I'm submitting this President's Message late. I've missed the deadline, and I'm on borrowed time. It's got to be done today. I've been procrastinating all morning. I've cooked a healthy breakfast and washed the dishes. I've taken out the trash and the recycling. I've played with my kittens. But I can't seem to be able to make the words come. The blinking cursor just keeps mindlessly blinking at me. It's not that I've got writers block, it's more like I don't know how to start. This President's Message marks the beginning of the end for me; it's the last one of these I will write. It marks the beginning of the end of my service to you as the President of APTA Acute Care.
As you read this, my term will have ended and my role will have transitioned. But now, just thinking of how many changes, transitions, and curve balls we have all experienced since February 2020, the thought of another big transition, marking the end of a year turned upside down by this pandemic, feels big. And scary. Not for APTA Acute Care; I have nothing but faith in this Academy's Board of Directors, Executive and office staff, and countless volunteers to continue to serve our members, our professional association, and our patients and their loved ones. Of that I have no trepidation. No, it's personal. I have made lifelong connections and friendships through my service in APTA Acute Care. I have grown from a new professional who nominated myself to run for a Nominating Committee position, working my way through various elected and appointed positions, finding myself honored at being elected your President in 2015, and reelected to a second term in 2018. And while I certainly don't envision myself fading into obscurity, my role will change. And if 2020 has taught me anything, it's that I have a little PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) around change.
I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you for your support, your energy, your feedback, and your membership. I truly believe that leadership in a volunteer professional association is most definitely a team sport, and each and every one of you has proven me correct. And what a fantastic team to be on! The biggest lesson I've learned during these 6 years as your President is to get out of the way when members or the Board have a great idea. The most useful things, the things I'm most proud of during my term, were when I backed up, connected interested people, and found them the support they needed. So I challenge you, each and every member, to think big. To step up. To speak out. Participate at whatever level you can, take a chance, and dream big. We need all of our voices, and all of our talents, to continue growing APTA Acute Care, and push it to achieve innovative heights. This is my parting call to all of you ... find your voice and make it heard.
This final year of my Presidency has been marked by a global pandemic, and I have never been more proud of our members or this Board. From our first message about COVID-19 during CSM 2020 through countless hours of webinar planning and delivery, through meeting upon meeting at all levels of the association, I have been awed by each interaction. Each and every one of you has risen to the incredible challenges this year has brought. And through that, I have been honored to represent you. As I write this, there are still a few months left of my term. It is winter and COVID surges are breaking out again. I am anxious and worried, but I know that the amazing acute care physical therapists and physical therapist assistants will be there, and that APTA Acute Care will continue to support their hard work. The one thing not causing me any anxiety is knowing I am leaving you and APTA Acute Care in great hands, and I can't wait to see what amazing things we will achieve moving forward. This isn't going to be the physical therapy centennial year any of us had dreamed of, but much like the birth of our profession through wars and epidemics, we will continue to provide the caring expertise and rehabilitation our communities need. And I look forward to joining you all in that challenge, together.
Sharon L. Gorman, PT, DPTSc
Board-Certified Geriatric Clinical Specialist
Fellow, National Academies of Practice,
President, APTA Acute Care