Joining Forces Initiative

First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden launched Joining Forces as a comprehensive national initiative to mobilize all sectors of society to give our service members and their families the opportunities and support they have earned. It is designed to bring attention to the unique needs and strength of America's military families while showcasing the skills and dedication of America's veterans and military spouses. The initiative will highlight employment, education, and wellness as issues of special importance to military families across the country.

APTA was honored to be invited by the Office of the First Lady to participate in the Joining Forces Initiative. This unique opportunity will allow APTA to help support our military families, veterans, and service members. As a provider that specializes in treating injuries that impact a vast number of returning service members and veterans, APTA is uniquely positioned to help ensure its practitioners have the best, most up to date information on traumatic brain injury, posttraumatic stress disorder, and postcombat depression. APTA is ready to be a leader in the therapy community to ensure all of our nations' military personnel and their families receive the care they deserve.

APTA's Commitment

APTA values the opportunity to join forces with the White House and other public and private sector groups to coordinate outreach and care for our nation's wounded warriors. Physical therapists play an integral role in the care team for wounded warriors and the association is actively working to meet commitments made through the Joining Forces Initiative (JFI). First, APTA is exploring ways to promote resources to its more than 80,000 members in the area of identification of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and post-combat depression. The association is also committed to being a leader in the therapy community to spread awareness about Joining Forces and to help facilitate sharing of critical tools and resources to help other providers support this important effort. Technology will be an important tool in the dissemination of these valuable resources and APTA encourages members to stay engaged as the association fulfills its commitment to utilize technology such as podcasts, webinars, videos, and e-mail to help carry out the JFI mission. Moving forward, ensuring that every member of APTA has the resources and most up to date information on how to recognize TBI, PTSD, and post-combat depression will require the commitment of all APTA members. The association looks forward to meeting the goals of JFI and showing the invaluable role physical therapist play in supporting our nation's bravest.

APTA will continue to add resources to further educate APTA members and the profession on the best patient care for our military personnel. If you have any questions about these resources, please contact Michael Hurlbut at

Education Resources

Related Resources

  • BrainLine

    BrainLine is a national multimedia project offering information and resources about preventing, treating, and living with TBI. Brainline is funded through the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (, which can also be found in "resources from other organizations" on APTA's TBI webpage.

  • The Defense Centers of Excellence

    This website provides clinical documents for traumatic brain injuries. You will find the co-occurring conditions toolkit, the mild Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) pocket guide, and many other resources to help supplement current expertise. Information on Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is also accessible. Information on how to order these materials can also be found.

  • The National Center for Telehealth and Technology: Virtual PTSD Simulation

    Experience a computer-based virtual world where soldiers can anonymously learn about the causes and symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and where to get help. Don’t forget to visit The National Center for Telehealth and Technology’s main site for more great information like telehealth education and training, technology projects, and assessment tools available to servicemembers. You can also find mobile apps like the co-occurring conditions toolkit and the mild TBI pocket guide to help health care providers instantly access information to help improve care for TBI patients.

  • Treatment of PTSD in Military and Veteran Populations: Initial Assessment - 7/13/12

    This consensus report, published by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, discusses the assessment of ongoing efforts in the treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Topics include substance abuse and mental health, and veterans health.

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