• If you would like to discuss any federal legislative or regulatory issues impacting physical therapy or the health care system, contact APTA's staff experts. Each expert specializes in specific legislative or regulatory issues. Please contact our experts if you have questions or need help with an issue. You can reach any of the staff below by phone at 800/999-2782, ext. 8533.

    Public Affairs Unit

    Frohlich, Mandy 75x110

    Mandy Frohlich
    Executive Vice President, Public Affairs
    Mandy Frohlich has nearly 20 years of experience working in government affairs and communications. As executive vice president of Public Affairs, she brings a wealth of knowledge in the areas of congressional procedure, legislative strategy, and communications planning. Her responsibilities include leading the association's external facing initiatives and advancing legislative, regulatory, payment, and communications priorities. Prior to her role at APTA, she spent 6 years working at a lobbying firm on issues related to health care, transportation, defense, and education. She previously served 8 years as staff to Rep Mike Thompson of California. As legislative director, she was responsible for shaping the legislative agenda and managing the policy staff. In that capacity, she advised Representative Thompson on legislative issues, pending votes in the House of Representatives, committee activity, and constituent requests that affected legislative actions.

    Government Affairs


    Justin Elliott
    Vice President, Government Affairs
    Justin Elliott has 20 years of government and public affairs experience. As vice president of government affairs, he leads the association's legislative and regulatory priorities at both the state and federal level. He has held several positions at APTA since joining the association in 2002, having previously served as APTA's director of state government affairs from 2008-2015, and associate director of state government affairs from 2002-2008. Prior to joining APTA, he worked at KM Strategies, a government affairs and issue management firm. He was the communications director for Fairfax County Supervisor Penelope A. Gross and also served as an advisor on her successful reelection campaign. He got his start on Capitol Hill serving as an intern in the offices of Sen Charles Robb and Rep Tom Davis, both of Virginia. He received his bachelor's degree in communications and minor in political science from Virginia Tech.

    Congressional Affairs


    Michael Matlack
    Director, Congressional Affairs
    Michael Matlack joined APTA in 1999. Before joining APTA, he was manager of congressional relations for the National Society of Professional Engineers, in charge of its political action committee, grassroots programs, and lobbying on education and research issues. He also worked at Pearson & Pipkin Inc, a small consulting firm; the Republican National Committee; and as an intern for former Rep Richard Pombo. He oversees the Congressional Affairs Department, which includes advancing the association's legislative priorities on Capitol Hill through federal lobbying, grassroots, and political action.

    Michael Hurlbut
    Senior Specialist, Congressional Affairs
    Michael Hurlbut joined APTA in 2009. Before that, he expanded his legislative experience in a number of positions. After working as an intern and entry-level staffer for Rep Jerrold Nadler, who represents the west side of Manhattan, he transitioned into a legislative role, joining the office of Rep Rob Andrews, who represents Camden, New Jersey. It was here where he turned his focus to health care and tax issues. He couldn't pass up an opportunity to work for his hometown representative, Rep Louise Slaughter, and joined her office to handle appropriations, education, and transportation work. Originally from Rochester, New York, he received his bachelor's degree from Cornell University, where he was exposed to rehabilitation and training while working in an athletic training room. After graduation, he moved to Washington, DC, to pursue a master's degree at The George Washington University and has lived here ever since.

    Sprague, Ken

    Ken Sprague
    Senior Specialist, Congressional Affairs and Grassroots
    Ken Sprague joined APTA in 2015. He is responsible for the grassroots advocacy program and representing the association before members of Congress and staff. Before coming to APTA, he worked as the manager of government affairs for the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, a small professional society also in Alexandria, Virginia. While there, he was responsible for congressional affairs, and ran the PAC and grassroots programs. He has worked in politics for several years, both in an official capacity for elected officials and in a campaign capacity for candidates at federal, state, and local levels. He is a native of Minnesota and received his bachelor's degree in political science from Montana State University.



    Heather Smith, PT, MPH
    Program Director, Quality
    Heather Smith has been at APTA since April 2011. She previously worked for New York Presbyterian Hospital as the manager of core measures, with responsibility for all publicly reported core measure sets and the quality improvement projects associated with these measures. In addition, she worked on a variety of other quality initiatives and regulatory preparedness for multiple campuses within New York Presbyterian's 2,300-bed hospital system. Prior to her role at New York Presbyterian, she worked at the University of Pennsylvania Health System, where she also served in a quality improvement position for more than 2 years. She received her master's degree in public health from Drexel University. Previous to her role in quality improvement, she was a practicing clinician for more than 10 years, with the majority of her focus on orthopedics.

    Regulatory Affairs

    Gainer, Kara 75x110

    Kara Gainer, JD
    Director, Regulatory Affairs
    Kara Gainer joined APTA in 2017 and providers leadership and strategic direction to the regulatory affairs team on key programs, initiatives, and policy development in the federal regulatory space. She has extensive knowledge and experience working on policies related to Medicare, Medicaid, health care reform, and provider billing and reimbursement. Prior to joining APTA, Kara was a health care consultant with Drinker Biddle & Reath, where she developed and executed comprehensive public policy strategies for her clients that integrated legislative, regulatory, and communications efforts. She also served as an Attorney Advisor for the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals and clerked with the U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms. Kara received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Montana and law degree from the University of Montana School of Law, and is a member of the District of Columbia Bar.

    Jennings, Sharita 75x110

    Sharita Jennings, JD
    Senior Specialist, Regulatory Affairs
    Sharita Jennings is a senior regulatory specialist focusing on key government affairs issues, including health care reform, hospital payment systems, Medicaid, and program integrity. Prior to joining APTA, she was a health care consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton, where she provided regulatory research and subject matter expertise to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to assist in the launch of the Health Insurance Marketplace. She has also consulted on health care compliance matters for hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, urgent care centers, among other providers.

    Levin, Kyle 75x110

    Kyle Levin, JD
    Senior Specialist, Regulatory Affairs
    Kyle Levin is a regulatory specialist in the Regulatory Affairs Department. After a brief stint working in immigration law, he joined the Senate Special Committee on Aging where he worked on issues related to Medicare and Social Security. After leaving the committee, he worked in private practice, focusing on antitrust and 340B Drug Pricing Program matters before joining APTA in 2016. His primary focus at APTA is Medicare, Tricare, and health IT issues. He is a graduate of Tulane University and the University of Virginia Law School.

    State Affairs


    Angela Shuman
    Director, State Affairs
    Angela Shuman joined APTA in 2004 and has served in her current role in State Government Affairs since 2007. A native of Muncie, Indiana, she is a graduate of Ball State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in political science. Prior to joining APTA, she was an intern and legislative assistant in the Indiana House of Representatives, while working toward a master's degree in public administration. She received her MPA degree from Georgia Southern University in 2003.

  • Last Updated: 6/20/2017
    Contact: advocacy@apta.org