The Federal Advocacy Forum as a SPT | Apr 21, 2017

My Experience at The Federal Advocacy Forum as a SPT

There is no mistaking that being on Capitol Hill is an incredible feeling, and one that cannot be completed without snapping hundreds of pictures. However, to be on Capitol Hill advocating for the profession I am passionate about is indescribable and gives me such pride. Having the opportunity to attend the Federal Advocacy Forum with five of my classmates March 26 through the 28, 2017, will be on the top highlights of my DPT education.

I was thankful to have had the mentorship of Chris Kraemer, the North Dakota Federal Affairs Liaison, to attend the meetings in the offices of Senator Hoeven, Senator Heitkamp and Congressman Cramer. With the few minutes we had it was important to talk about the issues that affect the profession and patients, but more important to give a personal story to make the bill more than just another legislative bill.

At the Federal Advocacy Forum, members of the PT-PAC reiterated multiple times how important our day on Capitol Hill is. The amount of progress made by student physical therapists, student physical therapist assistants, physical therapists and physical therapists assistants sitting down and sharing personal stories with our respective representatives and senators is vital in passing legislation. The appreciation they had for us coming to Washington D.C. really hit home for me and was an important take away from the conference. I am so lucky to have chosen a personable career, and one that thrives on therapeutic alliances. The care and compassion for the patients and the profession is what gives me motivation to advocate the other 364 days back at home.

Attending the Federal Advocacy Forum and advocating for the profession is for anyone at any level, whether you're a practicing clinician, educator or student, there is amazing mentorship and opportunities for all at the conference. I hope that sharing my experience will encourage others to find their passion and see the importance of advocating. There is power in numbers, but it only takes one to start the momentum to make a change.

I want to sincerely thank NDPTA for providing funds of $250.00, which made attending the Federal Advocacy Forum possible. Thank you for supporting my desire to advocate for the physical therapy profession. It was an incredible experience, and I am honored to have been able to represent North Dakota physical therapy students and the NDPTA.