President’s Message: Changes for APTA Pediatrics

This past month has been full of activities and actions for the APTA Pediatrics Board of Directors. Some updates are mentioned below and others will be forthcoming via email communication, News postings on our website, and at the APTA Pediatrics SIG Mixer, Business Meeting/Awards, and Social/Celebration (sponsored by Rifton) at the Combined Sections Meeting (Friday, February 16, 6:30-9:30 pm).

At the January 8 meeting of the Board of Directors, we reached a decision on our new association management company (AMPED) with the retirement of long-time Executive Director Cindy Sliwa. See the press release from AMPED here: Download file

We are excited about this new stage and what it will bring for the Academy. We will be recognizing Cindy for her many years of service and partnership as the Executive Director of APTA Pediatrics at CSM. Cindy will continue to serve as the Executive Director through the end of February during the transition.

We are in the final stages of preparing for CSM and look forward to seeing those of you attending the conference in Boston. The membership is invited to join the Friday evening activities which include a SIG mixer, business meeting, awards and recognitions, and a social. We will be kicking off our 50th Anniversary and are pleased to have some members who have been with us all those years! Look for more information in the coming weeks.

CSM will mark the start of the terms for 4 Board members: VP Priscilla Weaver (outgoing Lynn Jeffries), Secretary Robin Dole (outgoing Priscilla Weaver), Academic & Clinical Education Director Heather Lundeen (outgoing Jennifer Furze), and Research Director Alyssa Fiss (outgoing Jennifer Christy). In addition, Jan McElroy has resigned as Director of Practice - we thank Jan for her many years of service. The Board of Directors operated according to our bylaws, which require that any vacant Board positions be filled by appointment of the Board of Directors for the remainder of the term; this is consistent with how APTA fills vacated Board positions during a term. We are pleased to announce that Amy Barr will fill the remaining year of Jan’s term as Director of Practice. Amy has previously served as the Chair of the School-based SIG and has been involved in other practice-based activities, development of practice resources, and Academy leadership. We appreciate Amy’s willingness to step into this Board position!

Plans are underway for the 2024 Pediatric Annual Conference in Providence, RI - proposals for AC 2024 are being accepted through February 23. We’re excited to see you all at Annual Conference and at CSM in just a few weeks! Wishing you all the best as we move forward on behalf of pediatric physical therapy services now and into the future.

 

Mary Jane Rapport

President, APTA Pediatrics

New CPT Caregiver Codes

As of January 1, 2024, PTs and PTAs will be able to submit new CPT codes for an important part of care: providing training to caregivers of patients who have a functional deficit while the patient is not present. The three new codes are based on a collaborative submission by APTA, the American Occupational Therapy Association, and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. The codes were added as part of the 2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and are available for billing under commercial insurance. Access the APTA Practice Advisory: CPT Codes for Caregiver Training Without the Patient Present to review these new codes.

 

APTA Pediatrics Election Results & Open Positions for 2024

Thank you to everyone who voted or ran in the APTA Pediatrics election! Participation was not as high as we would have wished, with 251 votes cast (4.61% of eligible voters). Congratulations to the following, who will officially begin their terms at the end of the APTA Pediatrics Business Meeting: 

  • VP: Priscilla Weaver
  • Secretary: Robin Dole
  • Research Director: Alyssa Fiss
  • ACE Director: Heather Lundeen
  • Nominating Committee Member: Dana McCarty

Congratulations to Jamie Boswell Hall, PT, DPT, PhD, who won the drawing (of those who voted) for a complimentary Annual Conference On-Demand registration!

APTA Pediatrics is only as strong as our wonderful volunteers! If you’d like to get involved in leadership, sign up for APTA Engage to get curated volunteer announcements or consider one of the following positions, which will be on the slate next year (with positions starting after CSM 2025):

  • Treasurer
  • Director of Member Communications & PR
  • Director of Practice
  • Director of Professional Development
  • Nominating & Elections Committee member
  • Chief Delegate Elect

Position descriptions can be found in the online Policy & Proceudure Manual or requested from executivedirector@pediatricapta.org.

Join Mighty Networks (APTA Pediatrics members only)

Mighty Networks is free for members of APTA Pediatrics. You can do things like chat with a member or ask a question, join a Community of Practice or Journal Club, or attend the latest events and meetings! Click here to join.

Mighty Networks is a one-stop shop for all things APTA Pediatrics:

  • Free for APTA Pediatric section members
  • Great networking opportunity
  • Ask questions or discuss common interests with one of the special interest groups or a community of practice
  • Participate in a journal club (read evidence-based articles and discuss how to apply it to your practice)
  • And more!

Direct questions to practicedevelopment@pediatricapta.org.

APTA House of Delegates 2023: A Snapshot

The 2023 APTA House of Delegates convened both online July 8 and in person July 23-24. The House brings together leaders and advocates in the physical therapy profession to address key issues in healthcare. Here's a snapshot of the highlights from this year's House:

Representation by Academy of Pediatrics: The Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy was represented at this year's House by Academy President Mary Jane Rapport and Chief Delegate Dawn Kelly James.

Presidential Address: The House commenced with APTA President Roger Herr's annual presidential address. Herr highlighted workforce challenges, innovation in practice, and evolving payment models as areas of focus for the profession.

Equity and Transparency: The House discussed and approved motions (RC 17-23, RC 18-23, RC 21-23) emphasizing equitable pay regardless of gender or gender identity and supporting pay transparency by employers of PTs and PTAs.

Professional Advancement: APTA expanded its definition of specialization to include subspecialization, recognizing distinct knowledge and skills within physical therapy specialties (RC 3-23 and RC 4-23).

Practice Standards: The House reinforced the importance of jurisdictional statutes and regulations over third-party payer policies, ensuring ethical and legal practice standards (RC 27-23).

PTAs: Responding to the 2022 PTA education summit report, the House passed RC 9-23, calling for an exploration of alternative PTA education and practice models. It also revised the bylaws to allow components to include one PTA as a component delegate to enhance diversity in representation (RC 25-23).

Societal Health: The House recognized the profession's role in improving health outcomes through motions supporting rural health initiatives (RC 19-23), advocating for PTs as providers for post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (RC 2-23), and acknowledging the roles of PTs and PTAs in community-based health programs (RC 15-23).

Education and Advocacy: The House supported increased education regarding potential human trafficking signs (RC 6-23) and emphasized the inclusion of physical therapist referrals in clinical practice guidelines for clearer recommendations (RC 13-23).

Community-Based Health Programs: APTA will develop resources empowering PTs and PTAs to leverage their expertise and play a more prominent role in referring patients to community-based health programs (RC 15-23).

Honorary Membership: Dean Jacks, PhD, and Richard Macko, MD, were honored with APTA honorary membership for their significant contributions to the profession.

Detailed information about all of the motions along with recordings of the proceedings can be found in the 2023 Post House Packet available through the APTA website.

The 2023 APTA House of Delegates marked another significant step in shaping the future of physical therapy, ensuring the profession's continued growth, and promoting equitable, high-quality care for all. Academy members are encouraged to contact the Chief Delegate, Dawn Kelly James at delegate@pediatricapta.org with any questions about the 2023 House or with ideas for future motions.