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Speaker Presentation Details


Conference Presenters for Feb. 2022

On this page you will find all the details of each presenter's biography, along with the titles, synopsis, and objectives for each presentation. Keynote speakers are listed first. 


Keynote Dr. Melanie Noel

Title: Diagnostic uncertainty in chronic pain

Synopsis: Living with chronic pain is fraught with uncertainty. Diagnostic uncertainty (DU; i.e., the perception that the explanation or cause of a condition is inaccurate and/or the belief that something more serious is causing the condition that doctors have not yet found) is reported by up to 40% of adults and youth (and their parents) with chronic pain and it is a core source of emotional distress.

Nevertheless, research on diagnostic uncertainty is limited. Dr. Noel will present new quantitative and qualitative longitudinal data on the sources and consequences of DU in individuals with chronic pain and their caregivers. The high prevalence of DU among parents, youth, and adults with chronic pain as well as influences of past medical experiences and clinician communication, and deleterious outcomes (worse mental health and pain) will be presented.

Additionally, research findings on clinician’s experience of uncertainty in the context of treating children with chronic pain and their families will be presented.

Finally, new observational research examining actual clinician-family interactions in initial clinical intake appointments within tertiary chronic pain programs will be presented.

This will illustrate ways of communicating with patients who live with chronic pain and their families (reassurance, validation, explanations for pain) that are, and are not, beneficial in alleviating uncertainty and promoting behaviour change. 

Objective: Attendees will identify the prevalent phenomenon of diagnostic uncertainty in the context of chronic pain as well as specific language and communicative behaviors that either fuel or reduce uncertainty.

Bio: Melanie Noel, PhD, RPsych is an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Calgary and a Full Member of the Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute and the Hotchkiss Brain Institute. She directs the Alberta Children’s Pain Research Lab within the Vi Riddell Pain & Rehabilitation Centre at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Canada.  

Dr. Noel’s expertise is on children’s memories for pain and co-occurring mental health issues and pediatric chronic pain. She published guiding conceptual models of children’s pain memory development, co-occurring PTSD and chronic pain, and fear-avoidance (109 peer-reviewed papers, H index = 31). In recognition of her contributions to advancing knowledge of the psychological aspects of children’s pain, Dr. Noel received early career awards from the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), the Canadian Pain Society, the American Pain Society, the Canadian Psychological Association, and the Society of Pediatric Psychology.

She was named Avenue Magazine Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40 (Class of 2017) and a Killam Emerging Research Leader (2020).


Keynote Dr. Uchenna Ossai

Title: The Chronic Pain of Racism in Leadership

Synopsis: The talk will discuss what effective inclusive leadership looks like in the healthcare space, the global cost of when inclusive leadership does not happen, and discuss specific ways to pivot and implement change in the educational, clinical, and professional environment.

Objective: Individuals will identify 3 strategies to create an inclusive and anti-racist work/clinical/educational environment.

Bio: Uchenna Ossai PT, DPT, WCS, CLT is assistant professor at University of Texas Dell Medical School for Department of Women's Health and manager of the pelvic health physical therapy program at UT Health Austin.  Uchenna completed her clinical doctorate in physical therapy at University of Illinois at Chicago and completed her residency in Women's Health and Movement Impairment Science at Washington University in St. Louis. 

Uchenna is an American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) certified Sexuality Counselor, and is one of only 5 physical therapists in the world with this designation. She also serves in the role as adjunct faculty at the University of Michigan, School of Social Work for Sexual Health Certification Program. Her clinical and research interests include sexual dysfunction in marginalized populations, particularly women of color and the LGBTQ+ community.

Uchenna is creator/founder of YouSeeLogic, a judgement-free social media and education platform dedicated to the sex education and empowerment of adults.


Keynote Dr. Tasha Stanton

Title: Rethinking osteoarthritis – is it more than just the joint?

Synopsis: Traditional medical and public views of osteoarthritis are that it is a degenerative disease of the joint that is progressive and ultimately requires surgical intervention.

New evidence suggests that things are a bit more complex than we might think. This talk will explore the modern view of osteoarthritis by exploring the substantial changes that occur to the pain system and to the immune system, and to the gut, that are heightened by lifestyle and diet factors. It will also explore the key therapeutic targets for osteoarthritic pain recovery, including the role we play as clinicians via our words and language.


  • To have an increased understanding of the neuroimmune changes that occur in painful osteoarthritis
  • To feel equipped to challenge the traditional biomechanical explanation of osteoarthritis and osteoarthritic pain
  • To understand the influence of language and words on the experience of osteoarthritic pain
  • To understand the role of knowledge, activity, and inflammation decreasing strategies in recovery

Bio: Associate Professor Tasha Stanton is the Osteoarthritis Research Theme Lead for IIMPACT in Health at The University of South Australia, Adelaide. A/Prof Stanton currently holds a National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Career Development Fellowship. She is a clinical pain neuroscientist, with original clinical training as a physiotherapist. She has received >$3.4m in competitive research funding, has published >65 peer-reviewed journal articles, and she has been a keynote/invited speaker at >80 national and international conferences.

Her research has won both national and international awards, including the World Congress of Pain Ronald Dubner research award for the best series of papers as a trainee, the Australian Pain Society Rising Star Award and the Australian Physiotherapy Association Best New Investigator Award.

Her research focuses on pain – why do we have it and why doesn’t it go away? She has a specific interest in cortical body representation, somatosensation, multi-modal illusions, and pain.


Dr. Joel Bialosky

Title: "It’s not you, it’s me….."

Synopsis: Rehabilitation interventions are complex requiring an interaction between the patient and the provider.  Corresponding outcomes result from a combination of the non- context dependent ingredients of the specific intervention approach as well as ingredients related to the beliefs of the patient and the provider.  This presentation will focus on provider related contextual factors.  Specifically, how the preferences and beliefs of the provider influence outcomes in patients with musculoskeletal pain complaints seeking care. 

Objective: Identify how provider preferences and beliefs influence outcomes in patients presenting with musculoskeletal pain complaints.

Bio: Joel Bialosky, PT, PhD, FAAOMPT, OCS has over 14 years of clinical experience primarily in orthopedic and musculoskeletal physical therapy. He is a board certified clinical specialist in Orthopaedics and a fellow in the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists. He received a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from Ithaca College in 1990 and a master’s degree in musculoskeletal physical therapy from the University of Pittsburgh in 1998. He graduated from the University of Florida with a PhD in Rehabilitation Science in 2008 with his research interests focused on the mechanisms of manual therapy in the treatment of musculoskeletal pain.

Dr. Bialosky’s research program focuses on 1) placebo mechanisms of rehabilitation interventions and 2) neuroplastic changes in pain associated with musculoskeletal disorders and their response to common rehabilitation interventions.

His primary teaching responsibilities in the entry level program include Musculoskeletal Disorders I and II, Therapeutic Modality Interventions in Physical Therapy, and the Manual Therapy portion of Functional Anatomy 2.‚Äč


Dr. Todd Davenport

Title: What To Do When “Working Out” Isn’t Working Out: Insights from the Physiology of Post-Exertional Symptom Exacerbation

Synopsis: Graded exercise is commonly prescribed after illness to improve symptoms and functional tolerance. Protracted and limited courses of recovery may be associated with post-exertional symptom exacerbation (PESE), which is common after many other forms of viral and bacterial infection including SARS-COV-2. PESE is a constellation of physical, cognitive, and constitutional symptoms that indicate a maladaptive recovery response from activity.

Physiological characteristics of people with PESE differ from deconditioned people in clinically important ways, including differences in the volume of oxygen consumed, heart rate, and ventilation at peak exertion and ventilatory anaerobic threshold.

These physiological differences make graded exercise harmful for people with PESE. This session will discuss the features of PESE compared to deconditioning, the physiology associated with PESE, and introduce the indications and basic principles of energy system first aid for people with PESE.


  • Differentiate between post-exertional symptom exacerbation (PESE) and expected responses to physical activity in deconditioned people
  • Compare and contrast metabolic, cardiac, and ventilatory responses to exercises in people with PESE and deconditioning, respectively
  • Discuss the harms of graded (quota-based) exercise in people with PESE
  • Describe the indications and basic principles for energy system first aid in people with  PESE

Bio: Todd E. Davenport, PT, DPT, MPH, OCS serves as Professor and Vice Chair in the Department of Physical Therapy in the School of Health Sciences at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, where he teaches in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. His research involves translating the evidence related to exercise responses in people with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome into clinical best practices.

In addition to his academic work, Todd consistently has maintained a clinical practice as a physical therapist at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Offices in Stockton, California.


Dr. Jarod Hall & Dr. Mark Kargela

Title: (Co-presenting): "Does Manual Therapy Really Suck?"

Synopsis: Manual therapy is always a really hot topic that has deep-rooted emotional involvement. It is rarely debated well and there has been a ton of aggressive interactions and extremists on social media (example being Adam Meakin’s “manual therapy sucks shirts“?) in the last year or two getting into it over the topic.

We want to bring some comedy and perspective by debating back and forth from extreme and opposite positions. We want to use this both as a way to show how debate should and shouldn’t go and demonstrate what we often look like going after it with each other on these topics.

In the second half of the session, we would then go into a short lecture over what the science of manual therapy actually says from the middle of the road, evidence based, and reasonable perspective.


  • Learners will examine current evidence supporting and refuting the use of manual therapy in clinical practice.
  • Learners will identify effective professional debate and critical evaluation of evidence. 
  • Learners will be able to execute and critique errors in clinical reasoning and critical thinking including, but not limited to post hoc reasoning, appeal to authority, argumentum ad populum, the genetic fallacy, ad hominem attacks, and the sunken cost fallacy. 
  • Learners will recognize principles of narrative based medicine, learned helplessness, and effects of pain self-efficacy on patient outcomes. 
  • Learners will examine a patient centered and evidence informed clinical reasoning framework to implement manual therapy in their patient care plan.


Jarod Hall, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS completed his DPT at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in May, 2014, and is currently working as a regional director at Greater Physical Therapy Centers in Fort Worth Texas, TX. His clinical focus is orthopedics with an emphasis implementation of the most current science of pain to aid in the management of both chronic pain and acute injuries.

Jarod has shown clinical excellence in securing designation as a board certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS) and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). He is a lab faculty member at the UNTHSC DPT program, instructing in the assessment and treatment of orthopedic injuries, pain science, strength and conditioning, and manual therapy. Jarod regularly presents continuing education at the state, national, and international level for practicing physical therapists, occupational therapists, and chiropractors.

In addition, Jarod developed and leads an orthopedic board specialty examination preparatory course through OPTIM Manual Therapy and Fellowship and is a co-owner of Modern Pain Care, an education institute for practicing clinicians seeking to further their clinical expertise and understanding of how to interact with those suffering with musculoskeletal pain.

Finally, he is co-author of the clinical resource text “Making Sense of Pain: A Collection of Analogies and Stories to Better Understand Pain” as well as "Wrinkles on the Inside - A Look into How We Age"

Mark Kargela, PT, DPT, OCS, cert-MDT, MTC, FAAOMPT is a clinical assistant professor and clinical coordinator at the Physical Therapy Institute at Midwestern University. He received his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Grand Valley State University in 2003, his Orthopedic Clinical Specialization in 2008, and completed a fellowship in orthopedic manual physical therapy in 2012 from Evidence in Motion. Dr. Kargela serves as a manuscript reviewer for the Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy and the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy. He has taught continuing education coursework to physical therapists around the country within Evidence in Motion’s fellowship program and continuing education courses up until 2016. He is the founder of Modern Pain Care, a continuing education company, where he lectures and teaches continuing education coursework across the country.

In his current role, Dr. Kargela supervises and practices in the Physical Therapy Institute at Midwestern University. He also lectures nationally on chronic pain and incorporating modern science and current best evidence into physical therapy care and specifically into the care of those in chronic pain.


Matt Low

Title: Coming to terms with complexity: Navigating the terrain between research and practice.

Synopsis: The practice of physiotherapy does not happen in a philosophical vacuum (Anjum and Mumford, 2018). While the idea of an ‘evidence-based’ healthcare might have immediate appeal, what this means in practice relies heavily on what we consider as causal evidence.

From one particular view, ‘evidence’ largely refers to statistical evidence, preferably from randomized controlled trials, linking one type of intervention to a therapeutic effect (Djulbegovic and Guyatt, 2017). What works on group level, however, does not easily transfer to the individual.

Navigating the terrain toward a genuinely person-centered approach cannot consist of treating the patient as a statistical average of its most relevant sub-group, but rather in finding what approach works best for that individual person in their current situation. Starting from exploring the inherent complexity of a person suffering in persistent pain, this presentation walks through the challenges that are met with regards to reaching the 'totality of evidence' and its application in a real world setting, particularly that which lies outside of the clinic door.


  • Discuss and explore the concept of complexity and its relationship to Physical Therapy clinical practice.
  1. Implement the intertwining nature and integration of philosophy, science and the humanities as relevant to Physical Therapy clinical practice. 
  2. Critique the totality of evidence in clinical decision making in Physical Therapy clinical practice.
  3. Recognize future perspectives in working with complexity with respect to Physical Therapy practice.

Bio: Matthew Low is a Consultant Physiotherapist in the NHS and is a Visiting Associate at the Orthopaedic Research Institute at Bournemouth University, UK, working on the philosophy and practice of person-centred care, causal complexity of pain and critical clinical reasoning.


Syreeta Nolan

Title: My Intersection of Chronic Pain, Medical Trauma, and Blackness

Synopsis: To be Black and Disabled is a great risk in today’s society. When we speak about Fibromyalgia and trauma, the conversation is usually looking at the trauma that caused Fibromyalgia. My experiences go beyond the trauma that caused Fibromyalgia to the trauma that continues. 

Objective: Participants in this session will identify intersectionality and medical trauma to empower each to create safer spaces for their patients.

Bio: Syreeta Nolan is a disability advocate at University of California San Diego majoring in Human Health Psychology. She serves as Underrepresented Student Officer for the University of California Student Association and co-founded UCSA’s Disability Ad Hoc Committee that will be pursuing non-profit status to expand their mission to disabled students, faculty, staff and alumni. She is also the co-founder of Disabled in Higher Education on Twitter. Follow this movement @DisInHigherEd and her @nolan_syreeta.

Syreeta identifies as a Black, Disabled, bisexual woman and her lived experiences have informed her advocacy goals along with her career goals. She hopes to go to graduate school for Health Policy and Management towards her goal of transforming the mental health field through comprehensive preventive systems similar to what we have in our physical health system. 

To expand your perspective, visit Syreeta’s blog at:


Daria Oller

Title: A Physical Therapist’s Lived Experience with Long COVID

Synopsis: In March 2020, physical therapist and athletic trainer Daria Oller contracted COVID 19. Her symptoms persisted, becoming Long COVID. When traditional approaches to  rehabilitation proved problematic and even dangerous, she was forced to reconsider the  paradigm of exercise serving as medicine.

Through social media, she was able to connect with  and learn from clinical and research experts in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue  Syndrome, as well as find peer support and become a founding member of Long COVID Physio. 

She shares her unique perspectives as both a clinician and a patient living with an emerging  condition, as well as current evidence.

Objective: Attendees will be able to identify and describe common Long COVID signs and  symptoms.

Bio: Daria Oller, PT, DPT, ATC is a clinical physical therapist at Pro-Activity in New Jersey in both an outpatient clinic and on-site with employer clients. She specializes in working with dancers and athletes and in prevention and health promotion.

She is also an athletic trainer, and has worked in clinical, research, and education settings. Daria contracted COVID-19 in March 2020. It continues to affect her daily life, including her ability to participate in and pursue her lifelong passions for dance and running. She is one of the founding members of Long COVID Physio, and has been sharing her lived experience on social media. 


David Poulter

Title: Patient Centered Care and Developing the Therapeutic Alliance. Have We Lost Focus?

Synopsis: This talk will review the key components of the patient centered approach and developing of the therapeutic alliance based on 30+ years of clinical experience and the current evidence based literature.

It will also ask the question, have we misunderstood the term “patient centered” and propose that we move from a patient centered to a person focus approach in our clinical interactions.

The talk will also include participant interaction, discussion and question time.

Objective: Participants will be able to identify, discuss, and evaluate the differences between a patient centered model of care and a person focused model and approach to care.

Bio: David Poulter, PT, B.Sc. Special Hon,  Dip MDT, is a British trained Physical Therapist. He emigrated to Australia in 1986 where he ran a private practice specializing in treating musculoskeletal problems.

He obtained his Diploma in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy in 1992. On completion of his diploma course he moved to New Zealand to teach the McKenzie Institute International Diploma course.

David spent 3 years working alongside Robin McKenzie developing the diploma program.

In 1995 he moved the McKenzie Diploma course to Coon Rapids, Minnesota, to its new home at Two Rivers Center.

David was the McKenzie Institute International Director of Education from 1996-1998 inclusive.

He taught the diploma course from 1995-2000 at the Two Rivers clinic and for NovaCare after 1998. He was a Senior Faculty Member of the US McKenzie Institute from 1995-2000, and a senior faculty member of the McKenzie Institute International from 1992-2000.

After leaving the McKenzie Institute, David  developed and taught his own courses based on the “Patient Centered Model.”  He has presented his two main courses “Patients have all the Answers”, and “Telling isn’t Teaching” in Britain, Sweden, Denmark, Greece, Ireland and the USA. He also developed and presented nationally and internationally two courses on “Spinal Differentiation” and “Manual techniques in a Patient Centered Paradigm.”

David has presented at numerous MSK conferences in both the USA & internationally.

He specializes in treating Musculoskeletal issues, patient empowerment and self treatment. He has extensive experience in treating the conditions of the spine, shoulder, hip, knee, and post surgical rehabilitation.

David is currently working as a consultant through his own company MT3 .  During the COVID pandemic he has been teaching &  presenting online webinars. Recently he has co-developed a clinical mentoring program, with Evie MartinPT,  through Physios Online UK


Dr. Jason Silvernail

Title: Conflict and Safety in Clinical Spaces

Synopsis: This session will focus on workplace violence and interpersonal conflict. Dr Silvernail will set the stage with a review of how common workplace violence and conflict is in healthcare settings. He will review existing best practices and policies for safety by major organizations and touch on practical verbal and conceptual skills participants can apply the next day to recognize warning signs of imminent conflict and defuse conflict when it happens, and protect themselves from workplace violence.

Workplace violence and conflict is common in medicine and reviews show health care workers from a variety of professional groups experience verbal and physical abuse and sexual harassment regularly. Few professional programs teach students and practitioners how to recognize and manage verbal and physical abuse in a workplace setting.

This presentation will help you recognize, defuse and de-escalate conflict in clinical spaces and help you be more confident in dealing with these issues.


  • Identify the overall prevalence of workplace violence in healthcare
  • Define indicators of imminent conflict and violence
  • Demonstrate verbal de-escalation skills
  • Setting and enforcing interpersonal boundaries

Bio: Jason Silvernail, DPT, DSc, FAAOMPT, has been a practicing physical therapist since 1997, on duty in the United States Army as a career military officer with over 25 years of service. Dr. Silvernail has worked with a wide variety of patient populations and settings including orthopedic/sports, chronic pain, amputee and neurological rehabilitation, and strength and conditioning.

Dr Silvernail earned his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Scranton, and his Doctor of Science from Baylor University. He is board-certified in Orthopedic Physical Therapy and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He is also a graduate of the prestigious Army-Baylor Army-Baylor Doctoral Fellowship in Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy at Fort Sam Houston, earning him a Fellowship in the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy.

A clinician and researcher, he has published clinical commentaries and original research in the medical literature (including the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy, Manual Therapy, and the Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy) and he has a prominent professional presence online where you can connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.

Opinions expressed by Dr. Silvernail are his own and do not represent the official policy or position of the United States Army, the Department of Defense, or the United States Government.


Dr. Lisa VanHoose

Title: Your pain evaluation is incomplete without a zipcode assessment 

Synopsis: The role of the physical therapist or physical therapist assistant in the assessment and management of pain has been proven in the literature. As providers, we must ensure that the pain evaluation is thorough to maximize health, wellness, and rehabilitation outcomes.

One of the components commonly missing from the physical therapy evaluation is the analysis of the patient/client's zip code and its impact on current and future health status. This session will discuss the current literature regarding zip code or geographical location, pain presentation, and health outcomes.

Participants will learn how to conduct secondary data analyses, integrate findings into the physical therapy evaluation and plan of care, and communicate clinical findings to local, state, and national stakeholders as a means of partnering with other entities to improve population health. 


  • Identify public datasets and search engines to locate zipcode-related data related to pain prevalence and presentation. 
  • Recognize zipcode data and its relevance to the physical therapy evaluation and plan of care in the management of pain. 
  • Assemble findings for the patient/client, the healthcare community, and other stakeholders.

Bio: Dr. Lisa VanHoose is an Associate Professor and Program Director in the Physical Therapy Department at the University of Louisiana Monroe. Dr. VanHoose received her PhD in Rehabilitation Science and MPH from the University of Kansas Medical Center. She completed fellowships at the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and the National Institute of Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute PRIDE Summer Institute with an emphasis in Cardiovascular Genetic Epidemiology. Her Bachelor of Science in Health Science and Master of Science in Physical Therapy were completed at the University of Central Arkansas.

Dr. VanHoose has practiced oncologic physical therapy since 1996. She is a Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Oncologic Physical Therapy. As a NIH, PCORI, and industry funded researcher, Dr. VanHoose investigates socioecological models of cancer related side effects with an emphasis on minority and rural cancer survivorship.

She has been an advocate for movement of all persons, including the elimination of social policies and practices that are barriers to movement friendly environments. Dr. VanHoose served as the 2012-2016 President of the Academy of Oncologic Physical Therapy of the American Physical Therapy Association.

She currently provides oncology rehabilitation services through the Ujima Institute, PLLC, as the owner and service provider.