• Feature

    Generation Rap: Veteran and Emerging Leaders Speak Out

    Newly named Catherine Worthingham Fellows of the American Physical Therapy Association and APTA emerging leaders discuss the physical therapy profession's past, present, and future—and share advice.

    Generation Rap

    Catherine Worthingham Fellows of the American Physical Therapy Association (FAPTAs) and those designated "emerging leaders" of the association are by definition at different points in their career. FAPTAs are seasoned and savvy. Emerging leaders are newer to the profession but, well, they're plenty savvy, too. (See more information on the designations on page 27.)

    For all of their differences, however—FAPTAs having adapted to, and in many cases led, significant changes and innovations in the profession of physical therapy over the course of their career, while emerging leaders face newer challenges such as the burden of student debt and recognition of the need to expand physical therapy's reach into areas such as population health—PT in Motion found many areas of commonality when the magazine recently asked selected members of the 2019 class of each group a series of questions related to physical therapy's past, present, and future.

    What comes out in the responses is mutual appreciation of the strengths both groups bring to seizing the opportunities and addressing the challenges facing physical therapy today: As emerging leader Katherine Sylvester, PT, DPT, puts it, "I see veteran and less-experienced PTs and PTAs mentoring each other, and everyone leaving those conversations with something valuable." She is an acute care physical therapist (PT) at Navicent Health in Macon, Georgia.

    But there are generational differences. Those newer to the profession perhaps are better attuned to the need for self-care and work-life balance, for example, than are some of their more-seasoned counterparts, and with veteran PTs having greater financial freedom to pursue their practice preferences.

    In fact, PT in Motion specifically asked FAPTAs and emerging leaders what they see as some of the biggest differences between PTs and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) who are relatively new to the profession and to those who became PTs and PTAs many years ago.

    "I think today's students are very interested in life balance, self-care, and relationships," says Donna Frownfelter, PT, DPT, MA, FAPTA. "When I graduated, many of us placed our work first and had difficulty balancing it with our home life as we married and had families. Now," she observes, "most couples both work, and I think they do a better job of balancing their work and family responsibilities. This is good for family life and helps prevent professional burnout."

    Frownfelter is the director of post-professional studies at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in North Chicago, Illinois, and is an assistant professor there. She also is a board-certified clinical specialist in cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy.

    Emerging leader Albojay Deacon, PT, DPT, suggests, however, that the cost of PT education has changed the wage calculus for new and recent graduates of doctor of physical therapy (DPT) programs.

    "I keep in touch with many recent graduates, as well as PTs who are in hiring positions, and it's interesting how each side feels that new graduates should be compensated," says Deacon, who works at the Marquette University Physical Therapy Clinic in Milwaukee and is a board-certified clinical specialist in orthopaedic physical therapy. "Most graduates today come out of school anywhere from $100,000 to $200,000 in debt. New grads therefore have a greater need for and expectation of earning higher pay—a starting salary of, say, $80,000. That figure seems more than fair, but it can be difficult for PTs in hiring positions who've hit a ceiling in their pay to justify compensating a newcomer the same amount it took that PT 10 to 15 years to make."

    Because of their debt burden, Deacon adds, "Some new grads view their current job situation"—which might be something more lucrative, such as working as a travel PT—"as a means to an end rather than a place for long-term employment."

    "My observation," says emerging leader Lauren Bilski, PT, DPT, "is that those who entered the profession longer ago may practice more based on their years of valuable clinical experience, while newer PTs may rely more on evidence-based clinical practice guidelines and new technology in their care approach. The dangers on both sides," observes Bilski, who works at Swedish Medical Center Cherry Hill Campus in Seattle, "are that veteran PTs may not always reflect best-practice standards, while younger practitioners may sometimes miss 'the big picture' that comes with experience."

    "The strongest hospitals and clinics benefit from diversity of PT and PTA personnel," Bilski says. "The best outcomes are born from collaboration between young and experienced clinicians."

    Zoher Kapasi, PT, MSPT, MBA, PhD, FAPTA, sees current students and recent graduates as being "more 'sociocentric' than are practitioners of previous generations. The growth of student-driven pro bono clinics is a strong indication of this," says Kapasi, dean of the college of Health Professions at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. He adds, "Given that society offers us the privilege to practice our profession, it is only appropriate that we contribute in as many ways as possible to the broader public good."

    One change for the better that emerging leader David Faccini, PTA, has seen in recent years is "a stronger voice" for PTAs entering the profession today.

    "Each year, PTAs are becoming more accepted as true partners with the new generation of PTs," he says. "We are making and leaving our mark, and being recognized as respected members of the physical therapy community, family, and profession."

    Faccini is lead PTA at Associated Physical & Occupational Therapists, a Kenmore, New York-based provider of pediatric therapy in public and private school settings.

    Course Adjustments

    FAPTAs and emerging leaders agree that the profession has evolved, changed, and in many ways expanded its reach. They're equally aware, as well, however, that curricula are tight, and that there aren't enough hours in the educational day to fully prepare PT and PTA students for every single need and demand of the "real world" they soon will encounter. As a way of identifying what they see as current gaps, PT in Motion asked them what currently non-mandated subject they would like to see the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) add to the curriculum, were it in their power to do so.

    We'll sample those responses shortly. But, first, Bilski suggests that the question be "flipped, to talk about how to decrease or condense the curriculum, in order to drive down the cost of physical therapy education."

    "As membership chair for the Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association, I often heard from new professionals that their debt and monthly loan payment was a big barrier to professional membership," Bilski recounts. "This burden of lifelong debt negatively impacts our patients, our association, and our future as a profession. We can continue the pursuit of clinical and professional excellence while simultaneously making education more affordable."

    That suggestion noted, here's where FAPTAs and emerging leaders see needs in the curriculum.

    "Social determinants of health, health equity, and health disparities are key topics not mandated by CAPTE that should be part of every DPT curriculum," says Gammon Earhart, PT, PhD, FAPTA, director of the program in physical therapy and a professor at the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis.

    "I'd like to see a class on socioeconomic responsibility, designed to address the shortcomings in our health care system that produce a significant gap between the medical treatment we recommend and our patients' ability to get what they need," urges emerging leader Kerry Lammers, PT, DPT, a staff clinical specialist in acute care services at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore who is a board-certified clinical specialist in cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy.

    "Homelessness, mental illness, complex domestic issues, diversity, and socioeconomic hardship are issues I discuss with my patients in the hospital on a daily basis," Lammers says "Too often, we have health care providers who have not had enough education or clinical preparation for some of these issues. But the reality is that our health care system is not able to sufficiently support underserved communities. We must educate providers and health care professionals about the potential options or programs available to patients to bridge the gap between hospital, home care, and return to prior level of function."

    Emerging leader Parminder Padgett, PT, DPT, says, "When I was in school, I would have appreciated more instruction in psychologically informed practice to better engage patients in behavior change, such as behavior regarding exercise." Padgett, a board-certified clinical specialist in neurologic physical therapy, practices at University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington.

    "As the need to deliver exceptional value to patients receiving physical therapy continues to be paramount," Kapasi says, "our students must be prepared to innovate. Development of leadership is vital in instilling change in an organization. Thus, one would expect leadership training to be necessary if an innovation mindset is to be imbued in our students. I would love to see leadership training courses incorporated in our curriculum."

    Faccini wants to see all PTA education programs include a class on gross anatomy.

    "I realize this might be difficult to accommodate, but what if schools could partner with local DPT programs to provide this?" he asks. "Students could get early experience in PT-PTA teamwork by working together with DPT students in a gross anatomy class or lab."

    Faccini has a curriculum suggestion for DPT programs, as well.

    "DPT programs are not educating the new generation of PTs well enough on the role and function of the PTA," he says. "We are the ones doing much of the hands-on interaction with patients. We are on the front line, so to speak. We do—and can do—so much. DPT students should gain better awareness of this."

    Attention: Congress

    If 2019 FAPTAs and emerging leaders had the undivided attention of Congress for 10 minutes to educate lawmakers about something related to physical therapy, what would they say?

    They'd talk about a variety of matters, ranging from the valuable role of PTs in preventive and primary care to the cost-effectiveness of physical therapy throughout health care and the profession's importance in maternity and childbirth.

    "I would strongly advocate for the role of physical therapy in primary care," says Ronald Barredo, PT, DPT, EdD, FAPTA, dean of the College of Health Sciences at Tennessee State University, where he also is a professor and interim chair of the Department of Physical Therapy. "I would argue that physical therapists have the appropriate training and specialization to function side-by-side with other primary care providers. During my conversation with lawmakers, I would note the expanded role of physical therapists in the military as primary care providers, and how this model can be expanded in the public sector."

    Barredo is a board-certified clinical specialist in geriatric physical therapy.

    "I would educate Congress on the importance of preventive care for all individuals, but especially for the vulnerable population of older adults," says Jennifer Brach, PT, PhD, FAPTA, associate dean of faculty affairs and development, and a professor, in the University of Pittsburgh's School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. "As our population ages, it is important to encourage and support health and wellness services to prevent many of the negative consequences of aging. Fall-prevention programs and evidence-based exercise programs to increase physical activity and prevent loss of function are key for older adults."

    For her part, emerging leader Jenna Bush, PT, DPT, would emphasize to lawmakers that "physical therapy and conservative care can help decrease health care spending."

    Bush, a staff physical therapist at Rock Valley Physical Therapy in Davenport, Iowa, adds, "I would educate Congress on average physical therapy costs per course of care for common diagnoses such as low back pain, neck pain, balance and falls, and dizziness, and then compare those figures with what is spent on office visits, imaging, medication, injections, and specialty care. This would give me the opportunity," she says, "to show that the costs are significantly different, and that by choosing physical therapy when appropriate, we could significantly cut down on health care dollars expended."

    "Given that 1 out of every 5 Americans has some type of disability and only 20% of people with disabilities have full-time jobs, I would note that physical therapists have important roles to play in improving function in this large population and enabling their employment," Kapasi says.

    Bilski says that she would discuss inpatient rehabilitation length of stay. "Access to inpatient rehabilitation and length of stay in acute rehab hospitals have decreased over the past 20 years while, simultaneously, physical therapist practice and available rehab technology have continued to advance," she notes. "Patients should be able to access these facilities and utilize these resources to strive for meaningful recovery."

    Deacon observes, "We have created a society that is dependent on taking medications to manage issues rather than working to cure them. I would emphasize to Congress that it would be far more productive if our medical professionals encouraged patients to learn more about their bodies through physical therapy to prevent a recurrence of their neck or back pain, rather than reinforcing the notion that every time you hurt yourself, all you need is a couple of pills."

    Sylvester would tell lawmakers that "a physical therapy consult within a week of childbirth should be standard, paid maternity leave should be mandated for at least a year, and paid paternity leave of at least 3 months should be mandated. There are women who are returning to work very soon after giving birth not because they want to," she points out, "but because they don't have the income to stay home. They return to work with pelvic pain, leaking urine, and unaddressed postpartum depression, to name a few of the issues."

    Sylvester and Frownfelter say they'd discuss the high cost of PT education and would petition Congress for changes to make tuition more affordable and provide loan relief to students.


    Emerging leaders and FAPTAs agree that better diversifying the ranks of PTs and PTAs should be a profession-wide priority. Strategies, they say, should include attracting the attention of youth at a younger age, creating a "holistic" admissions process, volunteering in diverse communities, and taking steps to make education more affordable.

    "Building personal relationships is key to increasing diversity in the profession," Earhart says. "As an example, consider connecting with students in middle school and keeping in touch with them over time to support them and remind them of the opportunities available in physical therapy as they make their career choices."

    "Market to middle and high school students in the populations you are trying to attract," Frownfelter says. "Discuss the profession's opportunities and future. Then, PT schools can hold open houses and bus students to their campus to talk with current PT students.

    "Also, in the summer, offer week-long camp-type experiences for younger students to come on campus and go to anatomy lab, attend classes, and learn more about health care possibilities," Frownfelter adds. "Our school, Rosalind Franklin University, offers such camps and has found them to be productive."

    Padgett urges PTs and PTAs to "practice and volunteer in diverse communities to set an example for young people."

    Kapasi advises, "A holistic admissions review process that incorporates aspects such as socioeconomic status, geographic representation, and educational preparation, together with cognitive metrics and noncognitive characteristics, may allow programs to achieve greater diversity in their student populations. Whether diversity is reflected through race, ethnicity, disadvantaged backgrounds, or a combination thereof," he says, "holistic review will help create a student body that reflects the diversity observed in the general population."

    At his school, Kapasi says, "in 2017, our DPT program implemented holistic review of admissions, and our average from 2017 to 2019 is 14% underrepresented minority students, which is more than double the percentage of the 3 years prior to holistic admissions in our matriculated class."

    Bilski recalls, "I heard the quote 'Diversity is being invited to the party and inclusion is being asked to dance' many times at the 2019 House of Delegates. We need 100% buy-in at every level of the association," she says. "To me, this means funding minority scholarships, empowering and supporting minority members to take leadership in the association, and meaningful community outreach from the association, its components, and physical therapy education programs."

    Lammers agrees that making PT school more affordable is a key to increasing the profession's diversity.

    "High tuition for DPT programs paired with relatively low salaries after graduation is prohibitive to a wide range of students," she notes.

    Expansive Ideas

    PT in Motion noted that the physical therapy profession's reach has been expanding into clinical specialty areas, wellness, population health, and more. Which trends do newly named FAPTAs and emerging leaders deem most important?

    "The trends that I believe are most important to the profession include the expanding roles of physical therapists in primary care and public health," Kapasi says. "That importance is based largely on 3 factors: unmet need in the larger population and underserved areas, a prospective solution through the provision of care provided by physical therapists, and recognition by various stakeholders of the effectiveness of physical therapy care."

    "While it has been exciting to watch various trends arise, and to really sit back and appreciate the wide scope of how much physical therapy can accomplish, the most important new initiative from my perspective," Bilski says, "is the groups working to define the movement system and to clarify what it is to be a movement system expert. It is critical that we define our professional identity intelligibly and concisely before we dive into the next big thing. This structure also can contribute to reducing variability of practice, which is critical to our professional sustainability."

    Bryan Heiderscheit, PT, PhD, FAPTA, believes that "clinical specialties are particularly important when engaging with other health care professions. While generalist training is sufficient in some settings, specialty training is necessary to advance the profession and its visibility." He is an associate professor in the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation at the University of Wisconsin and practices physical therapy at the UW Health Sports Rehabilitation Clinic.

    Lammers concurs. "Clinical specialization is a critical aspect of our profession's future," she says. "After I completed my entry-level DPT I had enough experience and understanding of my profession to choose a treatment area, but it wasn't until I received my board certification in cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy that I truly began to feel I was practicing on the doctoral level and had earned a seat at the multidisciplinary table."

    "As a pediatric PTA," Faccini observes, "I see so many students with these heavy bags to carry, or sitting in their seats at tables and neither seat nor table are of appropriate height. PTs and PTAs need to expand our efforts to educate staff and students on the proper ways of sitting, lifting, and carrying to prevent increased instances of back and health issues down the road."

    Earhart says it's critical that the profession "continues expanding into the areas of wellness and prevention. I would love to see us move toward a dental model of care where people have regular movement check-ups with a physical therapist," adding, "Just think of all the problems we could help people avoid."

    Tech Talk

    Scientific and technological trends that offer the greatest opportunities for enhancing physical therapy's ability to meet society's future needs, 2019 FAPTAs and emerging leaders say, include telerehabilitation; apps, enhanced watches, and wearable sensors; virtual reality and video games; and advances in genetic science.

    "Telehealth and mobile health hold great promise for enhancing our ability to meet society's needs," Earhart says, "Telehealth can help increase access to physical therapy and to people with particular specialist skills. Mobile health can help us keep in touch with patients between visits to answer questions, update exercises, and enhance motivation. And," she adds, "these modes of communication mesh well with the way current students and recent grads are accustomed to and adept at communicating."

    Sylvester believes that "the use of apps like FaceTime and technology like watches that can continuously monitor vital signs will be most important for enhancing PTs' ability to meet society's future needs. With access to these tools," she says, "PTs and PTAs will be better able to monitor the patient's understanding of things that were taught in person, compliance with home exercise programs, and tolerance to activity."

    "Wearable sensors hold much promise in assessing movement occurrence and quality of our patients in their living environments," Heiderscheit says. "When our patients leave our office, we have little understanding of what they are doing or how they are doing it. Obtaining this valuable information will enable us to better understand our patients' needs."

    Padgett, meanwhile, expresses "hope for virtual reality and video games to be interesting and compelling in a manner that will help us increase patients' adherence and intensity in rehabilitation exercises."

    "Epigenetics has the potential to revolutionize our field," Bilski says. "Perhaps the physical therapist I am most inspired by, Dr Richard Shields, introduced me to the concept of precision physical therapy at his McMillan lecture in 2017. There is great opportunity for the profession as we begin to better understand the epigenome and can better predict patient response to intervention and dose exercise."

    Deacon suggests that the term "technology" be expanded to include social media—and that PTs and PTAs fully tap its uses and possibilities.

    "I believe that social media has helped our profession grow due to its ability to allow everyday PTs like me to connect with some of the greatest researchers in our profession," he says. "Social media has played a great role in our ability to share our skillset with the world on a larger scale and platform. We all need to get better at utilizing different media platforms, to ensure that society sees how valuable PTs and PTAs really are."

    Strengths and Threats

    Physical therapy's biggest strengths include its people, its ability to adapt and innovate, its reach, the synergy of PT-PTA teams, and practitioners' connection with patients. At the same time, however, 2019 emerging leaders and FAPTAs warn that threats loom in the forms of apathy, inadequate reimbursement, and insufficient marketing.

    "Our biggest strength is our people. I am inspired by the talented, dedicated leaders in all areas of our profession who are passionate advocates for physical therapy," Earhart says. "My optimism for the future comes not only from these current leaders, but equally from up-and-coming students and early-career professionals who bring great energy and new ideas."

    Barredo praises PTs and PTAs who "are invested in strengthening the profession, validating its utility and value, and positioning it for future success." He is critical, however, of "those who are apathetic and uninvolved in the local, state and national initiatives that make the profession stronger and move it forward"—deeming them a drag on the professional's future potential.

    "Our biggest strength," Kapasi says, "is ability to adapt to change—ie, to learn. We have always worked under significant constraints—whether they are related to referral for profit, lack of autonomy in clinical decision making, therapy reimbursement caps, or what have you," he notes, "yet we have made tremendous progress as a profession because of our ability to respond to those challenges by our singular focus on being evidence-based and innovative. We have stayed true to our vision of optimizing movement to improve the human experience, and thereby transforming society."

    Bilski sees great strength in the profession's "diversity of practice, in terms of environments and specialties.

    "For patients, there is always a therapist who is suited to meet their unique and diverse needs. I don't think we have even scratched the surface of marketing our full potential," she says. "There remains a misperception that PTs treat only musculoskeletal injuries, but the breadth of our profession extends much further. If we celebrate the multiplicity of practice that lives within our professional scope, we have an opportunity to appeal to a broader and more diverse population."

    Marketing is an area of concern to Lammers, as well.

    "Our profession has so much to offer in terms of cost savings for community reintegration of patients with chronic conditions. However, we continue to fight battles in every state secondary to our right to practice," she notes. "I work full-time at one of the most prestigious medical institutions in the world, yet I am constantly explaining the depth of our practice and our wide application in a variety of conditions and patient populations. We need to create awareness of how our profession can help the full spectrum of medical patients, in a wide variety of practice settings."

    Faccini sees "the ever-increasing use of the PTA" as being one of the profession's biggest strengths.

    "The PTA is an integral part of the physical therapy team. We are on the front lines in the clinics. We are talking with patients and helping them through tough times in recovery," he says. "The PT-PTA team needs to continue to strengthen. The profession and, most important, the community will greatly benefit."

    Padgett says the profession's greatest strength is "the amount of time we get to spend with patients, and our ability to connect with them." She adds, "I am optimistic about our ability to help shape exercise behavior at the population level."

    Brach is concerned, however, about the cost of PT education, "especially in relation to available salaries. I believe we are losing many excellent students to other programs that require less time in school and have higher starting salaries," she says.

    "Our inability to articulate the value of our services, and, more importantly, to capture that value through higher reimbursement for our services is the biggest threat we face as a profession," in Kapasi's view. That's why, he says, "we must use data analytics such as those the Physical Therapy Outcomes Registry will provide to inform ourselves of the best and most cost-effective ways to treat our patients. But any data set is only as good as the size and comprehensiveness of the variables we include in it," he cautions. "Thus, robust participation by PTs is a prerequisite for us to take full advantage of this outcomes registry."

    "Efforts to collect outcome data in a systematic manner are critical to demonstrate the value of physical therapy," Earhart agrees. "These efforts will address a number of issues, including reduction of unwarranted variation in practice, thorough establishment of standardized outcomes, and the need to demonstrate our value to consumers and payers."

    "I am optimistic," Bilski says, "because I can see the direct impact my interventions have on a person's functional mobility. I can measure it with standardized outcomes and demonstrate meaningful change. The trouble is unwarranted variability of practice. APTA is attacking this head-on, and the Outcomes Registry has great potential to ward off this threat."

    Words To Practice By

    The best piece of career advice that Karen McCulloch, PT, MS, PhD, FAPTA, ever received had more to do with her life outside physical therapy than within it, she says. The source was Martha "Marty" Wroe, PT, MA, FAPTA, a founding member of APTA's Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy and one of McCulloch's most important early mentors.

    "As a PT faculty member at University of Florida, Marty strongly influenced my professional path. She encouraged my involvement in component activities, and I found my professional home in neurology," McCulloch says. "I recall seeing her at APTA's Combined Sections Meeting after I'd been out of school for about 10 years. She advised me to focus on balancing work with other aspects of life.

    "Marty was a great at following her own advice—often traveling around the world to exotic places," McCulloch continues. "I think it's hard for anyone who becomes a PT, with such a competitive admissions process, to turn off that achievement drive and direct time and attention appropriately toward family, friends and life activities."

    "You might argue that Marty's advice was not career focused," McCulloch allows, "but our ability to do our best work is strongly influenced by how healthy we are overall—and other aspects of life are critical to that. So, my advice to all of my peers in physical therapy is this: Enjoy your work, but make sure to enjoy every aspect of your life fully."

    Sylvester has an addendum: While you're enjoying the varying aspects of your life, don't forget lunchtime—even on weekdays. Especially on weekdays.

    "The best piece of career advice I've ever gotten was to never work over my lunch break, and instead to spend it doing something that I want to do. I was told that this would give me the time I need to recharge for the afternoon," she says.

    "My takeaway was that I have to take care of myself so that I can take care of my patients. As a direct result of heeding that advice, I can say without hesitation that in the 9-plus years that I have been a PT, I have not felt burned out a single day," Sylvester shares. "My first 4½ years, I spent my lunch breaks napping in the car, catching up with friends, or reading a book outside. For the past 4½ years, I have spent every lunch break that I can with my son. That advice has been a major guide in my decision-making as a PT, a mom, a wife, a sister, a daughter, and a friend. Following that advice has made me a better PT."

    "My best piece of advice came from my parents, who when I was younger told me, 'Work is an opportunity to serve others, and a privilege that is not to be taken lightly,'" Barredo recalls. "This advice continues to be impactful to me because it encapsulates the occasion of work (an opportunity), the nature of work (a privilege), the purpose of work (to serve), the beneficiary of work (others), and the burden of work (not to be taken lightly)."

    Bilski cites a professional mentor who encouraged her to write down each day 3 things for which she is grateful.

    "I have done that nearly every work day since she gave me the notebook to get me started. It has put so much into perspective for me to realize how easy it is to define how lucky we are to do what we do, even on the tough days," she says.

    "The best advice I ever got was to keep an open mind and to not be afraid to try new things," Brach relates. "The beauty of our profession is that there are so many opportunities and practice areas available. You never know what you might like until you try it."

    Along those lines, Earhart maintains that the piece of advice she holds most dear—"stick your neck out"—is every bit as valid now as it was much earlier in her career.

    Padgett says she tries to live by the advice "get out of your own way." Too often, she notes, "we limit ourselves because of fear or doubts. We need to trust in our ability and forge ahead."

    "The best career advice I received was to always keep an active clinical practice," Heiderscheit says. "Patients are at the core of everything we do. Seeing patients each week has made me a better researcher and educator, and frankly has had the single biggest impact on my career."

    Kapasi concludes with this story.

    "A little over 10 years ago, Emory's DPT program was ranked among the top 10 programs in the country, and I wondered what further improvements one could make! Steve Wolf, PT, PhD, FAPTA, my mentor, reminded me of the age-old advice that only our imaginations limit the future we can achieve.

    "This advice may seem trite and clichéd," he concedes, "but it is cliché because it is so real—and more importantly, it was the advice that I needed to hear at that moment. Since that time, the Emory faculty innovated to create robust dual-degree programs, started 3 clinical residency programs, and pioneered the first journal of humanities in rehabilitation," Kapasi notes.

    "So, anytime I get comfortable with the status quo, I am reminded of this advice from Steve, which will be valid for all times to come, because as humans we cannot be satisfied with coasting," he says. "We need to challenge ourselves by always imagining a better and bigger future for ourselves and for the organizations we lead."

    Eric Ries is the associate editor of PT in Motion.

    What Makes for a FAPTA or Emerging Leader?

    The designation Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association (FAPTA) is the association's highest membership category. Awardees' "contributions to the profession through leadership, influence, and achievements demonstrate frequent and sustained efforts to advance the profession" over the past 15 years or longer. For more information, go to www.apta.org/HonorsAwards/Honors/WorthinghamFAPTAs/ or contact honorsandawards@apta.org.

    APTA's Emerging Leaders awardees are PTs or PTAs who have "demonstrated exceptional service" in their first 5 to 10 years after graduation. These individuals—nominated by their chapter or section—have a record of accomplishment and contributions to the profession, their component, and the association. For more information, go to www.apta.org/uploadedFiles/APTAorg/About_Us/Policies/Awards/EmergingLeaderAward.pdf or contact NationalGovernanceLeadership@apta.org.

    2019 Catherine Worthingham Fellows of the American Physical Therapy Association

    Ronald Barredo, PT, DPT, EdD, FAPTA
    Hermitage, TN

    Jennifer Brach, PT, PhD, FAPTA
    Pittsburgh, PA

    Andrew Butler, PT, MPT, PhD, MBA, FAPTA
    Birmingham, AL

    Chad Cook, PT, PhD, MBA, FAPTA
    Chapel Hill, NC

    Gammon Earhart, PT, PhD, FAPTA
    St Louis, MO

    Donna Frownfelter, PT, DPT, MA, FAPTA
    Deerfield, IL

    George Fulk, PT, PhD, FAPTA
    Fayetteville, NY

    Robert Gailey, PT, PhD, FAPTA
    Pinecrest, FL

    Bruce Greenfield, PT, MA, PhD, FAPTA
    Chamblee, GA

    Bryan Heiderscheit, PT, PhD, FAPTA
    Madison, WI

    Zoher Kapasi, PT, PhD, MBA, FAPTA
    Charleston, SC

    Karen McCulloch, PT, PhD, MS, FAPTA
    Chapel Hill, NC

    Nancy Berryman Reese, PT, PhD, MHSA, FAPTA
    Conway, AR

    Julie Ann Starr, PT, DPT, FAPTA
    Brookline, MA

    Barbara Tschoepe, PT, DPT, PhD, FAPTA
    Boulder, CO

    2019 Emerging Leaders of the American Physical Therapy Association

    Lauren Bilski, PT, DPT
    Pennsylvania Chapter
    Philadelphia, PA

    Caroline Brunst, PT, DPT
    Ohio Chapter
    Dublin, OH

    Jenna Bush, PT, DPT
    Iowa Chapter
    Davenport, IA

    Albojay Deacon, PT, DPT
    Wisconsin Chapter
    Milwaukee, WI

    David Faccini, PTA
    New York Chapter
    Niagara Falls, NY

    Matthew Ithurburn, PT, DPT, PhD
    Section on Research
    Birmingham, AL

    Jorgeann Koenig, PT, DPT
    Michigan Chapter
    Lansing, MI

    Kerry Lammers, PT, DPT
    Academy of Acute Care Physical Therapy
    Baltimore, MD

    Hallie Lenker, PT, DPT
    Academy of Oncologic Physical Therapy
    Columbia, MD

    Emily Littlejohn, PT, DPT, ATC
    Oklahoma Chapter
    Newcastle, OK

    Andrea Mattison, PT, DPT
    Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy
    Maplewood, MN

    Heidi Moyer, PT, DPT
    Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy
    Willowbrook, IL

    Mary Kate Murray, PT, DPT
    Massachusetts Chapter
    Boston, MA

    Carol-Ann Nelson, PT, DPT
    Oregon Chapter
    Bend, OR

    Parminder Padgett, PT, DPT
    Vermont Chapter
    Burlington, VT

    Kristen Schulz, PT, DPT
    North Dakota Chapter
    Thompson, ND

    Stephen Shultz, PT, DPT
    North Carolina Chapter
    Matthews, NC

    Katherine Sylvester, PT, DPT
    Georgia Chapter
    Macon, GA

    Stephanie Weyrauch, PT, DPT
    HPA The Catalyst (Section on Health Policy & Administration)
    New Haven, CT

    Amanda Williamson, PT, DPT
    Florida Chapter
    Orlando, FL

    Natalie Wilson Abell, PT, DPT, MTC
    Tennessee Chapter
    Germantown, TN

    Noel Ybarra, PT, DPT
    Washington Chapter
    Kennewick, WA

    Matthew Zaudtke, PT, DPT, ATC
    Indiana Chapter
    Carmel, IN

    PT in Motion Asks...

    Are you intrigued by the questions PT in Motion posed to APTA FAPTAs and emerging leaders in this article? How might you answer them? You can share your responses to some of them—and many other questions—by logging into the APTA Engage volunteer platform at engage.apta.org and creating a profile.

    Find the "APTA National—PT in Motion Magazine Member Input" opportunity, review the rules for submitting, then click the Apply Today! button. You'll see a list of questions. Respond to as many or as few as you wish in the space provided. Selected responses are highlighted on the back page of each issue of the magazine in the PT in Motion Asks… space. (See page 64 for a sample.)

    We look forward to hearing from you.


    Expansion of scope of practice similar to the military model as well as other countries such as the UK and Australia is the only point forward I would say. Learning about "Homelessness, mental illness, complex domestic issues" etc. is a great space for continuing education... but not where we should be investing in my opinion. Learning about interpreting blood tests, imaging, prescribing medication... Things that would actually warrant a doctoral degree, clearly differentiate a DPT and a MPT degree, and help propel this profession is where we should be investing.
    Posted by Rubin Issac on 12/3/2019 11:28:24 PM

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