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  • 'Bold Moves' Toward APTA Centennial Will Include New APTA Headquarters

    As APTA approaches its centennial in 2021, the association is charting a course for a series of bold moves, and at least 1 of those moves will be about as literal as it gets: relocation to a newly constructed headquarters designed to "support the profession's future."

    The plans were announced by APTA President Sharon Dunn, PT, PhD, during her address to the APTA House of Delegates, the association's primary policymaking body, which is meeting this week in Boston.

    Dunn's announcement about APTA's relocation came as she described bold moves the association's Board of Directors would like to make in the coming years.

    Dunn said that the workplace and workforce move is "fast becoming a reality," telling the House that "after 2 years of exhaustive investigation, the [APTA Board of Directors] is confident this move is in the association's best interest. It is both financially sound and advisable and it will be a significant investment in the future of our association, supporting the next generation of members and leaders."

    The new headquarters will be in Potomac Yard, a rapidly expanding residential, retail, and office area less than 2 miles from the current APTA offices near Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. The current APTA home was built in 1983, when the association was considerably smaller and workplace needs were different. Construction on the new offices is anticipated to be completed in 2021 in time for the celebration of APTA's centennial.

    Dunn described the entire set of bold moves as "ambitious" but within the association's grasp.

    "We are in a unique moment in our history to take on these challenges," Dunn said. "Clearly, we have a vision that supports this kind of thinking, and we have developed a culture of engagement and collaboration. We are better together—and together, it's time to act."

    APTA members can watch a recording of that address from APTA's livestream page: www.apta.org/Livestream.


    • Seems like a waste of money. How about investing in our membership.

      Posted by Jed on 6/19/2017 9:02 PM

    • Dr. Dunn, I am very excited for this BOLD MOVE that APTA BOC has undertaken. I agree that our professional association building should be a place where staff and members can embrace the innovation, technology and member behavior needs of the future. Though our current location has served us well, I am excited for the ability to have a blank slate. Thank you! Sandy Norby, PT, DPT - Iowa Delegate

      Posted by Sandra Norby on 6/20/2017 3:50 PM

    • Sharon In 1983 our Board made a similar bold move and I still believe that over time your decision will prove to be sound and responsible. Thanks for your leadership and congrats... Bob

      Posted by Bob Richardson on 6/20/2017 5:37 PM

    • Just curious Jed. What type of membership investment do you feel is lacking?

      Posted by Karen J on 6/20/2017 9:45 PM

    • If we all thought like Jed we would still be considered "reconstruction aides" & in a "master---servant" relationship with medical doctors! BRAVO to forward thinking APTA members.

      Posted by Ralph Lucarelli on 6/21/2017 8:13 AM

    • Waste of memebers money! Invest in the profession, the pay, and the medical status instead. Will not be renewing my membership anymore as this organization has moved from supporting the little guys (private practice), into more useless things like this.

      Posted by Mike R on 6/21/2017 2:46 PM

    • I hope Jed, Mike, and others understand that this decision IS an investment in APTA membership. What you might not realize is that the APTA owns its current headquarters buildings, and that real estate asset has provided our association with great financial strength over decades. Anyone who has visited headquarters knows those buildings are aging. If you're looking at this like our association is buying a fancy sports car to be flashy, you've got it wrong. This is like any homeowner's decision to build a new house in a better location rather than renovate the one that's falling apart or rent indefinitely. If APTA didn't do this (if anything, it's 10 years overdue) APTA would slowly bleed money FOR DECADES in ways invisible to members, and THAT would prevent other important investments in our profession. Unless people foolishly believe that the current buildings were going to last forever, this was inevitable. I can't imagine a better time to do this. I commend our board for protecting the strength of APTA!!!

      Posted by Steve on 6/22/2017 7:12 AM

    • 1 more thing, to anyone who will cancel their membership over the construction of a new headquarters ... not only don't you get the big picture, you're also proving why this is necessary. A real estate investment is far more dependable to APTA's current and future financial security than the dues support of many in our profession.

      Posted by Steve on 6/22/2017 7:21 AM

    • I cannot say at this point that I agree or disagree with this move. I will say that if I had presented something for my boss to approve the way this was presented, it would have been tossed back in my lap for further comments. Further explanation would have been beneficial such as: 1. Is the overhead going to be less? 2. Has there been a need to add more staff at the association and there just wasn't space available at the current location? 3. Has the current building owners not kept up with repairs? To just say this is a "Bold Move" does not appeal to the front line PTs and PTAs who have been asked to do get more "live" continuing education at their expense while raises are dwindling as reimbursements decrease. I would recommend more explanation to get more of the members onboard with this decision and not risk losing membership. I would also advise not planning on a dues increase after this announcement. I'm all about the association having what is needed to progress the profession and appreciate the work they do but it is good to know "the why".

      Posted by Melvin H on 6/22/2017 10:15 AM

    • Let's see. In a declining economy (no, there hasn't been an economic recovery) with a glut of commercial real estate and in an era of declining reimbursement and a declining standard of living of our membership secondary to government instituted financial repression (go study the work of Daniel Ammerman, CFA, to find out exactly what this means, if you don't know), we're investing in a new building? How about all the rhetoric we've heard about needing to become more efficient providers and how all the challenges we're facing are making us better providers. How about APTA becoming more efficient, letting the challenges make them more efficient administrators of our organization, and making do with less like we all have had to do. This move reminds me of our leaders in Washington. More for them and less for us. The number one, bottom line issue for our survival is to improve our reimbursement. If we don't get the reimbursement, APTA doesn't get the dues. No dues, no organization, no building. No advertising revenue either because the PTs won't have the revenue to buy the products and services the advertisers are selling. While leadership is focusing on cultural diversity, gender issues, visions of the future, engagement and collaboration, etc., reimbursements are continuing their downward trend while regulatory and paperwork demands continue to climb. Kind of reminds me of polishing the brass on the Titanic or, in biological terms, displacement behavior. We can't get better reimbursement so let's build a building? Makes sense to me ... not. Including student membership, I've been an APTA member for 40 years ... but no more ... enough is enough. I will not be renewing my membership. I've recently heard of a PT who gave up his license to become a personal trainer. He's no longer constrained by his license, doesn't have to deal with government and insurance bureaucracies, is getting paid well in cash, has more free time without the burden of paperwork, and is much happier overall. I'm going to be looking him up.

      Posted by Brian Miller on 6/22/2017 8:44 PM

    • Philosophical debates are one thing, but some of the comments here are comical. This story isn't a presentation for a boss to approve (a decision has been made). And people can cite national trends if they please, but that doesn't mean they know more about the value of APTA's current/future properties than APTA's President and Board of Directors. As for "more for them and less for us," I hope my fellow members know that not a single member of APTA's Board has office space in Alexandria. I ask that skeptical APTA members leave open the crazy possibility that our Board, armed with lots of data, did their jobs and protected the financial security of our association for the benefit of our profession.

      Posted by Robert T on 6/23/2017 8:21 AM

    • In response to Steve's (no last name) comment, if the building was built in 1983 and is in that poor condition that it needs to be replaced, my question is why. Was it not maintained properly or was it not built to last? Either way, it reflects bad past decisions. I happen to own the building my practice is in and it is just about the same age. We have replaced the roof, siding, and some flooring and it looks great and is functioning well presently and for the foreseeable future. Why couldn't APTA do the same?. With regards to the real estate value negating the dependability of dues money, if that's truly the case, why not decrease dues? And I return to the same core issue. If our reimbursements are steadily declining while costs of living continue their inexorable increase, how sustainable is this whole situation over the long term? I do my own taxes and virtually every single expense category has steadily risen over the past 10 years while reimbursement per patient has steadily declined. I can only see so many patients and there are only so many other additional revenue streams to tap into. Reimbursement should be the number one priority ... period. Without it, all else dies. My biggest question is "How has our reimbursement been allowed to steadily deteriorate when everyone that I'm paying (expenses to) is getting more money"? Please answer that.

      Posted by Brian Miller on 6/23/2017 8:58 PM

    • I too have been a member for 40+ years. I have waited years and years to see the effort and $ put into reimbursement and improved marketing for our profession. Yes we have put some $ in but I can't believe that in all these years we have so little clout and respect that our reimbursements go down down down,. A new building is not going to fill our pockets. It's not going to keep the small pieces of our professional we still own in our toolbox.

      Posted by Trish on 7/3/2017 9:01 AM

    • Our Board, elected by its membership, is vested with the responsibility of making short, intermediate, and long range decisions in the best interest of the profession and all of its members today and in the future. To serve the many diverse needs and interests of physical therapists and physical therapist assistants requires a coordinated, collaborative and integrated association workforce dedicated to advancing the mission and vision for the profession in concert with its members. If we are to continue to advance as a profession, we must trust and empower our elected leaders to conduct a thorough investigation of all aspects associated with an issue, such as the viability of its property holdings, and to judiciously weigh the pros and cons of all decisions being entertained. We also must trust that leaders make decisions on our behalf based on available facts and evidence placed before them. I believe at the core of this decision is a more important issue in which our future as a profession rests. Our ability to trust our leaders and each other is at the core of any decision that may be made, whether the purchase of a new building or advocating for patient's interest or advancing physical therapy practice, education and research. Our longevity as a profession must be vested in leaders who are visionary and can reflect upon where we have been, assess where we are, and envision where we need to be in 15-20 years. I applaud the effort of this Board's leadership in taking BOLD steps to better situate this profession for the future across all critical areas within our profession, as well as new areas that we are just beginning to imagine possible.

      Posted by Jody Frost -> DHW_ on 8/18/2017 5:13 PM

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