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  • Leaders from Wyoming, Ohio, Minnesota, and Indiana Honored for State Advocacy Efforts

    Recognition of the importance of direct access to physical therapy for consumers, updating decades-old practice acts, and making it easier for patients to obtain handicapped parking plates and placards were among the accomplishments of this year's APTA State Legislative Leadership Award winners, The awardees were recognized at the association's recent State Policy and Payment Forum in Arlington, Virginia, hosted by the Virginia Chapter of APTA.

    This year, 4 members were honored for their service to the profession at the state level:

    Jamie Childs Everett, PT, DPT, was awarded an APTA State Legislative Leadership Award for her efforts to bring unrestricted direct access to Wyoming. As chapter president, Childs led the Wyoming Chapter in a legislative effort to remove the state's limitations on access, among the most restrictive in the country. The chapter's efforts were successful due in large part to her leadership around educating legislators on the need for change. The final bill, which was signed into law and took effect July 1, allows for unrestricted direct access in the state.

    Alan Howell, PT, ATC, received an APTA State Legislative Leadership Award in recognition of more than 7 years of service to the Ohio Chapter as state legislative chair. During his tenure, Howell led a 5-year effort to update the state physical therapy practice act’s definition of physical therapy to include diagnosis. To accomplish this, he led chapter efforts to improve grassroots involvement, PAC fundraising, and building stakeholder alliances, all of which significantly elevated the chapter’s profile in the legislature during that time. The expanded definition was signed into law in December 2018.

    Anne Johnson, PT, DPT, was recognized with an APTA State Legislative Leadership Award for more than a decade of outstanding efforts on behalf of the Minnesota Chapter. Johnson began her service by participating in the chapter’s Government Affairs Committee when she was still a student, and quickly expanded her involvement to include chairing various work groups and serving as committee co-chair since 2013. During that time, she grew the active membership of the committee, implemented a key contact program for state representatives and senators, and initiated the use of the Take Action App for the chapter’s lobby day. Johnson's leadership was integral in a recent chapter victory: the addition of physical therapists to the list of providers who may provide certification of disability for purposes of parking placards and plates. The new law became effective August 1, 2019.

    Emily Slaven, PT, PhD, received an APTA Legislative Leadership Award for her contributions to a multiyear effort in Indiana that resulted in a comprehensive update to the state's outdated physical therapy practice act. Slaven coordinated the chapter’s efforts to communicate with members about the chapter’s plans, led the organization of successful and well-attended lobby days in 2018 and 2019, and personally engaged in negotiations with several stakeholder groups to resolve their opposition to the chapter’s bill. The law, signed May 1, 2019, establishes an independent board of physical therapy, expands direct access from 24 to 42 days, includes a contemporary definition of the practice of physical therapy, adds new term and title protection provisions, and much more.

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