The 2011 APTA State Legislative Awards were presented September 24 during APTA's State Policy & Payment Forum in Austin, Texas. For their individual leadership on legislation advancing or defending Vision 2020 in the state arena over the past year, the 2011 State Legislative Leadership Awards were presented to Paul Gaspar, PT, DPT, CCS, of the California Chapter, and Marcia Smith, PT, PhD, of the Colorado Chapter.
Gasper was recognized for his work on the successful defeat of California Assembly Bill 783, which would have nullified the current California law that prohibits physician referral for profit in physical therapy (POPTS). Smith was recognized for her leadership on the passage this year of Colorado Senate Bill 169, the new Colorado Physical Therapy Practice Act.
In recognition of their long-term commitment to their chapters' state advocacy activities over several years and for consistently providing assistance in the statehouse, APTA's Board of Directors awarded the 2011 State Legislative Commitment Award to Jim Stoker, PT, SCS, of South Carolina, Emmett Parker, PT, MS, ATC, of Alabama, and Eric Wilson, PT, of Texas. Stoker, who has worked tirelessly over the last several years defending the current South Carolina anti-POPTS law from repeal, has been a key leader in improving and coordinating the South Carolina Chapter's advocacy and lobbying resources. Parker was recognized for his many years of service as legislative chair for the Alabama Chapter and his work on new initiatives in support of direct access legislation in Alabama. In his role as chairman of the Texas Chapter's Government Affairs Committee, Wilson significantly improved the chapter's legislative and lobbying efforts, resulting in considerable progress toward the passage of legislation to improve direct access in 2011, as well as record fundraising for the chapter's political action committee.
This year's forum was a combined meeting of the annual State Government Affairs Forum and APTA's reimbursement chairs meeting and drew almost 200 attendees—making it the largest state forum to date. Session topics included PT co-pay legislation direct access, POPTS, using social media and PR in an advocacy campaigns, concussion legislation, silent Preferred Provider Organizations, Accountable Care Organizations, PT/PTA payment differential, and more. The successful event was co-hosted by the Texas Chapter.
The 2012 State Policy & Payment Forum will be held December 1-3, 2012, in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, in conjunction with APTA's Board of Directors meeting.