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  • Crazy Little Thing Called (APTA) Love

    APTA members are sharing the APTA love—and their stories are all about finding community in the association, no matter the paths they took to get there.

    In the spirit of Valentine's Day, APTA asked members to share their "APTA love stories" by recounting how they first came to join the association, and what made them feel a true connection to the organization and fellow members. The results are being posted to social media and have been collected on a special "APTA Love Stories" webpage.

    The stories reflect the diversity of the APTA membership. From a then-DPT student who questioned a program's membership requirement only to come to see the value in the connections she made, to an aspiring physical therapist (PT) who asked to join APTA before she'd even entered school, to longtime PTs who've spent their careers involved in the association, the details are varied. The common thread: each member discovered the ways APTA builds connections, strengthens the profession, and provides opportunities for professional growth.

    But that's not where the stories end. APTA will continue to collect member reflections and periodically publish what members share, so watch your social media feeds and check back with the Love Stories page from time to time.

    How about you? We'd love to hear your "APTA love story"—visit the APTA Engage website to find out how to get started.

    The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in the Media, February 2019

    "The Good Stuff" is an occasional series that highlights recent 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!

    The power of Darfur United: Alexandra Nuttall-Smith, PT, MPT, ATC, shares her experiences as athletic trainer for the world's first soccer team of former refugees. (NATA News)

    Quotable: “Physical therapy students get more intensive anatomy training than our medical students because their profession is very anatomy dependent. They are so knowledgeable and great with the med students that it’s just like having another faculty member. It was an experiment that I think is going really well.” –Daniel Topping, MD, director of the University of Central Florida (UCF) College of Medicine's anatomy lab, explaining why the lab has adopted a program that brings in DPT students to help instruct medical students. Kayla Combs, SPT; Akash Bali, SPT; and Kelly LaMaster, SPT, were recent student-instructors; Patrick Pabian, PT, DPT, is UCF DPT program director. (University of Central Florida News)

    The private details: Karen Litzy, PT, DPT, offers tips on growing a private practice. (Authority Magazine)

    Battle of the bands: Brian Gurney, PT, DPT, provides suggestions on ways to properly stretch the iliotibial band to lessen hip and knee pain. (Prevention)

    Quotable: "No one ever died of an overdose of physical therapy." –Caleb Alexander, codirector of the Johns Hopkins University Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness, on the need for insurers to increase access and lower patient costs for nonpharmacological approaches to pain management. (Politico)

    A lesson in advocacy: Ashley Wallace, SPT, is among the University of Southern California DPT students learning about advocacy from professors Cheryl Resnik, PT, DPT, FAPTA, and Yogi Matharu, PT, DPT, MBA, while Scott McAfee PT, DPT, a recent graduate of the USC program, says he's still benefitting from the lessons learned. (USC News)

    Exercising the options: Amy Stein PT, and Heather Jeffcoat, PT, DPT, rate the top Kegel exercisers. (New York magazine)

    Post-resolution solutions: Stephen Rapposelli, PT, lays out 8 tips for improving health even after the New Year's resolutions have been abandoned. (Delaware online)

    Dealing with bladder leaks: Carrie Pagliano PT, DPT, explains how physical therapy can help women overcome stress incontinence. (Consumer Reports)

    Quotable: "The important thing to remember is we aren't treating ALS. We’re treating Kelli." -Greg Bachman, PT, on his work with Kelli Johnson, who is now in her 10th year of living with ALS. (Emporia, Kansas, Gazette)

    No slouch at posture instruction: Julie Moon, PT, provides pointers and exercises to improve posture. (KHON2 News, Honolulu)

    Home is where the gym is: Brian Jones, PT, discusses simple ways to create usable exercise space at home. (C&G Newspapers)

    Massager messenger: David Reavy, PT, MBA, lists the best back massage devices to help ease pain. (Prevention)

    Quotable: "That’s when I learned what a difference there is between doing some exercises on my own versus having a physical therapist guide my rehabilitation. And those professionals have tools and techniques to help manage pain and inflammation that would not be available to me otherwise, unless I become a professional athlete. " – Donna Kallner, describing the importance of rehabilitation even when living in a rural area makes access challenging. (The Daily Yonder)

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

    APTA Volunteer Opportunities Now Available

    There are new volunteer opportunities available with APTA—and a new way of letting the association know you're interested.

    Calls are now open for several APTA Board of Directors-appointed groups, including the Reference, Ethics and Judicial, Finance and Audit, Public Policy and Advocacy, and Scientific and Practice Affairs committees; as well as APTA awards subcommittees on advocacy, education, lectures, practice and service, publications, research, scholarships, and Catherine Worthingham Fellows. Deadline for making your interest known is February 28, 2019, for all groups except the Reference Committee, which has a March 1 deadline. More information on the opportunities can be found on APTA's volunteer groups webpage.

    But that's not all of what's new when it comes to volunteering with APTA. The most recent call for volunteers coincides with the debut of APTA Engage, a new volunteer portal designed to make it easier to serve the association and its components. The new system allows users to build a volunteer profile that can help identify the right volunteer fit, and features a dynamic list of opportunities ranging from 1-time, low time-commitment, locally based options to long-term volunteer positions at the national level.

    Members interested in volunteer positions currently open should use APTA Engage to notify the association of their willingness to serve, but even those who aren't hoping to participate in 1 of the currently available roles should consider creating an APTA Engage profile soon to make the process that much easier when other opportunities present themselves. Questions? Contact denakilgore@apta.org.

    'No Bigger Fan': US Surgeon General Believes the Physical Therapy Profession is a Key Player in the Fight Against Opioid Misuse

    If you think the physical therapy profession has an important role to play in improving public health on multiple fronts, you won't get any arguments from US Surgeon General Jerome Adams, MD, MPH. In fact, you might get the rhetorical equivalent of a high-five.

    In an address that repeatedly cited the APTA's community-building mission, Adams told his audience of association leaders that the profession is "well-positioned to change the culture around pain management" in the United States and that "we know that physical therapy is going to be a part of" the evolution toward value-based care. The remarks were delivered as part of the APTA Component Leadership Meeting, an event that preceded the 2019 APTA Combined Sections meeting being held in Washington, DC, January 23-26.

    Adams focused on the opioid crisis and the physical therapy profession's role in addressing it, with an emphasis on the importance of involving and educating communities on nonopioid alternatives to pain management, and compassionate care and treatment of individuals with addictions. It's a concept Adams is extending to public health in general through what he calls "better health through better partnerships."

    Surgeon General Speaks at CSM
    Surgeon General of the United States Jerome Adams, MD, MPH, addressed a meeting of APTA component leaders.


    "We can't operate in silos" to address public health challenges such as the opioid crisis, Adams said. "We need partnerships and we need collaborations. We need to bring people and organizations together that we may never worked with, never thought of before."

    The fact that APTA's new mission statement is rooted in the idea of building a community to improve the health of society wasn't lost on Adams, who cited both the association's mission and its #BetterTogether hashtag as a reflection of the values he believes are key to positive change.

    "APTA is a public health leader within communities," Adams said, and among the "game changers and disruptors" that will be necessary players in turning the tide on opioid abuse.

    Adams acknowledged that the country's health care system contributed to the rise of opioids and in many ways was not prepared for the crisis it now faces. In fact, he explained, the issue wasn't on the radar of most public health experts—but attitudes quickly changed. Paraphrasing boxer Mike Tyson, Adams told the audience that "Everyone's got a plan until they get punched in the mouth."

    "The opioid crisis is our punch in the mouth," he said.

    Adams has a firsthand understanding of the devastating consequences of addiction. He told the audience that is brother is currently in prison, serving out a sentence for theft committed to support his opioid addiction.

    "Addiction can happen to anyone," he said. "Even the brother of the United States Surgeon General."

    And while the opioid crisis has ravaged families and communities, "out of this tragedy there is tremendous opportunity," Adams said. That opportunity is rooted in making connections both across health care disciplines and throughout communities. He urged APTA members to become well-educated on opioid addiction and its treatment—including learning how to carry and administer the anti-overdose drug Naloxone—and to help promote nonopioid pain management through initiatives such as APTA's own #ChoosePT campaign and the Office of the Surgeon General's resources on opioid addiction and prevention.

    "It's an indisputable fact that physical therapists are well-positioned to change the culture around pain management," Adams said.

    He also believes the physical therapy profession is a leader that "should be at the table" for a wide range of health policy discussions—particularly when those discussions center on the evolution away from fee-for-service models and toward value-based care. The reason, he said, is simple: "We know that physical therapy is going to be a part of every one of those value-based practices."

    The bottom line for health care should be "stop paying for things that don't work and start paying for things that do work," including physical therapy, Adams added.

    In a brief Q-and-A session with APTA CEO Justin Moore, PT, DPT, after his remarks, Adams extended his community education philosophy to the challenge of changing the country's exercise habits. The problem for health care providers is that "we tend to talk in ways that make sense to us but don't resonate with other folks," Adams said. Instead, the exercise message needs to be built around the concept that regular physical activity can improve economic and social opportunities—better jobs, more time spent with family, and more prosperous communities.

    And if by the end of his address, anyone in the audience was still unsure of the surgeon general's attitude about the physical therapy profession, a follow-up APTA video interview left little room for doubt as to where Adams stands.

    "Physical therapists are key to overcoming not only the opioid epidemic but in creating healthier societies," Adams said. "Know that you have no bigger fan than the United States surgeon general."

    The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in the Media, January 2019

    "The Good Stuff," is an occasional series that highlights recent 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!

    The PT as gaitkeeper: Colleen Brough, PT, DPT, MS, and Board-Certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist, talks about the importance of gait analysis to help prevent injury in runners. (CNN)

    Quotable: "Our profession right now is the sleeping giant." – Sharna Prasad, PT, on the role of physical therapy in contributing to a better understanding of pain and pain treatment. (Straight Shot Health podcast)

    An exemplary Navy PT: Marissa Greene, PT, DPT, has been selected as the 2018 Navy Medicine Physical Therapist of the Year. (Defense Visual Information Distribution Service)

    Guarding the rear: Carrie Pagliano, PT, DPT, discusses the ways sciatica can include pain in the backside. (Women's Health)

    On a roll(er): Jeffrey Yellin, PT, explains the importance of taking the right approach to the use of foam rollers. (Bustle.com)

    Living his dream: Brett Bousquet, PT, DPT, and Board-Certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist, describes his role as a PT for the Milwaukee Bucks. (Pacific University, Oregon, Alumni News)

    Punching back at PD: Kristin Hawley, PT, shares the benefits of the Rock Steady Boxing program for individuals with Parkinson Disease. (Muscatine, Iowa, Voice of Muscatine)

    Quotable: “Physical therapy taught me that, even though I was depressed and sad about hurting, movement felt good." – Karla Pankow, whose lifestyle changes (including regular physical therapy) led to a 100-pound weight loss. (NBC News)

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

    While You're in the Neighborhood: 2 Easy-to-Do Opportunities to Help the Local Community During CSM

    Headed to the 2019 APTA Combined Sections Meeting (CSM)? Now you can help out the local community while you're there. It's easy.

    This year, CSM attendees have 2 opportunities to help kids and adults in the DC/Maryland/Northern Virginia (DMV) area. One involves little more than downloading an app and doing what physical therapists (PTs), physical therapist assistants (PTAs), and students like to do anyway—move. The other may require that you pack a little extra something into your luggage before you leave, but hey, do you really need those extra pairs of socks?

    Details on both programs, and how to sign up, are available on APTA's CSM Community Service webpage. Here's a quick rundown of the opportunities:

    1. Walk4Wheels Step Challenge
    What is it? A good old-fashioned count-your-steps-for-charity jam. APTA is poised to donate $10,000 to the MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital's adaptive sports program, which serves families in the DMV by providing sports programs to anyone with a physical disability at no cost—but we need to meet a step goal first.

    What do I have to do? Just walk. Use the link on the CSM Community Service webpage to download a special app that tracks your steps each day between Monday, January 21, through midnight, January 27. If attendees, members, and staff reach a combined goal of 135 million steps, APTA will make the $10,000 donation. Best of all, you don't need to attend CSM to participate—anyone can download the app and help contribute to this great cause.

    2. Sports Equipment Drive
    What is it? APTA national, the American Academy of Sports Physical Therapy, the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy, and the APTA Council on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Wellness have partnered with the nonprofit Level Playing Field (LPF) to sponsor a collection drive for new and used sports equipment to provide to low-income kids in the DMV area.

    What do I have to do? Review a list of needed items, then bring your donations to the CSM exhibit hall during the times listed on the CSM Community Service webpage, or during the Academy of Sports Physical Therapy's social event on Friday, January 25, 7:00 pm–7:30 pm (Mariott Marquis, Salon LM). Alternatively, you can simply make a financial donation to LPF. (Note: don't donate large equipment that's bulky or hard to transport.)

    Relevant Reading: 2018's Top PT in Motion Magazine Stories

    Want to get a feel for the reach and diversity of the physical therapy profession? Browse through a few issues of PT in Motion magazine, APTA's award-winning monthly member publication—whether it's an exploration of what physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) need to know about medical marijuana or an investigation into working with particular populations such as combat athletes, articles are packed with information, insight, and most important, relevance.

    If you missed out on a story, don't worry—APTA maintains an online archive of back issues you can access any time.

    And if you don't know where to start, we can help with that, too. Here are links to the 5 most popular articles from 2018.

    A Growing Interest in Medical Marijuana
    When it comes to the use of medical marijuana, PTs and PTAs need to understand not only the complicated legal landscape associated with use of the drug, but the ways in which use of medical marijuana may influence physical therapy care.

    Improving the Lives of People With Dementia
    Although it may seem counterintuitive to some, PTs and PTAs have an important role to play in the care for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.

    Working With Combat Athletes
    Combat athletes—individuals who compete in sports such as boxing, wrestling, mixed martial arts, and Brazilian jiu jitsu—subject their bodies to intensely demanding situations that can lead to serious injury. But PTs and PTAs can be instrumental in helping them recover from (and even prevent) those injuries and come out swinging—or kicking. Or both.

    Pedaling Past Injury
    More than 100 million Americans ride a bike each year. No matter the kind of riding they do, all riders face some of the same challenges, such as risk for falling, overuse injuries, and improper alignment due to a poor bike fit. That's where PTs and PTAs come in.

    Not 'Small Adults'
    PTs and PTAs treating pediatric overuse injuries must approach their work with the understanding that the biomechanics of children can be different from those of adults. And that can get complicated.

    Getting an Eyeful: Top APTA Videos of 2018

    APTA produced a wide variety of videos during 2018, ranging from a full recording of its live "Beyond Opioids" Facebook Live event to short-form public awareness spots featuring people such as Dani Burt, PT, DPT, an adaptive Olympics champion.

    In the end, viewers' preferences were equally diverse. Here's a rundown of the 5 most-watched APTA videos of 2018.

    "Treating Pain Takes Teamwork"
    APTA built off the momentum of its first #ChoosePT public service announcement (PSA) by offering this follow-up that focused on the impact of opioids—and the promise provided by physical therapy—among 3 very different individuals. By the end of the year, the PSA and other #ChoosePT-related media offerings resulted in a reach of more than 200 million potential viewers and listeners.

    CSM interview: Blood flow restriction training
    This dispatch from the 2018 APTA Combined Sections Meeting brought together Johnny Owens, PT, MPT, a longtime proponent of blood flow restriction training, and ESPN's Stephania Bell, PT, for a conversation with Jason Bellamy, APTA's vice president of communications.

    You Are APTA
    APTA members are advocates, entrepreneurs, global servants, researchers, motivators, healers, innovators, and so much more. And the APTA community is helping all of them to make important connections, advance their careers, and expand their ability to help patients. This quick video provides a glimpse into the diversity and passion within the association.

    CSM 2018: Bigger Than Ever!
    Missed the largest-ever Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) and want to get a feel for what all the excitement's about? Or maybe you went to CSM and want to feel a bit of the energy all over again. This video's for you (and after watching, make plans to attend this year's CSM, January 23-26 in downtown Washington, DC).

    “You’re never alone!” (Joanna Lohman profile)
    When Washington Spirit midfielder Joanna Lohman tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee, it didn’t just end her 2017 season. It also “shattered” her identity. But through hard work with her physical therapists, Lohman returned to the sport she loves.

    The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in the Media, December 2018

    "The Good Stuff" is an occasional series that highlights recent 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!

    The entrepreneurial PT: Jill Marlan, PT, MPT, received national recognition as a 2018 Ernst and Young "Entrepreneurial Winning Woman." (Ernst and Young announcement)

    Reducing pain for guide dog users: University of North Georgia professor Sue Ann Kalish, PT, DPT, is exploring ways to help avoid joint pain among individuals with visual impairment who use guide dogs. Her work is assisted by UNG physical therapy students Mitchell Aarons, SPT; Rachel Philips, SPT; Lauren Johnston, SPT; Erin McCarthy, SPT; and Tommy Otley, SPT. (University of North Georgia News)

    Preventive physical therapy in the military: Maj Nicholas Koreerat, PT, DPT, is helping to keep soldiers healthy and fit in a deployed environment. (US Army website)

    A shorts story about a PT inventor: Ruth Maher, PT, DPT, PhD, helped to develop wearable technology, recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, to assist women experiencing stress urinary incontinence. (Live Well Nebraska)

    Working for diversity in the profession: Jessica Nguyen SPT; Jessica Goytizolo, SPT; David Tang, SPT; and Chris Floyd, SPT, are among the University of Southern California physical therapy students leading a student physical therapy multicultural leadership alliance. Terry Richardson II, PT, is the faculty advisor. (USC News)

    Can you outrun the pain? Richard Tavel, PT, DPT, provides insight on how to know when it's safe to run through knee pain. (Self)

    Diastasis recti: Marianne Ryan, PT, explains what diastasis recti is and how to approach treatment. (Today Show online)

    Bringing physical therapy to the world: Efosa Guobadia, PT, DPT, cofounder of Move Together, shares his journey toward helping to create an organization committed to bringing rehabilitation medicine to parts of the world in need. (UMASS, University of Massachusetts alumni newsletter)

    Looking through the cracks: David Reavy, PT, MBA, discusses what joint-cracking could mean. (Runner's World)

    Focus on women's health: Carrie Pagliano, PT, DPT, shares insights on the importance of educating women about pelvic health. (Awesome Women Entrepreneurs podcast)

    It's go time: University of Michigan – Flint physical therapy student Kei-Cze Prentis, SPT, was among the UM-F students who helped facilitate a GoBabyGo project along with department director Susan Talley, PT, DPT. (WNEM5 News, Saginaw Michigan)

    Must the shoe go on? Sean Brown, PT, DPT, discusses the pros and cons of barefoot running. (Rockford, Illinois Star)

    Service in Honduras: Western Carolina University Physical Therapy Program professor Todd Watson, PT, DPT, and program students Elizabeth Webber, SPT; Whitney Ward, SPT; Shannon Icenhour, SPT; Hannah Pollard, SPT; Emily Wilson, SPT; and Kelsey Sivley, SPT, helped provide pro bono services for individuals with little or no access to health care in Honduras. (Western Carolina University News)

    Quotable: "Physical Therapy is probably the best road to travel after you have completed surgery. A physical therapist will assist you in recovery and strengthening, bringing you back into the functioning world. Then they will set you free into the world of life-long exercise to maintain and protect your body from further injury." - columnist Deborah Jones on her upcoming knee replacement surgery. (Estes Park, Colorado Trail Gazette)

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

    Government Affairs and Public Service Awards Nominations Due January 18, 2019

    Do you know of an APTA member who in 2018 has gone above and beyond to advocate on behalf of the physical therapy profession at the federal level? Is there a member of Congress, staffer, or public figure who has championed physical therapy causes this year? Nominate them for APTA’s Federal Government Affairs Leadership Award or the Public Service Award.

    The Federal Government Affairs Leadership Award is presented annually to an active APTA member who has made significant contributions to the association’s federal government affairs efforts and shown exemplary leadership in furthering the association's objectives in the federal arena.

    The Public Service Award is presented annually to an individual who has demonstrated distinctive support for the physical therapy profession at a national level. Individuals from the following categories are eligible for nomination: members of Congress, congressional staff, federal agency officials, health and legislative association staff, and celebrities or other public figures.

    The award recipients will be invited, with expenses paid by APTA, to attend the 2019 Federal Advocacy Forum on March 31–April 2, in Washington, DC, for presentation of the awards. Additionally, recipients will be recognized on APTA's website, PT in Motion magazine, and PT in Motion News.

    Submit completed nomination forms and supporting documents to michaelmatlack@apta.org by Friday, January 18, 2019.