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  • House Adopts New Vision of the Physical Therapy Profession

    The 2013 APTA House of Delegates adopted a landmark new vision of the profession of physical therapy: "Transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience."

    Building on the foundation of APTA's Vision 2020 and working through a collaborative process of literature review, interviews and surveys, meetings, and input from the Board of Directors and others, a Board-appointed task force met the charge of the 2010 House of Delegates to bring a proposed new vision statement to the 2013 House for consideration.

    Most significant about the new vision is its outward perspective. This reflects physical therapy’s maturation from an inward-facing profession that aspired to the elements outlined in Vision 2020—autonomous practice, direct access, doctor of physical therapy, evidence-based practice, practitioner of choice, and professionalism. Now that the profession has largely achieved these aspirations, it can envision the impact that physical therapy can and must have on individuals, communities, and populations. APTA Board of Directors member Lisa Saladin, PT, PhD, the Board liaison for the vision-related motions brought to the House floor, assured delegates that these elements haven’t been lost in the concise, bold new vision. They are addressed in companion Guiding Principles to Achieve the Vision, which the 2013 House also considered and adopted. These 8 principles demonstrate how the profession and society will look when this new vision is achieved:

    Identity explains the importance of validating the movement system along with other body systems and affirming the physical therapy profession’s responsibility to define it, promote it, and evaluate and manage it in patients and clients.

    Quality commits the profession to establish and adopt best practice standards.

    Collaboration charges the profession to join others in solving the health-related challenges that society faces.

    Value includes accountability in demonstrating that services are safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable.

    Innovation describes the creativity and proactivity of the profession that will enhance health services delivery and increase the value of physical therapy to society.

    Consumer-centricity indicates that patient/client/consumer values and goals are central to all efforts of the profession.

    Access/equity acknowledges the profession’s obligation to recognize and ameliorate health inequities and disparities.

    Advocacy identifies the profession’s role to advocate for patients/clients/consumers as individuals and as a population. [RC 14A-13, RC 15-13]

    Draft language adopted by the 2013 House of Delegates will be available on the House Community no later than July 12. Final language for all actions taken by the June 2013 House will be available by September after the minutes have been approved.

    See more results of the 2013 House of Delegates by following this link, or click on July 9 from the News Now calendar.

    APTA Director Lisa K. Saladin, PT, PhD, discusses the 2013 APTA House of Delegates adoption of a new vision for the profession.

    Watch other dispatches from Salt Lake City.


    • If all the vision does is describe exactly what we're doing today, how is that visionary? I applaud the boldness of this vision! The vision isn't to tell others what we do. That's marketing and the Move Forward brand. The vision statement is to direct the profession in where we're going. I'm ready to transform society! (More good vision reading: http://www.forbes.com/sites/patrickhull/2012/12/19/be-visionary-think-big/)

      Posted by Tyler Anderson on 7/9/2013 3:18 PM

    • So what happens to the drive for us to practice independently with everyone having a DPT by 2020. How does that fit in or is it just abandoned?

      Posted by Jeffery Weiss on 7/9/2013 8:34 PM

    • How about lets all encourage the option to opt out of Medicare and contract directly with the patient on a fair cash rate which is what the smart MDs are doing all around the country. PTs are not permitted to directly contract with Medicare patients and this should be one of our primary goals....if we rely on insurance there will be no one left standing in our profession in the future - lets make sure we have a future first!

      Posted by Ned Bruns on 7/10/2013 1:08 AM

    • "Transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience." This vision statement could apply to ATC's, OT's, MD's, Nurses, Fitness professionals, Chiropractors, etc. How does this say PT to the public or even to us?

      Posted by David Levine -> =GRbA on 7/12/2013 4:17 PM

    • We haven't fully acheived the goals outlined in Vision 2020. Why are we adopting a new vision? I'm not convinced that we "largely acheived" the aspirations of the previous vison.....which is 7 years from maturity.

      Posted by Jeff Kozlik on 7/13/2013 8:23 PM

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