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  • Rehab Services Should be a 'Priority,' Say Speakers at Capitol Hill Briefing

    Today in the US Capitol, APTA sponsored a congressional briefing on "The Importance of Rehabilitation in America’s Healthcare System," highlighting for policymakers the value of rehabilitation services and devices for people who sustain injuries, or have disabilities or chronic conditions.

    The briefing was hosted by Reps Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R–WA) and Jim Langevin (D-RI), co-chairs of the House Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus. Gerard Francisco, MD, chief medical officer at TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital and attending rehabilitation physician for Rep Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), spoke on the value of rehabilitation services and therapies. Paul Tobin, president and CEO of the United Spinal Association, addressed the unique rehabilitation and assistive technology needs of veterans and other populations. Jeanne Wilcox, PhD, professor of Speech and Hearing Science at Arizona State University (ASU) discussed the importance of habilitation services for children with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Wilcox also is director and founder of ASU's Infant Child Research Programs.   

    APTA provided materials to participants regarding the repeal of the therapy cap as part of its efforts to educate congressional staff and members about the need to address the issue in a timely fashion.

    APTA is a member organization of the Independence Through Enhancement of Medicare and Medicaid (ITEM) Coalition, the Consortium for Citizens With Disabilities Health Task Force, and the Coalition to Preserve Rehabilitation, which collaborated with the House Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus on the event.  

    June 23, 2011 - 1 
    Paul Tobin sustained a spinal cord injury in August 1993 while body surfing. 

    June 23, 2011 - 2
    Jeanne Wilcox, PhD, provided examples of advances in rehabilitation technology.

    June 23, 2011 - 3
    Rehabilitation is "longitudinal," said Gerard Francisco, MD.


    • PT is a very valuable entity for people recovering from disabling conditions and necessary efforts would be appreciated to improve access and care for return to function and community. We get a full scope of all the details in people's lives to assist them and their families to continue living an altered but functional life with hope for the future.It's very rewarding.

      Posted by sherry bales on 6/24/2011 6:56 PM

    • GReat post! Not to say about my native country,RUSSIA. I am a neuro-rehab specialist. "PT is a very valuable entity".

      Posted by yury moostafaev on 6/25/2011 7:48 AM

    • This is obviously a step in the right direction. I appreciate the efforts that the APTA is making to bring rehabilitation and PT into the national consciousness and the political conversation. As our role is so wide-ranging in the scope of health care, we need to continue to broaden the conversation on the national political level, the local level and the personal level. So few people understand the knowledge and value of the average PT. More importantly, the role of physical therapists in the overall health of our population is underutilized and undervalued. PTs bring so much to the table, but we are minimized due to our lack of presence, limited funding, and minimal (but growing) political and marketing power. Efforts like the one depicted above are small steps that eventually can lead to great strides. This article written by Dan and Chip Heath for Fast Company illustrates how persistence was so effective for Project ASSIST, an antismoking initiative - http://goo.gl/82r39 As long as leadership in the PT community 1. Recognizes what we bring to the table 2. Has a long-term view of PT becoming a dominant player in US healthcare 3. Gritty, persistent leadership, then I am very hopeful about the future of our profession. I'll continue to do my part on the local and personal level and I am willing and able to participate in any campaigns that meet the requirements I've specified above. I encourage anyone else who is passionate about helping people as a PT to do the same.

      Posted by Daniel Seidler on 6/27/2011 11:29 AM

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