2019 Conference Speakers
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Mark Amir, PT, DPT, MPH

Mark Amir is a passionate business owner, educator, consultant and mentor with over 20 years of extensive business ownership experience of multi-site outpatient physical therapy practices. Over the past 5 years, Mark has also been a managing partner of an innovative workplace injury prevention company.

Mark’s experience is focused on business development of outpatient physical therapy clinics and injury prevention / occupational health programs. By utilizing his vast experience in health and wellness, injury prevention, budgeting, administrative tasks and his strong interpersonal skills, Mark is able to build value and efficiencies in business operations.


Some of Mark’s Experiences and Strengths:

  •  Practice and knowledge of business models for health, wellness, nutrition and injury prevention programs
  • System building for budgeting, HR administration, hiring, operational management
  • Strong leadership and team fostering capabilities, coaching, mentoring
  • Experience of managing within union and non-union groups
  • Health care policy, Contracting, Legal and financial compliance

Mark is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Dominican College’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program, an adjunct at Touro College Physical Therapy program and instructor at Kingsborough Community College’s Physical Therapist Assistant program. 



Michael Mattia, PT, DPT, MS, MHA


Michael Mattia, PT, DPT, MS, MHA, is a Physical Therapist who has been treating patients with Orthopedic and Musculoskeletal disorders for over 38 years.  He is the founder and CEO of Mattia Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, LLC, an independent private practice in Brooklyn, NY.  Dr. Mattia possesses over 30 years of management experience in private practice and healthcare administration. He is also an Associate Professor and Director of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at CUNY Kingsborough Community College.  He has lectured extensively on healthcare administration and practice management. 




Chad Cook, PT, PhD, MBA, FAPTA

Chad Cook is a professor at Duke University, the program director of the Doctor of Physical Therapy division with a category A. appointment in the Duke Clinical Research Institute. He is a clinical researcher, physical therapist, and profession advocate with a long-term history of clinical care excellence and service with 19 years of academic experience. His passions include refining and improving the patient examination process as well as validating tools used in day-to-day physical therapist practices. He received his BS in Physical Therapy from Maryville University (St. Louis) in 1990 and a PhD from Texas Tech University in 2003. Dr. Cook received fellowship status at the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Therapy in 2006 and is a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association. Dr. Cook has published over 250 peer reviewed papers and has keynoted in 6 continents and numerous countries. He has two textbooks in their 2nd edition and a third textbook in its first edition. Dr. Cook has a long-standing history of service roles as an editor-in-chief or associate/special topics editor for multiple journals including JOSPT and BJSM. Dr. Cook has won numerous awards locally at Duke for teaching and is the 2009 Baethke-Carlin award winner for the American Physical Therapy Association. In 2008 he was the recipient of the Helen Bradley career achievement award, the 2005 winner of the J Warren Perry Distinguished Authorship Award, and was the 2017 Pauline Cerasoli Lecturer. In addition, Dr. Cook is also the 2011 winner and was the 2012 and 2013 co-winner of the AAOMPT Excellence in Research Award.





Karen Kemmis, PT, DPT, RN, MS 


Dr. Karen Kemmis is a Physical Therapist, Certified Diabetes Educator, and adjunct professor at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York. Within this position, she has worked at the Syracuse affiliate of the Joslin Diabetes Center and University Endocrinologists for 23 years. She earned Bachelor and Doctorate degrees in Physical Therapy at SUNY Upstate Medical University, a Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology from Syracuse University and an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing from Onondaga Community College.  She specializes in physical therapy and exercise prescription for aging adults, those with diabetes, osteoporosis, orthopedic conditions, and with balance dysfunction. She was co-chair and an instructor for the Certification as Exercise Experts for Aging Adults program for the American Physical Therapy Association’s Section on Geriatrics. She is on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Diabetes Educators, currently serving as the 2019 President and is a Fellow of the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE). She has presented nationally and internationally on diabetes and osteoporosis, has authored chapters on the aging musculoskeletal system and physical therapy for osteoporosis, is a frequent resource and contributor for the National Osteoporosis Foundation, and is a media spokesperson and blogger for the AADE. She utilizes Pilates exercise for rehabilitation in her practice.




Marilyn Moffat, PT, DPT, PhD, DSc (hon), FAPTA


Dr. Moffat is a Full-time Professor of Physical Therapy at New York University, where she directs both the professional doctoral program (DPT) and the post-professional graduate master's degree program in pathokinesiology. She is in private practice in the New York area. Dr. Moffat is immediate Past-president of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy, and she coordinated the efforts to develop international guidelines for physical therapist educational programs and standards of physical therapy practice around the world. She has given over 800 professional presentations throughout her practice lifetime, and she has taught and provided consultation services in many areas around the globe. Dr. Moffat completed a six-year term as the President of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) in 1997 during which time she was instrumental in the development of the “Guide to Physical Therapist Practice” and the “Normative Model for Physical Therapist Education”. She is a Geriatric Clinical Specialist, a Certified Strength Conditioning Specialist, a Certified Exercise Expert for Aging Adults, and a certified BoneFit Professional. She established the APTA Section on Geriatric’s Certification Program for Physical Therapists as Exercise Experts for Aging Adults and served as its first co-chair for four years. Dr. Moffat is currently a member of the American College of Sports Medicine Exercise is Medicine work group. Amongst her many publications are two books for the lay audience - American Physical Therapy Association’s Book of Body Maintenance and Repair and Age-Defying Fitness. She also completed a 4-book series known as the Musculoskeletal Essentials, Cardiovascular/Pulmonary Essentials, Neuromuscular Essentials, and Integumentary Essentials for physical therapy clinicians and students. Dr. Moffat has received numerous national and international awards and has had 3 awards named after her – the Marilyn Moffat Leadership Award of the American Physical Therapy Association, the Dr. Marilyn Moffat Distinguished Service Award of the New York Physical Therapy Association, and the Marilyn Moffat Service Award of the North America/Caribbean Region World Confederation for Physical Therapy. She is a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the APTA, presented the Mary McMillan Lecture, and is a recipient of the WCPT’s Mildred Elson Award.




Ellen Godwin, PT, PhD


Ellen is proud to be a Brooklyn native and has been a Physical Therapist for over 35 years. Dr. Godwin earned her entry level degree in physical therapy from Hunter College of CUNY and her Master’s degree in PT from Long Island University. Her doctoral degree, a PhD in Physical Therapy was completed at Nova Southeastern University in 2005. The main area of Dr. Godwin’s clinical work has been in pediatric physical therapy with a focus on the management of children with developmental disabilities particularly cerebral palsy. She became a board certified Pediatric Clinical Specialist in 2000. Currently, Dr. Godwin is a Research Physical Therapist at the NY Harbor Health System, at the Gait Analysis Laboratory at the Manhattan VA. She is also the Director of the Human Performance Laboratory at the University Hospital of Brooklyn - Downstate Medical Center of SUNY. Dr. Godwin is an Adjunct Associate Professor and former Chairperson of the Department of Physical Therapy at Long Island University – Brooklyn and is responsible for teaching content including neuroscience, gait and pediatrics. Research interests include the use of instrumented gait analysis in children with cerebral palsy, assessing the effectiveness of interventions for cerebral palsy, the evaluation of changes in gait pattern in and adolescents with scoliosis and use of the Alter-G Anti-Gravity Treadmill with various populations.





Brittany Popkin, PT, DPT

Brittany graduated with her Bachelors of Science from Stony Brook University in May 2009 and her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Columbia University in NYC in May 2012. Since then she has developed a love for treating non-arthritic hip issues and sports related injuries. In 2016, Brittany obtained her Sports Clinical Specialist certification from the ABPTS to further develop her skills and knowledge in the athletic population. Brittany is recognized as one of the hip clinicians at her current place of employment as well as having attained the HSS Rehabilitation Credentialed Advanced Hip Clinician certification. Currently she is one of the physical therapists that covers the professional rugby team, Rugby United New York (RUNY), at practices, major league rugby (MLR) games and provides treatments to the players on and off the field. 


Brittany is a retired Irish step dancer and competed regionally, nationally and internationally during her 13-year career. Over the course of her dancing career, Brittany became injured a few times in her hips, knees and ankles and it was her physical therapist that always helped piece her back together. Since retiring from Irish step dancing, Brittany now stays active with running half marathons and being at the gym. Brittany loves to go to New York Rangers and New York Yankees games, explore NYC and travel to new cities. 


After retiring from Irish step dancing, most of her injuries resolved, but her hip continued to bother her. After PT school graduation, Brittany had hip arthroscopy for a torn labrum and FAI and this is where the story begins....




Ethel Frese, PT, DPT, MHS, FAPTA

Dr. Frese received a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy, a Master of Health Science from Washington University and a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Saint Louis University. She teaches Exercise Physiology, Therapeutic Exercises and Cardiopulmonary Conditions. She is also a board-certified specialist in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy and has extensive clinical experience in Acute Care and Home Health. Dr. Frese has published in the areas of cardiopulmonary physical therapy and student mentoring. She is the recipient of the Outstanding Service Award for Education from the APTA Missouri Chapter in April 2003. She received the Excellence in Classroom Teaching Award 2009-2010 in the Edward and Margaret Doisy College of Health Sciences at Saint Louis University. Dr. Frese also received the Patty K. Sheets Award for Excellence in Physical Therapy Education at the Washington University Program in Physical Therapy in 2009 and she received the Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga for 2012-2013. Dr. Frese received the YWCA Leadership Award in 2012; and the Linda Crane Memorial Lectureship Award in 2015. In 2017, Dr. Frese was honored as a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association, the association’s highest honor. Dr. Frese recently received the 2019 American Physical Therapy Association's Lucy Blair Service Award which recognizes contributions of exceptional quality to the Association.




Juanita Benedict, PT, DPT


Juanita Benedict received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2012 from the University of Central Florida. Since that time, she has dedicated herself and her work to understanding the most effective strategies for patient education and compliance. Working in both home health and clinical settings encouraged her develop strategies to improve compliance while also setting up patients for success and health beyond physical therapy.


While an ergonomic consultant for the dental industry, Dr. Benedict created industry specific content including blogs, podcasts, articles and continuing educational course material to address the needs of dental professionals. She is honored to have the opportunity to work with manufactures, educators and other leaders in the industry to work to reduce the amount of injuries within the dental industry.


Now, Dr. Benedict is using her knowledge of social media and patient compliance to help physical therapists establish a voice online. As the founder of PTSocial, a company dedicated to providing easily implementable strategies to leverage social media, she works with physical therapists to develop effective and engaging content to connect, educate and influence patients.  



Keynote Speaker: Robert B. Tucker


Robert B. Tucker is a renowned global futurist and innovation keynote speaker with a client list that includes over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies. President and founder of Innovation Resource Consulting Group, Tucker is an internationally recognized pioneer in the field of strategic innovation. His highly interactive presentations lead audiences on a guided tour inside the world’s most creative companies. Through stories and examples, Tucker encourages his audiences how to tap into the mindset, skillset and toolset of the innovator. He inspires leaders to embrace change, discover opportunity and avoid obsolescence. Known for his in-depth customization, Robert provides your audience with practical strategies, cutting edge insights, and inspiration to take action once back at the office.


During the course of his 28-year career, Robert has worked with groups ranging from the economic development ministries of Singapore, Dubai, and Morocco, to multinational companies like IBM, American Express, and Nestle, as well as numerous trade and technology groups in a wide variety of industries. A former adjunct professor at UCLA, Robert’s pioneering research in identifying the critical attributes of innovators became the acclaimed book, Winning the Innovation Game.


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