Yesterday, Rep Mike Michaud (D-ME), ranking member of the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health, hosted an APTA-cosponsored briefing on traumatic brain injury (TBI). The Capitol Hill event, held for legislators and their staff, addressed how physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology are helping wounded warriors and veterans recover and rehabilitate from TBI and reintegrate into society.
Aaron Eaton, PT, DPT, and Heather Malecki, PT, DPT, served as panelists with Paul R. Rao, PhD, CCC-SLP, chief operating officer for inpatient services at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, DC, and Tracey Ellis OTR/L, MPH, CEO of International Diagnostic Solutions and Ellis Therapeutic Consultants.
Eaton shared his experiences as a former employee of the National Naval Medical Center (now Walter Reed National Military Medical Center) and member of the team that was responsible for physical therapy services for soldiers with war-related injuries, namely those with polytrauma, who had arrived from Landstuhl, Germany. Many of these patients also had TBIs.
Malecki, rehabilitation and polytrauma coordinator at the Washington, DC, VA Medical Center, also provided insight on the needs of soldiers with TBI. She highlighted the benefits of coordination and cooperation among physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology.
The American Occupational Therapy Association and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association cosponsored the briefing.
Find out more about APTA's efforts with wounded warriors at www.apta.org/TBI/WoundedWarriors/.
The Concord Monitor published an APTA letter to the editor in response to an article about the author's experiences with charges for Medicare services, including physical therapist services. The letter also acknowledged New England region chapter presidents who were cosigners.
Caregivers, National Guard, reserve support, and sports are top Defense Department priorities for wounded warriors and their families, said top officials last week at the 2012 Warrior-Family Symposium. APTA has participated in each of the 6 annual Warrior-Family Symposiums. This year the association sponsored the event's breakfast.
The September 12 symposium, titled Saluting Their Sacrifice: A Decade of Challenges and Triumphs for Our Wounded Heroes and Their Families, expanded on previous forums and efforts over the last 5 years to improve the physical, psychological, and well being of service members and their families. Programming focused on addressing the concerns and challenges facing wounded warriors and families/caregivers and helping those in attendance prepare to retire or transition to their new life, as veterans and citizens outside the military.
Lunch keynote speaker VA Secretary Eric Shinseki spoke about issues facing returning service members, such as substance abuse, homelessness, and posttraumatic stress disorder, and explained what the VA is doing about these issues.
Reception keynote speaker Lt Gen Patricia D. Horoho, USA, surgeon general and commanding general, US Army Medical Command, spoke about role of the command in meeting wounded warriors' needs.
The day culminated in a Recognition-Transition Ceremony, honoring and celebrating the service and sacrifice of all service members wounded and disabled over the last decade.
On September 12 the Senate passed S Res 553, designating September 22, the first day of fall, as National Falls Prevention Awareness Day (FPAD). This year marks the 5th anniversary of the national effort to protect older adults from falls.
FPAD is spearheaded by the National Council on Aging (NCOA). This year's theme, Standing Together to Prevent Falls, seeks to unite professionals, older adults, caregivers, and family members to play a part in raising awareness and preventing falls in the older adult population. Forty-six states will participate in FPAD this year, joining more than 70 national organizations, including APTA, professional associations, and federal agencies that make up the Falls Free© Initiative. Find ideas for observing FPAD and your State Falls Prevention Coalition on NCOA's website.
Sen Herb Kohl (D-WI) led the effort to raise awareness and encourage the prevention of falls among older adults. Sens Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD), Michael Enzi (R-WY), Richard Blumenthal (D-CN), Susan Collins (R-ME), Bernie Sanders (D-VT), and Bob Casey (D-PA) cosponsored the resolution.
To help patients use their health plan most effectively for the rest of 2012, Cigna is urging policyholders to determine what they've spent on health care to date, prepare for future health care expenditures, and make a proactive plan to manage overall health care needs. The insurer has produced a video series featuring 2 Cigna executives discussing tips for consumers about how they can make good health care choices and best use their health plan benefits. Share the Health Plan Conversation with your patients by including links to the videos in your facility's newsletter or post them on your website.
A new level of certification from the Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is designed to recognize the specific capabilities of hospitals that can treat the most complex stroke cases.
The Advanced Certification Program for Comprehensive Stroke Centers aims to help health care organizations focus on the care processes that produce the best outcomes for complex stroke cases. The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association anticipate that, over time, municipalities and regions will develop a formal referral network so the most complicated stroke cases can be treated at the centers best equipped to provide the specialized care that can lead to the best possible outcomes for patients. The organizations anticipate that there may be more than 200 certified comprehensive stroke centers in the US within the next few years.
Use this interactive map from the Kaiser Family Foundation to review the status of state action on state health insurance exchanges. Sixteen states and Washington, DC, have passed legislation or issued an executive order establishing a health insurance exchange. Choose the table or map function to determine the source of the exchange activity (governor's executive order or state law), the structure of the exchange (quasi-governmental, state-run, or nonprofit), and how it plans to contract with health plans.