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  • America's 'Fittest Cities' Ranked

    Live in or near Arlington, Virginia? Congratulations: you reside in the nation's most fit city, according to results of a new study that ranks cities across the United States.

    The rankings are part of the 2019 American College of Sports Medicine's (ACSM) "Fitness Index," a project that analyzed health and environmental data to arrive at an overall fitness score. Health data included exercise prevalence, the percentage of residents meeting aerobic and strength activity guidelines, diet, and levels of conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. Environmental data took in factors including air quality, access to recreational facilities, and walkability. ACSM received assistance from the Anthem Foundation in creating the report.

    In the end, Arlington came out on top of the 100-city list and earned first place rankings in both the health and environmental subscores. Seattle came in second, followed by Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Madison, Wisconsin. The 5 lowest-ranked cities were Indianapolis; Toledo, Ohio; Tulsa, Oklahoma; North Las Vegas, Nevada; and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The report provides a detailed accounting of the study's methodology, and ACSM also offers an online tool to compare statistics on as many as 3 individual cities.

    APTA and ACSM have a history of collaboration, and earlier this year the 2 organizations entered into a formal partnership.

    Visit APTA's prevention and wellness webpage for resources on how physical therapists and physical therapist assistants can help individuals become more physically active, and share the latest PA information from APTA's consumer-focused MoveForwardPT.com with your patients, clients, and others interested in the benefits of exercise and movement. Want to connect with others interested in physical therapy's role in improving health? Join APTA's Council on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Wellness.

    The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in the Media, May 2019

    "The Good Stuff" is an occasional series that highlights recent 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!

    Heard the one about the PT? Kyle Gadapee, SPT, was among the comedians featured in the 10th Annual Women in Comedy Festival sponsored by HBO. (St Johnsbury, Vermont, Caledonian Record)

    The dangers of neck-cracking explained: In the wake of headlines about a man who suffered a stroke while trying to crack his neck, Rob Sillevis, PT, DPT, PhD, shows just how it could happen. (NBC News2, Fort Meyers, Florida)

    Quotable: "Surely physical therapy is about healing and recovery, but for anyone with a physical disability—it is more about creating realistic ways to move toward wellness and away from pain and illness on a daily basis." -Katy Fetters, Colorado University-Boulder graduate student with cerebral palsy, on how physical therapy is helping her stay physically active. (CU Boulder Today)

    Physical therapy and engineering: Rachael Biega, SPT, describes her experiences working with engineering students on developing adaptive devices. (phys.org)

    Back to physical therapy: Todd Kruse, PT, MPT, makes the case for trying physical therapy first for back pain. (KEYC12, Mankato, Minnesota)

    Best in snow: Dave Callaghan, PT, has received a National Appointment from the National Ski Patrol. (UPMatters.com)

    Prepping for Archie: Marianne Ryan, PT, BS, provides insight on how Meghan Markle and other expectant moms can prepare for labor. (Fox News)

    Feel better in the long run: Marsena Morgan, PT, DPT, offers tips on recovering after running a marathon. (Fox25 News, Oklahoma City)

    Pelvic floor health: Holly Tanner, PT, DPT, MA, stresses the importance of seeking help from a PT for pelvic floor problems. (Today Show)

    Taking the pain out of paying for physical therapy: Denise Buher, PT, DPT, explains how high copays are depriving patients of the physical therapy they need. (Glen Falls, New York, Post-Star)

    Spreading the interprofessional message: Jody Frost, PT, DPT, PhD, FAPTA, has been named president of the National Academies of Practice. (napractice.org)

    The endurance PT: Verrelle Wyatt, PT, DPT, took first place in the 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame Marathon. (Akron, Ohio, Beacon Journal)

    Your IT: Bridget Dungan, PT, offers advice on how cyclists can avoid IT band-related pain. (Bicycling)

    Quotable: "They helped me strengthen my legs and prepare for this. They had some steps that I practiced going up and down so I could be able to handle the steps," – Margaret Planter, who participated in physical therapy to prepare her for ziplining on her 100th birthday. (Local12 News, Cincinnati)

    Adaptive triathlon: Jeff Krug, PT, and Kayla Friesen, SPT, share their experiences in helping to oversee an adaptive triathlon sponsored by Missouri University's physical therapy program. (Columbia, Missouri, Missourian)

    Getting hip to getting strong: Doug Kechijian, PT, DPT, suggests exercises to help build hip strength and resilience. (Outside)

    When your jumping's jacked: Keaton Ray, PT, DPT, ATC, covers the proper way to do jumping jacks. (Women's Health)

    Living with Parkinson: Kari Torgerson, PT, outlines the physical and emotional toll of Parkinson disease. (It Takes Two podcast)

    Help for sciatica: Jason Dudzic, PT, MSPT, explains how physical therapy can make a difference for individuals experiencing sciatic nerve pain. (CBS21 News, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania)

    Raising the barre: Rebecca Strabala, PT, has combined her background in dance with her training as a PT to help dancers recover from injury. (Davenport, Iowa, Gazette)

    Quotable: "Physical therapy was once something that seemed pointless for me to try. My arms and legs are pretty much just for show, so why bother? Now, I’m grateful for how persistent my doctor was with me a few years ago. The thing that I once dreaded is now something that I eagerly anticipate every week." –Kevin Schaefer, who has spinal muscle atrophy, on how regular aquatic physical therapy sessions have changed his outlook. (SMA News Today)

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

    From PT in Motion Magazine: 50 Years of PTAs

    Turns out 1969 wasn't all Woodstock and moonwalks: the year was also an important date for what has become a crucial part of the physical therapy profession—the physical therapist assistant (PTA).

    This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first graduates of PTA education programs. To honor that milestone, PT in Motion magazine offers a history of the PTA that highlights the challenges, struggles, and ultimate victories that have shaped an increasingly important career pathway.

    The article explores the evolution of the PTA concept, from the first discussions of a possible need for the designation in the early 1960s to its current status as a licensed profession. Along the way, author Michele Wojciechowski shares the efforts of PTAs to have a voice at the APTA table, strengthen and refine PTA education programs, and flex their advocacy muscle. The bottom line: it's been 1 giant leap for PTA-kind.

    "Celebrating a Milestone: 50 Years of PTAs" is featured in the May issue of PT in Motion magazine and is open to all viewers—pass it along to nonmember colleagues to show them 1 of the benefits of belonging to APTA. Also open to all: "Rewiring the Brain to Ease Chronic Pain," a look at how PTs are helping to lead the way in new strategies for treating pain.

    APTA President Sharon Dunn Named Dean of LSU Shreveport's School of Allied Health Professions

    APTA President Sharon Dunn, PT, PhD, can now add another achievement to an already lengthy list: Dean of School of Allied Health Professions at Louisiana State University (LSU) Shreveport.

    On April 23, LSU Shreveport announced that Dunn will take over the reins at the school, which includes the Department of Rehabilitation Science (physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology and postprofessional residencies) and the Department of Clinical Sciences (cardiopulmonary science, medical laboratory science, and the physician assistant program). The school is also responsible for a children's center, a rehabilitation faculty clinic, and the Mollie E. Webb speech and hearing center.

    The current chair of LSU Shreveport's Department of Rehabilitation Science, Dunn, a board-certified clinical specialist in orthopaedic physical therapy, has been on faculty at the university's school of allied health for 24 years. She served in multiple roles in the school, including program director of the DPT program for 15 years and director of the LSUHSC Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency Program, where she was instrumental in developing and gaining program accreditation. Dunn became president of APTA in 2015 and was reelected to the position in 2018.

    Dunn received her bachelor of science degree in physical therapy followed by a master’s in health sciences from the School of Allied Health Professions in Shreveport. She obtained her PhD, cellular biology, and anatomy at the School of Graduate Studies at LSU Health Shreveport.

    "It is gratifying that one of our own faculty members, Dr Sharon Dunn, has been selected as the Dean of the School of Allied Health Professions. Dr Dunn brings a strong clinical and administrative background with a clear vision for the future," stated LSU Health Shreveport Chancellor G. E. Ghali, DDS, MD, in an APTA news release.

    APTA Chief Executive Officer Justin Moore, PT, DPT, believes LSU Shreveport couldn't have made a better choice.

    "Sharon has been a tireless advocate for the profession, the highest standards of health care, and patients' rights everywhere," Moore said. "Her kindness, passion, commitment, and dedication have been an inspiration to me. She is an outstanding colleague and, more importantly, friend. I offer her my warmest congratulations on her new appointment and cannot think of anyone more deserving. I know she will serve the position well."

    And as for Dunn—she's ready for the challenge.

    "I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to serve our faculty, students, and our community in my home town and at my alma mater, LSU Health Shreveport!" Dunn said. "Becoming the dean during these times of economic challenge to higher education and while LSU is engaging in a new partnership with Ochsner Health System provides exciting opportunities to integrate and collaborate across disciplines in education, practice, and research. I have much to learn, but I am enthusiastic about our team and our potential! Geaux Tigers!"

    Beyond the Sessions: 7 NEXT Opportunities Worth Checking Out

    The APTA NEXT Conference and Exposition has a reputation for on-point educational sessions and inspiring lectures, and this year's event, taking place in Chicago June 12-15, is no exception.

    But as anyone who attended a NEXT conference can tell you, there's more to it than that: NEXT offers hands-on experiences, interactive learning opportunities, and plenty of ways to network and have a great time—this year, in 1 of the most vibrant cities in the country.

    If you've already registered for NEXT, think of the items below as possibilities for your conference "must do" list. And if you haven't registered, take a look at what you could be missing (besides all the sessions and lectures, of course).

    NEXT is all about connecting (and reconnecting) with others who share your passion for the profession—and those connections don't just happen around sessions. Plan on joining fellow attendees for the conference opening reception in the exhibit hall on Wednesday, June 12, and get things started right.

    Join the conversation.
    What would you do? The NEXT Experience Zone is the place for interactive learning, including a June 13 session on shoulder and knee issues, with speakers presenting cases and then involving the audience in discussion and, ultimately, a vote on the best course of treatment.

    Take a deep dive with a small group.
    The NEXT Inspiration Hub offers a series of discussions in a small group setting that allows for a more intimate look at topics including rural health, community collaboration, and the integration of education, practice, and research. There's even a session on how APTA can be your not-so-secret weapon in enriching your career.

    Get hands-on with GoBabyGo!
    The popular GoBabyGo! program returns to NEXT, with an opportunity for you to see firsthand how commercially available children's ride-on toys can be retrofitted to become effective assistive devices for children with mobility limitations. You'll come away inspired.

    Feel the blues.
    Join PT-PAC supporters for an evening of top-notch blues at Buddy Guy's Legends, which calls itself "the premiere blues club in the world," on Wednesday, June 12. A $50 ticket, purchased when registering for NEXT at the PT-PAC booth in the exhibit hall or outside the House of Delegates, buys you appetizers, drinks, and a night of live entertainment you won't soon forget.

    Make a kid's day.
    Again this year, APTA is working with Shoes4Kids to provide underprivileged children with new athletic shoes and socks. This service opportunity will benefit Chicago's Woodlawn Community Elementary School, which is part of the Small Schools Coalition offering students an African culture-centered curriculum in reading, language arts, math, science, cultural arts, and social science. Shoes4Kids collection bins will be located outside of the House of Delegates beginning Monday, June 10, and at NEXT through Wednesday, June 12. Find out more, and how you can help.

    Party with the Foundation.
    The Foundation for Physical Therapy Research has funded groundbreaking research and researchers for 40 years. This year’s PT Party, on Thursday, June 13, will be a celebration of this special anniversary and the research that keeps making our profession stronger. Join colleagues, friends, and Foundation family in celebration. PT Pintcast's Jimmy McKay will liven up the evening as emcee. And don't forget to wear your dancing shoes. You can register for this event online.

    The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in the Media, April 2019

    "The Good Stuff" is an occasional series that highlights recent 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.

    When fear is the obstacle: Robert Gillanders, PT, DPT, discusses traumatophobia—fear of reinjury—and the way it can impact the lives of previously active people. (Medium).

    Kope-ing skills: Emily Younker, PTA, was involved in the physical therapy that helped 9-year-old Kope Hillary recover from injuries suffered in an ATV accident. (Wise County, Texas, Messenger).

    Roll with it: David Reavy, PT, MBA, shares consumer tips for choosing a foam roller. (Self) .

    The brain as healer: Andrew Butler, PT, PhD, FAPTA, explains his leading research in using the power of brain plasticity to help patients recover poststroke. (Georgia State University Research).

    The exercise crystal ball: Greg Hartley, PT, DPT, provides a PT's perspective on a fitness test that 1 study claims is a predictor of longevity. (The Washington Post).

    Finding a way out of the pain: Carrie Pagliano PT, DPT, explains the ways physical therapy can address vaginismus. (Huffington Post).

    Quotable: "We knew we had to stay active to keep living, and the boost we needed was going through pulmonary rehab alongside others with whom we could relate." – Charlton Harris, describing the benefits of group pulmonary physical therapy for his sarcoidosis. (Sarcoidosis News) .

    Improving care in Vietnam: Julie Gahimer, PT, is helping physical therapy students and professors in Vietnam as part of Health Volunteers Overseas. (University of Indiana Reflector).

    Yoga poses for pelvic pain: Casie Danenhauer PT, DPT, says that certain yoga moves can help ease endometriosis, pelvic pain, and menstrual cramps. (Everyday Health).

    Balance in all things: Patrick Sparto, PT, DPT, describes how physical therapy can improve balance problems. (Today.com).

    A passion for Special Olympics: Dominic Fraboni, PT, DPT, discusses the impact volunteering with Special Olympics has had on his life. (Medium).

    Backing up the value of physical therapy: Jeffrey Houser, PT, DPT, outlines the ways physical therapy can relieve low back pain. (Cleveland Clinic health essentials)

    Treating scoliosis from experience: April Gerard, PT, discovered a treatment method that helped her cope with her own scoliosis. Now she's sharing it with her patients. (Duluth, Minnesota, News Tribune) .

    Preventing rhabdo: Shannon Meggs, PT, offers advice on avoiding potentially organ-damaging rhabdomyolosis as a result of overly strenuous workouts. (Healthline.com).

    "Citizen science": Cole Galloway, PT, PhD, FAPTA, delivers the GoBabyGo! message of "crowdsourced manufacturing" to provide mobility opportunities for children. (Buffalo, New York, News).

    Quotable: "Every milestone we've reached has been because of [physical therapy]. Both of my kids took their first steps with their physical therapist," -Danielle Salamone, mother of two, advocating for the Monroe County, New York, school system to increase reimbursement for preschool special education service providers. (WHAM 13 News, Rochester, New York).

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

    APTA Annual Report: 2018's Achievements Are Shaping the Future of the Profession

    "I'm excited about where we're headed—together."

    Those words, from a statement from APTA President Sharon Dunn, PT, PhD, in the 2018 APTA Annual Report, are exactly what the document is all about. Taken as a whole, it's a story of how creating connections can pay off—not only in meeting current challenges, but in setting a course for the profession's future.

    Now available online, the report combines elements of the association's 2018 Year in Review, published in late December 2018, with new information that takes a deeper dive into an important year for the association. In addition to recounting how members came together to fuel a long list of achievements, the 2018 Annual Report includes a recap of work at the APTA component level, membership statistics, a report from the APTA treasurer, and financial statements of activities and financial positions.

    The report emphasizes the ways in which APTA leveraged its leadership to build a passionate and impactful community of physical therapists (PTs), physical therapist assistants (PTAs), and students of physical therapy education programs, and how that community in turn powered the association's ability to lead. That synergy paved the way for some significant achievements in 2018, including:

    • Elimination of the hard cap of therapy services under Medicare Part B
    • The end of functional limitation reporting
    • A white paper, Facebook Live event, media tour, and other activities that positioned APTA as an important voice in the fight to end the opioid crisis
    • Passage of a law that provides better federal protections for PTs and PTAs traveling with teams across state lines
    • Expansion of use of telehealth by PTs and PTAs in US Department of Veterans Affairs care systems
    • Growth of the physical therapy licensure compact to 21 states by year's end
    • Finalization of plans for a new APTA headquarters, with an early 2021 completion date

    Those are just some of highlights. Check out the complete report to learn more about how APTA and its members are making a difference in the lives of PTs, PTAs, and their patients and clients—and how a sense of unified energy is propelling the association toward a future of more bold, transformative moves.

    2019 House of Delegates Motions Now Posted

    APTA members now can access the first official packet of motions that will be considered by the 2019 APTA House of Delegates (House) when it convenes June 10-12 in Chicago, Illinois.

    Called "Packet 1," the compilation contains 70 House motions and is provided as the official notice of all motions. On May 10, “Packet I” will be replaced with a document titled “Packet I with Background Papers” that will include background papers on various motions.

    In addition, reports to the 2019 House have been posted to the Motions, House Reports, and Background Papers file library. These reports include updates from the APTA Board of Directors related to charges from the House, as well as the APTA Secretary's report, and updates on activities of the House officers, Nominating Committee, and Reference Committee.

    Delegates should continue using the Motions Discussion forum in the House of Delegates online Hub community to participate in discussion. Chief, section, and assembly delegates wishing to cosponsor a motion or request that a motion be placed on consent should visit the Motions, House Reports, and Background Papers file library.

    Contact APTA’s Justin Lini with any questions.

    New DPT Honor Society Readies to Announce First Inductees

    Think current doctor of physical therapy (DPT) students are impressive? The American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT) couldn't agree more—and is getting ready to underscore that opinion by unveiling its first-ever cohort of ACAPT National Physical Therapy Student Honor Society inductees. APTA membership is a requirement for consideration.

    Known as Delta Phi Tau (DPT), plans for the society were finalized in 2018 with applications accepted soon after. The deadline for the first round of applications is due March 31, and decisions on inductees will be made during April and May.

    Delta Phi Tau inductees will be APTA-member DPT students "who exemplify outstanding traits in leadership, research, and service to society characterized by consistent demonstration of strong moral character and ethics," according to ACAPT. In addition to being ranked in the top 15% of their class, successful applicants must have completed a minimum of 60% of their DPT programs and be able to demonstrate achievements in service and leadership. Letters of support are also required.

    ACAPT Board of Directors member Jim Farris, PT, PhD, said that ACAPT took a careful, inclusive approach to creating the new society and establishing its requirements.

    "The task force commissioned by ACAPT to design the criteria included students and faculty selected to represent the diversity of ACAPT institutional members," Farris said. "The task force worked for over a year and submitted multiple drafts to the board of directors prior to obtaining board approval, and we launched the honor society at the 2019 APTA Combined Sections Meeting."

    Farris believes that the careful approach resulted in an honor society that reflects the strength of DPT education programs across the country.

    "Delta Phi Tau is a wonderful way for ACAPT to recognize the excellence demonstrated by our member institutions' students," said Farris. "Many of our inductees are likely to be future leaders in the profession, and it's important to recognize not only their potential, but the very real achievements they've reached during their education."

    The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in the Media, March 2019

    "The Good Stuff" is an occasional series that highlights recent 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!

    Grab the popcorn: Lauren Snowdon, PT, DPT, professor in the Seton Hall physical therapy program, served as a clinical consultant for The Upside, the recently released movie starring Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart. (New Jersey Stage)

    Now hear this: Lisa Muratori, PT, is working with a music professor to create audio software that helps patients with neurological conditions sense gait fluctuations. (Wired)

    Waddle it be? Cara Berg-Carramusa PT, MSPT, has advice for minimizing slips on the ice: "You've got to walk like a penguin." (WKBN27 News, Youngstown, Ohio)

    Post-flight physical therapy: Air Force Capt Anna Adkins PT, DPT, is part of a new program aimed at keeping pilots healthy between missions. (Stars and Stripes)

    Rolling with it: Karena Wu PT, DPT, explains some of the advantages of using a foam roller to address muscle soreness. (Better magazine)

    Let's dance: Michelle Ritter McGuire, PT, helps run an innovative program for the Cincinnati Ballet to bring adaptive dance to children with motor disabilities. (Falmouth, Kentucky, Outlook)

    The PT as DJ: Creighton University physical therapy students Danny McAndrew, SPT, and Kelsey Biaggi, SPT, are helping conduct research on the effect of customized playlists that use songs with specific beats-per-minute to help runners adjust their stride to lessen pain. Creighton professor Terry Grindstaff PT, ATC, PhD, is advising on the project. (KMTV3 News Now, Omaha, Nebraska)

    Making tummy time easier to stomach: Kristy Johnson, SPT, explains why it's important for parents to ensure that their infants spend time on their stomachs—even it's not their favorite thing to do. (KXNET News, Bismarck, North Dakota)

    Triathlete, PT, and mom of 3: Delaine Fowler PT, DPT, describes her approach to training during and after pregnancy. (Salisbury, North Carolina, Post)

    You don't know the calf of it: Nicole Haas PT, DPT, shares her perspective on the importance of calf strength. (Outside)

    Exercise and PD: Michael Braitsch, PT, DPT, outlines the importance of exercise for individuals with Parkinson disease. (Parkinson's News Today)

    Quotable: "If you have been smart enough to get PT after a problem, never second-guess the therapist. If he or she tells you to ice it twice a day, do it. If there is a rehab program assigned for ‘homework,’ follow it as scheduled." – Wina Sturgeon, editor of Adventure Sports Weekly (Bristol, Virginia, Herald Courier)

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