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2020 Ballot. Voting will open September 21, 2020.

President: RJ Williams

Professional Bio: Address your qualifications or expertise (previous Association service or volunteer activities, as well as practice-related expertise.)

RJ Williams currently serves as the American Physical Therapy Association Nevada Chapter President after previously serving in the vice-president role. Over this period the association created new and engaging opportunities for advancing the professional of Nevada such as the PT/OT conference joining our profession with our local partners in rehabilitation, the Tri-state conference in which we hosted our neighbors in Arizona and California, and even digitally now on Mighty Networks a private social platform to combat the difficulties of social distancing while maintaining connectedness. We also successfully navigated a very challenging and contested issue of dry needling against the acupuncture board protecting our ability to perform this valuable treatment option to keep patients pain free. We feel confident in our position to pass the licensure compact bill in this upcoming year. In his professional role, RJ works with private practice owners within FYZICAL all across the country which gives him a unique view at association happenings around the country and the discrepancies in how each state operates. He would love the opportunity to continue facilitating the advancement of our profession as the ideal provider to help people optimize the human experience.

Describe what you feel is the most important issue facing Nevada PT professionals.

Every year we face ongoing challenges financially in our current medical model. COVID 19 has placed considerable strain on the entire industry and community creating a squeeze on both sides. Many patients and potential patients are faced with difficult personal hardships while being asked to pay more out of pocket for services. While at the same time, reimbursement for therapy services continues to be first-order for budgetary decisions to balance their books. Now more than ever we need to work to abate these issues with potential ideas of co-pay legislation and combative advocacy to maintain fair reimbursement while simultaneously seeking more ways for patients to interact with physical therapists through direct access, telehealth, wellness services, and other meaningful health delivery methods.

How can the Chapter Board of Directors best serve Chapter members?

Being open and receptive to feedback. The number one, most important, role we can serve as a board is advocating for the interests of its members. This means hearing and acting on both the positive and negatives objectively. I want to continue to create avenues for members to reach out, communicate what matters most to them, and provide just and honest feedback. We have been working to evolve our district meetings to find a way to confirm attendance and create a follow-up quiz to allow for CCEs remotely. This would be a huge win even as we can return to in-person meetings to allow members to qualify for this training for competence without having to commute strengthening the value of your members.

Secretary: Nicole Lang


Professional Bio: Nicole Lang is a physical therapist, director of rehabilitation, and area manager of operations overseeing 4 small hospitals in Las Vegas, NV. During her tenure with APTA NV, she has served as secretary and chair of the Student SIG, attended Federal Advocacy Forum as a student and as a licensee, served on the executive committee for the OT/PT Joint Conference, served as a nonpaid lobbyist, as Practice Chair, and as Secretary. In 2018, she co-founded APTA NV's Key Contact Initiative alongside Susan Priestman after identifying a significant gap between members, their goals, and legislation. Nicole also served as alternate delegate to APTA's 2020 virtual House of Delegates.

Describe what you feel is the most important issue facing Nevada PT professionals.

To me, the most important issue facing Nevada's PTs and PTAs is the lack of advocacy for our own profession and, relatedly, the lack of awareness of ways we can get involved in advancing the integrity of our own profession. Advocacy is a constant, multi-faceted journey and is one of the best ways we can serve our patients on a large scale.

How can the Chapter Board of Directors best serve Chapter members?

The most helpful way for the APTA NV BOD to serve our members is to educate them and to provide them with evolving opportunities to advocate for our profession and get involved in protecting our patients access to quality care by fighting constant threats to reimbursement. We find ourselves in a unique moment in which what has previously worked is no long a viable option. We need to get creative and be persistent in our pursuit of becoming the best physical therapists and assistants that we can be, and that work starts when we clock out.

Director: Vacant


PTA Caucus Representative: Vacant


Candidate 1 of 2: Joshua Hutapea

I served as the APTA Student Representative for Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California for the past 3 years. During my time as student representative, I was given the opportunity to sit in on the California chapter’s annual legislative meetings. In 2019 I participated in Legislative Day, an event sanctioned by the California chapter, that allowed myself and other students and therapists to lobby to state legislators in efforts to stop a piece of legislation that would directly impact the way physical therapists and athletic trainers practice. I have continued to remain an active member of both the national association and state chapter, as well as the orthopedics section during my entire time as a student. Having recently graduated and moved back to my home state of Nevada, I am now a proud member of our Nevada state chapter.
Describe what you feel is the most important issue facing Nevada PT professionals.

The most important issue facing Nevada PT professionals is the lack of professional membership and lack of representation within the national association. The Nevada chapter had significantly less delegates present at the most recent Tri-State Conference held at the South Point Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada last October, which was held in our own state. Addressing this disparity and introducing methods to encourage more professional membership within our state chapter would bring unity within our profession and visibility to our influence within the national association.

How can the Chapter Board of Directors best serve Chapter members?

The Chapter Board of Directors can best serve chapter members by increasing communication lines and transparency between the districts and their constituents. Our profession and therapists and therapist assistants alike would benefit from being able to engage in conversations through monthly social gatherings, while adhering to the safety measures set in place by the CDC and local governing bodies.

Delegate Candidate 2 of 2: Tricia Catalino

Tricia Catalino, PT, DSc lives in Las Vegas and works remotely as Program Director and Associate Professor of the developing DPT education program at Hawai'i Pacific University. She will continue to live in Nevada even when the program launches. Dr. Catalino was previously part of the faculty and Assistant Program Director of the School of Physical Therapy at Touro University Nevada.

During her 24 years of clinical practice, Dr. Catalino has served children with disabilities and their families in the early intervention setting and is a Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Pediatric Physical Therapy. She currently works part-time as a Clinical Evaluator for an FDA drug trial for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Dr. Catalino has served APTA Nevada for the past several years as alternate delegate, delegate, and Chief Delegate. In these roles, she has participated in year-round governance of the APTA and led the APTA Nevada Delegation during years when the House of Delegates deliberated, and reviewed hundreds of House documents presented by a Special Committee of the HOD. In 2020, Dr. Catalino prepared the Nevada delegation for the very first ‘virtual’ HOD. Previously, Dr. Catalino served on APTA Nevada’s Nominating Committee and as the Nominating Committee Chair. She has a passion for the physical therapy profession and for contributing and advocating via the governance process.

Dr. Catalino has also served the physical therapy profession as a leader in the APTA Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy. She serves on the APTA Pediatrics Board of Directors as the Director of Professional Development. She is also Co-Chair of the APTA Pediatrics Annual Conference and previously served as the Chair of the Early Intervention Special Interest Group, and member and Chair of the Nominating Committee.

Dr. Catalino is a credentialed graduate of the APTA Education Leadership Institute Fellowship. She is Past-President of the Nevada Division for Early Childhood Subdivision and the physical therapy coordinator for Nevada LEND.

She has served as a presenter at national and international conferences such as the APTA CSM, Educational Leadership Conference, APTA Pediatrics Annual Conference, and the Division for Early Childhood Annual Conference. Her work appears in peer-reviewed journals including Pediatric Physical Therapy and Infants & Young Children.

Describe what you feel is the most important issue facing Nevada PT professionals.

Questions abound about the future of healthcare and the role that physical therapy will play as Nevada and the entire country continues to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. There is no one way to simplify the confounding variables at play and whether one issue is most important to Nevada PT’s, PTA’s and students enrolled in our PT and PTA programs. However, one issue that seems to affect both the livelihood of current and future Nevada PT’s and PTA’s and the outcomes of their clients and patients is payment for physical therapy services. A multi-prong approach is needed to preserve and improve payment for PT services. This includes state and federal advocacy, making data-based and evidence-informed clinical decisions to optimize outcomes, promoting the value of physical therapy, investing in high-quality research to show the value of physical therapy, and sometimes making tough personal and professional decisions about how and where practice.

How can the Chapter Board of Directors best serve Chapter members?

The APTA Nevada Board of Directors and Officers are elected to serve, represent, and promote the Nevada physical therapy community. Ideally, they do this by engaging and partnering with members to understand their needs and to offer potential solutions and resources. This can be as simple as linking a member to state and national guidance on telehealth or as complex as collaborating with multiple stakeholders to protect the physical therapy profession during the state legislative session. The BOD and Officers can also best serve members by offering opportunities to get involved and stay involved. APTA and APTA Nevada ARE our members so we must be accessible and inclusive.

Nominating Committee - Two will be selected

 Nominating Comm Candidate 1 of 3: Jacqueline Ronda

I have been an active member of the APTA since I started school to become a Physical Therapist Assistant in 1990.  Since then I have earned, first, a Master’s in Physical Therapy followed by the transitional Doctorate.  As a clinician in rural California, I managed and then owned my own outpatient physical therapy clinic.  Living and working in a small community, I also served as Director of Rehab for our local hospital and for the Veteran’s Home of California that provided both outpatient and skilled nursing services to their residents.  This broad experience in multiple levels of care and under varied reimbursement strategies, and my certification as both an orthopedic and neurologic clinical specialist, gives me a breadth and depth of appreciation for the challenges my colleagues face across all settings and conditions. 

As an active member of the California Physical Therapy Association, I served at multiple levels on the executive board for the Inland Counties District and was twice elected Chair.  The Inland Counties District is the largest district in California and includes thousands members spread across hundreds of miles.  The challenge of serving such a widespread membership are not dissimilar to the challenges faced by the Nevada Physical Therapy Association.

Describe what you feel is the most important issue facing Nevada PT professionals.

I once heard physical therapists characterized as being passionate about their practice and apathetic about their profession.  Although I heard that said more than a decade ago, it seems even truer today. 
Nevada physical therapists don’t seem to appreciate the value of the association, nor do they seem particularly engaged in the profession.  Area clinicians would benefit from a more personal relationship with the association. 

There is a desperate need for mentorship whether that means providing access to on-site or virtual semi- structured mentorship, workshops to optimize documentation to support reimbursement, or help identifying pathways to certification through the ABPTS.

Productivity standards are being set that strain the boundaries of the regulations and that obstruct quality of care. Therapists that are held to a standard of treating dozens of patients a day cannot provide optimal care nor do they have the time to incorporate the latest evidence and clinical practice guidelines into their treatment strategies.  The Association needs to play an active role in identifying a practice model that will meet both the clinical and business priorities of our profession.

How can the Chapter Board of Directors best serve Chapter members?

Achieving 50% membership across the state should be incorporated into our Association’s strategic plan. Messaging about the value of membership needs to be more aggressive. If our area clinicians will not come to us, we must go to them.  Analyze where our members live and work and move each monthly meeting into a different population center. 

Incentivize non-members to attend our meetings and incentivize members to bring in non-members. 

Educational offerings at each meeting need to be valuable and offer tips and strategies that will improve attendees’ practice the next day! Offering certificates upon completion of a series of courses could improve meeting attendance. The educational component of each meeting should be open to non-members who can purchase the CEU for a small fee. 

Every meeting should include a business component that is used to remind members of the value of the association and their role in it.

 Nominating Comm Candidate 2 of 3: Sarah Elissa Cwiak 


Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Pediatric Physical Therapy in private practice with experience in schools, outpatient, early intervention, and clinical instruction. Additional experience in residential Geriatrics and general outpatient ortho/neuro for all ages. Experienced with various NV DHHS, ADSD initiatives, taskforces, and workgroups since 2012.

APTA Member since 2002
            -Student Liaison 2003-2004
            -Health Policy and Administration Section 2002-present
            -Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy 2012-present
                        Early Intervention SIG

APTA NV Member since 2012
            Pediatric SIG 2020
           Private Practice SIG 2020

Describe what you feel is the most important issue facing Nevada PT professionals.

Most importantly, I think we need more PT professionals who actively participate in addressing our ongoing issues in Nevada. For this most significantly impacts all other issues we face. By stepping up we share the load, improve quality and efficiency of responding to needs, raise the bar on what it means to be a PT professional in Nevada, and increases our collective voices and visibility.


How can the Chapter Board of Directors best serve Chapter members?

Act to strengthen our value in the community and strengthen our ties to one another.

Nominating Comm Candidate 3 of 3: Karlo Arciaga 

Practice related expertise
Outpatient Orthopedics & Sport Rehabilitation: Tim Soder Physical therapy (August 2017 – present)
Certified clinical instructor: Level 1 through the APTA

I currently possess no specific association service as a young clinician. As a therapist who strives to enter into a leadership position, I would like to enter into the realm of advocacy to better serve Nevada on a larger scale. At this time I am striving toward exposing myself to multiple facets of education and administration. My goal is to learn more about the other sectors of physical therapy and how a governing body works together toward addressing the concerns of their constituents.

Describe what you feel is the most important issue facing Nevada PT professionals.

Specific to my professional exposure, I will comment strictly from the outpatient orthopedic sector. At this time, Nevada PT professions face a new challenge due to the recent onset of COVID-19. Due to social distancing measures, much of the access to in-person continuing education has been either restricted or cancelled. While alternate avenues (i.e MedBridge, online courses) are suitable, there is still a large manual component of our profession that is often neglected due to the lack of in-person education. A new challenge will be to find viable and safe avenues to operate a small classroom setting while still facilitating appropriate social distancing and sanitizing measures.

How can the Chapter Board of Directors best serve Chapter members?

The board of directors can assist in outreach to ensure all members and non-members are fully aware of the available resources. Communication should also be improved with possible consideration of utilizing multimodal modes of outreach. At this time I primarily receive much of the information via e-mail.

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