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President's Message

Launching the Academy of Acute Care Physical Therapy

Gorman, Sharon L. PT, DPTSc, GCS, FNAP

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Journal of Acute Care Physical Therapy: April 2016 - Volume 7 - Issue 2 - p 45-46
doi: 10.1097/JAT.0000000000000041
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I'm still coming down from the high of Combined Sections Meeting (CSM), held February 17-20 in Anaheim, California. My quick evening adventure to Disneyland aside, this year's acute care programming was outstanding yet again. Our programming featured 1 preconference course, twenty-six 2-hour educational sessions specific to acute care, 2 platform sessions with innovative acute care research, 50 acute care posters, 5 focus group meetings on acute care topics, a leadership board meeting, and a membership meeting and social. With record-breaking attendance of more than 11,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants (PTAs), and students, the energy was fantastic and the pace something that acute care therapists could appreciate—fast-paced and dynamic! I am continually impressed with the quality of acute care programming at CSM and have the distinct pleasure of having members compliment the spectacular quality of our speakers and presenters because of my role as President. I would be remiss if I did not recognize the hard work of our Education and Research Committees in putting together another stellar package of programming. In addition, I'd like to extend my gratitude to all of the speakers and presenters, as well as everyone who submitted abstracts and proposals. CSM programming is only as good as the submissions received, the high quality of peer review provided by volunteers, and the scheduling and organizing of the content. The results absolutely represent the truth that it really does take a village, so thank you to all who worked behind the scenes to provide a truly world-class experience for CSM attendees. As I write this, the proposal deadline for preconference and educational session programming is looming, and before I know it, the abstract submission deadline for posters and platforms (June 22, 2016) will be upon us.1 I encourage all members to submit their proposals and abstracts and to help us continue the tradition of excellent acute care programming for CSM 2017 in San Antonio next year.

I am also extremely excited to announce some substantial changes to our traditions. Our membership meeting and social at CSM served to launch us into new territory. The final step in changing our name from the Acute Care Section—APTA to the Academy of Acute Care Physical Therapy involved a vote by membership present at this meeting. Because of the approval of bylaws changes voted in by the membership last fall, this vote was the first allowing a full vote for our PTA members. I am proud to announce that this vote passed by an overwhelming majority. Like all launches, there was a lot of prelaunch activity, leading up to this momentous vote at CSM 2016. Our Bylaws Committee and Executive Office have been working behind the scenes for months getting the variety of puzzle pieces aligned, often without fanfare. Thank you for your detail-oriented hard work.

So what does it mean to change our name? I see it as part of a longer-term process of coming to recognize our place within the physical therapy community as well as in the larger context of the health care community. While therapists familiar with the concept of APTA sections easily understood what Acute Care Section meant, outside health care providers and organizations were often confused. By changing our name to Academy, we can more easily be understood by these other groups and better convey our mission to “foster excellence in acute care practice” as it relates to physical therapy, as well as to continue to work to reach our vision to be “recognized as the expert resource for the provision of evidence-based acute care physical therapy.”2 Changing our name is not destination, but rather the continuation, of a journey started in June 1992 with our incorporation. We are launching the Academy of Acute Care Physical Therapy, but we have much work to reach our destination dreamed of in our vision statement. As an Academy, we will continue to reach farther into the unknown.

Approaching our 25th anniversary in 2017, this launch of us as an Academy seems fortuitous. What will the next 25 years bring to acute care practice? What new boundaries will we cross, what new concepts will we explore, what challenges will we strive to overcome? And that is where you come in, members of our Academy. You will be the ones to set this course for the future, to participate in this journey. As your President, I am humbled to welcome you to the search for these new destinations and to congratulate you on being a member of the Academy of Acute Care Physical Therapy. Now, let's get exploring!

Sharon L. Gorman, PT, DPTSc, GCS, FNAP

President, Academy of Acute Care Physical Therapy

[email protected]


1. American Physical Therapy Association. CSM submissions. Accessed March 2, 2016.
2. Mission and Vision. About Us. Pittsburgh, PA: Acute Care Section—APTA. Updated January 8, 2015. Accessed March 2, 2016.
© 2016 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.