Our consultants have the highest professional qualifications. We have clinical consultants, university and college professors, retired military, emergency medical response professionals and access to those who support non-governmental organizations. We combine a broad range of experience with specialized knowledge in the management of emergency care in many environments. Our consultants are located throughout the United States, with flexible schedules to meet the needs of our clients.
Michele “Shelly” Leavitt Weinstein
PT, MS, SCS, ATC
Shelly Weinstein has more 30 years of experience in providing care to athletes across the age and competition spectrum. She graduated Temple University with a BS in physical therapy, next earning an MS in Human Movement Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Currently, Shelly is pursuing her EdD in Leadership and Learning in Organization at the Peabody School of Education of Vanderbilt University. She is a board certified sports clinical specialist as well as being a nationally certified athletic trainer.
Shelly has been an SPTS and Red Cross-certified Emergency Medical Response instructor since 1997. While on active duty in the United States Navy she served in a volunteer capacity as the Medical Operations Coordinator for the Marine Corps Marathon from 2004 until 2015 when she retired from the navy with a rank of Captain. Upon her retirement, Shelly was hired as the first Marine Corps Marathon medical staff member overseeing care, logistics, and management of twelve events seeing 45,000 runners and 120,000 spectators annually.
Additionally, Shelly has served as an adjunct professor at the East Carolina University Department of Physical Therapy. An accomplished writer, she has been published in peer review journals as well as authored the original chapter in the Home Study Preparation Course for the Emergency Medical Responder Course. While continuing to serve as the Lead Instructor for Cogent Steps, LLC, Shelly is an active mentor and faculty member of the U.S. Navy Sports Physical Therapy Residency at Quantico, Virginia.
Shelly continues to support patriotism and service to community, consulting on many large sporting events. In 2016 she traveled to Beijing China to provide training in Emergency Medical Response to the medical staff of the Chinese Olympic teams. She regularly participates as a medical provider at various events including the World Police and Fire Games, high school sports and the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
Credentials:PT, MS, SCS, ATC
Reid is the Lead Partner of Cogent Steps, LLC. He has 30 years of experience in education and training. His diverse experiences include large organization leadership, national security plans and policy, curriculum development and teaching in an international environment.
Reid earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the University of South Florida in 1989, a Master of Public Administration from Troy University in 1996, and a Master of Operational Arts from the Marine Corps University in 2005. Reid served in the United States Marine Corps for over 20 years. His advanced education includes Amphibious Warfare School, Command and Staff College, the School of Advanced Warfighting, the Nuclear Weapons Safety Officer Course, and the Nuclear Weapons Security Officer Course.
Reid has led curriculum development in multiple areas, including international security cooperation, individual and team training for special missions, and leadership modules in the context of management higher education. These efforts included coordination with members of 17 nations, all five U.S. services, U.S. Dept. of State, USAID, State Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stability, as well as several other governmental departments, agencies and nongovernmental organizations.
Katy is a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a newly commissioned Naval Officer. She is an avid weightlifter, uninjured skier, and reluctant runner. She began working for Cogent Steps in 2020 and manages social media and websites for Cogent Steps.
Adds online materials to the website in support of Cogent Steps
Kristyna Meyer is our course evaluation analyst, she began working for Cogent Steps in 2019.
PT, DPT, SCS
Abigail Smith has been practicing physical therapy for 10 years. Smith was awarded Board Certification by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties in Sports Physical Therapy in 2012. Her special interest in emergency response pertains to endurance athletes. She has lectured nationally regarding emergency response to endurance athletes along the side of Cogent Steps, LLC founder Shelly Weinstein for the APTA. Smith practices emergency response to endurance runners and triathletes in local races as well as some of world’s largest races. Dr. Smith is also an adjunct faculty member at Norwalk Community College to which she teaches Kinesiology and Therapeutic Exercise.
Credentials:PT, DPT, SCS
Andrew Niemann has 30+ years of experience in emergency medicine and fire-rescue. He is a Nationally Registered Paramedic and has degrees in emergency medical services and education.
Andrew has been a member of the National Registry of EMTs since 1992 and a paramedic since 1997. He has pre-hospital and inter-facility Advanced Life Support experience in multiple states, both as a volunteer and as a paid provider. His volunteerism continues with the Marine Corps Marathon.
Andrew is a retired Coast Guard Officer and currently volunteers as a paramedic in Warren, Rhode Island; with the disaster response organization, Team Rubicon; and as a pilot with the Civil Air Patrol.
PT, DPT, SCS, CSCS
Angelique Bannister has thirteen years of experience as a physical therapist, including time served as an active duty Navy Physical Therapist. She has been a Red Cross-certified Emergency Medical Responder since 2010 and a sports certified specialist in physical therapy since 2013. She has spent the last seven years as the lead physical therapist at United States Marine Corps Base Quantico, Officer Candidates School. She currently serves as the Director of the U.S. Navy Sports Physical Therapy Residency Program, a program that has gained accreditation by the American Physical Therapy Association.
Credentials:PT, DPT, SCS, CSCS
Alan B. Crothers
Alan Crothers has over 30 years of experience in physical therapy. He is a board-certified sports clinical specialist and has instructed the EMR/ERA for over a decade.
Alan’s experience includes certified instructor work, site and regional management responsibilities, and program director for a sports residency program. He is a Registered International Sports Physical Therapist. His background includes work with the US Ski Team, professional, collegiate, high school, and recreational athletes. Alan has served as a Section Delegate to the APTA House of Delegates, and AASPT Idaho State Legislative Liaison. Alan serves on the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education Onsite Team and Candidacy Review council. He additionally past chair of the Sports Specialty Council of the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists
Ann Marie Husk
PT, SCS, ATC, CSCS
Ann Marie Husk has 32 years of physical therapy and athletic training experience. She is a board certified Sports Clinical Specialist, Certified Athletic Trainer and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. She is employed by Duke University Health System and serves as a Co-Director of the Duke University Health System Sports Physical Therapy Residency and Division I Athletics Sports Physical Therapy Fellowship. She covers community sporting events, high school and middle school athletics and soccer outreach events.
Credentials:PT, SCS, ATC, CSCS
Brad Eggebraaten is the director of the ATI-Greenville Therapy Residency/Fellowship Programs in Greenville, South Carolina. He has been a practicing clinician for 30 years in the area of “Sports Medicine” as both a physical therapist and a certified athletic trainer. Brad has served as an American Red Cross instructor for eight years.
PT, DPT, PhD
Dr. Brandon Ness is an Assistant Professor in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Tufts University. Previously, Dr. Ness has served as the Program Director of an accredited sports physical therapy residency program and practiced clinically with Division I student-athletes.
Dr. Ness received his BA in Health Fitness from Gustavus Adolphus College, a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences, and a PhD in Health Sciences from the University of South Dakota. He completed an APTA credentialed residency program in sports physical therapy and obtained his board certification as a Sports Clinical Specialist.
His research interests include athletic injury prevention and rehabilitation.
Credentials:PT, DPT, SCS, CSCS
PT, DPT, SCS
Burke Wilson is a board certified sports physical therapist at Texas Children’s Hospital working primarily with adolescent athletes. His clinical interests include operative and non-operative management of youth athletes with lower extremity injuries and biomechanical analysis of runners and overhead athletes. His interest in emergency response stems primarily from his interest in covering endurance events – distance races and triathlons.
Burke earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) from the University of Texas Southwestern and completed his post-professional residency in sports physical therapy at the Ironman Sports Medicine Institute in Houston. He is currently a faculty member in the Texas Children’s Hospital Sports Physical Therapy Residency Program and is also on faculty within the Department of Kinesiology and Sports Medicine at Rice University.
Credentials:PT, DPT, SCS
PT, MS, SCS, CSCS
Donna Merkel has 29 years of experience in physical therapy, with most of her career devoted to sports medicine. She specializes in the management of concussions, youth athletes, female athletes and artistic athletes. She is a board-certified sports clinical specialist and a certified strength and conditioning specialist since 2002.
In addition to working as full-time clinician, Donna is an adjunct lecturer for both Arcadia and Widener University’s physical therapy programs. Donna has been teaching emergency medical response since 2009 and has been an instructor for Cogent Steps since 2015.
Her professional achievements include both journal and text book publications in pediatric and adolescent sports medicine, sideline management of acute injuries, and prevention of eating disorders in the ice skater. She has lectured nationally on injury prevention and rehabilitation of the young athlete, the artistic athlete, ice skaters and runners. Donna is an active committee member in the Pediatric Research in Sports Medicine society which focuses on the prevention and management of youth athletic injuries.
Credentials:PT, MS, SCS, CSCS
PT, DPT, OCS, SCS, CHT
Jennifer Allen graduated from West Virginia University in 1994 and went on to complete her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at AT Still University. She holds two Board Certified Clinical Specialist Certifications – one in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy, and one in Sports Physical Therapy. She is also a Certified Hand Therapist. She Co-Founded Bodycentral Physical Therapy in 2001, and the Bodycentral Sports Residency Program in Tucson, Arizona.
Over her career, she has served as a consultant/provided injury coverage to the US Navy ROTC program at the University of Arizona, the Arizona Heat Women’s Professional Fastpitch Softball Team including members of the US Olympic Softball Team, the Professional Dancers of Ballet Tucson, Professional Musicians, FC Tucson Soccer, and to local club and high school athletics. Her specialties include upper extremity rehabilitation, as well as Lower Chain Biomechanical evaluation and treatment.
Credentials:PT, DPT, OCS, SCS, CHT
Joseph Molony Jr.
PT, MS, SCS, CSCS
Joe attended Thomas Jefferson University, obtaining his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Physical Therapy in 1992. He is a board certified Sports Clinical Specialist, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and 2 two term chair of the Youth Athlete Special Interest Group for the Sports Section of the American Physical Therapy Association. Joe has served on the APTA’s Specialization Academy of Content Experts (SACE) for the sports board certification examination as well as the standard setting committee. He has also been a member of the Executive Board of Directors of the Athlete Health Organization, which provides free pre participation sports physicals for the city of Philadelphia, and is a founding member of PRISM, the Pediatric Research in Sports Medicine society. Joe is Coordinator of the Young Athlete Program at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. In addition, he is an adjunct professor of Widener University’s Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program and is published internationally on the topic of youth sports medicine.
Credentials:PT, MS, SCS, CSCS
Laura A. Schmitt
PT, DPT, SCS, OCS, ATC
Laura Schmitt has over 30 years of physical therapy and athletic training experience. She is a board certified clinical specialist in both orthopedics and sports and she is a Certified Athletic Trainer. She recently retired from the University of Delaware Physical Therapy program and continues to assist the program on a per diem basis. She is currently the AASPT Specialization Special Interest Group (SIG) Practice Committee Lead. She has been an EMR instructor since 2002.
Credentials:PT, DPT, SCS, OCS, ATC
Teonette Velasco has over a decade of experience in physical therapy. She is a board certified orthopedic clinical specialist with a diverse range of experience.
Teonette worked in private and military clinics prior to starting her orthopedic residency at the University of Delaware. She is recognized as a Board Certified Specialist in Orthopedics by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists. She currently serves as a physical therapist and is an advanced certified clinical instructor in the University of Delaware Physical Therapy clinic. Teonette is the clinical research coordinator for Dr. Gregory Hick’s research laboratory.
PT, PhD, SCS, ATC
Todd Sander graduated from the U.S. Army-Baylor University Master of Physical Therapy program in 1992 and received his Bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training from Central Michigan University and has been a Certified Athletic Trainer since 1988. He has been board certified as a Sports Clinical Specialist since 1998. In 2003, Todd received his PhD from the University of Virginia in Sports Medicine. He is currently serves full time as an Associate Professor at the U.S. Army-Baylor University Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Ft. Sam Houston, TX.
Credentials:PT, PhD, SCS, ATC
Joel Bannister joined Cogent Steps in May of 2019. He currently works as a Physical Therapist assistant at Advanced Rehab Medical Group in Virginia. Joel brings plenty of field medicine expertise as a former Fleet Marine Force Hospital Corpsman in the Navy, providing emergency care for officer candidates and staff at Officer Candidate School in Quantico Virginia as well as during his tours at Camp Lejeune and Fallujah Iraq. He taught and trained Marines in emergency combat lifesaving skills and was trained and worked as a volunteer firefighter and Emergency medical technician.
PT, DPT, OCS, SCS, Cert MDT, GTS, CSCS, Dip Sport PT
Ed has been practicing sports PT for almost 25 years since working with University of Toronto varsity teams (5+yrs), where he was also a clinical lecturer. He is a Clinical Faculty member in the orthopaedic residency program at Temple, the chair of the NJ Sports PT Committee, & State Rep for the AASPT (>10 yrs). Ed works at the RWJ Sports PT & Performance Center located in TD Bank Ballpark (Bridgewater, NJ). While much of Ed’s experience is with the Canadian National Rugby & Wrestling teams, he has also volunteered at international multisport games: 2001 Maccabi Games, 2007 Rio ParaPan Ams, 2008 Beijing Paralympics, 2010 Vancouver Olympics, 2011 & 2017 FISU Games, & 2015 Pan Am Games (Lead Medical Practitioner: Boxing).
Molly Baker O’Rourke
Molly earned her MSPT from D’Youville College in 1999, her DPT from Arcadia University in 2017, and is pursuing her Doctor of Education through the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. Molly is a board-certified clinical specialist in orthopedic and sports physical therapy. Her clinical and leadership experiences include 8 years as Clinic Director for a physical therapy clinic embedded in a rural emergency department, driven by recreational sports injuries, clinic manager positions in rural private practice and hospital-based sports and orthopedic settings, and five years at Oregon State University. Her clinical and research interests include physical therapy in primary care, interprofessional healthcare models, and acute injury management, especially acute multi-ligamentous knee injury management. Molly is the Clinic Manager and an Assistant Professor for the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Western University of Health Sciences in Oregon. She continues to practice clinical care as part of a newly developing rural primary care model.
Certification:PT, DPT, OCS, SCS
T. Scott Kaylor
Scott graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2005 with a degree in Exercise Science. He earned his doctor of physical therapy degree from Duke University in 2009. He then fine-tuned his sports medicine skills through APTA-credentialed sports residency and upper extremity fellowship programs. These provided the opportunity to serve professional, division I and II collegiate athletes, youth and high school athletes, and endurance athletes of various ability levels. Scott has served as the team physical therapist for the University of West Georgia and Central High School. Scott’s fellowship provided the opportunity to serve on the Kansas City Royals sports medicine staff in Surprise, AZ in 2012.
Since 2012, Scott has been working in the Greenville area, serving athletes and exercisers of all ability levels, people frustrated with persistent pain, and patients who have undergone orthopedic surgery. He is passionate about providing people with the individualized care they need to reach their goals. He has additional training in various areas, including the Postural Restoration Institute, trigger point dry needling, instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization, and SFMA/FMS.
Scott and his wife, Julie, have been blessed with four beautiful children. Scott enjoys competing in triathlon, running, and adventure racing events. Scott completed Ironman Chattanooga in 2015.
Certifications:PT, DPT, SCS
Megan graduated from University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus with her DPT in 2010. She currently practices in acute care primarily in the emergency department and trauma ICU at Denver Health Medical Center. She is active in the hospital disaster response team including staff education for hazardous substance awareness and mass casualty operational response. Additionally, she is associated faculty for the CU PT program helping in the skills labs for all levels of student education. Outside of teaching, she has returned to the classroom to pursue additional education for a Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in Global Disaster Management, Homeland Security and Humanitarian Aid.
Dr. Robert Schulte
Dr Robert Schulte PT, DSc, SCS, MBA, ACSM-ES® became a Cogent Steps LLC instructor in 2019. He serves as an associate professor at the University of Mary, Department of physical therapy in Bismarck ND. He provides direct support to athletes at the high school level and was a member of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics medical staff. He currently serves in the Air National Guard as the 119th Medical Group Commander. Dr Schulte has several peer reviewed publications and is actively involved in research.
Certifications:PT, DSc, SCS, MBA, ACSM-ES
Dr Gary Schindler
Dr. Gary Schindler, PT, PhD, OCS, SCS, LATC, CSCS has been a sports certified specialist since 2015. He serves as an Associate Professor at the University of North Dakota, Department of Physical Therapy in Grand Forks, ND. He provides direct support for athletes at the high school, collegiate, and semi-professional level. He currently serves as the Program Director of UND’s Sports Physical Therapy Residency and works in direct patient care in an orthopedic private practice setting. Dr. Schindler serves on a myriad of committees for UND as well as the state. He is a member of the ABPTRFE Standards Committee and is an ABPTRFE Site Reviewer. He became a Cogent Steps LLC instructor in 2019.
Mike Turnwald currently lives and works in outpatient orthopedics inn Columbus, OH. He earned his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 2017, and has since completed a sports residency at Ohio State and a travelling fellowship through the American Academy of Sports Physical Therapy. He is also board certified in Orthopedics.
He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist having worked with the strength training programs at Ohio State and the University of Pittsburgh athletic departments. He has delivered sideline medical coverage to the Pittsburgh Marathon, collegiate and semi-professional rugby, Broadway productions, and CrossFit competitions.
At home Mike and his wife and son enjoy going for hikes and runs with their two dogs, Tucker and Sadie.
PT, DPT, SCS, LAT
Kristina Stanich is a Board Certified Sports Clinical Specialist with the Department of Defense working as a tactical physical therapist. She is currently an embedded physical therapist within the special operations community. Kristina’s role is to provide high-level care to the tactical athlete. She frequently provides sports medicine coverage for field training exercises, military free-fall, combatives, endurance events and physical standardized testing.
Kristina graduated from The University of Tulsa in 2008 with a BS in Exercise and Sports Science. She earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) from the University of Oklahoma in 2011. In 2013, Kristina became a Licensed Athletic Trainer. Kristina has an extensive sports medicine background which has provided her the opportunity to work with high school, collegiate, professional and Olympic athletes. Additionally, she has provided countless hours of NCAA Division 1 sideline coverage.
Kristina and her husband, Adam, currently live in Annapolis, MD with their dog, Bella.
Cogent Steps, LLC currently offers both the Emergency Response for the Athlete and the Youth Sports: Special Considerations course to meet student needs. In addition, Cogent Steps, LLC also provides American Red Cross Certified Babysitter training. We develop tailored education and training course to meet the needs of specific communities and organizations.