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  • APTA Educates Legislators on Benefits of Therapy for Veterans With TBI

    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/.

    APTA Response to Article on Medicare Charges Published

    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.

    APTA Participates in 2012 Warrior-Family Symposium

    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.