2016 Slate of Candidates
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Candidate Statement

Vice President


Candidate Statement



Candidate Statement



Name: Michael Mattia, PT, DPT, MS, MHA

NYPTA District: Brooklyn- Staten Island

Date of Membership in the Chapter: 1979

Education: Ohio University, Master of Health Administration, Dec , 2012; Temple University – Transitional DPT Program, January, 2006; Long Island University, Brooklyn, New York, Master of Science, Concentration in Work Physiology, May, 1985; State University of New York, Brooklyn, New York, Bachelor of Science, May, 1980; City University of New York, Brooklyn, Associate of Science with Honors – Kingsborough Community College, May, 1978

Present Employment: Founder and CEO, Mattia Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, LLC. Private Practice Physical Therapy, Brooklyn, NY; Director, Rehabilitation Therapies, The Beth Israel Medical Center Brooklyn of the Mount Sinai Health System; Adjunct Professor, CUNY The College of Staten Island Doctoral Program in Physical Therapy, Adjunct Professor, CUNY Kingsborough CC Physical Therapist Assistant Program

APTA Activities

Chapter: President 2014- current, Chair, Advisory Panel on Legislation (APOL) 2011-2014, APOL Member 2008-2011
District: Legislative Liaison Brooklyn – SI District 1983-1990 -- 1993-2013, District Delegate to DA multiple years since 1979. Planning- Programming Committee member Brooklyn – SI District


Candidate Statement:


What were the major challenges that you worked on over the last two years? What were the outcomes?

There have been many challenges that our association has dealt with over the last 2 years. I believe that as a result of my leadership as your president each has been handled effectively and professionally. In my candidate statement of 2014, I spoke of continuing the momentum and successes that we had experienced together over the past 8 years. I also spoke of the need for our association to be agile and nimble and to be able to respond to opportunities and threats, and to the rapidly changing healthcare delivery system.

As I took office in 2014, the immediate challenge I faced was the issue of the Collective Negotiations Committee (CNC) and its relationship to the NYPTA. The process of disengaging from the relationship was started by previous leadership teams, but the culmination of that initiative was taking place as I took office. The issue was emotionally charged and if not handled correctly could have resulted in some of our colleagues being placed in less than optimal situations at their places of employment. Regardless of the outcome, my goal was that no PT or PTA be hurt by the ultimate decision of the Board. After review of historical information and presentations made by both the CNC leadership and the Association, the Board of Directors voted to disengage from the relationship.

Since the vote to disengage was held, we have worked with the CNC leadership and their legal counsel to transfer bargaining units and negotiating responsibilities over to the newly created entity that was formed, the Physical Therapy Collective Negotiations Committee (PTCNC). I am happy to say that they have been recognized as the negotiating body for almost all the institutions that they have been involved with since 1980.

I believe that my management of this very sensitive and emotional issue has allowed the new PTCNC to function as we held true to insuring that all represented PTs and PTAs not be impacted negatively.

The second challenge I met with was the purchase of a Chapter Office building. Being an active member of the NYPTA since 1979, I know that the discussion of chapter ownership of its office space had been discussed for many years. As President, I had many concerns for the fact that all of our chapter finances were housed in risk-based investments. Though those investments had performed very well, it is usually not a good model for long-term stability of an organization. Thus, the idea of shifting a portion of our assets to a fixed, less risk-based investment such as an office building was resurrected.

Once I had the information I needed to understand where we were and where we needed to go, I brought forth the initiative to our EC for discussion. The EC directed that the association begin exploring real estate opportunities in the area with specific parameters.

Much to all of our surprise, in a very short time frame, property was found that met all of the parameters set forth. We moved on the opportunity to own the property after a thorough review and analyzation of financial data of leasing vs. owning the Chapter office.

Once we had compiled all of the information available, the EC brought the initiative to the board and in an innovative approach -- we created a discussion board to insure that all Board of Directors members would have ample opportunity to question, discuss, and critique the initiative. In the end, also in an innovative way, a vote was held via the discussion board and email on the motion to purchase 971 Albany Shaker Road as the new chapter office building, which was approved. The rest is recent history. I believe that these two examples demonstrate the depth and scope of my abilities as a leader and administrator.

As for the challenges over the next two years, I believe that the biggest challenges continue to be access to our care and fair payment for the services that we provide. I believe that the strategies necessary to overcome these challenges have been evolving in our association and continue to mature in their scope.

Advocacy efforts and public awareness of the benefits of early access to physical therapy services are critical to our success in this health care environment. We must continue to move forward with our high co pay legislation and our PTA bills, we must continue seek out innovative approaches to practice and our association must provide the resources necessary for each member to have the tools they need to be successful in their daily practice.

In my first year and a half we have improved our website, we have created collaborative opportunities for our committees, and for the first time in recent history we have held telephone conference calls and a face-to-face meeting with all committee chairs at the same time. We have done this so that when we have an opportunity or a threat, we can mobilize and work together to get the information and action plan(s) out to our members and the general public.

My goal continues to be that we act proactively rather than reactively. I have dedicated myself and my skill set to positioning our association to meet its strategic, financial, and professional goals. If you allow me the privilege of serving you for two more years, I promise to continue to place all my skills into helping the NYPTA serve the needs of each of you individually and collectively. I thank you for your past support, and I look forward to your support over the next two years.

Together we can move forward and transform our practice, our communities, and society.

Vice President

Name: Tracy Sawyer, PT, DPT

NYPTA District:

Date of Membership in the Chapter:

Education: BS PT, Ithaca College, 1985; DPT Boston University 2006

Present Employment:
Per Diem Physical Therapist, Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital – covering inpatient acute rehab, outpatient, and subacute rehab

APTA Activities

National: Public Relations Strategic Planning Task Force (2007); Advisory Panel on Public Relations (2007-2010)

Chapter: Vice President 2014-present; Public Relations Committee Chair (2010-present, 2004-2007); Delegate to House of Delegates (2009, 2012, 2013); Lobby Day
District: Secretary (1992-1996); Chair (1996-2002); Nominating Committee (2002); Vice Chair (2002-2009);
Public Relations Committee Chair (2002-2009); Delegate to Delegate Assembly x 17


Candidate Statement:

What have you learned as Vice President that will make you more effective in the next two years? What have been your accomplishments as VP?

The 2 years in the position of Vice President has gone by quickly and every day has been a learning experience. In this role I believe that I have learned to embrace the chance to step out of a comfort zone, explore and follow new paths, and develop my areas of strength, as well as how to best assist others to do the same. In my role as ex-officio to many committees, my goal has been to foster communication and collaboration between the committees, and thus improve the ease and efficiency of the important work they do to achieve the goals of NYPTA. Things that I have accomplished towards achieving this goal include development and implementation of an online Committee Chairs orientation, and implementation of regular committee chairs’ meetings in conference call or face to face format. With the assistance of Chapter office staff, a Committee Chairs discussion forum has been established to further facilitate communication. I am working on an online orientation for new members of the Board of Directors. In my role as a member of the Executive Committee I am very pleased to have participated in the search for and purchase of a building to house NYPTA operations. This and many other Executive Committee activities have allowed me to actively participate in the present and future of our association.

I am happy to once again be a candidate for Vice President and look forward to the opportunity to continue working towards achieving the goals of our chapter.


Name: Lynn C. Rivers, PT, PhD

NYPTA District: Western

Date of Membership in the Chapter: 1993

Education: BS in PT, SUNY @ Buffalo, 1985; MS in Human Resource Management, SUNY College at Buffalo, 1995; PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy SUNY @ Buffalo, 2004

Present Employment:
D’Youville College Physical Therapy Department, Buffalo, NY: Faculty member since 1991; Chairperson of the Department since 2000.

APTA Activities

National: APTA Reference Committee, June 2013 - present
Chapter: HOD x 10, 2002; 2004-2013; NYPTA Judicial/Reference Committee 6/2000 - 2003; Chair 2004 - present; Nominating Committee, May 1996 - May, 1998; Chair 6/1998 - 6/1999
District: Secretary, 2007 - 2010; Treasurer, 2002 - 2004, Director, 2005 - 2007, Delegate to the DA, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000-2008

Candidate Statement:

How have you become a more effective BOD leader over your last two years on the BOD? What goals do you have for your next two years as a leader in NYPTA?

As speaker of the Delegate Assembly for the last two years, I have become more effective in this role by developing and providing a 90-minute session at the leadership development workshop which provided practical tools and practice on how to become an effective participant in the governance process. I saw this in action as 3 of the new delegates who participated in that workshop, stood and spoke at the Delegate Assembly last year. I hope to continue to encourage all NYPTA members to generate motions that will move our chapter forward and help meet our strategic plan. I have been diligent in monitoring the activities, motions and discussions at the national level to be sure that our chapter is aware of potential impacts on our membership.

Over the next two years my goal is to engage more in state level advocacy for our profession both locally and in Albany as well as mentor future leaders at the district and state level. I will strive to be more informed regarding the legislative activities the chapter is pursuing.

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