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Conference Speakers

headshot of Yuri Agrawal

Yuri Agrawal, M.D.


Dr. Yuri Agrawal is a Neurotologist-Skull Base Surgeon whose practice is focused on the medical and surgical treatment of ear, hearing and balance disorders. She sees patients for a range of conditions including hearing loss, deafness, otosclerosis, cholesteatoma, skull base tumors, acoustic neuromas and vestibular (inner ear balance) disorders. She directs a research program focused on studying age-related changes in vestibular function, and her group’s work is funded by several NIH and foundation grants.

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Shirley Ansari, BSN, RN, CNRN

Shirley Ansari is a Registered Nurse in The Johns Hopkins Hospital neuroscience acute care unit.
Education: Nursing, Mumbai, India, 1984

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Samantha Babiarz, ADN, RN

Samantha Babiarz is a Registered Nurse II at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

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Danielle Balsano, BSN, RN

Danielle Balsano is a Registered Nurse at The Johns Hopkins Hospital cardiac care unit.
Education: University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, bachelor's in nursing science, 2016 – 2017. Completed Accelerated BSN Program. Boston College, bachelor's in history. 2006 – 2010.

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Larissa Bell, BSN, RN, PCCN

Larissa Bell is a Lead Clinical Nurse at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Education: Spring Arbor University, master's in family practice nursing, 2020 – 2022. Pensacola Christian College, bachelor's in nursing, 1998 – 2002.

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Charles Brown, M.D.

Dr. Charles Brown is an assistant professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His area of clinical expertise is cardiac anesthesia. His research interests include quality and outcomes regarding perioperative management of older adults, specifically focused on post-operative delirium, cognitive change and transfusion practices.

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Shelby Cahill, BSN, RN

Shelby Cahill is a Registered Nurse at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Education: Towson University, bachelor's in nursing, 2010 – 2015.

Carmen Capo-Lugo

Carmen E. Capó-Lugo, PT, Ph.D.

Dr. Capo-Lugo's research focuses on identifying and optimizing processes of care associated with rehabilitation in order to promote long-term patient recovery. Specifically, Dr. Capo-Lugo is interested developing patient-centered approaches to rehabilitation that provide continuity of care between acute rehabilitation and long-term community recovery for individuals with acquired neurological disabilities.

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Kelly Casey, OTD, OTR/L, BCPR, ATP, CPAM

Kelly Casey is a Clinical Specialist at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Education: Virginia Commonwealth University, doctorate in occupational therapy

Michelle Cvach

Michelle Cvach, M.S.


Michelle Cvach is an Operations Project Lead for the Johns Hopkins Health System Office of Telemedicine. Prior to this, she spent 4.5 years as the AMP project manager, assisting the team in managing a variety of quality improvement projects related to promotion of activity and mobility. Cvach graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree, and in 2017 obtained a master’s in health informatics administration.

Kelly Daley

Kelly Daley, PT, MBA


Kelly Daley is the director of rehabilitation informatics and analytics and a clinical informatics program coordinator at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. She is a certified Epic clinician builder and a funded member of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute TARGET study team focusing on pragmatic physician and therapist care of acute low back pain.

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Stacey Danielczyk, MS, RN

Stacey Danielczyk is a Nurse Educator at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Education: Stevenson University, master's in nursing education, 2011 – 2013. Salisbury University, bachelor's in nursing, 1995 – 1999.

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Katherine Denlinger, PT, DPT, PCS

Katherine Denlinger is a physical therapist and certified clinical specialist in pediatrics at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. She led the physical and occupational therapy departments in establishing the psychometric properties for use of the AM-PAC "6-clicks" Short Forms in the pediatric acute care setting and implemented their use at Johns Hopkins Children's Center. She is currently awaiting approval of publication for this work with plans to then implement this tool at additional pediatric hospital sites.

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Michael DiMare, PT, DPT, GCS, MSOM

Michael DiMare is the Operations Manager of Rehabilitation Services at Geisinger Wyoming Valley and Geisinger South Wilkes Barre. Michael has overall accountability for all inpatient and outpatient operations of physical, occupational and speech therapy services spanning two hospitals and two outpatient clinics. Michael attained his Doctor of Physical Therapy and Master of Science in Organizational Management degrees from Misericordia University. Michael is a Geriatric Certified Specialist through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. Michael is passionate about increasing mobility in the acute care setting and improving the health of all individuals through rehabilitation services.

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Jordi Elings, PT, M.Sc.

Jordi Elings is a physical therapist working at the orthopedic department at a regional hospital in the Netherlands. He has his doctorate in measuring functional recovery in patients opting for a total hip or knee arthroplasty (2021). In 2017-2018 he participated in a project with different researchers, interior designers, specialized lighting professionals, architects and healthcare professionals to encourage patients through adaptations in the hospital environment. The inpatient inactivity levels are high in hospitals, and through various initiatives, he tries to integrate normal patient activities into daily practice.

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Holley Farley, BSN, RN

Holley Farley is a Nursing Coordinator for Clinical Quality at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Education: Towson University, bachelor's in nursing, 2010 – 2012.

Eleni Flanagan

Eleni Flanagan, MSN, MBA, RN-BC


Eleni Flanagan is an Assistant Director at the Johns Hopkins Department of Medical Nursing. Over the past 20 years, she has served the Department of Medicine in many capacities: ICU nurse clinician, shift coordinator, case manager and nurse manager for three different units, including the Cardiology Progressive Cardiac Care Unit (PCCU) and Interventional Cardiology and Electrophysiology labs.

Michael Friedman

Michael Friedman, PT, MBA


Michael Friedman is the Director of Strategic Program Development and faculty member of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Mr. Friedman co-directs the Johns Hopkins Medicine Activity and Mobility Promotion (AMP). His responsibilities include integration of rehabilitation within health system initiatives inclusive but not limited to population health, quality improvement, clinical research, practice standardization and functional outcome measurement.

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Susan Gearhart, M.D.

Dr. Gearhart is dedicated to the surgical management of colorectal diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease and sporadic and hereditary colorectal cancer and pelvic organ dysfunction.

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Stephanie Hiser, PT, DPT


Dr. Hiser is currently a Ph.D. student through the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where her thesis research is focused on rehabilitation prescription in the ICU. Over the last 5 years since receiving her DPT, she has graduated from both the Johns Hopkins and University of Delaware Acute Care Residency and the Johns Hopkins Critical Care Fellowship, and has become board specialized in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary physical therapy. Her clinical and research interests are focused on improving rehabilitation in the ICU and patient outcomes.

Erik Hoyer

Erik Hoyer, M.D.

Erik Hoyer is an assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. As a vice chair for quality, safety and service, he leads efforts to improve patient safety and care at Johns Hopkins, including an initiative called Activity and Mobility Promotion (AMP) to get patients up and moving following surgery.

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Melinda Kantsiper, M.D.

Melinda Kantsiper, M.D., serves as assistant director of the Division of Hospital Medicine, as well as director of recruitment. A member of the Johns Hopkins Bayview Cancer Committee, Dr. Kantsiper also serves as coordinator of the weekly Tumor Conference. Her research focus on improving communication between breast cancer survivors and their oncologists, surgeons and primary care providers.

Lisa Klein


Lisa Klein is a neuroscience nurse and an adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist in two 32-bed acute care medical-surgical neuroscience units at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Klein received a bachelor’s and then a master’s degree in nursing from the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. Over the past 10 years, she has championed efforts to improve patient mobility, decrease patient falls and strengthen patient outcomes by mentoring staff members, enhancing education and advancing quality improvement initiatives.

Sapna Kudchadkar

Sapna Kudchadkar, M.D., Ph.D.


Dr. Sapna Kudchadkar is an associate professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine, pediatrics and physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her areas of interest include sleep disturbances in critically ill children, pediatric delirium prevention and management, sedation of mechanically ventilated children, pediatric ICU rehabilitation and mobility, and clinical epidemiology and biostatistics.

Sowmya Kumble

Sowmya Kumble, PT, N.C.S., A.B.P.T.S


Sowmya Kumble is a clinical resource analyst in acute care at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. She is a subject matter expert for the AMP team, developing content and educational materials for implementation of AMP. She is working actively to integrate AMP with fall prevention and safe patient handling committee to progress mobility safely in the ICU and hospital settings.

Annette Lavezza. occupational therapist

Annette Lavezza, OTR/L


Annette Lavezza is the acute care therapy consultation services manager at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. She has 25 years of experience as an occupational therapist, clinically specializing in care for patients with neurological impairments. She uses her experience to engage in transdisciplinary quality improvement projects and is responsible for collaborative efforts to integrate documentation of function in the medical record across disciplines.

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Josie Leal, BSN, RN

Josie Leal is a Lead Clinical Nurse at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Education: West Visayas State University, bachelor's in nursing, 1992.

headshot of Prue McRae

Prue McRae, MPhil, Bphty

Prue McRae is the Statewide Program Manager for the Eat Walk Engage program, an evidence-based inpatient model to reduce delirium and enhance functional recovery in older inpatients which has been implemented in hospitals throughout the state of Queensland. She is a physiotherapist by background and is part of a multidisciplinary research group undertaking observational and improvement studies to improve care and outcomes of older people in hospital.

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Alison Mudge, Ph.D., M.B.B.S. (Hons)


Dr. Alison Mudge is general physician and health services researcher at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH). She is passionate about creating more age-friendly hospitals to improve the experience and outcomes of hospital care. Alison leads a collaborative multidisciplinary research group undertaking observational and improvement studies in geriatric syndromes, malnutrition, exercise rehabilitation and hospital readmissions, as well as leading capacity building programs in implementation science to get evidence into practice. She leads the Eat Walk Engage program, an evidence-based inpatient model to reduce delirium and enhance functional recovery in older inpatients which has been implemented in hospitals throughout the state of Queensland and is improving care for thousands of older inpatients each year.

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Lauren M. Murphy, DNP, RN, ACNS-BC

Lauren Murphy is the Nursing Quality Improvement and Research Specialist at Geisinger Wyoming Valley and Geisinger Community Medical Centers, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA. She is a certified Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialist (ACNS-BC). Her responsibilities include developing evidence-based practice projects with clinical nurses at the bedside, site coordinator for NDNQI®, monitoring nursing sensitive quality indicators and emerging nursing research. Dr. Murphy has been the co-investigator of multiple nursing research studies and has presented in forums across the country. She is a member of the American Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, Eastern Nursing Research Society and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. She has earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree (Carlow University) and a Women in Leadership Certificate (Cornell University). Dr. Murphy is an advocate for nursing and promotes interprofessional collaborative partnerships. 

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Dale Needham, M.D., Ph.D.


Dr. Dale Needham is a professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He also holds an appointment in physical medicine and rehabilitation. His areas of clinical expertise include pulmonary and critical care medicine.

Dr. Needham serves as the medical director of the Critical Care Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Program and the director of the Outcomes After Critical Illness and Surgery (OACIS) Group at Johns Hopkins.

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Jessica Peters, BSN, RN

Jessica Peters is a Senior Clinical Nurse in the surgical unit at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

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Ashley Pleiss, RN, B.S.

Ashley Pleiss is a Lead Clinical Nurse at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and she also serves as the resource nurse for the Activity and Mobility Promotion (AMP) program for the Johns Hopkins Health System. Ashley served as the Hospitalist Unit Mobility Advocate for the Department of Medicine before her role with AMP. As the AMP resource nurse, her responsibilities include rounding on inpatient units, disseminating data, educating nurses on mobility and documentation, facilitating mobility meetings and promoting the #everyBODYmoves campaign. 

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Alphonsa Rahman, DNP, APRN, CNS, CCRN

Joint Faculty at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.
Education: Walden University, January 2011 - December 2015.

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Melissa Richardson, M.B.A.

Melissa Richardson is vice president of care coordination and clinical resource management for The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

In this role, Melissa oversees the Department of Care Coordination and Clinical Resource Management, with responsibility for case management, social work and utilization management. Her focus includes transforming patient care delivery with strategic and innovative approaches, improving patient transitions of care to and from the community setting, reducing readmissions and developing population health strategies for The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

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Saundra Roberts, RN

Saundra Roberts is a Registered Nurse II at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

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Emily Sacca, PT, DPT

Emily Sacca serves as Assistant Director for Inpatient and Outpatient Rehabilitation Services at Baptist Health in Lexington, KY. She is actively working to improve multidisciplinary communication regarding patient mobility, safe patient handling and system-wide role out of AMPAC and JH-HLM tools through continual education and collaboration with nursing staff for implementation.

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Diana Sanchez, BSN, RN

Diana Sanchez is a Registered Nurse at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Education: Drexel University, bachelor's in nursing, 2013 – 2015. University of Pennsylvania, bachelor's in biology, 2007 – 2011.

Nicole Schechter

Nicole Schechter, Psy.D.


Nicole Schechter is an assistant professor and rehabilitation psychologist in the Johns Hopkins Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She is an active trainer, researcher and program developer, studying provider-patient communication and the impacts on provider confidence, skills, and attitudes and patient health outcomes.

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Tenise Shakes, MSN, RN, CNRN

Tenise Shakes is a Nurse Manager in the Brain Rescue Unit at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Education: Coppin State University, bachelor's in nursing.
Clinical Practice Interests: normal pressure hydrocephalus, peer review and performance management and onboarding and orientation of the new employee.
Certification: Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse (CNRN)

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Anita Stone, M.S., CSPHA

Anita Stone is the Associate Director of Health, Safety, and Environment for Johns Hopkins Medicine. She received her bachelor’s degree in safety and environmental management from Slippery Rock University and her master’s degree in environmental sciences and policy from Johns Hopkins University. Over the past 20 years she has helped to lead a comprehensive employee safety program with the main goal of reducing employee injuries and workers compensation costs. She co-chairs the Johns Hopkins Hospital Safe Patient Handling Committee which oversees the implementation of engineering controls such as lifts and transfer devices in order to prevent employee injuries while mobilizing patients.

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Nozomi Tahara, BSN, RN, CNRN

Nozomi Tahara is a Registered Nurse in Department of Neurosciences at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

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Kathy Tussey, MSN, RN, NEA-BC

Kathy Tussey, MSN, RN, is Executive Director of Administrative Services at Baptist Health Lexington. She provides leadership to nursing and patient care services throughout the facility while also working with other departments which support patient care and employees. Her responsibilities include providing strategic leadership and direction to patient experience, pastoral care, organizational/professional/leadership development, education/training, outpatient nutrition services and diabetes education/management programs and the translation of business strategy into organizational initiative and priorities.

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Karin Valkenet, Ph.D., PT


Karin Valkenet is senior researcher in physiotherapy sciences at the Department Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy Sciences & Sport at the University Medical Centre Utrecht (the Netherlands). Her research is closely linked to the daily care practice of clinical physiotherapy. Her Ph.D. thesis was focused in prehabilitation in cardiac and esophageal cancer surgery. Her current research focuses on physical (in)activity of patients before, during and after hospital stay. With the digitalization of health care, Karin more and more focuses on integrating eHealth within daily care practice.

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Lotte van Delft, M.Sc.


Lotte van Delft is a physiotherapist at the intensive care unit and Ph.D. student in clinical health sciences at the Department Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy Sciences & Sport at the University Medical Centre Utrecht (the Netherlands). Her research project focuses on the implementation and evaluation of Hospital in Motion, a multidimensional and multidisciplinary intervention project aimed to increase physical activity of patients during hospital stay. In addition to the general project, Lotte van Delft focuses on the development of an intervention for family participation in physiotherapy-related care of critically ill patients.

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Kalli Veldman, MSN, RN

Kalli Veldman is a Registered Nurse at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Education: Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, master's in nursing, 2017– 2018. Elon University, bachelor's in exercise science, 2010– 2014.

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Gina Vickery, BSN, RN

Gina Vickery is a Senior Clinical Nurse III in the surgical unit at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. She was one of the winners of 2020 Excellence in Nursing Award.

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Charlie Workman, PT, MSPT, M.B.A.

Charlie Workman PT, MSPT, M.B.A., completed his undergraduate work at Asbury University earning a bachelor's degree in science, then received his master's degree in physical therapy from the University of Kentucky in 2000. He continued his education by completing a master’s degree in business administration from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2012. Charlie has been with the Baptist Health System since 2013 and currently serves as Executive Director for Oncology Services at Baptist Health in Lexington KY. Prior healthcare leadership experience includes Assistant Director for Acute Inpatient and Outpatient PT, OT and SLP services at Baptist Health, Program Manager for Traumatic Brain Injury and Stroke Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation Services as well as Outpatient Rehabilitation Services and Wellness Programming at Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital in Lexington KY. Previous professional presentations and special interests include clinical research initiatives, personal and business finance and budgeting strategies and patient-centered care continuum coordination.

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Paul Wright, RN BSc.N CNNc


Paul Wright has worked as a direct care provider in the neurosciences population for the Ottawa Hospital and the Calgary Zone within Alberta Health Services, formerly the Manager for the Neurological Rehabilitation Program in Calgary and is currently the Director for Patient Safety, Clinical Quality Improvement and Patient and Family Centred Care for the Calgary Zone. Paul holds a Bachelor’s degree in nursing science from the University of Ottawa and a CNA certification for neuroscience nursing in Canada.

Paul’s focus is creating new opportunities for patients and families to be involved with health care improvements, system design and ensuring the patient and family are at the center of all care provision. Paul is leading the grassroots initiative to End PJ Paralysis in Alberta with the focus of getting patients up, dressed and moving for better health.

Daniel Young

Daniel Young, PT, DPT, Ph.D.


Daniel Young is an associate professor in the Physical Therapy Department at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Dr. Young’s is involved in research in the areas of acute care physical therapy, rehabilitation epidemiology, physical therapy, wound care and pressure injuries. He is actively working to improve identification and documentation of pressure injuries by health care providers and to provide direction to rehabilitation providers working in the hospital.

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