If you need encouragement to attend APTA's PT Day on Capitol Hill, June 8-9, look no farther than a recent example of successful grassroots advocacy by one of our chapters. Our Alabama colleagues proved there really is strength in numbers when – shortly after their PT Legislative Day & Rally on April 26 – direct access legislation in Alabama, Senate Bill 361, moved forward in the state’s Senate Health Committee with amendments proposed by the chapter.
Approximately 300 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants and students had converged on the Alabama state legislature in Montgomery to rally in support of SB 361 and the House's version of the legislation, HB 202. Before the rally, participants met personally with their statehouse representatives and state senators – educating them the on the importance of direct access for state residents. Many of the physical therapy students explained to their legislators that they would potentially leave the state following graduation given that Alabama is 1 of only 2 states left that has no form of direct access.
These personal visits really do make a difference, which is why we need you to come to Washington, DC, next month to advocate for your profession with members of the U.S. Congress. This year, PT Day on Capitol Hill replaces APTA's annual Federal Advocacy Forum to run in conjunction with APTA's Annual Conference & Exposition (PT 2011). PT Day on Capitol Hill takes place over two days, with events at National Harbor, MD, and on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Let's look to our Alabama colleagues as an example. Together, we can make a difference. As your colleagues who were interviewed for the video below have said, "If we don't speak up for ourselves on Capitol Hill, who will?"
Hope to see you next month!