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  • News From NEXT: A Moving Account of a Journey Out of Pain and Addiction—And a PT's Crucial Role

    "I failed my marriage. I failed as a father. I failed my career. And I didn't even know it was happening."

    That's how Justin Minyard describes the lowest point in his life, when, after experiencing 2 spine fractures and receiving multiple surgeries, he became addicted to the opioids prescribed to him. He found himself consumed by his pain and his meds—how many he had on hand, when he could take the next one, where he needed to go to get refills. His addiction led to a suicide attempt and 2 accidental overdoses. But most devastating for Minyard was that his addiction hurt the people he loved the most.

    "I let them down," Minyard said. "You didn't want to be around me at that time."

    Now things are different. With the help of an interdisciplinary care team that included a physical therapist (PT), Minyard said he learned how to "make pain a footnote, not the header" of his life and defeat his addiction. He'll be 8 years' clean in July.

    Minyard's moving story was delivered as the keynote address at the opening event for APTA's NEXT Conference and Exposition, held June 12-15 in Chicago. The retired Army Master Sergeant recounted the injuries he received—first during a rescue attempt at the Pentagon during the 9-11 attacks and then while on a mission in Afghanistan—but focused more on what happened afterward: the multiple fusion and other surgeries, the intense pain, and his eventual slide into addiction.

    "I didn't wake up one day and say, 'this sounds great,'" Minyard said of his use of opioids; however, he believes his passive approach to exploring treatment options played a role in his use of drugs.

    "I was not an educated patient; I didn't ask questions," he told the audience.

    After more than 2 years of attempting to manage his pain through opioids and other medications—and becoming addicted along the way—Minyard began to see options for change.

    His last fusion surgery kept him in the hospital for 3 months. Then a physician who called Minyard a "hot mess" offered him another avenue: a pain management program that involved 9 different professionals including a psychologist, psychiatrist, a pharmacologist—and a PT. Minyard took him up on the offer, and moved from what he describes as a "pain-centric to a patient-centric model of care."

    Minyard credits his PT as helping him to accept the idea that, yes, he may be in pain for the rest of his life, but he could work to find ways to manage the pain to make it "more of a footnote, less of a header." Now Minyard says that on most days his pain level is moderate but manageable, around a 3 on the pain scale.

    Minyard also feels that it wasn't just about the physical therapy itself. He thinks his relationship with his PT was also a major factor in his recovery.

    "She wasn't just my PT, but my psychologist, my sounding board, my marriage counselor, my educator of my options, and my kick in the ass," Minyard said. "She was all of those things."

    That recovery included taking his PT up on a suggestion that he try handcycling. He liked it—so much so that he wound up medaling in traditional upright cycling at the Invictus games.

    Even more important for Minyard is how the changed approach to pain management gave him back his life with his family.

    "I am my 11-year-old daughter's soccer coach," Minyard said. "I get to be her coach. I don't know a damn thing about soccer, but I get to be her coach. But I almost lost that. I was this close, multiple times."

    While Minyard credits a single PT with a major role in his own recovery, he told the NEXT audience that the entire profession should be proud of the life-changing work they do.

    "You're going to continue to make such a tremendous impact on countless other patients," Minyard said. "Choose PT."

    Vision in Action: 2019 House of Delegates Sees Important Role for APTA in Host of Professional, Societal Issues

    APTA's outward-facing, forward-leaning vision continues to guide APTA’s House of Delegates. The policy-making body considered 70 motions during the 75th House session addressing a wide range of issues, yet 1 overarching theme was clear: the House believes APTA has the potential to be a change agent for the profession and society at large.

    APTA as Advocate
    Delegates approved multiple motions aimed at positioning the association as an advocate for a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive profession, beginning with a general statement that APTA "supports efforts to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion to better serve the association, profession, and society." The House also unanimously adopted stronger language around the association's commitment to nondiscrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, or health status; as well as a charge directing APTA to work with stakeholders to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in all areas of physical therapy, including clinical, educational, and research settings.

    The House also voted to add language to the Code of Ethics for the Physical Therapist (PT) and Standards of Ethical Conduct for the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) that more clearly describes the duty of PTs and PTAs to report verbal, physical, emotional, or sexual harassment. In addition, delegates approved revisions to the Standards of Practice for Physical Therapy that better align the document with the APTA vision statement and more explicitly reflect the role of PTs in population health and community engagement. In addition, the House created a single set of core values for both the PT and PTA to replace separate versions for each, noting in discussion that core values are common to PTs and PTAs but discrete from behaviors, which continue to be appropriately described in the separate ethics documents.

    Other profession-focused House actions included unanimous approval of the definition of the movement system as "the integration of body systems that generate and maintain movement at all levels of bodily function," further describing human movement as "a complex behavior within a specific context…influenced by social, environmental, and personal factors." The definition will further strengthen APTA's efforts to promote the movement system as a critical component of the physical therapy profession's identity.

    Societal Issues and population health
    The House passed multiple motions related to the ways both the association and individual PTs and PTAs are connected to larger societal issues. In addition to updating positions on the association's role in advocacy for prevention, fitness, wellness, health promotion, and population health, delegates voted to broaden APTA's ability to respond to health and social issues. The House provided examples of what those broader efforts will entail, approving motions that support taking a public health approach to gun violence, promoting public participation in vaccination schedules, improving health literacy, and supporting the availability in physical therapy settings of the drug naloxone to reverse the effects of an opiate overdose.

    A new area of specialization: wound management physical therapy
    Making it the 10th area of physical therapist clinical specialization, delegates approved the creation of a wound management specialty area for certification by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties, a proposal developed by the APTA Academy of Clinical Electrophysiology and Wound Management.

    Finally, in keeping with APTA’s ongoing efforts to follow best practices in governance, the motions deliberated at the House included the second phase of a complete review of all House-generated documents. The review, conducted by a special committee of the House over the course of 2 years, focused on updating, consolidating, and sometimes rescinding documents, resulting in recommendations for changes to more than 100 House policies, positions, directives, and other guidance.

    APTA Board Member Sheila Nicholson Dies

    Sheila Nicholson, PT, DPT, JD, MBA, MA, a member of the APTA Board of Directors and passionate advocate for the physical therapy profession, died on June 12, after a more than 2-year battle with cancer. She was 57.

    A physical therapist (PT) for more than 30 years, Nicholson dedicated herself to serving the physical therapy profession and its patients. After working solely as a PT for more than a decade, she earned a law degree and a master's degree in business administration and worked as a health care defense attorney while continuing to see physical therapy patients on weekends. She authored a book, The Physical Therapist's Business Practice and Legal Guide, and wrote multiple articles on risk management and medical malpractice.

    Nicholson joined APTA in 1982 and devoted herself to service in the association. She was elected to the APTA Board of Directors (Board) in 2014, after serving as president of APTA's Florida Chapter since 2009. Her long history of service also included APTA's Scope of Practice Task Force and participation in the APTA House of Delegates. Most recently, she was the Board lead on the effort to develop APTA's strategic plan for 2019-2021.

    "Sheila was a mentor, an educator, an advocate, and, above all, a friend to her family, colleagues, and APTA," said APTA President Sharon Dunn, PT, DPT, board-certified orthopaedic clinical specialist. "She was tenacious, thoughtful, and heartfelt, with an indomitable spirit that allowed her to be an active member of our Board until the end of her life.

    "Along with the rest of my Board colleagues, I am devastated by her loss and overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunity to serve with her. Sheila has helped lay a firm foundation on which future generations will stand. Our condolences go out to Sheila's family—including the so many members of Sheila's APTA family whose lives she enriched.

    "And given her love for all things 'Bama, this LSU girl says from the bottom of her heart: Roll Tide!"

    Throughout her fight with cancer, Nicholson continued to advocate for the physical therapy profession and to stay involved with the work of APTA.

    In a prerecorded video shared with the APTA House of Delegates on June 10, Nicholson said, "I can't express how proud I am to have served with the people who are so dedicated to advancing our profession and making the world a better place. I am grateful for the opportunities I have had and for all of you, my colleagues and APTA family. Thank you for all you have given me. Most importantly, thank you for caring for our profession. I encourage you to make an impact that will outlast us all."

    Nicholson is survived by her parents, 2 brothers, and several nieces and nephews.

    APTA has posted a statement of tribute that allows readers to share their thoughts and memories. That page will be updated with memorial service and donation details when available.

    Can't-Miss Special Edition of PTJ Focuses on Intersection of Pediatric Physical Therapy and Developmental Science

    The June edition of PTJ (Physical Therapy) is something special: an entire issue devoted to the ways pediatric physical therapy and developmental science are informing each other—all to the benefit of children and their families.

    The issue shouldn't be missed, say Alyssa Fiss, PT, PhD, and Anjana Bhat, PT, PhD, both of whom are board-certified pediatric clinical specialists. PT in Motion News asked Fiss, a physical therapy professor at Mercer College, and Bhat, who teaches at the University of Delaware, to share their personal highlight of the issue. Here's what they had to say:

    Alyssa Fiss: "Michele Lobo and colleagues' ‘Wearables for Pediatric Rehabilitation: How to Optimally Design and Use Products to Meet the Needs of Users’ was a favorite of mine among many very strong articles. This article provides an excellent overview of the broad spectrum of wearable clothing and devices that support pediatric rehabilitation. Specific examples of wearables, with benefits and considerations for each, provide for interesting, thought-provoking reading about the variety of options available for children. When I read it, I was inspired to think of ways to creatively and intentionally use or design wearables to support children in active engagement and participation in daily life."

    Anjana Bhat: "I think 'Feasiblity and Effectiveness of Intervention With the Playskin Lift Exoskeletal Garment for Infants at Risk' by Iryna Babik and colleagues is one of the standouts of the issue. This is a beautifully written paper describing changes in reaching and cognitive performance over a 4-month period as well as a 1-month follow-up in infants born preterm or with birth injury, or both. This paper is unique in its use of a Playskin Lift garment to improve reaching and object exploration skills of young infants. Clinicians who work with challenging and highly diverse populations will gain a lot from this paper, including some new ideas on how to broaden their therapeutic toolbox. Parents should also be encouraged to explore what Babik and her coauthors have to say."

    But wait, there's more: in addition to the articles highlighted above, the special issue includes perspectives and original research on topics ranging from the ways motor skills development is connected to social skill development, to neonatal abstinence syndrome, as well as a case study on the use of electrical stimulation in gait training of adolescents with cerebral palsy. In all, 17 articles are included in the special issue.

    "Pediatric physical therapy and developmental science share a fundamental concern—the optimization of developmental outcome," write special issue coeditors Jill Heathcock, PT, PhD, and psychologist Jeffrey Lockman, PhD. "We believe this issue contains 'something for everyone'—practical information for clinicians in the trenches and intriguing trends in research for investigators."

    Attending the 2019 APTA NEXT Conference and Exposition? Stop by the PTJ booth in the APTA pavilion to find out more about the special issue and all of the other resources available at the journal's website.

    What's New at PTNow?

    PTNow, the association's flagship site for evidence-based practice resources, continues to expand in ways that help PTs and PTAs easily access the evidence they need in just a few clicks. If you haven't visited the site lately, check it out soon. Here's a quick take on the latest additions to the site. [Editor's note: member login required to access the resources listed here.]

    Recently added clinical practice guidelines

    Exercise and Physical Activity

    Pain

    Neurological conditions

    Recently added Cochrane Systematic Reviews
    Cochrane reviews provide some of the most reliable information on evidence-based health care—thoroughly researched, carefully evaluated, and presented in a way that makes it easy to understand the effects of interventions on rehabilitation, treatment, and prevention.

    Recently, PTNow added the following 15 Cochrane systematic reviews to the more than 600 reviews already posted:

    Pelvic health

    Exercise

    Cardiopulmonary

    Other Cochrane systematic reviews

    Recently Added CPG+ resources
    APTA's CPG+ program brings in identified member experts in research methodology to review selected CPGs and grade them based on the AGREE II tool. The result? A quality ranking of the guideline with highlights, plus a “Check Your Practice” list describing how you can incorporate the guideline into your clinical care.

    Latest CPG+ additions:

    Recently Added Tests and Measures
    Although many tests and measures are easy to administer, few are easy to find in their published formats. PTNow offers members licensed access to some 270 instruments for use in the clinic, with another dozen postings in development.The following tests and measures are recommended for use within the Physical Therapy Outcomes Registry. The Registry’s Scientific Advisory Panel has reviewed these tests and measures for appropriateness in terms of reliability, validity, feasibility of use, and adoption by physical therapists or other health care providers. Final results from these tests and measures can be manually entered into the Registry or synced from an electronic health record:

    Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS)

    Other tests and measures

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    What's New at PTNow? More Guidelines and Systematic Reviews Enrich an Already-Robust Resource(1)

    PTNow, the association's flagship site for evidence-based practice resources, continues to expand in ways that help PTs and PTAs easily access the evidence they need in just a few clicks. If you haven't visited the site lately, check it out soon. Here's a quick take on the latest additions to the site.

    Recently added clinical practice guidelines (member login required)

    Canadian Guidelines for Physical Activity Throughout Pregnancy

    Non-specific Low Back Pain

    Clinical Guideline and Recommendations on Pre-operative Exercise Trainng in Patients

    Awaiting Major Non-Cardiac Surgery

    Non-pharmacological Management of Persistent Headaches Association with Neck Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline from the Ontario Protocol for Traffic Injury Management (OPTIMa)

    Collaboration

    Cerebral Palsy in Adults

    Rheumatoid Arthritis in Adults: Management

    Dementia: Assessment, Management, and Support for People Living With Dementia and Their Careers

    Practice Guideline Update Recommendations Summary: Disorders of Consciousness

    Recently added Cochrane Systematic Reviews

    Cochrane reviews provide some of the most reliable information on evidence-based health care—thoroughly researched, carefully evaluated, and presented in a way that makes it easy to understand the effects of interventions on rehabilitation, treatment, and prevention.

    Recently, PTNow added the following 15 Cochrane systematic reviews to the more than 600 reviews already posted:

    Rehabilitation for people with multiple sclerosis: an overview of Cochrane Reviews

    School-based self-management interventions for asthma in children and adolescents: a mixed methods systematic review

    Interventions to promote patient utilisation of cardiac rehabilitation

    Interventions for treating urinary incontinence after stroke in adults

    Exercise for preventing falls in older people living in the community

    Aerobic physical exercise for adult patients with hematological malignancies

    Exercise training for advanced lung cancer

    Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation for adult patients with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator

    Interventions for treating wrist fractures in children

    Yoga for treating urinary incontinence in women

    Positive end-expiratory pressure for preterm infants requiring conventional mechanical ventilation for respiratory distress syndrome or bronchopulmonary dysplasia

    Physical exercise training for type 3 spinal muscular atrophy

    Non-invasive positive pressure ventilation for prevention of complications after pulmonary resection in lung cancer patients

    Interventions to support return to work for people with coronary heart disease

    Constraint-induced movement therapy in children with unilateral cerebral palsy

    Recently Added CPG+

    APTA's CPG+ program brings in identified member experts in research methodology to review selected CPGs and grade them based on the AGREE II tool. The result? A quality ranking of the guideline with highlights, plus a "Check Your Practice" list describing how you can incorporate the guideline into your clinical care.

    Latest CPG+ additions (member login required):

    Recently Added Tests and Measures

    Although many tests and measures are easy to administer, few are easy to find in their published formats. PTNow offers members licensed access to some 270 instruments for use in the clinic, with another dozen postings in development.

    The following tests and measures are recommended for use within the Physical Therapy Outcomes Registry. The Registry’s Scientific Advisory Panel has reviewed these tests and measures for appropriateness in terms of reliability, validity, feasibility of use, and adoption by physical therapists or other health care providers. Final results from these tests and measures can be manually entered into the Registry or synced from an electronic health record (member login required):

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    APTA 2019 House of Delegates Election Results Announced

    The following members were elected to APTA's Board of Directors and Nominating Committee on Monday, June 10, at the 2019 House of Delegates in Chicago.

    Kip Schick, PT, DPT, MBA, was elected secretary.

    Kyle Covington, PT, DPT, PhD, was elected vice speaker of the House of Delegates.

    Deirdre "Dee" Daley, PT, DPT, MSHPE, Heather Jennings, PT, DPT, Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Neurologic Physical Therapy, and Carmen Cooper-Oguz, PT, DPT, MBA, were elected director.

    Carole "Carrie" Cunningham, PT, Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy, and V. Kai Kennedy, PT, DPT, were elected to the Nominating Committee.

    These terms become effective at the close of the House of Delegates on Wednesday.

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    APTA Reveals Future National Logo as Part of Association Branding Project

     

    APTA is an association on the move, and soon it will have a logo to match.

    Monday night, the association unveiled its future national logo, which it will begin using in the summer of 2020, coinciding with the launch of a new APTA.org.

    The future logo can be seen at the end of a video that APTA CEO Justin Moore, PT, DPT, shared during his address to the 2019 APTA House of Delegates in Chicago. The logo's general shape pays tribute to multiple previous association logos—particularly in the use of a triangle shape, which can be traced back to the association's first logo from 1921.However, the mark also features contemporary design that evokes movement and hints at a more open, outward-facing association.

    The future logo inspired applause from delegates—and over the next few years there will be more reasons to celebrate as APTA implements other elements of its association branding project. APTA plans to rename several of its products, services, and events, and it is providing chapters and sections with the opportunity to align within the new brand system.

    The logo is one small but important piece of that.

    "The brand project is about ensuring that our collective value is greater than the sum of our parts," Moore said. "It's also about committing to a higher level of excellence across all our programs, products, and member experiences."

    The new association brand will be implemented in several phases, with most visual changes slated to coincide with the association's centennial in 2021.

    APTA's existing national logo has been in use since 1998. APTA also has dozens of unique product, service, and event logos—and that adds up to a disconnected and complex association experience, said APTA President Sharon Dunn, PT, DPT, Board-Certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist.

    "It's time to embrace change and imagine something different," Dunn said when discussing the brand in her annual address to the House. "Aligning our dozens of brands won't be easy, but the result will be a more accessible association. A unified brand strategy makes it easier for our community to engage, and it strengthens our collective voice. It's yet another chance to be better together."

    APTA's 3-year strategic plan includes an objective to "embody the APTA mission and vision through an integrated brand strategy," in order to help deliver on the goal to "maximize stakeholder awareness of the value of physical therapy."

    'Where Might We Be Now?' APTA Congressional Briefing Makes a Personal Case for Pain Treatment Alternatives

    The plan was set: on May 21, APTA would hold a congressional briefing on the importance of increasing patient access to nonpharmacological approaches to pain treatment. The event would be highlighted by the story of Cindy Whyde and her son Elliott, who became addicted to prescription opioids, and eventually heroin, after receiving an opioid prescription to treat a high school football injury 9 years ago. Elliott's road to recovery has not been easy.

    But the briefing didn't go as planned. Days before the Whydes were to travel to Washington, DC, Elliott relapsed into addiction and disappeared. Cindy came to the event alone, determined to do whatever she could to effect change. At the time of the event Elliott had been missing for 3 days.

    "That is one of the worst fears any parent should have to go through, not knowing where their child is and what's going on with them," Whyde said.

    And like any parent, Whyde couldn't help thinking about how things might've been different.

    "It runs through my mind all the time—if someone had given us an option other than pain meds when he was 17 years old, where might we be right now?" Whyde asked. "Elliott might be here right now sitting where you are. Instead I don't know where he is."

    The APTA-hosted event consisted of 2 separate-but-nearly-identical briefings, one for US House of Representatives staff, sponsored by Rep Rosa DeLauro (CT), and another for the Senate, sponsored by Sen Charles Grassley (IA). Essentially, the briefings were a set of object lessons in the ways health care policy affects lives in real and direct ways, with attendees receiving a clear overall message: changes, such as those suggested in APTA's white paper "Beyond Opioids: How Physical Therapy Can Transform Pain Management to Improve Health (.pdf)" need to happen, and soon. [Editor's note: scroll down in this story to view a video of the entire House briefing.]

    Whyde was joined by Jen Bambrough, PT, DPT, and Sarah Wenger, PT, DPT, who provided personal perspectives on the need for better pain treatment options. Bambrough described the increasingly debilitating injury she received after a car accident in high school, and how, after multiple physicians, opioid prescriptions, imaging, and a visit to a neurologist, nothing was getting better. Finally, just as insurance company lawyers were beginning to question "whether I just wanted attention," Bambrough began seeing a physical therapist (PT). She worked with multiple PTs after that—some better than others—but eventually found a path to full health. Her experience inspired her to pursue a career in physical therapy, and she graduated with her DPT this year.

    The years of opioid-led treatments "made me very hopeless," Bambrough said. "I just wanted to tell them, 'I want to work, I want to go back to coaching, I want my life.'"

    Wenger, a clinician, educator at Drexel University, and volunteer at Drexel's 11th Street Family Health Services clinic, emphasized the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration and genuine conversations with patients.

    "I've heard that story a thousand times," Wenger said of Bambaugh's disjointed treatment experience.

    It doesn't have to be that way, she pointed out, relating the story of an 11th Street patient who arrived in pain from a sprained ankle. She was fearful of the injury for several reasons, including the possible ramifications from a less-than-empathetic employer, that were making the pain experience worse and pushing her down a path toward chronic pain. Finally with the help of an art therapist, the patient was able to express her fears, providing Wenger and other clinicians on her team with insight and allowing them to provide the person-centered treatment she needed to fully recover.

    Unfortunately, a few years later the patient experienced a neck injury from a car crash, Wenger said. Instead of receiving coordinated care for her pain, she followed a path directed to her by her attorney that involved multiple disparate providers and procedures. When she finally returned to Wenger's clinic, she was experiencing chronic pain.

    But it was Whyde's experiences that brought the current problems in pain treatment policy into starkest relief.

    Elliott, "my red-headed fireball," as Whyde sometimes refers to him, was a dedicated high school football player with prospects for playing in college. During his senior year, he experienced a shoulder injury but was determined to return to play as soon as possible. According to Whyde, the physician they saw said that the injury would continue to bother Elliott, and prescribed opioids to help him get back on the field.

    The rest of Elliott's story is, in many ways, too familiar.

    When his prescription ran out, a teammate gave Elliott leftover opioids from his prescription. After football season ended, Elliott continued taking the pills, and when the pills became impossible to find, he began using heroin. His addiction continued into the late summer. When he arrived at his college team's football camp, he stopped using and experienced withdrawal symptoms. Except neither he nor his mother understood that's what was going on.

    Eventually, the addiction won out. "By the end of that semester he was a full-blown addict and dropped out of school," Whyde said. "It was 'off to the races' at that point."

    Over the ensuring years, Elliott was in and out of treatment, staying clean for sometimes-lengthy periods of time but eventually succumbing to his addiction. At one point, Cindy had to administer 2 doses of naloxone to save her son from an overdose in their home.

    Things began looking better more recently. Elliott stopped using, thanks to treatment, and began working for the treatment center that helped him. Then he relapsed again, disappearing days before he was to tell his story on Capitol Hill.

    Whyde, a high school teacher, sees education—especially prevention education—as the key to disrupting the devastating pattern she witnessed. And she believes that education must include more information on alternatives to opioids in the treatment of pain.

    "We do the best that we can with the knowledge that we have. I know I would do anything I could to make life good for my children," Whyde said. But despite these intentions, an inadequate understanding of the dangers of opioids and a lack of information on the potential for other approaches to pain can lead to devastating results.

    "[Elliott] didn't want to become an addict—nobody wakes up and says 'I want to be an addict,'" Whyde said. "There are so many other things that should be done rather than go immediately to a pharmacological method of treating pain."

    APTA continues to build on its successful #ChoosePT campaign to educate the public on safe, effective alternatives to opioids for pain management. The most recent addition: a downloadable pain profile chart (.pdf) that makes it easy for patients to assess the severity and impact of the pain they're experiencing.

     

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    Get Involved With APTA: 5 'Light Lift' (and Fun) Opportunities

    Maybe you've been thinking about getting more involved with APTA, but worry about the time commitment. Maybe committee service just isn't your thing. Maybe you have a story you've been dying to share with members. Maybe you just want to dip your toe in the involvement pool before diving in later.

    APTA's got you covered.

    Earlier this year the association launched APTA Engage, a comprehensive volunteer portal that makes it easy to find and apply for a wide range of volunteer opportunities—including some "light lift" options.

    Here are 5 suggestions for easy (and fun) participation in APTA.

    PT in Motion Asks…
    In July, PT in Motion magazine rolls out a new feature called "PT in Motion Asks…" that highlights member responses to various questions—why not submit yours?

    Share Your Volunteer Story
    Maybe you've volunteered with APTA in the past—so share your thoughts! The APTA Engage webpage includes a rotating "Volunteer Spotlight" that focuses on members' experiences with the association—all based on their answers to a few questions.

    Tell Your APTA Love Story
    The easiest volunteer opportunity yet. Tell APTA about the moment you fell in love with your association in 300 words or fewer, along with a photo of yourself making one of those 2-handed heart shapes (you know what we're talking about), and your love story could be posted in the APTA social media feed. Can you feel the love?

    Shoes4Kids (limited time offer!)
    If the shoe fits, donate it: the community service initiative, led by Brad Thuringer, PTA, that provides new athletic shoes and socks to local kids during APTA national meetings. Check out the APTA Engage description of the program to find out how easy it is to contribute (Shoes4Kids accepts money, as well as actual shoes and socks, btw), but hurry: the current initiative wraps up at the 2019 APTA NEXT Conference and Exposition in Chicago, June 12-15. (Tip: you don't have to attend NEXT to participate.)

    APTA Student Pulse blog
    This one's a little more involved, but a great opportunity for physical therapy students and new graduates to share insights: APTA's Student Pulse blog series is one of the association's most dynamic and popular offerings, and is always on the lookout for potential contributors. Add "published author" to your list of accomplishments.

    Ready for more?
    APTA Engage isn't just a place for short-term opportunities—it's also your connection to longer-term involvement in your profession at national and component levels. And those opportunities aren't limited to groups within the association, because APTA also nominates individuals to serve on the committees and advisory panels of federal agencies. Find out more at the APTA Engage pages on Federal Committees and Advisory Panels and the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.