I hope that many of you were able to relax over the Holiday weekend and enjoy time with family and friends. I appreciate that this might not have been the same as in past years as we now factor in social distancing, when needed, and the use of masks when we are around others. The uncertainty of when this might end goes without saying. However, one thing that is a certainty is the importance of what we do as physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students of physical therapy in making a difference in the lives of others.
Around the state, face-to-face outpatient services are starting to return to normal levels, while abiding by state guidelines to help curb the spread of COVID-19. However, there are still those patients who wish to utilize telemedicine. Last week Governor Holcomb issued Executive Order 20-34, which extends the Public Health Emergency (PHE) in Indiana until August 3. With this extension of the PHE, physical therapists will be able to continue providing telemedicine as was outlined in Executive Order 20-13. Understandably, this month-by-month renewal of the PHE is not the long-term solution to telemedicine/telehealth being part of the practice act for the profession of physical therapy in Indiana. The APTA Indiana State Legislative Committee is currently working on language that will be introduced in the 2021 Indiana Legislative Session. For those of you who are using telemedicine or have used telemedicine in the past few months to provide physical therapy, consider the importance of keeping track of the number of visits, patient outcomes, and patient satisfaction. These are all important metrics that will support our legislative activity in 2021.
Many APTA Chapters have made the decision to hold conferences virtually this year. The need to move the APTA Indiana and APTA Kentucky Combined Fall Conference to a virtual format has been on our radar for the last few months. When the venue for our conference made the difficult decision not to allow any external groups to host events, we felt that moving to a virtual format was appropriate for this year. The Conference Committees from Indiana and Kentucky are working to provide an outstanding conference that allows for networking, education and the support of our profession. The dates of September 25 and 26 will remain the same. As further details are arranged, we will be sharing this information with you all.
You may have seen the recent call for APTA Centennial Scholars Applications. The Centennial Scholars Program is designed to build a cadre of future association leaders at both the chapter/section/academy and national levels. Demonstrating APTA’s investment in the sustainability of the association as it begins its next 100 years, the program will support our collective quest for a diverse and prepared leadership pool. Click HERE for more information and e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. The deadline to apply is August 1.
This past month has been a busy one for Andrea Lausch, PT, DPT as she stepped into the role of the APTA Indiana Practice and Payment Specialist position. Andrea has been busy fielding your questions and working on a redesign of our practice and payment webpages. Andrea’s most recent newsletter with important practice and payments updates can be found below..
As we look toward the growth of our profession in the state of Indiana, I would like to challenge you all to consider what you can gain from volunteering. Yes, you heard me correctly! Often when we think about volunteering, we think of the time commitment. Do you ever consider the dividends that you receive from investing your time? I know without a doubt that I have gotten so much more back from my years of volunteering than I have given. After 24 years of being a physical therapist/physiotherapist, I would not have the passion and commitment to my profession if not for my engagement with our professional associations, APTA and APTA Indiana. In addition, I now have life-long friends who share the same commitment as I do, to grow our profession and to better serve our patients. There are two weeks to go until the nomination process for the following positions will close: President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, New Professional, Director at Large (Central), Alternate PTA Caucus Representative, Nominating Committee Member and three Delegate positions. Please considering getting involved. For more information about elections, click HERE.
Thank you for your membership in APTA Indiana at a time when many are making difficult decisions about how to balance finances with all the disruption over the past few months. Your membership allows us to support our profession and to better serve Hoosiers.
Emily Slaven, PT, PhD, Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy
President, APTA Indiana