2021 ALPINE REHAB CONFERENCE EDUCATORS

Please get to know our highly skilled, and experienced educators who have graciously accepted the call to pass on their knowledge to us. They come from across the U.S., and several have experience outside of North America.


Julie Piriano, PT, ATP/SMS

About the Instructor

Julie is the VP for Clinical Education and Rehab Industry Affairs & Compliance Officer for Quantum / Pride Mobility. Julie has worked in the seating and wheeled mobility industry for the past 35 years. She is VP of Clinical Education, Rehab Industry Affairs and serves as Pride’s Compliance Officer. She presents nationally and internationally in the areas of seating and wheeled mobility with a focus on the evaluation, documentation, and clinical application of available technologies. Julie serves on the RESNA Board of Directors, has served on the Professional Standards Board and is an active participant in the Wheeled Mobility and Seating SIG and the PT PSG. She is a Friend of NRRTS, member of the AAHomecare Complex Rehab and Mobility Council, serves on the NCART Medicaid Committee, the DMEMAC Advisory Councils, the board of several State Associations and the Mobility Management Editorial Board. Julie is a highly proactive industry resource on legislative and regulatory issues that impact the complex rehab industry.

Courses

Clinically Speaking: The Differences Between Group 2 & 3 Power Wheelchairs
Oct. 1 | Track A | 8:00am-10:00am | 2 CEU’S

Description

Clinically Speaking: The Difference Between Group 2 & 3 Power Wheelchairs (.2 CEU’S)
Julie Piriano, PT, ATP/SMS
A power wheelchair is a power wheelchair, right? While many power wheelchairs are controlled by a standard in line joystick, we should not assume most power wheelchairs are similar. This course will discuss key performance characteristics of the 2 most common power wheelchair groups (group 2 and group 3), considerations for power seating options, the need for non-expandable versus expandable controllers, and considerations for suspension.

Wade Lucas, PT, DPT, ATP/SMS

About the Instructor

Clinical Education Manager Wade is a licensed Physical Therapist and a certified Assistive Technology Professional (ATP)/Seating and Mobility Specialist (SMS) through RESNA. He has over 16 years of experience working in the complex rehabilitation equipment field. His clinical experience includes inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, pediatrics, skilled nursing/long term care, and home health. Wade’s current role with Quantum Rehab is to develop education programs on the clinical uses of company products and produce education presentations to provide to therapists and equipment providers.

Courses

Balancing Function and Independence: Clinical Considerations for Power Positioning (.2 CEU’s)
Oct. 1 | Track B | 8:00am – 10:00am | 2 CEUs
Proportional Driving (.2 CEU’s)
Oct. 1 | Track B | 10:15am – 12:15pm | 2 CEUs

Descriptions

Balancing Function and Independence: Clinical Considerations for Power Positioning (.2 CEU)
Wade Lucas, PT, DPT, ATP/SMS
Power wheelchairs are designed to augment function when functional mobility is compromised or lost. For end users with complex needs, the power wheelchair can also augment repositioning and pressure relief. This course will dive into the various options for power positioning, clinical benefits, various access methods, and the research supporting the need for power positioning technology.
Proportional Driving (.2 CEU)
Wade Lucas, PT, DPT, ATP/SMS
The most common power wheelchair driving method is a standard joystick which provides proportional directional and speed control. This course will address strategies to optimize joystick use including client positioning, joystick positioning, and programming. We will also cover when alternative joysticks, such as compact and mini proportional are indicated. Case studies will be included.

Michelle Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS

About the Instructor

Michelle is an occupational therapist with over 30 years of experience and has been in private practice, Access to Independence, for over 10 years. She is a well-respected lecturer, both nationally and internationally and has authored numerous texts, chapters, and articles. She is the co-editor of Seating and Wheeled Mobility: a clinical resource guide, editor of Fundamentals in Assistive Technology, 4th ed., NRRTS Continuing Education Curriculum Coordinator and Clinical Editor of NRRTS Directions magazine. Michelle is a RESNA Fellow and member of the Clinician Task Force. Michelle is a certified ATP, certified SMS and is a Senior Disability Analyst of the ABDA.

Courses

Head School (.2 CEUs)
Oct. 1 | Track A | 10:15am – 12:15pm | .2 CEU’s
Let’s Get Real: Using Virtual Reality for Power Wheelchair Assessment and Training (.2 CEUs)
Oct. 1 | Track A | 1:30pm – 3:30pm | .2 CEU’s

Description

Head School (.2 CEUs)
Michelle Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS
This course will systematically address various strategies to optimize head position. First, we will explore strategies beyond the head support, including specific positioning interventions and addressing visual issues. Second, we will explore posterior head supports in depth, matching specific features to client needs. Third, we will explore other options which may be required if posterior support alone is inadequate, including anterior head support. Case studies will be used throughout.
Let’s Get Real: Using Virtual Reality for Power Wheelchair Assessment and Training (.2 CEUs)
Michelle Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS
Power wheelchair assessment and training is critical to determine if someone can use a power wheelchair, determine which driving method is appropriate, and optimize driving. While various strategies and tools are available, assessment and training have often been limited by lack of equipment, space, and qualified team members. Newer options such as Virtual Reality and Mobility Training Apps are now available that not only bring cutting edge technology to the process but expand opportunities to perform assessment and training with less space and equipment. Hands-on time will be included.

Christie Hamstra, PT, DPT, ATP

About the Instructor

Christie is a Physical Therapist, and the Clinical Education Specialist with Motion Composites. She has worked in seating clinics, and as an ATP with a supplier in the area of seating and mobility and wheelchair prescriptions. Christie received her Master of Science in Physical Therapy from Andrews University, and a transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy from Oakland University. Christie has worked in many settings and brings her expertise and passion to share with fellow clinicians. Christie has provided education in multiple areas of the United States, as well as The European Seating Symposium, International Seating Symposium and the Canadian Seating and Mobility Conference.

Course

Why Wheelchair Weight Matters (.1 CEUs)
Sep. 30 | Track A | 1:30pm – 3:30pm | .1 CEUs
K0005 Funding: Ensuring Appropriate Access to Equipment (.1 CEUs)
Sep. 30 | Track A| 1:30pm – 3:30pm | .1 CEUs

Description

Why Wheelchair Weight Matters (.1 CEUs)
Christie Hamstra, PT, DPT, ATP
Wheelchair manufacturers often promote having the lightest wheelchairs made of the lightest materials. Does this matter? And, if so, how much? Understanding the benefits of a lighter manual wheelchair is important for the client and anyone involved in the prescription of manual wheelchairs. The decisions made when ordering and configuring a wheelchair will impact the weight and can have a significant effect on the client’s function, independence, and safety.
K0005 Funding – Ensuring Appropriate Access to Equipment (.1 CEUs)
Christie Hamstra, PT, DPT, ATP

For a client, funding can be the element of a manual wheelchair prescription which can stand between unwanted dependency and maximizing independence. For a therapist, the balance between determining payment for complex rehab equipment and recommending the most appropriate equipment can be a difficult and frustrating part of the process when it is not fully understood.

Sarah Lusto, PT, ATC, ATP

About the Instructor

Sarah received her BS in sports medicine and MS in Physical Therapy from Quinnipiac University. For the past 11 years, she has worked at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange, New Jersey on both the brain injury and spinal cord injury units where she gained extensive experience in neuro rehabilitation. As a clinical specialist at Kessler, she also served as the wheelchair team lead for the inpatient department and member of the outpatient wheelchair clinic team where she specialized in wheelchair seating and mobility along with assistive technology.  Now working for Permobil, Sarah is providing education and clinical support as a Regional Clinical Education Manager.

Course

Taking a Stand – Overcoming Obstacles to Improve Outcomes (.2 CEUs)
Sep. 30 | Track A | 8:00am – 10:00am | .2 CEUs
The When, Why & How of Pediatric Powered Mobility (.2 CEUs)
Sep. 30 | Track A | 10:15am – 12:15pm | .2 CEUs

Description

Taking a Stand – Overcoming Obstacles to Improve Outcomes (.2 CEUs)
Sarah Lusto, PT, ATC, ATP
As humans we are designed to be stand; not just stand occasionally but spend most of our days standing. Over the last several years the media has been littered with articles discussing the negative effects of prolonged sitting and the benefits of standing.   Standing desks and terminals now have a presence in the workplace, so why are we still asking our patients to sit.   Ongoing studies have continued to investigate the cost of prolonged sitting of our patients and how the benefit of standing may reduce the cost of ongoing healthcare needs.   Despite this ongoing research the basis of standing insurance coverage of standing devices continues to be a challenge.  In this course we will review the benefits of standing both medical and functional, the ongoing cost of sitting, and how to decipher the current portfolio of standing devices and how to justify them.
The When, Why & How of Pediatric Powered Mobility (.2 CEUs)
Sarah Lusto, PT, ATC, ATP
When children with mobility impairments are not given access to self-directed mobility at the same time as their age matched peers, delays may be seen in cognitive, perceptual, and social development. It is imperative that wheeled mobility options be introduced early and often for this population to prevent long term delays. Historically, healthcare professionals and/or family members have been hesitant to initiate powered mobility, particularly at very young ages. This 2-hour interactive course will discuss power mobility options and the theory behind powered mobility for the early intervention population as well as older children. What is best practice in pediatric powered mobility? How do you balance function, development, and posture? How does one address the concerns of family and caregivers? What training techniques are utilized to aid in a successful outcome? Available literature and case examples will be utilized to address these and other common questions. Participants will leave this course with immediately applicable strategies to allow for successful implementation of pediatric powered mobility.

Curt Prewitt MS, PT, ATP

About the Instructor

Curt Prewitt is Director of Education for Ki Mobility.  He has a BS in Exercise Physiology and an MS in Physical Therapy from the University of Colorado. He practiced as a physical therapist in a number of settings for a few years, most prominently in long term care, where he gained experience with seating and wheeled mobility.  He transitioned from a practicing therapist to a manufacturer’s representative, eventually moving into sales management and focusing on complex rehab technology.  Throughout his tenure on the manufacturer’s side in the complex rehab arena, he has dealt largely with pediatric positioning and mobility products.  He has previously also served as a product trainer/product specialist, teaching product features and clinical application, as well as coordinating continuing education presentations, both credited and non-credited.  He has presented educational courses across the US and internationally. 

Course

Tilting the Odds: Manual Tilt to Improve Rehabilitation Outcomes (.1 CEUs)
Sep. 30 | Track B | 10:15am – 12:15pm | .1 CEUs
How Do People Actually Use Their Manual Wheelchairs, and What Really Matters? (.1 CEUs)
Sep. 30 | Track B | 10:15am – 12:15pm | .1 CEUs

Description

Tilting the Odds: Manual Tilt to Improve Rehabilitation Outcomes (.1 CEUs)
Curt Prewitt MS, PT, ATP
Neurologic disabilities such as CP, ALS, MS, and SCI figure more prominently in discussions about the impact and importance of complex rehabilitation technology than CVA, yet more than 795,000 people in the United States suffer a CVA annually. Moreover, stroke reduces mobility in more than half of those over age 65. Medicare qualification requirements and reimbursement cuts have negatively influenced the caliber of wheeled mobility devices CVA survivors receive. Many obtain an upright, manual wheelchair that qualifies for Medicare rental reimbursement. It is well documented that manual tilt-in-space wheelchairs provide seat angle adjustments that can facilitate pressure relief, postural control, and activity specific positioning, but these chairs are often not prescribed due to limitations related to independent propulsion, weight, and transport. This presentation will explore the research supporting the use of tilt. Topics will include how changes in seat angle affect posture and pressure distribution, seat height and angle characteristics that impact self-propulsion, the relationship between independent mobility and incidence of pressure ulcers, and how changes in seat angle can influence activities of daily living. The clinical justification and documentation requirements for Medicare reimbursement of the E1161 code will be outlined, and participants will be educated on options to achieve the clinical benefits of manual tilt while enabling self-propulsion and transport.
How Do People Actually Use Their Manual Wheelchairs, and What Really Matters? (.1 CEUs)
Curt Prewitt MS, PT, ATP
Every manual wheelchair user would like their chair to be a high-performance machine. Performance is impacted by principles involved in translating human movement into movement of a wheelchair and factors that contribute to energy loss. To help end users achieve maximum performance, persons involved in the wheelchair selection process need to have a fundamental understanding of how people use their wheelchairs, and how those wheelchairs function.
This presentation will examine the real-world behaviors of manual wheelchair users and discuss the mechanical principles and factors that affect propulsion efficiency. In addition to explaining some details of the science involved, we hope to inspire participants to think critically about their current understandings and beliefs on this topic.

Karen A. Lerner, RN, MSN, ATP, CWS / Regional Vice President, Pressure Prevention

About the Instructor

Karen is a registered nurse, wound care and rehab specialist with over 26 years of industry experience. She has extensive experience as a public speaker, educating DME providers and clinicians on a variety of topics. Karen’s speaking engagements included testifying before Congress on behalf of the HME industry. Since October 2013, Karen has worked as part of Team Pressure Prevention at Drive Medical. Prior to coming to Drive and for over 10 years, Karen was VP of Clinical Services at a Northeast based DME, responsible for Pressure Prevention, Respiratory and Rehab sales, as well as service and training. Before DME, Karen worked in sales for a hospital equipment and support surface manufacturer. She began her career as a critical care nurse specialist in major teaching hospitals from Florida to NJ. Karen received her undergraduate degree from Duke University and her graduate education from the University of Florida.

Course

Aging: Skin and Wound Care Considerations (.1 CEUs)
Sep. 30 | Track B | 8:00am – 10:00am | .1 CEUs
Best Practices for LTC/SNF Seating and Positioning Challenges (.1 CEU)
Sep. 30 | Track B | 8:00am – 10:00am | .1 CEUs

Description

Aging: Skin and Wound Care Considerations (.1 CEUs)
Karen A. Lerner RN, MSN, ATP, CWS
Approximately 70% of all pressure injuries occur in the geriatric population. As with other disease processes common in the geriatric population, the incidence of chronic ulcers related to diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, and mobility issues occur with increasing frequency, as we age. The purpose of this program is to address the etiology, assessment, and treatment options for the most frequently encountered types of chronic skin breakdown in the aging population.  Although the goal may be complete wound healing, palliation and achieving management of chronic wound as alternate goals will be discussed.
Best Practices for LTC/SNF Seating and Positioning Challenges (.1 CEU)
Karen A. Lerner RN, MSN, ATP, CWS
The obligations of a Long-Term Care/Skilled Nursing Facility under the Nursing Home Reform Act and the Impact Act to protect a resident from falls and wound development and how proper wheelchair positioning relates to that obligation will be presented. This course is designed to assist the generalist clinician have a better understanding of the changing body of an elderly client and the increased risk of sitting in an abnormal posture. It discusses health issues related to prolonged sitting in an abnormal posture and a why a nursing home clinician should have a deeper understanding of the principles of seating and positioning. The course identifies seating goals and best practices for positioning the elderly client in a wheelchair considering these postures and the impact they have on health-related issues.

Linda Bollinger PT, DPT, ATP

About the Instructor

Linda Bollinger joined the Sunrise Medical team in the fall of 2018 as a Clinical Education Manager. She has a BS-MS in physical therapy from Long Island University, Brooklyn. In May 2018, she earned her DPT from Utica College. In addition, she received her ATP certification in 2000. Prior to joining the Sunrise Medical team, Linda was a Director of Rehabilitation at Long Island Select Healthcare (formerly UCP Suffolk). Her experience at UCP included developing and operating a seating and mobility clinic for individuals with disabilities. Although this clinic primarily served adult patients, she had successfully created a pediatric seating clinic at a local school for multiple disabled students’ years prior to joining UCP. Linda has shared her knowledge and experience running seating clinics at local community health events, guest lectures with local physical therapy and occupational therapy university programs, and most recently as a TA at Touro Physical Therapy program.

Course

Pediatrics: Roll Playing – Early Intervention Wheeled Mobility (.2 CEUs)
Sep. 30 | Track B | 1:30pm – 3:30pm | .2 CEUs

Description

Pediatrics: Roll Playing – Early Intervention Wheeled Mobility (.2 CEUs)
Linda Bollinger, DPT, ATP
Play is often described as the work of children and is one of the primary ways in which children learn. Unfortunately for many children with physical limitations, engaging in activities including play without the support of adaptive equipment is not possible. In addition, the lack of proper positioning and mobility equipment can have a significant impact on a child’s respiratory system, gastrointestinal system, muscular skeletal system, and develop skills (e.g., communication, cognition, social, emotional, etc.). During this two-hour seminar, participants will learn about the role seating and mobility plays in a child’s development, the complete evaluation process, and complex rehabilitation technology (CRT) available specifically for infants to young children, as well as the clinical application of the equipment discussed.

Dan Fedor, U. S. Rehab, Dir. Reimbursement

About the Instructor

Dan has been in the HME industry for over 28 years and currently serves as the Director of Reimbursement for U.S. Rehab, a division of The VGM Group, Inc. He is a graduate of Penn State University, where he earned a BS in Economics.Dan joined VGM in 2014, and before that, was the Director of Education and Compliance for Pride Mobility/Quantum Rehab for 13 years. Prior to joining Pride, Dan served as the Director for Provider Outreach and Education (POE) and Electronic Data Interchange for the Jurisdiction A DME MAC (United Healthcare) for nearly six years.Dan has presented at numerous local and national events regarding Medicare compliance and reimbursement, including Medtrade, Heartland Conference, ISS, RESNA, and multiple state association meetings.

Course

Cushions and Backs Don’t REST ALONE on the Diagnosis Code (.1 CEU)
Oct. 1 | Track B | 1:30pm – 3:30pm | .1 CEUs
Efficiently Documenting from B (Base) to A (Accessories) in the Wheelchair Evaluation (.1 CEU)
Oct. 1 | Track B| 1:30pm – 3:30pm | .1 CEU

Description

Cushions and Backs Don’t REST ALONE on the Diagnosis Code (.1 CEUs)
Dan Fedor, U.S. Rehab, Dir. Reimbursement
Skin protection/positioning cushions and backs ARE diagnosis driven; HOWEVER, a covered diagnosis code (ICD10) alone is NOT sufficient to meet coverage criteria! What this means is without a qualifying diagnosis code, the cushion / back code would be denied, but with a qualifying diagnosis code, it just meets the first part of the coverage criteria. During prior authorization, pre-pay review (ADR), and post-pay audit, the Medicare reviewer will look for narrative from a clinician that describes the second part of the coverage criteria. In this course the instructor will discuss both parts of coverage criteria for skin protection and positioning cushions and backs including adjustable and custom fabricated items. In addition, the instructor will discuss the new scrutiny on replacing cushions / backs within 5 years and how to properly document for replacement during the 5-year reasonable useful life.
Efficiently Documenting from B (Base) to A (Accessories) in the Wheelchair Evaluation (.1 CEU)
Dan Fedor, U.S. Rehab, Dir. Reimbursement

Efficiently documenting wheelchair evaluations is vital especially with an increased in productivity requirements. Therapists who conduct wheelchair evaluations know this too well as there just doesn’t seem to be enough time during the day (work hours) to complete the evaluation and the required documentation. Many complete this part at home during personal time which impacts the work life balance. In this session the instructor will outline key points to streamline the wheelchair evaluation documentation process so therapists can efficiently document the base (B) to the accessories (A).
 

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Alpine Rehab Conference 2021