Happy Physical Therapy Month!

What have you been doing to celebrate/demonstrate National Physical Therapy Month?  This year’s theme is #ChoosePT.  APTA has some great resources on their website.  In the event you are not planning an extravagant party, there are some simple things you can do to get the #ChoosePT message out to the community.  Use your social media. APTA has a Facebook temporary (or not) “frame” you can use on your Facebook profile this month.  That is truly simple and amplifies the #ChoosePT message to your friends. You/we should control the message of what you/we do in your/our physical therapy practices. October is a great time to let people know why physical therapy is the best option for rehabilitation. Please share with us your #ChoosePT moments and we will re-share the love.


Erik Moen
PTWA President


Help Observe National Physical Therapy Month

The heat of summer made one last push as we moved into “school season.” Hard to think it will be fall very soon!

NPTMLogoColor 2017I would ask that you consider some sort of observation of National Physical Therapy Month (NPTM) in October. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) recently posted resources for your 2017 planning.  National Physical Therapy Month resources may be found at http://www.apta.org/NPTM/ . Plan to share your observations with us (PTWA) and our national association (APTA).

This form of professional advocacy is critical. We must tell the public who we are and what we do. Tell the public why you are the reason to #ChoosePT. Let them know of your education and scope of practice. You make differences in people’s lives…as long as they know who you are. Not everyone knows who you are and what you do as a professional. Take the opportunity to leverage your voice to the public during NPTM.



Erik Moen PT
PTWA President

Thoughts on the APTA House of Delegates, NEXT and Advocacy

Erik Moen_Edited

Erik Moen

The summer for PTWA is highlighted by attendance and the deliberations at the APTA House of Delegates. The House of Delegates is the highest deliberative body in the APTA. Your state was well represented by our leaders who attended this year’s house in Boston in June. My first House of Delegates was in Boston in 1991. Boston has a good spot in my heart. This APTA link has a great overview of our time in Boston.

A special nod of recognition goes to PTWA Chief Delegate Jennifer Lesko. Jennifer has served as our chief delegate for eight years and this was her last year as chief. We thank her for her leadership, organization and excellent representation of Washington (state) interests.

Please take the time to read/review the McMillan and Maley lecture transcripts. The McMillan and Maley lectures are delivered each year during APTA’s NEXT conference, which immediately follows the House of Delegates. The lecture transcripts will appear in print in your Physical Therapy journal. These lectures are always inspirational and worthy of your time.

A word on “summer advocacy.” There certainly is a lot of federal legislative activity going on around health care this summer. Regardless of what side you are on, it is important that you connect with your federal legislators to represent your view point. APTA has your back if you need a little help with this process. APTA has an advocacy app, which can be found in Apple and Google play stores under “APTA Action.”  It is free for members and includes modules for federal action, as well as state action. This APTA advocacy app will tell you who your federal and state legislators are, discuss the issues and enable a good electronic connection to your legislators. I would ask that all PTWA members download this app and engage with your legislators on health care issues that affect your patients, your businesses and our state. Your activism and leadership does help!

I know summer has just begun but I want you to start thinking about participating in the 2017 PTWA Conference, which will take place in the fall.  We have excellent speakers and opportunities for you to network and interact with your peers. Please make plans to join us!


Erik Moen, PT
PTWA President

What a Difference a First-Time Federal Affairs Attendee Made

I had never heard of the APTA Federal Affairs Forum (FAF) until I attended PTWA’s Legislative Impact Day on January, 26, 2017. Legislative Impact Day, where PTs, PTAs and students meet with state legislators to discuss current bills that will impact our profession that will be addressed this session. The FAF is the same type of event but addresses bills at a federal level.

Any APTA member can attend the FAF, which was held this year from March 26-28, 2017. The more therapists and students that attend, the more voices are heard and the stronger the message. Lucky for me, no experience was needed! APTA staff taught us all we needed to know in the two days before we actually went to the Hill.

Our state had six therapists in attendance. We had appointments with both of our senators and the representatives (or their staff) for each of our 10 districts. We had 15 minutes per appointment to review the bills that related to therapy, to relay personal stories and to help each senator or representative understand the impact on our profession that each bill would have.

This was such an amazing experience for me. I am so grateful to my Washington colleagues for their support. A surprise bonus for me was a much deeper appreciation for what the APTA does for us as a profession. I was able to witness the APTA strong presence on Capitol Hill, making a difference for MY career. I saw it, heard it, watched it and participated in it….it felt great! I have always been passionate about physical therapy – and advocating for it in a senator’s office was an honor. Advocacy work DOES make a difference! Being an APTA member IS important for our profession. This type of work requires funding, if we want to remain relevant, viable and be seen as a valuable member of our health care system. Supporting our PAC and the APTA is a huge part of that. I encourage you to get involved! It’s so rewarding!

Kele Murdin, PT
Board Certified Geriatric Specialist
Group with Cantwell 2017

Washington therapists during a meeting with Sen. Maria Cantwell. From left: Tom DiAngelis, Jeanine Gunn, Daphne Ryan, Sen. Cantwell, Brianna Durant, Jennifer Lesko, Kele Murdin, Erik Moen and Elaine Armantrout.

Rich Content and Networking at CSM

Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) 2017
San Antonio, TX

Washingtonians flocked to San Antonio to attend the most-attended CSM in APTA history. Can  you believe there was 14,000 PT, PTA, respective students and exhibitors there? That is a lot of PTs. Why do they go? Excellent programming that addresses their needs specific to their practice interest, a huge exhibit hall, alumni, section and industry receptions, excellent keynote/featured speakers and plenty of networking with friends and peers from around the country. Our great state of Washington was well represented in leadership, presentation, industry and social aspects.

Also featured are state and federal affairs updates. This is where we are updated on processes with the definition of dry needling in the states practice of physical therapy, license compact initiatives, concussion management and continued work to repeal the therapy cap.

Discussion took place regarding the incorporation of the new evaluation codes. Continued work and practice with their use in billing will be critical. The new evaluation codes have far more complexity then our previous 97001 and 97002. Physical therapists can do their part by reliably following the code criteria to clearly define their clients as low, moderate or high complexity. The resultant data will help to better understand physical therapy practice and our interventions. The APTA has numerous resources on its website.  http://www.apta.org/PaymentReform/NewEvalReevalCPTCodes/. APTA was recognized nationally for their efforts in association education regarding the new evaluation codes.  Our Arizona friend Helene Fearon accepted the award on behalf of the APTA.

Want to get involved? I strongly believe that return on your association membership comes through your active membership. APTA does have volunteer opportunities for committees and task forces. http://www.apta.org/VolunteerGroups/.  The March 1st deadline is quickly approaching.

As this is a blog, I will conclude my summary comments. It is safe to say that the entire coverage of a meeting like CSM cannot be fully covered in the length of a blog. CSM certainly is an exciting, material rich meeting. CSM is the meeting for you if you are thinking of attending a national meeting for the first time. See you in New Orleans next February!

Erik Moen_EditedErik Moen
PTWA President

Thank You For Attending Well-Timed Legislative Impact Day

Thank you to all the PTs, PTAs, PT students and PTA students for attending the PTWA Legislative Impact Day on January 26! And thank you to those who did their part from afar by contacting their legislators regarding our legislative issues for the 2017 Legislative session. Our presence in Olympia was well timed as our Licensure Compact bills (SB 5191 and HB 1278) were heard in the respective healthcare committees that week and our Years of Service bills (SB 5283 and HB 1374) will be heard in their respective appropriations committee meetings this week and next.


This year we offered continuing education as a secondary benefit of coming to Olympia. Members learned about how to get your spinal manipulation endorsement and heard prior authorization updates from Jim Freeburg from the Office of the Insurance Commissioner.


Please continue to follow the legislative process and interact with your legislator. Your involvement is critical this year and for the long haul. You demonstrate a level of professionalism that demonstrates your commitment to our profession and clients/patients of Washington state.


Thank you to our Legislative Impact Day sponsors.  Your example of leadership and support is outstanding and appreciated.


Our hard working and smart lobbyist Melissa Johnson continues to guide and assist us in our legislative efforts.  She paves a smooth path for our access to legislators. 


And lastly, thank you to our PTWA staff for their excellent organization and commitments to membership.


Watch for continued updates from Melissa during the legislative session and stay engaged throughout the year!  Your connections and expertise does matter.

Erik Moen

PTWA President

The Skinny on Sarcopenia

One definition of sarcopenia by Santilli et al1, states: Sarcopenia is a syndrome characterized by progressive and generalized loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength and it is strictly correlated with physical disability, poor quality of life and death. Risk factors for sarcopenia include age, gender and level of physical activity.

To diagnosis sarcopenia three of the following need to be present:

  • HR >84 bpm at rest
  • Orthostasis: a decrease in systolic 20 bpm or diastolic 10 bpm within three minutes of standing compared to sitting or supine
  • Muscle weakness: a general 3/5, no specific muscle group
  • Impaired mobility: need assistive device, need assist with bed mobility, difficulty with transfers
  • Heart rate increases 10-20 bpm with verbal exam

Kele Murdin

As PTs we should be drooling at this. All of these are WELL within our scope to treat and VERY treatable! Treatment of deconditioning typically targets activity HR 20 beats greater than resting (light load). And remember to educate your patients to be patient as recondition takes two times longer than deconditioning.

Ikezoe2 found that older adults need knee extension force of 45 percent of their body weight and sit to stand of 5.6 times in 30 seconds to retain their ability to walk independently.

There is a wealth of research to support the benefits of low intensity strength programs that improve knee extension strength and functional mobility in frail older adults. Westoff3 demonstrated significant strength increases using these parameters: one to three sets of four to eight reps, with one minute rest, using TheraBand and using criteria that when they can perform three sets with good form to increase load.

Sarcopenia cost over 18 billion dollars in healthcare costs per year.  We as PTs have the power to impact that and significantly improve the quality of life of our older adults! What a great job we have!!

Kele Murdin, PT
Geriatric Certified Specialist
Geriatric Training Certification
Certified Exercise Expert for Aging Adults

1) Santilli V, Bernetti A, Mangone M, and Paolone M. Clinical Definition of Sarcopenia. Clin Cases Miner Bone Metabv. 11(3); Sept-Dec 2015. Published online 2014 Dec 10.
2) Ikezoe, et. al, Muscle Strength and Muscle Endurance Required for Independent Walking in the Elderly. Journal of Physical Therapy Science. 9(1):19-22. January 1997. DOR 10.1589/jpts9.19
3) Westhoff M, Stemmerik L, Boshuizen H. Effects of a Low-Intensity Strength-Training Program on Knee-Extensor Strength and Functional Ability of Frail Older People. Journal of aging and physical activity. 8(4):325-342. October 200. DOI: 10.1123/japa.8.4.325