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  • 'Flash Action' Connects PT, PTA Students With PT-PAC

    A physical therapist (PT) and physical therapist assistant (PTA) student-led "flash action strategy" held recently was all about education and connection around PT-PAC, the physical therapy profession's primary political action committee.

    And once again, students showed how enthusiasm for the profession can make a real difference.

    In the middle of packed semesters, students from 94 PT and PTA programs participated in a nationwide effort to press for increased involvement in PT-PAC. Primarily using social media, participants concentrated their efforts during a 48-hour window of intense messaging. The awareness campaign helped to raise nearly $8,000 for PT-PAC and, more important, spread the message of the importance of the PAC to the profession—including members of the profession still in training.

    Based on total donations, the top 5 schools in the flash action were, in order, the University of Dayton (Ohio), West Coast University (California), Texas Woman's University, Mount St Mary's University (California), and South College (Tennessee).

    PT and PTA students will be bringing their energy and excitement to the upcoming APTA National Student Conclave, set for October 27-29 in Miami.

    APTA Staff, Members, Supporters Take to the Streets to Support Physical Therapy and #ChoosePT

    Super H 5K Run

     

    They came. They saw. They ran—and helped to spread the word about physical therapy and the #ChoosePT campaign.

    On September 18, staff, APTA volunteers, and family members returned to the streets of McLean, Virginia, in their running shoes and, this year, orange #ChoosePT t-shirts to participate in the Medstar National Rehabilitation Hospital “SuperH” 5k Run, Walk, and Wheel, a special event that encourages participants of all abilities to come together to support the work of the hospital. APTA has been a sponsor of the event for several years, and this year hosted an information table that offered resources on physical therapy, the public-focused MoveForwardPT.com website, and #ChoosePT, the association's anti-opioid abuse campaign.

    According to APTA CEO Justin Moore, PT, DPT, the event is part of a broad effort to encourage more APTA staff involvement in community service—an effort that grew out of the 2015 Global PT Day of Service last October. APTA staff and volunteers participated in that event, and the association is a sponsor of this year's service day.

    "We've embraced the concept with the moniker of 'APTA Serves,'" Moore said in a video interview. "We're trying to embed service into our staff model and into our employees on a daily basis. That was really launched last year, and it's becoming something we're trying to do year-round."

    Next up on the APTA Serves agenda: a blood drive, hosted at APTA headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, on October 4, from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm. Participation isn't limited to association staff—local members and supporters are also encouraged to participate, and can sign up online.

    Don't forget—Global PT Day of Service returns this year on October 16. What will you be doing to engage with your community?

    Support #ChoosePT During Pain Awareness Month

    APTA's #ChoosePT campaign is raising awareness about physical therapy as a safe alternative to prescription opioids for pain management. And given that September is National Pain Awareness Month, it's an especially good time to help get the word out.

    Through a mix of national online advertising and targeted media and stakeholder outreach, APTA has reached millions of Americans with its core message—“Opioids only mask pain. Physical therapists treat pain through movement and exercise.” Social media is also playing an important role, and promoting the campaign on your social media profiles is one of the easiest ways to show your support.

    Here are 4 simple ways you can help to amplify the #ChoosePT message through your own social media channels:

    1. Use the #ChoosePT hashtag in your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts.
    2. Download the #ChoosePT cover photos to use on your Facebook and Twitter profile.
    3. Download the #ChoosePT graphics to use in your posts.
    4. Share the TV public service announcement “Don’t Mask the Pain With Opioids” on your social media channels.

    Social media tools can be downloaded from the Campaign Toolkit at MoveForwardPT.com/ChoosePT.

    The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in Local News, September 2016

    "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!

    Meg Fisher, PT, DPT, ATC, is participating in the Paralympics in Rio, Brazil. (NBC Montana)

    Valerie Gibson, PT, DPT, explains how exoskeletons at her clinic are giving patients new opportunities for mobility. (Fairfax, Virginia, Times)

    "Fun is the secret ingredient to success in physical therapy at St John's Children's Hospital" - profile broadcast on Fox55/27, Springfield, Illinois.

    Deb Doherty, PT, has been appointed to the board that advises the state of Michigan on cancer control activities. (Port Huron, Michigan, Daily Tribune)

    Eleven University of New England DPT students participated in the school's Ghana Cross Cultural Health Immersion Team. (UNE blog)

    Matthew Hwu, PT, DPT, is "the health care ambassador of esports." (espn.com)

    Rebecca Martin, PT, DPT, shares insights on physical therapy and Parkinson disease. (Clarkson University, New York, newsletter)

    Trisha Ebert, PT, DPT, has returned to her hometown where she was a star track and field athlete. (Jackson County, Missouri, Examiner)

    University of Central Florida DPT students participated in a GoBabyGo build in Orlando, and are readying for another. (Orlando, Florida, Fox35 News)

    Scott Crabtree, PT, DPT, discusses falls prevention. (Staunton, Virginia News Leader)

    Carol-Ann Nelson, PT, DPT, has received a $2,500 grant from the Cornelius and Mildred Dixon Memorial Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation for her Destination Rehab project. (KTVZ, Bend, Oregon)

    "'When I met you earlier this summer, you made me a promise,' he said to her. 'What was it?'
    'Work hard and go to physical therapy,' Ally replied.
    'That's it exactly.' Gabrielson said, smiling." –Brad Gabrielson speaking with his young friend Ally Christianson, both of whom have cerebral palsy. Gabrielson is working to provide ramps for individuals with disabilities. (Jamestown, North Dakota, Sun)

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

    PT, PTA Students Lead the Charge to Support PT-PAC Through #FAS2016

    One thing's certain: physical therapist (PT) and physical therapist assistant (PTA) students have a way of making things happen through their energy and enthusiasm for the profession. And if all goes as planned, over the next few days the physical therapy profession's primary political action committee, PT-PAC, will get a jolt of that energy and enthusiasm.

    On September 14 and 15, PT and PTA students across the country will participate in a "flash action strategy" to press for increased involvement in PT-PAC, the sole fundraising organization that works to support legislators who champion issues important to the physical therapy profession at the federal level. Led by the APTA Student Assembly Board of Directors, the advocacy effort encourages students and APTA members to reach out to each other to encourage participation in—and donations to—the PAC.

    Although student-led, the event is also open to nonstudent APTA members. APTA's Flash Action Strategy webpage offers instructions and resources to help supporters get the word out, including downloadable Facebook and Twitter cover photos that will allow you to make the most out of social media as a show of support, plus an official hashtag, #FAS2016. The page also features information on PT-PAC—what it does, how it works, and how you can support it.

    Want more inspiration to participate in the flash action? Check out this great spoken-word video on PT-PAC by the Student Assembly's own James McAfee.

    Coming to Your TV and Radio: APTA’s #ChoosePT Campaign

    APTA's #ChoosePT campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of long-term opioid use and the safe alternative of physical therapy for pain management has already attracted media attention and generated buzz online and on social media.

    Now the campaign will extend its reach to TV and radio with the national distribution of public service announcements (PSAs).

    APTA released its TV PSA online yesterday to mark the beginning of Pain Awareness Month. Both 60- and 30-second versions of the TV PSA, and complementary radio PSAs, could air across the country as soon as late September or early October, in time for National Physical Therapy Month.

     

    Because PSAs aren't placed through traditional paid advertising, the association cannot predict when and where the ads will be broadcast. However, APTA will track broadcast data and will work with state chapters to encourage networks to share the PSAs. The PSAs will also be featured in various online advertising efforts this fall.

    APTA is already seeing results from the #ChoosePT campaign since its June launch.

    Nearly 2 million unique users have visited MoveForwardPT.com this year, already surpassing last year's annual record of 1.6 million unique visitors. Ads for the campaign have appeared everywhere from a billboard in Times Square to local newspapers. And numerous APTA chapters and sections are supporting the campaign through additional advertising, community outreach, and media engagement.

    "The #ChoosePT campaign is an outstanding example of what we can do as a profession and as an association when we work together with a shared goal," said APTA President Sharon L. Dunn, PT, DPT. "Solving the epidemic won't happen overnight, and we can't do it alone, but I'm proud of the way we've embraced our role as a safe alternative to opioids for long-term pain management. Americans need less pain, more movement, and better health, and that's what physical therapists offer."

    Those looking to support the campaign should visit MoveForwardPT.com/ChoosePT, which includes resources for the public as well as a campaign toolkit with ads, graphics, and other information.

    Through the #ChoosePT campaign, APTA has added its voice to the national effort to curb opioid abuse. The association is also a member of the White House's working group addressing the opioid epidemic.

    From PT in Motion: Physical Therapy Meets 'The Internet of Things'

    It's possible to watch your dog napping at home from your office computer miles away. It's possible to adjust your refrigerator temperature from your mobile phone. How about receiving alerts when a patient's gait speed at home is too slow? Or maybe accessing a patient's movement history—a "movement profile"—that could inform the best approach to rehabilitation?

    This month in PT in Motion magazine: "Physical Therapy and the Internet of Things," a look at how devices that connect to the Internet could shape physical therapist practice in the years to come. It's not just Fitbits, Nike+s, and Apple Watches—it's everything from socks with pressure sensors to an Internet-connected version of the Moore Balance Brace. And it's not just about the devices themselves—it's about the ways physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) will apply their clinical skills in using the devices to improve patient and client outcomes.

    The article covers where physical therapy intersects with the Internet of Things (IoT) today, where it's going, and the challenges involved—including security and privacy issues. Along the way, writer Chris Hayhurst touches on the concern of some PTs that IoT devices will somehow supplant the work of licensed professionals, a worry that 1 PT interviewed for the story says is baseless.

    "I don't see these technologies as replacements at all," Mary Rodgers, PT, PhD, a professor involved in bioengineering, tells PT in Motion. "These technologies will enable PTs to reach more people—for instance, patients whose location is remote enough that it's hard for them to get to a clinic. These technologies will make home programs much more effective."

    "Physical Therapy and the Internet of Things" 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 one 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.

    Video of Popular Roundtable Discussion on Physical Therapy and Pain Management Now Available

    To get this year's Rothstein Roundtable started, moderator Anthony Delitto PT, PhD, asked a simple question: is physical therapy a "good choice" for pain management?

    In many ways, the answer he received from panelist Michael Parkinson, MD, set the tone for the rest of the discussion.

    Parkinson's reply: "Yes, but."

    Now available at the Physical Therapy (PTJ) website: a video of the entire Rothstein Roundtable held at the 2016 NEXT Conference and Exposition in June. Delitto and Parkinson are joined by Arlene Greenspan, PT, DrPH, of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Dave Elton of the United Health Group - Optum, as well as 2016 Maley lecturer Steven George, PT, PhD, to discuss the question, “Opioids Versus Physical Therapy: Should Physical Therapy Be the First Choice for Pain Management?” The ensuing conversation, held in front of a capacity audience, was a highlight of the conference.

    The Rothstein Roundtable is held annually at NEXT in honor of PTJ’s former editor in chief, Jules Rothstein, PT, PhD. PTJ is the scientific journal of APTA. All APTA members receive access to the journal as part of their membership.

    Don't miss other opportunities to explore the role of physical therapy through the eyes of Steven George, PT, PhD, who is calling for a "revolution" in how physical therapists think about pain. A video of his Maley lecture is available within his recent contribution to the Narrow the Gap blog series.

    The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in Local News, August 2016

    "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!

    Kyle Sela, PT, DPT, describes his strength training work with Olympic cycling gold medalist Kristin Armstrong. (Boise, Idaho, Statesman)

    Clay Sniteman, PT, MSPT, recounts his experiences with US tennis competitors in Rio in his "Diary of an Olympic physical therapist." (Deseret, Utah, News)

    "Have you thanked your physical therapist today?" – opinion from the Pike County, Ohio, News Watchman.

    Christopher Whiteman, PT, has received the "Mentor of the Year" award from the Maryland Area Health Education Center-West. (WCBC-FM, Cumberland, Maryland)

    Ilka J. Young, PT, describes how animals can be used in physical therapy. (Couer d'Alene, Idaho, Press)

    University of Nebraska PT students participated in a GoBabyGo! building event, working with University of Nebraska-Lincoln engineering students. (Live Well Nebraska)

    Gloria Soto Reyes, PT, is headed to Nicaragua as part of the International Medical Alliance's "IMA Helps" program, reflecting a family commitment to "living by giving." (Walnut Creek, California, East Bay Times)

    Darin Jernigan, PT, is featured in a story on the Jenny Lake Rescue Rangers, a wilderness rescue squad working in the Grand Teton National Park. (CNN)

    Lisa Kenyon PT, DPT, PhD, explains the importance of Bay Cliff Health Camp, a summer camp for children with disabilities. (Negaunee, Michigan, TV6)

    Kara Lynn Bermensolo, PT, describes how physical therapy can address female incontinence. (Bremerton, Washington, Kitsap Sun)

    PTs and OTs are using Pokemon Go to assist in children's rehab at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Detroit News)

    Mary Beth Brown PT, PhD, explains why people sweat more as they become fit. (Shape online)

    Rafael Escamilla, PT, PhD, offers advice on making the best use of Olympics-inspired efforts to increase fitness. (Sacramento, California, Bee)

    RaeAnn Thomas, PT, DPT, and Jeffrey Hogan, PT, demonstrate how antigravity treadmills are used in physical therapy. (Fox 25 News, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)

    "A person with knee arthritis [should] undergo at least 3 months of physical therapy." –tips on knee OA pain from the Harvard Medical School Health Blog.

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

    Patient-Centered Outcomes Institute Recognizes Physical Therapy's Role – Again

    The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is continuing its track record as an organization that recognizes the importance of physical therapy—this time through a new grant for a physical therapist (PT)-led research project on pain, and the appointment of an APTA member and former staffer to an influential advisory panel on prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

    PCORI is awarding nearly $15,000 to help fund a project titled "As a Matter of Pain," a research project focused on "building the community and capacity to improve musculoskeletal pain with specific emphasis on the role of physical therapy." Led by Jason Beneciuk, PT, PhD, MPH, the project aims to improve communication between patients, PTs, and other health care providers to create better posttreatment tracking, increase consideration of patient preferences and expectations, and ensure better access to care. The research will be a collaboration between Jacksonville, Florida-based Brooks Rehabilitation and the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions.

    PCORI also acknowledges physical therapy in appointing Nancy White, PT, DPT, to serve on the organization's advisory panel on assessment of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment options. The panel identifies and prioritizes critical research questions for possible PCORI funding, and provides feedback and advice on evaluating and disseminating the research conducted. White, exectuive eirector of the Arlington Free Clinic in Virginia, was formerly APTA's executive vice president of professional affairs.

    PCORI is an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010. The institute has increasingly focused attention on physical therapy: in addition to these recent announcements, in July 2015 PCORI awarded $28 million to support 2 research efforts led by PTs, and earlier this summer reported that it will award $12.5 million to a research project on the effectiveness of "integrative" pain management through the use of interdisciplinary teams that include PTs.