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, EdD, SCS, ATC
Shelly Weinstein has more 35 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 completed her EdD in Leadership and Learning in Organization at the Peabody School of Education of Vanderbilt University in August of 2021. 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. She is adjunct faculty at Bowling Green University in their newly established blended PT program.
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.
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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 since 2006. Dr. Smith was awarded board specialty certification from the ABPTS in Sports Physical Therapy in 2012. Her special interest in emergency response pertains to endurance athletes and high school athletics. Smith practices emergency response to endurance runners and triathletes in local races as well as some of
world’s largest races.
She has lectured nationally regarding emergency response to endurance athletes along the side of Cogent Steps, LLC’s founder Shelly Weinstein for the Sports Academy during the APTA’s Combined Sections Meetings. Dr. Smith was also an adjunct professor for five years at Norwalk Community College to which she taught Kinesiology and Principles of 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 twenty 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 twelve 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, accredited by the American Physical Therapy Association.
Credentials:PT, DPT, SCS, CSCS
Ann Marie Husk
PT, SCS, ATC, CSCS
Ann Marie Husk has 34 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
PT, SCS, ATC
Brad Eggebraaten is the director of the ATI Physical Therapy Sports Residency/Fellowship Programs. He has been a practicing clinician for more than 30 years in the area of “Sports Medicine” as both a physical therapist and a certified athletic trainer. Brad has served as an emergent care instructor for more than 10 years for both the American Red Cross and Cogent Steps.
DPT, MS, SCS, CSCS
Donna Merkel has 30 years of experience in physical therapy, with most of her career devoted to sports medicine. She has been a Board-Certified Sports Clinical Specialist and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist since 2003. She specializes in the management of concussions, injury prevention, and rehabilitation of both the young and the female athlete. In addition to working as a full-time clinician, Donna is an adjunct lecturer for both Arcadia and Widener University’s physical therapy programs. She has been a Cogent Steps instructor since 2015 and has lectured on emergency management of the injured/ill athlete since 2009. Her professional achievements include publications and national lectures on various sports medicine topics, including disordered eating in athletes, treatment of the female athlete, sports injuries and concussions in the young athlete. Donna is an active member of the Pediatric Research in Sports Medicine Society where she has served as a board member, chair of various committees, and participation in the development of the Annual Meeting. She has volunteered in the medical tents for various athletic events for many years.
Credentials:PT, MS, SCS, CSCS
Joseph Molony Jr.
PT, MS, SCS, CSCS
Joe is a board certified Sports Clinical Specialist, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and past 2 two term chair of the Youth Athlete Special Interest Group for the American Academy of Sports Physical Therapy (AASPT) of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). He 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 is a charter member of the Pediatric Research in Sports Medicine Society (PRISM), and in 2019 was the recipient of it’s national achievement award in Physical Therapy. Joe publishes on the topic of youth sports medicine and is manager of the Young Athlete Program at HSS/Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.
Credentials:PT, MS, SCS, CSCS
Laura A. Schmitt
PT, DPT, OCS, SCS, ATC
Laura A. Schmitt retired from the University of Delaware in 2020 where she was a clinician and course coordinator for both their in-house Integrated Clinical Experiences (Sports/Orthopaedic – PHYT821 and Neurologic/Older Adult – PHYT822). She continues to work with UDPT as per diem. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Health and Physical Education with a concentration in Athletic Training from West Chester University in 1988, her MSPT from Beaver College (Arcadia University) in 1991, and her DPT from Temple University in 2003. Dr. Schmitt is recognized as both Board Certified as a Sports Physical Therapist and an Orthopedic Physical Therapist by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists. She has been a Certified Athletic Trainer since 1988. Her clinical interests are in the areas of sports and orthopedic physical therapy.
She has been an instructor for the American Red Cross for Basic Life Support and Emergency Medical Response (EMR) since 2002 and an instructor for CogentSteps Emergency Response for the Athlete (ERA) since 2015.
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.
In May 2019, Joel Bannister joined Cogent Steps and is currently employed as a Physical Therapist Assistant at Advanced Rehab Medical Group located in Virginia. He enjoys dedicating his time to volunteering at the medical tent during the Marine Corps Marathon races that take place throughout the year. With his background as a former Fleet Marine Force Hospital Corpsman in the Navy, Joel brings a wealth of field medicine expertise to his position, having provided 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. Additionally, he has trained Marines in emergency combat lifesaving skills and has worked as a volunteer firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician.
PT, DPT, SCS, OCS, Cert MDT, GTS, CSCS, Dip Sport PT
Ed has been doing sports PT for over 25 years, getting his start at the University of Toronto (wrestling, hockey, lacrosse, rugby) where he was also a clinical lecturer. He is currently the chair of the APTNJ Sports PT Committee & State Rep for the AASPT. Ed works at the RWJ Sports PT & Performance Center located in TD Bank Ballpark (NY Yankees AA). While much of Ed’s experience is from traveling with the Canadian National Rugby & Wrestling teams, he has also worked multisport games: 2001 & 2003 Maccabi Games, 2007 Rio ParaPan Ams, 2008 Beijing Paralympics, 2010 Vancouver Olympics, 2011 & 2017 FISU Games, 2015 Pan Am Games, & 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Molly Baker O’Rourke
Molly earned a MSPT from D’Youville College in 1999, a DPT from Arcadia University in 2017, and an EdD from the University of Saint Augustine in 2023. 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. She has worked with all levels of athletes as part of interprofessional healthcare teams in the United States and Canada. 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 has worked as the Director of Clinical Education, clinic manager, and core faculty for a developing DPT program. She currently works in curriculum development for the University of Saint Augustine for Health Sciences. Molly considers herself a recreational athlete whose favorite event is a 25 K in her home town. She enjoys biking, skiing, running, fishing, and traveling with her family.
Certification:PT, DPT, OCS, SCS
T. Scott Kaylor
Scott is a board-certified clinical specialist in sports physical therapy. He is the owner of Zone Physical Therapy in Greer, SC. Scott and his team serve athletes with a variety of backgrounds from youth to professional, specializing in throwers and endurance athletes in particular.
Venue coverage experience includes MLB baseball, road cycling, triathlon, track & field, community running events, and high school & college football.
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 has completed both an APTA-credentialed sports residency and an upper extremity fellowship program.
Scott and his wife, Julie, have been blessed with four beautiful children. Scott enjoys competing in triathlon, running, and adventure racing events. Scott is a 2x Ironman finisher.
Certifications:PT, DPT, SCS
I graduated from Idaho State University with a Bachelor of Science before completing my DPT at University of Colorado. I am a physical therapist at Denver Health Medical Center specializing in rehabilitation in the emergency room and surgical trauma intensive care. I am an active member of the Hospital Emergency Response Team with additional CBRNE training from the Center for Domestic Preparedness. Outside of my primary role in the emergency department at Denver Health, I am Associated Faculty for the CU PT Program and teach Emergency Response for the Athlete with Cogent Steps, LLC. Additionally, I am an Operations Specialist with the National Disaster Medical System working with disaster medical assistance teams deployed in domestic disaster response. My interests in expanding the role of physical therapy in emergency response and disaster operations led me to pursue field disaster operational experience with Humanity and Inclusion where I have spent 4 months working in a conflict setting across eastern Ukraine. I have returned to school and am working on my MPH with an emphasis in global disaster management, homeland security and humanitarian aid.
Dr. Robert Schulte
PT, DSc, Brig Gen, USAF (Ret.), Board Certified Specialist in Sports Physical Therapy
Dr. Robert Schulte, PT, D.Sc., M.B.A. became an EMR Cogent Steps LLC instructor in 2019. His physical therapy career started in the United States Air Force in 1993 and militarily he has served over 3 decades in various roles as an Air Force physical therapist, medical group commander, and senior leader positions. His 30-year military career included missions in all 3 three Air Force components culminating in his final assignment as the Chief of Staff – Headquarters – North Dakota Air National Guard and retiring as Brigadier General in 2023. In his civilian career, Dr. Schulte has served as a team member for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics medical staff, has held numerous civilian and military academic teaching appointments, and has been recognized as a board-certified specialist in sports physical therapy since 2001. Dr. Schulte currently maintains a private practice supporting high school, collegiate, and tactical athletes coupled with an academic appointment at Nova Southeastern University DPT (Hybrid) Program. Dr. Schulte has over a dozen peer-reviewed publications and invited professional presentations involving sports injury management and concussion research.
Certifications:PT, DSc, MBA, Board Certified Specialist in Sports Physical Therapy
Dr Gary Schindler
PT, PhD, OCS, SCS, LATC, CSCS
Dr. Gary Schindler, PT, PhD, OCS, SCS, LATC, CSCS has been a sports-certified specialist since 2015. He serves as a 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 levels. He currently serves as the Program Director of UND’s Sports Physical Therapy Residency and developing Faculty 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 (APTA of ND Treasurer) and is currently UND’s Faculty Athletic Representative. He is an ABPTRFE Site Reviewer and became a Cogent Steps LLC instructor in 2019. Dr. Schindler’s research encompasses biomechanics, EMG, motion analysis, and anatomy.
Field coverage experience with collegiate and USA rugby, Broadway performances, CrossFit competitions, and a number of other sports/venues. He has been involved with the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee and D1 athletics at the University of Pittsburgh and Ohio State University. His other current teaching responsibilities are at the University of Pittsburgh, Tufts University, and Bowling Green State University in their graduate departments. He has developed the Considerations and Emergency Response in Pregnant and Postpartum Athletes course.
He currently lives in Columbus, OH where he owns a private practice and partners with a private clinic. He earned his DPT from the University of Pittsburgh, a sports residency at Ohio State, and a traveling fellowship through the American Academy of Sports Physical Therapy. He is also board-certified in Orthopedics and MSK Ultrasound.
At home, Mike is joined by his wife and two sons; they 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.
PT, DPT, MHS, OCS, SCS, CSCS, CMP
Dr. Cusack has over 30 years of experience as a physical therapist in the sports and orthopedic setting. She is recognized as a Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in both Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Her experience includes working with athletes from the recreational to the professional level. Throughout her career she has held clinical manager positions, owned her own practice, held various teaching roles, provided coverage in training rooms and for various sports of all levels, and gained international exposure during her time living in Singapore. Presently, she works in a high school setting and operates her own cash-pay practice providing one-on-one care in a private setting.
Kristina is a residency and fellowship-trained physical therapist and board-certified Sports Clinical Specialist. She graduated from the MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston, MA and went on to complete her Sports Physical Therapy residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and Northeastern University. Prior to her move to Baker City, she held faculty positions within the MGH Sports/Northeastern University Residency program and at Northeastern University. Kristina currently holds an adjunct faculty position within the Bowling Green State University Doctor of Physical Therapy program. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and young daughter. Her clinical practice now consists of recreational and competitive athletes of all ages, with a primary focus on the biomechanical assessment and post operative management of the lower extremity.
DPT, DSc, SCS, OCS, CSCS, FAAOMPT
Steven Hunter is a Board-Certified Sports Clinical Specialist with the Department of Defense. Steven earned his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Florida in 2011. He then went on to complete the Sports Residency at the University of Florida, working in their Division I athletic department. Steven then joined the U.S. Army as a Physical Therapist and has served in a variety of positions to include special operations with the 75th Ranger Regiment.
He was then selected and completed his DSc through Baylor University with his research focusing on training military physical therapists on diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasound imaging for use in austere environments.
Steven and his wife, Laura, have six children and currently live in Tennessee. Steven enjoys competing in triathlons, running, and run and guns. He has experience covering D1 sports, military athletics, tactical environments and youth athletic events.
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.