It's too soon to know how Congress will act, but we can be confident that the Flash Action Strategy got their attention.
In 3 days, April 23-25, we generated 20,945 letters to Congress in support of Physical Therapist Workforce and Patient Access Act of 2013 (HR 1252/S 602), surpassing our goal of 16,000 letters.
Thank you to the many students, professionals, friends, and families who submitted letters and encouraged others to do the same. Your efforts brought attention to critical issues facing physical therapy, took advocacy to classrooms and clinics across the nation, and served to unify and strengthen our voice. The Student Assembly Board of Directors is inspired by your leadership, dedication, and passion.
This is an important issue: Passage of this bill would allow physical therapists to be an eligible provider within the National Health Service Corps' loan repayment program. If accepted, a physical therapist has the opportunity to receive up to $30k per year for 2 years in loan forgiveness, all while serving over 10 million underserved individuals in dire need of their skilled service in one of 14,000 sites nationwide!
Just because the 72-hour Flash Action Strategy period has ended doesn't mean it's too late to get involved!
Submit a letter online in fewer than 5 minutes!
APTA members: Go to the Legislative Action Center. Click on "Take Action" under "Support the Physical Therapist Workforce and Patient Access Act of 2013 (H.R. 1252/S. 602)."
Nonmembers: Submit your letter via the Patient Action Center.
The Physical Therapist Workforce and Patient Access Act of 2013 (HR 1252/S 602) was introduced in the US House of Representatives by Representatives John Shimkus (R-IL) and Diana DeGette (D-CO), and in the US Senate by Senators John Tester (D-MT) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) on March 19, 2013.
The Physical Therapist Workforce and Patient Access Act of 2013 would authorize physical therapists as eligible providers within the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) loan repayment program. This program provides loan repayment for providers serving in rural and underserved areas of the country.
(Note: This bill was previously known as Physical Therapist Student Loan Repayment Eligibility Act. It's important that your advocacy efforts use the updated title.)
The NHSC addresses the health needs of more than 10 million underserved individuals at 14,000 sites across the nation. HR 1252/S 602 would ensure that patients receive access to physical therapy services to meet the needs of both rural and underserved areas. As physical therapy workforce shortages continue to grow, it is essential that physical therapy be added to the list of professions included in the NHSC program to guarantee patient access in underserved communities.
More information on this legislation can be found on APTA's Education and Workforce Legislation webpage.
Please don't hesitate to contact any of the following APTA Student Assembly representatives/staff:
Blake Stephens, SPT
APTA Student Assembly SPT Delegate
Josh D'Angelo, SPT
APTA Student Assembly President
Executive Director, APTA Student Assembly