Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Thomas Walsh, PT, PhD, OCS, Dip. MDT - Chairman

Independent Consultant
Thomas Walsh is the author of Finding What Matters Most to Patients (2019) and Navigating to Value-Based Outcomes (2nd Edition, 2019).He is an Adjunct Professor at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, a Professor at the College of Health Sciences at Boise State University, and an independent consultant.

Thom is a Physical Therapist with board certification as an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist and sub-specialty training in Mechanical Diagnosis & Treatment as a spine specialist and a Performance Enhancement Specialist. His clinical career has included work with elite and tactical athletes and spanned private practice and academic settings. Throughout that time, he has been particularly interested in researching patient outcomes and the systems, processes, skills, and policies needed to continually improve them. These led him to pursue an MS in Evaluative Clinical Sciences and a PhD in Health Policy.

Known as an excellent teacher and mentor, he draws on his clinical, research, and consulting experience to help people and organizations navigate a rapidly changing healthcare environment. Thom’s peer-reviewed and general audience articles on patient-reported outcomes, shared decision making, change management, and leadership have appeared in numerous publications, including the BMJ, JAMA, Spine, The Journal of Healthcare Management, Forbes, The New America Foundation, and The Atlantic. Learn more about his books and articles at

He enjoys hiking, running, bouldering, reading, and serves his community as a search and rescue specialist.

Julie Marley, PT, Dip. MDT - Secretary

Spine & Orthopedic Specialists
Newark, DE

Julie graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in 1989 with a Bachelors of Science and received a Master's of Physical Therapy from the University of Delaware in 1991. She attained the Diploma in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy in 1996 and became part of the teaching faculty in 1999. Julie currently resides in Wilmington, Delaware and has a spine practice at the Spine & Orthopedics Specialists in Newark, Delaware. Julie is currently serving on the MIUSA Board as Secretary.

Robert Medcalf, PT, Dip. MDT - Treasurer

Resurgens Rehabilitation Services
Atlanta, GA
Robert is a graduate of the Georgia State University Physical Therapy program. After advanced studies in New Zealand with The McKenzie Institute in 1991, he was granted the McKenzie Institute International Diploma in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy of the Spine. He was subsequently named to the teaching faculty of The McKenzie Institute. He has taught numerous courses on the McKenzie approach to physicians and physical therapists throughout the United States and internationally. He has participated in published research studies on low back pain and cervical pain responses to mechanical interventions and the diagnostic accuracy of McKenzie’s mechanical assessment. Robert is Director of Spine Rehabilitation at Resurgens Spine Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

Stacey A. Lyon - Executive Director

The McKenzie Institute USA
Syracuse, NY
Stacey joined The McKenzie Institute in 1995 as Administrator of the US Branch. A graduate of Allegheny College (PA) with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre, Stacey also minored in Psychology and Sociology. This combination of study provided a diverse foundation of knowledge to apply to her 25 years of varied business experience, primarily in social and medical service organizations. She was formally elected to the Board of Directors in 1998.

Ron Schenk, PT, PhD, OCS, FAAOMPT, Dip. MDT

Tufts University School of Medicine
Boston, MA
Ron Schenk is a Clinical Profressor in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, MA. He formerly served as Dean of the Division of Health and Human Services and an Associate Professor of Physical Therapy at Daemen College in Amherst, NY. He also served as the Director of the Daemen College Fellowship Program in Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy. Dr Schenk continues to provide clinical guidance and supervision for the Fellowship & Residency Programs in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy.

Dr. Schenk earned his BS degree in Physical Therapy and MS degree in Sportsmedicine from Ithaca College. He completed a residency program in orthopaedic manual physical therapy through the Gulf Coast Graduate Physical Therapy Institute and earned his PhD from the University at Buffalo. He is Diplomaed in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy through The McKenzie Institute International (Dip. MDT), and has completed the course sequence in Diagnosis and Treatment of Muscle Imbalances through Dr. Shirley Sahrmann.

Dr. Schenk previously worked as an Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist with the Catholic Health System of Buffalo, NY. He has published his clinical research in peer-reviewed journals and has presented at national and international conferences.

Dr. Schenk is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy. He is active in the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists, an organization for which he has served as Secretary and Vice-President. He is also a past Chairman of The McKenzie Institute USA Board.

Vikas Agarwal, MD, Cert. MDT, FACP

Mosaic Life Care
Saint Joseph, MO
Dr. Agarwal is a 1994 graduate of King George’s Medical College (KGMC) in Lucknow, India. Following four and a half years of medical school, he spent six years as an Internal Medicine Resident, three with All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS, New Delhi, 1995-1997), and three with the University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC, 1998-2001). Dr. Agarwal is Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (2001/2011) and became Certified in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy in 2015. A two-time recipient of the Mosaic Life Care Distinguished Physician Recognition Award (2012 & 2014), Vikas presents 16 years of experience in a traditional Internal Medicine private practice with both outpatient (ambulatory) and inpatient (hospital) settings. He is the principal author of the Evidence-Based Practice Newsletter and frequently lectures on the evidence-based clinical approach in presentations on various topics including, but not limited to, heart failure, COPD, back pain, fall prevention, chest pain, upper respiratory tract infection and understanding pain. Vikas specializes in managing patients with acute and chronic pain at Mosaic Life Care in Saint Joseph, MO where he also serves as a Physician Collaborator for Nurse Practitioners.

Margaux Lojacono, PT, DPT, MS, OCS, Cert. MDT, FAAOMPT

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center
Niagara Falls, NY
Margaux Lojacono is a full-time clinician at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and Associated Faculty at Tufts University. Her clinical practice has a focus on orthopedics and concussion management. She is a graduate of Ithaca College (MSPT) and completed her transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy and Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy Fellowship at Daemen College. She is currently working towards a Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy at Bellin College.  She is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and is president of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Therapists Sports Special Interest Group. She is also an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS) and is credentialed in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT).

Christopher Plastaras, MD

Philadelphia, PA
Dr. Plastaras is the Clinical Director of Musculoskeletal Spine & Sports Rehabilitation Medicine at MossRehab and co-chairs the Einstein Spine Institute of the Einstein Healthcare Network. He is Clinical Associate Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at Jefferson University. He is former Director of The Penn Spine Rehabilitation Center at University of Pennsylvania. He also served as the Director of Penn’s Spine, Sports, and Musculoskeletal Medicine Fellowship from 2009-2018. He was physician co-lead for the Penn Neuroscience Spine Service Line from 2015-2018. He is board-certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Plastaras has extensive clinical experience in spine care and performing percutaneous fluoroscopically guided spine procedures and ultrasound guided injections. Patients from the mid-Atlantic region come to seek Dr. Plastaras’ clinical expertise. He has lectured on multiple occasions regionally and nationally on spine related topics. His research focus is on the safety and efficacy of spinal procedures. He has authored 40 original research publications and 39 reviews, chapters, and opinion publications.

Paul J. Avery - General Counsel

Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC
Syracuse, NY
Paul is a business law attorney who provides counsel to individuals, businesses in the manufacturing, retail, software, information technology, energy and other sectors and various non-profit institutions such as colleges and universities, hospitals and nursing homes in a broad range of business and transactional matters, including contract drafting, review and negotiation and general corporate counseling. Paul also routinely assists start-ups and small businesses by providing counsel regarding the formation of corporations and limited liability companies and the preparation and negotiation of various agreements, including shareholders' agreements, partnership agreements, operating agreements, employment agreements, independent contractor agreements, sales representative agreements, confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements and non-compete agreements. He is a graduate of Bucknell University and the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law, and is a member in the law firm of Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC.

Marissa C. DeVaul - Director of Development, Board of Directors Scribe

The McKenzie Institute USA
Syracuse, NY
Marissa joined The McKenzie Institute in 2012 as Project Coordinator for the US Branch. She was promoted to Director of Development for the organization in 2018. Marissa is a graduate of Syracuse University's S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communucations with a Bachelor of Science in Speech Communucation. She also minored in Political Science. A native of Connecticut, Marissa found a home in Upstate New York following graduation, serving as Senior Editor of Construction Data News' New York Branch for over ten years. She was named Editorial Employee of the Year in 2010.

Marissa is a lover of horses and, in her youth, was a nationally ranked junior equestrian. She went on to compete for Syracuse University's Equestrian Team. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring nature with her husband and daughter and spending quailty time with her dogs.