The following candidate statement was written prior to Jessica's election as PT delegate of the Student Assembly Board of Directors.
People who serve their profession and their communities often say that they gain much more from service than they give. I am blessed to have had opportunities to serve and the experience of receiving more personally from service than I gave. I had an undergraduate school internship in an outpatient physiotherapy clinic in Sydney, Australia. The opportunity to see firsthand another country’s health care system shaped how I view the importance of physical therapy and its availability to those in need. This experience first seeded my passion for propelling the profession of physical therapy into one that prevents injuries, slows musculoskeletal disease progression, and increases overall wellness.
The profession of physical therapy has created a solid foundation that is continuously evolving by the leaders that stand before us. My intent to run for SPT delegate stems from my aspiration for developing, designing, and implanting new ideas and making them reality. My true passion in physical therapy is to increase the awareness of our services and the access that individuals in need have to treatment. Through collaboration with other students and professionals I was able to be a part of challenging the status quo and helped Indiana to join the other 49 states in gaining direct access.
The overall goal I hope to accomplish is increase student awareness of and participation in state and federal level legislation related to physical therapy. Specifically I will work to:
- Develop regional student APTA liaison boards where students from bordering states can meet intermittently throughout the year and discuss regional issues and organize ways to communicate information to students within the region. Students living in close proximity to bordering states are subjected to the similar issues and this would allow for students to feel empowered to make a change or raise awareness when supported by each other.
- Increase student attendance at the Federal Advocacy Forum in Washington, DC, as it is a key opportunity for students to take an active role in advocating for physical therapy.
- Improve legislative support of Physical Therapist Workforce and Patient Access Act. Debt is a continuous concern for most physical therapy students and improving support for this legislative movement could provide debt relief for physical therapists and increase physical therapy access in underserved areas.
My strengths lie within my ability to seek out change and those with a desire to make change. Communication and collaboration are key qualities that I have developed through my experiences as a class officer at Bellarmine University and previously at Purdue University in athletic promotions. I am dedicated to finishing what I start and find the more I challenge mediocrity, the further I challenge myself and surrounding students and professionals. The profession of physical therapy has unlimited potential to transform society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience. I believe the students of this profession can drive physical therapy to further heights and I hope to make their voices heard by serving in the Student Assembly.