• News New Blog Banner

  • 2017 ELI Fellows Graduate From APTA Education Leadership Institute

    Eighteen seasoned physical therapy educators have deepened their knowledge and skills over the past year, thanks to the APTA Education Leadership Institute (ELI) Fellowship. These physical therapists (PTs) made up ELI's sixth cohort of ELI Fellows when they graduated in July after completing a yearlong higher education program that consisted of:

    • 9 online modules provided by content expert faculty;
    • 3 2-day face-to-face mentorship sessions and ongoing mentorship provided by experienced physical therapy program directors;
    • higher-education mentorship provided by physical therapy education leaders; and
    • implementation of a personal leadership plan and an institution-based leadership project.

    The ELI Fellowship strives to provide new and aspiring program directors in physical therapist and physical therapist assistant education programs with the skills and resources they need to be innovative, influential, and visionary leaders who can function within a rapidly evolving, politico-sociocultural environment.

    Partners who help promote and support the ELI Fellowship include the American Physical Therapy Association, American Council of Academic Physical Therapy, Education Section, and PTA Educators Special Interest Group. See who graduated from this year's class and find more information about the ELI Fellowship on APTA's website, and view video testimonials of previous ELI graduates.

    The program was first accredited by American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE), the accrediting body for postprofessional residency and fellowship programs in physical therapy, in 2012 and reaccredited in 2017 for a 10-year period.

    The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in Local News, August 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!

    Ashleigh Dalton PT, DPT, cofounder of Camp Cliffview, talks about how the program provides opportunities for children with special needs. (BlueRidgeNow.com)

    Jessica Dufault, PT, explains how addressing separation of abdominal muscles in women post-birth requires more than an exercise or 2. (Offspring.lifehacker.com)

    Jan Dommerholt PT, DPT, gives Good Morning Washington a glimpse of what exergaming is all about. (Good Morning Washington)

    Tom Hulst, PT, MHS, and Jen Kurnowski, PT, discuss dry needling for back pain. (West Michigan Fox 17 News)

    The Brenau University physical therapy program's pro-bono physical therapy clinic in Georgia, is benefitting students and patients. (Gainesville, Georgia, Times)

    Caitlin Jones, PT, DPT, talks about the progress of a remarkable 5-year-old recovering from a gunshot wound. (WSB-TV2, Atlanta, Georgia)

    Eric Robertson, PT, DPT, provides insight on how exercise can help keep back pain from becoming chronic. (Oprah.com)

    University of Mary, North Dakota, PT students work with engineering students to create adaptive cars inspired by the Go Baby Go program. (Bismarck, North Dakota, Tribune)

    "Jonathan continues to recover from his accident, and Laura continues to stand beside him as he does. One day, Laura was shadowing Jonathan's physical therapy session when his therapist invited her to help lift him out of his wheelchair. 'As soon as we got him up, he started kissing my neck,' Laura said. 'We hadn't been able to stand and hold each other since before the accident ... It gave me the chills. You don’t realize how much that means until it’s almost taken away from you.'" - Laura Browning Grant, whose husband, Jonathan, is recovering from an automobile accident, on the viral video of their first kiss in months. (Self.com)

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

    From PT in Motion Magazine: The PT as Inventor

    Sometimes, clichés exist because they're true.

    Take "necessity is the mother of invention." Physical therapists (PTs) know all about the necessity part: patients need to regain, increase, or maintain mobility, and PTs constantly need to be on the lookout for ways to help make that happen. And when none of the usual ways seems to work? That's when some PTs become inventors.

    "Inventional Thinking," a feature article in the August issue of PT in Motion magazine, recounts the efforts of several PTs who've developed products or technologies that have helped to fill gaps in rehabilitation. The inspiring PTs profiled include:

    • Romina Bello, PT, DPT, who led a team of PTs and occupational therapists at the Henry Ford Health System in the creation of a high-acuity walker that makes it easier to get patients in intensive care units up and walking while minimizing risk of falls or loss of lines to the patient—and with the assistance of only a PT and respiratory therapist
    • Thubi Kolobe, PT, PhD, who worked with an engineering professor to develop the Self-Initiated Progressive Prone Crawler, a skateboard-like device that allows babies with physical limitations to crawl, an important developmental milestone
    • Daniel J. Lee, PT, DPT, whose prototype limbWISE app is designed to make it easier for patients adjusting to use of a prosthesis to manage fitting issues
    • Scott Rogoff, PT, DPT, ATC, developer of the dynamic ankle rehabilitation trainer (DART), a device—now in its fourth iteration—that aids recovery from ankle injuries by helping to strengthen anterior ankle muscles
    • Bryce Taylor, PT, MSPT, the inventor of the Halo Trainer, a device that gives PTs the ability to put handlebars on stability balls

    In addition to the inventors' own accounts of how they birthed their ideas into reality, the article features tips and advice for PTs thinking about inventing—including possible funding sources.

    "Inventional Thinking" is featured in the August issue of PT in Motion and is open 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.

    From Move Forward Radio: Boston Marathon Bombing Survivor Dances to the Beat of a 'New Normal'

    After losing her lower leg in the Boston Marathon bombing, former professional ballroom dancer Adrianne Haslet feared she would never step out on the floor again. "My foot was my tool … and it was completely taken away from me," she says. "I thought my quality of life would be a nothing."

    But she was determined to dance again, and even run. With the dedication of her physical therapist (PT) and the rest of her health care team, Haslet did just that. She cried when she practiced her first dance step in her kitchen.

    Now available from APTA's Move Forward Radio: a conversation with Haslet, who shared her experience of recovery and her "new normal" —including running the 2016 Boston Marathon, where "just crossing the starting line" was a victory. The NEXT 2017 keynote speaker also was featured in a MoveForwardPT video about the value of physical therapy.

    Move Forward Radio is archived at MoveForwardPT.com, APTA's official consumer information website, and can be streamed online via Blog Talk Radio or downloaded as a podcast via iTunes.

    Other recent Move Forward Radio episodes include:

    Preparing for the Latest Sports Craze: Obstacle Course Racing
    The latest sports craze of obstacle course races is full of physical demands. Physical therapist and certified athletic trainer Mike Ryan, PT, ATC, describes the allure of these increasingly popular physical challenges and how to successfully prepare for them.

    Success Story: Physical Therapist Collaborates With Surgeon to Solve Hip Impingement Diagnosis
    The pain that Annie Karp felt in her hip wasn’t intense, but it was unrelenting. For months she met with numerous health care providers in an attempt to resolve the issue. And for months she had no success, until a PT asked her a fairly simple question: "Are you a dancer?"

    Cancer-Related Fatigue and Physical Therapy
    Cancer-related fatigue isn’t unique to any type of cancer or cancer treatment, and it can occur even after treatment is complete. Marie Calys, PT, DPT, explains why exercise is 1 of the most effective ways to manage it.

    Rheumatoid Arthritis and Physical Therapy
    Unlike osteoarthritis, the effects of rheumatoid arthritis can be felt across a person’s entire body. Maura Daly-Iversen, PT, DPT, SD, FAPTA, discusses what we know about rheumatoid arthritis and how to effectively manage its effects.

    Osteoarthritis of the Hip and Knee
    Osteoarthritis can make movement difficult, and yet 1 of the best ways to manage osteoarthritis is to move. Mary Ann Wilmarth, PT, DPT, MS, doesn’t just treat people with the condition; she lives with it, too.

    Treatment of Core Muscle Injury (Don’t Call It Sports Hernia)
    These days, whenever ESPN injury analyst Stephania Bell, PT, meets an elite athlete who has undergone surgery to perform core muscle repair, she has a good idea about who might have performed the procedure.

    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.

    Recommendations for APTA Board, Nominating Committee Due by November 1

    APTA's transformational vision requires exceptional leadership. Anyone come to mind? How about you?

    The APTA Nominating Committee is seeking recommendations for the 2018 slate of candidates for elected positions. Positions open for election are Board of Directors president, vice president, and 3 directors; and 1 Nominating Committee member.

    To submit names of qualified members who would be willing to be considered for the upcoming election cycle, visit APTA's Nominations and Elections webpage and use the online form under the "2018" header. Deadline is November 1.

    Now's the time. Reach out to a leader you think should take his or her talents to a national level for APTA, and who's ready to guide the association through some exciting years ahead.

    The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in Local News, July 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!

    Karen Joubert, PT, DPT, who has provided PT services to Jennifer Aniston and P. Diddy, reflects on physical therapy's growing prominence in Hollywood (InStyle)

    Kimberly Steinbarger, PT, discusses kitchen tools that can make cooking easier for people with rheumatoid arthritis (US News and World Report)

    Gerard Breuker, PT, MSc, warns of the dangers of teen inactivity (Kankakee, IL, Daily Journal)

    Annita Winkels, PT, shows a local reporter how physical therapy can benefit overall health (Fox21 News, Duluth, MN)

    Joseph Trani, PT, ATC, offers suggestions on preventing knee injury (USA Today)

    Sue Stella, PT, DPT, explains the importance of physical therapy soon after a breast cancer diagnosis (WTVR6, Richmond, VA)

    Marilyn Moffat, PT, DPT, PhD, FAPTA, describes "killer arm workouts" (Business Insider)

    Raymond Halstead, PT, talks knee replacement (WBBH NBC2, Fort Myers, FL)

    Students from the Navarro College PTA program recently returned from a volunteer service trip to Haiti (Edinburg, TX, Review)

    "A qualified physical therapy professional is an excellent resource to help in learning to move and manage the body to minimize the pain and mobility loss associated with arthritis. Commitment to physical therapy can mitigate a path that would otherwise lead to surgery." –Tips on managing osteoarthritis from the Santa Rosa (FL) Press-Gazette

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

    Photos From NEXT 2017 Now Available

    Remember when people used to take pictures of subjects other than themselves, at distances other than an arm's length away, with devices other than their phones? Actually, that never went away.

    Hundreds of high-quality professional photos from the 2017 NEXT Conference and Exposition, taken with an actual camera, are now available online, and viewing them or purchasing copies is easy.

    Simply go to http://davidbraun.photoreflect.com and click on the "NEXT 2017" link in the middle of the page under "recent photos." Enter password lordosis, then click "GO" and the day/event of your choice. Select your photos and order through the shopping cart.

    Note: once you've clicked on a thumbnail, you can select the size and quantity of the print, or, if you want a digital download, click on the "digital products" button. Questions? Contact photographer David Braun.

    Don't miss other ways to revisit NEXT (or see what you missed): check out a storify page packed with videos, photos, and social media posts, as well as an exclusive " PT in Motion News @NEXT" page that collects news stories and videos from the event.

    From PT in Motion Magazine: Discovering a Second Career as a PTA

    When it comes to pursuing a career as a physical therapist assistant (PTA), it's never too late. Just ask the people who, often in middle age and after being successful in other areas, decided it was time to remake themselves as PTAs.

    In the July edition of PT in Motion magazine, Associate Editor Eric Ries takes a look at PTAs who have taken up physical therapy as a second career. Their stories reveal varied circumstances leading to the decision to become a PTA but a shared satisfaction with their new profession. Featured in the article are:

    • David Emerick, PTA, BBA, who ran a marine construction company and whose PTA interest was piqued when he volunteered to roleplay as a patient to help his wife, then attending PTA school herself
    • Gail Newsome, PTA, BBA, owner of a marketing company who encountered physical therapy after a breast cancer diagnosis, and who entered PTA school at 55
    • Walter Latapie, PTA, business manager and owner of an auto repair shop who says, "I used to fix cars. Now I help fix people"
    • Angie Sawdy, PTA, BS, who sold real estate with her husband but whose background in ballet and yoga pulled her toward the PTA path
    • Lisa Zemaitis, PTA, BS, former cosmetologist and stay-at-home mom who fulfilled a promise she made to a physical therapist who helped her overcome a rotator cuff tear
    • Chris Garland, PTA, BS, who worked as a graphic designer but had been intrigued by physical therapy after seeing how it helped her mother recover from dual anterior cruciate ligament repair
    • Doug Slick, PTA, BM, a working musician whose transition to PTA allowed him to pursue a career he loves while rediscovering the joy of music—this time as a hobby, not a job

    "First Choice for a Second Career" is featured in the July issue of PT in Motion and is open 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.

    APTA Comments on SNFs, IRFs, and Inpatient Payment – And on Medicare as a Whole

    'Tis the season: the time of year when the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) accepts public comment on next year's batch of proposed rules. This time around, CMS changed things up a little, asking that in addition to feedback on specific rules, commenters also weigh in on how the entire system could be more transparent, flexible, simple, and innovative. APTA obliged.

    APTA's overarching comments were provided in the association's responses to proposed rules for the 2018 prospective payment systems for acute care facilities, skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) prospective payment system, and inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs) prospective payment system. While each comment letter addressed specific provisions of the individual rules, APTA included general comments advocating for changes to some Medicare policies related to the therapy cap, direct access provisions, and physical therapist (PT) use of telehealth, among other areas.

    Although CMS can't end the therapy cap—APTA is advocating for a bill in Congress proposing just that—the association does suggest that CMS address problems that arise when patient hospital stays are reclassified by auditors after the fact as "observation status" stays. That reclassification means that therapy cap limits, designed for use in outpatient settings, inappropriately kick in at hospital admission. APTA is encouraging CMS to develop an exception policy for these patients.

    APTA also pressed for CMS to look for ways to facilitate greater PT involvement in telehealth. As with the therapy cap, the actual addition of physical therapy to the list of telehealth services included for coverage is something that requires a change in law; however, ATPA believes that new alternative payment models increasingly being introduced by CMS open up opportunities for coverage.

    "As CMS continues to develop new and innovative models, we encourage the agency to maximize the ability of multiple types of providers, including physical therapists, to have the flexibility to use telehealth services to effectively manage patient care," APTA wrote in its comments.

    Direct access was another topic covered in APTA's letters, with the association arguing that "CMS should adopt a broad policy that eliminates physician referral requirements for physical therapy services to improve patients' access to … medically necessary care."

    APTA argued that "physician authorization requirements inadvertently create significant delays in the provision of physical therapy services to individuals who would benefit from treatment by a [PT]. These delays often lead to higher costs, decreased functional outcomes, and frustration to patients."

    All 3 comment letters are available on the APTA website as downloadable pdf files. Here's a quick recap of each.

    Inpatient Prospective Payment System (PPS) proposed rule comments (PT in Motion News summary here)
    The proposed rule would increase payments to acute care hospitals by 2.9%, but long-term care hospitals could see a 3.75% cut. APTA's letter supports a CMS proposal to include dual-eligibility status as a component in calculating penalties, as well as a plan to scrap the current "patient safety for selected indicators" measure in favor of a “patient safety and adverse events composite” measure by 2023, and changes to the priority level of certification requirements for critical access hospitals to reduce administrative burdens.

    IRF PPS proposed rule comments (PT in Motion News summary here)
    IRFs and SNFs would each see a 1% payment increase in FY 2018. CMS also proposes changes to some reporting requirements and value-based purchasing, among other areas. In comments to CMS, APTA stated its support for revamping the existing “pressure ulcer quality” measure and removing the "all-cause unplanned readmission" measures. Additionally, the association agreed with CMS on its plan to update the list of codes on the "presumptive compliance list," a list used to calculate a facility's compliance with the so-called "60% rule" that links payment to treatment of 1 or more of 13 conditions. Also backed by APTA: a proposal to implement survey-based experience-of-care measures.

    SNF PPS proposed rule comments (PT in Motion News summary here)
    The proposed SNF rule contains many of the same elements as the proposed rule for IRFs. APTA was consistent in its support for the quality measure, 60% rule, and patient survey changes proposed by CMS.

    2017 NEXT: Revisit a Great Conference (or See Why You Should Attend in 2018)

    The 2017 NEXT Conference and Exposition held in Boston last month was exciting, inspirational, thought-provoking—and a really good time. If you went, you may feel like reliving it; if you didn't attend you owe to yourself to see what you missed.

    APTA offers 2 ways to check out this year's NEXT event: a storify page packed with videos, photos, and social media posts, as well as an exclusive "PT in Motion News @NEXT" page that collects news stories and videos from the event.