Monday, March 11, 2019 New APTA Partnership Aimed at Improving Health Care Throughout the Americas APTA will be doing even more to support access to rehabilitative services beyond US borders, thanks to its newest partnership, with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the world's oldest international public health agency. PAHO is now a participant in the APTA Partnerships Program, an initiative aimed at enhancing relationships between the association and other organizations that share common goals. APTA's collaboration with PAHO initially will focus on collecting data on what countries in the Americas are doing ensure and improve access to health and rehabilitation services. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 150 million people in the western hemisphere live with a disability. Rehabilitation services are extremely limited in many countries across this region. Founded in 1902, PAHO works with other entities to promote equity in health and improve the lives of the peoples of the Americas. It serves as the Regional Office of WHO for the Americas and is the specialized health agency of the Inter-American System. "APTA has been working to build and strengthen relationships that can be leveraged strategically to benefit health care. We've also been exploring ways to expand our activities related to global health and international development, and to promote to our members the importance of these issues," said APTA CEO Justin Moore, PT, DPT, in an APTA news release. "Our vision to transform society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience is well aligned with PAHO's plan. They are an ideal partner for us." PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne agrees that her organization and APTA are a good collaborative fit and thinks the partnership comes at an opportune time. "Rehabilitation is an increasingly important health service for the region, particularly for older populations and those who have experienced an injury or noncommunicable disease or for many with long- or short-term impairments," Etienne said. "This is an important partnership for PAHO as we look to strengthen rehabilitation services in the Americas." Other partners in the APTA Partnership Program include the American Academy of Manual Physical Therapy, the American College of Sports Medicine, the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy, Move Together, Special Olympics, and the US Department of Veterans Affairs.