APTA Exhibits at 2011 NCSL Annual Conference

APTA was again a leading exhibitor at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Annual Conference, held August 8-11, 2011, at the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center in San Antonio, TX. APTA's participation in the sixth annual NCSL "Walk for Wellness" and the APTA information booth were prominent features at this year's event.

State lawmakers and legislative staff participated in warm-up exercises, led by Jennifer Christie, PT, DPT, SCS, COMT, CSCS, at the "Walk for Wellness," a 5K run/walk raising awareness of conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, while drawing attention to health disparities that exist in underserved communities.

In addition, more than 300 attendees took the APTA PT Challenge at the APTA exhibit booth in which participants took a quiz and had to correctly answer questions on direct access, protection for the term "physical therapy," and the detrimental effect of high patient co-pays for PT services to be eligible to enter a drawing for a Kindle or iPod shuffle. Both activities drew numerous state lawmakers to the APTA booth where APTA State Affairs staff and Texas Physical Therapy Association volunteers educated them about direct access to physical therapist services, referral for profit (POPTS), infringement concerns, reimbursement challenges, and other issues important to the physical therapy profession at the state level.

The National Conference of State Legislatures is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staff of the nation's 50 states, its commonwealths and territories. This year's Annual Conference attracted almost 5,000 state legislators, regulators, association representatives, corporations, and public policy experts from around the country. Highlights from this year's event are posted below. Special thanks to Texas members Ann Newstead, PT, PhD, GCS, Jennifer Christie PT, DPT, SCS, COMT, CSCS, Jeanne Smith, PT, DPT, MPA, OCS, and Diana Schonhoff, PT, DPT, for their assistance with this year's event.

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Ann Newstead, PT, PhD, GCS, discusses the issue of term protection for physical therapy with a visitor to the APTA booth.
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Jennifer Christie PT, DPT, SCS, COMT, CSCS, and Jeanne Smith, PT, DPT, MPA, OCS, chat with Wyoming State Representative Rosie Berger.
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Jennifer Christie, PT, DPT, SCS, COMT, CSCS, leads participants of the sixth annual NCSL Walk for Wellness in warm up exercises.
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Participants of the Walk for Wellness stretch in the early morning hours under the Tower of the Americas in HemisFair Park. APTA was a sponsor of this year's Walk for Wellness.
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Justin Elliott, director of APTA State Government Affairs (right) with Peggy Williams of Wimauma, FL, one of the winners of the APTA PT Challenge. Participants had to correctly answer quiz questions regarding direct access to physical therapists services, protection for the term 'physical therapy,' and the detrimental effect of high patient co-pays for PT services to be eligible to enter a drawing for a Kindle or iPod shuffle.
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Angela Chasteen, associate director of APTA State Government Affairs with Jeff Bainter of Muncie, IN, and winner of the Kindle in the APTA PT Challenge. More than 300 attendees entered this year's APTA PT Challenge – a popular event at the NCSL Annual Meeting.
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