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  • 2020 APTA Federal Advocacy Forum Will Feature Impressive Line-up; Registration Closes March 16

    APTA is gearing up for this year's APTA Federal Advocacy Forum, where members will have the opportunity to go to Capitol Hill to advocate on key legislation affecting the profession, including patient access to care, student loan forgiveness via the National Health Service Corps, prior authorization, and the proposal by Medicare to cut reimbursement to physical therapy in 2021.

    But the advocacy trip is just one part of the forum: The event also features educational sessions and opportunities to hear from speakers with important insights on political action and advocacy. This year's speaker lineup includes:

    Paul Begala. Begala, the forum's keynote speaker, is a political analyst and commentator at CNN. An affiliated professor of public policy at Georgetown University, Begala served as counselor to President Bill Clinton.

    Bradford Fitch. Monday's breakfast will feature Bradford Fitch, president and CEO of the Congressional Management Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that advises congressional offices on how to improve operations and advises citizens on how to improve communications to Congress. Fitch has spent 30 years in Washington as a journalist, congressional aide, consultant, college instructor, internet entrepreneur, and writer/researcher. Fitch is the author of several books, including Citizen’s Handbook to Influencing Elected Officials and Media Relations Handbook for Agencies, Associations, Nonprofits and Congress.

    Theresa Marko, PT, DPT, MS. Theresa Marko is one of the profession's most dynamic advocates. Marko is a member of APTA's Public Policy & Advocacy Committee, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists’ Practice Committee, and the Private Practice Section's Government Affairs Committee. Marko regularly goes to the District of Columbia and her state capitol in Albany to lobby for issues important to the physical therapy profession. She has been a guest speaker on patient and physical therapist advocacy at Columbia University and LaGuardia College, and recently authored a blog post for APTA on the importance of advocacy.

    Thomas Barba, PT, MPT. An active leader and volunteer in the profession, Barba serves as Federal Affairs Liaison for the Michigan chapter of APTA, Federal Advocacy Key Contact for the APTA and the Private Practice Section, and a member of the PPS Annual Conference Program Work Group. In addition, Barba is a member of the Michigan chapter board of directors and serves on the advisory boards for Delta College PTA Program and Bay Area ISD for Health Professionals.

    Want to get a feel for what the Federal Advocacy Forum is all about? Check out the video recap of the 2019 forum on the APTA Federal Advocacy Forum webpage. And if you're in the mood for a little pre-Forum inspiration don't miss this great read from a veteran advocate Eva Norman, PT, DPT, "You Cannot Complain if You're Not Involved."

    APTA Volunteer Opportunities Available

    Ready to step up your participation in APTA? Calls are now open for several Board of Directors-appointed groups.

    The Board is seeking volunteers for the reference, ethics and judicial, finance and audit, public policy and advocacy, and scientific and practice affairs committees; as well as APTA awards subcommittees on advocacy, education, lectures, practice and service, publications, research, scholarships, and Catherine Worthingham Fellows. Deadline for making your interest known is February 28, 2020, for all groups except the Reference Committee, which has a March 1 deadline. More information on the opportunities can be found on APTA's volunteer groups webpage.

    To apply, visit APTA Engage, the association's volunteer portal. In addition to the Board-appointed groups, the site features a dynamic list of opportunities ranging from one-time, low time-commitment, locally based options to long-term volunteer positions at both the chapter and national levels.

    Tip: Even if you're not interested in current openings, consider creating an APTA Engage profile soon to make the process that much easier when other opportunities present themselves. Questions? Contact denakilgore@apta.org.

    Mining Data to Shape Practice

    What's in a number? By itself, maybe not much. But collect a whole bunch of the right numbers and analyze them in the right ways, and you may be on the road to improving PT practice.

    In this month's issue of PT in Motion magazine: a look at how predictive analytics, sometimes referred to as probabilistic thinking, is shaping physical therapy in terms of both future practice and the here-and-now.

    "The Power of Predictive Analytics" explores how "using yesterday's patient data to make informed case decisions today" is surfacing in ways big and small, from large-scale operations that involve hundreds of clinics to a physical therapy education program that asks its students to collect outcomes during their clinical internships. The article also looks how APTA's Physical Therapy Outcomes Registry is positioned to become a significant source for predictive analytics.

    The PTs and other experts interviewed for the article agree on the potential for predictive analytics to change the ways PTs treat their patients. But Intermountain Healthcare's Stephen Hunter, PT, DPT, the hospital system's director of process control, believes that the benefits extend beyond the PT and into payment systems as well.

    "We certainly can go to payers with this data because we have outcomes every visit," Hunter says in the article. "We can go to a payer and say 'Look, you're only approving us for six visits for low back pain. But if you look at our data from thousands of patients, we can make a bigger difference if we get eight visits.' And most payers know that if patients don't improve in physical therapy, they're going to require more expensive care."

    "The Power of Predictive Analytics" is featured in the February issue of PT in Motion magazine and is open to all viewers — pass it along to nonmember colleagues to show them one of the benefits of belonging to APTA.

    2020 Federal Advocacy Forum Coming March 29; Registration Open Through March 16

    While 2019 saw some real advocacy achievements for the physical therapy profession, the year also brought challenges to tackle in 2020 — not the least of which is the proposal by Medicare to cut reimbursement to physical therapy in 2021. And with APTA's fight against the cut already in motion, the 2020 Federal Advocacy Forum, set for March 29-31, couldn't come at a better time.

    Registration is now open for the annual event, which brings PTs, PTAs, and students together in Washington, DC, for a three-day conference that provides the latest on regulatory and legislative issues affecting the profession, and ends with an opportunity for attendees to apply what they've learned by making in-person visits to Senate and House offices. Registration deadline is March 16.

    The forum's keynote speaker will be Paul Begala, political analyst and commentator at CNN. An affiliated professor of public policy at Georgetown University, Begala served as counselor to President Bill Clinton.

    Begala's participation is in keeping with the forum's tradition of offering a variety of speakers with diverse perspectives. Past keynote speakers include political commentator Fred Barnes, FOX News host Tucker Carlson, and political strategist Donna Brazile.

    Other forum activities will include an evening reception and breakout sessions on advocacy-related topics.

    "The proposed 8% cut will be one of the issues the profession will share with their elected officials, and APTA will continue to educate Congress about the essential role that physical therapists play in the delivery of quality health care for patients of all ages across the country," said Michael Matlack, APTA's director of congressional affairs. "Now, more than ever, the voice of the physical therapy profession is critical to the health and well-being of our patients and our industry. "

    Want to get a feel for what the Federal Advocacy Forum is all about? Check out the video recap of the 2019 forum on the Federal Advocacy Forum webpage.

    The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in the Media, January 2020

    "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, PTAs, and students are transforming health care and society every day. Enjoy!

    PT leadership for USA Gymnastics: Kim Kranz, PT, DscPT, has been named USA Gymnastics' first vice president of Athlete Health and Wellness. (Around the Rings)

    When resolutions become a pain: Ryan Balmes, PT, DPT, and Jessica Douglas, PT, MSPT, offer advice on how to take on that New Year's fitness resolution without getting hurt. (Boston Globe)

    Redskins score a key PT: Kevin Wilk, PT, DPT, FAPTA, is now the Washington Redskins' medical trainer. (Redskins Wire)

    The importance of the pelvic floor: Riana Taktikos, PT, DPT, explains the ways pelvic floor physical therapy can help conditions that many people think they just have to live with. (Warren, Ohio, Tribune-Chronicle)

    Home is where the gym is: David Reavy, PT, MBA, shares his favorite piece of home gym equipment. (Gear Patrol)

    Solving middle back pain: Tony D'Angelo, PT, outlines what's different about middle back pain, and provides tips on addressing it. (Shape)

    Balance in all things: Ben Fung, PT, DPT, MBA; and Kathleen Walworth, PT, DPT, stress the importance of good balance, and suggest ways to improve. (Vitacost.com)

    Flying with the Eagles: St. Francis University (Pennsylvania) physical therapy students helped members of the Philadelphia Eagles create adaptive ride-ons for kids with disabilities at a recent GoBabyGo event. (Altoona, Pennsylvania Mirror)

    The power of neurologic physical therapy: Ian Lonich, PT, DPT, is making a difference for patients in southwest Pennsylvania. (Uniontown, Pennsylvania Herald-Standard)

    Pillow talk: Karena Wu, PT, DPT, MS, discusses the advantages of body pillows. (Bustle)

    Goodbye, crunches: Bethanie Bayha, PT, DPT, provides insight on better core-strengthening exercises. (Self)

    Go ask pectoralis: Danielle Weis, PT, DPT, discusses ways to counter pectoralis muscle imbalances that cause neck pain. (Well and Good)

    The PT's role in responding to autism spectrum disorder: Anjana Bhat, PT, is leading the way helping children with ASD improve social skills and communication through physical therapy. (University of Delaware News)

    Speedbumps on the road to fitness: Todd Kruse, PT, MPT, shares insights on preventing injury while pursuing fitness resolutions. (KEYC12 News, Mankato, Minnesota)

    I'll be sore for Christmas: Anna Friedman, PT, says yes, Virginia, there is a "Santa strain." (KOMO News, Seattle)

    Delivering postpartum fitness: Carrie Pagliano, PT, DPT, unpacks the trend toward exercise programs for new mothers. (Wall Street Journal)

    GoBabyGo, Colorado style: Jessica Albers, PT; and Kristen Holman, PT, DPT, spearheaded a recent effort to retrofit children's vehicles to provide independence — and a lot of fun — for children with disabilities. (Coloradoan)

    There's no place like foam: Theresa Marko, PT, DPT, MS, discusses the advantages and uses of foam rollers. (Insider)

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

    We Have a Winner: ONE by ONE Member Recruitment Effort's Prizewinner List Continues to Grow

    Heather Prather, PT, DPT, says APTA membership gives her the information and peer connections she needs to thrive in her profession. And she must make a pretty compelling case, at least as far as new APTA member Erin Brannan, PTA, is concerned.

    Prather is the latest prize-drawing winner in APTA's ONE by ONE membership campaign, a project that encourages members to recruit their fellow PTs, PTAs, and physical therapy students — in Prather's case, it was Erin Bannan — to join APTA. Every member who refers a new or returning member is entered into a monthly drawing for a free year of APTA membership. In December, Prather's name was drawn. Both Prather and Brannon are from New Mexico.

    "I renewed my APTA membership, as I enjoy having access to the clinical tool box for quick access to different outcome measures and appropriate exercises and protocols to utilize based on diagnosis," Prather said. “I enjoy receiving the PT in Motion magazine and reading about up-to-date topics and what’s happening in the physical therapy world. The community boards are helpful to see what is being discussed, or as a lifeline to ask fellow members their advice or suggestions from their experiences on certain topics. It is great to be a member of APTA, to show support and that we are proud of our profession."

    The ONE by ONE campaign also holds a monthly prize drawing for new or renewing members referred through the campaign, awarding winners a subscription to APTA's Passport to Learning continuing education access system. The most recent winner was Steve Baron, PT, DPT, a new member from Pennsylvania. Baron was recruited by Matthew Will, PT, DPT, also from Pennsylvania.

    ONE by ONE offers additional opportunities to win, including a prize for the participating section that experiences the largest year-over-year growth rate during the campaign, and the chance to win one of five iPads that will be given away in a drawing of members who recruit five or more new members by the end of the campaign.

    Details on the recruitment effort — and a list of past prize winners — can be found on the ONE by ONE webpage, including a toolkit that gives you everything you need to join the campaign. ONE by ONE runs through September 30, 2020.

    APTA CEO Moore Joins Amputee Coalition Board

    APTA Chief Executive Officer Justin Moore, PT, DPT, has been unanimously elected to serve a four-year term on the Board of the Amputee Coalition, a leading national advocacy organization.

    The Amputee Coalition serves the more than two million Americans with limb loss and limb difference and more than 28 million at risk for amputation. Its mission is to raise awareness for and advocate on behalf of that population on Capitol Hill, and ensure that legislators and policymakers are educated about the unique needs of this community. The coalition’s work helps to secure the services, supports, and resources for individuals to live the lives they want to live.

    Moore will join 11 other board members who advise the organization on initiatives including federal policy outreach, insurance protections for patients, the organization’s National Limb Loss Resource Center, summer youth camp, and hospital partnerships.

    “Having Justin join our esteemed board of directors strengthens our ability to make progress toward our strategic goals and grow the coalition,” said Coalition CEO Mary Richards. “We all look forward to his vision, leadership, and insights about the federal policy landscape and how we can best serve our community.”

    “I am honored to have been elected to the Board of Directors of the Amputee Coalition," Moore said. “Clearly the coalition’s mission closely reflects APTA’s own vision — transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience — which makes this position all the more significant to us. I look forward to working with the coalition to advocate for those they serve.”

    Paul Rockar Named Foundation President

    The Foundation for Physical Therapy Research (FPTR) has named former APTA President Paul Rockar Jr., PT, DPT, MS, as its president. Rockar, who served as a foundation trustee for three years prior, assumed his new role on January 1, 2020.

    Rockar is a well-known figure in the physical therapy profession, having served as a member of the APTA Board of Directors, as its vice president, and finally, as president of the organization from 2012 to 2015. Rockar is the former CEO of the Centers for Rehab Services.

    APTA and the foundation have a more than 40-year relationship focused on promoting physical therapy research. As a designated Pinnacle Partner of the foundation, APTA invested over $500,000 to support foundation initiatives including scholarships and fellowships in 2019.

    In his role as president, Rockar will work alongside his fellow Board of Trustees members to continue the foundation’s 2019-2022 strategic plan.

    “I am honored to have been chosen by my fellow trustees to lead FPTR at a time when research is so important to the profession,” said Rockar. “I look forward to collaborating with our partners and like-minded supporters — including APTA — to support research that leads to the best clinical guidelines and excellent patient care.”

    Rockar succeeds Edelle Field-Fote, PT, PhD, FAPTA, who concluded her term at the end of 2019.

    Public Awareness for Physical Therapy Is Ready to Rock Times Square

    When more than a million people gather in Times Square to watch the ball drop and celebrate the beginning of 2020, APTA's ChoosePT message will be there with them.

    APTA has launched digital billboard advertising in Times Square that will run not only on New Year's Eve but through the end of March 2020. An average of 380,000 pedestrians pass through Times Square each day, most of them tourists, giving the advertising national reach.

    APTA's 15-second billboard ad will appear on two adjoining screens at the corner of 43rd Street and Broadway, running a minimum of 20 times per day.

    The larger right screen will play a series of brief video clips that evoke the positive human experience of movement with messages that say, "Choose to ride. Choose to dance. Choose to love. Choose to play. Choose to climb. Choose to thrive. Choose physical therapy." The left screen will consistently share a call to action: "For what moves you, find a physical therapist at ChoosePT.com."



    ChoosePT.com includes APTA's "Find a PT" directory of APTA member physical therapists who are willing to be contacted by consumers seeking care or by other health care providers making referrals.

    "This is a great opportunity to celebrate the positive impact that physical therapy has on people's lives and encourage them to choose physical therapy," said Jason Bellamy, APTA's executive vice president of strategic communications. "With increased traffic expected to Find a PT, it's really important for clinicians to update their profiles with accurate and detailed information to help consumers find the care they need."

    The Times Square advertising caps off a notable year for APTA's ongoing public awareness activities.

    • APTA went all-in on its "choose physical therapy" message, transitioning the 10-year-old Move Forward brand to ChoosePT, with an updated ChoosePT.com website that includes a significantly improved Find a PT database.
    • A national satellite media tour highlighting the benefits of physical therapy for pain awareness month reached more than 100 million viewers.
    • Online digital advertising pushed traffic to ChoosePT.com to record highs, boosting traffic to the improved Find a PT database in recent months.
    • APTA state chapters collaborated to create state-specific landing pages within ChoosePT.com, which are promoted to consumers using geolocation technology.

    Login at APTA.org to activate or update your Find a PT profile, including adding a headshot, selecting your area of practice focus, and ensuring that your current practice location information is accurate.

    Looking to share the ChoosePT message? Access the campaign toolkit.


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

    Making inclusion happen: Kendra Gagnon, PT, PhD, describes the philosophy behind "Harness School Café," a project that outfitted a school lunchroom with adaptive resources for students with disabilities. (KHSB 41 News, Kansas City, Missouri)

    Ho Ho Ow: Julie Lombardo, PT, DPT, offers tips on avoiding injury during holiday shopping and decorating. (channel3000.com)

    Tackling a career as a PT: Former Denver Broncos safety David Bruton Jr, SPT, has set his sights on earing his DPT at the University of Colorado. (9News, Denver)

    Physical therapy as part of the high school athlete's routine: Evan Chait, PT, discusses the advantages of physical therapy as an ongoing component of a high school athlete's training regimen. (Fox5 News, New York)

    Patelling it like it is: Kristi Fata, PT, DPT, says that with proper precautions, it's possible to continue running while experiencing runner's knee. (yahoo! Lifestyle)

    Go for your guns: Theresa Marko, PT, DPT, MS; Kellen Scantlebury, PT; and Nina Geromel, PT, DPT, ATC, discuss the effects of massage and the effectiveness of home massage guns.(Nutritious Life)

    Getting along swimmingly with a sprain: Margaret Conze, PT, MPT, provides her perspective on the advisability of swimming with a sprained ankle. (US Masters Swimming newsletter)

    Don't blow your big chance in snow business: Lori Thein Brody, PT, PhD, talks about safe ways to shovel snow. (Wisconsin public radio)

    Blood flow restriction therapy: Paula Shulthiess, PT, DPT, shares her thoughts on blood flow restriction therapy now being used in a West Virginia hospital center. (WBOY 12 News, Clarksburg, West Virginia)

    A PT's ankle on recovery: Rachel Tavel, PT, DPT, outlines ways to counter ankle pain. (Men's Health)

    Improving rheumatology: Robert Richardson, PT, MEd, FAPTA; Maura Daly Iveren, PT, DPT, SC, MPH, FAPTA; and Meredith Christiansen, PT, DPT, were among the winners of this year's Association of Rheumatology Merit Awards. (ARP newsletter)

    Quotable: "Unlike expensive new drugs…exercise can reduce costs in the health care system. For these reasons, it’s time for physicians, nurses, and health care organization systems to make their own new year’s resolution — to prioritize exercise as an intervention they prescribe to their patients." – health care writer Sachin Jain, on Encore Wellness, a program that emphasizes exercise as medicine. (Forbes magazine)

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