This is a heartfelt message of tremendous gratitude to all of you who helped make history happen this past week! On Tuesday, April 2, SB 586 received a House vote of 92:0, which solidified the update of our 60+ year old Physical Therapy Practice Act. This is an incredible outcome for this 2019 Indiana legislative session that we were able to pass practice act changes of this magnitude and extent in the first year that this legislation was introduced. The legislation will be signed by the Governor in the next few weeks and will become law on July 1, 2019. Please watch your e-mail for the final language of the Indiana Physical Therapy Practice Act along with details of the changes.
None of this legislative success would have been possible without Pauline Flesch, PT, MPS and her leadership of the INAPTA State Legislative Committee. Pauline and the members of the Legislative Committee, Peter Altenburger, PT, PhD, Stephanie Kelly, PT, PhD, Paul Lonnemann, PT, DPT, OCS, MTC, FAAOMPT, and Deanna Hayes, PT, DPT, MS worked tirelessly over the past 18 months to align the current Indiana Physical Therapy Practice Act with the Federation’s Model Practice Act. INAPTA’s lobbyist, Steve Beebe, helped us navigate the waters at the Statehouse. Steve worked closely with Senator Messmer, who authored SB 586, to ensure that we were providing timely feedback on questions asked, and Steve’s outstanding reputation with the legislators, helped open many doors at the Statehouse. I also want to thank Mark Scherer, our attorney, who helped us through the entire process making sure that the language met legislative standards. Ann Ninness also was instrumental in the success of our legislation. Ann was responsible for sending the grassroots communications that you received. She made it easy for us all to contact our own Senators and Representatives. This was crucial to our legislators hearing our message about supporting SB 586.
Our success this year can also be credited to the incredible team of clinicians who testified not once, but twice. Senate Bill 586 was first heard in the Senate Health and Service Providers Committee on Wednesday, February 13, and then in the House Public Health Committee on Wednesday, March 27. On both occasions, Senator Messmer introduced the legislation, followed by testimony from Pauline, Valerie Strunk, PT DPT, Beth Altenburger, PT, CWS, Bob Tank, PT, and Tobin Wingard, PT, DPT. In both the Senate and House committee hearings, we faced opposition from the occupational therapists and the podiatrists, but those who testified on our behalf provided thoughtful, professional, and eloquent testimonies supporting SB 586. If you know one of these clinicians, please thank them for their hard work and willingness to testify on behalf of our profession.
Thank you to those who took time to visit a legislator during a local town hall meeting, those who took time to respond to our e-mails asking you to contact our legislator, and those who attended the PT Day at the Statehouse on February 5. All your voices were heard!!
I want to recognize the legislators who supported our legislation. Senator Messmer took an early and proactive stance in helping us prepare for the 2019 legislative session. He facilitated conversations and meetings between the leadership of INAPTA and those groups opposing our legislation. Without these early negotiations, we would not have the smooth passage that we had with SB 586. Senator Aaron Freeman and Senator Ed Charbonneau were also authors on SB 586 and Senator Vaneta Becker co-authored the legislation. On the House side, Representative Dave Frizzell, Representative Dennis Zent, Representative Edward Clere, and Representative Robin Shackleford sponsored SB 586. If any of these Senators or Representatives are your legislators, please take a few minutes to send a personal note of thanks to them.
Another way we can support those legislators who supported us in the 2019 legislative session is to contribute to their campaign and help them remain in office. Supporting our legislator friends is the sole reason we have an INAPTA Political Action Committee (PAC). Many of you know that in 2018 the leadership of INAPTA made a very unique and groundbreaking decision to reduce INAPTA state dues by $10. No other APTA Component has done this. We asked with this reduction that you donate the $10 back to the INAPTA PAC. Please remember to do this when you renew your membership. If you have already renewed or utilize auto renew, but would like to support our legislators further, please access our PAC page and contribute. In addition, we are excited to announce our 2019 PAC Golf fundraiser will be held on June 22 at the Legends Golf Club in Franklin. I look forward to seeing many of you there. Click HERE for more information on how to register your team.
What are you doing on Saturday April 27? It would be great to see you at the INAPTA Spring Meeting at beautiful Bradford Woods just south of Indianapolis. Our key speaker will be Kip Schick, PT, DPT, MBA, Director, APTA Board of Directors. Kip will be speaking on The Importance and Impact of Public Policy Advocacy on Physical Therapist Practice and Societal Health. He will share about the great changes that have occurred in Wisconsin in the practice of physical therapy as a result of advocacy. What better a topic to consider based on the outcome of our 2019 legislative activity! Registration for the 2019 INAPTA Spring Meeting is now open and will close on April 17. Breakfast will be provided and there will be two contact hours of education awarded.
Thanks for hanging with this lengthy message this month…….there is a lot to share and celebrate!
As I sit outside in Brown County State Park and enjoy this warm spring evening, I am so thankful to live in Indiana and to be a physical therapist in a state where we are advancing our practice and in doing so improving the care that we provide to our patients.
Thank you again,
Emily Slaven, PT, PhD