Following is a partial alphabetical listing of speakers who have been invited to in EDNF's 2012 Learning Conference; however, schedules can change, so please check back for updates. We will post changes as they become available. Last updated: July 23, 2012.
Patrick Agnew, DPM, has been a resident of Tidewater since 1979. After living in several parts of the United States, he decided that Tidewater is the best place to raise a family. He is happily married to his wife, Heidi, whom is a lifetime resident of Tidewater and works for Coastal Podiatry as the surgery coordinator. Together they enjoy raising and caring for their three children, Megan, Michael and Matthew.
After completing pre-medical studies at Montgomery College and Old Dominion University, Dr. Agnew attended the Pennsylvania College of Podiatric Medicine. The school is recognized for consistently demonstrating the highest board scores and residency appointments of the seven schools of Podiatry. The four-year curriculum parallels general medical schools for the first two years, then becomes specialized with the latest information on diagnosis and treatment of all disorders of the foot and leg. He earned four research awards and the clinical award for the highest degree of clinical proficiency in the class.
Dr. Agnew served a Podiatric Surgical residency after medical school. This is the most competitive type of Podiatric residency. His residency director, Dr. James Ganley, was widely considered the world's leading authority in pediatric podiatry. Dr. Agnew is board certified in Foot and ankle surgery. Dr. Agnew's memberships include: Professional Advisory Network of the Ehlers-Danlos National Foundation, the American Podiatric Medical Association, the Virginia Podiatric Medical Association, the Hampton Roads Podiatric Medical Society, and the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States. He is a past president of the American College of Foot and Ankle Pediatrics and the Hampton Roads Podiatric Medical Society. Academic appointments include: Adjunct faculty Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine, and he is the founder and director of the Eastern Virginia Graduate School of Medicine Podiatry Residency. Dr. Agnew is the pediatric editor of the newsletter of the Virginia Podiatric Medical Association, Footnotes. He is a manuscript reviewer for the journal of the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States, Military Medicine. He also is the pediatrics section editor of the Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery.
Dr. Agnew is a Captain in the Unites States Naval Reserve, retired. He was decorated for service during Operation Desert Shield and served as active duty in the International War on Terror. Hobbies include: surfing, Korean karate, scuba, and skiing/snowboarding.
James H. Black, M.D.
Bertram M. Bernheim, MD Associate Professor of Surgery
Dr. Black joined the surgical faculty of the Johns Hopkins Hospital in 2004. He completed his General Vascular Surgery Fellowship in the Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital and received his General Surgery Training in the Halsted General Surgery Training Program at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He pursues the application of minimally invasive endovascular technologies for patients with aortic aneurysms and aortic dissection, disease of the carotid, renal, mesenteric, and lower extremity arteries. His research interests include the cellular and molecular events underpinning the development of aortic catastrophe in both atherosclerotic and connective tissue disorders, as well as diagnosis of aortic dissection and malperfusion syndromes.
B.A., College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA
M.D., Northwestern University School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
Internship: Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD
Residency: Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD
Fellowship: Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
Research Fellowship, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Research Fellowship, Massachusetts General Hospital
Registered Vascular Technician, ARDMS, 2004
Board Certified by American Board of Surgery: General Surgery
Board Certified by American Board of Surgery: Vascular Surgery
Heidi A. Collins, MD, received her medical degree from Northwestern University in Chicago, IL and completed her residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. She is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and currently practices with Memorial Medical Group in South Bend, IN. Dr. Collins provides inpatient and outpatient care to patients with a wide variety of diagnoses including: spinal cord injury, stroke, traumatic brain injury, orthopedic injuries including poly-trauma, chronic musculoskeletal or neuropathic pain, work-related injuries, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, progressive neurodegenerative disorders, movement disorders, and general rehabilitation. She also performs electrodiagnostics.
Dr. Collins has a special interest in hypermobility syndromes and their extra-articular (non-joint) manifestations, including the management of Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. Her interest in this area comes naturally, given her training and experience in a specialty which fundamentally emphasizes a patient goal-based focus in an effort to enhance and restore functional ability and quality of life to those with physical impairments or disabilities. However, her special interest in the care and treatment of persons with hypermobility is in fact in her genes, as she has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. She brings a unique perspective to the Ehlers-Danlos National Foundation 2011 Learning Conference. She is not only a physician very comfortable treating patients with Ehlers-Danlos, but she is also an Ehlers-Danlos patient, and a daughter, a sister, and a parent of those in her family also affected. She is particularly experienced and able to empathize with the impact of the disorder.
Susan Cordes, MS, CGC, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from DePauw University. She received her Master of Science in Medical and Molecular Genetics from the genetic counseling program at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. Susan earned board certification through the American Board of Genetic Counseling in 2011. She is a genetic counselor at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. She participates in the Connective Tissue and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Clinics as well as a variety of other clinics.
Ralph Dehner, COTA, CPT, is the Director and Program Coordinator of the Mighty Vine Wellness Club, a certified personal trainer (ACE), and a Certified Occupational Therapy Practitioner whose clinical experience includes rehabilitation and injury prevention through behavior modification, exercise, work simplification and functional activity. Mr. Dehner is one of 20 Certified Master/Trainers for Dr. Paul Lam's Tai Chi for Health programs in the USA, is certified as an instructor in Tai Chi for Diabetes, Tai Chi for Arthritis, Tai Chi for Osteoporosis, Tai Chi for Back Pain, and teaches traditional Tai Chi, Tai Chi for Health and Tai Chi for Balance. He has taught both Qi Gong and Tai Chi in hospitals, cancer centers, nursing homes, senior centers, integrative medicine centers, and mental health facilities throughout the Greater Cincinnati Area and has conducted workshops across the United States, Australia and South Korea.
Mr. Dehner is an experienced program developer who has produced and presented training courses on such topics as Fall Prevention, Tai Chi for OTs, integrative medicine in mental health, and Tai Chi for health instructors. He is currently the Tai Chi coach for the University of Cincinnati Women's Golf Team and a member of a research team in the University of Cincinnati Behavioral Medicine Department, studying the effects of Tai Chi with special populations. He received his BS in Holistic Studies with a concentration in Wellness Management from Union Institute and University. Mr. Dehner is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association, American Council on Exercise, International Association of Reiki, and Tai Chi for Health Community of America.
Clair Francomano, MD, attended Yale College as an undergraduate and received her MD from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She trained in Internal Medicine and Medical Genetics at Johns Hopkins and joined the full-time Hopkins faculty in 1984. Since then, she has been involved in research and patient care for persons with hereditary disorders at every level. In 1994, she became Chief of the Medical Genetics Branch at the National Human Genome Research Institute, serving as its Clinical Director 1996-2001. From 2001 to 2005, she was Chief of the Human Genetics and Integrative Medicine Section in the Laboratory of Genetics, National Institute on Aging. She became Director of Adult Genetics at the Harvey Institute of Human Genetics at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center in 2005. Dr. Francomano has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers and continues to see patients. Learn more about Clair Francomano, MD, here.
Rodney Grahame CBE, MD, FRCP, FACP, FRSA, is a Consultant Rheumatologist at the University College Hospital and Honorary Professor at University College London in the Department of Medicine. He is also an Affiliate Professor of Pathology in the School of Medicine at the University of Washington in the United States. Dr. Grahame co-authored a number of landmark books on Ehlers-Danlos and similar syndromes, including, Hypermobility of Joints and Hypermobility Syndrome: Recognition and Management for Physiotherapists. Recently, he was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) for services to rheumatology. He is a regular contributor to the website of The Hypermobility Syndrome Association whose website you can find here.
Blair P. Grubb, MD, is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and earned an undergraduate degree in Biologic Sciences from the University of Maryland (Baltimore County). He received an M.D from the Universidad Central del Este in the Dominican Republic. He completed residency training at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center where he was also Chief Resident. While doing a rotation in cardiology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital he became interested in Cardiac Electrophysiology after watching some of the first human defibrillator implants. He then completed a fellowship in Cardiology and Cardiac Electrophysiology at the Pennsylvania State University. He is presently a professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Toledo, Health Science Campus where he is also director of the Electrophysiology Program at the University Medical Center. He has authored over 200 scientific papers as well as four books and 31 book chapters. He has been awarded the University of Maryland's Distinguished Alumni Award (1994), as well as the NW Ohio American Heart Association Legacy of Achievement Award (2001), the Medical University of Ohio's Deans Award for teaching excellence (1996) and the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award (2006). He has been recognized as one of "Americas Top Doctors" for seven years in a row and is also recognized as one of "Americas Best Doctors". In 2009 he was given the University of Toledo's Distinguished University Professor Award (the first physician ever to receive this honor). He is widely considered one of the world's leading authorities on syncope and disorders of the autonomic nervous system. His hobby is writing, and he has published over 45 essays and poems, (as well as drawings and photography) and collecting fountain pens. Most recently he is a survivor of renal cancer, an event which has fostered his interest in Physicians Wellness and prevention of Physician suicide and substance abuse. He lives with his wife of 35 years, Barbara Straus, M.D. and his two children: Helen and Alex.
Mary Kay Irwin, M.Ed., Ed.D. (ABD), is the Manager of the School Intervention Program in the Cancer and Blood Diseases and Heart Institutes and Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC). Ms. Irwin has completed all of her doctoral coursework in Special Education at the University of Cincinnati and is currently working on her dissertation. Her employment history includes advocacy for adults with disabilities, teaching general and special education, and working for CCHMC as a school intervention coordinator. At CCHMC, Ms. Irwin has successfully worked to improve the delivery and integrity of education services, improved educational materials, worked on interdisciplinary teams to create new programs, integrated research to evaluate programmatic services, and has a variety of experiences in curriculum development.
Keith Kenter, MD, is currently an Associate Professor and the Director of Orthopaedic Surgery Resident Program with the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Cincinnati. He also holds a secondary appointment with the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Cincinnati. He completed his medical school education at the University of Missouri-Columbia. His Internship and Residency was at Duke University Medical Center and then he completed a fellowship in Sports Medicine and Shoulder Reconstruction at The Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. His clinical interests are shoulder reconstruction, which includes arthroscopic surgery, fracture management, rotator cuff surgery, muscle transfers and shoulder replacement. He also specializes in knee reconstructive surgery and other musculoskeletal injuries as it relates to the athlete. More recently he has developed hip arthroscopy procedures at the Holmes Hospital within the University of Cincinnati. His research interests are the basic science of soft tissue healing and the incorporation of tendon healing to bone. He currently works closely with the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Cincinnati and is a part of ongoing NIH funded research. He sits on several national committees including the American Orthopaedic Society of Sports Medicine, the American Orthopaedic Association, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, International Society of Arthroscopy Knee Surgery and Orthopaedic Sports Medicine, and the Clinical Orthopaedic Society. He is the current Surgical Medical Director for the Ambulatory Surgical Hospital within UC Health at University Pointe in West Chester. He has been team orthopaedic surgeon for the University of Cincinnati scholarship athletes, and is currently active with many area high schools, and a lecturer for USA Hockey coaches. He is married and has three children and enjoys traveling, gourmet cooking, and playing ice hockey.
Howard Levy, MD, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at the McCusick-Nathan F. Institute of Genetic Medicine, Johns Hopkins University. He is board certified in both internal medicine and clinical genetics. His clinical and research interests include EDS and related disorders of connective tissue; primary care of adults with genetic conditions; genetic risk assessment for common complex diseases; and integration of genetics into primary care medicine. He is active in several educational programs developed by the National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics. He serves on the advisory boards of foundations for Cornelia de Lange syndrome and Joubert syndrome, as well as on the executive committee of the Adult Genetics Special Interest Group of the American College of Medical Genetics. Read more about Howard Levy, MD, PhD, here.
Anne M. Lynch-Jordan, PhD, is a clinical psychologist specializing in the behavioral management of pediatric chronic pain. She is the primary pain psychologist in the multidisciplinary Headache and Pain Management Centers. She is the leader of the Academic Collaborative Pain Team, designed to use improvement science methodology to enhance clinical outcomes. Dr. Lynch-Jordan mentors psychology residents and fellows in behavioral pain management, and served as the Associate Director of the O'Grady Residency Program for Pediatric Psychology from 2008-2011. She has published in the areas of pediatric chronic pain, and has a research focus on parental responses to chronic pain as well as child pain expression and pain behaviors. She is a collaborator on several grant-funded projects investigating longitudinal, psychosocial outcomes for adolescents diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
Paula Melson is a physical therapist who has specialized in the treatment of children, adolescents and teens with arthritis and other joint conditions for nearly 30 years. She has developed a particular interest in improving care for those who have joint hypermobility and EDS and is currently working with a small team on the development of a clinical practice guideline to serve as a resource for treating this population. Paula received her physical therapy training at the University of Kentucky and a master's degree in Maternal and Child Health from Emory University. She is currently completing a post-professional clinical doctorate in physical therapy at the University of Indianapolis. Paula is the Coordinator of Rehabilitation for Rheumatology at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.
John Mitakides, DDS, FAACP, is a graduate of the Ohio State University Dental School, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain. He has focused his practice on the treatment of TMJ disorder and craniofacial pain for 30 years, including special emphasis on treatment of EDS patients. Dr. Mitakides is a member of the Professional Advisory Network of the Ehlers-Danlos National Foundation.
His practice is centered at his The TMJ Treatment Center in Beavercreek, Ohio, near Dayton, where he is supported by a diverse team of professionals, including two TMJ-Certified Expanded Function Dental Assistants.
Dr. Mitakides has taught TMJ treatment technique, as well as courses on expert witness and legal case presentation and testimony of the subject of TMJ injuries. He is licensed for the practice of dentistry in both Ohio and Texas, and is on the staff of Kettering Medical Center.
Sabrina M. Neeley, PhD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Health at the Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. She is a faculty member in the Center for Global Health and the Director of the Physician Leadership Development Program (MD/MPH – MD/MBA). She is the course director for the Population Health competencies, co-course director for Human Development, and works on curriculum development and integration in the School of Medicine. She also teaches in the Master of Public Health program. She teaches courses in population health, human development, biostatistics, health behavior, and health communications. Her research focuses on medical education, population health, children's health and wellness, and the self-management of chronic health conditions.
Shoshana R. Pehowic, Esq., has been an associate at the law firm of O'Connor, Acciani & Levy, in Cincinnati, Ohio, since 2008, and has practiced exclusively in the area of Social Security Disability since 2005. Ms. Pehowic graduated from The Ohio State University in 1998 (B.A.) and from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in 2001. She was admitted to the State Bar of Ohio in 2002. She is also admitted to practice in the Southern District of Ohio of the United States District Court and in the Sixth Circuit of the United States Circuit Court. Ms. Pehowic is a member of the American Bar Association, the Ohio State Bar Association, the Cincinnati Bar Association, and the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives (NOSSCR). Although Ms. Pehowic has known since childhood that there was "something wrong," it was not until college that she obtained a tentative diagnosis of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and not until after the birth of her first child that her diagnosis of the classical type of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome was confirmed.
Alan Pocinki, MD, FACP, practices internal medicine as a Clinical Associate Professor at George Washington University Medical Center; he is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. He received his medical degree from the Cornell University Medical College, and completed his internship and residency at Washington Hospital Center. In 1997, Dr. Pocinki was awarded the title of Young Internist of the Year by the American Society of Internal Medicine. More recently, the D.C. Medical Society's Board of Trustees honored him with its Distinguished Service Award. His patients voted him one of the "Top Primary Care Doctors in Washington", and his peers named him one of Washingtonian Magazine's "Top Doctors." He also has served as the President of the D.C. Society of Internal Medicine. Read more about Alan Pocinki, MD, here.
Stephanie Powell is a physical therapist who practices in outpatient developmental pediatrics evaluating and treating infants, children, adolescents, and teens with various diagnoses including developmental delay, orthopedic conditions, cerebral palsy, seizure disorders, hematology/oncology, neurologic conditions, trauma, and torticollis. She also practices in a multidisciplinary rheumatology team, evaluating and treating patients with diagnoses including juvenile idiopathic arthritis, scleromderma, dermatomyositis, lupus, heritable connective tissue disorders, and musculoskeletal pain. She is the leader of the Joint Hypermobility Evidence Based Practice Team at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center where she is working to improve care for those who have joint hypermobility and EDS. This team is currently working on the development of a clinical practice guideline to serve as a resource for treating this population. She has also participated in program developmental for an intensive based therapy program for children with Joint Hypermobility Syndrome and EDS. She completed the Maternal and Child Health Bureau Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental & Related Disabilities (LEND) traineeship. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Pre-Physical Therapy – Psychology from Ohio University and her Master of Physical Therapy Degree from the University of Cincinnati.
Marnie Renda OTR/L, CAPS, is an Independent Living Specialist and the founder of Destiantion Home LLC. This Cincinnati based company mission is to help elders and persons with disabilities continue to live in the comfort of their homes. She works with clients, contractors, and architects to create livable spaces. Destination Home makes life easier and enjoyable despite age related changes or disability by conducting assessments of the person, the home and selecting products and services.
Marnie has over 20 years of experience in healthcare. She earned a Master degree in occupational therapy, she is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist and earned an Executive Certificate in Home Modifications. Additionally, Marnie is an adjunct professor at Xavier University and Cincinnati State Technical College educating future occupational therapy practitioners on Home Modifications and assistive devices available to keep people of all ages at home. She also conducts training seminars on topics including Home Modifications, Aging in place, and Universal Design nationally. Marnie is dedicated to helping people live at home today and in the future.
Opal Riddle, PT, DPT, is a 1983 graduate of the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Health Science in Physical Therapy, and completed her Doctor of Physical Therapy there in 2009. Opal has served as a consultant for a Fortune 500 Company in the medical field, helping with cumulative trauma disorders and ergonomics. Additionally, she has lectured for the local Dental Society, for physical therapy students at the University of Cincinnati Medical College and College of Mount Saint Joseph, and lectured on exercise and wellness at other community venues. Furthermore, Opal provides educational observation experiences in physical therapy to local medical residents and physicians.
Opal has presented at the second annual osteoporosis conference held in southwestern Ohio on the topic of osteoporosis and exercise titled, "Why Weight! The Efficacy of Weight-Bearing and Resistive Exercise in the Treatment of Osteoporosis." Dr. Riddle has co-authored an article for a national healthcare magazine, My Family Doctor, on exercise and arthritis titled, "Joint Pain? Retrain!" She co-authored a chapter in the book titled, Joint Hypermobility Handbook. She has served as the Co-Chair of the Ohio Physical Therapy Political Action Committee and Co-Chair for the Southwest District of the Ohio Physical Therapy Association. She is currently involved with the Balance and Falls, Bone Health and Health and Wellness SIG with the APTA Geriatric Section. She is also a former Mission Committee member of the Ohio River Valley Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation. Clinical interests include aging, joint hypermobility, wellness, orofacial pain/headaches, osteoporosis, and spinal disorders.
Crystal Seamon, PT, DPT, OCS, ATC, received her Bachelor's degree in Athletic Training and subsequently her Doctoral degree in Physical Therapy at The Ohio State University. Subsequent to this, she became the first Physical Therapy Orthopaedic Resident at OSU Sports Medicine, which included teaching and research responsibilities. Crystal has also served the Ohio Physical Therapy Association in many roles, most recently as the immediate past Secretary.
Since moving to Cincinnati, Crystal has maintained an active clinical case load and regularly treats patients with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome at Comprehensive Physical Therapy Center in Hyde Park. She is also actively engaged in the Pilates community and teaches at Pendleton Pilates. She has received her Pilates training through Pendleton Pilates and Balanced Body Education. She enjoys combining the benefits of Pilates with her knowledge of the body to promote safe exercises for all of her patients.
Brad Tinkle, MD, PhD, is a clinical geneticist at Cincinnati Children's Hospital and current head of EDNF's Physicians Advisory Network. He holds a BSE in Genetic Engineering from Purdue University, received his MD from Indiana University, and has a PhD in Genetic Research from George Washington University. Currently, he serves as clinical director of the Marfan/Ehlers-Danlos syndrome Clinic at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. He is active in research, both as a clinician and as assistant director of their Molecular Genetics Laboratory. His research focuses on mammalian gene transfer and on identifying new genes in connective tissue disorders. Finally, Dr. Tinkle deserves our thanks for serving on the board of EDNF, as well as for his instrumental role in putting together this year's ENDF conference. Read about Brad Tinkle, MD, PhD, here on our site; there is more on the Cincinnati Children's Hospital site.
Kathleen Zonarich, PT, has worked for 20 years as a physical therapist in home healthcare and physical rehabilitation programs. She is particularly skilled at aquatic physical therapy and at rehabilitating patients with neurological conditions. Ms. Zonarich lectures regularly in the Physical Therapy Assistant Program at Central Penn College where she is an adjunct professor. In addition, she treats patients privately, focusing on achieving maximal functional outcomes. Ms. Zonarich has also been a volunteer member of a UCP organization that has been focusing their efforts on addressing childhood obesity in children with disabilities.