The link between the physical therapy profession and services to military veterans has always been strong, but recently the relationship received a boost in the form of an official partnership between APTA and US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to promote and enhance the health of the nation's veterans.
On December 28, VA and APTA announced a memorandum of agreement (MOA) that "coordinates the strengths of both organizations to benefit all Veterans and their families, physical therapists, and physical therapist assistants by helping to raise awareness of physical therapy and create new employment and practice opportunities," according to a VA news release.
APTA and VA will combine efforts in multiple areas including suicide prevention, promotion of nonpharmacological approaches to pain treatment, and greater physical therapist (PT) and physical therapist assistant (PTA) participation in VA sports programs and special events.
"APTA finds its roots in the military, and we are thrilled to be partnering with VA to give back to America's veterans and ensure that they are receiving the physical therapy care they need," APTA CEO Justin Moore, PT, DPT stated in an APTA news release. "I am confident this agreement will lead to even better health care, results, and, ultimately, improved quality of life for them."
APTA predicts the collaboration will have "local and national impact" and describes the partnership as a good fit with the association’s mission to build a community that advances the physical therapy profession to improve the health of society.
“Physical therapy is an important resource for improving Veterans’ health and well-being,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie in the VA news release. “This new agreement allows both organizations to develop additional best practices in treatment of Veterans in both the federal and private sector. We look forward to the positive outcomes of this partnership.”