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  • Sen Kirk Thankful for Rehabilitation Professionals

    When Time magazine asked Sen Mark Kirk (R-Ill) to share what he was thankful for, he came right to the point. "I am thankful for the more than 300,000 physical and occupational therapists in the U.S.," he wrote, adding that without these professionals "there is no way I could have returned to the U.S. Senate … after I suffered a massive stroke in January 2012."

    The statement from Kirk appeared in the November 25 issue of the magazine, which asked several public figures "to share what they're grateful for." Kirk described how he recovered from the ischemic stroke he suffered less than a year ago thanks to the work of his rehabilitation team, and how his experiences inspired him to introduce a "Stroke Agenda" that seeks legislative changes to enhance stroke research and rehabilitation access. APTA has worked with Sen Kirk to advance these efforts, and supported his introduction of the Rehabilitation Improvement Act (S 1027) targeted at advancing rehabilitation research within the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Sen Tim Johnson (D-NM) introduced the bill with Kirk.

    "Having a stroke shouldn't mean the end of a productive life," Kirk wrote. "Physical and occupational therapists make a major difference in countless Americans' lives, including the life of this U.S. senator."

    Sen Kirk's return to the U.S. Senate was documented in an NBC video, and photos of Kirk in rehabilitation are available at the Huffington Post.


    • Maybe Senator Kirk could share his support of physical & occupational therpists with other members of Congress, who are continually decreasing our value in the medical field by imposing more and more cuts for services we perform. Our profession is losing great therapists because facilities can no longer afford to keep them on staff due to poor reimbursement. I work in a small rural hospital who is struggling with all the cuts imposed. But cutting reimbursement for a service designed to improve the quality of life is just wrong!! I respectfully ask that Congress reassess their decisions regarding these reimbursement cuts. Someday their family or loved ones may be denied the necessary care of a physical or occupational therapist because of their decisions today that resulted in facility closures.

      Posted by Deb Dickerson on 11/27/2013 11:16 PM

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