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President's Perspective

The Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy's Educational Plan

Larsen, Deborah S. PT, PhD, FAPTA; President, Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy

Author Information
Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy: July 2016 - Volume 40 - Issue 3 - p 217-218
doi: 10.1097/NPT.0000000000000141
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In the last President's Perspective, the proposal for changing the Section's name to the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy, Inc was presented. At the Combined Section's meeting the new name was approved, and this change was subsequently approved by the State of Indiana, where the section was incorporated. So, moving forward we will be known as the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy; that title is used here. However, please note that it will take time for all of the products, webpages, and materials to include the name change.

The Academy first conceived an Education Strategic Planning Meeting in 2007. As the educational landscape and resources at that time were quite different from what they are currently, we held a second Educational Strategic Planning meeting in March 2015. Twenty-five participants met with a facilitator for a day and a half at APTA to craft a 5-year educational plan for the section. Participants were geographically diverse and represented the multiple perspectives of section membership; clinicians, educators, and researchers; early to seasoned career; Neurologic Clinical Specialist Certifications and those with other certifications. This plan was approved by the Neurology Board of Directors in November 2015 and is the focus of this President's Perspective.

The initial focus of the meeting was to discuss challenges of and opportunities for educational programming and evolve a forward-thinking educational plan. Table 1 provides an overview of discussed challenges and opportunities.

Table 1. - Challenges and Opportunities
Challenges Opportunities
Decreased employer funding for CE course tuition Proactively plan for dissemination of content from IV STEP
Increased competition in the CE delivery space More online resources for CE development and delivery
Increasing numbers of online options that compete by virtue of no cost for travel/time off Increased number of neuroresidency programs with educational needs/resources
Changes in the structure and opportunities available to us via the online content management services Opportunities to impact practice by dissemination of evidence, guidelines, etc, developed in section initiatives such as EDGE and Clinical Practice Guidelines.
Current marketing strategies and budget-limited audience Increased numbers of states that require CEUs for licensure renewals
Increased expenses for speaker travel A more tech-savvy audience
The challenge of balancing important didactic content with laboratory-based activity in a cost-effective manner Increased health care organization in larger consortia that might support educational offerings tailored to their needs
CE content with broader appeal (eg, cross-section/specialty areas) Marketing opportunities that attract a wider audience
Changes in the health care landscape that affect the way physical therapists practice and thus their educational needs

Through an iterative consensus process, the group set 4 overarching goals, each with objectives and subobjectives. Subsequent discussions with the Section's educational committee chairs and board of directors resulted in prioritization of these objectives in 3 time frames for completion as delineated in Table 2.

Table 2. - Goals and Objectives
Objective Timeline Comments Champions
Goal 1: Foster diverse and collaborative relationships to promote knowledge translation for targeted audiences
1A. Identify and prioritize target audiences
a. Domestic 2016 Neuromembers and nonmembers, providing care for neurologic diagnoses Education Team (Director of Ed [DOE], Chairs/Co-Chairs of Ed Committees)
b. International 2017 Africa in association with WCPT; identify international organizations (INPA, ACRM) for preconference submissions current regional courses DOE and Regional Ed Co-Chairs
c. External 2018 Determine stakeholder groups to target Education Team
  • Professional groups

  • Consumer groups

  • Payer and policy makers

1B. Identify, prioritize, and establish collaborative partnership
a. Domestic 2016 Explore relationships with other APTA sections and ACAP DOE
b. International 2017 Will build on 1A.b and c
c. External 2018
Goal 2: Create effective and customizable neurologic educational delivery models for target audiences
2A. Design an educational delivery model algorithm 2017 To match appropriate educational delivery methods with content-resources-audiences Education Team
2B. Develop new marketing strategies for educational products 2016 Engage a marketing consultant to develop a marketing plan DOE, Academy Exec
2C. Implement the educational algorithm for programming decision making 2017 Make available to anyone developing educational activities Education Team
2D. Complete cost-benefit analysis of education delivery models 2017 Will allow post-hoc cost-benefit analyses to inform future decisions DOE/Exec/Board of Directors (BOD)
2E. Describe sustainable educational delivery models that integrate knowledge translation (KT) 2018 Add KT experts to educational team. Will involve long-term discussions, planning, and assessment. DOE/Exec/BOD
Goal 3: Facilitate professional development and lifelong learning for target audiences
3A. Perform needs assessment for content and delivery methods 2016 Gather input from larger representation of members and nonmembers. Solicit input from APTA BOD, Exec, Education Team
3B. Identify and prioritize content areas for target audiences 2017-18 Build on results of needs assessment with input from KT experts Education Team, BOD
3C. Assess outcomes and efficacy of educational efforts. 2018 Need to integrate tools/strategies to assess KT Education Team
3D. Develop marketing plan 2017 Will build on 2B and D DOE/Exec
Goal 4: Promote IV STEP as an educational platform to achieve global leadership in plasticity, prognosis, participation, and prevention
4A. Ensure accessibility of information exchange to a global audience 2015-17 Create a dissemination plan for regional courses, national presentations, online offerings, and publications. Education Team, IV STEP planning committee
4B. Determine effectiveness of KT in changing practice and research 2017-18 Dissemination plan should include KT assessment plan Education Team, IV STEP planning committee

The Academy's Board of Directors and Educational Leadership, in association with the IV STEP planning committee, is busy implementing these objectives. One critical outcome is the development of an online learning management system that will allow the Academy to transition some of our regional courses and other educational offerings to online offerings for wider dissemination. This should be up and running by the end of 2016. Four online course offerings are in preparation and several others are in the discussion phase.

Of course, IV STEP will occur in July 2016, and its initial dissemination will occur in the January 2017 issues of JNPT and Pediatric PT. Subsequent to those issues, there will be an online e-book available for purchase. As additional progress is made, information will be included in the e-newsletter and posted on the Academy's Web site. A IV STEP postconference dissemination committee has been formed. Be on the lookout for a 2017 CSM preconference course and then a regional course based on the IV STEP themes and content.

© 2016 Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy, APTA.