Meet the 2021 APTA Home Health Award Recipients

The following recipients were nominated by various members of the HHS, and were selected based on the outlined criteria below by the executive committee of the Home Health Section. These Home Health Awards were presented to recipients at the APTA Home Health business meeting on Thursday, February 25, 2021.

President’s Award

Recognizes a Home Health Section member who has provided notable service to the Section.

    • 2021 President's Award Recipient - Matt Janes, PT, DPT, MHS

      Matt Janes, PT, DPT, MHS graduated from University of Louisville with a Bachelor of Health Science Degree in Physical Therapy and Master of Health Science and Doctor of Physical Therapy Degrees from the University of Indianapolis, Krannert School of Physical Therapy. He is a Board-Certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Dr. Janes has been in practice nearly 25 years of which the last 17 have been in home health practice. He has served the past 10 years in varying capacities for APTA Home Health, An Academy of the American Physical Therapy Association most recently serving as Secretary (2016-2021) and prior Research Chair and committee member. He continues to serve as a member of the publications committee and serves as a member of the APTA Post-Acute Care Task Force. Over the years he has served the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy, American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties and Kentucky Physical Therapy Association in varying leadership roles, committee’s and task forces and is also a member APTA Geriatrics. He lectures and presents on a national level and is currently employed by Kindred at Home as Division AVP of Therapy Practice and Quality as part of the Clinical Practice and Quality Team.  

Friends of the Home Health Section Award

Acknowledges an individual, group or organization that has made an enduring contribution to the home health industry and that has been an advocate of the profession of physical therapy in the home, as is relates to clinical practice and/or regulations.

    • 2021 Friend of the Home Health Section Award Recipient - Senator Ben Cardin

      A third-generation Marylander, Ben Cardin has been a national leader on health care, retirement security, the environment and fiscal issues while representing the people of Maryland in the U.S. Senate, and before that in the House of Representatives. He has worked across party lines to further U.S. national security and to ensure that good governance, transparency and respect for human rights are integrated into American foreign policy efforts. 

      Most recently on October 23, 2020 U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced the Home Health Emergency Access to Telehealth (HEAT) Act , a bipartisan bill to provide Medicare reimbursement for audio and video telehealth services furnished by home health agencies during the COVID-19 emergency and future public health emergencies.  U.S. Representatives Roger Marshall (R-KS), Terri Sewell (D-Ala.), Jodey Arrington (R-Texas), and Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives. If finalized, the HEAT Act would pave the wave for home health telehealth reimbursement during the current pandemic as well as future public health emergencies, when appropriate. “The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged home health providers’ ability to provide care to patients in their home. Home health providers have been able to overcome these challenges by utilizing telehealth to deliver some services to Medicare beneficiaries,” said Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Finance Health Care Subcommittee. “This legislation allows home health services to be provided via telehealth during a public health emergency in order to ensure patients receive needed care.”

      Senator Cardin has long been a supporter of therapy services and was one of the lead sponsors for the Medicare Access for Rehabilitative Services of 2017 which called for a repeal of the therapy cap. A full repeal of the existing, arbitrary caps on physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology services has been long fought for and long overdue,” said Senator Cardin. “I have been proud to work with my colleagues across the aisle and across the Capitol to help ensure Medicare’s most vulnerable beneficiaries can receive the services they need to resume their normal lives after a stroke, traumatic brain injury, or spinal cord injury, or to effectively manage conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and arthritis. I call on my colleagues in both the House and Senate to work together to pass this policy by the end of this year.”

Excellence in Home Health Leadership Award

Recognizes the exceptional contribution of an APTA Home Health member in promoting home health physical therapy practice.

    • 2021 Excellence in Home Health Leadership Award Recipients - 

      Paula DeLorm PT, DPT, CEEAA is an Assistant Clinical Professor and Assistant Director of Clinical Education for Ohio University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program.  She earned her t-DPT from the University of Indianapolis and entry-level degree from Simmons University.  Dr. DeLorm is an APTA Credentialed CI and a Credentialed Clinical Instructor Program Trainer. Her career includes vast clinical experience in a variety of settings including home health, outpatient, and sub-acute rehab.  She has also served as a rehabilitation director and clinical instructor for numerous DPT students in the home health setting. 

      Dr. DeLorm has worked with the APTA Home Health Section Practice Committee for several years to develop resource documents for clinical practice and is currently a member of the HHS Practice Committee.  She also serves as Vice Chair of the Ohio-Kentucky Consortium of Physical Therapy Programs.   Research area interests include clinical education, geriatrics, and interprofessional education. Dr. DeLorm has presented on various topics at the local, state and national level.

      Diana "Dee" Kornetti, PT, MA, HCS-D, COS-C, a physical therapist for 35 years, is a past administrator and co-owner of a Medicare-certified home health agency. Dee now provides training and education to home health industry providers as Owner/Founder of a consulting business, Kornetti & Krafft Health Care Solutions, with her business partners Cindy Krafft and Sherry Teague.

      Dee is nationally recognized as a speaker in the areas of home care, standardized tests and measures in the field of physical therapy, therapy training and staff development, including OASIS, coding, and documentation, in the home health arena. Dee is the current President of the American Physical Therapy Association’s Home Health Section and serves on the APTA’s national Post-Acute Work Group.  She serves as the President of the Association of Homecare Coding and Compliance, and a member of the Association of Home Care Coders Advisory Board and Panel of Experts.  She has served as a content expert for standard setting for Decision Health’s Board of Medical Specialty Coding (BSMC) home care coding (HCS-D) and OASIS (HCS-O) credentialed exams. She holds current credentials in Home Health Coding (HCS-D) and Compliance (HCS-C) from this trade association.  Dee is also on Medbridge’s Advisory Board for development of educational content on its  home health platform, and has authored several courses related to OASIS, Conditions of Participation (CoPs) and therapy.

      Dee is a published researcher. on the Berg Balance Scale, and has co-authored APTA’s Home Health Section resources related to OASIS, goal writing and defensible documentation for the practicing therapist.  Dee has contributed chapter updates to the Handbook of Home Health Care Administration 6th edition, and co-authored a book, The Post-Acute Care Guide to Maintenance Therapy published in 2015, along with an update in 2020 titled, The Guide to Delivery of Home-Based Maintenance Therapy that includes a companion electronic workbook.

      Dee received her B.S. in Physical Therapy from Boston University’s Sargent College of Allied Health Professions, and her M.A. from Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ. Her clinical focus has been in the area of gerontology and neurological disease rehabilitation. 

      Ellen R. Strunk, PT, MS, GCS, ACEEAA, CHC, RAC-CT has worked in various roles & settings as both clinician & manager/director.  Ellen is an expert at helping customers understand the CMS prospective payment systems in the skilled nursing facility and home health setting, as well as outpatient therapy billing for all provider types.  For the past 13  years, Ellen has worked with dozens of clients as principal consultant and founder of Rehab Resources and Consulting, Inc.  Her experience in both the home and community aspects of the post-acute care continuum gives her a unique perspective in finding solutions while insuring a patient-centered approach is not lost in translation.

      In addition to assisting clients meet their operational & clinical goals, Ellen lectures nationally on the topics of regulatory compliance in the post-acute care space and coding/billing/documentation to meet medical necessity guidelines and payer regulations, as well as pharmacology for rehabilitation professionals, clinically appropriate exercise for older adults, and the importance of functional outcomes to value-based payment.  Ellen is a published author, having contributed to the 4th edition of Guccione’s Geriatric Physical Therapy with a chapter on Health Policy for Physical Therapists and Older Adults.

      Volunteerism and advocacy are an important part of her life.  As an advocate for issues to advance the care of the older adult, Ellen has served on a number of CMS Technical Expert Panels, served as co-project lead on obtaining National Quality Forum endorsement of a functional outcome measure, and personally advocated to Congress and CMS on a number of policies affecting physical therapy. 

      Ellen is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association, having served on the Payment Policy and Advocacy Committee where she advanced the agenda of physical therapy in post-acute care.  As a long-time member of the  APTA Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy, the APTA Home Health Section and the APTA Health Policy & Administration Sections, she has served in senior leadership positions as well as authored multiple articles and educational tools for the sections. She serves on a state level as the Practice & Reimbursement Chair for the Alabama Physical Therapy Association.  She is a member of the American Health Care Association (AHCA), the National Association of Rehab Agencies and Providers (NARA), and the National Association for the Support of Long-Term Care (NASL).


Excellence in Home Health Clinical Practice Award

Recognizes a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant for outstanding clinical practice in a home health care setting.

    • 2021 Excellence in Home Health Clinical Practice Recipient 

Marissa Cruz, DPT, GCS, CBIS Director of Operations, Home and Community Services

Dr. Cruz serves as the Divisional Director responsible for the Genesee Treatment Center in Genesee County, MI and Rainbow Rehabilitation’s Home and Community Services program. Marissa Cruz has over 10 years of management experience in various clinical settings including her most recent experience in home care and home- and community-based organizations. Marissa received a Bachelor of Science in Health Fitness and Master of Science in Physical Therapy from Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, MI. She holds a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Simmons College, Boston, MA. She is a Geriatric Certified Specialist and a member of the Michigan and American Physical Therapy Association.