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  • Schools Provide Evidence-based Opportunity to Increase Physical Activity Among Youth

    On Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a new report identifying interventions that can help increase physical activity in youth aged 3-17 years across a variety of settings. The primary audiences for the report are policymakers, health care providers, and public health professionals. APTA submitted comments in December 2012 on the draft report.

    Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Midcourse Report: Strategies to Increase Physical Activity Among Youth summarizes intervention strategies based on the evidence from literature reviews and is organized into 5 settings where youth live, learn, and play: school, preschool and childcare, community, family and home, and primary health care.

     Key findings of the report suggest that: 

    • School settings hold a realistic and evidence-based opportunity to increase physical activity among youth and should be a key part of a national strategy to increase physical activity.
    • Preschool and child care centers that serve young children are an important setting in which to enhance physical activity.
    • Changes involving the built environment and multiple sectors are promising.
    • To advance efforts to increase physical activity among youth, key research gaps should be addressed.

    Other materials released by HHS include an infographic highlighting opportunities to increase physical activity throughout the day and a youth fact sheet  summarizing the report's recommendations for youth aged 6-17 years. More information can be found at www.health.gov/paguidelines/midcourse/.

    APTA has long supported HHS' efforts to increase awareness about the benefits of physical activity. It provided input on the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americansrelated to the importance of considering physical activity needs and barriers for people with disabilities. It also served on the Physical Activity Guidelines Reaction Group. The association also contributes to the Be Active Your Way Blog.    

    PTs and PTAs Play Important Role in Protecting Patients From Drug-resistant Bacteria

    Physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs), especially those who have patients with wounds, are encouraged to take steps to protect their most vulnerable patients from carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), a family of germs that have become difficult to treat because they have high levels of resistance to antibiotics. In addition to patients at high risks, PTs and PTAs should take all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of CRE to healthy individuals.      

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), CRE are resistant to all, or nearly all, antibiotics—even the most powerful drugs of last-resort. CRE also have high mortality rates, killing 1 in 2 patients who get bloodstream infections from them. Additionally, CRE easily transfer their antibiotic resistance to other bacteria. For example, carbapenem-resistant klebsiella can spread its drug-destroying properties to a normal E. coli bacteria, which makes the E.coli resistant to antibiotics also. "That could create a nightmare scenario since E. coli is the most common cause of urinary tract infections in healthy people," says CDC.

    CRE are usually transmitted person-to-person, often on the hands of health care workers. Currently, almost all CRE infections occur in people receiving significant medical care. However, their ability to spread and their resistance raises the concern that potentially untreatable infections could appear in otherwise healthy people, including health care providers.

    CDC's website includes resources for patients, providers, and facilities. The agency's CRE prevention toolkit has in-depth recommendations to control CRE transmission in hospitals, long-term acute care facilities, and nursing homes.

    APTA is in the process of updating its Infectious Disease Control webpage to ensure that PTs and PTAs have the information they need to understand their critical role in helping to halt the spread of CRE. Look for a follow-up article in News Now when the webpage is launched.  

    PTA Education Feasibility Study Work Group Members Selected

    APTA has selected 9 association members to serve on the PTA Education Feasibility Study Work Group: Wendy Bircher, PT, EdD (NM), Derek Brandes (WA), Barbara Carter, PTA (WI), Martha Hinman, PT, EdD (TX), Mary Lou Romanello, PT, PhD, ATC (MD), Steven Skinner, PT, EdD (NY), Lisa Stejskal, PTA, MAEd (IL), Jennifer Whitney, PT, DPT, KEMG (CA), and Geneva Johnson, PT, PhD, FAPTA (LA). The work group is addressing the motion Feasibility Study for Transitioning to an Entry-Level Baccalaureate Physical Therapist Assistant Degree (RC 20-12) from the 2012 House of Delegates. The work group will address the first phase of the study, finalizing the study plan and identifying relevant data sources for exploring the feasibility of transitioning the entry-level degree for the PTA to a bachelor's degree. APTA supporting staff members are Janet Crosier, PT, DPT, MEd, lead PTA services specialist; Janet Bezner, PT, PhD, vice president of education and governance and administration; Doug Clarke, accreditation PTA programs manager; and Libby Ross, director of academic services.

    More than 200 individuals volunteered to serve on the work group by submitting their names to the Volunteer Interest Pool (VIP). APTA expects to engage additional members in the data collection process.