The following candidate statement was written prior to Cynthia's election as PT delegate of the Student Assembly Board of Directors.
For he who has health has hope; and he who has hope, has everything. - Owen Arthur
Health does indeed equate to hope, optimism and opportunity for many and physical therapists have a unique role to play in providing that hope. As future physical therapists, we are engrossed in learning how to help individuals restore movement today, empowering them to live full, healthy lives into the future, and fitting all of this into a broader public health context. That is why we need strong, well-rounded student leaders with a track record of achieving results in health advocacy to guide the APTA Student Assembly Board in its role as a critical contributor to healthcare industry discussions. I am running for the Student Physical Therapy Delegate position because I have the skills and experience to be an accomplished advocate not only for patients, but also for our profession. I am a second career student with 12 years of Washington, DC experience in health policy, health promotion, higher education, and small business ownership. Before physical therapy school I had the opportunity to work on health care quality improvement for a trade association, create effective health promotion programs and health advocacy efforts for underserved areas of the city, and served on the adjunct faculty of The George Washington University. I have presented health policy research to MedPAC, testified before the Washington, DC City Council to secure additional funding for preventative health programs, and served as the Vice President of a city-wide health coalition.
As a physical therapy student, I have supported physical therapy advocacy efforts by attending state health policy hearings at the Colorado State Capitol, Colorado Chapter Board of Directors meetings, and was elected the Colorado Student SIG Government Affairs Committee Chair by my peers. This year I also attended the House of Delegates, PT Day on Capitol Hill, and the NEXT conference. I was also selected as a Colorado Health Symposium scholarship recipient. These experiences gave me the opportunity to apply my health advocacy skills to the field of physical therapy and I intend to do the same as your Student Physical Therapy Delegate. I am a skilled listener, a strategic thinker, an effective public speaker, and a natural unifier. I hope to put these skills, experiences, and personality traits to use on the Student Assembly Board.
As your Student Physical Therapy Delegate I will encourage broad engagement in advocacy issues, current programming, and the growth of APTA student and professional membership through increased social media interaction. One proposal is the monthly production of short YouTube educational videos that issue challenges to motivate students toward action. I will continue the discussion through social media and encourage individual participation. I will create an outreach kit that equips students with proven and appropriate tools to foster discussion about the importance of involvement in APTA with their fellow students, clinical instructors and other physical therapists in the community. Along with my fellow students, I will create a culture of leadership that positively promotes our profession. It would be an honor to serve as your Student Physical Therapy Delegate and work to promote health, hope, optimism, and opportunity in physical therapy and the broader public health community through continued student engagement in the advocacy process. I hope to use my previous experience to continue to help the profession move forward and I hope you share my vision.