Symposium Speakers

The symposium offers nationally-recognized specialists in research, neuropsychology, pharmacology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, wellness, alternative medicine and orthopedic surgery.


Susan Blank, M.D., FAPA, FASAM, FAAARM, MRO, is the founder and chief medical officer for the Atlanta Healing Center, an outpatient treatment program dedicated to treating patients with addiction and other co-occurring disorders. She is the president of the Georgia Society of Addiction Medicine and a contributor to the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians Opioid Prescribing Guidelines, released March 2017.


Alejandro Diez, M.D., FASN, is an assistant professor of clinical medicine in the Division of Nephrology at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. As a member of the faculty at Ohio State, he developed new approaches to the clinical education of medical students centered on the care of the Latino population. He regularly lectures and educates clinical staff on the cultural aspects of health delivery.


Dale Hull, M.D., MPA, was paralyzed in 1999 and worked with a therapist for three and a half years. Dr. Hull and his therapist later joined forces to create Neuroworx, a non-profit outpatient physical therapy clinic that provides the same outstanding rehabilitation Dr. Hull himself experienced – an experience that, over time, brought him to his feet. Neuroworx earned an unequaled national reputation and respect for its evidence-based, creative and innovative rehabilitation.


Brad Hurtig was a sophomore in high school and a player on his school’s football team when he suffered a devastating workplace accident resulting in the amputation of both of his hands. Through hard work and determination, he rejoined the team, recorded 111 tackles and received all-state honors all while playing with no hands. Hurtig’s inspirational story of triumph quickly captured national headlines. ESPN and The New York Times among others have featured his story.


Matthew Levy, M.D., has been an orthopedic surgeon for more than 20 years. He practices at Saint Vincent Charity Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, and he is co-medical director at 1-888-OHIOCOMP. He specializes in joint replacement and fracture care and he writes extensively on orthopedic issues. Dr. Levy has performed disability exams for more than 15 years. With his experience as a treating physician, administrator and disability examiner, he has extensive knowledge and understanding of the process for returning injured workers to the workplace.


Administrator/CEO Sarah D. Morrison, was appointed Administrator/CEO of the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) in May 2016 by Ohio Governor John Kasich. She leads an agency of more than 1,900 employees that serves more than 250,000 employers and administers nearly 1 million open claims. Administrator Morrison has more than 15 years of diverse legal experience.


Mark Pew, senior vice president of PRIUM and The RxProfessor, is a passionate educator and agitator. Since 2003, he has focused on the intersection of chronic pain and appropriate treatment. That ranges from the clinical and financial costs of opioids and benzodiazepines to the corresponding epidemic of heroin use and the evolution in medical cannabis. Pew is the recipient of the 2016 Magna Comp Laude award and named one of the Best Blogs of 2016 and 2017.


Mohammed Ranavaya, M.D., J.D., M.S., FRCPI, is a professor of occupational and environmental medicine at the Marshall University School of Medicine in West Virginia and a practicing consultant physician and advisor to the U.S. Department of Labor and multiple national and international governmental departments and agencies. His work focuses on workplace injury issues, disability management, return-to-work strategies and occupational causation analysis. He is the section editor and primary author of several chapters of the American Medical Association's Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, (AMA Guides 6th Ed.). In addition, he served as senior medical editor for the Official Disability Guides, and he authored numerous articles regarding AMA Guides and disability guidelines.


Silvia Sacalis, PharmD, (not able to attend) is the vice president of clinical services at Healthesystems. Her health-care experience spans the pharmacy benefit manager, retail pharmacy and managed care environments. She helps develop and operationalize strategic clinical initiatives to help workers’ compensation insurance payers maximize the impact of a pharmacy benefit management program.


Otto Schmidt, DC, CCST, is an active chiropractic physician in Cleveland and he is the president of the Ohio State Chiropractic Board. He served on the board of the Northeast Ohio Academy of Chiropractic and he held multiple positions for the Ohio State Chiropractic Association including: co-chair of the workers’ compensation committee, vice president of external affairs and president of external affairs. For the past several years, Dr. Schmidt represented the chiropractic profession on BWC’s health care quality assurance advisory committee and subcommittee.


Alicia Sufrinko, Ph.D., is an expert in the field of sport-related concussion assessment and management. As a clinical neuropsychologist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Sports Medicine Concussion Program, she evaluates 30 to 40 patients with sport, trauma and work-related concussions every week. She works within an interdisciplinary team of physicians, physical therapists and certified athletic trainers. In addition, she serves as the team neuropsychologist for the Pittsburgh Passion and as a consultant to numerous local high schools. She also is an assistant professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh and has more than 20 peer reviewed publications and 30 conference presentations. Dr. Sufrinko completed her fellowship at the UPMC under the supervision of Dr. Micky Collins at the largest research and clinical program focused on the assessment, treatment and research of sport-related concussion in athletes at all levels.


Michael Sullivan, Ph.D., is professor of psychology, medicine and neurology, at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He holds cross appointments with the School of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy and is scientific director of the Centre for Research on Pain, Disability and Social Integration. He is best known for his research on psychosocial risk factors for pain-related disability, and for the development of risk-targeted interventions designed to foster occupational re-engagement following injury. He has lectured internationally on the social and behavioral determinants of pain-related disability.


Amanda Waltemath, PharmD, MPH, is a clinical pharmacist and team lead at Healthesystems, where she lends her subject matter expertise to the myriad of clinical programs developed by the pharmacy and ancillary benefits management organization. She also develops risk assessment tools for workers’ compensation payers.

  Terrence B. Welsh, M.D., is BWC’s chief medical officer. He is board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM & R), electrodiagnostic medicine, pain medicine and independent medical examinations. He served as president of the Ohio PM & R Society and the Scioto County Medical Society. He has extensive experience in physician leadership, serving as chief of staff, chief medical officer and chief of medical affairs at three Ohio hospitals. In addition, Dr. Welsh served as chief medical advisor to the Ohio Industrial Commission and was in private practice in southern Ohio for more than 20 years.