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  • ChoosePT: 5 Ways to Participate in National Physical Therapy Month in October

    National Physical Therapy Month (NPTM) is just around the corner. Are you ready?

    October is the profession's opportunity to amplify and promote the benefits of physical therapy, and APTA is here to help you get the message out. This year, #ChoosePT has expanded to include all the benefits of physical therapy, how it is effective for a wide range of conditions including chronic pain, and that connecting with a physical therapist (PT) can be as easy as visiting APTA's Find a PT directory.

    Getting involved in NPTM is easy. Here are 5 ways to share the ChoosePT message:

    1. Help consumers choose you.
    The best way to promote the profession is by increasing the public's engagement and positive experiences with physical therapy—in other words, by doing what you do best. But before you can make that very personal case, the public has to know you're out there and ready to help. APTA's Find a PT directory, a physical therapist member benefit accessible through our consumer website, ChoosePT.com, makes it easy for consumers and other providers to filter results by practice focus or specialization. Take the time to sign up—or if you're signed up already, make sure your information is up-to-date. You can even add a headshot to enhance your profile.

    2. Let the public know about ChoosePT.com.
    APTA's consumer website has a new name and a new look. ChoosePT.com includes the Find a PT directory, symptoms and conditions guides, health tips, podcasts, and more. Get the word out on what the site has to offer—it's easy to navigate and full of resources designed to help the nonclinician understand the value of physical therapy.

    3. Get social.
    This one's easy: use #ChoosePT in your social media posts, and be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

    4. Spread the word with handouts and flyers (and look awesome doing it).
    APTA’s updated ChoosePT toolkit offers downloadable handouts and graphics that help you get the word out. And because it just wouldn't be a celebratory month without swag, we're also offering new ChoosePT t-shirts that allow you to keep the message close to your heart (scroll to the bottom of the toolkit page to order).

    5. Celebrate Global PT Day of Service on October 12 by helping out in your community.
    PTs, physical therapist assistants, and students have a strong track record for being community-minded all year long, but October 12 is a special day set aside for letting the profession's dedication to community service really shine. Visit APTA's PT Day of Service webpage to find out more, participate in challenges, and find local projects to join.

    Questions? Contact APTA's public and media relations staff.

    5 Ways to Get Ready for Falls Prevention Awareness Day

    An estimated 1 in 4 adults 65 and older experiences a fall each year, and according to a recent study, falls-related deaths among adults 75 and older are on the rise, all of which makes falls prevention more relevant than ever.

    With Falls Prevention Awareness Day coming September 23, now is a great time to check out a few falls-related resources from APTA and its components. Here are a few ways to make the next few days a little more fall-focused.

    1. Check out the tests and measures at PTNow.
    In addition to being your source for clinical summaries, clinical practice guidelines, and research, APTA's evidence-based practice resource also includes a host of tests and measures—including many related to balance. Members can download information on the 360-degree turn stand, the balance error scoring system, the elderly mobility scale, and the falls risk assessment tool, to name a few. Some of the resources even come with accompanying videos. And don't forget other falls-related resources at PTNow, such as this clinical summary on fall risk in community-dwelling elders.

    2. Learn about (and share) the research that supports physical therapy's value in reducing fall risk.
    This 2-page pdf document compiles summaries of recent studies that underscore the important role physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) can play in falls prevention. It's easy to print out and share.

    3. Get involved with a SIG—or 3.
    SIG stands for an APTA "special interest group," a place where you can connect with other providers who share your passion for a particular subject. When it comes to falls, you have options: the APTA Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy's Balance and Falls Special Interest Group, the Balance and Falls SIG sponsored by the APTA Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy, and the APTA Academy of Oncologic Physical Therapy's Oncologic Balance and Falls SIG. You'll need to be a member of the respective academies first, but belonging to any of them has its own merits.

    4. Stay informed.
    APTA's Learning Center makes it easy to grow your knowledge around falls prevention by way of timely (and convenient) continuing education offerings offered at a discount to APTA members. Two relevant and relatively recent examples: "Physical Therapy and the Aging Adult: Management of Falls and Falls Prevention in Older Adults," a 0.4 CEU online learning course, and "Management of Balance Impairments and Fall Risks for Adult Cancer Survivors," a 0.7-CEU online course that explores a perspective surveillance model to decrease fall risk in this population.

    5. Help your patients and clients understand the importance of falls prevention.
    The risk of falls can't be reduced if patients aren't actively engaged—and that engagement begins with education. APTA's consumer focused ChoosePT.com website is designed to do just that, making it easy for nonclinicians to learn about a wide range of conditions and what PTs and PTAs can do to help. ChoosePT.com resources include a Physical Therapist's Guide to Falls that lays out the basics, an overview of how physical therapy can aid in falls prevention, a podcast on falls and falls prevention, and a short video on how balance can be improved—and falls avoided—through physical therapy

     Want more? Check out APTA's Balance and Falls webpage. Resources include tips on developing consumer events on falls and links to other organizations.

    3D Technology: All That's Fit to Print?

    When it comes to 3D printing and physical therapy, the future is now—well, almost now.

    In the September issue of PT in Motion magazine: "A New Dimension to Physical Therapy," a feature article that explores the current use of 3D as well as its challenges and possibilities, as seen through the eyes of physical therapists (PTs), a physical therapist assistant (PTA), and a professor of visual arts who heads the University of North Georgia's 3D printing efforts.

    The APTA members interviewed for the story say that in many ways 3D printing has arrived in physical therapy—and already is allowing for the creation of customized equipment and devices, many of which can be produced relatively quickly, and some at a fraction of the cost of their non-3D printed counterparts. The possibilities for orthotics and adaptive equipment for pediatric patients are just some of the reasons the interviewees are excited about the technology's future.

    "Future," however, is the key word: While 3D technology has improved dramatically since its debut in the 1990s, refinements still are needed. And the cost of the devices—particularly those capable of manufacturing with multiple materials—must come down before they become standard equipment in a physical therapy clinic.

    The challenges aren't just technological—a clinic has legal and regulatory considerations should it decide to go all-in on 3D printing now or in the future. Patient safety is an issue, of course, but so is the line between a clinic that produces the occasional customized orthotic and an equipment manufacturer, and the attendant regulatory oversight that entails.

    Still, those challenges shouldn't overshadow 3D printing's potential in physical therapy, and they certainly shouldn't cause physical therapy education programs to shy away from incorporating 3D printing concepts into their curricula.

    Robert Latz, PT, DPT, who was interviewed for the article, says there's good reason for practicing PTs and physical therapy students to keep up with the technology and not wait until it's perfected.

    "We need to learn the technology and apply the development process to this new technology," Latz says in the article. "If we do not do this, someone else will. I guarantee that the technology of 3D printing is only going to continue to improve and that the cost to create with this technology will continue to decrease."

    "A New Dimension to Physical Therapy" is featured in the September 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: highlights from the 2019 APTA NEXT Conference and Exhibition.

    Physical Therapy Education Leader Rosemary Scully Dies

    Rosemary Scully

    Physical therapy thought leader Rosemary Scully, PT, EdD, FAPTA, whose tireless passion for learning left a lasting imprint on physical therapist clinical education, has died. She was 83 years old.

    Scully was born in West Virginia and earned her first degree—a baccalaureate in physical education—from West Virginia University. She later received a master's degree in physical therapy and a doctorate in education from Columbia University in New York. Along the way, Scully dedicated herself to applying what she had learned to improve the physical therapy profession, particularly related to education.

    Her work and educational efforts eventually took her to the University of Pittsburgh, where she led the university's physical therapy program until her retirement in the early 1990s. Scully's legacy lives on at Pitt through the Scully Scholar Lecture Series, an annual event that features some of the most prominent voices in the physical therapy profession.

    Scully authored several influential reports, studies, and books, including "Cooperative Planning for Clinical Experience in Clinical Therapy" and the comprehensive textbook, Physical Therapy, published in 1989. In addition, she was a coeditor of the Studies in the Health Related Professions series of publications, and within that series, a coauthor of several books focused on physical therapist and physical therapist assistant faculty characteristics.

    A member of APTA since 1958, Scully was vice speaker of the APTA House of Delegates from 1977 to 1983. In 1989, she received the association's Lucy Blair Service Award, and was named a Catherine Worthingham Fellow in 1992.

    Scully's love for the physical therapy profession—and particularly for the learning opportunities it presents—shone through in a recap of an oral history she provided to APTA in 1999. In that recap, published in the association's PT Magazine in 2000, Scully described what she viewed as one of the profession's greatest assets.

    "I was very fortunate to find physical therapy, a profession where I could, as an individual, do whatever it is that I wanted to do, while at the same time, other folks in the same field are doing entirely different kinds of things," Scully said. "I was always pleased with its diversity. Physical therapy is eclectic. It brings in all different kinds of people: wonderful folks who are pioneers and push the field forward."

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

    PT compassion: Paul Erwin, PT, DPT, provides care and friendship to Yousef Zein, a 16-year-old refugee from Syria who has a brittle bone condition. (lancasteronline.com)

    What's best in the long run: Mike Moravec, PT, DPT, provides tips on the best ways to prep for a marathon. (Scottsbluff, NE, Star-Herald)

    "So every kid can play": Maria Fragala-Pinkham, PT, DPT, MS, helps to lead an adaptive baseball program for kids in the Boston area. (WBZ4 News, Boston)

    When cryotherapy's not cool: Michael Conlon, PT, explains the proper use of cryotherapy and what may have led to Oakland Raider Antonio Brown experiencing frostbite from the treatment. (The Ringer)

    5 signs your baby may need physical therapy: Magdalena Oledzka, PT, DPT, PhD, discusses infant characteristics that may indicate the need for pediatric physical therapy. (Romper)

    Softening fall rates: Lindsey Nordstrom, PT, DPT, stresses the importance of falls prevention in helping to curb the rising number of falls being experienced by adults who are older. (La Salle, IL, News-Tribune)

    Brace yourself—or not: Robert Gillanders, PT, DPT, discusses the pros and cons of knee braces. (Creakyjoints)

    Taking control of arthritis pain: Randy Siy, PT, makes the case for physical activity's role in managing pain related to arthritis.(WJZ13 News, Baltimore)

    Aching for a healthy back: Karen Joubert, PT, DPT, offers daily routines to help alleviate back pain. (KTLA5 News, Los Angeles)

    Pelvic tilt: Carrie Pagliano, PT, DPT, explains structural pelvic tilt and how to address it. (Openfit)

    When PTs rein: Sara Montgomery, PT, DPT, shares thoughts on how the Equine Assisted Therapy Alaska hippotherapy program is improving area kids' lives. (KTUU2 News, Anchorage, AK)

    Who ordered a side of pain? Kati Mihvec-Edwards, PT, DPT, discusses strategies for runners who experience side stitches. (Popsugar)

    Exercise and recovery poststroke: Elizabeth Regan, PT, DPT, and Stacy Fritz, PT, DPT, PhD, discuss findings from their research into the benefits of aerobic exercise for individuals poststroke. (US News and World Report)

    Pulmonary rehab's breath of fresh air: Noah Greenspan, PT, DPT, provides a vibrant, nonconformist, and fun setting for patients who visit his New York-based pulmonary rehab clinic. (COPD News Today)

    A weighty topic: Matt Ernst, PT, MPT, offers tips on safe backpack weight, fit, and use for kids returning to school. (WKRC Local12 News, Cincinnati)

    Exercise and DMD: Claudia Senesac, PT, PhD, outlines how to create effective exercise programs for boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. (Muscular Dystrophy News Today)

    Blanket rules? Theresa Marko, PT, DPT, MS, explains the potential recovery benefits of weighted blankets. (Muscle & Fitness)

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

    Physical Therapy Gets Low (Tech)

    There's a place for virtual reality treadmills, robotic exoskeletons, and motion-capture sensors—just not in Eva Norman's car trunk.

    Eva Norman, PT, DPT, president of a mobile wellness practice in Minnesota, is one of the physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapy device industry professionals who share their thoughts on "unplugged" equipment for "In Praise of Low-Tech Tools," an article in the August edition of PT in Motion magazine.

    Norman's business model, which brings providers including PTs to patients and clients, includes the use of what she calls a provider "toolbox," aka a car trunk. That toolbox contains items such as ankle weights, foam pads, resistance bands, and foam rollers—the "evergreen" tools of the rehab trade, according to Norman. She emphasizes that "all of the tools we use must be practical for our purposes—portable, easy to use, durable, and low-cost for people to purchase for themselves."

    Author and PT in Motion Associate Editor Eric Ries explores how PTs are using low-tech tools, and conveys manufacturers' views on the staying power of stability balls, hand exercisers, yoga mats, and the like. Bottom line: They aren’t going away anytime soon.

    A big reason for the enduring popularity of low-tech tools is that they work, of course. But Ryan Bussman, marketing director of Orthopedic Physical Therapy Products, tells PT in Motion that there's another reason: They allow PTs to do what they truly love.

    "Physical therapists always will prioritize putting their hands on patients, and the sorts of tactile tools that go along with that," Bussman says in the article. "Will they still have uses for the 'sexy' stuff? Absolutely. Those things have their time and place. But the simple stuff will always be around."

    "In Praise of Low-Tech Tools," featured in the August issue of PT in Motion magazine, 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: "Greetings From PTs and PTAs Who Travel," an article on the life of the travel PT and PTA, and "Recruiting Tomorrow's PTs and PTAs," a look at the ways PTs, PTAs, students, and educators work to bring newcomers into the profession.

    Gregory Hicks Appointed to APTA’s Board of Directors

    Gregory Hicks, PT, PhD, FAPTA, has been appointed by the APTA Board of Directors (Board) to complete the leadership term of Sheila K. Nicholson, PT, DPT, MBA, MA, following her death in June this year.

    Hicks, who has been an APTA member for 17 years, is chair of the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Delaware, where he also is director of the school’s Advancing Diversity in Physical Therapy program, known as ADaPT.

    In 2018, Hicks was named a Catherine Worthingham Fellow, APTA’s highest membership category, for demonstrating unwavering efforts to advance the physical therapy profession through leadership, influence, and achievement. Also that year, he received the University of Delaware College of Health Sciences’ inaugural Diversity Advocate Award.

    “My Board colleagues and I are elated that Greg has consented to serve our association,” said APTA President Sharon Dunn, PT, PhD, board-certified orthopaedic clinical specialist. “Greg will bring wisdom, experience, and leadership to help propel our pursuit of APTA’s 3-year strategic plan.”

    Hicks’ Board service begins immediately and ends with the completion of Nicholson’s 3-year term in June 2020, at which point the vacant seat will be filled through the annual slate of candidates process and election by the House of Delegates.

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

    "Life is always going to find a way": Dakota Kay, PT, DPT, who grew up in the Navajo Nation in Kayenta, Arizona, endured hunger and homelessness in pursuit of his undergraduate degree and DPT. (Inside Edition)

    Back to basics: Theresa Marko, PT, DPT, MS, explains the importance of exercise that strengthens the lower back. (livestrong.com)

    Staying strong and giving back: Nelson Almeida, PT, DPT, describes how he doesn't allowing speaking with a stutter to stand in the way of being a great PT, and how he's helping other individuals with stutters become confident in their abilities. (WLRN News, Miami)

    The hip new thing: Karena Wu, PT, DPT, shares her perspectives on how to choose the best pillow for hip pain. (bustle.com)

    Mythbuster: Chris Wilson, PT, debunks 6 common myths about back pain and how to treat it. (Wasilla, Alaska, Frontiersman)

    Gaining in the poles: Jon Schultz. PT, MPT, has launched a Nordic urban poling program at his clinic. (WFLA News 8, Tampa, Florida)

    A song of ice and…heat: Robert Gillanders, PT, DPT, evaluates the pros and cons of ice baths and hot therapy for recovery. (Yahoo! Lifestyle)

    Hanging leg tuck and overhead throw, anyone? Amy Schultz, PT, DPT, explains why the hardest exercises in the US Army's new fitness test may be good for cyclists. (Bicycling)

    PT Ninja Warrior: Conor Galvin, SPT, has been wowing viewers across the country with his skills on "American Ninja Warrior." (Riverhead, New York, Times-Review)

    Water you waiting for? Patrice Hazan, PT, DPT, MA, provides tips on exercises that can be performed while in the pool with family and friends. ("Your Carolina," WSPA TV, Spartanburg, South Carolina)

    Rising falls numbers, and what to do about them: Mindy Renfro, PT, DPT, PhD, and Leslie Allison, PT, PhD, editor of the Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy, discuss recent research into rising rates of falls-related deaths among Americans who are older, and how falls prevention programs can help made a positive change. (Kaiser Health News)

    Physical therapy's role in addressing developmental delays: Beth Ennis, PT, EdD, explores the role pediatric physical therapy can play in helping children develop. (MD-Update)

    Finding that tweet spot for phone-viewing: Eric Robertson, PT, DPT, has some suggestions for avoiding neck pain from overuse of handheld devices. (Popular Science)

    Exercise after giving birth: Susan Clinton, PT, DScPT, and Marianne Ryan, PT, BS, offer advice for women who are ready to begin (or restart) exercise postpartum. (New York Times)

    Quotable: "With physical therapy, you can see patients make so many strides, and miracles happen," she said. "I've been in PT, and I've witnessed these miracles, and I believe that physical therapy is a field through which I can make a difference in the world. I believe I can help people realize, during their worst times, the strengths they may not know they have and watch as they make amazing progress." Heather Callahan-Williams, University of North Georgia student, on her plans to pursue a degree in physical therapy. (University of North Georgia News)

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

    APTA Programs Earn National Recognition

    APTA has once again received national honors from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE)—this year, for APTA resources on financial literacy and student debt management, as well as for a collaborative program that helps aspiring physical therapist (PT) and physical therapist assistant (PTA) education program directors hone their leadership skills.

    ASAE announced that APTA was the recipient of 2 "Power of A" awards: a Gold Award for the association's Financial Solutions Center, and a Silver Award for its Education Leadership Institute (ELI) fellowship program. ASAE's Power of A (the A stands for "association") Awards are the industry's highest honor, recognizing the association community's valuable contributions on local, national, and global levels.

    Launched in 2017, the APTA Financial Solutions Center is a free online financial resource that includes a customizable financial education platform featuring learning on topics such as student loan debt, repayment options, loan consolidation, budgeting, and mortgages. The center also features a student loan refinancing provider that offers eligible members a discounted interest rate. In addition, the center links to certified financial planner information, scholarships, awards, grants, and the APTA Career Center, among other resources. APTA has identified student debt burden and career earning potential as challenges to the long-term sustainability of the physical therapy profession, a key element in the association's strategic plan.

    APTA's ELI program is a yearlong educational experience that includes online learning, direct mentorship, and 3 in-person meetings focused on helping PT and PTA program directors connect with resources and develop the skills they need to be innovative, influential and visionary leaders. Partners who help APTA promote and support the ELI Fellowship include the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy, Academy of Physical Therapy Education, and PTA Educators Special Interest Group.

    "We're proud to be recognized by ASAE this year, but it's even more gratifying to know that members see the value in these programs," said APTA CEO Justin Moore, PT, DPT. "Just like the awards we've received in previous years, this year's honors are a testimony to our members' level of engagement with their association, and their investment in building a professional community."

    The most recent ASAE awards marks the third consecutive year APTA has been recognized by the association industry group. In 2018, APTA, the American Occupational Therapy Association, and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association received a joint Power of A Gold Award for their collaborative effort to end the hard payment cap on therapy services under Medicare, and APTA's membership renewal efforts earned the association a Gold Circle award for an outstanding member retention campaign. In 2017, ASAE recognized APTA's public service announcement video for its #ChoosePT campaign as the winner for best video of the year, as well as the entire #ChoosePT campaign as one of the nation's top public awareness campaigns.

    APTA Centennial Website Makes Its Debut

    Since its beginnings, APTA has shown what can be accomplished when members are connected and engaged—it's a sense of community at the heart of the association's greatest achievements, and now it's a key element in plans to celebrate APTA's 100th anniversary in 2021. That's where a new APTA centennial website—and you—come in.

    This week, APTA launched what will become the definitive online resource highlighting the association's first century, complete with multiple opportunities for members to contribute to the effort.

    The easy-to-navigate site will evolve over time, serving as a destination not only for gaining a better understanding of the association's history but for sharing artifacts, stories, and memories, learning about opportunities for centennial-related public service initiatives, and keeping up with the latest on just how APTA plans to mark its birthday in 2021.

    In fact, right now APTA is asking members to contribute ideas, photos, and thoughts via a submission form at the bottom of the webpage. Of particular interest: members' opinions on the most important milestones in the physical therapy profession.

    Check out the new site and find out how you can get involved, then be sure to revisit in the coming months for more opportunities and announcements.