Rep. Adam Smith Holding Town Hall Meeting Aug. 25

Rep. Adam Smith invites 9th District constituents to a budget town hall meeting Aug. 25 at 7 p.m. Consider attending this meeting. Bring along the position papers for our priority bills available to download and print at Approach the representative or staff before or after the meeting. Hand them the Position papers and let them know you will be in touch!

The bills currently of concern to the physical therapy profession are:

HR 1546/S829 -The Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act.
HR 1426/S 975 “The Physical Therapist – Student Loan Repayment Eligibility Act of 2011 HR 531 Access to Frontline Health Care Act.
HR 469-The Protecting Student Athletes from Concussions Act

What: Town Hall discussion on the national budget, debt reduction, and economic recovery
When: 7 p.m., August 25th, 2011
Where: Burien City Council Chambers
400 SW 152nd St., in Burien Town Square
Council Chambers are on ground floor of City Hall/Library building.
Space is limited and attendees are encouraged to RSVP, please call 253-593-6600 or email

Sharon McCallum, PT, DPT
PTWA Federal Affairs Liaison


We Will Continue Our Work to Achieve Success of Spinal Manipulation Bill

I know that the fact that our spinal manipulation bill did not get out of the House Health Care & Wellness Committee is disappointing for many of our members. But, I know that we will prevail–it is just going to take time and patience.  We need to keep working with our legislative leaders and mediators to come up with a solution that satisfies all stakeholders. We need to take the high road no matter how long it takes! No matter what, we KNOW that we have the ability to perform this technique safely and effectively.

I think that PTWA’s Spinal Manipulation Task Force Co-Chair Steve Allen’s comments voice the sentiment of all who continue to work so hard on this:

“We came, we said, they said and all of us realized that the committee would not be able to act on [the bill]…I was very proud of those who testified. The foundation and momentum with all the players are still intact and we are lining up for another run next session.

“We will stick with this.  We will enjoy the ride as we do and will embrace the adversity.  We have a great team with great support.  We will have our day.”

I would like to recognize the following: Bob Boyles, Steve Allen, Robin Schoenfeld, Elaine Armantrout, Melissa Johnson and Brian Thacker for their roles in the hearing preparation. I appreciate the PTs who attended the hearing as well as all the Spinal Manipulation Task Force members and Legislative Committee members who continue to be committed to this process.

I would also like to thank Rep. Eileen Cody, chair of the House Health Care & Wellness Committee, for hearing the bill; Rep Jim Moeller for serving as the mediator between PTWA and WSCA;  the legislators who sponsored our bill (listed below) and the many generous sponsors of 2011 Physical Therapy Legislative Impact Day, who are listed on our website here.

House Bill 1673 sponsors:
Rep. Judy Warnick, R-Moses Lake – Primary sponsor
Rep. Bruce Dammeier, R-Puyallup
Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos, D-Seattle
Rep. Sam Hunt, D-Olympia
Rep. Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland

Senate Bill 5549 sponsors:
Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle – Primary sponsor
Sen. Debbie Regala, D-Tacoma
Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle
Sen. Scott White, D-Seattle
Sen. Rodney Tom, D-Bellevue

Susan Chalcraft, PT, MS,
PTWA President


Carpooling to PT Legislative Impact Day?

Are you interested in carpooling to PT LID Jan. 28 in Olympia? Post a note on our Facebook Fan Page to let others know where you would like to carpool from. And don’t forget, PTWA is providing FREE bus service from Tacoma, Spokane, Bellevue and Seattle. Click here for more information about PT Legislative Impact day and to sign up for a bus.

PT Legislative Impact Day: Don’t Sit This One Out

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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

Now or Never? Why You Need to Attend Legislative Impact Day in 2010

It is vital for our profession that we get our spinal manipulation bill heard and passed in 2010. As some of you know, PTWA member Richard Wright/Columbia Physical Therapy’s lawsuit against Benton Franklin Orthopedics regarding physician ownership of physical therapy services will probably be decided by the Washington state Supreme Court in 2010. If Columbia PT wins the lawsuit, PTWA might be forced to shift all of its legislative efforts away from spinal manipulation. This underscores the importance of a strong showing at this year’s Legislative Impact Day.

Last year, the chiropractors scoffed at our lobbyist when they heard we expected 400 people to attend our Legislative Impact Day. After that conversation, the Washington State Chiropractic Association scheduled their legislative day in Olympia on the same day as ours.

Imagine their surprise and frustration when, instead, 650 PTs, PTAs, students and supporters showed up. There were so many of us visiting with our legislators, that the 20 or so chiropractors there that day had a hard time getting in the door.

What would the impact be if we doubled that number?

Legislators love to hear from us. We want every legislator to know the PTs and PTAs in his or her district. Take the day off and come join us in Olympia.

Dr. Elaine Armantrout, PT, DSc, ECS

PTWA Legislative Committee Chair


It is free to attend Physical Therapy Legislative Impact Day. Please sign up online at:

PTWA Sets National Record at Physical Therapy Legislative Impact Day

PT LIDMore than 600 PT professionals and students came to Olympia January 22 for PT Legislative Impact Day, making it the biggest physical therapy rally in history! We got mention on the blogs of The Olympian and The Seattle Times and in the PT Bulletin Online. Our yellow umbrellas gained us a nod on the House Democratic Caucus’ blog The Advance.

Share your thoughts and experiences with us and email your photos to us to post on our Flickr page.