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  • 2019 Slate of Candidates Posted

    The 2019 Slate of Candidates for APTA national office is now posted on the APTA website. The candidate webpage, including candidate pictures, statements, and biographical information, will be posted on February 25, 2019.

    Elections for national office will be held at the 2019 House of Delegates on June 10, 2019. Please contact Justin A. Lini in APTA’s Governance and Leadership Department for additional information.

    Listen Up! APTA Podcasts Keep You Inspired, Motivated, and In-the-Know

    And just like that, the holiday season is upon us. It's a great time of year, but it can also sweep you up in a whirlwind that leaves you feeling exhausted and out of touch with your profession.

    APTA has just the answer.

    The past year has been a stellar one for APTA podcasts. We now offer more content and variety than ever before, from the emotional that reminds you of why you love what you do, to the nuts-and-bolts informational that could be crucial to your professional survival. The recordings are easy to download and listen to no matter what you're up to during the holiday season—decking the halls, say, or riding in a one-horse open sleigh, or just kicking back for a few peaceful minutes of chestnut roasting. So don the gay apparel (or your favorite workout gear), fire up that device, and get listening.

    It's easy. Check out APTA's podcasts webpage, where you can browse a complete list of podcasts. Where to start? Here are some suggestions.

    Get inspired.
    APTA's "Defining Moment" podcast series is the audio companion to PT in Motion magazine's regular feature of the same name, which highlights stories from members about those moments when they felt that special—often life-changing—connection to the physical therapy profession. The Defining Moment podcasts bring you the audio version of the magazine feature, read by the authors. Treat yourself.

    For inspiration you can share with your patients, the popular Move Forward Radio is your go-to option: an interview series that features patients, PT and PTA experts, and even the occasional celebrity (past episodes have featured NBA All-Star Grant Hill and country music's Clay Walker) discussing physical therapy's role in a wide range of issues. Like APTA's MoveForwardPT.com website, the Move Forward podcast series is designed for patients and their families as well as for clinicians. Definitely share-worthy.

    Get energized.
    The secret is out: some of the liveliest discussion in the profession is taking place at the student level, and a new APTA podcast series brings the energy to you. APTA's Student Pulse, the newsletter for students, has created a podcast series that features Pulse contributors, mostly students. With titles such as "How War Led Me to Become a Physical Therapist," "Stereotype Threat," and "The X-Ray Showed a Bird," how could you not be intrigued? A great way to re-charge your enthusiasm for the profession

    Get up to speed.
    From payment and regulation to the latest in evidence-based care, it can be hard to stay in the loop. APTA helps make it a little easier to keep pace through a variety of podcasts. Wonder what all this "value-based care" talk is about, and how it applies to you? Check out APTA's value-based care series. Feel like hearing from some of the profession's thought leaders? Download the audio from the highly regarded Maley and McMillan lectures delivered at the 2018 NEXT Conference and Exposition. Getting yourself in the mood for the upcoming 2019 Combined Sections Meeting (you are going, right?)? Browse the podcast page for audio from last year's event.

    And when it comes to research, you can listen your way right to the source: PTJ (Physical Therapy), the association's scientific journal, offers a podcast series that features PTJ authors discussing their research with Editor in Chief Alan Jette, PT, PhD, FAPTA. The conversations are lively, accessible, and packed with useful information. Don't miss out.

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

    Don't back away from movement: Eric Robertson, PT, DPT, says there's more to avoiding back pain than correcting posture—movement is key. (Prevention)

    Quotable: "When the lights go on in their head, they’re like 'I can do that by myself now' it's just fun and so that's why I got into physical therapy, I just love it every day." – Lon Egbert, PT, DPT, ATC, on the additional rehabilitative possibilities offered by the addition of a new swing bed facility at his hospital. (KMVT11, Twin Falls, Idaho)

    Finding the next PT? Scott Humpal, PT, has launched a local high school program that helps students in the health sciences program gain certifications and college credits. (KRSTV, Corpus Christie, Texas)

    Here's the dill for people who relish pickleball: Bob Cairo, PT, checks out pickleball and offers advice on avoiding injury from the sport. (Delaware Coastal Point)

    Physical therapy in the hospital: Katie Martonik, PT, DPT, explains the role of PTs and PTAs in hospital settings. (Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, Pocono Record)

    Quotable: "For those looking to build the best possible exercise program, it pays to use rehabilitation techniques. Core stabilization, postural improvement, rotator cuff training and lots of other exercise categories can be traced back to physical therapy. Without them, we'd be stuck with the same ol' bench presses and squats. Wow, we've come a long way." – Personal trainer Matt Parrott, on the effectiveness of "rehabilitative movement" in strength training. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

    Finding the strength to battle back pain: Blake Dircksen, PT, DPT, shares core-building exercises that can help provide relief for LBP. (Self)

    Staying strong as you age: Mike Studer, PT, MHS, discusses the importance of strength training for healthy aging. (Salem, Oregon, Northwest Boomer and Senior News)

    Quotable: "I've had people tell me I shouldn't be running at my age. Jennifer is great about encouraging me and letting me know there's no reason for me to stop." – Susan Giordano, age 62, on the role Jennifer Penrose, PT, DPT, has played in her continued participation in distance running. (Thurstontalk.com)

    Providing care pro-bono: Sean Luzzi, SPT, and professor Maureen Pascal, PT, DPT, share their experiences from a recent pro-bono physical therapy clinical sponsored by the Misericordia University PT program. (WBRE-TV, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania)

    Artificial intelligence and physical therapy: Marist College PT program faculty members Francine Sage-King, PT, DPT, ATC, and Claudia Fenderson PT, EdD, outline the potential for AI to provide PTs with important information to aid in rehabilitation. (Albany, New York, Hudson Valley Spectrum-News)

    Quotable: "Physical therapy improves lives, especially for seniors. Physical therapy can increase strength and endurance, restore range of motion, reduce pain and help with balance. People may even find that they go to physical therapy for one reason and discover added benefits in other areas. – Stevie Williams, director of Elder Care in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. (Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise)

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

    APTA Members: AMA Seeks Critical Input on New CPT Code Values

    APTA members are being alerted to be on the lookout for 2 important surveys that APTA will disseminate for the American Medical Association (AMA) that will help to shape values for new current procedural terminology (CPT®) codes.

    In the coming days, a random sampling of members will receive 1 of 2 surveys that focus on new CPT codes related to either dry needling or wound care. The surveys are designed to determine the “professional work” value and time involved in the physical therapist’s provision of the services identified by each of these codes.

    "Professional work value" includes the mental effort and judgment, technical skill, and psychological stress involved in providing the service.
    APTA will submit the survey data to AMA’s Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC), a multispecialty committee whose purpose is to develop values for CPT codes based in part on survey data such as this. The RUC will make a recommendation to CMS for the professional work value of these newly developed codes.

    If you receive an email requesting your participation in the survey: It is critically important to take the time to complete it. Your responses will be anonymous.

    To learn more about the RUC survey process, check out this AMA video.

    APTA Named 'Best in Business'

    APTA is not only making a national impact—it's making a difference in the local community and helping its employees stay healthy. And now the association has earned a significant recognition for those efforts.

    APTA was recently named "Best in Business" by the Alexandria, Virginia, Chamber of Commerce, an annual award that recognizes a local business that combines excellence in operations with a commitment to the Alexandria community. APTA originally was nominated for the award in the “large organization” category but took home the overall award among a field of 23 nominated businesses.

    APTA’s submission highlighted the level of engagement among APTA's members, its solid financial operations, and its efforts in the ongoing battle against the opioid epidemic—particularly it's #ChoosePT opioid awareness campaign. At the local level, APTA engaged with the community through its cosponsorship of the Chamber's annual disability awareness awards and women in leadership initiatives.

    Helping to strengthen APTA 's nomination were multiple initiatives stemming from its APTAServe program, a staff-driven effort that encourages local, national, and even international volunteerism by APTA employees. Those efforts have included blood drives, foodbank and school supply collections, and participation in the "Miracles Baseball League," a program that enables athletes with physical and intellectual disabilities to play baseball by pairing them with a volunteer. At a national level, APTA staff worked with volunteers to organize a Special Olympics FUNfitness screening and participated in "Shoes4Kids" drives. This year 2 APTA staff even traveled outside the US to engage in service by joining volunteers from MoveTogether to build, equip, and operationalize a new physical therapy clinic in San Pedro Sacatepequez, Guatemala.

    "This award is a recognition of what APTA can do when we combine an energized and engaged membership with careful financial stewardship and a staff that embraces the transformative values of the physical therapy profession," said APTA CEO Justin Moore, PT, DPT. "We have a lot to celebrate and be proud of as we finish out 2018 and move toward the new year and next century for APTA."

    The association's nomination also highlighted APTAFit, an employee health and wellness program that offers health-related services to staff, from healthy cooking workshops to individual consultations with health professionals to identify and achieve individual employee wellness goals.

    The Chamber of Commerce honor isn't the first major award APTA received in 2018. Earlier this year, the association earned separate national recognitions from the American Society for Association Executives—a Gold Circle award for its member renewal efforts, and a Power of A gold award for its collaborative and successful efforts to stop the cap on payment for therapy services under Medicare.

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

    PT student makes Team USA: Faith Farley, SPT, earned a position on Team USA to compete in the 2018 functional fitness world championship. (HuntingtonNews.Net)

    The right bike fit: Larry Meyer, PT, DPT, offers a motion-analysis system that incorporates a cyclist's technique into an evaluation designed to provide the best possible cycle-rider fit. (velonews)

    Global PT Day of Service, student-style: Wheeling Jesuit University (West Virginia) physical therapy students spent their Global PT Day of Service cleaning up and resurfacing a local playground. (Wheeling, West Virginia, Intelligencer News Register)

    Success in the long run: Staci Whitman, PT, just completed running the 6 biggest marathons in the world, known as the World Marathon Majors. (Arizona Daily Sun)

    Taking youth sports concussions seriously: Kelly Isakson, PT, explains the screenings and other services she offers youth athletes, and why they're important. (Moscow-Pullman, Idaho, Daily News)

    When QWERTY's not your type: Kevin Weaver, PT, DPT, weighs in on possible replacements for the standard computer keyboard. (MIT Technology Review)

    Is that surgery kneeded? Daniel Riddle, PT, PhD, FAPTA, discusses his research on inappropriate knee surgery. (New York Times)

    Never too old for fitness: Alice Bell, PT, DPT; Paul Gardner, PT; and Greg Hartley, PT, DPT, offer insights on fitness after age 50. (Reader's Digest)

    The student Ironman: Megan Gibbons, SPT, has qualified for the World Ironman Championship. (WBRE/WYOU News, Scranton, Pennsylvania)

    Up to your neck in headaches: Jennifer Penrose, PT, DPT, explains the origins of cervicogenic headaches. (thurstontalk.com)

    Cream of the crop: Brenau University (Georgia) students Jean-Marie Peters, SPT; Amber Holmes, SPT; and fellow BU PT students joined faculty members Robert Cantu, PT, EdD; and Tammy Buck, PT, DPT, in a unique program that brings students to migrant farming communities to provide care—and get a taste of the physical demands of migrant labor. (Brenau University Window online)

    Quotable: "These dedicated people have been there on our Grace-Filled Journey every step of the way. They've cried with us during hard times and they've helped us celebrate the smallest milestones that most people wouldn't even think twice about. But most importantly to us, they never give up on Grace. Some days, Grace's biggest accomplishment is a smile, but that doesn't stop any of her therapists from working hard and encouraging her (and us) to celebrate all that life has to offer." – Mary Herschelman, on the physical therapists, speech-language pathologusts, and occupational therapists who have worked with her daughter Grace, who has infantile neuroaxonal dystrophy. (Hillsboro, Illinois, Daily News)

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

    Celebrate National Physical Therapy Month: Support #ChoosePT

    Recent data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that more than 1 in 5 US adults live with chronic pain. Now's the time to help people understand how physical therapy can help.

    October is National Physical Therapy Month (NPTM), an opportunity to amplify and promote the benefits of physical therapy, and to make more people aware of APTA’s #ChoosePT campaign, an initiative aimed at raising awareness of physical therapy as a safe and effective alternative to opioids for the treatment of chronic pain conditions. [Editor's note: those messages were emphasized as part of a recent national APTA satellite media tour that resulted in more than 200 television and radio interviews across the country to an audience of more than 13.1 million.]

    “Those of us in the profession have long understood that physical therapy is a safe and effective alternative to opioids for the treatment of chronic pain conditions,” said APTA President Sharon L. Dunn, PT, PhD. “APTA offers many creative ways for us to bring that understanding to our communities at a crucial time. My hope is that we can apply our dedication to our profession to an even larger effort to address a crisis that is impacting lives across the country.”

    In honor of NPTM, APTA has distributed a nationwide print and online feature article on the prevalence of low back pain and the many reasons patients and clients should choose physical therapy to safely manage their pain. In addition, APTA continues to add resources to its #ChoosePT online toolkit, a 1-stop shop for tips, tools, and information about the risks of opioids and how physical therapy can help with pain management.

    Getting involved in NPTM is easy. Here are 5 ways to share the #ChoosePT message this month and all year long:

    1. Access handouts, social media graphics, and other resources from the #ChoosePT toolkit.
    APTA’s award-winning #ChoosePT campaign has reached millions to promote treatment by physical therapists (PTs) for pain management. Whether you’re participating in a community event or sharing resources online, the #ChoosePT campaign toolkit has what you need.

    2. Take the #ChoosePT message somewhere fun—and take a picture!
    We want to know how you’re celebrating NPTM. Go find a landmark, a park, a mountaintop, and anywhere in between, and take a photo demonstrating your #ChoosePT pride. Post them to social media using the #ChoosePT hashtag or email them to public-relations@apta.org. We’ll be sharing our favorites throughout the month.

    3. Get the #ChoosePT TV and radio public service announcement aired in your area.
    APTA’s latest public service announcement has already reached more than 50 million Americans. Help us grow that by volunteering to contact your local TV and radio stations. Email public-relations@apta.org to volunteer and APTA staff will provide you with step-by-step instructions.

    4. Promote MoveForwardPT.com.
    APTA’s official consumer information site serves millions of Americans each year. From symptoms and conditions guides to patient stories, podcasts, and tips pages, MoveForwardPT.com is your go-to resource for showing all the ways PTs and physical therapist assistants transform lives.

    5. Update your Find a PT profile.
    National Physical Therapy Month activities lead to an increase in traffic to Find a PT, APTA’s national database of practicing clinicians. Make sure to update or activate your profile so consumers and other health care professionals can easily find you.

    Contact APTA's public and media relations staff at public-relations@apta.org with any questions.

    Jeanne Fischer, Pediatric Physical Therapy Pioneer and Distinguished Mentor, Dies at 94

    One of the first school therapists in Washington State and a lifelong advocate for persons with disabilities, physical therapist (PT) pioneer Jeanne Fischer, PT, died on September 4, 2018, in Tacoma, Washington. She was 94.

    A graduate of the physical therapist educational program at the University of Kansas in 1948, Fischer began her at St Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. In 1958, she began a 31-year tenure as a PT for the Tacoma, Washington, School District while married and raising 3 young daughters. It was during her years as a school-based PT that Fischer gained her reputation as an outstanding mentor and advocate.

    Fischer was a founding member of the former Section on Pediatrics (now the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy), serving as the group's vice chair from 1979 to 1983. She also served as head of the Pediatric Specialty Council responsible for the development of the APTA specialty certification in pediatric physical therapy. In 1981, she was honored with the section’s G.E. (Bud) De Haven Award for extraordinary service and, in 1984, received a certificate of appreciation for outstanding service as the pediatric representative to APTA’s initial Task Force in Clinical Specialization.

    The academy further acknowledged Fischer's commitment to mentorship when it created the Jeanne Fischer Distinguished Mentorship Award in 1993. The award, bestowed annually at the APTA Combined Sections Meeting, recognizes an academy member who has demonstrated sustained, altruistic mentorship beyond that expected within their regular employment.

    In addition to honors from the academy, Fischer received numerous national and state awards. APTA recognized Fischer with both a Lucy Blair Service Award and Henry O. and Florence Kendall Award. Fischer received a Distinguished Service Award from the Washington State Physical Therapy Association and the William Duncan Award from United Cerebral Palsy of Washington. In 1996, APTA honored Fischer for 50 years of membership and service, calling her a pioneer in the profession.

    Memorial donations may be made to United Cerebral Palsy. More information celebrating Fischer's life can be found here.

    Get 'Caught Doing Good,' and APTA May Donate $500 to Your Charity of Choice


    Making plans for the Global PT Day of Service coming up on October 13? Snap a picture of what you're up to, and your charity of choice could wind up with a $500 donation from APTA.

    Now in its third year, the Global PT Day of Service is an initiative designed to inspire physical therapists (PTs), physical therapist assistants (PTAs), students, and supporters of the profession to step up and make a difference in the lives of others through community service. All types of service efforts are welcomed, from volunteering at a pro bono clinic, to cleaning up a local park, to providing community children with working bicycles. It's a great time to get creative with impactful ideas that help underscore the transformative power of the physical therapy profession.

    Again this year, APTA is highlighting the day by way of a photo contest. The rules are simple: share a photo or set of photos from your community event through social media during the week of October 8-13. Be sure to use the hashtag #PTDOS, and you're entered. APTA will choose a winner and donate $500 to the charity of the winner's choice—as well as publish the photo or photos on the APTA website. Photos must be posted by midnight Friday, October 19, to be considered.

    Looking for more ways to demonstrate the profession's investment in improving communities? Here are a few ideas.

    Pledge to Participate in PT Day of Service
    Join fellow members of the physical therapy profession around the world in a day of service to our communities. Learn how you can make a difference!

    50-Chapter Challenge
    Get your APTA state chapter involved in Global PT Day of Service by sponsoring an activity on October 13. Sponsorships are available for as little as $250, and participation includes any community service activity. It's a great way to build membership, build community, and raise funds for better access to quality PT and PTA services. Contact info@ptdayofservice.com for more information.

    Alexandria, Virginia, Area: Join APTA Staff for Blood Drive
    Join APTA staff members to participate in a neighborhood blood drive at APTA headquarters on October 3, 9:30 am–3:00 pm. The Inova Blood Donor Services mobile donation vehicle will be onsite collecting blood and blood supplies for use in Hurricane Florence relief efforts. Sign up online today.

    Alexandria, Virginia, Area: Join APTA Staff to be a Baseball 'Angel'
    APTA staff and local APTA members will participate in the Miracle League of Alexandria baseball game Saturday, October 13, 1:00 pm–2:30 pm and Wednesday, October 17, 4:30 pm–6:30 pm by acting as "Angels in the Outfield." Volunteers will assist Miracle League players to run bases—either running for them, pushing wheelchairs, or just helping them and encouraging them along. Show up to cheer on the players, or sign up to be an angel.

    Explore Other Possibilities
    Contact a Global PT Day of Service Ambassador to discuss ideas and opportunities—the possibilities are wide open.

    State-Level PT Advocates Honored at 2018 Policy and Payment Forum

    Recognition of the importance of nonpharmacological pain therapies, adoption of the physical therapy licensure compact, a higher-profile role for physical therapists (PTs) in concussion management, and improving the legal scope of practice for physical therapists were among the accomplishments of this year's APTA State Legislative Leadership and Legislative Commitment Award winners recognized at the association's recent State Policy and Payment Forum in Kansas City, Missouri. The event was co-hosted by the Missouri and Kansas chapters of APTA.

    This year, 4 PTs were honored for their service to the profession at the state level:

    Mark Bishop, PT, PhD, FAPTA, was presented with an APTA State Legislative Leadership Award for his work in Florida to address the opioid crisis. Bishop's leadership and expertise was instrumental in the Florida Physical Therapy Association's development of a legislative amendment, adopted into the Florida Substance Abuse Act, that requires prescribers of controlled substances to complete a 2-hour continuing education course on prescribing controlled substances that must include information on nonpharmacological therapies.

    Cynthia Driskell, PT, also earned an APTA State Legislative Leadership Award in recognition of her achievements over 8 years as state legislative chair for the Arizona Chapter of APTA. Driskell's skills at facilitation were most recently brought to bear on a multisession effort to include PTs among the providers empowered to make return-to-play decisions for athletes and a successful push to include PTs with a sports specialty certification to participate in a concussion management pilot program.

    Derek Gerber, PT, DPT, of Idaho, was the third recipient of a State Legislative Leadership Award. Gerber led a successful push to eliminate the state's prohibition on dry needling by PTs, a change that was signed into law in March. Thanks to Gerber's extensive involvement in the effort, Idaho now allows PTs to practice dry needling after they have completed specified education and training requirements.

    Emilie Jones, PT, DPT, was honored with the APTA State Legislative Commitment Award. Jones, who served 3 years as legislative committee chair for the Washington Chapter of APTA, was instrumental in addressing several crucial issues in the state, including assistive personnel revisions, progress on dry needling, and the adoption of the physical therapy licensure compact.

    The APTA State Policy and Payment Forum focuses on advocacy and legislative issues at the state level. Check out pictures from the event here.

    State Forum Awards
    This year's state legislative award winners (from left): Emilie Jones, PT, DPT; Derek Gerber, PT, DPT; and Cynthia Driskell, PT. Not pictured: Mark Bishop, PT, PhD, FAPTA. Jones, Driskell, and Bishop received State Legislative Leadership Awards; Gerber received a State Legislative Commitment Award.