APPT Mission: Advance pediatric physical therapy through excellence in advocacy, education, and research

Four Goal Areas of the APPT Strategic Plan: ADVOCATE, EDUCATE, ELEVATE, LEAD


Members of the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy, I have had the pleasure and honor of meeting many of you at CSM, APPTAC, and throughout my travels about the country for other activities. I marvel at your commitment to the families and communities we serve, our profession, our academy, and to moving practice forward. Thank you all for your positive energy. I am so excited to leap with all of you into the next decade and the endless possibilities of what lies ahead.


APTA’s 2019 Combined Section Meeting in Washington DC had more than 17,000 attendees, including international therapists and leaders. The Academy’s CSM Program Committee did a wonderful job of bringing members cutting-edge speakers and programming, as well as several networking opportunities.


The Academy’s record-breaking Business Meeting gave members the opportunity to vote unanimously on a bylaws update. The change in bylaws included changing “regional director” to “director,” removing dues information, adding an indemnification clause, and several edits for clarity.


This flexibility in the “director” title will allow the 7 directors not on the Executive Committee to represent areas of responsibility related to APPT goals as opposed to our current structure of representation based on regions. This structural change positions the Academy to align with member priorities, while moving us forward to fulfill our mission, vision, values, and goals. I am especially excited the plan includes increased resources for leadership development, advocacy, communication, and marketing.


Academy leadership will spend the next few months finalizing the new director job descriptions in preparation for a one-time special election in the Fall of 2019 to elect all 7 goal-based directors. All 7 goal-based directors will begin their terms at CSM 2020, with 2 Director terms ending in 2021, 3 in 2022, and 2 in 2023; terms for Executive Committee members will remain the same (the position of President will also be elected in Fall of 2019, as regularly scheduled). Current Regional Directors will continue to serve in their current roles during the year-long transition.


State representatives will continue as well, and will serve as a conduit and resource between states and APPT, sustain and build relationships that we have with states, and position pediatrics as integral to the chapter.


After the unanimous vote, I shared a quick synopsis of academy accomplishments in 2018. The highlights, updated bylaws, and minutes from the Business Meeting can be found on our web site under About Us ( The newly renamed Foundation for Physical Therapy Research ( and PT-PAC ( both presented at the Business Meeting as well. Click here to see APTA’s new policy initiatives (, which have a focus on underserved children, chronically ill children, children with disabilities, and wellness issues in children through the lifespan and demonstrates support for IDEA. We’re pleased support APTA in these endeavors.

Other news from CSM:

  • During CSM, we collaborated with the American Academy of Sports Therapy and the APTA Council on Health Promotion and Wellness to support Leveling the Playing Field equipment drive for youth in Washington, DC.
  • APTA’s step challenge was very successful. APTA members and staff stepped a total of 180,364,119 steps over 7 days, more than over 45 million steps over the goal! APTA will be donating $10,000 to the Adaptive Sports Program at the Medstar NRH and APPT has pledged to contribute $1,500 as well.
  • APTA’s new strategic plan, which stresses community building, engagement, and alignment can be found on their web site (
  • APTA board members and select staff had a ceremonial ground-breaking at the new headquarters building in Alexandria. APTA anticipates a move-in date of 2021, just in time for our centennial celebration and upcoming unified APTA branding.
  • I had the privilege of attending APTA’s Component Leadership Meeting, which included US Surgeon General Vice Admiral (VADM) Jerome M. Adams, MD, MPH, as the keynote speaker. The Vice Admiral Adams was very engaging and supportive of physical therapy, especially in light of the opioid crisis. I encourage you to visit his website for information and check out his digital postcard


The CSM 2020 Call for Proposals closes March 20! Visit under Programming, then CSM 2020 to submit a proposal for CSM 2020 in Denver (February 12-15, 2020). As pediatric physical therapists YOU ARE the starting point to “Optimize Lifelong Meaningful Participation.” #choosept




Cindy Miles, PT, PhD

ABPTS Board Certified Pediatric Physical Therapist



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