Professional Standards Board

Chair

Brian Burkhardt image
Brian Burkhardt, MS, ATP
Term: 2013-2019

Brian Burkhardt is the rehabilitation engineer for the Assistive Technology Program at the Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center. Over the past 13 years as an electrical engineer he has designed devices ranging from ambulatory EKG monitors to missile telemetry systems. At the VA Medical Center Brian specializes in Electronic Aids to Daily Living (EADLS), adaptive computer access, speech generating devices, power wheelchairs, and the integration of these technologies in the rehabilitation process for veterans with diagnoses including spinal cord, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson's, and Multiple Sclerosis. Brian is involved frequently with presentations covering EADLS and rehabilitation engineering for local and national VA and outside educational events. Brian also collaborates on multiple research projects with faculty and students of Virginia Commonwealth University.

Vice Chair

Fiona Bessey-Bushnell, MA, MS, OTR/L, ATP
Term: 2017-2020
Fiona Bessey-Bushnell is the Assistive Technology Specialist for Chesterfield County Public Schools, a large district (enrollment of approximately 59,000 students) in Virginia, where she manages the operations of the Assistive Technology Center. Fiona received her Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). 
 
Fiona has over 15 years of experience in assistive technology and among her many duties, performs comprehensive AT evaluations, facilitates assistive technology solutions, and designs, plans and implements professional development. Additionally, she formerly served as adjunct faculty and currently serves as clinical faculty for VCU’s Department of Occupational Therapy. Fiona regularly presents at local, state and national conferences.
 
Fiona earned the certification of Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) in 2005. Prior to serving on the Professional Standards Board (PSB) in 2014, she has been active in numerous RESNA committees since 2009 in various leadership roles. Fiona has a passion for collaborating with teams, developing partnerships, and thinking outside the box.

Vice Chair

Julie Piriano photo
Julie Piriano, PT, ATP/SMS
Term: 2017-2020

Julie Piriano, PT, ATP/SMS is Director of Rehab Industry Affairs at Pride Mobility Corporation. She graduated with Honors from The University of Illinois in 1984 with a B.S. in Physical Therapy. She worked at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in Wheaton, IL for 10 years and began their seating clinic in 1986. She then worked for a manufacturer of pediatric positioning products where she was responsible for the design, development, marketing and sales of the product line. Julie joined the Rehab division of a large, a national DME provider from 2003-2008 where she was primarily responsible for managing their Medicare operations and compliance. Julie has been a member of RESNA for over 20 years, served on the Professional Standards Board from 2007 – 2014 and is an active participant in the Wheeled Mobility and Seating SIG and the PT PSG. She is a Friend of NRRTS, a member of the AAHomecare Complex Rehab and Mobility Council, serves on the NCART Medicaid Committee and the User’s First Alliance Advisory Board. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Great Lakes Association for Medical Equipment Services and the Midwest Association for Medical Equipment Services and is an active member of the 4 DME MAC Advisory Councils. Julie is a highly proactive industry resource on legislative and regulatory issues that impact the complex rehab industry and is actively involved with the coverage, coding and standards work groups as part of the Complex Rehab Separate Benefit Initiative.

Voting Member

Elizabeth Christensen, MA/CCC-SLP/L, ATP
Term: 2017-2020

Voting Member

Elizabeth Cole
Elizabeth Cole, MSPT, ATP
Term: 2018-2020

Elizabeth Cole has been involved in many aspects of assistive technology since 1985. This includes clinical practice as a physical therapist, management of a seating and wheelchair clinic, product sales and education in seating, wheeled mobility and assistive technology, and clinical reimbursement consulting. Her passion is for people with disabilities to have access to the most appropriate equipment to meet their needs. Over the years, Elizabeth has lectured extensively at conferences, trade shows and universities and has been published in national industry journals. She has served on the Board of Directors of RESNA and is a current member of RESNA, the Clinician’s Task Force, the Complex Rehab and Mobility Council of AAHomecare and the Friends of NRRTS. She continues to be involved in many industry-wide work groups dedicated to regulatory and legislative policy changes related to complex rehab technology.

Voting Member

Michele Gunn, ATP, CRTS
Term: 2015-2018

Voting Member

Leah Hagedorn, PhD
Term: 2017-2020

Dr. Leah E. Hagedorn received her PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The recipient of numerous awards and fellowships in history and public service, she is Professor of History at Tidewater Community College, serves on the City of Norfolk, Virginia's Commission for People with Disabilities, and runs a prize-winning Disability Civil Rights Movement Oral History Project. Dr. Hagedorn serves as a consumer member of the PSB. 

Voting Member

Denise Harmon, ATP, CRTS
Term: 2018-2020

Voting Member

Johnny Kelley
Johnny Kelley, A+, Net+, Sec+
Term: 2018-2021
Phone: (804) 536-9375
Mr. Johnny Kelley, A+, Net+, Sec+ double majored in Network Administration and Systems Administration in 2007 from Albany Technical College at the top of his class. Graduate of Partners in Policymaking (2004), Johnny gained invaluable leadership, diversity, and advocacy skills. His practical problem solving skills have served him well in his 13 years in Information Technology. Johnny is currently employed with Chesterfield County Public Schools in Assistive Technology (AT). His lifelong experience using a wide variety of AT and his extensive technical background make him an invaluable member of the Chesterfield AT Center. In his current position, he's also privileged to speak to Chesterfield students regarding major life issues. One of his most powerful quotes is, “Because there has never been, nor will there ever be, another you, you are absolutely crucial to the course of human history.”
 
In 2010, Johnny discovered an uncanny talent in public speaking. He uses a tremendous skill set of dry humor, liberal honesty, stiff gravity, and a thought provoking delivery unlike any other to deliver his revolutionary approach to disability awareness. Johnny has been featured as the keynote speaker at the VOTA annual conference. In 2013, Johnny made a lasting impact in Ukraine speaking and advocating on behalf of children with disabilities. He’s also guest lectured at several universities including Virginia Commonwealth University, James Madison University, Mary Baldwin University, and Shenandoah University.

Voting Member

Erin Michael photo
Erin Michael, PT, DPT, ATP/SMS
Term: 2016-2019

Erin Michael, PT, DPT, ATP/SMS is Manager of Patient Advocacy and Special Programs at Kennedy Krieger Institute’s International Center for Spinal Cord Injury (ICSCI) in Baltimore. She received her Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree from Ithaca College in 2006. She specializes in treating paralyzing neurological conditions, including multiple sclerosis, transverse myelitis, cerebral palsy, and traumatic and non-traumatic spinal cord injury. Additionally, Michael is the coordinator of the ICSCI Seating and Mobility Clinic and has specialized in seating and mobility for over 10 years. She received her assistive technology professional certification in 2011 and her seating and mobility specialist certification in 2013. She is also Founder and current Chair of Team Kennedy Krieger, a developing adult adaptive sports program. Lastly, she has as special interest in advocacy as it relates to patient rights, disability rights and access to healthcare. Michael is a current member of RESNA, the Clinician’s Task Force and a friend of NRRTS. Michael previously held the position of vice-chair of the Seating and Wheeled Mobility SIG for three years.

Voting Member

Cheryl Sheffield, OTR, ATP
Term: 2016-2019

Voting Member

Lois Turner, SLP, ATP
Term: 2015-2018

Voting Member

Antoinette Verdone, MSBME, ATP
Term: 2016-2019