Kim Becking is an engaging, high-energy, impactful motivational speaker and thought leader who has been helping organizations, leaders, teams and individuals conquer change, boost resilience and reduce stress. She provides people with the tools needed to create a “Momentum Mindset”— ready to conquer change, take bold action, accelerate success and achieve more in their business, life and relationships no matter what.
A sought-after change and leadership expert, Kim has been featured in national media such as People, SELF, The New York Times, USA Today, Good Morning America and Lifetime Televisionfor her expertise on resilience and thriving in the midst of change.
Using humor and vulnerability, Kim has the ability to connect with her audiences at a deeper level. She knows a thing or two about change and challenges through her own experiences in business and life. As an attorney, serial entrepreneur running and successful businesses, communications strategist and “recovering” political consultant, Kim has conquered the ever-changing tough worlds of business, government and politics. She’s also conquered breast cancer and other life challenges.
Kim graduated with honors from Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and received her Juris Doctorate with honors from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. She is a member of the National Speakers Association, the International Association of Business Communicators, the Association of Talent Development and holds a Certificate of Public Participation from the International Association of Public Participation. She serves on the board and is Past-President of the Greater Missouri Leadership Challenge.
Professor of Surgery and Assistant Chief, Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
Dr. Jay Granzow is an internationally renowned lymphedema and lipedema surgeon, scholar and educator. He founded the Lymphedema & Lipedema Center to provide comprehensive and effective treatment for lymphedema and lipedema patients from all over the world. Dr. Granzow believes that each patient’s lymphedema or lipedema condition is unique and requires truly personalized treatment programs to provide the best possible results for these difficult disorders. The Center’s mission is to restore and improve the quality of life in patients with lymphedema and lipedema.
At the Lymphedema & Lipedema Center, we have been providing patients with lymphedema and lipedema surgical treatments using comprehensive and personalized treatment programs since 2005. Our Center follows the philosophy of providing compassionate patient-centered care. Our mission is to restore and improve each patient’s quality of life with the belief that each patient’s lymphedema or lipedema condition is unique and requires truly personalized treatment programs addressing the complexities of these difficult disorders. We also believe it is important to collaborate with facilities and practitioners to optimize the long- term effectiveness of our treatment programs.
Medical Director, Vein Care Center Laser Specialists
Manu Aggarwal, MD, is a board-certified family physician and ABVLM certified physician at the Vein Care Center Laser Specialists. Since 2007, the VCC has been an IAC-accredited vascular laboratory. In 2015 the VCC was one of the first 50 practices in the country to also be Vein Center accredited. The VCC has been dedicated to venous disease and laser treatments since 2004, and is located in Lima, Ohio, with a satellite office in Celina, Ohio.
Dr. Aggarwal is a Preceptor for the American Vein And Lymphatic Society and the American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery. She has professional affiliations with the American College of Phlebology, Lima Allen County Medical Academy, American Academy of Family Physicians, Ohio State Medical Association, American Venous Forum, American College of Healthcare Executives. Read some of her recently published articles.
Elvira “Elli” Albrecht is a native of Kirchzarten in the Black Forest of Germany. An active lifestyle in the outdoors shaped her and influenced her career choice.
Elli received her Physiotherapy degree from the University of Freiburg, Germany in 1998 and then joined the therapy team at the Foeldi Clinic with a focus in movement therapy and exercise. Her work at the Foeldi Clinic focuses on utilizing the patient‘s own ability to heal by utilizing each person‘s innate resources.
In 2000, Elli became a Certified Instructor for Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) and Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) and has gone on to teach the techniques of MLD and CDT to hundreds of therapists in Germany and around the world.
Since 2007, Elli has been one of the chief-therapists at the Foeldi Clinic, always eager to develop new concepts and therapeutic approaches for patients with lymphedema, lipedema and related disorders. Her experience and leadership was instrumental in the recent implementation of a new therapeutic concept for patients with lipedema.
Assistant Professor of Clinical Cardiovascular Surgery, Academic Institute, Houston Methodist Weill Cornell Medical College
Dr. Baltazar is the Medical Director of the newly-created veno-lymphatic service at Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas. He is Board Certified in Vascular Surgery, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the American College of Phlebology. He is also certified by the American Registry for diagnostic medical sonography as a Registered Vascular Technologist and a Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation. Recently, Dr. Baltazar obtained his certification as a lymphedema therapist from Klose Training.
Dr. Baltazar is native of Mexico and completed his medical education at La Salle School of Medicine in 1986. He finished his general surgery residency at the General Hospital of Mexico City. He later completed general surgery training in the United States at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee, where he was the administrative chief resident and received the award for outstanding performance. He finished a vascular and endovascular surgery residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, where he was again the administrative chief resident and received an award for his performance.
Associate Professor of Medical Education
TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine, Fort Worth, TX
Michael Bernas, MS, is currently the Director of the Scholarly Pursuit and Thesis 4-year research course at the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine in Fort Worth, Texas, USA. He was previously an Associate Scientific Investigator in the Department of Surgery at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson, Arizona. He received his Master of Science degree in genetics from the University of Arizona in 1985. After working in the Department of Pathology performing basic molecular biology experiments on human papilloma viruses at the University of Arizona, he then moved to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle where he worked in the Department of Pathology focusing on viral detection by antibody and DNA based techniques.
He rejoined the University of Arizona in 1989 to start his work with Drs. Charles and Marlys Witte in the lymphology laboratories in the Department of Surgery focusing on all aspects of the lymphatic system. His work encompassed research in both basic and clinical lymphology focusing on a variety of animal lymphedema models, transgenic mice, lymphatic and blood vascular growth factors, in vitro cultures, imaging techniques of the lymphatic system, and clinical treatment trials from the research aspect.
In addition, Mike is the executive editor of the International Society of Lymphology’s (ISL) journal Lymphology and has served on the Executive Committee. He is also responsible for updating and modifying the consensus document on the diagnosis and treatment of peripheral lymphedema for the ISL. Mike loves to teach, explore new things and live in a world of questions.
Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine, Foeldi Clinic, European Centre of Lymphology
From 2016 to 2019, Dr. Bertsch served as a Secretary General of the German Society of Lymphology. In 2019, he was the Congress President of the German Congress of Lymphology. He is the founder of the European Lipoedema Forum, an international network of renowned health care professionals from 14 European countries, as well as from well-known experts from Canada, the U.S. and Australia.
Dr. Bertsch is the leading author of the article series “Lipoedema – myths and facts.” These articles have contribute to the paradigm shift we currently see in diagnoses, as well as in treatment of lipoedema. The European Lipoedema Forum created a Consensus and Best Practice Document on Lipoedema which has been published in February 2020. Together with the renowned psychologist Gabriele Erbacher, Dr. Bertsch also is lead author of the International Consensus Document on Lipoedema, published in October 2020.
In 2008, Dr. Bertsch developed a unique, multi-disciplinary therapy program at the Foeldi Clinic for patients suffering from morbid obesity, obesity-associated lymphedema and lipedema. This very successful multimodal program includes comprehensive medical diagnostic, psychosocial care tools, nutrition counselling as well as bariatric and plastic surgery – when indicated – in addition to conservative treatment with Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT).
In 2012, Dr. Bertsch earned Specialist Certification of Obesity Professional Education (SCOPE), the only internationally-recognized certification in obesity management for health care professionals. SCOPE was an outcome of the 2002 European Union Obesity Summit that highlighted the need to improve clinical management of obesity.
Dr. Bertsch is one of only two physicians in Germany who consults in an outpatient setting approved by the health insurance commission with patients who have lymphedema and lipedema. He and his team consult with approximately 4,000 patients per year.
Director, Vascular Medicine Program, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
Steven M. Dean, DO, FSVM, RPVI, is director of the Vascular Medicine Program, director of Cardiovascular Medicine’s Noninvasive Peripheral Vascular Laboratory and professor of clinical medicine at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
His postgraduate training included a residency in internal medicine and fellowship in vascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.
Dr. Dean has published many articles and book chapters on topics related to vascular medicine and is a frequent lecturer at national meetings on vascular related diseases. He has co-edited three vascular medicine textbooks including the Color Atlas and Synopsis of Vascular Medicine (winner of the 2014 “highly commended” cardiology textbook award by the British Medical Association).
Dr. Dean is an examination writer for the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine and is a board member of the American Vein and Lymphatic Society.
Associate Professor of Surgery, Division of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Dr. Carolyn De La Cruz is full time faculty dedicated to the care of the breast reconstruction patient. She has had extensive post- graduate training spanning 10 years in research, general surgery and plastic surgery in Robert Wood Johnson and University of Miami. After completing her microsurgery fellowship at MD Anderson she joined the Pittsburgh team to bring microsurgical options to breast reconstruction patients. She performs all types of breast reconstruction including free flaps, implant based reconstruction and fat grafting for women who have had mastectomies. For over a decade the microsurgical program has thrived at Magee Womens’ Hospital under her direction. Dr. De La Cruz’s mission is to give each patient specialized and individualized care. Dr. De La Cruz is active in training plastic surgery residents and has won teaching awards for her dedication. She is active in basic science and clinical research has published numerous papers.
In order to provide complete surgical care to the breast cancer patient, Dr. De La Cruz also treats breast cancer related lymphedema. She has studied across the country and abroad to learn new techniques to improve the quality of life for these patients. She performs debulking procedures, lymphatic venous bypasses and lymph node transfers.
As a passionate advocate for breast cancer reconstruction, she is active in the community promoting awareness. Each year she organizes a BRA day event bringing together the community. Local artists are commissioned to create works of art that tell stories of breast reconstruction. This event has been widely successful and has increased awareness across the city. It is one of the highlights of Breast Cancer Awareness month each October in Pittsburgh.
Assistant Professor, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Physical Therapist IV Vanderbilt Dayani Center for Health & Wellness
Paula Donahue, PT, DPT, MBA, CLT-LANA is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Physical Therapist Level IV at Vanderbilt Dayani Center for Health and Wellness. She received her training at Duke University (BS), Northwestern University Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences (DPT), The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School (MBA), and The Academy of Lymphatic Studies (CLT), and she has obtained Lymphology Association of North America (LANA) certification. She specializes in the treatment of lymphedema, lipedema and oncology rehabilitation and engages in related clinical care and research.
Joy Hesse’s areas of interest include dysphagia (swallowing disorders); head and neck cancer; craniofacial anomalies (velopharyngeal insufficiency/hypernasality); and singing and professional voice.
She is passionate about teaching and is a regular lecturer to the Iowa Chapter of National Teachers of Singing, the Iowa Speech and Hearing Association and Pedagogy Classes at several universities. She also has lectured at the American Speech and Hearing Association on FEES, for Cross Country Education on Voice and Resonance Disorders and has consulted with SEC Medical Speech Pathology training both FEES and Videostroboscopy providing in-house training for speech pathologists. Presently, Joy is consulting with Tactile Medical telling her experiences with the Flexitouch pneumatic compression device with her head and neck cancer patients.
Joy began her career in the acute care setting at Mercy Hospital Medical Center in Des Moines and was instrumental in the development of the modified barium swallow program at the hospital. She then worked at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines in the outpatient rehabilitation department focusing on outpatient voice therapy and dysphagia therapy. In 1998, she joined a group of Otolaryngologists in West Des Moines where she established a thriving voice and swallowing clinic.
Joy graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 1989 with her Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology.
John received training as a Physical Therapist Assistant from St. Catherine University, Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1993. In 2007, he earned a B.S. in Business Administration (summa cum laude) from Bryan College, Dayton, Tennessee.
John has been a therapist for 27 years. For nearly 22 years he has specialized in the treatment of lymphedema. Currently, he is the Clinical Manager for Juzo USA. He also continues to work to work directly with patients and physicians in a vascular clinic, specializing in compression and difficult custom garment fittings. His background includes management as clinic director of a lymphedema program at benchmark physical therapy. Additionally he has experience in treatment of strokes, brain injuries, wound care and orthopedics.
John is also an adjunct instructor for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where he teaches the lymphedema portion of the doctorate physical therapy program. He is a senior instructor for Academy of Lymphatic Studies (ACOLS) and has been with them since 2008.
John has been published 4 times and provides the clinical expertise for the research publications with Vanderbilt University and Western Carolina University. These articles have appeared in Radiology, Journal of Lymphoedema, and Lymphatic Research and Biology. John also consults with other universities and businesses in continued research related to lymphedema. John also offers no-charge seminars to therapists in his area on topics such as: difficult garment fittings, billing issues and wrapping techniques for therapists.
While John managed the Siskin Hospital lymphedema program, the facility was noted in two journals: MD News, for its inpatient and outpatient program, and Rehab Management Journal, for providing one of only two inpatient programs for Stage 3 lymphedema patients which he initiated. He also managed a free fitting clinic twice a month to any lymphedema patients who had need, he initiated a patient endowment fund at Siskin Hospital to assist patients with the cost of compression garments and he organized a support group for those with lymphedema.
John has had the opportunity to speak about lymphedema and compression at various national conferences such as: Juzo Power, Klose Training, National Lymphedema Network and American Vein and Lymphatic Society.
Alexandra Hill earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy at the University of Florida and completed a Women’s Health Physical Therapy Residency at Duke University. She is a dual Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Women’s Health and Oncologic Physical Therapy and a LANA Certified Lymphedema Therapist. Alexandra is presently a physical therapist with UF Health Jacksonville, specializing in pelvic health, lymphedema, and oncology rehabilitation for all genders.
Beyond her clinical work, Alexandra is an APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructor for students, has several peer-reviewed research publications on pelvic health and oncology rehabilitation, serves as an item-writer for the Women’s Health and Oncologic Clinical Specialist exams, has taught and presented at multiple courses and conferences, and is an active APTA member. Additionally, Alexandra provides inclusive and empowering education on pelvic health, oncology, and lymphedema through her platform OncoPelvic PT.
Chief, Division of Head & Neck Surgical Oncology, McGovern Medical School
Ron J. Karni, MD serves as Chief of the Division of Head and Neck Surgical Oncology in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery. He obtained his medical degree at Baylor College of Medicine and then completed his residency training at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine. Dr. Ron J. Karni has authored publications on the novel treatment of occult primary oropharyngeal cancer (the unknown primary) and practical tools to integrate evidence-based methods into the daily practice of medicine. His current research focus includes de-escalation treatment strategies for throat cancer, morphoproteomic analysis of head and neck cancer, and HPV-related malignancies of the head and neck. Dr. Ron J. Karni is co-Principal Investigator on a CPRIT grant studying new treatments for head and neck lymphedema using near infrared fluorescent technology. Dr. Karni is board certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery.
Dr. Ron J. Karni’s practice focuses on the management of benign and malignant tumors of the head and neck, including throat cancer, oral cancer, larynx cancer, locally advanced skin cancer, salivary gland tumors, and thyroid/parathyroid disease. He performs transoral robotic surgery for tumors of the throat, a modern approach to minimizing the side effects of treatment for throat cancer. Dr. Ron J. Karni also performs ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration biopsy for thyroid nodules and minimally-invasive thyroid and parathyroid surgery.
Guenter Klose received his initial Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) and Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) training in 1984 at the Foeldi Clinic in Hinterzarten, Germany. Specializing in the treatment of Lymphedema, he became certified in 1987 as an instructor for MLD/CDT by the German Massage Therapy and Physical Therapy Association and continued working as instructor at the Foeldi Schools in Freiburg and Munich, Germany.
In 1990, Guenter came to the United States to assist Dr. Robert Lerner in establishing the first CDT treatment center for lymphedema patients located in New York City. Guenter’s work was instrumental in establishing the field of lymphedema therapy and training in the U.S. He assisted in opening numerous lymphedema treatment centers on the East Coast.
In 2003, Guenter established his own lymphedema training and consulting company, an organization dedicated to providing the highest quality lymphedema therapy training available. Guenter has facilitated the training of hundreds of lymphedema therapists from across the country and abroad.
Guenter has lectured extensively in the United States, Europe, and South America. His activities include presentations at the National Lymphedema Network Conferences, lecturing at physicians’ meetings in a large number of hospitals, as well as numerous lymphedema support groups across the country. He is the Program Director of the biannual Klose Training & Consulting Lymphedema Conference. Here in the U.S., Guenter actively treats lymphedema patients and teaches classes for MLD/CDT several times a year.
Guenter was a founding member of the Lymphology Association of North America (LANA) and served on the LANA Board of Directors from 1999-2004.
Shelly Ryan PT, CLT-LANA is a Board-certified Physical Therapist and Head and Neck Lymphedema Specialist for Mercy Hospital – St. Louis, Missouri at the David C. Pratt Cancer Center. She has been a Physical Therapist for 32 years in various settings from acute, outpatient, long term care and home health including wound care.
Since 2001, Shelly has been specializing in Lymphedema where she found her passion. She became Dr. Vodder School of Lymphology Certified in 2003. Shelly was then promoted to Lymphedema Program Coordinator at Kindred Hospital in Arlington, Texas where she developed both inpatient and outpatient programs. This included inpatient treatment of the medically complex Lymphedema patient from across the United States. In 2010 she became LANA Certified, and then in 2012 she became oncology rehabilitation STAR certified.
Since 2011 Shelly has solely focused on the head and neck Lymphedema population where she has helped to develop both the inpatient Head and Neck cancer patient pathway, and the Head and Neck Lymphedema outpatient programs for Mercy Hospitals. In 2016 Shelly was among the national experts that Tactile Medical consulted in developing their head and neck garment for Flexitouch. She also co-authored the feasibility study published in ‘Head & Neck Journal’ in September of 2017 as the first peer reviewed paper published on the head and neck application of advanced pneumatic compression.
Shelly enjoys teaching and has been a guest lecturer and consultant at various conferences, seminars, and support groups.
Dr. Vinay Satwah has performed a variety of complex peripheral endovascular procedures at the Center for Vascular Medicine in the office-based lab setting since 2011. He has a passion for treating patients suffering from peripheral arterial disease, chronic venous insufficiency and lymphedema.
His published research revolves around the importance of understanding best practices and long-term outcomes in the management of deep venous disease in an efficient model of an office-based lab. He has been featured on the cover of Chesapeake Physician magazine and serves on multiple scientific committees. He is an international speaker and key opinion leader for vascular disorders and has received invitations to discuss the importance of disease detection on live television talk shows. He also hosts a variety of endovascular training courses for other physicians and has performed multiple recorded cases to facilitate education at the national conference level.
Distinguished Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences
Director, Oncology Nutrition and Exercise Group, Penn State Cancer Institute
Dr. Schmitz’s research focuses on people living with and beyond cancer and investigates the role of exercise in improving physiologic and psychosocial outcomes, including symptoms, treatment tolerance, and other chronic diseases. In addition, Dr. Schmitz studies technology based supportive care interventions (that include physical activity) to improve outcomes among advanced cancer patients. She is currently MPI of the FORCE trial, a multi-site trial assessing effectiveness of resistance exercise on chemotherapy tolerability among colon cancer patients (R01-CA206196). She is also PI of multiple studies testing the effects of a tablet based supportive care intervention on symptoms and survival among advanced cancer patients (AICR Funded, R01-CA254659). She has held NCI funding consistently since 2001. Her research on resistance exercise and breast cancer related lymphedema has been translated into a physical therapy delivered program called “Strength After Breast Cancer” that is available in over 900 locations across the United States and beyond. Dr. Schmitz’s Oncology Nutrition and Exercise (ONE) group team is working to make exercise counseling standard of care at Penn State Cancer Institute, while simultaneously seeking to expand the exercise oncology research evidence base through ongoing clinical trials.
Dr. Schmitz was the moving force behind two American College of Sports Medicine development processes for exercise and cancer guidelines for patients in 2010 and 2018. She founded the Moving Through Cancer initiative of the American College of Sports Medicine, which has a bold goal of making exercise standard of care in oncology by 2029. She has written a popular press book to raise awareness about exercise for cancer patients and survivors entitled Moving Through Cancer that was released by Chronicle Books, Oct. 19, 2021. She is the past president of the American College of Sports Medicine.
Course Instructor, Physical Therapist, Klose Training and Consulting
Jodi Winicour graduated from Indiana University’s Physical Therapy program in 1993 and received her massage therapy certification in 1997 from Michigan’s Health Enrichment Center. Initially practicing general orthopedic physical therapy at Community Hospital East’s Outpatient Physical Therapy Department in Indianapolis, Indiana, she began specializing in the treatment of cancer patients in 1998 and lectured for the Physical Therapy Department of Indiana University.
Jodi was certified as an MLD/CDT Therapist by Klose Norton Training & Consulting in 1998. She received her CLT-LANA Certification in October, 2001.
In 2000, Jodi joined Cedars Sinai Medical Center where she worked to develop and expand the oncology and lymphedema program in Los Angeles for seven years. Since 2007, she has treated patients with lymphedema, cancer-related dysfunction, and orthopedic issues at Longmont United Hospital in Longmont, Colorado.
In addition to her work as a full-time clinician, Jodi has served as a class instructor for Klose Training & Consulting’s Lymphedema Therapy Certification course since 2000. She is also the author and instructor for one of Klose Training’s most successful continuing education courses, “Breast Cancer Rehabilitation.”
Jodi has taught and presented at courses and conferences across the United States and in Europe on the topics of lymphedema and breast cancer rehabilitation.