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Board of Physical Therapy Recruitment Notice - Public Member

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This is a message for the physical therapy community:

We need your help! We are asking everyone to post this attached recruitment flier in your office, clinic, or community space until April 8, 2024, to help spread the word about the open public member position on the Board of Physical Therapy. 

The Department of Health, Health Systems Quality Assurance Division (HSQA), is accepting applications to fill the public member position on the Board of Physical Therapy (board). HSQA is looking for public-spirited individuals willing to study the issues and to make decisions in the public’s best interest. If you or someone you know is qualified and interested in applying for an appointment to the Board of Physical Therapy, the application must be completed and submitted online. On the application, select that you are applying for the Board of Physical Therapy. We will begin reviewing applications on February 19, 2024.

To qualify for this position on the board, the applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a resident of Washington State.
  • Shall not be a member of any other licensing board.
  • Shall not be a licensee of any other health occupation board.
  • Shall not be an employee of any health facility nor derive their primary livelihood from health services at any level or responsibility.

Members’ responsibilities may include:

  • Establishing qualifications for minimal competency to grant or deny licensure of physical therapists and physical therapy assistants.
  • Regulating the competency and quality of professional healthcare providers under its jurisdiction by establishing, monitoring, and enforcing qualifications for licensure.
  • Establishing and monitoring compliance with continuing education requirements.
  • Ensuring consistent standards of practice.
  • Developing continuing competency mechanisms.
  • Assessing, investigating, and making recommendations related to complaints against physical therapists and physical therapist assistants which may range from a Notice of Correction to a license revocation.
  • Serving as reviewing members on disciplinary cases and serving on disciplinary hearing panels.
  • Serving as members of standing committees, when appointed.
  • Developing rules, policies and procedures that promote the delivery of quality healthcare to state residents.
The Governor’s Office and the Department of Health seek diversity in board members. We recognize the value variety brings in understanding and serving the people of Washington State and seek candidates with diverse backgrounds and those who provide geographic representation throughout the state.

Health profession boards, commissions, and committees operate under legislative mandate to:
  • Protect the health and safety of the public.
  • Promote the welfare of the state by regulating the competency and quality of health care providers under their authority.

We appreciate your consideration in helping us recruit by posting the flier in your office or community spaces until April 8, 2024. If you have any questions about serving on the Board of Physical Therapy, or about posting this recruitment flier, please contact us at physical.therapy@doh.wa.gov.

Sincerely,
Allyson McIver
Program Manager
Washington State Board of Physical Therapy

Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center

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Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center is one of the largest therapeutic riding centers in the United States and has served the greater Seattle region for over 47 years. Located on 14 acres in Redmond, Washington, Little Bit offers Therapy (physical, occupational, and speech-language therapy), Adaptive Riding (recreational), summer camp, mental health, and educational services to both children and adults with disabilities.

Little Bit’s Therapy program typically serves between 125 and 140 unduplicated patients each year. Over 90 percent of Little Bit’s Therapy patients are under the age of 18, with patients as young as age two. Little Bit employs nine licensed therapists, including three physical therapists (PTs) and one physical therapy assistant (PTA). Little Bit hopes to expand its therapy team with another physical therapist to serve more patients. 


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Virtual Legislative Impact Week Registration Open Through December 15

Registration to attend the 2024 Virtual Legislative Impact Week is now OPEN! This year we will be conducting the event differently and will have scheduled meetings throughout the week of January 22-26 versus just one day. Up for discussion will be HB 1655 concerning provider contract compensation and you won't want to miss the opportunity to attend meetings with legislators. The deadline to register is Friday, December 15, 2023 at 5 p.m. for your legislative district to be included on the appointment chart. Find the link to register here. You can also locate information and updates as they become available on our Legislative Impact Day webpage.

Sharing Stories Chapter 3 - Rebeca’s Story Now Available

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Our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging committee has been working hard this past year to create the next episode in their video series which is meant to share stories from members of our community, with the goal of helping us all more fully understand their experiences as members of marginalized communities. We invite you to watch Rebeca's story, an insightful conversation about pelvic health. This episode is right in line with the June APTA Magazine issue focusing on Pelvic Health. We hope you will listen, think, and act.

New APTA 2023 State Medicaid Payment Rate Guide

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We are happy to share with you the new APTA 2023 State Medicaid Payment Rate Guide. This member-only benefit offers information on the Medicaid fee-for-service payment rates for physical therapist services provided by state Medicaid programs. The guide includes payment rates for selected CPT codes, as well as links to the Medicaid manuals for all 51 U.S. jurisdictions.

In addition, the guide provides chapter comparison data between jurisdictions for use in our advocacy to increase Medicaid payment rates.

The APTA State Medicaid Payment Rate Guide webpage includes a brief tutorial video and answers to frequently asked questions.

End of Public Health Emergency

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APTA recently released an update on the Coronavirus and its impact on the physical therapy profession and an APTA podcast covering the post-PHE landscape for telehealth, post-acute care, HIPAA enforcement, PTA supervision, and more. Listening time – 17:33. Over the course of the public health emergency, APTA surveyed its members to monitor how the pandemic was affecting the physical therapy profession. The association's final report is now available. The data shows that while the physical therapy profession has largely returned to its pre-pandemic norms, there are some areas of the workforce that may be changed forever. APTA also created an infographic that summarizes some of the report's most significant findings. 

Dry Needling Bill Signing & FAQs

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Our dry needling bill, HB 1039, was signed by Governor Inslee on May 1. The next step is for the Board of Physical Therapy to discuss implementation of the endorsement process that licensees will have to go through to be able to use dry needling. We will be monitoring the Board of PT activities as they go through the endorsement process and will be keeping members informed about the progress. Please stay tuned, this will take at least a few months. FAQs now available on our homepage!

APTA Washington Transitions to New Executive Director

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APTA Washington will transition to a new executive director at the end of April as Erica Owens takes over from Jackie Barry in this leadership role. Jackie Barry will retire on April 28, after joining the association staff in 2003.

Owens most recently served as a recruiter for Talent Acquisition Concepts, as the director of accountability and as the director of member services for National CASA/GAL, an organization that provides court appointed special advocates for children who are neglected and/or abused and in foster care, and prior to that as the senior manager of customer care for Univera.

“We’re delighted to welcome Erica in this role,” said APTA Washington President Ben Boyle. “Her background in accountability and membership with a large nonprofit will help us take the next big step toward membership growth.”

“I am extremely excited for this new opportunity to work with an amazing group of people and ready to jump in and hit the ground running,” said Owens.

“I’ve been privileged to work with numerous wonderful people in this organization for the last 20 years,” Barry says. “You all are truly a white hat profession and I will miss working with you to advance the profession.”

New PT Board Member Improving Patient Health Through Healing and Public Safety

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New Washington State Board of Physical Therapy member Celeste Misko, PT, DPT, Board-Certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist, has seen a few things in her career as a PT, which began in 1992 in Birmingham, AL. She’s worked in nearly every practice setting from outpatient to rural acute hospital, nursing home to home health, and has extensive experience working with chronic pain and occupational medicine patients. She’s lived through the balanced budget act and the rise of direct access and no longer having to do “exactly what the doctor told you to do.”

Since 2019, she’s been the physical therapist at the Muckleshoot Health and Wellness Center in Auburn. One of just a few tribal health centers in Washington run by the tribe rather than the Indian Health Service, and one of perhaps only two in Washington with physical therapists on staff, the reaction when Misko joined the Muckleshoot team was, “Oh my gosh! We finally got a PT. We can improve the health and wellness of our people!” Besides helping patients get better, she’s also learning a lot about indigenous culture. Listening and learning about trauma experienced by the community, as well as incorporating personal believes of healing, have an impact on the care Misko delivers.

Born in Ohio, transplanted to Michigan and then Florida, Alabama, and Georgia, Misko earned a Master of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Alabama in Birmingham and a transitional DPT through Rehab Essentials and the University of Montana.

She moved to the northwest after disenchantment with an untenable environment created by the balanced budget act. Misko’s wife had been to Seattle and told her, “I don’t think you’ll like it because you like the sun.” But in September 1999, she became the Director of Rehabilitation Services at the Northwest Center for Integrative Medicine in Tacoma and has no plans to leave the northwest.

“I really love what I do. I love being a physical therapist,” Misko says. She describes one of her strengths as being able to develop a relationship very quickly with patients and clients. “I can move them in a direction they need to go – toward healing,” she says.

In her new role on the Board of PT, Misko says she’s learning the system and discovering how she could best help the team, “I’ve been in management all my life and I look at systems first. From a regulatory standpoint we’re trying to ensure public safety.

Misko would like to see healthcare get “out of the rat race.” She says other healthcare professionals she knows, including physicians and psychologists, agree that “bean counters” are telling them what to do. “People choosing to go into healthcare are choosing it as a vocation. Not to make money. We want to help people.”

Washington Volunteer Chosen for APTA Leadership Scholars Program

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APTA Washington member Lisa Flick, PTA, became one of just 25 APTA Leadership Scholars for 2023. Chosen from a group of 118 applicants from across the country, Flick currently serves as Washington’s Core Ambassador to the APTA Student Assembly, and is active in our PTA and Student SIGs. A recent PTA grad from Whatcom Community College, she began serving as a Chapter volunteer leader in October 2021.

This is how she describes herself on Linkedin: “New Physical Therapist Assistant. Longtime Yoga Instructor. Leader. Mentor. Creative. Enneagram enthusiast. Stepmom of 3. Student of life.”

In this year’s leadership scholar program, five groups of five scholars will each work with a mentor to study leadership curriculum and to help them develop a personal leadership timeline. The curriculum includes topics such as attributes of effective association leaders, the role of nonprofits in society, APTA’s core leadership competencies, and the future of association membership.

Flick has been a mentor and served in leadership positions before – without much training. She’s looking forward to being on the receiving end and being “mentored in ways of leading that I haven’t thought of before.”

Flick feels strongly in the power of networking and hopes to inspire students to grow their networks. Besides building community, the connections you make can pay off in ways you don’t envision during the initial interactions, she says. She experienced this in her earlier years as a yoga instructor for Modo Yoga International when she traveled to different studios around the US and Canada. Five years later when she wanted to branch out to travel teach she was able to reach out to all of her contacts and travel the world.

As the Core Ambassador, one of Flick’s main accomplishments will be to speak to students at most of Washington’s PT and PTA programs about her experiences and the value of APTA membership in her own evolution as a leader and a clinician. She has presentations scheduled at 9 of the 11 programs before the end of March. Flick also would like to create a system of best practices and procedures to make the hand off to the next ambassador easier. When Flick assumed the role for Washington in October 2022, the one-year position had been vacant for about a year.

The APTA Association Leadership Scholars Program was established during APTA’s 2021 centennial year to build a cadre of future association leaders, both nationally and locally. The program demonstrates APTA’s investment in the sustainability of the association by promoting and building a diverse pool of future leaders.

Member District Reorganization Adds Counties and Legislative Districts

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APTA Washington’s member Districts now include all Washington state counties – as well as legislative districts, after members approved a bylaw change in October that allows the APTA Washington Board of Directors to realign our District boundaries. Previously, our member District boundaries encompassed geographic areas as requested by members residing in that geographic area.

Our Board of Directors approved the new configuration you see in the image to the left. Previous district boundaries left out some counties and some parts of counties from our member District program. For instance, Island County did not belong to a member District and the Tri-Cities District included the cities of Pasco, Richland, and Kennewick but excluded the remaining areas of Benton and Franklin counties.

Reorganizing the District boundaries will not only mean that members in all counties belong to a member District but will allow counties, such as Island, that share a legislative district with an adjacent county (Skagit and Snohomish) to be included in a District too.

Find a detailed map on our Districts web page, along with job descriptions for District Chair and Legislative District Advocate volunteer position.

Find a link to each member District on our Committees, Districts and Groups web page.

Copes Adds Patient Safety Through Regulations to Lifelong Commitment to Treating Vulnerable Patients

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When new Washington State Board of Physical Therapy member Rodney Copes, PT, MBA, considered career paths, he originally thought he wanted to work with athletes and thought he might study athletic training in college. A University of Connecticut (UConn) advisor suggested he aim higher because of test scores – so he chose to get a physical therapy degree instead. A high school varsity tennis player, Copes decided after earning his UConn PT degree in 1996 that treating athletes “wasn’t the road I wanted to go down.”

He chose instead to work in the skilled nursing facility setting. “I love the people,” he explains. “There’s an appreciation when you are working with someone who just wants to get out of bed. Go to the bathroom on their own. Go for a walk on their own.”

Copes, who grew up in various places because his dad was in the military, chose to get his PT degree from UConn, in part because his dad was from Connecticut and was then working in Massachusetts. At that time, there were no master’s or DPT programs and Copes went on to get an MBA from Jones University in 2004.

After graduating from PT school, Copes worked as a traveling PT for a short period of time and then travelled to Mukilteo to visit a friend from PT school who had settled there. Copes decided to stay too.

Currently a PT at Linden Grove Rehabilitation Center in Puyallup, Copes works closely with the nurses and CNAs at Linden Grove on what to look for with patients, since they see them every day, so deficits or new pain gets them into therapy. But he says his biggest battles are “people wanting to do it on their own but it’s not safe.”

Besides working as a SNF clinician, Copes began providing peer reviews for Tivity Health, based in Franklin, TN, in 2014. His experience doing insurance investigations grew into his interest in a Board of PT position. “If someone is going to go to PT, they shouldn’t have to think – is this going to be good PT,” he says. Copes also serves on a Department of Health Patient Safety Improvement Task Force, which is trying to reduce the amount of time it takes to process sexual misconduct cases, as well as recommending changes to better inform the public earlier in the processing of these cases.

Besides helping to protect consumers on the regulatory side, Copes wishes those who are looking for a PT could have a greater understanding of what type of PT they were going to, especially if they’ve never gone to a PT before. “Something other than a provider lookup,” he says, that helps the patient navigate the choices. “It would utilize the system less.”

Eclectic Background Leads to Board of Physical Therapy Role

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When Jeffrey Foucrier, PT, DPT, Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist and Myofascial Trigger Point Therapist first graduated from PT school in 2011, he says, “I knew I wanted to create change but didn’t really know what that looked like.” His eclectic journey since that time includes inpatient ortho, outpatient ortho, being a community health volunteer, and teaching.

Foucrier always had an interest in how to protect the public and, when two Washington State Board of Physical Therapy positions opened up recently, he applied and began serving a four-year term this past September.

Foucrier grew up in Tacoma and moved to Olympia from Phoenix in March 2021. His wife Tamsin Foucrier serves as the Director of Entrepreneurship at The Evergreen State College.

After receiving several job offers from clinics in Olympia, Foucrier accepted a position as a physical therapist at the multidisciplinary Heart of Wellness clinic in Tumwater. “The dialogue with other experts in the field is incredibly attractive to me,” he says. “A team of people working toward a common goal is much more powerful than working in silos.”

Foucrier earned a BS in biology from Seattle University and his DPT from Regis University, in Denver, CO. He’s worked as a rehabilitation specialist at Rehab Without Walls in Seattle, as a PT in Casper, WY, Phoenix, AZ and Mesa, AZ, as an adjunct professor at AT Still University in Mesa, AZ, and as an assistant clinical professor at Northern Arizona University. He helped build community-based health and wellness programs for underserved and high-risk populations in coordination with Northern Arizona University, Crossroads Inc. and Arizona State University’s Student Health Outreach for Wellness. In addition to continuing to practice at Heart of Wellness, in April 2022 Foucrier will begin teaching again at an online Tufts University program based in Phoenix.

Foucrier has found the focus on foundational information during the Board of PT’s review of complaints to be one of the most rewarding parts of his work with the board. “Patient preference, research and clinical experience and how these are applied to standards of practice is fascinating.” He would also like to get students more involved in the regulatory process. He believes it will result in greater transparency as they become more experienced clinicians.

DEI Survey Unearths Wide Range of Opinions

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Members expressed a wide range of opinions when asked for their definition and vision of DEI in a recent survey from, “Working to dismantle ableist, racist, sexist, and other discriminatory practices within the work place and within the community.” To, “A feel good activity that is a waste of time and resources instead of giving the best possible care to all patients.”

Of the 87 members who responded to our three-question survey, 51 (58.62%) said there is a DEI policy and/or procedure at their workplace.

When asked, “Which method can APTA WA use to help you understand DEI better?”, an equal number of people (18) indicated a webinar or article, 2 said a weekend course, 32 said “all of the above,” and 16 answered “other” specifying, “A series of articles with likely real scenarios a clinic will encounter,” “Opportunities to be included in initiatives,” “Whatever method is used, the lede (sic) needs to be how DEI is not a zero sum game. Advancing these causes will help all of us as a profession,” to simply, “We have enough,” and “Not interested. Thanks though.”

Joining APTA’s strategic objective to “foster the long-term sustainability of the physical therapy profession by making APTA an inclusive organization that reflects the diversity of the society the profession serves,” APTA Washington will use and continue to gather member input to move forward on our DEI journey.

APTA Washington DEI Special Committee web page
APTA DEI web page

Jammeh Appointed to PTA Position on Board of Physical Therapy

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In October 2020, Destini Jammeh, PTA, Certified Lymphedema Therapist, began serving in the PTA position on the Washington State Board of Physical Therapy, after being appointed by Governor Jay Inslee. Her term runs through September 2024. Jammeh is just the third person to serve in this role since a PTA rep was added to the board in 2009, after PTAs became licensed in Washington state.

A PTA in the MultiCare Health System, where she has worked in both the Auburn and Tacoma locations since 2010, Jammeh specializes in care to oncology patients. During clinical rotations she did a lot of wound care and after graduation worked in acute care, rehabilitation, and outpatient settings.

After a middle school career assessment pointed Jammeh toward physical therapy, she wasn’t sure this was the right choice because she was unsure of working with sick people. “I was young,” she said. After shadowing PTs and PTAs on the job she realized her interest in anatomy, physiology and sports made the profession a good match for her.
Jammeh received her Associate of Science in Allied Health/Health Services/Health Sciences from Trident Technical College in South Carolina. Originally from Georgia and mainly from the South, Jammeh visited a girlfriend who lived in the northwest and liked it so much she stayed. She also earned a Bachelor of Arts in Healthcare Leadership from the University of Washington.

“I’m always looking for new opportunities for growth,” she says about applying for the Board of PT position, thinking the position would allow her to learn more about the profession and its regulatory side. “I’ve learned that so many things are not black and white. There’s a lot of gray,” she says.