Click on the session title to view the abstract and speaker bio.

10 am – 10:30 am EST Sponsored by HoverTech International
Opening Session - Insights and Latest Trends in SPHM in the Field!
Renée Kielich, RN, BA, CSPHP and Guests

Interdisciplinary SPHM Professionals from all over will introduce themselves on behalf of their region, welcome attendees and give insights on SPHM milestones from their region. This kick-off will celebrate our efforts and many advances in SPHM!

Moderator: Renée Kielich is a SPHM Clinical Consultant with Liko/Hill-Rom. She has a variety of Healthcare experience in many areas. Her experience includes direct patient care and Leadership roles in Critical Care, Occupational Health, Workers Compensation and Loss Prevention. Her accomplishments include implementing a Safe Patient Handling program from “design through implementation” during a major Hospital construction project. In her role as a consultant, she assists facilities with program & policy development, program implementation and education plans. Renée is a Certified Safe Patient Handling Professional and has a special interest in Culture Change relating to SPHM programming and integrating this programming into patient care quality initiatives. Renée served as the President of the Association of Safe Patient Handling Professionals (2017-2018).

10:30 am – 11:00 am EST
Keynote - A Vision of Therapy in the SPHM Community of the FutureSponsored by Freedom Medical
Tim Lee, PT, DPT, CEAS II and Erin DiCandia, DPT

SPHM is key to protecting therapists from injury and improving the therapeutic environment. As physical therapy leaders who serve on an interdisciplinary SPHM team, train SPHM in the university, and set a plan for a safe future, our presenters share a vision for physical therapy as an important discipline in the SPHM community of the future.

Timothy Lee is a doctor of physical therapy graduate of Stony Brook University. He began his healthcare career working in the inpatient and outpatient orthopedic setting. He then transitioned to his current position as a injury management and ergonomics specialist and works to support safe patient handling and injury prevention initiatives at hospitals throughout Northwell Health system.

Erin DiCandia is a Clinical Injury Specialist, Northwell Health Workforce Safety. She is also a physical therapist with over five years of experience. Erin is responsible for the SPH program and management of the mobility coaches at Mather Hospital and also provides assistance with SPH program development for other Northwell hospitals. Along with the SPH committee, she created the code fall algorithm, equipment proposal, falls response cart, and updated the “Code Fall” policy and procedures.

11:00 am – 11:30 am EST
Keeping the Team Creative and Diverse
Patti Wawzyniecki, MS, CSPHP and Guests

What is the role of the therapist (PT/OT) the nurse, or the CNA/PCA in sustaining an SPHM program? In a panel format, learn about the role of the CNA as a “First Follower” in the SPHM experience, with a focus on sustainability and the interdisciplinary team. Explore the collaborative relationship and unique roles of therapy (PT/OT) and nursing. Consider medicine, respiratory therapy and other important roles in a successful SPHM program.

Moderator: Patti Wawzyniecki retired after working as an Ergonomist and Industrial Hygienist for over 35 years. She is a Certified Safe Patient Handling Professional. Patti initiated and supervised the SPHM program at an academic health center for 13 years and then conducted ergonomic risk assessments of SPHM programs at healthcare institutions around the country for HoverTech International. Patti also was employed by OSHA and the aerospace industry. She has spoken on SPHM at national conferences; presented webinars; and has published on this topic. She is the past president of the board of directors for ASPHP and is currently serving on several committees.

11:30 am – 12 noon EST
Bariatric Update Sponsored by Liberty Mutual
Susan Gallagher, PhD, RN, CSPHP

This presentation shares the findings of a multi-phased project that explored the actual needs of clinicians caring for patient and residents who weigh 500 to 1200 pounds. Planning, managing expectations, diagnostic challenges, skin issues and the threats of worker injury are discussed.

Susan Gallagher earned a Masters’ Degree in Nursing: Advanced Practice WOC Nursing from University of Southern California in 1995. She holds a Masters’ Degree in Religion and Social Ethics, and a PhD in Policy Ethics from University of Southern California. Dr Gallagher is certified in Bariatric Nursing and is a Certified Safe Patient Handling Professional. She is currently President of the Association for Safe Patient Handling Professionals, Associate Editor for Workplace Health and Safety (AAOHN), has served on a number of international boards and is a recognized speaker on skin and wound care, outcomes, bariatrics, ethics, risk and loss control across the globe. Susan is the author of more than 200 peer-reviewed articles, books and book chapters, including the 2013 ANA Implementation Guide to SPHM Standards, Bariatric SPHM and more.

12 noon – 12:30 pm EST
Understanding the Patient Experience
Edie Kubicek, BSN, RN, CSPHA

We talked about leadership, the role of frontline support, and research models. What about the patient. A webcam is placed onto a simulated patient and we will “see” what is means to be mobilized in SPHM technology/equipment during car extraction.

I have been a Professional Development Nurse/Educator at Gundersen Health System since 2010. I have worked at Gundersen for 31 years. I am a passionate, energetic person who believes in staff education. I believe in the essence to train support staff in all aspects of nursing/patient safety and electronic medical records (EPIC) computer skills. I assist to coordinate services and education for our 380 Medical Assistants in our institution and am their system wide coordinator. I work across multiple setting and clinics cover three border states. I coordinate CEUs and education for MAs and assist the Iowa nurses and LaCrosse specialty departments with their educational needs. I am also a certified EPIC trainer and have done system wide training. I am a Certified Associate Safe Patient Handling and Movement (SPHM) trainer since 2013 and orient all direct care staff of SPM safety. I recently launched a virtual training for all direct care staff in 2021. I cover 16 ambulatory clinics as an educator and do hands on direct staff training. I have trained over 1000 staff yearly in SPHM and seen a decrease in jury rates of 70%. I am a member of the ASPHP Marketing committee and have presented at the National ASPHP conference three times. Our organization won best poster award in 2015.

12:30 pm – 1 pm EST
Professional Practice Resources for the SPHM Professional
Kent Wilson, CIE, CSPHP, Nicole Hopewell, PT, MHA, CSPHP, Caritas Coach and Sasha M. Latvala, BS, CSPHP

This panel explores professional practice resources including ethical elements of SPHM, the value of professional engagement, role of mentorship, and certification in the professional journey. Panelists will describe ways to integrate professional practice resources into your professional practice.

Kent Wilson has been involved with safety and health promotion for over 30 years. He has performed ergonomic & safety evaluations for over a hundred healthcare facilities around the world and assisted them with the writing and implementation of their Safe Patient Handling policies and programs. He is a Certified Industrial Ergonomist and a Certified Safe Patient Handling Professional. Mr. Wilson also takes an active role in the development of regulatory standards and has been a member of several ANSI (American National Standards Institute) committees. He has testified before OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration) in the area of ergonomics for the development of national standards and helped write the position statement for the American Industrial Hygiene Association on patient handling to Congress. He also co-authored several publications and the whitepaper from the ANA (American Nurses Association) & ASPHP (Association of Safe Patient Handling Professionals) titled, “Advancing the Science and Technology of Progressive Mobility”. Mr. Wilson is often an invited speaker for national conferences to lecture on the subject of Patient Handling management and the Bariatric patient. Mr. Wilson is a past Chair of the Ergonomics Standing Committee for the National Safety Council and the founder and Past President of the Association of Safe Patient Handling Professionals.

Sasha M. Latvala is a Safe Patient Handling and Mobility Clinical Consultant with almost 18 years of experience in acute, rehab, and long-term care settings and SPHM technology companies. She provides a broad array of SPHM services including education and training, risk assessments, program development and implementation, and expertise on the installation and procurement of SPHM technology for renovation and new construction. She has also lectured nationally on competency within SPHM education and training programs. Amid the current pandemic, Ms. Latvala has taken a greater interest in public health. She has published research on the impact of COVID-19 on SPHM. She is currently the Primary Co-Principal Investigator of a research study being conducted in New York State that is examining the effects of SPHM coordinators and the associations between musculoskeletal injuries, mental health outcomes and ICU nurses during COVID-19. Most recently, Ms. Latvala has also taken on a position as a Contact Tracer Team Supervisor as a part of the New York State COVID-19 Contact Tracing Initiative.
In 2016, Ms. Latvala was a part of the URMC-Highland Hospital’s Safe Handling Task Force, which received an Excellence Award for Quality & Safety for her role as a Co-Principal Investigator of a Pilot Program on SPHM program development and implementation. The results of her work were later published in the International Journal of SPHM. Earlier this year, she was a contributing author to an AOHP-OSHA Alliance document on SPHM program development and implementation in the acute care setting. Ms. Latvala received her Bachelor of Science from Drexel University and holds a Certification as a Safe Patient Handling Professional. As an active member of the ASPHP, she is a previous member of the Board of Directors and the current Chair of the Certified Safe Patient Handling Professionals™ Certification and Renewal Committee.

Nicole Hopewell is a SPHM Clinical Consultant for Hillrom. Prior to Hillrom, she was the manager of a Physical & Medicine department and SPHM leader for a Level 2 trauma and stroke center for twelve years. Nicole has also worked in a variety of other clinical settings. She has extensive experience in the development of successful SPHM programs from the ground up. Nicole is a Certified Safe Patient Handling Professional.

BREAK 1pm – 3 pm EST Visit Virtual Booths and View Poster Presentation

3 pm – 3:30 pm EST
Understanding the M in SPHMSponsored by Hill-Rom
Nimit Agarwal, MD, FACP and Sumit Agarwal, MD, MBA

As we move into a healthcare environment that looks to an interdisciplinary approach to mobility to decrease length of stay, improve quality indicators and make for a better patient experience, we must do this in a structured way to achieve better patient, worker and organizational outcomes. Mobility that integrates SPHM is the key to patient, worker and organizational success. A success story is presented.

Dr. Nimit Agarwal is a geriatrics and internal medicine physician leading the Division of Geriatric Medicine at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix and the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. He leads the Center for Healthy Aging at Banner – UMC Phoenix and is the associate program director of the Internal Medicine Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program.
Under his leadership, Banner – UMC Phoenix became the first hospital in Arizona to receive the Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation from the American College of Emergency Physicians. Banner – UMC Phoenix is also a member of NICHE: Nurses Improving Care of Healthsytem Elders, an international nursing and consultation program designed to improve geriatric care in health care organizations. Banner – UMC Phoenix has ranked in the Top-50 programs per U.S. News and World Report for geriatric medicine annually. Dr. Nimit Agarwal was awarded the 2020 Arizona Falls Prevention Award for Research and Science by the Arizona Falls Prevention Coalition.

Dr. Sumit Agarwal is the Associate Director of Analytics at Banner Health. He completed his medical school from India, completed his MBA in healthcare administration, and since then has been a leading member of Quality improvement initiatives at Banner Health. Often called the Unicorn and wizard of Data analysis, Sumit has played pivotal roles in ensuring successful completion of quality improvement and operations projects by providing timely and accurate information and data analysis. Through his work, project leaders have been able to focus their energy on areas of attention. Sumit is also affiliated with University of Arizona-College of Medicine Phoenix as a Research Assistant Professor, where he has mentored numerous medical students in their scholarly projects. He has over 50 manuscripts and abstracts published in major peer reviewed international medical journals.

3:30 pm – 4:30 pm EST Sponsored by Arjo
Mobility: How to Integrate into SPHM
Margaret Arnold, PT, CEES, CSPHP and Guests

Review trends in mobility, assessment (org, unit, patient) BMAT 2.0, AACN protocol, equipment demonstration, more. A variety of topics will be presented such as the person who has COVID-19, obesity or other immobility concerns across practice settings and disciplines.

Moderator: Margaret Arnold is the CEO of, with over twenty-five years of experience as a Pysical Therapist and expert in early mobility. She initiated and managed a successful SPHM program; reducing injuries, merging SPHM and early mobility, and bringing research on patient outcomes to the field. Margaret has published extensively, presented at conferences, and is a pioneer in integrating early mobility programs with safe patient handling programs. She also presented a TED talk on early mobility and safe patient handling. Margaret sits on the Board of Directors of the ASPHP and is a Certified Safe Patient Handling Professional.

4:30 pm – 5 pm EST Sponsored by Vancare, Inc.
Stress and Sustainability
Edward Hall, MS, CSP, CSPHP

How to make lemonade out of lemons. The COVID-19 situation threatened SPHM and the role of SPHM coordinators/professionals. What are some tips to not only survive, but thrive in the face of competing priorities?

Ed Hall - With over 20 years of diverse risk and insurance management experience, Ed Hall is an authority in managing risks in healthcare and industrial sectors. He is nationally recognized for his development of innovative loss control risk management programs, which have led to dramatic increases in both patient safety and financial savings.
Additionally, Ed Hall knowledge and leadership helped Stanford Hospital and Clinics receive the “Best Practice Award” for safe patient handling – one of the Risk Authority’s Stanford’s key strategic patient and employee initiatives.
E. Hall received a B.S. in Fire and Safety Engineering and an MS in Loss Prevention and Safety from Eastern Kentucky University and is also a Certified Safety Professional (CSP). E. Hall also received a certificate in Strategic Decision and Risk Management from Stanford University’s Center for Professional Development.