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  • From the 2018 APTA House of Delegates: Rimmer, Corcos, Polvinale, Receive Honorary APTA Membership

    Two researchers and a longtime APTA staff member were formally recognized as honorary members of APTA by the 2018 House of Delegates for contributions that have allowed physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) to better serve patients and clients.

    James H. Rimmer, PhD, has conducted research that is widely known for its emphasis on health promotion and wellness for people with disability, particularly as it relates to physical therapy. This, in turn, has fostered development of models for the integration of health promotion into PT practice. He is also the creator of large-scale centers that promote health and wellness, and currently directs 2 federally funded centers: the National Center on Health, Physical Activity, and Disability; and the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Interactive Exercise Technologies and Exercise Physiology for People with Disabilities.

    Daniel M. Corcos, PhD, a scientist whose research focuses on the neural basis of motor control, has a 30-year history of collaborating with PTs in a variety of ways, from serving as a doctoral chair to coauthoring peer-reviewed publications. In addition, Corcos played critical roles in developing grants that have supported the work of PTs and has been the recipient of grants that have included PTs as principal or co-principal investigators.

    With more than 38 years as an APTA employee, Bonnie Polvinale, former APTA chief operations officer (now retired), is the longest-serving staff member in the association's history. During her tenure with APTA, Polvinale helped to refine or re-envision some of the association's most popular offerings including the NEXT Conference and Exposition, the APTA Learning Center, and the Combined Sections Meeting. APTA President Sharon Dunn, PT, PhD, described Polvinale as a "truly outstanding" individual "committed to helping others" whatever the need. "Bonnie Polvinale possess the same compassion and caring for the individual that called us all to our profession in the first place," Dunn said.

    Final language for these recognitions and all actions taken by the House will be available by September after the minutes have been approved.

    APTA Input Included in Health Care Exec Group's Roadmap for Addressing Opioid Crisis

    In recommendations that at times echo those in a recently published APTA white paper, a new "roadmap" for addressing the opioid crisis adds to the voices calling for increased patient access to nonpharmacological and multidisciplinary approaches to pain management. APTA was among the organizations that helped guide development of the report.

    "A Roadmap for Action" is based on a summit sponsored by the Healthcare Leadership Council (HLC), a coalition of chief executives from hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, health insurers and other organizations. Summit participants, which included APTA, developed what HLC describes as "a concrete set of recommendations that identify best practices, prioritize solutions, and identify policy reforms necessary to collaboratively address the opioid crisis." APTA members may find the roadmap useful in advocacy and consumer education efforts.

    The roadmap focuses on 5 broad "priority areas" that require a range of actions at the legislative, regulatory, and industry level "to remove barriers to improved care, essential flow and use of data, and the development of therapeutic tools," according to the report. They are:

    • Improved system approaches to pain management
    • Improved system approaches to prevent opioid misuse
    • Expanded access to evidence-based substance-use disorder treatment and behavioral health services
    • Improved care coordination through data access and analytics
    • Development of sustainable payment systems that support coordination and quality care

    The list is followed by separate recommendations for "health care leaders," lawmakers, and regulators that are largely consistent with those developed by APTA in its white paper "Beyond Opioids: How Physical Therapy Can Transform Pain Management to Improve Health Care." Both the HLC and APTA resources call for increased public and provider awareness of nonpharmacological options for pain management, increased payer support for nonopioid approaches, and wider use of multidisciplinary teams. The HLC roadmap includes physical therapists as providers whose expertise should be put to use "through recognition and payment of services, as well as integration into care teams and opioid stewardship models."

    "This document is a call to action, not only for lawmakers and regulators, but also for all sectors of American healthcare," the HLC report states. "While public policy has a vital role to play in removing barriers to advancements in care and empowering accelerated therapeutic innovation, private sector leadership is critical on every aspect of this issue, from improvements in pain management to data-driven proactive interventions to strengthened opioid stewardship."