The following candidate statement was written prior to Ryan's election to the nominating committee of the Student Assembly Board of Directors.
PT Transforms is not just the slogan of the past Capitol Hill Rally and PT Day, but the mindset that every physical therapist should make evident in their every day practice. Therapists that demonstrate true passion and dedication to the craft provide the best value to their patients. While the "fake it until you make it" mentality works, the continuing desire to better your skills drives the clinical intuition of the therapist.
Physical therapists are positioned well to demonstrate our value as leaders of the healthcare team and the student voice can help make that case. Our future profession and livelihood depend on the decisions made in Congress and the healthcare policy that will be adopted. Events like PT Day in every state and on Capitol Hill can make significant impact and Senators and Representatives pay attention when a large voice comes from the students, who are poised to become the future leaders in our field. We need to utilize our place in the APTA Student Assembly as a vehicle to implement this change. Through the reinvigorated effort of reaching new students, maintaining their membership and increasing legislative involvement, our voice could be larger than ever. Vision 20/20 charts the course for the future of the APTA and our profession. In order to reach that goal, we need to be proactive in our relationships with all other healthcare workers and the leaders of our country. Academics provide us with the framework to be successful primary care therapists, but legislative approval is needed to cement our place in healthcare as the true movement system experts.
The Reach100 campaign and the APTA Career Starter Dues Program are evidence that APTA cares about student involvement and wants us to maintain connection. Incentive programs like these, widespread awareness, and members advocating the benefits of staying in “The Loop” are the cornerstones of building and maintaining membership.
Through my many leadership positions on campus with CARES (a student-run, free clinic), the Student Government Association, and the Student Interprofessional Society, I see the large voice that the students at my school have that is making a difference. These organizations have allowed me to hone my skills as a leader and I feel that I would be effective as a leader for the Student Assembly. This coupled with the groundwork I laid in undergrad as a leader in both Alpha Epsilon Delta, the premed honors society, and in the Clemson Chapter of IHI Open School have more than prepared me for this opportunity.
As we graduate, we need to recognize that we must be more than clinicians. The PTs who truly change the profession are the ones who strive to change policy, maintain connections across the country, attend conferences and rally with the lawmakers; these are the ones who transform society. Billie Jean King said it best at NEXT 2015, "Each and every one of you is an influencer. It's not the person next to you. It's you. You have that power."