Flash Action Strategy: September 8-10, 2014

The Flash Action Strategy (FAS) is a student led advocacy campaign organized by the Student Assembly Board of Directors in conjunction with APTA to educate students on legislative issues impacting physical therapy and promote advocacy.

Last year's FAS generated more than 20,930 letters to Congress in only 72 hours asking for support of the Physical Therapist Workforce and Patient Access Act (H.R. 1252/S. 602), legislation reintroduced in the 113th Congress to include physical therapists in the National Health Service Corps.

For this year's FAS, students will be encouraged to use APTA's Legislative Action Center from September 8-10 to send letters to Congress asking legislators to support the role of physical therapists in youth sports concussions by cosponsoring the Protecting Student Athletes from Concussions Act (H.R. 3532).

Flash Action Strategy 2014 Graphic 1

What You Can Do Now

Sign up for PTeam (APTA members only) and watch the announcements on the APTA Student Assembly Facebook page and Twitter feed (@APTASA) for updates on this important advocacy initiative!

We'll provide links to take action September 8-10. In the meantime, get the word out to fellow students to raise awareness about the upcoming Flash Action Strategy.

Background

Concussions in student athletes are a growing public health problem that demands immediate attention. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates nearly 3.8 million incidences of sports-related concussions occur every year. Legislative and policy efforts at the state and local level on concussion management have been highly inconsistent. This inconsistency can be a detriment to the quality of care and considerations necessary for the complexity of concussion injuries within active student athletes.

November 19, 2013, Representatives Tim Bishop (D-NY) and George Miller (D-CA) reintroduced the Protecting Student Athletes From Concussions Act (H.R. 3532), legislation that establishes guidelines around prevention, identification, treatment, and management of concussions in school-age children, and acknowledges the role that physical therapists (PTs) have in evaluating and treating these injuries.

The legislation would require states to implement concussion safety and management plans that include return-to-play requirements and academic supports. Additionally, the bill requires that any student who suffers a concussion be immediately removed from any participation in school sports until he or she receives a written release from a health care professional. Physical therapists are explicitly listed as one of the professionals qualified to make these return-to-play decisions.

Learn more about efforts related to concussion management legislation.

Last Year

In the inaugural Flash Action Strategy, April 23-25, 2013, 20,945 letters to Congress were generated in support of Physical Therapist Workforce and Patient Access Act of 2013 (HR 1252/S 602).

Questions

Contact Lisa McLaughlin
Executive Director, APTA Student Assembly
aptasa.exec@gmail.com

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