WASHINGTON, DC, Tuesday, April 1, 2008 — Due to his commitment to the profession of physical therapy, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) on Monday, March 31, presented Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) with the 2008 APTA Public Service Award. The award was presented during APTA's Federal Advocacy Forum on Capitol Hill, an annual event educating members of Congress about physical therapy issues.
"As the co-chair of the bipartisan Rural Health Care Caucus, I've worked closely with physical therapists and others to help remove barriers to health care services and expand access for those in medically underserved areas," said Congressman Greg Walden, of Oregon's Second District. "It is an honor to be recognized by such an active group of dedicated health professionals, and I look forward to the hard work that needs to be done to provide better access to quality health care."
Walden is a strong supporter and cosponsor of three of APTA's most critical legislative issues: repealing arbitrary financial caps on the amount of outpatient rehabilitation beneficiaries may receive under Medicare (HR 748/S 450), removing burdensome Medicare requirements that drive up patient costs to receive physical therapy (HR 1552/S 932), and making eligible for student-loan repayment physical therapists who choose to practice in underserved areas (HR 1134/S 2485).
"Congressman Walden has worked hard to reduce patient costs and expand access to physical therapist services," said APTA President R Scott Ward, PT, PhD. "We are happy to recognize these efforts by presenting him with the 2008 Public Service Award."
Since 1991 APTA has requested nominations from its members for individuals who have demonstrated a high level of dedication to advancing physical therapist education, research, and practice. Past winners of the APTA Public Service Award include US Senators Bob Dole and Blanche Lincoln and the late actor Christopher Reeve.
Physical therapists are health care professionals who diagnose and manage individuals of all ages, from newborns to elders, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. Physical therapists examine each individual and develop a plan of care using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. Physical therapists also work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.
The American Physical Therapy Association (www.apta.org) is a national organization representing physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students nationwide. Its goal is to foster advancements in physical therapist education, practice, and research. Consumers can visit www.findapt.us to find a physical therapist in their area, as well as www.apta.org/consumer for physical therapy news and information.