Meet Our Leaders

The Association Board of Directors consists of practitioners and educators that are leaders in the safe patient handling industry. They have emerged as premier professionals in the field and have provided knowledge and best practices for application in the workplace.

ASPHP Executive Officers


Patti Wawzyniecki,  MS, CSPHP
Patti Wawzyniecki has 30 years’ experience in the field of employee health and safety as an Ergonomist and Industrial Hygienist. She is a Certified Safe Patient Handling Professional and former Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH). Wawzyniecki has held positions in both private companies and government organizations. She was an OSHA compliance officer focusing on health and ergonomic hazards and a health and safety engineer for two large aerospace manufacturers. For 13 years, Wawzyniecki focused exclusively on ergonomics and safe patient handling at a public university hospital and research center. Recently, Wawzyniecki was Safety Programs Manager for HoverTech International, assessing and advising healthcare institutions on safe patient handling and mobility. She is now an ergonomics consultant. Patricia has spoken on this topic at state and national conferences. Wawzyniecki is currently serving as President of the Board of Directors for the Association of Safe Patient Handling Professionals.

Back to Top


Susan GallagherSusan Gallagher, PhD, MSN, MA, RN, CBN, HCRM, CSPHP
Susan Gallagher, is a trained wound ostomy continence nurse, certified bariatric nurse, health care risk manager and certified safe patient handling professional. She has certificates in Six Sigma-Health Care and Six Sigma LEAN. Susan holds a masters degree in nursing, a masters degree in religion and social ethics, and a PhD in policy ethics. She is a recognized expert in safety and outcomes with emphasis on bariatrics, skin/wound care, safe patient handling and mobility, and loss control. She lectures internationally and has authored over 200 articles, books or book chapters. Her professional objective is to assist organizations capture quality and sustainability through customer sensitive initiatives, supported by quantitative performance improvement outcomes.

Back to Top


Kielich_headshotRenee Kielich, RN, CSPHP
Renee has a variety of experience in Healthcare including direct patient care and Leadership/Management roles in Critical Care, Occupational Health, Workers Compensation and Loss Prevention.  Her accomplishments include implementing a successful SPHM program throughout a four hospital system during a major construction project.   The project incorporated SPHM into the design of the hospital and throughout the planning process. In her current role she assists facilities with program & policy development, program implementation recommendations, education plans and measuring performance.  She has a special interest in integrating a change in practice at the bedside by looking at the cultural components needed at the organizational level for successful SPHM programming.

Back to Top


KelseyMcCoskey - ASPHP

Kelsey McCoskey, MS, OTR/L, CPE, CSPHP

Kelsey McCoskey has been an ergonomist with the Army Public Health Center for 15 years. In addition to performing applied research projects, site assessments and handling regulatory issues, she is responsible for conducting training courses and the development and assessment of ergonomic programs. Her primary areas of interest include healthcare ergonomics and safe patient handling and mobility (SPHM), especially the implementation of SPHM programs. Ms. McCoskey earned her Lean Six Sigma green belt certification in 2013. Ms. McCoskey earned a BA from the University of Delaware and a MS in occupational therapy from Shenandoah University. She is adjunct faculty at the Uniformed Service University of Health Sciences. She is a Certified Professional Ergonomist and a Certified Safe Patient Handling Professional.

Back to Top

ASPHP Board Members

Margaret Arnold, PT, CEES, CSPHP

Margaret Arnold has over 20 years’ experience as a PT, and is owner of Inspire Outcomes LLC, a safe patient handling / early mobility consulting company. Certified in Ergonomic Evaluation and a Safe Patient Handling Professional, Margaret managed a SPHM program for over eight years, where WMSDs were reduced by 95%. She has taught SPHM to university DPT programs and national rehabilitation hospitals, integrating evidence-based practice with SPHM for rehabilitation. She has spoken extensively at national and international conferences on SPHM and early mobility. Margaret developed the website, has done a TED talk on SPHM and early mobility, and has published in this area. Margaret is currently working on rehabilitation outcomes research for patients with stroke with SPHM.

Back to Top

Scott Cormier 2Scott Cormier
Scott oversees Emergency Management, Environment of Care, and Safety for Medxcel Facilities Management. Scott also co-chairs the Healthcare and Public Health Sector Coordinating Council, a part of the federal critical infrastructure program, and co-chairs a healthcare and public health cyber security workgroup. He has published a number of articles on hospital preparedness and influenza, and lectured at national and international conferences.   Scott was Senior Director of Emergency Preparedness & Management at Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). He also worked with the Defense Intelligence Agency, Office for Counter-Proliferation. He has over 36 years of emergency management, public safety, and military experience.

Back to Top

Ruth Francis, MPH, MCHES

Ruth Francis has over 25 years of international, corporate, association, government, and community health education and promotion experience, and she works for the American Nurses Association (ANA) as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Nursing Practice & Work Environment Department. Ruth currently leads ANA’s Immunization, Safe Patient Handling & Mobility and Falls, Needle Stick Prevention, Nurse Fatigue and Incivility, Bullying and Workplace Violence programmatic work, representing ANA at national and federal stakeholder meetings.  She is also involved in the ANA Care Coordination Initiative and Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™.

In previous positions, Ruth has led the development of a variety of health education and other health-oriented programs including management of a multi-site federal health campaign for adolescent girls, provision of technical assistance to health workers in a multi-country contract, management of the education component of Washington State’s CHILD Profile immunization registry and health promotion program, as well as educational oversight and training of staff in 13 March of Dimes chapters. Ruth and her team members have received recognition for their work, including the National Health Information Award, National SOPHE Award for Health Education Excellence, the State of Washington Governor’s Award for Quality & Performance, and an Education Emmy.

Ruth received her master’s degree from Loma Linda University in California, and she is certified as a Master Health Education Specialist.

Back to Top

Elizabeth FurlongElizabeth Furlong, PhD, JD, RN

Dr. Beth Furlong has a M.S. in Community Health Nursing, a PhD in Political Science, and a Juris Doctorate. Her study of emphasis in Political Science was Health Policy with her dissertation being on Agenda Setting and the National Institute of Nursing Research. Beth has a passion for addressing concerns of those individuals and populations made vulnerable. This interest was forged early in her nursing journey as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural village South India. She taught Public Health Nursing (PHN) for four and one half decades. Service has been a consistent theme in her life and has most frequently taken the path of affecting public and private sector policy.   She taught Ethics in three post-Soviet countries (the Republic of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Lithuania) at the request of the Open Society Foundation. She has had the opportunity to have two Fulbright Association Fellowships, one of which was teaching PHN in two Hungarian universities.

Back to Top

Edward HallEdward Hall, MS, CSP, CSPHP 

Ed serves as Chief Executive of Strategic Risk Ventures for The Risk Authority Stanford. With over 20 years of diverse risk and insurance management experience, Ed is an authority in managing risks in healthcare and industrial sectors. He served as the Director for Managing Risk Enterprise-wide for self-insured Workers Compensation and Medical Malpractice trust for many years. He is nationally recognized for his development of innovative loss control risk management programs which have led to dramatic increases in both patient safety and financial savings. His knowledge and leadership helped Stanford Health Care receive the “Best Practice Award” for safe patient handling. Ed received a BS in Fire and Safety Engineering and an MS in Loss Prevention and Safety from Eastern Kentucky University and is also a Certified Safety Professional (CSP).

Back to Top

Sasha M. Latvala, BS, CSPHP

Sasha M. Latvala, BS, CSPHP is a Certified Safe Patient Handling Professional with over 14 years of experience in acute, rehab and long-term care settings. She received her Bachelor of Science from Drexel University. While the vast majority of her time has been spent on the clinical side, she has also had the opportunity to cross-over onto the vendor side. Currently Sasha works as a Clinical Resource Specialist for Tollos, Inc. and as an Independent Consultant. Research that she did on program development and implementation was recently published in the International Journal of SPHM. She is also Co-Chair of the ASPHP’s Certification and Renewal Committee. Her passion is to educate caregivers and healthcare organizations on how to safely mobilize patients, decrease workers’ compensation rates, and ultimately improve patient outcomes.

Back to Top

Vicki MissarVicki  Missar,  MS, CPE, SSBB, CSPHP, CHSP

Vicki’s current responsibilities include developing and executing client driven solutions that reduce risk and elevate workplace productivity, wellness and workforce optimization through proven integrated health, wellbeing and safety strategies. Vicki recently joined the faculty at Harvard School of Public Health as a Guest Lecturer in their Workplace Work, Health, and Well-Being: Integrating Wellness and Occupational Health and Safety in the Workplace Seminar.  At Aon, Vicki works with global, multinational and US-based companies using Aon’s Strategic Improvement Platform to drive injury reduction and ultimately cost savings through workforce transformation programs for the 21st century.

Back to Top

Mary Ogg, MSN, RN, CNOR

Mary J. Ogg, MSN, RN, CNOR, is a senior perioperative practice specialist at the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN). Her primary responsibility is authoring guidelines (Surgical Smoke Safety, Moderate Sedation, Local Anesthesia, Complementary Care Interventions, Electrosurgery, Lasers, and Sharps Safety). Currently, she is converting the AORN SPHM guidance statement to an evidence-based guideline. Other responsibilities include providing consultative services regarding perioperative nursing practice, and creating products and education materials that support the perioperative professional’s safe workplace practice. Products include the development of AORN tool kits and videos for sharps safety, surgical smoke evacuation, workplace safety, cultural competence, and safe patient handling and movement in the perioperative setting.

Back to Top

Susan Salsbury, BS, OTR/L CDMS, CSPHP

Susan Lennon Salsbury, OTR/L, CDMS, CSPHP, is a 1980 graduate of The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy. Susan is the system lead for Safe Patient Handling and Mobility for OhioHealth, a multi-hospital healthcare organization. She has presented programs locally, statewide and nationally on Transitional Work, Ergonomics, and Safe Patient Handling and Mobility. She has presented five posters and two podium presentations at the National Safe Patient Handling and Mobility and Falls Conferences. Susan has several publications in peer reviewed journals about her work with safe patient handling and mobility. She is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association, the Ohio Occupational Therapy Association and the Association of Safe Patient Handling Professionals.

Back to Top

Richard Schleckser, MA, CSPHP, NEBOSH, ARM, CMIOSH

Rich is a Senior Service Director in the Risk Control Services Department of Liberty Mutual Insurance and a healthcare industry specialist. An original Board member of the ASPHP, he was a section co-chair for the ANA Safe Patient Handling and Mobility Standard, member of the working group for the Agency For Healthcare Research and Quality/Facility Guidelines Institute developing SPHM risk assessment protocols, and is also a member of the International Panel of Patient Handling Ergonomics. Rich is a regular speaker at industry and safety conferences and seminars. He provided comments which were integrated into the ISO TR 12296 – Ergonomics – Manual handling of people in the healthcare sector. He is an Adjunct Professor in the Graduate Studies program at Keene State College teaching Safety and Risk.

Back to Top

Association Advisor

Barbara Silverstein, MSN PhD, MPH, CPE
Barbara Silverstein, MSNPhD, MPH, CPE has been the research director for the Safety & Health Assessment and Research for Prevention (SHARP) program in the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries since it began in 1990.  Her main interests are in figuring out ways to prevent musculoskeletal disorders related to work, how to develop healthy workplaces, and evaluating the effectiveness of different prevention strategies. Barbara is an affiliate professor in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Washington and has served on NIOSH study sections and the Board of Scientific Counselors. She was a two-term chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee at the Institute of Work and Health in Toronto.   Barbara is a founding member of Washington’s safe patient handling steering committee dedicated to successful implementation of legislation in all Washington acute care hospitals.

Back to Top

Certification Advisor

Guy Fragala

Guy Fragala, Ph.D., PE, CSP, CSPHP

Dr. Fragala has over 35 years of experience as an Occupational Safety and Health professional and is a national expert in the application of ergonomics to the healthcare setting. Dr. Fragala currently serves as the Senior Advisor for Ergonomics at the Patient Safety Center of Inquiry in Tampa, Florida and is the Champion for the Creating a Safer Environment Program for Joerns Medical. He has participated in many field research studies, investigating the benefits of an ergonomics-based injury prevention program for healthcare workers. Dr. Fragala has also served as an advisor to OSHA regarding the development of ergonomics programs, standards and guidelines. He has been a consultant to a wide range of American industries including many healthcare organizations. Dr. Fragala has been an invited guest speaker at numerous national conferences. His book entitled, Ergonomics: How to Contain On-the-Job Injuries in Healthcare, published by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, has influenced much of the work today related to healthcare ergonomics and safe patient handling programs.

Back to Top

The ASPHP Acknowledges