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  • The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in the Media, April 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.

    When fear is the obstacle: Robert Gillanders, PT, DPT, discusses traumatophobia—fear of reinjury—and the way it can impact the lives of previously active people. (Medium).

    Kope-ing skills: Emily Younker, PTA, was involved in the physical therapy that helped 9-year-old Kope Hillary recover from injuries suffered in an ATV accident. (Wise County, Texas, Messenger).

    Roll with it: David Reavy, PT, MBA, shares consumer tips for choosing a foam roller. (Self) .

    The brain as healer: Andrew Butler, PT, PhD, FAPTA, explains his leading research in using the power of brain plasticity to help patients recover poststroke. (Georgia State University Research).

    The exercise crystal ball: Greg Hartley, PT, DPT, provides a PT's perspective on a fitness test that 1 study claims is a predictor of longevity. (The Washington Post).

    Finding a way out of the pain: Carrie Pagliano PT, DPT, explains the ways physical therapy can address vaginismus. (Huffington Post).

    Quotable: "We knew we had to stay active to keep living, and the boost we needed was going through pulmonary rehab alongside others with whom we could relate." – Charlton Harris, describing the benefits of group pulmonary physical therapy for his sarcoidosis. (Sarcoidosis News) .

    Improving care in Vietnam: Julie Gahimer, PT, is helping physical therapy students and professors in Vietnam as part of Health Volunteers Overseas. (University of Indiana Reflector).

    Yoga poses for pelvic pain: Casie Danenhauer PT, DPT, says that certain yoga moves can help ease endometriosis, pelvic pain, and menstrual cramps. (Everyday Health).

    Balance in all things: Patrick Sparto, PT, DPT, describes how physical therapy can improve balance problems. (Today.com).

    A passion for Special Olympics: Dominic Fraboni, PT, DPT, discusses the impact volunteering with Special Olympics has had on his life. (Medium).

    Backing up the value of physical therapy: Jeffrey Houser, PT, DPT, outlines the ways physical therapy can relieve low back pain. (Cleveland Clinic health essentials)

    Treating scoliosis from experience: April Gerard, PT, discovered a treatment method that helped her cope with her own scoliosis. Now she's sharing it with her patients. (Duluth, Minnesota, News Tribune) .

    Preventing rhabdo: Shannon Meggs, PT, offers advice on avoiding potentially organ-damaging rhabdomyolosis as a result of overly strenuous workouts. (Healthline.com).

    "Citizen science": Cole Galloway, PT, PhD, FAPTA, delivers the GoBabyGo! message of "crowdsourced manufacturing" to provide mobility opportunities for children. (Buffalo, New York, News).

    Quotable: "Every milestone we've reached has been because of [physical therapy]. Both of my kids took their first steps with their physical therapist," -Danielle Salamone, mother of two, advocating for the Monroe County, New York, school system to increase reimbursement for preschool special education service providers. (WHAM 13 News, Rochester, New York).

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

    APTA Annual Report: 2018's Achievements Are Shaping the Future of the Profession

    "I'm excited about where we're headed—together."

    Those words, from a statement from APTA President Sharon Dunn, PT, PhD, in the 2018 APTA Annual Report, are exactly what the document is all about. Taken as a whole, it's a story of how creating connections can pay off—not only in meeting current challenges, but in setting a course for the profession's future.

    Now available online, the report combines elements of the association's 2018 Year in Review, published in late December 2018, with new information that takes a deeper dive into an important year for the association. In addition to recounting how members came together to fuel a long list of achievements, the 2018 Annual Report includes a recap of work at the APTA component level, membership statistics, a report from the APTA treasurer, and financial statements of activities and financial positions.

    The report emphasizes the ways in which APTA leveraged its leadership to build a passionate and impactful community of physical therapists (PTs), physical therapist assistants (PTAs), and students of physical therapy education programs, and how that community in turn powered the association's ability to lead. That synergy paved the way for some significant achievements in 2018, including:

    • Elimination of the hard cap of therapy services under Medicare Part B
    • The end of functional limitation reporting
    • A white paper, Facebook Live event, media tour, and other activities that positioned APTA as an important voice in the fight to end the opioid crisis
    • Passage of a law that provides better federal protections for PTs and PTAs traveling with teams across state lines
    • Expansion of use of telehealth by PTs and PTAs in US Department of Veterans Affairs care systems
    • Growth of the physical therapy licensure compact to 21 states by year's end
    • Finalization of plans for a new APTA headquarters, with an early 2021 completion date

    Those are just some of highlights. Check out the complete report to learn more about how APTA and its members are making a difference in the lives of PTs, PTAs, and their patients and clients—and how a sense of unified energy is propelling the association toward a future of more bold, transformative moves.

    2019 House of Delegates Motions Now Posted

    APTA members now can access the first official packet of motions that will be considered by the 2019 APTA House of Delegates (House) when it convenes June 10-12 in Chicago, Illinois.

    Called "Packet 1," the compilation contains 70 House motions and is provided as the official notice of all motions. On May 10, “Packet I” will be replaced with a document titled “Packet I with Background Papers” that will include background papers on various motions.

    In addition, reports to the 2019 House have been posted to the Motions, House Reports, and Background Papers file library. These reports include updates from the APTA Board of Directors related to charges from the House, as well as the APTA Secretary's report, and updates on activities of the House officers, Nominating Committee, and Reference Committee.

    Delegates should continue using the Motions Discussion forum in the House of Delegates online Hub community to participate in discussion. Chief, section, and assembly delegates wishing to cosponsor a motion or request that a motion be placed on consent should visit the Motions, House Reports, and Background Papers file library.

    Contact APTA’s Justin Lini with any questions.

    New DPT Honor Society Readies to Announce First Inductees

    Think current doctor of physical therapy (DPT) students are impressive? The American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT) couldn't agree more—and is getting ready to underscore that opinion by unveiling its first-ever cohort of ACAPT National Physical Therapy Student Honor Society inductees. APTA membership is a requirement for consideration.

    Known as Delta Phi Tau (DPT), plans for the society were finalized in 2018 with applications accepted soon after. The deadline for the first round of applications is due March 31, and decisions on inductees will be made during April and May.

    Delta Phi Tau inductees will be APTA-member DPT students "who exemplify outstanding traits in leadership, research, and service to society characterized by consistent demonstration of strong moral character and ethics," according to ACAPT. In addition to being ranked in the top 15% of their class, successful applicants must have completed a minimum of 60% of their DPT programs and be able to demonstrate achievements in service and leadership. Letters of support are also required.

    ACAPT Board of Directors member Jim Farris, PT, PhD, said that ACAPT took a careful, inclusive approach to creating the new society and establishing its requirements.

    "The task force commissioned by ACAPT to design the criteria included students and faculty selected to represent the diversity of ACAPT institutional members," Farris said. "The task force worked for over a year and submitted multiple drafts to the board of directors prior to obtaining board approval, and we launched the honor society at the 2019 APTA Combined Sections Meeting."

    Farris believes that the careful approach resulted in an honor society that reflects the strength of DPT education programs across the country.

    "Delta Phi Tau is a wonderful way for ACAPT to recognize the excellence demonstrated by our member institutions' students," said Farris. "Many of our inductees are likely to be future leaders in the profession, and it's important to recognize not only their potential, but the very real achievements they've reached during their education."

    The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in the Media, March 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!

    Grab the popcorn: Lauren Snowdon, PT, DPT, professor in the Seton Hall physical therapy program, served as a clinical consultant for The Upside, the recently released movie starring Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart. (New Jersey Stage)

    Now hear this: Lisa Muratori, PT, is working with a music professor to create audio software that helps patients with neurological conditions sense gait fluctuations. (Wired)

    Waddle it be? Cara Berg-Carramusa PT, MSPT, has advice for minimizing slips on the ice: "You've got to walk like a penguin." (WKBN27 News, Youngstown, Ohio)

    Post-flight physical therapy: Air Force Capt Anna Adkins PT, DPT, is part of a new program aimed at keeping pilots healthy between missions. (Stars and Stripes)

    Rolling with it: Karena Wu PT, DPT, explains some of the advantages of using a foam roller to address muscle soreness. (Better magazine)

    Let's dance: Michelle Ritter McGuire, PT, helps run an innovative program for the Cincinnati Ballet to bring adaptive dance to children with motor disabilities. (Falmouth, Kentucky, Outlook)

    The PT as DJ: Creighton University physical therapy students Danny McAndrew, SPT, and Kelsey Biaggi, SPT, are helping conduct research on the effect of customized playlists that use songs with specific beats-per-minute to help runners adjust their stride to lessen pain. Creighton professor Terry Grindstaff PT, ATC, PhD, is advising on the project. (KMTV3 News Now, Omaha, Nebraska)

    Making tummy time easier to stomach: Kristy Johnson, SPT, explains why it's important for parents to ensure that their infants spend time on their stomachs—even it's not their favorite thing to do. (KXNET News, Bismarck, North Dakota)

    Triathlete, PT, and mom of 3: Delaine Fowler PT, DPT, describes her approach to training during and after pregnancy. (Salisbury, North Carolina, Post)

    You don't know the calf of it: Nicole Haas PT, DPT, shares her perspective on the importance of calf strength. (Outside)

    Exercise and PD: Michael Braitsch, PT, DPT, outlines the importance of exercise for individuals with Parkinson disease. (Parkinson's News Today)

    Quotable: "If you have been smart enough to get PT after a problem, never second-guess the therapist. If he or she tells you to ice it twice a day, do it. If there is a rehab program assigned for ‘homework,’ follow it as scheduled." – Wina Sturgeon, editor of Adventure Sports Weekly (Bristol, Virginia, Herald Courier)

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

    North Carolina PTs Get Decisive Dry Needling Win

    After a nearly 4-year battle, physical therapists (PTs) in North Carolina can finally claim victory in their fight to protect dry needling: last week, the state's acupuncture licensing board relented on its attempt to restrict the intervention, signing off on a settlement agreement in federal district court that acknowledges dry needling as a part of the PT scope of practice in the state. The settlement is a decisive win for APTA’s state chapter, the North Carolina Physical Therapy Association (NCPTA), as well as for APTA, which provided support for the chapter's efforts.

    The agreement effectively ends a lawsuit brought by 4 PTs and 2 patients against the North Carolina Acupuncture Licensing Board (NCALB) in October 2015. That lawsuit asserted the NCALB's efforts to prevent PTs from engaging in dry needling—efforts that included issuing "cease and desist" letters to PTs who perform dry needling and threats that they would be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor for violating federal antitrust laws.

    The lawsuit continued in court for the next 3 years, surviving the NCALB's attempts to get the case thrown out. Dry needling was also at issue in a September 2015 suit filed against the state's physical therapy licensing board by the NCALB, which sought to have a county superior court declare that dry needling is outside the scope of PT practice. That suit eventually wound up in the state's Supreme Court, which upheld the lower court's ruling that dry needling was part of PT practice in the state. The agreement reached in the federal case applies to current and future acupuncture boards, and includes a monetary settlement to the plaintiffs.

    "The Acupuncture Board finally yielded to the NCPTA's demands," said NCPTA President J. Kyle Covington, PT, DPT, PhD, in an online statement. "This tremendous victory—including the monetary settlement—sends a powerful message to those would seek to prevent our patients from receiving the treatment they need: no matter how tough the fight, no matter how long it takes, NCPTA will always stand up for our patients' access to care."

    At the national level, APTA assisted the North Carolina Chapter during the fight, as did other APTA components and individual members.

    APTA Director of State Affairs Angela Shuman says the decisive victory is a testament to both the validity of dry needling as a legitimate component of PT practice and the commitment of PTs, the North Carolina Chapter of APTA, and the association as a whole.

    "This is a major win for patients and physical therapists in North Carolina," Shuman said. "But it could not have been achieved without some amazingly hard word by the North Carolina Chapter and its members, and APTA is proud of what they have accomplished."

    New APTA Partnership Aimed at Improving Health Care Throughout the Americas

    APTA will be doing even more to support access to rehabilitative services beyond US borders, thanks to its newest partnership, with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the world's oldest international public health agency.

    PAHO is now a participant in the APTA Partnerships Program, an initiative aimed at enhancing relationships between the association and other organizations that share common goals. APTA's collaboration with PAHO initially will focus on collecting data on what countries in the Americas are doing ensure and improve access to health and rehabilitation services. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 150 million people in the western hemisphere live with a disability. Rehabilitation services are extremely limited in many countries across this region.

    Founded in 1902, PAHO works with other entities to promote equity in health and improve the lives of the peoples of the Americas. It serves as the Regional Office of WHO for the Americas and is the specialized health agency of the Inter-American System.

    "APTA has been working to build and strengthen relationships that can be leveraged strategically to benefit health care. We've also been exploring ways to expand our activities related to global health and international development, and to promote to our members the importance of these issues," said APTA CEO Justin Moore, PT, DPT, in an APTA news release. "Our vision to transform society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience is well aligned with PAHO's plan. They are an ideal partner for us."

    PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne agrees that her organization and APTA are a good collaborative fit and thinks the partnership comes at an opportune time.

    "Rehabilitation is an increasingly important health service for the region, particularly for older populations and those who have experienced an injury or noncommunicable disease or for many with long- or short-term impairments," Etienne said. "This is an important partnership for PAHO as we look to strengthen rehabilitation services in the Americas."

    Other partners in the APTA Partnership Program include the American Academy of Manual Physical Therapy, the American College of Sports Medicine, the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy, Move Together, Special Olympics, and the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

    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.