player from 1996-2002. He played for the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers. As a member of the New England Patriots, Chris played in two Super Bowls and has a Super Bowl XXXVI ring to prove it. But instead, Chris went from the Super Bowl to fighting for his life and future. He was battling anxiety and an addiction to drugs and alcohol that ended up taking over his life and was one of the main reasons he retired from the NFL.

Drawing from his personal battle in life, Chris has chose to share his story with others about the dangers of alcohol and drugs. His audience leaves having learned many life skills that will help them to make good choices surrounding alcohol, drugs & coping with anxiety. He also lets them know that it is the strong people, not the weak, that reach out and asks for help when they need it. He is a perfect example of this.  He finally asked for help and has been sober since December 15, 2008! He considers it an honor to be able to reach out to students and adults to help share how to battle the dangers of alcohol, drugs and anxiety.


Mandy Frohlich, COO APTA 


Mandy Frohlich is the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Strategic Affairs at the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Mandy is charged with leading the association in the areas of strategic planning, governance, staffing, and component relations. She is part of the executive team that works to ensure that APTA successfully carries out its mission and vision and she is the lead staff in the identification and formation of strategic partnerships. Mandy previously served as APTA’s Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and has over 20 years of experience working in government affairs, payment policy, and communications. Previous to APTA, Mandy spent six years working at a lobbying firm on issues related to health care, transportation, defense and education. Mandy also previously served for eight years as staff to Congressman Mike Thompson of California. 




Michael Gans PT, DPT

Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopedic Physical Therapy

Fellow in the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists


Currently Mike serves as the President for the Connecticut Physical Therapy Association (CTAPTA).  Mike is an orthopedic manual physical therapist who treats a wide variety of diagnoses including musculoskeletal disorders, concussion and vestibular disorders, and is certified in Dry Needling and the Graston Technique. He has lectured at the state level on thoracic manipulation, cervical spine screening and manipulation, and evidence based orthopedic manual therapy for the lumbar spine, upper extremity, and lower extremity.  Nationally, he has lectured at APTA’s Combined Sections Meeting on Manual Therapy in the Upper Extremity, specifically on the treatment of elbow disorders, and internationally at Kenya Medical Training College in Nairobi, Kenya on Treatment of the Foot and Ankle.  He is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, Connecticut Physical Therapy Association, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists.



Jessica McManus PT


Jessica earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy from Northeastern University in 2000, then went on to complete a one-year post graduate residency training in advanced manual therapy and exercise techniques in 2003. Jess has over 12 years of experience working in the field of physical therapy with multiple populations. She specializes in orthopedics, spine, sports medicine and has extensive experience in the rehabilitation and management of torticollis in children. Jess is also certified in pre and post natal fitness for women which she illustrated favorably as Co-Director of Pre and Post Natal Fitness Program for Baystate Wellness Center from 2002-2005. During that time Jess also served as a physical therapist for Baystate Sport Training. She actively continues her education in manual therapy, Medical Exercise Therapy and women's health through the ProEducation Series and other professional courses. When not treating patients, Jess practices a healthy lifestyle at home with her family. An avid runner, Jessica has completed three Boston Marathons.



Robert Saper, MD


Dr. Saper is the Director of Integrative Medicine for the Boston Medical Center Department of Family Medicine and an Associate Professor in the Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Saper attended Brandeis University for his undergraduate education. After graduating Harvard Medical School in 1988, he completed a family medicine residency and chief residency at UCSF from 1988-92 and was in private practice for 8 years in the San Francisco Bay area. While in California he worked closely with Dr. Ornish’s Program for Reversal of Heart Disease. In 2000 he moved back to the Boston area and retooled professionally by entering the three year NIH-funded Integrative Medicine Research Fellowship at Harvard Medical School which included an MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health. As a fellow, he published the first nationally representative survey of yoga use in the United States. 


In 2004 he joined the Boston University faculty and medical staff of Boston Medical Center where he directs the Program for Integrative Medicine and Health Disparities. The mission of the Program is to bring evidence-based integrative medicine approaches to all, regardless of ability to pay. Soon after arriving at Boston Medical Center, he received a five year Academic Career Development Grant from the NIH National Center for Complementary Alternative Medicine. With this support, he published a pilot study of yoga for chronic low back pain in predominantly low income minorities recruited from federally qualified community health centers. In 2010 Dr. Saper was funded by the NIH to conduct a randomized controlled trial comparing the effectiveness and cost of yoga, physical therapy, and education for back pain in 320 adults. He is also funded by NIH to study yoga for back pain in veterans. Other major areas of research include the safety and efficacy of traditional Indian herbal medicines. 









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