A Message From the President
As I write this update, I am sitting on the tarmac waiting to take off from Reagan Airport in Washington, DC. I can see the Washington National Monument from my window seat. Unfortunately, stormy weather is impacting our flight plans into Chicago, where I connect to my Indy flight, and we are one of many planes from the ‘East’ waiting to get in line to fly, taking a wide berth of the storm. The time on the tarmac gives me a moment to reflect on the last few days, celebrating APTA’s Centennial. The leadership and staff of APTA, through careful planning and attention to all COVID regulations, held a weekend of celebration and forward-thinking conversations about the profession of physical therapy. The weekend started on Friday evening with the Centennial Gala at the National Cathedral, celebrating 100 years of APTA. This was followed, on Saturday and Sunday, with the APTA House of Delegates (HOD). During the HOD, deliberations occurred with updates to the APTA Bylaws. As part of those updates, the body voted to return to having PTA votes as part of our HOD. We also discussed and supported a number of time sensitive topics such as our role as an anti-racist association and the promotion of physical therapist services for those suffering from the long-term effects of COVID. A full list of motions discussed at this year’s HOD can be found HERE. Monday, was the Future of Physical Therapy Summit where we heard from a variety of clinicians, both nationally and internationally, who shared their vision for our profession. They charged us to be bold in our roles as societal change agents, with respect to community health, as we head into the next 100 years of our profession. This long weekend of activity finished on Tuesday with a visit to Capitol Hill to meet with our Senators and Congressmen and women to discuss pressing issues such as the Medicare Cut, the PTA Differential, the need for a permanent solution where patients with Medicare can receive physical therapy services via telehealth, and the Physical Therapist Workforce and Patient Access Act, which would allow physical therapists to participate in the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program. APTA Indiana supported 10 students from a number of Indiana physical therapy and physical therapist assistant programs so they could travel to DC and participate in the Hill visits. Leaving DC, I feel convinced more than ever before, that our profession is poised to be a key player in shaping the health and motion of our society in the years to come.
Many of our APTA Indiana Centennial events earlier this year took on a virtual format as we gave time for the vaccination of our nation to stabilize the numbers of those impacted by COVID. Looking toward the fall, we do have several opportunities to support our patients and the communities in which they live. September 22 kicks off 100 Days of Service. Hannah Enochs, PT, DPT, Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist, along with the APTA Indiana Service Committee, has been working with districts on in person and virtual service opportunities. We are hoping to provide 100 Days of Service between September 22-December 31. Please consider logging your service activity HERE. Click HERE for a list of service activities that have been planned so far. If your district or clinic is planning a service event that others can join, please send information on the event to Hannah at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Earlier this year, due to legislative action, the Indiana Physical Therapy Practice Act was updated to include physical therapists being able to provide physical therapy services via telehealth. Unfortunately, at this time, Senator Charbonneau was not willing to also include physical therapist assistants, despite being provided evidence why it was paramount that both PTs and PTAs could provide physical therapy services via telehealth. Being 14 months into the pandemic, we know that many of you have experienced challenges in providing patient care due to the fact that PTAs were not included in the initial Executive Order or in this 2021 legislative update. Please take a moment to share your experiences with this survey so we can take this data back to the Indiana Legislature, ahead of the 2022 Session.
The APTA Indiana Student Special Interest Group will be hosting a Student Conclave on October 25 at UIndy. There is a great line of speakers scheduled for the morning and fun events planned for the afternoon. Come join and learn all about what APTA Indiana is doing to support students. Click HERE to register for the APTA Indiana Student Conclave.
On November 6 and 7, APTA Indiana will host the Fall Conference. We will be back at the Rathskeller on Friday night for our Annual Business Meeting and Awards Dinner, with Saturday being dedicated to an impressive selection of educational programming. Saturday’s programming will be held at the University of Indianapolis. Click HERE to see the full line up of programming and to register.
We are not in normal times, however, APTA Indiana leadership is committed to supporting you and the care you give to your patients through education and practice and payment advocacy. I thank you for your membership and I value your insights on what we can continue to improve, as your state association, to help you ‘Transform Society by Optimizing Movement to Improve the Human Experience”. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me at any time with ideas on ways we can better support you.
Emily Slaven, PT, PhD
President, APTA Indiana