Personnel and Collaboration
History & Key Achivements
Body in Balance Physical Therapy
Personnel & Collaboration
Community Advisory Board
About the Lance Armstrong Foundation

Program Director

Dr. Raymond McKenna, Clinical Associate Professor of Physical Therapy at Stony Brook University serves as the Program Director for Play Fit-Stay Fit!. Dr. McKenna brings a strong background in research design, statistics and measurement in addition to a strong childhood coaching background and National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Certification. He has established a wide range of community and professional relationships that he brings to the project.


Collaborative Teams

Led by Program Director Dr. McKenna, the leadership of Play Fit-Stay Fit! is comprised of: 1) a medical team with a strong referral base and medical expertise; 2) a physical therapy academic team that oversees program development and evaluation; 3) a clinical team with a dedicated Program Coordinator who has experience working with survivors and families and developing a fitness/wellness program; and 4) an evaluation team that implements and executes an extensive evaluation plan.
The medical team is led by Dr. Robert Parker and consists of faculty and clinicians from Stony Brook’s Department of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. Dr. Parker is Director of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology in the Department of Pediatrics and Associate Director of the Stony Brook University Cancer Center. He is considered a leading expert in the treatment of childhood cancers. The Cancer Center, which diagnoses and treats about 35 children with childhood tumors each year (or 50 percent of the children diagnosed in Suffolk County), is the primary referral source for Play Fit-Stay Fit!.
The academic team is led by Richard Johnson, Clinical Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy. Professor Johnson has provided physical therapy services to children in public school systems for 28 years. Key team members include Program Director Dr. Raymond McKenna, Dr. Lisa Mancini, Executive Director of Body in Balance and Clinical Assistant Professor at Stony Brook, and Dr. Janice Sniffen, Clinical Associate Professor and Director of Administration for the Department of Physical Therapy. Dr. Sniffen has designed and taught the pediatric physical therapy curriculum at Stony Brook for 25 years and maintains her clinical expertise by treating children in the community.
The clinical team is led by Dr. Lisa Mancini who is responsible for creating an effective, fun and informative wellness environment that fosters high morale for all participants. Dr. Mancini is an Orthopedic Specialist in Physical Therapy, a Strength and Conditioning Specialist with the NSCA and has certifications in Pilates and Yogilates. She teaches Health, Wellness and Prevention and Advanced Therapeutic Exercise for Stony Brook’s Physical Therapy Program. In addition, the team includes Program Coordinator Debra Mattera, PT, who recruits participants, interfaces with the medical staff at Stony Brook and Sloan-Kettering Pediatric Day Hospital, assesses each child, collects evaluation data and recommends appropriate physical activity group placement. Ms. Mattera is former Assistant Chief of Physical Therapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (1992-2002). James Costa, physical therapist and athletic trainer, is the primary fitness leader who implements and oversees all physical activities in the program. He serves as the Clinical Director at Metropolitan Physical Therapy East and Owner of Costa Fitness and Sports Training. Wendy Hildebrant, registered dietician, facilitates the nutrition education sessions for the participants and their families. Ms. Hildebrant is a Clinical Instructor of Family Medicine at Stony Brook University. Roger Sullivan, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, oversees all psychosocial counseling and meets participants and families in a group setting and as needed on an individual basis. Mr. Sullivan is the Director of Palliative Care and Community Outreach for Good Shepherd Hospice in Pt. Jefferson, NY.
The evaluation team is led by Dr. Janice Sniffen and involves members from all program teams as well as consultants with expertise in focus group methodology, survey design, and qualitative and qualitative data analysis. Dr. Lisa Benz Scott, Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Health Care Policy and Management, is an expert in community-based public health education and community-academic partnerships to address public health issues. Dr. Pamela Block, a social anthropologist specializing in disability and the pediatric population, is a Clinical Associate Professor with Stony Brook’s Occupational Therapy program. Drs. Benz Scott and Block facilitate and analyze data collected from focus groups and surveys to assess improvements in quality of life and other desired outcomes
Nearly all team members are conveniently located within Stony Brook University and all teams meet on a regular basis. Meeting summaries are disseminated by the team leader or program director to each team member and to Community Advisory Board members.