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  • APTA to Form Centennial Steering Committee

    Let the countdown begin.

    With APTA set to turn 100 in 2021, the association is getting the wheels turning—not just on how the anniversary will be celebrated but also on what the organization will be when it gets there.

    The approach will involve a combination of activities, including the formation of a 7-member steering committee selected by the APTA Board of Directors to begin strategizing on the ways APTA might mark its centennial. The Board will base its selections on a national scan of qualified candidates, including a review of those in the Volunteer Interest Pool as of April 12.

    But according to APTA President Sharon Dunn, PT, PhD, there's more to think about than celebrations.

    "Beginning this year, we want to use our coming anniversary as a way to consider where we want APTA to be in 2021," said Dunn. "And it's not just about identifying a destination—we want members to think about the path we take to reach that destination, and how to develop the operational and physical infrastructure that will make it possible."

    "Our profession has a proud past and an exciting future, and we have a professional association powered by engaged members pursuing a common vision," Dunn said. "Now's the time to capitalize on those assets to make our centennial a real milestone."

    The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in Local News, March 2017

    "The Good Stuff," is an occasional series that highlights recent, mostly local media coverage of physical therapy and APTA members, with an emphasis on good news and stories of how individual PTs and PTAs are transforming health care and society every day. Enjoy!

    Marie MacDonald, SPT, and Colten Foster, SPT, helped a woman with brain cancer complete a half-marathon. (WFAA 8 TV, Dallas)

    Caitlin McGee, PT, DPT, describes her role as physical therapist for professional eSports players. (thecomeback.com)

    "For many chronic low back pain issues, physical therapy is often helpful to correct muscle imbalances and prevent future problems." - "What's Really Making Your Back Hurt?" (KRMG News 102.3 FM, Tulsa, Oklahoma)

    Cole Galloway, PT, PhD, shares the latest GoBabyGo initiatives. (University of Delaware Daily)

    Luke Smith, PT, DPT, explains how bleeding disorders can affect injuries. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

    "Jobs for physical [therapist] assistants increased 13% over the past five years. About 15% of the 87,000 people working in this field are younger than 24, and they earn an average wage of $26.59 per hour ($55,307 per year)." – "The 15 Best Jobs for Young People All Pay at Least $40,000" (Huffington Post)

    Pablo Mleziva, PT, DPT, describes how increasing movement and strength can decrease pain and speed recovery after injury or surgery. (Loma Linda University, California, Health News)

    University of the Pacific PT students participated in the Pacific Family Health Fair, an event that offers free health screenings to underserved populations. (Stockton, California, recordnet.com)

    Brittany Lynch, PT, explains the importance of cross-training for runners. (Western Pennsylvania Tribune-Review)

    Carol Oatis, PT, PhD, has been awarded a $148,000 grant to research how physical therapy plays a role in TKR surgery. (Arcadia University, Pennsylvania, News)

    Joe Siracusano, PT, is part of an innovative pain treatment program in Omaha, Nebraska. (KETV 7, Omaha)

    North Iowa Area Physical Therapist Assistant Club helps out with the Shoes for Kids effort. (KIMT TV, Mason City, Iowa)

    Got some good stuff? Let us know. Send a link to troyelliott@apta.org.

    The Latest at PTJ: New Technology, New Access, and a Packed Issue

    As the publishing partnership between Physical Therapy (PTJ), APTA's science journal, and Oxford University Press (OUP) continues, readers are seeing some changes in delivery and access systems. One thing that won't change: PTJ's commitment to highlighting the best in physical therapy research and thoughtful analysis relevant to the profession. And the February issue now online is no exception.

    Check out a couple of recent changes at PTJ, and take a quick look at what's hot in the February issue.

    Access to PTJ
    Since PTJ's move to its new website home on the OUP platform in January, all PTJ content has been freely accessible to the public. Beginning March 1, access to articles published within the past 12 months will be restricted to members and subscribers unless the articles are open access. Here's how members and subscribers can access articles:

    • From APTA's home page: Under the "News and Publications" tab, click on PTJ, which will take you to the PTJ website. When you click on member-protected content, scroll below the abstract, look for the APTA logo, and “Sign in via society site.” You will be prompted to log in with your APTA member username and password; then click to continue, and navigate to your articles of interest. You only have to login once per visit.
    • From PTJ's website: Go to https://academic.oup.com/ptj. When you click on member-protected content, scroll below the abstract, look for the APTA logo, and “Sign in via society site.” You will be prompted to log in with your APTA member username and password; then click to continue, and navigate to your articles of interest. You only have to login once per visit.

    PTJ mobile app
    Originally, the PTJ mobile app served as a kind of bridge between the journal proper and readers who wanted to access content on a smartphone or other device, with the app reformatting articles in ways that worked on smaller screens. Among the changes that came with the PTJ-OUP partnership is a redesigned PTJ website that automatically adapts to whatever device a reader might use. As a result, PTJ has discontinued the separate app.

    February highlights
    Do you really think 28 days is enough to contain all that PTJ has to offer in a month? Not a chance. Even though March is upon us, the February issue is still being featured, and for good reason—in case you missed it, there's some fascinating reading to be had, with a little something for everyone. Such as:

    Stay tuned for the March issue of PTJ sometime later this month.

    From PT in Motion: The Role of PTs and PTAs in Healthy Aging

    Unlike R-rated movie admission, voting, and senior discounts at restaurants, the aging process isn't something that happens after you reach a magic-number birthday. It begins the moment you do.

    Or as Mindy Renfro, PT, PhD, puts it: "Children, 20 year olds, 50 year olds—everyone's aging. There's no way around it." The key, of course, is for individuals to move through the aging process in good health, which includes staying as active and mobile as possible to meet the physical challenges that can arise in later years. And according to a recent article in PT in Motion magazine, that's where physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) can play a crucial role.

    "Preparing for Old(er) Age" in the February issue of PT in Motion explores the reasons PTs and PTAs are the ideal health care providers to help the public understand how the aging process works, and the steps to stay healthy throughout life.

    According to the PTs interviewed for the story—including 2016 McMillan lecturer Carole Lewis, PT, DPT, PhD—1 of the biggest impediments to healthy aging is society's attitude about what it means to age. "We have a lot of misconceptions and prejudices about the potential of people who are older," Lewis says in the article.

    Mike Studer, PT, MHS, echoes Lewis's sentiment.

    "A lot of myths need to be debunked about what normal aging really is," Studer is quoted as saying. "And we as physical therapists—the 'movement experts'—should be out there leading the way."

    "Preparing for Old(er) Age" is featured in the February issue of PT in Motion magazine and is now available to all viewers—pass it along to nonmember colleagues to show them 1 of the benefits of belonging to APTA. Printed editions of the magazine are mailed to all members who have not opted out; digital versions are available online to members.

    The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in Local News, February 2017

    "The Good Stuff" is an occasional series that highlights recent, mostly local media coverage of physical therapy and APTA members, with an emphasis on good news and stories of how individual PTs and PTAs are transforming health care and society every day. Enjoy!

    Cristin Beazley, PT, describes the need for baseline concussion testing among youth athletes, and shares an innovative program to do just that in partnership between Sheltering Arms Hospital and FC Richmond, Virginia. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

    Sheila Klausner, PT, MS, offers tips on how to become a runner. (Apopka, Florida Voice)

    Viral video: Hunter Christ, PT, uses zydeco dancing to get his patient moving. (KATC3, Denham Springs, Louisiana)

    William Carey University (MS) PT students help with cleanup after a devastating tornado. (WDAM7, Moselle, Mississippi)

    Robyn Wilhelm PT, DPT, discusses the role physical therapy can play in treating pelvic floor dysfunction. (Shape magazine)

    PT students at Central Michigan University joined with med students to explore ways to work together to improve treatment services. (Mt. Pleasant, Michigan Morning Sun)

    PTJ Editor in Chief Alan Jette, PT, PhD, FAPTA, discusses the future of the journal. (Oxford University Press blog)

    Sarah Morrison, PT, MBA, MHA, takes over as CEO of The Shepherd Center. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

    California State University-Long Beach PT students donate adaptive tricycles. (Long Beach, California Post)

    Marilyn Moffat, PT, DPT, PhD, FAPTA, explains the ways exercise can help individuals with Parkinson disease. (New York Times)

    Got some good stuff? Let us know. Send a link to troyelliott@apta.org.

    2017 NEXT Registration Opens

    Groundhog-based prognostication aside, spring is in fact right around the corner and June isn't far behind, which means APTA's NEXT Conference and Exposition is getting ready to arrive on the scene in Boston, Massachusetts.

    APTA has opened up registration for NEXT, set for June 21-24. Again this year, NEXT is shaping up to be a can't-miss event, where the profession's thought leaders and experts come together to offer programming with an emphasis on interactivity and direct engagement.

    Programming highlights for 2017 include sessions on clinical reasoning, creative mobility technology, generational perspectives, and mindfulness in pain treatment. In addition to all the new topics, attendees can still expect annual favorites such as the McMillan and Maley lectures, and the almost-too-much-fun-for-a-conference Oxford Debate, returning to celebrate its 10-year anniversary.

    It all adds up to an event that will ignite your passion for the profession. Register today and experience NEXT 2017 for yourself.

    Think we're just making this stuff up? We're not. Check out news and video from the 2016 NEXT  for a taste of what you missed.

    Ready to Step Up to APTA Committee Service? Now’s Your Chance

    Ready to take a lead in shaping the future of APTA? The call for volunteers to serve on APTA committees is open now through March 1. Members interested in serving on the Ethics and Judicial, Finance and Audit, Leadership Development, and Public Policy and Advocacy committees, an Awards subcommittee, or the Reference Committee are encouraged to let APTA know of their willingness to participate.

    APTA relies heavily on its volunteers. We need the skills, passion, and varied perspectives to build an energetic, inclusive, and innovative corps of volunteer leaders.

    Apply through the Volunteer Interest Pool by updating your profile, then click "Apply for Current Vacancies" to answer questions specific to the committee. Your profile and thoughtful responses to the application question will be read carefully and will help us select the most appropriate, diverse, and inclusive teams possible. For more information, contact Appointed Group Pool.

    From PT in Motion: Could Better Financial Literacy Help Future PTs Handle Student Debt?

    The February issue of PT in Motion magazine takes a look at the financial realities faced all too often by graduates of DPT programs—who, on average, have incurred about $83,000 in loan debt—and suggests how to change those realities for future generations. According to some of the individuals interviewed, what’s needed are educational programs as early as high school to teach students basic financial literacy.

    Those interviewed include PT educators, financial aid officers, and PTs in the field. All agree that too many PTs carry a debt load that not only consumes a large chunk of their starting salary, but that actually can affect their career path. Experts such as Mary Ann Wharton, PT, curriculum coordinator at St Francis University in Pennsylvania, believe that graduates saddled with so much debt may make career choices "based on saving money," rather than primarily on taking advantage of opportunities to expand their clinical expertise.

    Part of the solution, most agree, involves helping students better understand finances early on, so that they avoid taking on so much debt to begin with. But finding the space for that education—be it at the high school, undergraduate, or DPT level—can be a challenge. The piece examines some of the ways PT schools are responding to this educational challenge.

    Also included: a quick-read sidebar on efforts by APTA to help current students more thoughtfully consider debt, and to help PTs better manage their student debt load.

    "Financial Literacy and the New DPT Grad" is featured in the February issue of  PT in Motion magazine and is available to all viewers—pass it along to nonmember colleagues to show them 1 of the benefits of belonging to APTA. Printed editions of the magazine are mailed to all members who have not opted out; digital versions are available online to members.

    Also newly opened for public access: the latest "Compliance Matters" column on the new current procedural terminology (CPT) codes. Check it out!

    The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in Local News, January 2017

    "The Good Stuff," is an occasional series that highlights recent, mostly local media coverage of physical therapy and APTA members, with an emphasis on good news and stories of how individual PTs and PTAs are transforming health care and society every day. Enjoy!

    Andrew Rasmussen, PTA, became a hero when he helped to push a car off the railroad tracks seconds before a train arrived—and a news crew was there to capture it all on video. (KATU 2 News, Portland, Oregon)

    "Another commonality, which [my PTs] share with the majority of physical therapists, is an attitudinal profile: capable, optimistic, patient, thick skinned, intelligent, empathetic. The best in the PT trade have committed their life’s work to protect and restore health."– columnist Bruce Dorries on his return to running, thanks to physical therapy (Staunton, Virginia, News Leader)

    Emillee Van Hoven, PT, explains the importance of pelvic floor muscles, and how physical therapy can make a difference. (WZZM 13, Grand Rapids, Michigan)

    Ginger Garner, PT, DPT, spoke to members of the British Parliament on the need for increased acceptance of medical therapeutic yoga. (Swansboro, North Carolina Tideland News)

    "Once I got discharged from the hospital, I went into intense physical therapy. And I still stay in it. Now, even though I'm fully recovered—I'm literally stronger than I've ever been in my life—I just still stay on that regimen, man." - Ex Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison on the importance of physical therapy in his recovery from acute transverse mylelitis. (blabbermouth.net)

    Tara Jo Manal, PT, DPT, FAPTA, and Meg Sions, PT, DPT, PhD, have developed a multidisciplinary amputee clinic described as "the most comprehensive" in the US. (University of Delaware UD Daily)

    Karen Joubert, PT, describes the benefits of restricted blood flow training. (KABC-TV 7 Eyewitness News, Los Angeles)

    Ken Wheeler, PT, DPT, points out how physical therapy can play an important role in the treatment of headaches. (Abilene, Texas, Reporter-News)

    “The determination of the girls and the outstanding work of our occupational therapy and physical therapy teams helped them do just that.” – Gail Besner, MD, on the successful separation and rehabilitation of conjoined twins from Uganda (News 6, Columbus, Ohio)

    Got some good stuff? Let us know. Send a link to troyelliott@apta.org.

    Move Forward Radio: Country Music's Clay Walker Discusses Living With MS

    It was just over 20 years ago, and multiplatinum country music star Clay Walker was riding high, on tour with his band, when he experienced a set of symptoms—poor balance, double vision, and what he calls "lazy legs"—that seemed almost funny at first; just some weird, passing thing. On the morning of the last show of his tour, Walker woke up expecting the joke to be over, the symptoms gone. They weren't.

    "That was a scary moment," Walker said. "But that was when I knew that I should probably get to a doctor."

    It didn't take long for Walker to learn that he had multiple sclerosis (MS). His first 2 doctors told him that would be in a wheelchair in 4 years, and likely dead in 8. But here it is, 2 decades later, and Walker is still on his feet, still touring, and still living life to the fullest—thanks, he says, to his faith, an excellent physician, appropriate medications, and a mobility "protocol" he learned from his physical therapist (PT).

    Now on Move Forward Radio: Clay Walker describes living a full life with MS—from how the disease helped him deepen his faith to the physical therapy "game plan" he has developed to help him maintain mobility every day.

    Walker tells Move Forward Radio that his disease has not progressed significantly since the initial diagnosis, but he is quick to point out that what he's done to fight MS should not be taken as the only way to approach a disease that can affect individuals differently. The key, he says, is for those with MS to "take control of what they can and manage what they can."

    Physical therapy is 1 of Walker's biggest ways of taking control, thanks to a set of exercises he learned from his PT.

    "Every morning I wake up and my right leg feels like a 2x4, and I can bust that spasticity in minutes," Walker said. "For me being able to counter that, I just never knew it was possible." He calls it his "protocol" and says that he "couldn't imagine living life without it."

    In addition to continuing his music career, Walker founded the Band Against MS foundation, a charitable group devoted to helping people with MS live life to the fullest.

    "MS has been a life changer for me in a positive way," Walker said. “I feel like MS really helped me find out who I'm supposed to be, and the life I'm supposed to lead. I never looked at it as a curse. I feel 100% blessed."

    APTA members are encouraged to alert their patients to the radio series and other MoveForwardPT.com resources to help educate the public about the benefits of treatment by a physical therapist. Ideas for future episodes and other feedback can be emailed to consumer@apta.org.