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.
Katy NeasExecutive Vice President, Public Affairs
Katy Neas is executive vice president of public affairs at APTA. Prior to joining APTA, she spent 23 years at Easterseals, a national nonprofit provider of direct services to children and adults with disabilities and their families. Her roles at Easterseals included federal and state government relations advocacy, oversight of federal grants and contracts and management of the Easterseals Office of Public Affairs. A long-time disability rights advocate, shebegan her career on the Senate Subcommittee on Disability Policy during the development and enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
In addition to working with APTA, she also serves as the immediate past chair of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, the largest coalition of national organizations working together to advocate for federal public policy that ensures the self-determination, independence, empowerment, integration and inclusion of children and adults with disabilities in all aspects of society. A graduate of Georgetown University, she hails from Des Moines, Iowa.
Justin ElliottVice President, Government Affairsjustinelliott@apta.org
Justin Elliott has 20 years of government and public affairs experience. As vice president of government affairs at APTA, he leads the association's legislative and regulatory priorities at both the state and federal levels. He has held several positions at APTA since joining the association in 2002, serving 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.
Michael MatlackDirector, Congressional Affairsmichaelmatlack@apta.org
Michael Matlack joined APTA in 1999. Before joining the association, 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.
David ScalaSenior Specialist, Congressional Affairsdavidscala@apta.org
David Scala joined APTA in 2019 as a senior congressional affairs specialist. Before joining APTA, he was a professional staff member on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and a legislative assistant for a member of the Judiciary Committee in the House of Representatives. Among other policy issues, David focused on health care, immigration, and fraud and abuse. Previously, David also worked on human capital development and strategy at Booz Allen Hamilton as a senior consultant at various federal agencies. He graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Economics from James Madison University. David is from Loudoun County, Virginia.
Laura KeivelSpecialist, Grassroots & Political Affairslaurakeivel@apta.org
Laura Keivel joined APTA in 2019 and is the Grassroots and Political Affairs Specialist. Prior to joining APTA, Laura was the Advocacy Program and Events Manager at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). At ACS CAN, she ran the Society’s largest event, the Leadership Summit & Lobby Day legislative fly-in. Laura served as the Manager of Grassroots Advocacy for 5 years at the Arthritis Foundation. There, she grew the grassroots network from 68,000 to 120,000, managed and expanded the grasstops Ambassador Program, and created an advocacy program for children and teens. Laura graduated with a B.A. in History and Political Science from the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio, where she is also from.
Baruch HumbleSenior Specialist, Congressional Affairsbaruchhumble@apta.org
Baruch Humble joined our team at APTA in May of 2019 as a senior congressional affairs specialist. Before joining APTA, he was a senior legislative assistant in the House of Representatives, where he primarily focused on health care among other policy issues. His duties included collaborating with senior staff to identify, develop and execute the federal policy agenda for a Member of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee. Baruch was successful in getting several key healthcare initiatives into public law that increased access to care and provided relief from burdensome regulations in the healthcare system. Previously, he advocated at the local policy level with a non-profit group called Justice Matters. There he worked to influence public policy that improved access to mental health services and diverted individuals suffering with mental illness out of jail and into treatment. He received his bachelor's degree in political science and minor in communications from the University of Kansas. Baruch is from northern California.
Heather Smith, PT, MPHProgram Director, Qualityheathersmith@apta.org
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.
Kara Gainer, JDDirector, Regulatory Affairskaragainer@apta.org
Kara Gainer joined APTA in 2017 and provider 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, she 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 she clerked with the US Senate Sergeant at Arms. She 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.
Kate Gilliard, JD,Senior Specialist, Regulatory Affairskategilliard@apta.org
Kate Gilliard joined APTA in 2018 as a senior regulatory affairs specialist. Prior to joining APTA, she was a regulatory analyst with Centene Corporation, focusing on ACA-compliant health care products. Her duties included monitoring state and federal legislative developments in the health care industry, developing company policy, and advocating on Centene’s behalf to state and federal regulators. Prior to that, she served as the ACA officer at the Illinois Department of Insurance, where she assisted the director in creating and implementing policies related to the ACA. She received her bachelor’s degree in English from Oklahoma State University and her JD from DePaul University College of Law. She is a member of the Illinois Bar.
Steve Postal, JD,Senior Specialist, Regulatory Affairsstevepostal@apta.org
Steve Postal joined APTA in 2019. Prior to joining APTA, Steve was a senior director of state policy for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), focusing on legislative and regulatory policy development in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast states. Prior to that, Steve served as the director of health policy at Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville, a law firm, where he focused on federal regulatory rehabilitation and postacute care policy. He also was the director of the Medicaid Resource Center at the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), where he specialized in Medicaid home care policy. Additionally, he served as a contracts and grants specialist in clinical research administration for MedStar Health, a large hospital system, and as an associate at the Maryland Office of the Attorney General, splitting his time between the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Health Occupations Prosecution and Litigation Division. Steve received his bachelor’s degree in history, with a minor in government, from Bowdoin College, and his law degree with a concentration in health law from Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Steve is a member of the Maryland and District of Columbia bars.
Daniel MarkelsState Affairs Managerdanielmarkels@apta.org
Daniel Markels joined APTA in November 2019 as the Manager of State Affairs. Prior to joining APTA, Daniel was the West Region State Public Policy Director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) for 13 years where he led a team of state lobbyists and grassroots professionals in 15 western states. At NFIB, Daniel and his group worked on state healthcare policy as NFIB small business members rate the cost of health insurance as one of the top challenges in operating their businesses. Daniel began his multi-state government affairs career at Shaklee Corporation, a dietary supplement company, followed by working in state government affairs at AT&T. In addition to his work in the association and corporate sectors, Daniel served in the public sector in government affairs, including working at the Port of Oakland and the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority.
Michael LewisSpecialist, State Affairsmichaellewis@apta.org
Michael Lewis joined APTA in 2019. Michael grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and received his bachelor’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina. Prior to joining APTA, he served as Director of Public Policy Initiatives for the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council, where he advanced policies and self-advocacy programs for individuals with disabilities and their families. From 2012-2017, he was Associate Director of the Virginia Catholic Conference, where he lobbied the Virginia General Assembly on health care and disability issues. He received his master’s in government from Regent University in 2017.
Last Updated: 12/6/2019