Since 2000, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has been guided by Vision 2020, a statement adopted by the APTA House of Delegates (the House) that guides the organization's strategic planning.
By 2020, physical therapy will be provided by physical therapists who are doctors of physical therapy, recognized by consumers and other health care professionals as the practitioners of choice to whom consumers have direct access for the diagnosis of, interventions for, and prevention of impairments, activity limitations, participation restrictions, and environmental barriers related to movement, function, and health.
Vision 2020 is still guiding the efforts of the APTA and will do the same for the next several years. But in 2011, the House passed a motion that started the process to envision a future beyond 2020. To that end, the Task Force that has guided this process will be proposing a new vision for the profession in June that will be considered by the House. That vision statement is as follows:
The physical therapy profession will transform society by optimizing movement for all people of all ages to improve the human experience.
This “beyond 2020” vision statement brings a new perspective to our organization that I personally find refreshing and vital to our continued relevance. I see the statement as one that reinforces our professional commitment to society and thus emphasizes an outward focus, rather than one that could be perceived as focused primarily on physical therapists' professional development. I would encourage members to visit http://www.apta.org/BeyondVision2020, where you can access the ongoing discussions and comments of members, consumers, and other health care professionals, as well as information on the elements of the vision statement that will be considered for adoption by the House in June. Your thoughts and comments are important to the ongoing consideration of this proposal, and I encourage you to explore the background documents available on the Web site and voice your opinion to your state delegates to the House.
Ann F. Van Sant, PT, PhD, FAPTA