Our Team

Leaders in Patient Education, Research, & Advocacy

The National Spine Health Foundation’s leadership is committed to improving spinal health care through education, research, and patient advocacy and improving lives through knowledge and hope. The staff, Board of Directors, and Centers of Excellence are dedicated to the vision and purpose of the Foundation.

Staff

Rita Roy, MS, MD
Chief Executive Officer
Beth Fredericks
Programs Manager
Lindsay Orosz, MS, PA-C
Senior Manager, Clinical Studies
Ericka Andersen
Director, Digital Communications
Margaret Carvin
Director, Policy & Advocacy
Gigi Grigorian
Gigi Grigorian
Clinical Research Assistant

Board of Directors

 Brian D. Nault
Chairman
Thomas C. Schuler, MD, FACS
President
Sheldon Buytenhuys
Secretary
 Gordon M. Taylor, CPA, CIA, CGMA
Treasurer
Raymond F. Puglsey
National Race Liaison
 Kevin M. Burke
Member of the Board
 William H. Evers, Jr., PhD
Member of the Board
Dr. Christopher Good
Christopher R. Good, MD, FACS
Member of the Board
Jamie Harvey
Jamie Harvey
Member of the Board
David W. Poley
David W. Poley
Member of the Board
 Rina Shah
Member of the Board

Spine Health Ambassadors

alayne wadsworth
Alayne Wadsworth
Professional dancer, actor and model
Dr. Tom Walters
Board-Certified Orthopedic Physical Therapist
Paige Fraser
Professional dancer

Rita Roy, MS, MD

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Rita Roy is a physician and entrepreneur in the use of emerging technology for healthcare communication and education. She is the CEO of the National Spine Health Foundation, where she brings her expertise to help drive the mission of improving spinal healthcare through patient education, research, and patient advocacy. Dr. Roy co-founded Astute Technologies which focused on e-learning solutions and virtual conference support for medical and healthcare associations and institutions, which was acquired by Echo360. Prior to that, Dr. Roy co-founded Medical Consumer Media, which was acquired by HealthAnswers, Inc. During her career, Dr. Roy has used her technology expertise to bring disruptive thinking to transform ideas into successful internet-based business models, building complex web applications. She has advised and developed e-learning web applications using database driven marketing strategies for nonprofits, associations, and universities.

Beth Fredericks

Programs Manager

Beth supports the mission of the Foundation through her support of clinical, communication, and administrative projects. Communicating and coordinating with team members, sponsors, and Board members, she ensures cohesiveness and support of the Foundation’s initiates and strategic objectives, including research, education, patient advocacy, and community.

Lindsay Orosz, MS, PA-C

Senior Manager, Clinical Studies

Mrs. Orosz provides research assistance in spinal research-related protocols, including the recruiting, screening, and enrolling of patients, accuracy of documentation, and preparation of documents for IRBs. Lindsay is also supporting the coordination of studies through SpineOnline®, a national web-based research platform, as on-boarding new sites and providing online support to providers and patients.

Lindsay is also a Physician Assistant at one of our Centers of Excellence, Virginia Spine Institute. Outside of Spine Health and VSI, Lindsay stays busy with her husband and three boys. In her free time she helps at their elementary school and she is quickly learning the ropes in her new role as soccer mom!

Ericka Andersen

Director, Digital Communications

Ericka Andersen is a digital consultant and marketer. She has worked for the Heritage Foundation, National Review Magazine, and multiple Congressional offices running digital and social media strategy. She is the author of the Thomas Nelson published book, “Leaving Cloud 9” and is currently the Director of Digital Communications for the National Spine Health Foundation. Ericka is a mom to two young children; she and her husband and family live in Indianapolis.

Margaret Carvin

Director, Policy & Advocacy

Margaret came to Washington DC after law school to work for Congressional members from her native state of Colorado. After Capitol Hill, she went to the Department of Justice and met her husband Michael at DOJ. After government service, Margaret worked with healthcare organizations in government affairs for many years and served as the Assistant Director in the Congressional Affairs office for the American Medical Association (AMA). She is currently assisting healthcare and other nonprofits on policy and advocacy issues. She is a member of the California Bar Association, Washington, D.C. Bar Association and the U.S. Supreme Court Bar.

She lives in Cleveland Park in DC with her husband and two children. She enjoys golf, fitness classes, walking their dog Chester and the many cultural opportunities the DC area provides.

Gigi Grigorian

Clinical Research Assistant

Gigi is a 2021 graduate from Dartmouth College who became interested in spine and spinal treatment while taking a biotechnology class that focused on new and emerging technologies in healthcare. 

As a research assistant, she looks forward to contributing to the cutting edge-research projects sponsored by NSHF. In Particular, she is interested in the study on robotic assisted spine surgery.

In her spare time, you can find Gigi working on puzzles, going on hikes with friends, and taking her dogs on walks.

 Brian D. Nault

Chairman

Mr. Nault is the Chairman, CEO, and Co-founder of AOC Applied Technologies Corporation (ATCorp) and BlueWater Federal Solutions, Inc. He is a proven executive with experience in the fields of financial services, technology, and Federal Government contracting. With his passion for our “Nation’s future,” Mr. Nault and his companies support several important charities, including St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Special Olympics, and the Redskins Foundation.

 

 

 

 

Thomas C. Schuler, MD, FACS

President

Dr. Schuler founded Virginia Spine Institute in 1992 to advance the development of contemporary neurological and orthopaedic spinal surgery. Over the past 25 years he has grown this award-winning medical practice into the largest multidisciplinary spinal practice in the region. As the Founder and CEO of Virginia Spine Institute, Dr. Schuler continues to pioneer the latest breakthrough in treatment to overcome back or neck pain. He has expanded his practice to include regenerative therapy, stem cell therapy, robotic spine surgery, ultrasonic spine surgery, and enhanced motion-preserving surgical techniques that benefit patients across the globe. He has previously been the spine consultant to the Washington Redskins and frequently treats professional and amateur athletes. He has revolutionized spinal health care across the Washington, DC metropolitan area and the nation. Dr. Schuler is also the Physician Assistant Fellowship Program Director at the Virginia Spine Institute. Dr. Schuler is a distinguished fellow in both the American College of Spine Surgery and the American College of Surgeons. He is a member of the North American Spine Society, and the U.S. Capital Chapter of the World Presidents’ Organization.

In addition to performing the first hybrid multi-level cervical artificial disc replacement with spinal fusion in the country, he has first-hand experience of this procedure from the patient perspective. After suffering from severe neck pain, disc herniations, and nerve compression, Dr. Schuler underwent a hybrid procedure to treat four levels of his spine and is fully recovered and back to his life, pain free. His experience as a patient, having undergone both neck and low back surgery, affords him the unique ability to better understand his patients’ emotional and physical needs and the recovery process. –Virginia Spine Institute | Reston, VA

 

 

Sheldon Buytenhuys

Secretary

Sheldon supports the mission of the Foundation by serving as the 2019 We’ve Got Your Back Gala Co-Chair with his wife, Allison.

 Gordon M. Taylor, CPA, CIA, CGMA

Treasurer

Mr. Taylor has been the COO and CFO of the Virginia Spine Institute since 2010. Previously he served as COO and/or CFO, or other senior executive roles at numerous organizations including Maple Life Financial, BenefitNation, Congressional Quarterly Inc., and NCQA. He has a proven track record of success, earning his MBA from Averett University, BS in Economics and BS in Business Administration from West Virginia University. Among various certifications that Mr. Taylor holds, he is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

 

 

 

Raymond F. Puglsey

National Race Liaison

Mr. Pugsley earned his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and his Master’s degree from Johns Hopkins. He is co-owner of Potomac River Running, Inc., a running/ walking specialty store with eight locations in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Mr. Pugsley raced competitively at Dartmouth College and as a cross country lover, he’s been going strong for 30 years — he was the US Junior National Cross Country Champion in 1988 and finished second in the US Masters Cross Country race in 2009 and 2013. He takes advantage of his extensive experience with both training and injuries by coaching adults through the PR Running Club, which was created in 2001. As a life-long athlete, Mr. Pugsley strives to help people in the local community stay active and healthy through his stores, coaching, and event support.vMr. Pugsley knows the importance of spinal health all too well; he underwent a laminectomy (1996) and a spinal fusion (2003) and, after recovery, was once again able to enjoy the athletic life that he loved, most recently winning the RRCA Master’s 10-mile championship at the 2010 Cherry Blossom 10-Miler!

 Kevin M. Burke

Member of the Board

Mr. Burke is the President and CEO of Centuria. Since founding the company in 2002, Mr. Burke has guided Centuria through five consecutive years on the Inc. 500 index of America’s fastest growing companies and four consecutive years on the Washington Technology Fast 50. Prior to founding Centuria, he founded Synapse Incorporated, which grew to over 40 employees in less than twenty-four months. Before building these companies, he served as a technical resource for MCI, a GS employee within the Department of Health & Human Services, and a United States Marine. Mr. Burke has been featured in Inc. Magazine and is an executive committee member of the Washington Baltimore Chapter of Young Presidents’ Organization.

 

 

 William H. Evers, Jr., PhD

Member of the Board

Dr. Evers is President and CEO of Systems, Technology & Science, LLC, which he founded in 1998. He is responsible for both setting the strategic direction of the firm and insuring its day-to-day execution. Dr. Evers currently serves as a member of the independent Scientific & Engineering Review Group (iSERG) of the Missile Defense Agency. He previously served as a member of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Tactical Battlefield Communications, Vice Chair of the Army Science Board, member of the Executive Committee of the National Academy of Sciences Board on Army Science & Technology, and was a consultant to the Defense Science Board 1993 Summer Study on Global Surveillance. Dr. Evers also served as the Chairman of the Laser Device Panel of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense Research & Engineering’s High Energy Laser Review Group (HELRG).

Christopher R. Good, MD, FACS

Member of the Board

Dr. Good has pioneered the use of robotics and navigation in spine surgery, established as a world expert in the field. Most recently, he performed the first and the most advanced robotic spine surgery using Mazor X Stealth Edition technology. Through extensive research, his surgical techniques are proven to decrease complications and improve patient safety and recovery time. The wide-reaching impact of his innovation has transformed the lives of patients suffering from complex neck or back conditions. His passion to become a spine surgeon began at an early age when his father suffered a traumatic spinal injury. Heralded for his compassionate approach, Dr. Good personally connects with patients, working together to create a tailored treatment plan that will achieve their goals for recovery. As the President of Virginia Spine Institute, Dr. Good has also pioneered the use of regenerative stem cell therapy for lumbar disc disease, helping many patients with low back pain to improve their quality of life and avoid surgery; he has performed the most intradiscal injections of stem cells in the region. He is currently studying the outcomes of his patients and uses these outcome studies to improve access to these revolutionary treatments for more people who suffer from back pain.

Through his leadership and vast experience, Dr. Good is reshaping the future of spine surgery and his research has helped develop surgical techniques that are proven to improve patient safety, decrease radiation during surgery, and reduce recovery time. Dr. Good is the principal investigator of an FDA trial investigating a revolutionary new cervical disc replacement surgery and participates in multiple scientific advisory boards working to improve patient safety and spinal balance; he routinely presents his findings, both nationally and internationally.

Jamie Harvey

Member of the Board

Jamie is a Partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP with more than 18 years of tax and accounting experience in the United States. She is currently working in McLean, VA, where she is a core member of the PwC Industry Services Group, with a primary focus on corporate tax, tax accounting/reporting matters/control and regulatory issues as well as effectively deploying digital platforms/innovations.

Jamie has served corporate clients, both public and private in a variety of industries, including technology, media, hospitality, industrial products and communications. She has worked with large Fortune 100 multinational and domestic companies, as well as emerging growth companies and not-for-profit organizations. She brings experience working closely with her clients in the areas tax planning and ensuring that all federal, state and international compliance obligations are met.

Jamie received a B.S. and Master of Accountancy with a Tax Concentration from Virginia Tech and is a licensed certified public accountant in Virginia and Colorado. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Colorado Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Jamie brings her corporate experience to the board of NSHF. Having a close relative who is a Spinal Champion, Jamie also brings a passion for the cause of improving spinal health care through education, research, and patient advocacy.

David W. Poley

Member of the Board

Over the past three decades, Mr. Poley has had the privilege of working closely with hundreds of the world’s most impactful Ortho & Neuro Spine Surgeon leaders, collaborating professionally with them to advance their vision, goals, strategies and solutions for better spine patient care, research and evidence development, innovation and medical education. For the last two-plus decades he has had the good fortune of working within Medtronic and Sofamor Danek, the world’s leading medical technology and spine companies, in Vice President and Senior Director roles with leadership responsibilities for Global Physician, Society and Professional Relations, Global Clinical and Strategic Development, and Global Marketing and Market Development. He is highly engaged and acquainted with spine professional societies, their physician leadership and priorities from around the world. One noteworthy and impactful achievement over this period included development and funding of physician driven collaborative Spine Study Groups, organized across all spine subspecialties and global regions, with the goal of advancing patient care through multicenter analysis and unprecedented statistical powering capacity. The architecture of this landmark initiative was to have it driven by over 200 premier global spine surgeons, collaborating with 400+ surgeon colleagues in 20+ nations worldwide, resulting in an unprecedented 25,000+ patients enrolled in 12+ prospective observational cohort studies, producing 30,000+ radiographic images, 50 million+ clinical data elements and 500+ peer reviewed publications and presentations. The impact was an exceptional upgrade in the levels of spine evidence, the transformation of academic center research relations from being traditionally competitive to progressively collaborative, united through agreed upon research objectives, a centralized shared spine database platform, global ethics/IRB approvals and language translation, and compliance with ever expanding multi-national data privacy and security regulations. The intensive and continuous surgeon-to-surgeon / peer-to-peer nature of this program also had tremendous value for spine surgeons in building global relations and professional camaraderie. Most importantly, all endeavored to assure that the ultimate beneficiaries of this program were spine patients and the spine care community worldwide. Prior to Medtronic & Sofamor Danek, Mr. Poley had the good fortune of working for a decade-plus within Synthes Spine/AO Spine and Johnson & Johnson/Ethicon in similar leadership roles and responsibilities. Personal priorities for Mr. Poley include his family, his church, and his health/activities to include golf, running and rowing; achievements in the latter include multiple US National Rowing Championship victories, earning gold medals in the quads, and silver medals in the doubles and eights.

 Rina Shah

Member of the Board

A strategic consultant, millennial entrepreneur, and media commentator based in Washington, DC, Ms. Shah has been nationally-recognized as an astute businesswoman with a strong streak of political activism. Her expertise is in building winning strategies for political and issue advocacy campaigns at every level as well as in offering strategic guidance to a wide-range of domestic and international corporations, including start-up ventures, which seek to navigate the legislative and executive branches of U.S. government.

 

 

 

Alayne Wadsworth

Professional dancer, actor and model

Alayne Wadsworth is a professional dancer, actor, model, and person with Scoliosis. She tours the country teaching corporate events, incorporating all styles of Ballroom dancing and Country line dancing. She taught at the world-renowned Center State Dance Studio for 10 years and her team was featured on America’s Got Talent and World of Dance. She underwent surgery for her Scoliosis as a young adult and says it is a life long recovery for her. She loves to work out and stay positive in an effort to fight that battle.

Dr. Tom Walters

Board-Certified Orthopedic Physical Therapist

Dr. Tom Walters is a board-certified orthopedic physical therapist who specializes in pain education, therapeutic exercise, and manual therapy. He completed a bachelor of science in exercise science at Montana State University and a doctorate in physical therapy at Chapman University. Following his formal PT training, Dr. Walters completed a residency in orthopedic manual physical therapy and a fellowship in advanced lower quarter functional biomechanics.

Dr. Walters has worked in a number of clinical settings including outpatient orthopedics, clinical biomechanics, neurological rehab, and sports medicine as a physio in Cirque du Soleil’s Performance Medicine department.

In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Walters served as a full-time assistant professor of kinesiology at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California from 2011-2019 and taught a variety of courses including biomechanics, motor behavior, pain science, therapeutic exercise, human physiology, and gerontology.

 

Paige Fraser

Professional dancer

Paige Fraser began training at Ballet Atlantic Academy, and later attended Professional Performing Arts High School/The Ailey School. She was a scholarship student at American Ballet Theatre, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Complexions, Jacobs Pillow, and Juilliard summer intensives. Ms. Fraser is a graduate of the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program, where she graduated Cum Laude in 2012.

Ms. Fraser was a member of Ailey II for the 2011-2013 seasons under the artistic direction of Sylvia Waters and Troy Powell.

She performed as a guest artist with Deeply Rooted Dance Theater and Ruth Page Civic Ballet. She has done commercial work with Beyonce, Chanel Iman, and Jussie Smollett; and has been featured in international campaigns with INTEL, ESPN Latin America, and ELLE Magazine.

Ms. Fraser is a founding dancer of Visceral Dance Chicago, now in her 6th season with the company. She is honored to be a recipient of a 2016 Dance Fellowship from the Princess Grace Foundation-USA and a Dance Magazine 2017 “25 to Watch”. In 2017 she was listed on Fordham Universities “20 in their 20’s”. Ms. Fraser is the founder and president of The Paige Fraser Foundation, which advocates for dancers living with or without disabilities.