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Community Leaders  Nominees

AAPM&R hosted a self-nomination process for members seeking to be elected as chair of our Member Communities. Each Member Community must have 1 chair. Note that the Cancer Rehabilitation, Central Nervous System, and Pediatric Rehabilitation Member Communities were seeking additional volunteer leader positions. 

Please vote for a Member Community chair or other leadership position for any member community listed below where we received more than one nominee for a leadership position. Click here to vote by September 12th. 

Learn more about each nominee here.

Cancer Rehabilitation Medicine Vice Chair
Karl Klamar, MD
I am currently Fellowship Director for Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine Fellowship at Nationwide Children's Hospital and Clinical Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Ohio State University. I have participated in the 2 reviews of program requirements for Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine. I also serve on the Medical Education Committee for the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Ohio State dn on the Graduate Medical Education Committee at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Samman Shahpar, MD
I have been actively involved in the AAPMR as well as the national/international cancer rehabilitation community since early in the my residency career.  Given my prior experience and current career path focus on the ongoing growth of the cancer rehabilitation specialty, I have been active in the CRPC (Cancer Rehabilitation Physician Consortium) since its establishment and acting as the Co-Chair of the Research Subgroup, pushing forward the CRPC's agenda and engaging new members. I feel transition to the Vice Chair position, I can continue to help the group and our specialty grow, supporting the current and future members to make a career in Cancer rehabilitation.

Cancer Rehabilitation Medicine Secretary
Leslie Bagay, MD
My name is Leslie Bagay, MD, and I am a practicing PM&R physician at JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison, NJ.  

As a cancer rehabilitation physician I bring experiences through my current clinical focus as the Medical Director of our Cancer Rehabilitation Program at our facility, building opportunities for patients with cancer to have functional and mobility impairments addressed across the continuum of care.  In addition to my clinical work, I am the Assistant Director of our PM&R residency program, and am the Project Manager on the current and previous editions of the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Board Review book.  

Having served as Co-Secretary for the Cancer Rehabilitation Physician Consortium for the past 2 years, I have brought the prospective of a new cancer rehabilitation physician to the table.  My varied clinical and academic experiences demonstrate my ability to be focused and organized, flexible, and also to be an effective and successful communicator.  These characteristics I believe would help me be successful in the Secretary position. I am very pleased to be considered for a position supporting the goals of the Cancer Rehabilitation Member Community and would be excited to continue to contribute to the success and growth of the community.

Alecia Daunter, MD
I am interested in joining the Cancer Rehabilitation Medicine leadership to help recruit and engage members of this new and growing field. As I worked to develop the first pediatric cancer rehabilitation clinic at my institution, I frequently wondered about the practices and models in place at other institutions.  By joining the Cancer Rehabilitation Medicine Community, I hope to facilitate educational and networking opportunities for those interested in this area.

Interventional Pain Chair
David Lee, MD
I have been an active member for AAPM&R for nearly a decade now and more recently member of the Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG) Committee. Active member in American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP) and California American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (CalSIPP) as well as North American Neuromodulation Society (NANS); I also serve on multiple committees within each. 

Although my practice is primarily interventional pain management, I believe in integrating the neurological and musculoskeletal aspects of our physiatry training. Looking forward to possibly taking the lead on increasing the general use of PhyzForum as well as Interventional Pain presence online via the AAPM&R website.

S. Ali Mostoufi, MD
I have been an academic interventional physiatrist with 16 years experience in providing Interventional spine and Pain services.  I am duel board certified in PMR (Tufts)  and fellowship trained in Pain management (Harvard)

I have been faculty of prestigious academic programs including MGH Pain center,Spaulding Rehab Interventional Physiatry,  MGH spine center, BIDMC spine center and Tufts Medical Center Pain center. 

I have been involved with both PM&R residency training and currently serve as chair of Residency training competency committee at Tufts PM&R .  I haveserved as faculty of two pain fellowship programs within harvard university (MGH pain fellowship and Spaulding Rehab Pain fellowship). Spaulding .

For the past 12 yeas I have been the president of a multicenter interventional physiatry group in Boston MA and  surrounding communities, serving 5 different hospital systems . To date   I have performed in excess of 20000 interventional procedures ( Spine and MSK , X-rays and US guided) and actively teach such procedures to our residents.

I believe between administrative skills and vast procedural experience I am in a position to serve as chair of the Interventional Pain. 

Para/Adaptive Athletes and Sports Chair
Jonathan Napolitano, MD
Para-adaptive sport is a passion of mine and I look forward to an opportunity to serve as a chair of our member community. After completing my physical medicine and rehabilitation residency at Loyola University Medical Center and the Hines VA in Chicago, Illinois, I pursued a pediatric sports medicine fellowship at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. In my current role as an assistant professor of PM&R at the Ohio State University College of Medicine and an attending physician at Nationwide Children's Hospital, I have built and direct a comprehensive multidisciplinary adaptive sports medicine program to provide specialized resources for young athletes with disabilities. Through this program I have led the education of physicians, physical and occupational therapists, athletic trainers, and community programmers of adaptive sports.  I have shared the message of the importance of physical activity and sports participation, educating providers on the field of adaptive sports medicine at my institution’s grand rounds, local sports medicine and orthopedic conferences, served as the physician speaker of a regional adapted sports symposium, as well as a guest on podcast that extends internationally. I have served as a resource and advocate for the medical care of the wheelchair-racer at the Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon as well as at the Ohio State High School Athletic Association Track and Field State Championship, which included a “seated division” for the 6th year in 2019. My current adaptive sports research projects include: Adaptive Sports Barriers and Benefits, comparing subjective interviews and objective validated outcome measures in youth verses adult participants in individual verses team sports. I have experience in working with organizational committees, as a leader of the Membership Committee of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, and as a member of Pediatric Research in Sports Medicine. 

As chair I hope to lead and coordinate research initiatives to this field that is in need of evidenced based practice. I look to foster the exploration of multiple research scopes and encourage multi-center collaboration. I hope to elevate our community’s role within the academy as a platform to educate members of AAPM&R on the importance of Para/Adaptive Sports and influence other organizations on the role of the physiatrist in collaborating and further leading the Paralympic movement and medical coverage for these athletes. I envision this community to serve as a networking forum for those of us who share this same passion for para-adaptive sports.

Melissa Tinney, MD
My interest in adaptive sports began within the V.A., caring for veterans with a wide variety of diagnoses including SCI, TBI and amputation.  I was looking for ways to help my patients stay healthy and active as they were aging with a disability.  As chief of my department, I helped to initiate an outpatient recreation therapy program and participated in local adaptive sports events.  I have served as medical provider for the National Veterans Wheelchair Games, the largest wheelchair sporting event in the world. I have continued to work on community outreach and expand programming through the V.A. in Ann Arbor, MI. I currently serve as a board member to the University of Michigan Adaptive and Inclusive Sports Experience (UMAISE) program to help improve patient safety, look at quality improvements and policy to provide safe adaptive sports programming and have initiated an adaptive sports medicine clinic at the University of Michigan. I would like to stay engaged in a community of providers who have the same interest and passion for adaptive sports, which is a vital bridge from initial rehabilitation to lifelong wellness.

Pediatric Rehabilitation Education Vice Chair
Mary Dubon, MD
Mary Dubon, MD is a Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine and Pediatric Sports Medicine physician at Boston Children’s Hospital/Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital/Harvard Medical School and is board certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine, Sports Medicine, and Brain Injury Medicine. Dr. Dubon is excited for the opportunity to apply for Vice Chair of Education of the Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine Community. Coming from a family of teachers, Dr. Dubon has always been passionate about education. Dr. Dubon has been actively involved in the AAPM&R Pediatric Rehabilitation/Developmental Disabilities Council prior to the transition to member communities. For three years, she contributed to the writing of abstract summaries of relevant articles in the field for the In Case You Missed It Section of the member council newsletter. She was recently a nominated AAPM&R representative at the AMSSM Collaborative Research Network Research Summit on Youth Early Sports Specialization. She has lectured locally, regionally, and nationally, and enjoys every aspect of education. She currently has grant funding through the National Curriculum Initiative in Developmental Medicine to pilot disability curriculum with Harvard Medical School students. Dr. Dubon, recently stepped into a new role as Assistant Fellowship Director of the Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine Fellowship at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. She would be honored to serve in this educational leadership role with the Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine member community, helping with educational curriculum focused on evidence-based knowledge in this incredible field.

Sruthi Thomas, MD, PhD
Thank you considering my application! I am a recent (7/2018) graduate of the combined pediatrics & PM&R residency at University of Colorado/Children's Colorado. I am now an assistant professor at Baylor/Texas Children's (TCH). While my main passion is research, I have really enjoyed working with students, residents, and fellows. I love that I can pass on my knowledge while highlighting which of my teachings are based on clinical experience versus scientific evidence. One of my current projects is to create a vetted list of clinical publications that experts feel have shaped clinical practice. My hope is to make this list available to all those in pediatric rehabilitation, particularly fellows in training. I feel that it is imperative to get research findings disseminated and implemented into practice. Further, I feel it is of utmost importance to reduce practice variation to improve patient outcomes. I am developing a research curriculum for the TCH fellowship as well as a corresponding editor position for residents and fellows with the Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine. I would love to add to the member community by providing a perspective on education that is separate from the current fellowship directors.

If I am not selected for Vice Chair of Education, I would also like to be considered for the Vice Chair of Membership. I feel strongly that Pediatric Rehabilitation needs a society home and I am willing to work with the community to carve out our space.

Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine Current Fellows/Combination Residents and Future Candidates Chair
Deanna Jewell, DO
I am interested in serving as the position of chair for Pediatric Rehabilitation Fellows/Combo Residents and Future Candidates. I would like to take over from Stephanie who has done a wonderful job and I hope to emulate her. I know through my own personal process of navigating fellowship applications and interviews, it was beneficial to have her as a contact. I would like to have the opportunity to be available for future applicants in a similar manner.
Furthermore, I recognize the importance of creating a sense of community among current fellows and combo residents. If selected for the position I intend to do this by promoting events and acting as a point of contact or liaison. I have had experience in previous leaderships positions including AAPM&R ambassador and AOCPMR Representative with similar responsibilities. 
I appreciate you taking the time to review my application.

Dara Jones, MD
I am currently a second year Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine Fellow at Montefiore Medical Center. I am applying to serve as a representative for the AAPM&R PRM member community for current trainees. In a small community like ours, I believe it is important for us to be connected and pool our resources and ideas to be better advocates for our patients while also advancing our field. I have had the privilege of serving as the Program Evaluation Committee representative for my senior residency class and also the President and Clinic Director of the student-run homeless clinic during medical school. These experiences have helped to shape me as a leader so that I could become a more effective communicator and organizer. I plan to bring these skills and more to this role. It would be an honor to serve my fellow trainees so that we can continue to equip ourselves in every way to provide the best care to our patients.

Theodore Yip, MD
“Surround yourself with people who you want to become,” my parents once said. So far, in medical school, residency, and fellowship, that’s been easy. I’ve been fortunate to find mentors at every level of training and I take comfort in this when I’m reminded of the responsibility and weight of each decision I make towards my patient’s care. But after fellowship, when I graduate, who will I look to?

With such a small community of pediatric physiatrists, we are challenged to care for patients scattered across thousands of miles. Given this, it is all the more important to connect with members, share ideas, learn techniques, and build expertise together to deliver the best care to our patients.

I’ve had the chance to work as a quality improvement team-work coach and a medical student/resident mentor. I’ve also been fortunate enough to expand my network through training at University of North Carolina’s medical school, Rutgers NJMS/Kessler’s residency, and now the University of Colorado’s PRM fellowship. I believe I am in an ideal position to connect mentor to mentee. As potential chair of the generation in training, it is my hope to help build and strengthen community not only within Peds Rehab, but across disciplines to better deliver care to our patients.

Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine Fellowship Program Director Chair
Amy Kanallakan, MD
Greetings!  This is my letter of interest to serve this incredible Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine Program Director Community as Chair.  My appointment as Program Director at the University of Colorado PRM fellowship program comes with a goal to grow our educational program not as a silo in the state of Colorado, but create curriculum that can be improved collectively, strengthened by our PRM national experts, and even shared with the PRM community.  I am pursuing additional training in curriculum and education through the CU Academy of Medical Educators Teaching Scholars Program over the next 2 years.  As a small specialty we need to leverage our national size and faculty experts to elevate our educational opportunities for all fellows, beyond the boundaries of just national conferences.  I have a goal to connect our PD group personally (as I get to know individuals better!), share our fellowship leadership and educational ideas, create and disseminate quality PRM education, and connect our program directors, fellows and faculty on an even greater level professionally. This group of PDs has incredible depth, experience, expertise and leadership abilities. I would like to highlight and harness the skills of each PD.  Initial goals we can discuss could include:   
- Define the PRM Program Director Community and our goals for this group.  Who have we been and who do we want to be?
- Education: Strengthen PRM fellowship education between programs, not just within an individual program.  Collectively advance the academic goals of our fellows.  Improve PRM fellowship competency-based assessments.
- Mentorship & Collaboration: 
o Connect veteran PDs with more junior PDs
o Connect PRM fellows with other PRM fellows 
o Connect PRM fellows to mentors outside of their fellowship institution
- Recruitment: grow PRM specialty recruitment of medical students and PM&R residents into PRM fellowships and training programs
- Communication: implement a platform for PD communication

David Pruitt, MD
I am grateful to have had the opportunity to unofficially coordinate and lead our PRM program director's meetings over the last many years.  In addition to my experience in organizing our meetings over the previous years,  I will bring insight and knowledge of the accreditation processes with my role as past chair of the ACGME PM&R Residency Review Committee. I would like to provide leadership in this new organizational structure of the AAPM&R and continue to provide opportunities for us  to further develop the PRM fellowship training opportunities for both current and future trainees.

Physiatry Life Care Planners Chair
Sasha Iversen, DO
I have been involved in the practice of Life Care Planning for the past five years. I have experience with completing many different types of Life Care Plans for various individuals. I have good leadership skills and would like to be involved in teaching other Physiatrists about the field of Life Care Planning. Thanks for your consideration.

Walter Friberg, MD
I’m a clinician focused on musculoskeletal medicine and EMG, and also practicing various aspects of Legal Medicine including but not limited Independent Medical Examinations, file reviews, case evaluation for plaintiff and defense attorneys and insurance companies. I’m  Master Certify Independent Medical Examiner (MACIME, certificate #17) of the American Board of Independent Medical Examiners  and certified in AMA Disability Guidance fourth, fifth, and six editions. Recently I took a course for Physician Life Care Planners. My goal is enhance knowledge of my fellow physiatrists in Legal Medicine and especially in the Physician Life Care Planning. I believe that PMR docs are best fit in the area of Legal Medicine due to our holistic approach to patients’ functional limitations.

Sports Medicine Current Fellows and Future Candidates Chair
Shane Davis, MD
Since I first contemplated a career in medicine, I have envisioned myself becoming a sports medicine physician. A life-long athlete myself, I competed in multiple sports throughout high school and continued on to play Division III college basketball. My interest in sports medicine started through my own athletic injuries, and my first experience as a provider came during a year-long internship at an orthopedic sports medicine practice prior to medical school. I have since been active in sports medicine research, sideline coverage and pre-participation physicals. Currently, I continue my training and interest in sports medicine at the UC Irvine PM&R residency and plan to apply for a sports medicine fellowship in the fall of 2021. At a program with no sports medicine fellowship or PM&R sports faculty, I have had to reach out both locally and nationally to get more advice and exposure to the field. As the chair of the community, my aim would be to build a strong network of current, former and aspiring sports medicine fellows to aid in the accessibility of sports medicine training, research and career advice for those across the country. I have already begun to implement similar ideas at my own program and hope to extend this to AAPM&R, where I am already an active member and have served as a Physiatry in Training Ambassador for the past year. 
Thank you for your consideration. 

Stephanie Tow, MD
As a current Sports Medicine fellow, I started this member community to encourage current PM&R Sports Medicine fellows and candidates to network and collaborate on joint efforts/projects and share about common interests. Through an annual survey sent out to PM&R candidates who have participated in the Sports Medicine Match each year, I am also gathering data on the Sports Medicine application/interview/Match experience that will be helpful to future PM&R candidates to Sports Medicine fellowships. I have been using this data to update the Sports Medicine Fellowship guide through the PHiT Board each year as new data comes in and will also be presenting this data at the AAPM&R Annual Assembly in 2019. Through leading this member community, I hope to continue to provide useful information to current fellows and candidates, as well as encourage the community to collaborate on efforts related to Sports Medicine, share resources, network, and mentor each other.

Many of the communities had uncontested nominees. To see who these new chairs and leaders are, click here.