PTA Caucus Represntative Report | Sep 18, 2012

2012 PTA Caucus Business Meeting and House of Delegates

The PTA Caucus Business Meeting began with reports from groups that meet throughout the year, including the Communication Committee that has been focused on liaison relationships with the Sections; and the Education Task Force that has been discussing PTA entry-level requirements in light of Healthcare Reform.

Niki Wallen, MO Representative and Alternate Delegate, conducted the annual leadership training program that helped participants to identify their leadership styles and the potential impact on others in group situations. Holly Clynch, MN Chief Delegate, provided background information about RCs 19-12 and 20-12 that address PTA entry-level education. Also, Shawne Soper, APTA Speaker of the House, provided a summary from the Governance Review Report. PTA Caucus Representatives and Delegates expressed their concern to the Speaker about decreased representation of PTAs in the House; the structure and function of the proposed PTA Assembly; and the ongoing absence of PTA representation on many chapter boards and the APTA Board of Directors.

The PTA Caucus established new goals; compared them to previous goals and outcomes; and analyzed the likelihood of achieving the goals of the PTA Caucus within APTA's current and proposed governance structure.

The PTA Caucus election results: Amy Smith (AL) was elected Chief Delegate by acclamation; Niki Wallen (MO), Delegate (1-year term to fill Smith's unexpired term); Russell Chrischilles (IA), Alternate Delegate; and Debbie Simmons (OK), Nominating Committee.

Of particular interest to the PTA community in the 2012 House were RCs 1-12 through 12-12 that pertained to proposed changes to the physical therapy practice model (PT-PTA-aide). The PTA Caucus continues to believe that the PTA is the only other provider that has the requisite knowledge and skills in physical therapy interventions that are required to provide safe and effective patient/client care and therefore, only support models that protect the patient (i.e. those models in which the PTA is the only other provider of physical therapy interventions).

The PTA Caucus also believes that patients/clients would receive more timely care in models that included expanding the role of the PTA to include components of examination and evaluation. After considerable discussion, the House elected to continue to explore practice models that "are responsive to the needs of society and adaptable to our changing health care environment." See the full report here.

Regarding RCs 19-12 and 20-12 that addressed PTA entry-level education, the PTA Caucus was in support of investigating the educational needs of the entry-level PTA who must be fully prepared to assist the autonomous, doctoring physical therapist. The House elected to conduct a feasibility study to explore the "need for implementation of the entry-level bachelor degree for the PTA." A summary of the work of the House relative to PTA education can be found here. For more information about the 2012 House of Delegates, visit APTA's web page at and search 2012 House of Delegates.

Wendy McGinley
PTA Caucus Rep