It has been a while since your Manipulation Task Force (MTF) hit the road and shook the bushes for support on the spinal manipulation bill. However, don’t take the quiet for complacency. I can assure you that the legislative efforts have continued to be of primary importance to PTWA and the MTF. Over the summer and throughout this fall, negotiations have continued and legislators have been hearing from us. Now it’s time for all members of PTWA to jump back into the fight.
Legislative Impact Day is your day to show your support for the manipulation bill. On that day, January, 28 2010, we as a professional organization of highly qualified and ethical medical professionals will band together in support of our bill. It is no longer okay to sit and watch as a select few individuals carry the weight of your profession and your livelihood. I can’t fathom a situation where any one of us is satisfied with another profession deciding the care that you are capable of providing. Especially when the opponent is providing information that is inaccurate and simply not true, nor based on any supported evidence. How can we let that happen?! Obviously, we can’t.
So important is this fight that we have and continue to receive national attention. I get countless emails asking how the fight is going and offering support. Dr Tim Flynn, recent AAOMPT President wrote in a public statement: “Legislation in Washington state is currently being drafted to lift the regressive prohibition on physical therapists from utilizing spinal manipulation. It is time to bring health care in Washington into the 21st century.” Flynn continues, “The Department of Defense and the American Physical Therapy Association’s Scope of Practice, as well as 48 other states in our nation recognize physical therapists’ ability to perform spinal manipulation. Furthermore, the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society (Chou, 2007) have published clinical practice guidelines recommending manipulation by physical therapists as the only proven treatment for patients suffering with acute low back pain.” So clearly the word is out and the support is at the national level.
However, though the attention is national, it can only be fought at the local level. That means you, as well as your colleagues, must take action and show your support for the spinal manipulation bill. Here is my challenge to each of you:
1) Invite your local legislators to your clinic. Show them what you do and what PTs are all about. Believe me, they don’t know what you do or the service you provide. Unfortunately, the public thinks all you do is offer massage. How sad is that?
2) You MUST attend Legislative Impact Day! To not come is inexcusable.
- I’ve tired of the excuse that you can’t afford to close your clinic for a day. The economic impact on your business and profession that you can gain from manipulation will pay for itself.
- Many of you are proud to say you’ve reached a certain skill level or certification and brag that you are a “manual therapist”. And yet, I fail to see you attend or give support. You prefer to rest on the work of others. Yes, I’m calling you out to “walk the walk” not just “talk the talk”. You should be setting the example as leaders in the cause.
3) Finally, bring a colleague along with you. Last year we had more than 600 attendees! As impressive as that was, we are shooting for 1,000 or more this year. We will be visible and we will be a force to be reckoned with.
I appreciate everyone’s work, especially the tireless dedication to those on the Manipulation Task Force and the Legislative Committee. We owe them a huge “thank-you” and pat on the back.
I hope you all have a wonderful and peaceful holiday season. Enjoy the family, friends and fruits of your labor. I will see you in Olympia on January 28, 2010.
Dr. Bob Boyles, PT, DSc, OCS, FAAOMPT
Clinical Associate Professor of Physical Therapy
University of Puget Sound
To register for PT Legislative Impact Day, visit www.ptwa.org/LegislativeImpactDay