2009 State Government Affairs Forum Highlights

Nearly 150 physical therapist, physical therapist assistant, and student of physical therapy advocates from across the country attended the APTA State Government Affairs Forum September 13-15, 2009, in Phoenix, AZ. This event, co-hosted with the Arizona Chapter, was designed to increase participants' involvement in and knowledge of state policy issues that have an impact on the practice of physical therapy, and improve their advocacy efforts at the state level. Attendees had the opportunity to hear from influential public policy makers and other PT advocates; to collaborate with colleagues in developing and improving their components' advocacy efforts; and to network with other professionals from across the country.

This year's forum featured a variety of informational and strategy sessions on topics including health care reform, referral for profit (POPTS), infringement issues, term protection, and the PT workforce among others.

In addition, the 2009 APTA State Legislative Awards were presented in conjunction with this year’s Forum. For their individual leadership on legislation advancing Vision 2020 in the state arena, the 2009 State Legislative Leadership Award was presented to Maggie Donohue, PT, of New Hampshire and Kim Reid, PT, of Utah. In recognition of their long-term commitment to their chapters' state legislative activities over several years and for consistently providing assistance in the statehouse, the 2009 State Legislative Commitment Award was presented to Kathy Brady, PT, of Maryland and Peter McMenamin, PT, MS, OCS, of Illinois. APTA Board member Lisa Saladin, PT, PhD, presented the awards at a reception in honor of this year’s winners.

Justin Moore, vice president of Government Affairs & Payment Advocacy, and members of the APTA Government Affairs Committee participate in a panel discussion on the current health care reform effort.

Arizona State Representative Kyrsten Sinema, a democratic member of the Arizona House of Representatives and the Assistant Minority Leader, spoke at the Sunday opening luncheon. Rep. Sinema was recently invited to join President Obama as a member of the White House Health Reform Task Force.

Justin Elliott, director of APTA State Government Affairs (far right) with students from Arizona PT programs. This year's Forum had a record number of student attendees.

Arizona Republican State Representative Nancy Barto, chair of the Arizona House Health Committee, spoke at Monday's luncheon about her efforts in Arizona to ensure choice in health insurance.

Vic Vaughan, PT, of the Connecticut Chapter led a workshop on recent state activity that attempted restrict use of low-level lasers by physical therapists.

Marc Goldstein, director of APTA Research, co-presented with Bill Boissonnault, PT, DHSc, FAAOMPT, on PT workforce issues at the state level.

Kevin Rippey, PT, of the Iowa Chapter provided a case study on efforts this past year in Iowa to combat physician self-referral in physical therapy.

John Wallace, PT , MS, OCS, chair of the APTA Referral for Profit Committee (POPTS), provided an update to attendees on the Committee's current work and future projects.

Craig Johnson, PT, and Kathleen Picard, PT, of the Minnesota Chapter led a small group discussion on the issue of POPTS at the state level.

APTA Board Member Lisa Saladin (left) with Kathy Brady, PT, of the Maryland Chapter. Kathy was one of this year's recipients of the APTA Legislative Commitment Award for her many years of work on a variety of state legislative issues for the Maryland Chapter.

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Peter McMenamin, PT, MS, OCS, listens as APTA Board member Lisa Saladin presents him with the 2009 State Legislative Commitment Award. Peter was recognized for his dedication to the issue of physician self-referral in physical therapy (POPTS) and his devotion to the Illinois Chapter's state legislative efforts.

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Lisa Saladin, PT, PhD, pictured with Maggie Donohue, PT, of the New Hampshire Chapter. Maggie was presented the 2009 State Legislative Leadership Award for her leadership in defeating state legislation this year that would have prohibited PTs from performing spinal manipulation, as well as her assistance in obtaining an opinion from the New Hampshire Attorney General recognizing that manipulation is part of the PT scope of practice.

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Kim Reid, PT, (right) of the Utah Chapter accepts the 2009 State Legislative Leadership Award from Lisa Saladin, PT, PhD. Kim was recognized for his leadership that led to the enactment this year of a new PT practice act in the state of Utah.

APTA Board Members Lisa Saladin, PT, PhD, (far left) and Kathy Mairella, PT, DPT, MA, (far right) with the winners of the 2009 APTA State Awards.