2019 List of Speakers and Bios

Acute Care
Robert Guest- Cert MDT MSPT – Bob has 26 years’ experience in the healthcare field. He has worked in the fields of skilled nursing, acute care, medical rehabilitation, homecare and sports medicine. As the Coordinator of Patient Handling and Injury Prevention for Kaleida Health, Robert educates healthcare workers how to safely move and rehabilitate patients. He has performed environmental and ergonomic assessments in healthcare and the auto industry.
Additionally, Robert has been a guest speaker at the New York State Safe Patient Handling (SPH) Conference since 2005. He presented a SPH poster at the National SPH Conference in Orlando. In 2009, he participated in the development of the SPH Lab at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Robert is an instructor educating future nurses, and physical and occupational therapists in SPH and movement.
He continues to develop SPH programs throughout New York State through grant funded projects. The programs have been developed in homecare settings, outpatient clinics, group homes, hospitals, imaging centers and skilled nursing facilities. Robert is a member of the NYS Zero Lift Task Force and NYS SPH Work Group. In 2013 he was the recipient winner of the NYS Zero Lift Task Force Safe Patient Handling and Movement Award of Excellence.
Paula Pless COTA, EES- Paula has over 34 years of experience in Long-Term Care and Acute Care and is currently working for the largest health care provider in Western NY, Kaleida Health. She has expertise in implementing Safe Patient Handling programs in all aspects of health care including Long Term Care, Acute Care, Outpatient clinics, Home Care and DDSO Group Homes. Paula, an expert trainer and facilitator, has worked very closely with labor and management to implement SPH programs from initial set up, facilitation of Ergonomic SPH Teams and Environmental Assessments through to full SPH program implementation. Paula was a member of the NYS SPH Workgroup that helped NYS define SPH program components, Best Practices and SPH Guidelines for program implementation.
Long Term Care/Sub Acute Rehab
Melissa Rowland, RN, PTA – Melissa Rowland’s experience in healthcare has spanned over 16 years. She has practiced as a Physical Therapist Assistant, and currently as a Registered Nurse in a WNY acute care hospital. She has been a presenter and hands-on lab instructor for New York SPH conferences. She has attended several of the conferences held annually in Florida. She has been a lead trainer for the Western New York Council on Safety and Health (WNYCOSH), implementing and training SPH throughout western New York nursing facilities. Her experience consists of acute care, long term care, short term rehab, and trauma rehab. Currently Melissa is a team member and trainer on a collaborative project and SPH Lab with WNYCOSH and the University of Buffalo, to provide training to students entering healthcare professions. She is also a member of the NYS Zero Lift Task Force.
Laurie Muratore, PT, DPT, CSPHP – Laurie is the Injury Prevention Clinical Coordinator managing the Safe Patient Handling and Ergonomic Safety Programs at Rochester Regional Health. Laurie graduated with a BS in Physical Therapy from the University of Buffalo in 1994 and completed her DPT through St. Scholastica College in 2016. Laurie has 20+ years of experience with patient care focus in various settings such as inpatient acute care, SNF rehabilitation, outpatient orthopedics, work hardening, functional capacity evaluations, ergonomic consults, and injury prevention programming. From 2010 to 2013, Laurie functioned as the Injury Prevention Specialist for the Rochester General Health System, developing a successful Safe Patient Handling and Ergonomic program. In 2013, Laurie earned her Certification as a Safe Patient Handling Professional and is currently integrating programs across 5 hospitals, 4 long term care facilities, 2 home health agencies and many medical group settings. The Rochester Regional Health Workers’ Compensation and Injury Prevention Team was recently recognized by the New York State Zero Lift Task Force with the Safe Patient Handling Award of Excellence in 2017.
Caring for People with Developmental Disabilities or Mental Health Disorders

Megan Coville, MS, OTR/L, ARM, CSPHP, Senior Risk Management Consultant, OneGroup – Megan graduated from University at Buffalo with her master’s degree and initially worked at the Arc of Ulster Greene where she focused on SPH within the agency’s programs and residences. She transitioned to her current position with OneGroup in 2011 and now works as a Risk Management Consultant for ARCs and other private sector agencies serving people with developmental disabilities as well as healthcare and other industries. She brings a wealth of knowledge from both the front line as an OT as well as behind the scenes in a management role as she assists organizations to identify risks, root causes of problems and work toward preventing injuries on the job. In 2018, Megan obtained both an Associate in Risk Management and a Certified Safe Patient Handling Professional designation. She is a part of the NYS Zero Lift Task Force and has been a regular speaker/facilitator at the SPH conferences since 2010.

Carmen Vianese - Carmen FS Vianese, SPH Co-Chair, Finger Lakes DDSO / OPWDD

Carmen graduated from HCCC in 1986 with her associate degree in Applied Science and in 1998 from NYIM with her Massage Therapy Degree. She has worked at the Finger Lakes DDSO for the past 32 years as a COTA II. She is the Co-Chair of the SPH committee and is a Lead Trainer for SPH as well as Vehicle Safety (wheelchair securement and lift operation for accessible transportation vehicles). Carmen has collaborated with her co-chair Betsy to create an on line/e-learning training curriculum for NYS – OPWDD. She is also the coordinator for Massage and Alternative Therapies and Faith Initiatives at Finger Lakes. This is her 4th year presenting at the NYS Safe Patient Handling Conference.

Plenary Sessions: 
Plenary Session #1  - Best Practices for Effective Safe Patient Handling Programs
Paula Pless COTA, EES - (See Bio Above)
Plenary Session #3 - Patient Assessments – Your Program’s Cornerstone
Melissa Rowland RN, PTA - (See Bio Above)
Roundtable Session - Warning – Obstacles Ahead - Recognizing and Overcoming Barriers to Successful SPH Programs
Lisa Baum M.A., CSP. Lisa is as an Occupational Health and Safety Representative with the New York State Nurses Association. With 20 years’ experience in the field of occupational health and safety, Ms. Baum is a subject expert on the occupational hazards found in the healthcare setting. Ms. Baum advises safe patient handling committees at healthcare facilities throughout New York State. She has trained hundreds of healthcare workers on best practices for safe patient handling. Ms. Baum chairs the NYS Zero Lift Task Force, she has served on the NYS Commissioner of Health’s Safe Patient Handling Work Group and she was the 2017 recipient of the Zero Lift Task Force’s Safe Patient Handling Advocacy award.

Jane Cammisa, RN - Jayne was an RN for 31 years with a specialty in transplant/vascular nursing.  Presently on full time release from bedside charge nurse position for NYSNA. Co-chair of WCMC safe patient handling committee, member of WCMC sharps injury committee, NYSNA Regional director for Lower Hudson Valley, Vice president of Westchester/Putnam AFL/CIO,  WCMC LBU  executive Committee Secretary.  Recipient of the 2018 Nurse of the Year from Senator Terrance Murphy.  Hudson Valley Nurse of Distinction Award 2015.


Arlette Loeser, MA, OTR, CIE/P, CDMS, CAPS, CLCP 

Arlette Loeser is the Director of Ergonomics, Injury Prevention and Accommodation at the Selikoff Centers for Occupational Health of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, providing expertise to employers, unions, and workers throughout New York City and the Mid-Hudson Valley. Ms. Loeser has been instrumental in guiding facilities in strategizing, developing and implementing Safe Patient Handling Programs while also serving as the subject matter expert. Working closely with leadership, management, frontline staff and equipment manufacturers, she provides practical programmatic and clinical solutions.


Within the Selikoff Centers for Occupational Health, Ms. Loeser offers clinical comprehensive injury prevention strategies to entities of all sizes, site evaluations, ergonomic design recommendations and educational seminars.  With over 20 years’ experience in the public and private sectors, Ms. Loeser has spoken worldwide about health and safety, ergonomics and worksite accommodation at the American Society for Safety Engineers, American Institute for Architects, the International Call Center Conference in Istanbul, Turkey and academically for the programs in Public Health and Rehabilitation Medicine. Ms. Loeser is dedicated to reducing large numbers of worker injuries and to building injury free workplaces.

Kelly Moed, RN, Staten Island University Hospital, Northwell Health - Kelly is an ANCC-certified Registered Professional Nurse with over 33 years of experience in hospital-based nursing, including over 20 years as a Nurse Educator. In 2006 Kelly’s graduate degree research utilization project was successfully used as a proposal for Safe Patient Handling (SPH) program implementation at Staten Island University (SIUH)-Northwell Health. Since 2007 Kelly has been the co-chair of the SIUH SPH/Ergonomics Committee and coordinator for SPH education and training at SIUH. She is a member of the NYSNA collective bargaining unit at SIUH.


In 2009 Kelly was chosen and trained as a SPH Site Reviewer for the ANA Handle-with-Care Recognition Program. Also in 2009 Kelly joined the New York State Zero Lift Task Force and began working as an SPH consultant hired by the New York Committee on Occupational Safety and Health to present SPH train-the-trainer programs throughout New York State. In 2011 Kelly received the NYS Zero Lift Task Force SPH Advocacy Award. Kelly has lectured nationally and locally on the topic of SPH and in February 2014 became nationally certified as a Safe Patient Handling Professional by the Association of Safe Patient Handling Professionals. In 2015 Kelly was selected and became an active member of the NYS Department of Health Safe Patient Handling Workgroup. In 2017 Kelly was invited to be the lead for the SPHM Education Workgroup at the First Annual National SPHM Summit, and she remains an active member of the Universal Safe Patient Handling Coalition.
Paul M Power, EMT-P - Paul is Director of Operations for the Workforce Safety Department at Northwell Health System.  Northwell Health System is New York State's largest healthcare provider and private employer and ranks as being the nation's 14th largest healthcare system.  With approximately 68,000 team members employed Workforce Safety was formed over four years ago to partner with all the sites regarding their safety, return to work and workers compensation programs. Paul and the team and Workforce Safety have each year been able to lower the experience mod resulting over a 15 % reduction in three years. Paul’s primary focus is worker safety leading programs in fall reduction and Safe Patient Handling.  Paul is a Paramedic by trade with an extensive background in injury prevention and absence management. Paul has also served as an Asst. Director for Northwell Health CEMS one of the largest hospital based EMS services in the country and directed their safety programs, in addition Paul was appointed Safety Officer for one of Northwell hospitals. With over 30 years of dedicated service to the emergency services and safety field of which I have encountered some of the most dangerous and unsafe conditions one could imagine. Based upon those experiences the Safety of my team has always been my number one priority. I have taken that experience and knowledge and been able to implement training programs offered to over 60,000 employees at Northwell. Additionally understanding the risks I have personally designed numerous safety devices that have saved countless healthcare professionals and patients from serious injury.