TPTA Synergy - Spring 2023

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Official Publication of the Texas Physical Therapy Association 2023

Kalahari for this year's annual conference!


Michael Geelhoed, PT, DPT, MTC, OCS, President

Dana Tew, PT, DPT, FAAOMPT, OCS, Vice-President

Gail Zitterkopf, PT, DPT, CLT, CKTP, Speaker of the Assembly

Megan Flores, PT, PhD, Secretary

Barbara Gresham, PT, PhD, Treasurer

Spencer Church, PT, DPT , District Executive Committee Representative


Capitol Area: Phil Davis, PT, DPT

Central: Robert Sandoval, PT, PhD

Coastal Bend: Anne Gould, PT

East Texas: Shaunda Kwiatek, PT

Greater El Paso: Jesse Carbajal, PTA

Heart of Texas: Kristi Trammell, PT, DPT

Midwest: Chase Riley, PT, DPT, OCS

North Texas: Vacant

Panhandle: Spencer Church, PT, DPT

Permian Basin: Mikala Reznik, PT, DPT

South Plains: William "Bill" Lewis, PT, DPT

Southeastern: Lauren Szot, PT, DPT

Spring 2023


Nominating Committee: Kristen Barta, PT, DPT, PhD

Bylaws Committee: Chad Jackson, PT, DPT, EdD

Government Affairs Committee: Dana Tew, PT, DPT, FAAOMPT, OCS

Membership & Public Relations Committee: Vacant

Practice & Professional Development Committee: Kai Williams, PT, DPT

Payment Policy Committee: William "Bill" Lewis, PT, DPT

Tom Waugh Leadership Development Program: Denise Gobert, PT, PhD

Chief Delegate Lois Stickley, PT, PhD

PTA Caucus Representative Luke Markert, PTA

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Join us Oct
page 3 Spring 2023 CONTENTS 8 Legislative Day 2023 7 Annual Conference 2023 PT Synergy is published for 166 Hargraves Drive Suite C-400-148 Austin, TX 78737 512.477.1818 EDITOR IN CHIEF Craig Tounget, CAE Executive Director MANAGING EDITOR Lindsey Green Communications Manager PT SYNERGY is published quarterly by the Texas Physical Therapy Association. SPRING 2023 IN EVERY ISSUE 4 Member Updates 5 Executive Director's Report 6 From the TPTA President 9 Calendar of Events


TPTA Member Tracy Eckett, PTA receives the Clinical Excellence Award at CSM 2023

Congratulations to APTA/TPTA member Tracy Eckett, PTA for receiving the Clinical Excellence Award at the CSM 2023 APTA Oncology Celebration of Life Reception. Tracy received this award in recognition of her commitment to improving the lives of cancer survivors. Please join us in congratulating Tracy for her accomplishment.

A huge congratulations to Joan Firra, PT, PhD on her 70th anniversary as a member of APTA/ TPTA. She became a member on November 1, 1952!

TPTA will be slating for:

Vice President

Chief Delegate

PTA Caucus Rep.

Nominating Committee


Nominations for 2023 TPTA leadership positions open on May 1 Spring 2023

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TheTexas Legislature began their 88th Regular Session on January 11th. Regular Sessions last 140 days and end on Memorial Day. This year that is May 29th.

Over 300 PTs, PTAs and students joined us here in Austin to learn about our priority issues and to take that message to their State Reps and Senators in the Capitol. The day began with an informational session at the Paramount Theater a few blocks south of the Capitol and then we proceeded to the Capitol to meet with our elected officials.

The two main priorities the TPTA Board has identified for this year are an Expansion of Direct Access for patients to see a Physical Therapist without a referral and the Fair Co-Pay bill. SB 584 by Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) will extend the number of days a patient may see their PT for either 10 or 15 days in current law, to 30 days. It also eliminates the difference in the number of days for PTs with residency, fellowships, or state certifications. Patients will be able to see any licensed PT for the 30 days. This bill has been referred to the Senate Health & Human Services Committee. In the House there are two bills HB 2553 by Stucky (R-Denton) and HB 4291 by Swanson (R-Spring). These bills have been referred to the House Public Health Committee.

HB 625 by Rep. Cody Harris (R-Palestine) changes the Insurance Code to say that if a health plan requires a patient to provide a co-pay, that co-pay cannot be any higher for a visit to a PT than it is for a visit to a physician. This will greatly reduce the co-pay that most patients currently pay because PT is currently considered a specialist and most health plans require a higher co-pay for specialist. Since patients now

often see their PT as their first point of contact with the healthcare system it is reasonable that patients only have to meet the primary care level of their copay. This legislation will save patients a great deal of money and hopefully encourage them to complete their entire course of treatment, which will result in a better outcome. This bill received a hearing in the House Insurance Committee on March 7th and was voted out on March 14th with a 9-0 vote.

Rep. Donna Howard (D-Austin) has filed a Resolution (HR 593) recognizing the importance of postpartum care including routine rehabilitation by declaring September 23, 2023 as Fourth Trimester Care Day. Sen. Carol Alvarado (D-Houston) has filed the Resolution (SR 350). Both Resolutions were read on the floors of the House and Senate on March 28th.

As always, we will be closely watching to see if there is any legislation filed that would encroach on the PT Practice Act. There will likely come a time when you will be getting an email from us asking you to contact your State Rep. or Senator when a key vote is coming up. Some of you may hear from us when there is a committee vote, if your elected official is serving on the committee in which our bills are being considered. Others may not hear from us until the bill is coming to the full House or Senate for a vote. Either way when you get our appeal, please take a couple of minutes to make those important contacts. We cannot be successful without the efforts of everyone.

Finally, please contribute to the Political Action Committee. It is vitally important that we remain able to make contributions to keep TPTA and the PT profession in the minds of our elected officials.

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HiTexas PT’s, PTA’s and students! I hope your 2023 is off to a great start and that you are keeping your personal and professional resolutions.

Our first TPTA event of 2023 was a fantastic day on February 28 in Austin at our TPTA Legislative Day. This was the first in-person advocacy event we have had since our biggest legislative success in a quarter century in 2019, the passage of our patient access bill, and we are hoping for similar results from your meetings with legislators and their staff. Thanks to everyone who came out to advocate for our profession. Your efforts made a huge difference in spreading the word about Physical Therapy and our legislative priorities this session. For those of you who weren’t able to attend, you can still do your part by calling and emailing your elected officials on the state and national level to support our priorities, and donating to our TPTA Political Action Committee (PAC) to help spread our message to our elected officials.

Our next big event of 2023 that we are in the planning stages for is the TPTA Annual Conference October 26-29 at the new Kalahari Resort in Round Rock. We are very excited to have APTA past-President Dr. Sharon Dunn confirmed as our keynote speaker. If the programming, networking, and huge exhibit hall don’t pull you in, maybe America’s largest indoor waterpark

will coax you and your family to join the weekend festivities.

As for resolutions, let’s all do our part to spread the word that our profession’s expertise, movement and exercise, is the magic bullet in healthcare in terms of lower costs, better outcomes, and improved mental and physical health for us and the patients we serve. If we all committed to increasing the frequency and intensity of our own exercise, and convinced our communities to do the same, we’ll be in a much happier and healthier place come New Year’s Eve 2023.

To our PT and PTA students—you are the future of this profession and we look forward to all the great things you’ll do in the coming years. I ask you to commit to lifelong membership APTA/TPTA as your professional obligation—we are the only unified voice for our profession, and we need you to insure that our patients get the services they need and that we get paid fairly for those services. Through your membership and engagement, you can guarantee that our profession continues to thrive no matter the uncertainty of the future. We weathered a global pandemic and came out leaner, stronger, and more motivated than before. Please help me shape the future of our profession in Texas and beyond.

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Join us for TPTA's 2023 Annual Conference at Kalahari in Round Rock!

Annual Conference will be at the Kalahari Resort in Round Rock for 2023! We look forward to seeing you all again in October.

Submissions for course proposals are now open. See the TPTA Annual Conference page for details.

October 26 - 29

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Legislative Day February 28, 2023

Thank you to all who attended the 2023 Legislative Day at the Paramount Theater and the Texas State Capitol in Austin. For updates on Legislative priorities and updates, please see TPTA's Advocacy page.

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Calendar of events

Greater El Paso District

Pain Neuroscience: How to Understand and Motivate Your Patients with Chronic Pain Thursday, April 13, 2023

East Texas District

ETD Starbrite Spring Social Event Saturday, April 15, 2023

Capital Area District

Physical Therapy for Cancer Survivors Monday, April 17, 2023

TPTA Board of Directors

Quarterly Board Meeting Saturday, April 22, 2023

Starbrite Therapeutic Equestrian Center 15015 FM 848 Whitehouse, TX 75791

Austin Southpark Hotel 4140 Governor's Row Austin, TX 78744

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7:00pm - 8:00pm El Paso Community College 100 W. Rio Grande Ave Room A-245 El Paso, TX 79902 Register Here
10:00am - 11:30am
Register Here
6:00pm - 7:30pm Live Online Register Here
10:00am - 3:00pm
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