• News New Blog Banner

  • State-Level PT Advocates Honored at 2018 Policy and Payment Forum

    Recognition of the importance of nonpharmacological pain therapies, adoption of the physical therapy licensure compact, a higher-profile role for physical therapists (PTs) in concussion management, and improving the legal scope of practice for physical therapists were among the accomplishments of this year's APTA State Legislative Leadership and Legislative Commitment Award winners recognized at the association's recent State Policy and Payment Forum in Kansas City, Missouri. The event was co-hosted by the Missouri and Kansas chapters of APTA.

    This year, 4 PTs were honored for their service to the profession at the state level:

    Mark Bishop, PT, PhD, FAPTA, was presented with an APTA State Legislative Leadership Award for his work in Florida to address the opioid crisis. Bishop's leadership and expertise was instrumental in the Florida Physical Therapy Association's development of a legislative amendment, adopted into the Florida Substance Abuse Act, that requires prescribers of controlled substances to complete a 2-hour continuing education course on prescribing controlled substances that must include information on nonpharmacological therapies.

    Cynthia Driskell, PT, also earned an APTA State Legislative Leadership Award in recognition of her achievements over 8 years as state legislative chair for the Arizona Chapter of APTA. Driskell's skills at facilitation were most recently brought to bear on a multisession effort to include PTs among the providers empowered to make return-to-play decisions for athletes and a successful push to include PTs with a sports specialty certification to participate in a concussion management pilot program.

    Derek Gerber, PT, DPT, of Idaho, was the third recipient of a State Legislative Leadership Award. Gerber led a successful push to eliminate the state's prohibition on dry needling by PTs, a change that was signed into law in March. Thanks to Gerber's extensive involvement in the effort, Idaho now allows PTs to practice dry needling after they have completed specified education and training requirements.

    Emilie Jones, PT, DPT, was honored with the APTA State Legislative Commitment Award. Jones, who served 3 years as legislative committee chair for the Washington Chapter of APTA, was instrumental in addressing several crucial issues in the state, including assistive personnel revisions, progress on dry needling, and the adoption of the physical therapy licensure compact.

    The APTA State Policy and Payment Forum focuses on advocacy and legislative issues at the state level. Check out pictures from the event here.

    State Forum Awards
    This year's state legislative award winners (from left): Emilie Jones, PT, DPT; Derek Gerber, PT, DPT; and Cynthia Driskell, PT. Not pictured: Mark Bishop, PT, PhD, FAPTA. Jones, Driskell, and Bishop received State Legislative Leadership Awards; Gerber received a State Legislative Commitment Award.

    The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in the Media, September 2018

    "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!

    Bringing the PT voice to the table: Amee Seitz, PT, DPT, PhD, is representing APTA on the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons work group developing clinical guidelines for management of rotator cuff injuries. (Northwestern University Medicine News)

    Addressing a pain feedback system gone "haywire": Tara Legar, PT, explains how physical therapy can help people with chronic pain avoid opioids. (Pike County, Ohio, News Watchman)

    Quotable: "All too often, people get the advice to stop everything that they're doing, rest, take some opioid medication. And we know now that's the wrong treatment." –Judith Turner, pain management specialist, on the importance of physical therapy for low back pain. (KABC-7 Eyewitness News, Los Angeles)

    Friend of the court: Julie Moon, PT, has a very special patient—her father, a retired chief justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court. (KHON 2 News, Honolulu)

    Pilates for neurological conditions: Kelsey Garcia PT, DPT, leads a 5-week program that delivers “Pilates-based” physical therapy to individuals with PD, MS, spinal cord injury, and more. (Miami's Community Newspapers group)

    A Special Olympics health leader: Jen Roberts, PT, DPT, was named the winner of a Special Olympics North Carolina "Golisano Health Leadership Award." (Charlotte-Raleigh citybizlist)

    It's manely about physical therapy: John Payne, PT, discusses the benefits of hippotherapy. (Tacoma, Washington, News-Tribune)

    Pelvic floor health: Jaime Rogers, PT, says people shouldn't be hesitant to discuss pelvic disorders with their health care providers. (Lawrence, Kansas, Journal-World)

    The right way to reduce back pain: Karen Joubert, PT, DPT, discusses the best ways to get relief from back, neck, and shoulder pain. (KTLA 5 News, Los Angeles)

    A groundbreaker: Dan Hatch, PT, DPT, was named 1 of Newport, Rhode Island's top 10 "Groundbreakers" for his value-based, cash-based practice.(Providence, Rhode Island, Journal)

    A balanced approach to vertigo: DuPree Zumbro, PT, DPT, outlines 5 things to know about vertigo. (Wilmington, North Carolina, Star News)

    Preventing the first fall: Lori Schrodt, PT, PhD, explains the importance of balance and falls-risk screenings. (Asheville, North Carolina, Mountain Express)

    Quotable: "I know that physical therapy is worth it in the end. It helps me SAFELY continue going about my life. I have never finished a session and thought, 'Well, that was a bad decision.'” – Kendall Harvey, who has Friedreich's ataxia, on the importance of physical therapy in her life. (Friedreich's Ataxia News)

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

    APTA Honors and Awards Nominations Now Open

    Members of the physical therapy profession do amazing things for people every day, and not just inside the walls of a clinic. Now's the time to honor those contributions by nominating an APTA member for national recognition through the APTA Honors & Awards program.

    The APTA Honors & Awards program is now accepting nominations for the 2019 awards cycle, an annual effort aimed at celebrating members' outstanding achievements in the areas of education, practice and service, publications, research, academic excellence, humanitarian work, and societal impact. The program also includes the Catherine Worthingham Fellows of APTA, the Mary McMillan Lecture Award, and the John H.P. Maley Lecture Award.

    Detailed award descriptions, eligibility information, and nomination instructions for these and the many other awards and honors in the program are available on the APTA Honors & Awards webpage. Deadline for nominations is December 1.

    Award winners will be recognized at the 2019 NEXT Conference and Exhibition, set for June 12-15 in Chicago. For more information, email Alissa Patanarut.

    From PT in Motion Magazine: Making the Switch From Clinician to Manager

    It's no secret that many of the skills that make someone a good physical therapist (PT)—empathy, communication, being goal-oriented—also lend themselves to a management role. The question is, would a management role right for you?

    In this month’s issue of PT in Motion magazine, author Michele Wojciechowski reports on the experiences of several PTs who moved from frontline clinician to manager. They describe why they made the switch, skills a prospective manager may need to develop, and what makes an administrative role rewarding.

    "In my role, I need to understand where people are coming from, then help them problem-solve and find solutions," says COL Deydre S. Teyhen, PT, DPT, PhD. "PTs do that every day with their patients. They do it when they create a plan of care. Some of that can be complicated—involving the family, the patient's specific needs, time commitments, and other factors. You're often dealing with these same variables when you're in the administrative realm."

    Physical therapist clinicians may have an edge over administrators with a nonclinical background. "PTs in general are highly qualified for managerial roles because we tend to be type-A personalities, and we're really organized," says LTC Scott Gregg, PT, MHA, MBA. "We're quantitatively focused because we're so used to writing goals for all of our patients. As a result, we're good at setting goals for ourselves," he says. "When we're talking with providers, we can speak their language—whereas many administrators who don't have a clinical background get lost in these discussions."

    The article also suggests ways for PTs to build the skills or knowledge they don’t have on the business side.

    Not everyone would be happy in a managerial role, so it’s important to understand your strengths and what you value in your job. "You need to spend enough time in the field to know what your passion is," Gregg says. "If it's taking care of patients, then keep doing that. But if your passion is more on the administrative side, more having to do with numbers, then you should look at going in that direction."

    "PTs in Management Roles: How to Make the Journey" 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.

    5 Ways to Raise Awareness During National Physical Therapy Month in October

    It's early September, which means that now's the time to begin thinking about what you'll be doing to call attention to the benefits of physical therapy during National Physical Therapy Month in October. Here are 5 ways to get involved:

    1. Get T-shirts, magnets, handouts, social media graphics, and other resources from the #ChoosePT toolkit.
    APTA’s award-winning #ChoosePT campaign has reached millions to promote physical therapist (PT) treatment for pain management. Whether you’re participating in a community event or sharing resources online, the #ChoosePT campaign toolkit has what you need.

    2. Arrange to have the #ChoosePT public service announcement aired on TV and radio stations near you.
    Launched in February, APTA’s latest public service announcement has already reached more than 50 million Americans. You can make that number grow by volunteering to contact your local TV and radio stations. Email public-relations@apta.org to volunteer and APTA staff will provide the specific instructions you need to succeed.

    3. Take the #ChoosePT message somewhere fun—and take a picture!
    Sometimes raising awareness is as simple as getting out in the world wearing a #ChoosePT shirt or holding a #ChoosePT sign (available in the toolkit). So go find a landmark, a park, a mountaintop, and anywhere in between, and take photos of you showing your #ChoosePT pride. Post them to social media using the #ChoosePT hashtag or email them to us at public-relations@apta.org. We’ll share our favorites in October.

    4. Promote MoveForwardPT.com.
    APTA’s official consumer information site serves millions of Americans each year. From symptoms and conditions guides to patient stories, podcasts, and tips pages, MoveForwardPT.com is your go-to resource for showing all the ways PTs and physical therapist assistants transform lives.

    5. Update your Find a PT profile.
    Each year, National Physical Therapy Month activities lead to an increase in traffic to Find a PT, APTA’s national database of practicing physical therapist clinicians. Make sure to update or activate your profile so consumers and other health care professionals can find you.

    Questions? Ideas? Contact APTA's public relations staff at public-relations@apta.org.

    Past APTA President Ward Named Presiding Officer for Upcoming WCPT Meeting

    Former APTA president R. Scott Ward, PT, PhD, FAPTA, has been appointed by the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) to serve as the presiding officer of its 19th General Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, May 7-9, 2019.

    The General Meeting of the WCPT draws together delegates from over 100 member organizations, representing the primary physical therapy associations in their respective countries around the globe. As the presiding officer, Ward will conduct and coordinate the business of the delegate assembly of the General Meeting.

    Ward brings to this prestigious appointment a wealth of experience and expertise in governance, leadership, scholarship, and international service. He served as APTA’s delegate to the 17th WCPT General Meeting in Amsterdam in 2011 and as alternate delegate to the 18th General Meeting in Singapore in 2015. While president of APTA, Ward represented APTA at all meetings of the North American Caribbean region of WCPT. For more than 8 years he has provided education to physical therapists under the World Health Organization’s curriculum for the provision of manual wheelchairs in less-advantaged countries.

    Ward led APTA as its president from 2006 to 2012, was a member of APTA’s Board of Directors, was president of APTA’s Utah Chapter, and has received numerous awards and recognition for his longstanding service and contributions to physical therapy. He currently is chair of the Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training at the University of Utah and is a board member of the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy.

    "Scott stands out as a leader, and his experience in the US and internationally are well suited to WCPT,” said APTA President Sharon Dunn, PT, PhD in an APTA news release. “He has been an asset to APTA, both as a member, former president, and friend. And I am sure his leadership and guidance will be invaluable during WCPT’s General Meeting.”

    APTA is a founding member of WCPT and has participated in all 19 General Meetings. Dunn also will attend as a voting delegate along with 2 nonvoting delegates from APTA.

    An APTA National Student Conclave Sneak Peek, Courtesy of the Pulse Blog

    APTA has a vibrant, diverse, and engaged student member population. But you don't have to take our word for it: see for yourself at the 2018 APTA National Student Conclave (NSC), the association's premier event designed specifically for students in physical therapist (PT) and physical therapist assistant (PTA) education programs.

    This year's conference, set for October 11–13 in Providence, Rhode Island, features a wide range of speakers and programming that touches on not only the issues facing current students, but the professional world after the diploma. Advance registration rates end on September 14.

    Want to get a taste of what NSC will be delivering? Check out these APTA Student Pulse blog posts authored by presenters at the upcoming meeting.

    Our Profession: Thriving With the Help of Young Leaders
    APTA Chapter Presidents Michael Gans, PT, DPT (CT); Jason Harvey, PT, MSPT (RI); Heather Jennings, PT, DPT (MA); Mark Mailloux, PT, MBA (NH); and Matt Hyland, PT, PhD, MPA, vice president of APTA, write about the challenges of being a #FreshPT and the rewards of stepping up to involvement with APTA and its chapters.

    Session info: "Millennial and Gen X Leaders Share Their Stories," October 13, 12:30 pm–1:30 pm; or 1:45 pm–2:00 pm

    The Wanderlust PTs
    Ever considered life as a traveling PT or PTA? Gabe Renzi, PT, DPT, and Jessica Renzi, PT, DPT, are living it and helping others interested in experiencing the same.

    Session info: "Traveling PT 101: Make Travel Your Therapy," October 12, 1:15 pm–2:15 pm; or 4:45 pm–5:45 pm

    Nutrition and Physical Therapy: A Powerful Combination
    Nutrition specialist Joe Tatta, PT, DPT, outlines 5 ways to integrate nutrition into your PT practice.

    Session info: "PT + Nutrition: The Perfect Combo to Help You Stand Out," October 13, 12:30 pm–1:30 pm; or 1:45 pm–2:00 pm

    Cancer Rehabilitation: Challenging and Incredibly Rewarding
    Steve Wechsler, PT, DPT, provides a glimpse into the important role PTs and PTAs can play in cancer rehabilitation.

    Session info: "Cancer Rehabilitation: What Every PT and PTA Needs to Know," October 13, 12:30 pm–1:30 pm; or 1:45 pm–2:00 pm

    Tools to Treat the Whole Patient
    Lindsay Walston, PT, DPT, board-certified neurologic and orthopaedic specialist, sees an important connection between orthopaedic and neurologic rehabilitation.

    Session info: "Bridging the Gap Between Orthopaedic and Neurologic Rehabilitation," October 12, 1:15 pm–2:15 pm; or 4:45 pm–5:45 pm

    Riding the Wave in a Changing Community
    Carol Ferkovic Mack, PT, DPT, could feel her community changing—so she changed her career path and started up a sports specialty practice.

    Session info: "Building a Sports Specialty Practice from the Ground Up," October 12, 1:15 pm–2:15 pm; or 4:45 pm–5:45 pm

    PT, PTA, Student Involvement in Special Olympics is Improving Health…and Changing Attitudes

    2018 - 08 - 22 - Special Olympics
    APTA President Sharon Dunn, PT, PhD (standing, left) and Vicki Tilley, PT, look on during a FUNfitness screening at the recent Special Olympics USA National Games. Tilley is co-global clinical advisor for the program.

    Vicki Tilley, PT, and Donna Bainbridge, PT, ATC, EdD, wanted to make a difference in the lives of others by working with Special Olympics. Along the way, Special Olympics returned the favor.

    "I have a different lens now," Tilley said. "Being able to engage, explore, and interact with the ID [intellectual disabilities] population in a way that's positive has changed the way I think about people in general, and about inclusion and access."

    "My experiences with Special Olympics have shaped my entire career path in practice, research, and programming," Bainbridge added. "I have a better understanding of the health needs of individuals with ID, and what we as physical therapists can do to improve the lives and function of people with ID at all ages."

    As Special Olympics celebrates its 50th year, Tilley and Bainbridge are marking their 19th year with the program, and their 18th with "Healthy Athletes," an initiative that brings health professionals and students from multiple disciplines to provide education, screenings, and other services to athletes. Both were instrumental in the creation of FUNfitness, the branch of Healthy Athletes responsible for screenings and education around balance, strength, flexibility, and aerobics fitness. FUNfitness is primarily performed by physical therapists (PTs), physical therapist assistants (PTAs), and students.

    Officially, Tilley and Bainbridge serve as co-global clinical advisors for FUNfitness. Together, they help to guide not only the programs offered at every Special Olympics world and national event, but a worldwide outreach and education initiative that helps health care providers better understand the often-overlooked health needs of individuals with an intellectual disability. But both Tilley and Bainbridge are more than program managers—they're hands-on PTs who love being able to provide services at the games alongside other volunteers.

    Over the summer, Tilley, Bainbridge, and a contingent of PTs, PTAs, and students brought their skills to the Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, where they provided nearly 1,500 services to 761 athletes who visited the FUNfitness area of the Healthy Athletes program. Overall, Healthy Athletes provided 7,125 screenings to 1,762 athletes during the games. Physical therapy education programs that participated included those from the University of Washington, the University of Puget Sound, Pacific University, Touro University – Nevada, Eastern Washington University, and PIMA Medical Institute.

    According to Bainbridge, the origins of the physical therapy profession's involvement with Special Olympics can be traced back to 1999. Back then, Bainbridge worked for APTA, serving as director of practice. The association saw an opportunity and seized it.

    "The association's involvement with Special Olympics was and is a great fit that came at just the right time," Bainbridge said. "At the time, APTA was focused on changing the paradigm of the profession from just rehab and the medical model to health and wellness—our involvement with Special Olympics was one of our first steps in that direction."

    Tilley's involvement came about the same year, when the world games came to her home state of North Carolina. Like APTA national, the North Carolina chapter of APTA saw an opportunity—to pilot the idea of providing a flexibility screen—and asked Tilley to help out. At first, Special Olympics organizers didn't quite understand the role that PTs and PTAs could play, Tilley said. "They understood the idea of an athletic trainer on the field to help with injury, but we had to show them that we could offer even more off the field to help with injuries and keep athletes injury-free," she explained.

    After seeing the PTs and PTAs in action, Special Olympics didn't need much more convincing.

    "After the games they liked it so much, when we met with Special Olympics about expanding to balance, strength, and cardiovascular fitness, they were on board," Tilley said.

    Both FUNfitness and the larger Healthy Athletes program are helping to spread an important concept—that ongoing health matters.

    "Healthy Athletes was in this nice little add-on space, in a sense," Tilley said. "It was originally thought of as add-on features—it wasn't something that coaches thought was really important. But then over time, the coaches began to connect the dots, and started to see that this isn't just a once-a-year thing, and that overall health is really important." Thanks to additional funding from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and subsequent donations from the Golisano Foundation, Special Olympics and the Healthy Athletes program is expanding efforts to promote community-based year-round health for individuals with ID around the globe.

    "Special Olympics has also realized that the ultimate key to change lies in systems and policy change, so this has become a new focus," added Bainbridge. "We're now working with [the World Health Organization], [the Pan American Health Organization], and [the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization] on efforts to expand services equitably to all."

    Those efforts, both locally and globally, are at the heart of why, after years of more informal collaboration, APTA established a formal partnership with Special Olympics in 2017, according to APTA CEO Justin Moore, PT, DPT. This year, APTA established an even stronger presence at the games, with Moore, APTA President Sharon Dunn, PT, PhD, and the president of the APTA Sports Physical Therapy Section in attendance, along with the president and executive director of the Washington chapter of APTA.

    Moore described the partnership as one that allows APTA to help live out its mission of building a community that advances the profession of physical therapy to improve the health of society. "What [Special Olympics is] doing in health care by trying to create a more equitable and inclusive health care system is truly incredible, and we are privileged to be in this partnership," Moore said in an interview. "What a great lasting legacy that Special Olympics is providing these athletes."

    Particularly inspiring, Moore believes, is the way Special Olympics does its work through a strong commitment to collaboration. "It helps our profession understand—how do we work with dentists, podiatrists, dieticians, and others in collaborative ways and always put the athlete, the patient, first?" he said.

    When it comes to collaboration, Tilley thinks that the physical therapy profession has much to offer other health care disciplines, if for no other reason than the variety of patients often seen by PTs and PTAs. "Dentists, optometrists, nutritionists, nurses…they don't necessarily get much exposure to people with ID," Tilley said. "For PTs, we learn how to work with different populations—it's just not as much of a reach for us."

    "The importance of the contributions of PTs, PTAs, and students can't be overstated," Bainbridge said. "We could not stage FUNfitness in our US states without the help and support of these professionals—they are both our clinical directors and our volunteers, and nothing would happen without them."

    But as Bainbridge points, out, it's not all about what PTs can do for Special Olympics—it's also about what Special Olympics does for the profession and for the person who volunteers.

    "Involvement with Special Olympics is a critical value for physical therapy professionals," Bainbridge said. "It allows them to work with and find best ways of communicating with persons with cognitive impairment, a skill that will help them with many other types of patients as well. And it exposes them to a population that they might not usually see in their practices. Although we work with persons with developmental disabilities who might also have an intellectual disability, we much less frequently see those who only had ID unless they have another physical problem. So, this is a population that we do not see routinely, who obviously, from our data, have problems with fitness in all its components."

    "Healthy Athletes and FUNfitness allow providers to see these athletes as part of the wider community," Tilley said. "They come to realize that individuals with ID are just people, with many of the same interests, challenges, and emotions they have—and that can have a big impact."

    According to Tilley, that interaction and understanding can change entire outlooks. Thanks to her involvement with Special Olympics, Tilley explained, she now tends to look at any new physical therapy program, approach, or modality with an eye toward how it may or may not be able to be applied to the population of individuals with Id. Another impact is that she has made Special Olympics a part of her family: both her 18-year old daughter and 21-year-old son have been volunteering with Special Olympics for as long as they can remember. Tilley believes their participation has enriched her kids' lives immeasurably.

    Bainbridge echoes Tilley's comments. "I have made so many wonderful relationships with athletes and their families and caregivers," she said. "Those relationships and experiences have contributed to who I am today, and have given me great understanding, patience, and a concern for equity that I bring to everything I do."

    The Good Stuff: Members and the Profession in the Media, August 2018

    "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!

    Innovation + wellness = Grouphab: Patrice Hazan PT, DPT, MA, and Charlotte Walter PT, DPT, discuss the "grouphab" wellness program they designed to help keep people of all ages mobile and injury-free. (WSPA News 7, Spartanburg, NC)

    Lights, camera, caring: Winston-Salem State University PT students Sam Lucier, SPT; Corey Shelton SPT; and Apu Seyenkulo, SPT, discuss the benefits of a WSSU program that incorporates filmmaking into the physical therapy curriculum. (Fox 8 News, Winston-Salem, NC)

    Balance in all things: Libby Krause PT, DPT, and Lori Ginoza PT, DPT, help a USC doctoral student regain her balance after removal of an acoustic neuroma. (University of Southern California News)

    Return of the PT Ninja Warrior: Todd Bourgeois PT, DPT, who participated in the American Ninja Warrior competition in 2014, is back. And this time he's headed for the finals. (Ninjaguide.com)

    Concussion consciousness: Amanda Stewart, PT, explains the signs of possible concussion, and what to do after a concussion diagnosis. (KUTV 2 News, Salt Lake City, UT)

    Doing business like nobody's business: Bryan Wright PT, DPT, owner of Wright Physical Therapy in Twin Falls, Idaho, was named national Small Business of the Month for July. (legistorm.com)

    Alabama's a sweet home for Go Baby Go: University of Alabama-Birmingham PT students joined with UAB engineering students and occupational therapy students to adapt toy vehicles for children with mobility challenges. (CBS42 News, Birmingham, AL)

    When neck pain is a pain in the neck: Karen Litzy, PT, DPT, offers pointers to avoid neck pain. (Health.com)

    Making connections to the pelvic floor: Adrianne McAuley PT, DPT, and Erin Hartigan, PT, share perspectives—and plans for research—on the ways weak pelvic floor muscles can impact recovery from injury to other areas of the body. (Bangor, ME, Daily News)

    Collaboration is crucial: Eric Lederhaus, PT, and Rebecca Fung PT, DPT, write on the importance of applying integrated care to the opioid crisis. (Managed Care magazine)

    Quotable: “I think it’s something that I really want to do because you get to help so many people. You’re working with patients from different backgrounds with the same goal: to get better." - High schooler Heather Artz, on why she wants to pursue a career in physical therapy. (Herkimer, NY, Times-Telegram)

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

    2018 ELI Fellows Class Brings APTA's Educational Leadership Program Past 100 Graduates

    Sixteen seasoned physical therapy educators have deepened their knowledge and skills over the past year, thanks to the APTA Education Leadership Institute (ELI) Fellowship. The latest cohort pushes the program past the 100-graduate mark.

    These physical therapists (PTs) made up ELI's seventh cohort of ELI fellows when they graduated in July after completing a yearlong higher education program that consisted of:

    • 9 online modules provided by content expert faculty;
    • 3 2-day face-to-face mentorship sessions and ongoing mentorship provided by experienced physical therapy program directors;
    • higher-education mentorship provided by physical therapy education leaders; and
    • implementation of a personal leadership plan and an institution-based leadership project.

    The ELI Fellowship strives to provide developing and aspiring program directors in physical therapist and physical therapist assistant education programs with the skills and resources they need to be innovative, influential, and visionary leaders who can function within a rapidly evolving, politico-sociocultural environment.

    Partners who help promote and support the ELI Fellowship include the American Physical Therapy Association, American Council of Academic Physical Therapy, Academy of Physical Therapy Education, and PTA Educators Special Interest Group. Find out more information about the ELI Fellowship on APTA's website, and view video testimonials of previous ELI graduates. Questions about the program? Contact eli@apta.org.

    The program was first accredited in 2012 by the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE), the accrediting body for postprofessional residency and fellowship programs in physical therapy, and it was reaccredited in 2017 for a 10-year period.