Welcome to the Mile High City!
As a student in the great state of Colorado, I'm very excited to host our profession for Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) 2020.
I know I'm a little biased, but Colorado has some of the best climbing and bouldering, outdoor adventures, and breweries.
Here's a list of just some of the things that you can do in Denver and the surrounding areas during your time at CSM.
- Climbing gyms ‒ the true Denver experience. Movement RiNo gym in the River North Art District is the bigger version for bouldering enthusiasts near downtown. RiNo only has bouldering climbing. There is also a location in Baker just south of downtown.
- Avalanche NHL hockey games are a blast. They will be home for games at the Pepsi Center downtown on Feb. 11, 13, 15, and 17.
- Run around Denver City Park or along the Cherry Creek trail in downtown.
- Walk around beautiful Larimer Square in the heart of downtown.
- Denver Zoo in City Park.
- Catch a show at the Denver center for performing arts or a comedy show at the Comedy Spot.
- Denver Art Museum.
- Visit the Denver downtown REI ‒ it's massive.
- Go to Union Station and have a drink. It has a bar and is a nice place to people watch.
- Whatever you do, visit breweries!
- Climbing gyms. Movement gym is the main one my friends use when in Boulder. It has has both rope and boulder climbing.
- Explore Pearl Street Mall for shopping.
- Hiking and trail running. Hike the Flatirons. Flatirons Vista trailhead is less popular, but still cool. Mount Sanitas trailhead is a very popular hike with a view. Great for sunsets or sunrises, and not too long.
- Hiking and trail running. Table Mountain in Golden is a lovely place for a trail run or hike, with a view perfect for a sunset or sunrise if you're feeling it.
- Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre is a famous concert venue in Morrison, about 30 minutes from downtown. Although there isn't much going on in winter this place is a must see, and if the weather is good, it makes a great spot for a stair workout. There are also nice trails nearby for hiking, walking, and running.
- Rocky Mountain National Park.
- Climbing (bouldering) outside – it may be pretty cold, so I say stick with climbing gyms. Mount Sanitas area. Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder. Carter Lake.
- Echo Mountain, Eldora, Arapahoe Basin, Keystone, Breckenridge, Vail, Aspen, Copper Mountain
- Rent snowshoes in downtown at REI or other shops, and take them to any nearby hiking trail where there is snow.
- Voodoo Doughnut: A must, it's known for being in Portland, Oregon, but I've been to both and I think they taste better here.
- Uncle Ramen in Lower Highlands.
- Little Man Ice Cream is a classic place to visit in Lower Highlands and Denver. It's amazing even in winter.
- Linger in LoHi.
- AshKara in LoHi, amazing happy hour.
- Avanti Food and Beverage in LoHi: This is an open market setting that has great food options for all. My favorite is the Venezuelan Arepas joint. Major rec!
- The Source in RiNo: Another market style but in RiNo.
- Snooze AM is all around Denver and Colorado. Although it's a franchise chain with other spots in the U.S., it started here and is really very good.
- Tacos, Tequila, Whiskey.
- Denver Biscuit Company for brunch.
- Dushanbe Teahouse in Boulder: The coolest spot in Boulder, it's a gorgeous, old Tibetan teahouse with lovely food and tea.
Vegetarian and vegan
- Watercourse Foods.
- City O' City.
- Make Believe Bakery.
- Blue Sushi and Sake Grill in Lower Downtown.
- Root Down in LoHi.
There are so many breweries all around town (it's what Denver is known for!), so you can't go wrong with a quick search. Here are some of favorites of mine and my classmates:
- Visit Coors Brewing Company not too far away in Golden for a free tour.
- 10 Barrel Brewing.
- Stem Ciders.
- Epic Brewing.
- Ratio Beerworks.
- O'Dell Brewery.
- Improper City: Huge recommendation; it has drinks with a large outdoor area with games and food trucks.
- Little Machine Beer.
- Great Divide Brewing Company.
- Cerebral Brewing.
- Acreage by Stem Ciders in Lafayette. They have drinks and food, and I swear, one of the best views in Denver for a sunset and a drink.
How to get around
- Light Rail. I use the light rail a lot to avoid parking downtown, since it's tough, and you have to pay anyway.
- Bus. Catch the bus at 16th Street Mall Ride. This area is in the heart of downtown near the convention center as well. It's a long street, so sometimes it's nice to take the bus. Its free, and you can just hop on and off.
- If you're downtown, walking isn't bad at all. Much of downtown is very flat and accessible.
- RiNo (River North). Artsy area that is very trendy lately, with all the breweries that you could need in one spot.
- LoDo (Lower Downtown). Downtown area in general with spots like Union Station and Coors Field.
- Capitol Hill. Upscale area that is pretty to walk around.
- Cherry Creek. Has a lot of shopping.
- Wash Park. Home to ‒ you guessed it ‒ Washington Park! A great place to walk or run around if you stay south of Denver.
- LoHi (Lower Highlands). The trendiest spot just a walk across a pedestrian bridge from downtown. Amazing restaurants.
- Highlands. Just north of LoHi and a cute area to stay and walk around with restaurants, but more residential than LoHi.
Things to know about Denver
- Check the weather immediately before traveling to Denver. The weather truly changes day to day here. One day it might snow, another day it's warm and sunny, and that could all be in the same trip!
- Don't forget that you're in high altitude! Stay hydrated and pace yourself. If you're going out for a hike or a run, be mindful to ease into your exercise at this high altitude. Learn more about how to navigate the high altitude during your travel.
Join us February 12-15, 2020 in Denver, CO for APTA's Combined Sections Meeting. Learn more and register.
Haley Anderson, SPT, is a student at Regis University and is the Core Ambassador for Colorado.
Why you should keep a close eye on telehealth
5 minute read
Want to know a stunning fact?
According to a new Pew Research study, 81% of Americans now own a smartphone.
That comes out to more than 260 million Americans, most of whom probably depend on that device to communicate, pay bills, connect to social media, check the weather, shop for things, listen to music, take pictures, access the internet, watch shows, follow the news, and the list goes on.
Our phones clearly play a huge role in our lives, so much so that they've almost become extensions of our own bodies, rarely leaving our pockets or hands.
Don't worry, this isn't leading to an existential question.
The point here is that the smartphone has ushered in a new era, not just because of the device itself, but due to the services on the phone. Most of the valuable services in our lives are accessed through that minicomputer.
But have you ever noticed that health care services on smartphones are seemingly absent? Why hasn't health care reached our pockets yet? If 81% of Americans use smartphones to access their most important service providers, why aren't health care services included?
This is a difficult question to answer for many reasons, in large part due to the imagination requirements when considering the near future. It's easy to get carried away in a potential future that might not be anchored by current reality. So let's stay in reality for a moment and look toward the largest tech companies today, despite their dissociation from health care services, and analyze how and why they rose to prominence.
For most of these huge organizations, their visions were rooted in a simple realization that they could reach potential customers through a handheld device that never left the user's side. Their thinking was simple: If we can reach more people, we can spread more value.
Facebook, Spotify, Instagram, and Uber all realized early on that the smartphone enabled an entirely new opportunity, but also posed a unique challenge. They had to reinvent an existing service so that it could more efficiently connect with us, the consumers. Think about this for a second. Facebook didn't invent social networking, they just reinvented it. Spotify didn't create music collection or curation, they just reinvented it. Instagram didn't develop high-quality photography production, they just reinvented it. And Uber definitely didn't start the taxi service, they just reinvented it.
All of these companies were able to see the forest beyond the trees because their minds were open and opportunistic. They saw opportunities to reach out to their customers instead of customers reaching out to them, and they capitalized on them.
Can you see where this is headed?
You should keep a close eye on telehealth because there is an interesting opportunity looming to reinvent how physical therapist services can be delivered and accessed.
From a conceptual perspective, telehealth could add another avenue that makes our services more accessible and valuable. And with continued cuts to physical therapist services in the near future, access will be become increasingly important.
There are some interesting pieces of data that might foreshadow the potential impact of digital health care services. The increasing presence of digital natives, the influx of outside interest in digital therapeutics, and creation of the Frontiers in Rehabilitation, Science, and Technology (FiRST) council established by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) all lend to the potential rise of telehealth.
Digital natives consist of more than 150 million Americans.
Around half of all Americans are now considered digital natives, who consist of Millennial (~74 million) and Generation Z (~80 million) populations. A digital native is defined as someone who was born during the digital era or someone who grew up with technology, and who doesn't find the complexity of technology to be problematic. It wouldn't be a far out guess to assume that digital natives will, at some point, expect a certain aspect of their health care experience to be digital.
One survey found that 74% of Millennials expressed interest in digital health care services, and another large report identified that, "Millennials are adapting how they access health care and are open to different health care options." I view this ancillary data not as validation, but as an interesting trend that is most likely going to continue.
The influx of outside interest in digital therapeutics is skyrocketing.
Within the past several years, there has been a remarkable influx of outsiders or non-physical therapists entering the growing digital physical therapy space.
Have you ever heard of Reflexion Health, Hinge Health, Sword Health, Physera (disclaimer: I'm an employee), XR Health, Kaia Health, or Joint Academy?
These are all start-ups that have dedicated missions to address the musculoskeletal and pain relief needs within our society. With the information available online, it's estimated that these companies have collectively secured well over $100 million in the past few years alone, which is a clear indication that the digital physical therapy landscape is highly valued and growing fast. The question now is will more physical therapists jump into digital health? The jury is still out on that one.
APTA is strongly supporting the growing interest in telehealth.
Created in 2016, FiRST council is an entire suborganization to advance technological innovations into professional practice, education, and research. Telehealth is one of its five focus areas, and APTA is beginning to roll out more valuable information about why telehealth is rising in importance, guidelines for navigating telehealth ethics and regulation, and additional resources including research and media surrounding the topic. The takeaway from APTA's efforts is clear: Telehealth is here to stay, and PT's should have the resources available to learn more.
So what's your biggest takeaway?
My objective is not to convince you to try telehealth, because it is certainly a different type of practice that requires more experience and research to validate its efficacy. However, my hope is to convince you that telehealth is worth looking into because it is a tool that is here to stay. Just like hammers changed how our ancestors built shelters and communities, modern technologies, such as smartphones, have changed how we interact with the world.
Telehealth is a tool that might offer a unique path to provide care that is congruent with our increasingly technological society.
We are living in the digital age, and some aspects of our practice, education, and research should reflect this. If you're interested in learning more, check out APTA's growing telehealth resources or look into the current evidence supporting its potential efficacy.
Ben Gordon, SPT, is a second-year physical therapy student at the MGH Institute of Health Professions and is a core member of the Telehealth council (APTA FiRST council). Connect with him on twitter @BgordonSpt or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fry R. Millennials projected to overtake Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/03/01/millennials-overtake-baby-boomers/
Mankin S. The emerging world of digital therapeutics. Nature. 2019;573:S106-S109.
Boodman S.G. For millennials, a regular visit to the doctor’s office is not a primary concern. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/for-millennials-a-regular-visit-to-the-doctors-office-is-not-a-primary-concern/2018/10/05/6b17c71a-aef3-11e8-9a6a-565d92a3585d_story.html
Gherini A. Gen-Z is about to outnumber millennials. Here’s how that will affect the business world. https://www.inc.com/anne-gherini/gen-z-is-about-to-outnumber-millennials-heres-how-that-will-affect-business-world.html
The University of Illinois at Chicago. 5 ways millennials view healthcare differently. https://healthinformatics.uic.edu/blog/5-ways-millennials-view-healthcare-differently/
Transamerica Center for Health Studies. Millennial healthcare preferences are a departure from the status quo. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/millennial-healthcare-preferences-are-a-departure-from-the-status-quo-300849369.html
CareSpot. 3 reasons millennials avoid going to the doctor. https://www.carespot.com/blog/3-reasons-millennials-avoid-going-doctor/
Sanborn B.J. Millennials demand telehealth in a move away from traditional primary care model. https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/millennials-demand-telehealth-move-away-traditional-primary-care-model
Dingli A., Seychell D. “Who Are the Digital Natives?” The New Digital Natives: Cutting the Chord. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg; 2018:9-10.
Podcast: Passion X Purpose
Listening Time — 29:13
For the physical therapy profession to thrive, it needs clinicians with grit.
That's the argument Fred Gilbert, PT, DPT, made at the 2019 Private Practice Section's (PPS) Graham Sessions in a provocative lecture he called, "I Believe Physical Therapy Will Die."
His lecture was less a prediction than a challenge. Fred thinks it's time for the next generation of physical therapists to think outside of the box and outside of the clinic walls. And that’s going to take grit.
Fred wants today's students and new grads to hold onto their why, know their true north, and take bold steps forward.
To kick off a new year of new possibilities, here's our thought-provoking conversation with Fred.
Visit PPS' website to read the transcript of Fred’s Graham Sessions talk.
APTA Podcasts like this one are available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify, or by visiting APTA.org/Podcasts.