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The SoWH Blog

Stay up to date on the latest Section HQ news, patient and practitioner education and member stories!

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Meet Loni Cooper, PT, DPT

Loni CooperMy name is Loni Cooper and I am a physical therapist in Northwest Arkansas. I recently graduated from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in May 2018. Shortly after, I accepted my first job in an outpatient setting where I am working towards building a pelvic therapy caseload and advocating for this specific area of physical therapy. When I first started Physical Therapy (PT) school, I really did not know the exact field or area that I wanted to specialize in. Honestly, I had never even heard the terms “pelvic therapy” or “women’s health physical therapy” before. When I was on my very first clinical rotation in my first year of school, I was exposed to a clinic that was very heavily centered on this patient population. I was instantly intrigued and wanted to learn more about this area. Being a personal survivor of sexual abuse, I began researching and learning about how some of the symptoms that I experienced and that others had once told me were “normal” were actually treatable. I completed my elective coursework in this area to be able to learn more and prepare me for my elective clinical rotation in pelvic therapy.

I also completed a directed study focused on the care and treatment that the postpartum population receives in America compared to countries around the world. I learned very quickly that more can be done, and needs to be done, to meet the needs of women after having a baby. The fourth trimester is becoming more talked about, but I want to be a voice and advocate because the job is still not done. There continues to be men and women living with very vulnerable and sensitive impairments that they do not know can be treated. Oftentimes, I am the first person who tells a patient that they are not alone in their experiences and that although common; the symptoms are not normal and are many times treatable. I love being able to empathize with these individuals and be a part of their journey to finding healing and wellness.

Working towards furthering my education in pelvic health physical therapy, I have taken Pelvic Health Physical Therapy Level 1 and Level 2 through the Section on Women’s Health. I have made it my goal to continue learning and being an advocate for patients, who once like myself, do not know about the option of pelvic health physical therapy. 

Loni Cooper is the recipient of Women in PT Summit Scholarship funded by the Section on Women's Health. Loni is attending the summit in New York City September 21-22, 2018 to accomplish these goals and find the power for being an even better patient advocate and leader in this field.  

From left: Loni Cooper, UC Ossai (SoWH Treasurer), Secili DeStefano (SoWH President Elect), Carrie Pagliano (SoWH President), Lori Mize (SoWH Vice President)

Women in PT Summit SoWH

From left: Center: UC Ossai. From Left: Loni Cooper, Lori Mize (SoWH Vice President), Carrie Pagliano (SoWH President), Secili DeStefano (SoWH President Elect).

SoWH at Women in PT Summit

Loni Cooper, PT, DPT
Loni Cooper, PT, DPT
As part of her scholarship award, Loni received free registration, up to $850 to spend on travel/per diem and 1:1 mentorship meeting with the SoWH Vice President, Lori Mize, PT, DPT, WCS. Stay tuned for more Section on Women's Health sponsored scholarships by visiting here:

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Kudos to PT Advocate Achievement in 2018!

Reflecting back on 2018 and the numerous achievements accomplished this year. A permanent fix to the Medicare therapy cap was achieved after 20 years of temporary exceptions and implementation delays. Other important legislative and regulatory achievements, included enactment of comprehensive opioid legislation that increases awareness and access to nonpharmacological treatment options, enactment of the Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act to ensure physical therapists have liability insurance when working with teams across state lines, the elimination of functional limitation reporting, and the expansion of telehealth services in the Veterans Administration and Medicare Advantage. The Physical Therapy Interstate Licensure Compact continued to make progress, with the first licensure privilege being issued and compact legislation enacted in 21 states. These wins help advance the profession of physical therapy. Please join the effort to move physical therapy forward with the start of the 116th US Congress this January and become a grassroots advocate.  The 2019 Federal Advocacy Forum will take place Sunday, March 31-Tuesday, April 2 at the JW Marriott near the White House in Washington, DC. Registration and housing will open January 2019 and end March 18, 2019. 

Meet Briana Dillon, SPT

My initial interest in women's health was sparked by a conversation with a professor during my 1st year of DPT school. I was subsequently surprised and pleased to discover the APTA specialty Section on Women's Health. Researching the field provided insight into issues of pelvic floor pain and lymphedema and networking with clinicians in the field provided me with concrete examples of how physical therapy can positively impact the quality of life in this under-served population.

USA Weightlifting's Increased Involvement in Educating their Coaches and Lifters about Pelvic Health

Key Highlights   For the first time, USA Weightlifting is actively getting involved in educating their coaches and lifters about pelvic health.  On Thursday, December 6, Tamra Wroblesky gave an hour and a half interactive seminar to coaches and lifters about pelvic health, pressure regulation, hip and thoracic mobility, bowel and bladder regulation, all to improve performance under the bar.   This will be an uphill battle as there is poor awareness and education about pelvic health.  They have hired Tamra for their 2 international female camps (Barbados and Ohio) in 2019 due to the popularity of the first camp in Las Vegas last year. Check out Tamra's original Team USA article,  Supercharge Your Pelvis, which has  gained momentum in the weightlifting community and her latest report below!