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  • APTA Opens 2016 Call for Committee Members

    Ready to step up to APTA committee service? Now’s your chance.

    The call for volunteers to serve on APTA committees is open now through February 23. Members interested in serving on the Ethics and Judicial, Finance and Audit, Leadership Development, Public Policy and Advocacy, or Reference committee, or an Awards subcommittee, are encouraged to let APTA know of their willingness to participate.

    APTA relies heavily on its volunteers. We need the best skills, passion, and varied perspectives to build an energetic, inclusive, and innovative corps of volunteer leaders. Detailed descriptions of the committees, charter, and origins can be found through links on the APTA Volunteer Groups webpage.

    Apply through the Volunteer Interest Pool by updating your profile, then click "Apply for Current Vacancies" to answer questions specific to the committee. Your profile and thoughtful responses to the application question will be read carefully and will help us select the best teams possible. For more information, contact the Appointed Group Pool.

    The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in Local News, January 2016

    "The Good Stuff," is an occasional series that highlights recent, mostly local media coverage of physical therapy and APTA members, with an emphasis on good news and stories of how individual PTs and PTAs are transforming health care and society every day. Enjoy!

    Laurent Ziaks, PT, DPT, ATC, the "queen of concussions," describes her work with concussion recovery, and how her own injuries inform her approach. (Deseret, Utah, News)

    Darrin Taullie, PT, DPT, offers advice to seniors on becoming more physically active (La Junta, Colorado, Tribune-Democrat)

    "The prosthetic guy came to my hospital room, and he said, 'You can get 120 Percocets a month and watch TV all day, or you can put a leg on and go to work.' I want to put a leg on and go to work." --Plumber Ryan Pater, on his path of rehabilitation after amputation. (Middletown, Ohio, Journal-News)

    Amber Devers, PT, DPT, NCS, explains her clinic's participation in an exoskeleton research program: "We are interested in seeing how the Indego exoskeleton helps people after stroke compared to other devices." (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

    Sandra Terrazas, PT, comments on her clinic's efforts to increase physical fitness among older adults: "Our [physical therapy] training was about restoring function, but it's also about quality of life." (El Paso Plus)

    Brad Cooper, PT, MSPT, MBA, MTC, ATC, CWC, (and author of PT in Motion's "Well To Do" column),"The world's fittest CEO" – Video profile of Cooper and his completion of the "endurance trifecta." (Colorado Business Journal)

    "Physical therapy hurts so good" (Opinion in Fort Wayne, Indiana Journal Gazette)

    Christopher Mulvey, PT, DPT, describes the similarities between learning to ride a hoverboard and regaining balance after an injury, in a story about southwest Florida's "first-ever hoverboard training center." (Fox 4 News, Cape Coral, Florida)

    Adele Levine, PT, DPT, OCS, writes about how combat amputees and their therapists "find roads to happiness." (New York Times)

    "It's difficult being injured, but you learn some different techniques and a lot of little details when you're in physical therapy every day. Things like your hip and back alignment that you might not think about very much, but there are a lot of things to do (to prevent injuries) in those areas." --Julia Krass, the youngest athlete selected for the US slopestyle ski team, on her road to recovery. (West Lebanon, New Hampshire Valley News, free login required)

    Got some good stuff? Let us know. Send a link to troyelliott@apta.org.

    Ahhh…Paris in April: Another Adventure to Raise Awareness for PT Research

    Physical therapy research advocate, Foundation for Physical Therapy (Foundation) trustee, and general ball of energy Stanley Paris, PT, PhD, FAPTA, FAAOMPT, is at it again—ready to set out on another adventure to raise money for physical therapy research.

    And this time, everyone's invited to join him.

    Paris announced that beginning Friday, April 1, he will begin his "Ride for PT Research," a 3,000-mile bicycle journey across the United States. And he says he's going to do it with only 3 days' rest.

    Similar to adventures he took on in 2014 and 2015—attempts to circumnavigate the globe solo in his sailboat—Paris is hoping to raise money for the Foundation through donations to his project.

    This time, however, in addition to making donations, supporters can actually take part in the journey: Paris is inviting riders to join him on any segment of the trip—or for the entire ride. Think of it as a chance to visit Paris by bike.

    Paris will be using the Adventure Cycling Association's southern tier route, beginning in San Diego and ending in St Augustine, Florida.

    "We have appreciated Stanley’s multiple efforts in the past to advocate on behalf of the Foundation," said Foundation Board of Trustees President Barbara Connolly, PT, DPT, EdD, FAPTA, in a Foundation press release. "There is a huge need to continue to raise awareness and publicize physical therapy research. We are truly excited to have him take on this challenge with the Foundation in mind."

    2016 - 01 - 08 - Stan Paris Bike Ride

    Looking Back, Looking Good: Check Out APTA's Year in Review

    In one of those "that was the year that was" moods that hits about this time of the season? Be sure to take a few minutes to include the physical therapy profession and APTA while you're reminiscing.

    Now posted on the APTA website: the "2015 Year in Review" webpage, a collection of best-ofs, must-sees, most-populars, what's-ins and what's-outs, infographics, podcasts, and more, all introduced by way of a letter from APTA President Sharon L. Dunn, PT, PhD, OCS.

    The webpage is a great way to remind yourself of a truly transformative year in the association's evolution, marked by achievements that speak to what the physical therapy profession can accomplish when it shares a common vision.

    "I have many times heard and spoken the words 'we're better together,'" Dunn writes in her letter. "It's not a new concept but it's an important one. One that rings true. We could not have achieved any of this without the work, support, and camaraderie of our members and components."

    Take a look at what you helped to achieve, see what you might've missed, and get ready for another great year.

    Physical Therapy 'Leader Among Leaders' Marylou Barnes Dies

    Physical therapy leader Marylou R. Barnes, PT, EdD, FAPTA, Catherine Worthingham fellow, educator, and author, died November 26. She was 85.

    Described during her Worthingham Fellow induction as a "leader among leaders" who possessed "visionary abilities tempered by her practical sense of reality," Barnes was professor Emerita of Georgia State University, where she earlier served as chair of the physical therapy program. Before coming to Georgia State, Barnes was founding director of the West Virginia University physical therapy program.

    Barnes was a highly respected member of APTA who earned multiple recognitions throughout her career, including the Leadership in Education Award (1995), the Mary McMillan Award, the Lucy Blair Service Award (1988), and the Service Award for the APTA Section on Neurology (1995), which also established the "Marylou Barnes Adopt-a-Doc" scholarship in her name. Barnes received an honorary doctorate from the University of Indianapolis, and a James Madison University (Virginia) Distinguished Alumni Award.

    In addition to her clinical and teaching achievements, Barnes was also the author of several textbooks, including The Patient at Home: A Manual of Exercise Programs, Self-Help Devices, and Home Care Procedures; and The Neurophysiological Basis of Patient Treatment, a text that was later expanded into 3 volumes with co-author and friend Carolyn Crutchfield, PT, FAPTA.

    Donations in Barnes' name may be made to the Foundation for Physical Therapy. Donations will be directed to the Neurology Section Fund, which annually supports a Promotion of Doctoral Studies (PODS) II scholarship awarded in honor of Barnes.

    The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in Local News, December 2015

    "The Good Stuff," is an occasional series that highlights recent, mostly local media coverage of physical therapy and APTA members, with an emphasis on good news and stories of how individual PTs and PTAs are transforming health care and society every day. Enjoy!

    Joy Crist, PT, MPT, GCS, helps a teenager regain mobility after a broken neck. (Magic Valley, Idaho, Times-News)

    Brad Cooper, PT, MSPT, MBA, MTC, ATC, CWC (and author of PT in Motion's "Well to Do" column),"The world's fittest CEO" – Profile of Cooper and his completion of the "endurance trifecta." (Colorado Runner)

    "One step at a time, the machine is helping this toddler regain his strength." – Story on 3-year-old Desmond Davis, the youngest-ever person to use the Lokomat Therapy Machine. (WDIV-TV, Detroit)

    Students from the University of Central Florida's physical therapy program hold a GoBabyGo! workshop that produces 16 cars for children. (UCF College & Campus News)

    "I love these people. They're like family." – Patient at a Detroit physical therapy clinic that helps people achieve mobility through robotics. (Michigan Live)

    Mick Bates, PT, and member of the West Virginia House of Representatives, has been appointed to the state's Workers' Compensation Council. (West Virginia State Journal)

    With their game cancelled, the US women's national soccer team decided to pay a visit to a Hawaii physical therapy clinic that treats wounded warriors. (Fox Sports)

    Got some good stuff? Let us know. Send a link to troyelliott@apta.org.

    PT, PTA Education Leadership Institute Accepting Applications for a Program That Empowers, Inspires, and Connects

    Being a director for a physical therapist (PT) or physical therapist assistant (PTA) education program can sometimes seem as lonely as it is overwhelming—but it doesn't have to be that way. Again in 2016, APTA is inviting a select group of emerging program directors to learn from mentors and each other in ways that will enhance their own work and strengthen the profession overall.

    Called the Education Leadership Institute (ELI) Fellowship, the yearlong program uses a blended learning approach (online and onsite components) to help PT and PTA education directors in academic, residency, and fellowship settings to hone their skills in facilitating change, thinking strategically, and engaging in public discourse to advance the physical therapy profession. APTA is accepting applications to the program through January 15, 2016, 5:00 pm ET.

    For Merrill Landers, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS, chair of the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, ELI was the right program at the right time. "The ELI program was just what I needed as a new department chair," Landers said. "It provided me a big-picture understanding of the role that a department chair plays in higher education, and it gave me the tools to be a vision-driven leader."

    Holly Clynch, PT, DPT, MA, GCS, said that ELI helped her gain the confidence to step up to her current role as director of the physical therapist assistant program at St Catherine University, in Minneapolis. "The self-assessment and development activities were really beneficial in helping me decide if I was mentally ready to take on the challenge of becoming a program director," Clynch said. "The knowledge I gained helped me prepare for those challenges."

    In addition to the personal benefits ELI provides, both Clynch and Landers view the program as a help to the profession.

    "When you participate in ELI, you learn how to facilitate strong teaching and learning environments, which ultimately enhances the skills, knowledge, and confidence of students entering the physical therapy profession," Clynch said. "And those skills learned in ELI are transferrable—as leaders in the profession, we can use them not just in academia, but in service to our patients and APTA."

    Landers agreed. "Better academic leadership helps facilitate better student outcomes, and better student outcomes in turn help to better patient outcomes," Landers said. "The improved academic leadership that ELI promotes lifts the whole profession and better positions physical therapists as leaders of the health care team."

    And as for that "it's lonely at the top" feeling, Clynch says that ELI helps lessen that sense of isolation.

    "Because it's a yearlong program that encourages interaction not just with mentors but among participants, ELI builds real connections," she said. "I now have a new network of colleagues that I can continue to turn to when I need advice or support." ELI is a collaborative effort with the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy, Education Section, Physical Therapist Assistant Educators Special Interest Group, and APTA. It is accredited by the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education.

    Considering the fellowship experience? Check out the video testimonials of ELI graduates.

    Board Approves 2016 Budget, Discusses Strategic Plan Objectives, and More at November Meeting

     Editor's note: this story has been altered from an earlier version that incorrectly stated the date of the next in-person meeting of the APTA Board of Directors. The correct meeting date is February 16, not February 17. 

     Solidifying the association’s anticipated activities in 2016 with approval of next year’s budget, the APTA Board of Directors (Board) met at APTA headquarters November 18-21 to discuss current issues that impact the association and its members. The Board took action on the following items:

    • Approved the $45 million operating budget for 2016, with a net zero balance
    • Adopted recommendations from the Excellence in Education Task Force that are intended to best prepare physical therapist students for current and future practice
    • Reviewed the motions from the 2015 House of Delegates and approved a document outlining their disposition so far
    • Agreed to send to send a motion to the 2016 House of Delegates to adopt a new definition of “scope of practice” in physical therapy

    Board members heard strategic reports from the Foundation for Physical Therapy; the new editor of Physical Therapy, APTA’s scientific journal; and the Recruitment and Retention of Early-Career Members Task Force. Additional discussions covered a national quality strategy, ongoing improvements to support the House of Delegates, and mid- and long-term communications strategies that included a crisis communications plan.

    A key discussion during the meeting involved further development and refinement of APTA’s Strategic Plan. With top-level goals already in place in the areas of transforming society, transforming the profession, and transforming the association, the Board conferred on potential sub-level objectives that will be potential measures of how the association is achieving the goals. Critical activities in this regard involved payment reform, partnerships, and recognition and application of the movement system in physical therapist practice.

    As part of its fiduciary responsibility, the Board also conducted its annual business as the governing body of the PT Fund and APT Properties.

    Find the minutes for this and past APTA Board of Directors meetings on the association’s website. The Board meets monthly by conference call and is scheduled for its next in-person meeting on February 16, 2015, in Anaheim, California, during Combined Sections Meeting.

    2016 CSM Registration Discounts End Dec 16

    The 2016 APTA Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) is shaping up to be one of the biggest ever, and you still have time to get in on early registration discounts—but do it soon, because they end December 16.

    Slated for February 17-20 in Anaheim, California, CSM 2016 is on track to include more than 10,000 physical therapy professionals and students for an event that will include over 300 sessions, preconference courses, unmatched networking opportunities, and a 1-of-a-kind exhibit hall. Plus, it's in Anaheim: close to Disneyland and not far from the beach.

    Tip: Hotels near the primary CSM site at the Anaheim Convention Center are almost sold out, so be sure to book housing soon.

    Free Webinar on 2016 Payment Changes Coming Dec 17

    January's just around the corner—are you ready? Ready to set new goals? Take fresh stock? Make a few resolutions? But most of all, are you up-to-date with changes in payment policy? APTA can help.

    Coming December 17: "The Year Ahead for Outpatient Physical Therapy—Payment Policies in 2016." This 90-minute webinar, led by APTA regulatory affairs staff experts Roshunda Drummond-Dye, JD, and Heather Smith, PT, MPH, will provide the latest information on the 2016 Medicare fee schedule, the therapy cap, quality initiatives, program integrity, and more. And the best part—it's free to APTA members.

    The live webinar runs 2:00 pm-3:30 pm, ET, and online registration is easy (just click on the "purchase" button on the course description page). Registration closes December 16 at noon ET.

    Not able to make the webinar? Register anyway—all registered participants will have access to a recording of the session within a few days of the air date.