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Highlights from 2019 House of Delegates | Chicago, Illinois

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Caption: Shout out to these active Section on Women's Health members composed of clinicians, professors, researchers and leaders who have traveled to Chicago, IL to represent our #physicaltherapyprofession at House of Delegates. #APTA #SoWH#Trailblazers

Chicago, Illinois - There have been several motions considered. Some of the notable ones related to the social issues are listed below. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list but a bullet-sized list that captures some of the issues discussed:

  • The vaccination charge and firearm motion both passed. The firearm motion passed with over 70% of the voting delegates in favor.
  • The motion supporting the World Confederation for Physical Therapy’s Policy Statement on Torture went on consent.
  • The Core Values have been updated.
  • The concept of the movement system was highlighted in the description of “Identity,” one of the Guiding Principles to Achieve the Vision adopted by the House of Delegates in 2013. The description included a statement defining the movement system. This motion was brought forward by the APTA BOD and the HOD passed a definition to be incorporated into the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice and other relevant APTA documents, and also integrated in education, practice, and research initiatives.
  • A prior policy has been amended to reflect how APTA acts upon health and social issues that are consistent with its vision and mission. It read as a charge and was amended to become a policy.
  • The HOD passed a Charge: American Physical Therapy Association's Efforts to Address Social Determinants of Health and Achieving Health Equity. This addresses inequalities related to socioeconomic status and will have meaningful effects on individual, community and inter-generational health and social mobility. We can be important advocates in the effort to reduce potential negative outcomes associated with social determinants of health.
  • Additional Charge passed: Increasing Professional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Clinical, Educational, and Research Settings: The APTA, in collaboration with stakeholders, identify and implement best-practice strategies to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion within the profession of physical therapy—to include clinical, educational, and research settings—to better meet the needs of society. In 2018, APTA’s BOD adopted a new strategic plan that includes the goal, “Foster long-term sustainability of the physical therapy profession” by “Making APTA an inclusive organization that reflects the diversity of the society it serves.” On consent, the motion has been passed that further supports cultural competence as defined by the CDC.

Other Updates:

  • The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) supports efforts to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion to better serve the association, the profession, and society.
  • The American Physical Therapy Association opposes and prohibits preferential or adverse discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, or health status. This amendment contemporizes existing policy.

HOD Chicago IL


Secili DeStefano, PT, DPT, OCS
Secili DeStefano, PT, DPT, OCS
Secili is the President-Elect (2019-2020) of Section on Women's Health-APTA.

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