Vice President, Government Affairs
Justin Elliott has 20 years of government and public affairs experience. 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 and associate director of state government affairs. Prior to joining APTA, he worked at KM Strategies, a government affairs and issue management firm. He was the communications director for Virginia’s Fairfax County Supervisor Penelope A. Gross and 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 a bachelor's degree in communications, with a minor in political science from Virginia Tech.
The American Physical Therapy Association shapes policy issues that impact our profession and the patients and clients we serve.
Learn more about APTA's priority legislation in the 118th Congress.
Below are position papers for some of APTA's priority legislative issues. These position papers are a resource for legislative staff to learn more about our issues and for APTA advocates to give to their legislative contact.
APTA Position Papers
118th Congress (2023-2024, Current Congress)
- Increasing Awareness of Pelvic Health Physical Therapy (H.R. 2480)
- States Handling Access to Reciprocity for Employment Act (H.R. 1310)
- The Prevent Interruptions In Physical Therapy Act (H.R. 1617/S. 793)
117th Congress (2021-2022)
- Community Health Centers
- Expanded Telehealth Access Act of 2021
- Improving Seniors' Timely Access to Care
- Medicare Patient Empowerment Act
- Medicare Fee Schedule
- PTA Differential
- Physical Therapist Workforce and Patient Access Act
- The Promoting Physical Activity for Americans Act
- The Keep Our Promise to America's Children and Teachers Act
If you would like to discuss any federal legislative or regulatory issues impacting physical therapy or the health care system, or if you have questions or need help with an issue, contact APTA's staff experts. Each staff member specializes in specific legislative or regulatory issues. You can reach them at 800-999-2782, ext. 8533, or by email.
Director, Congressional Affairs
Michael Matlack joined APTA in 1999. He oversees the Congressional Affairs Department, which includes advancing the association's legislative priorities on Capitol Hill through federal lobbying, grassroots, and political action. 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.
Senior Specialist, Grassroots and Political Affairs
Laura Keivel joined APTA in 2019 and is the grassroots and political affairs specialist. Prior to joining APTA, she was the advocacy program and events manager at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. At ACS CAN, she ran the Society’s largest event, the Leadership Summit & Lobby Day legislative fly-in. Laura served as manager of grassroots advocacy for five 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. She received a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from the University of Dayton.
Brian W. Allen
Specialist, Congressional Affairs
Brian W. Allen, JD, is a congressional affairs specialist at APTA. Before joining the association in January 2022, Brian spent over five years on Capitol Hill, starting as a law clerk for the House Judiciary Committee and culminating in his role as legislative director and senior counsel to a member of the House of Representatives. Among other policy issues, he focused on health care, transportation, natural resources, and education. He received his bachelor’s degree in history and Spanish from Roanoke College and his law degree from Washington and Lee University School of Law. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar.
Congressional Affairs Specialist
Steve Kline joined APTA in October 2022 as a congressional affairs specialist. As one of APTA's lobbyists, he advocates for the association on issues related to rural health, higher education, and workforce development. He has extensive advocacy and association experience. Prior to APTA, he served as director of federal relations at the American Chiropractic Association and as director of government relations at the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. He also worked as a senior legislative analyst at the American Council of Life Insurers. He started his career on Capitol Hill as a legislative aide to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.
Health Policy & Payment
Kate W. Gilliard, JD
Director, Health Policy & Payment
Kate Gilliard joined APTA in 2018 as a senior regulatory affairs specialist before becoming the director of health policy & payment in 2022. Kate's department oversees advocacy in two important arenas: federal regulatory and commercial payers. Kate's chief priority is to ensure that both public and private payers recognize the value of physical therapy and design benefits with that value in mind. Previously, Kate has worked for major health insurers, state insurance regulators as well as law firms litigating workers compensation claims. She received a bachelor's degree in English from Oklahoma State University and a JD from DePaul University College of Law. She is a member of the Illinois Bar.
Alice Bell, PT, DPT
Senior Specialist, Health Policy & Payment
Alice Bell, PT, DPT, joined APTA in 2016 as a senior specialist in health policy and payment. Previously she was an independent consultant and prior to that the Vice President of Clinical Services for Genesis Rehab Services. Her duties include engaging with commercial payers to advocate for positive physical therapy policies and address member issues and challenges, acting as staff representative to the American Medical Association Relative Value Scale Update Committee, representing APTA on public and private workgroups to advocate for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants, developing member resources related to payment and advancing opportunities for physical therapists in alternative payment models and quality payment programs. She is a board-certified specialist in geriatrics.
Senior Specialist, Health Policy, and Payment
Wanda Evans has been a Senior Specialist at APTA since 2014. Her responsibilities include addressing commercial payer payment challenges, CPT code utilization, documentation guidance and providing resources for policy development to assist efforts to advance payment policies for physical therapy services. Prior to joining APTA's staff, previous positions have included documentation and utilization review coordinator for an outpatient network and has also functioned as a supervisor for outpatient PT and OT services for a regional health maintenance organization. Dr. Evans earned a bachelor's and Doctor of Physical Therapy from Howard University and a Master of Health Science in orthopedic and sports physical therapy from the University of Indianapolis.
Andrew Amari, JD
Specialist, Health Policy & Payment
Andrew Amari joined APTA in 2022 as a Health Policy and Payment specialist. Previously, he was a regulatory analyst at the Association of American Medical Colleges, focusing on hospital payment and graduate medical education policy issues. Prior to that, he worked as a health care compliance consultant, where he performed on-site compliance reviews in preparation of reports to clients seeking to improve their compliance programs. He received a bachelor's degree in psychology from Wake Forest University and a JD from the University of Wisconsin School of Law. He is a member of the Wisconsin Bar.
Rachel Miller, MPH
Specialist, Health Policy & Payment
Rachel Miller joined APTA in 2022 as a health policy and payment specialist focusing on regulatory affairs. She advocates to federal regulators on policy issues that affect the physical therapy profession while also communicating important payment and policy updates to members. Before coming to APTA, Rachel worked in a county health department as a coronavirus contact tracer. She has also completed internships in government affairs with both a North Carolina state representative, and the National Association of County and City Health Officials. She obtained a bachelor's degree in public health from the University of South Florida and a Master of Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
State Affairs Manager
Daniel Markels joined APTA in 2019 as manager of state affairs. Prior to joining APTA, he was the West Region State Public Policy director for the National Federation of Independent Business, where he led a team of state lobbyists and grassroots professionals in 15 western states. At NFIB, he worked on state health care policy, as NFIB small business members rate the cost of health insurance as one of the top challenges in operating their businesses. He began his multistate government affairs career at Shaklee Corporation, a dietary supplement company, followed by working in state government affairs at AT&T. Additionally, Daniel served in the public sector in government affairs, including the Port of Oakland and the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority.
Tajah "Taj" Franklin
State Affairs Specialist
Taj Franklin joined APTA in 2022 as the association's state affairs specialist, providing expertise in advocacy outreach, research, and legislation analyses. Prior to joining APTA, she was the government affairs specialist at the National Parent Teacher Association and led their gun violence prevention, community violence intervention, and various children's health efforts. She obtained her bachelor's degree in political science from the University of the District of Columbia.