Our Team

Steven J. Fleck, Ph.D, FACSM, FNSCA, CSCS

Dr. Fleck has a long history as a successful administrator and researcher and is the Executive Director of the Andrews Research and Education Foundation (AREF). In this role  he is responsible for all educational and research programs of AREF. Prior to coming to AREF he was the Chair of sport science and kinesiology departments at several universities and also served as a program director for the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. While with the US  Olympic Training Center he advised coaches and athletes on training as well as performing research on athletic performance and physiological adaptations to training. Dr. Fleck’s research interests range from physical training’s effect on injury prevention, physiological adaptations to training, the application of research to optimize physical training program design to improve performance and prevent injury, and adaptations to training in individuals with diseases, such as leukemia, cystic fibrosis and McArdle disease. He has authored several books on the physiology of resistance training and exercise physiology. Dr. Fleck has also authored numerous peer-reviewed research and lay articles in the area of sport science and exercise physiology. He is a Fellow of both the American College of Sports Medicine and National Strength and Conditioning Association. Dr. Fleck is a past president of the National Strength and Conditioning Association and has been honored by receiving both the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Sports Scientist of the Year Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award.



Leandra Price, MS, LAT, ATC

Leandra completed her undergraduate work at Quinnipiac University in Athletic Training/Sports Medicine. She continued to obtain her Masters degree at Troy University in Sports and Fitness Management. She moved from New Jersey where she worked as an athletic trainer at Hillsborough High School and spent two seasons for Sky Blue FC, a National Women’s Soccer Team. Leandra moved down to Florida to work as a clinical outreach athletic trainer for Andrews Institute at Washington High School in Pensacola before joining the Andrews Research & Education Foundation team as the Education Manager.

Leandra manages and coordinates all educational events for AREF. Events include weekly Sports Medicine Fellowship Conferences, annual Injuries in Football Conference, and many others throughout the year.



Leah Johnsey

Leah grew up in Pensacola, and received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, Tennessee.  For fifteen years she worked at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Department of General Surgery.  She was the administrative assistant to the trauma faculty before becoming the Residency Coordinator for the General Surgery Residency and Surgical Critical Care Fellowship.

Leah Johnsey has been with Andrews Research & Education Foundation since September 2016 as the Fellowship Manager.  In this role, she coordinates the ACGME-accredited Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Fellowship and Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship.  She is also responsible for the Foot & Ankle Fellowship and the ATC Fellowship.



Drew Skidmore

Drew Skidmore currently facilitates research and lab related needs, including but not limited to specimen ordering, lab setup, assistance during lab, and cleanup. Drew was born and raised in Milton, FL, and earned his BS/HS in healthcare administration from the University of West Florida in 2012. Drew has been a part of Andrews Research & Education since January 2012 working as the clinical research assistant, which further helps to supplement his duties related to the surgical skills laboratory. His background and experience comes from 10 years of direct patient care working as a medical assistant in hospitals, physician offices, urgent cares, and intensive care settings.



Lauren Inman

Lauren has been with Andrews Research & Education Foundation since March 2018 and works as a Clinical Research Coordinator.  She is a native of Pensacola, Florida and graduated from the Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science in 2014.  While maintaining a Certified Nursing Assistant license, Lauren has volunteered in a variety of inpatient and outpatient clinic settings across the panhandle.  She came to AREF with two years of previous experience in clinical research and is currently a graduate student working on her Master of Business Administration at the University of West Florida.  With a strong passion for direct patient care, Lauren actively contributes to the execution of orthopaedic clinical research alongside physicians, clinic staff, and the AREF team.



Mikala Childs

Mikala has been apart of Andrews Research and Education Foundation since March of 2018 as one of the Clinical Research Coordinators. She is originally from the Pensacola, Florida area and graduated from The University of Florida with her Bachelors of Science in Health Education. She had 3 years of experience in clinical research, as well as 1 year assisting patients in the Emergency Room setting before joining the AREF team. With a passion in promoting health, Mikala takes pride in using her experience and dedication to improve patients’ quality of life through orthopedic research at AREF.



Sam Davis, ATC, LAT

Sam Davis attended Wright State University and received a Bachelor’s of Science in Athletic Training and a Bachelor’s of Science Education in Sports Science.  Prior to Andrews Research and Education Foundation, Sam has had the privilege to work in multiple settings from middle school to professional women’s soccer. Sam has also had experience with PRN for Select Physical Therapy and interning with EXOS.  Sam has been with the department since January of 2018 and is an integral part of the AREF team.”



Johnny Torres

Johnny was born in East Chicago, Indiana but grew up in Puerto Rico, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Physics from the University of Puerto Rico in Humacao. Prior to joining the AREF team, he demonstrated a 15 year history of working in highly-regulated chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Johnny is skilled in analytical chemistry, microbiology, environmental monitoring testing, and laboratory management.



Nicole Rendos, PhD, LAT, ATC, CSCS

Dr. Nicole Rendos is an athletic trainer and sports medicine researcher with a research interest in neuromuscular physiology and motor unit behavior following orthopedic injury. Nicole obtained a Bachelor of Science at West Virginia University and a Master of Education at the University of Virginia, both in Athletic Training. She received a Doctor of Philosophy in Exercise Physiology with a concentration in Biomechanics under the direction of Dr. Joseph Signorile at the University of Miami. Following a year as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Exercise Science at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina, Nicole decided to pursue a research-focused career and furthered her education with a postdoctoral fellowship in neurophysiology at Florida International University under the direction of Dr. Laura McPherson in the Department of Physical Therapy.



Hillary Plummer, PhD, ATC, CES

Hillary completed her undergraduate studies at Georgia College & State University in Exercise Science. She then obtained Master’s degree in Athletic Training from the University of Arkansas before she completed a PhD in Kinesiology at Auburn University. Following the completion of her PhD studies, she did a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Southern California under the direction of Dr. Lori Michener. The focus of her research is to identify deficits in modifiable physical factors that prognosticate upper extremity injuries in overhead athletes. The long-term goal of this work is to identify athletes who may be at an increased risk of injury, and to establish a foundation for prevention programs aimed at reducing upper extremity injury.



Christy Adams

Christy Adams has over 20 years experience as a Certified Surgical Assistant. She earned her Associates Degree as a Certified Surgical Technologist at Northwest Florida College. Her experiences prior to joining the AREF team in 2017 include working as a Certified Medical Assistant, Surgical Technologist, orthopedic coordinator and surgical technologist trainer in the OR at The Andrews Institute. Serving as the Surgical Outcome System (SOS) Coordinator she helps patients participating in research projects answer survey questions concerning their surgical procedure. Christy also works with the staff of physician offices and AREF research staff to maintain patient compliancy with research project requirements.



Chelsea Scott

Chelsea has been with the Andrews Research and Education Foundation since January of 2018 as the Development and Campaign Coordinator. She is a Pensacola native and graduated from the University of West Florida in 2013 with a Bachelors in Sports Management. She continued her education at Texas State University receiving her Masters in Education and Recreation Management. Chelsea takes pride in working with donors to provide funding for the Andrews Research and Education Foundation to research and enhance human performance and overall quality of life for people of all ages.



Donna Tait

Graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) with a BSN degree in Nursing, with 18 years of experience in the pharmaceutical research industry.

As a Study Coordinator, coordinated multiple, complex clinical trials in accordance with Sponsor requirements, GCP, SOPs and FDA regulations. Recruited, consented, screened and enrolled study participants. Maintained accuracy in meeting protocol requirements, data collection/reporting and coordinating SAE events for Phases II-IV protocols.



Manuela Buran

Manuela joined Andrews Research & Education Foundation in August 2018 as Accounting Manager.  This job entails managing all aspects of accounts receivable and payable for all research projects, educational events and other activities of AREF in addition to establishing budgets and maintaining documentation for sponsored clinical trials and research projects.

She brings over 25 years of comprehensive accounting experience in both non profit and for profit accounting.  She graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BBA in Accounting.  Born and raised in Germany and being in a military family she’s lived numerous places including England and Hawaii.  She recently relocated from Washington state.  In Washington she worked nine years with Compass Health, a private non profit organization providing mental health and chemical dependency services and ten years with The Everett Clinic, a physician led group offering primary and specialty care.