In The News

Additional information on candidates for APTA national office is now posted on the APTA candidate webpage. New resources include candidate statements, bios, introductory videos, photos, and CVs.

Elections will take place during the virtual meetings of the House of Delegates on Saturday, July 8. Please contact APTA Governance-House for additional information.


New APTA PSA Offers Hope for Those Who Feel Alone in Their Health Challenges


APTA's latest TV and radio spots highlight long COVID as one example of isolating conditions that can be improved by physical therapy. 

Health and mobility problems can feel isolating, and that sense of isolation can grow deeper when the problem, such as long COVID, isn't readily apparent to others. APTA's newest public service announcement speaks directly to that sense of isolation by offering a hopeful message: You're not alone — physical therapists and physical therapist assistants are there to help you on your journey back to health.

The newest PSA from APTA is targeted at anyone experiencing a health challenge that could benefit from physical therapy — with long COVID, a condition PTs are increasingly treating, cited as just one example. The announcement will be released to television and radio stations across the country in 60-second, 30-second, and 15-second versions.

The video version of the PSA tracks a woman as she moves from feeling alone with her health condition to a sense of reconnection through a recovery process that includes physical therapy, with a dramatization that features a cast that reflects diversity in gender, age, and ability. Even the audio-only versions make a clear statement: Physical therapy is for everyone. APTA members Monique Caruth, PT, DPT; Cathy Elrod, PT, PhD; Shyanne RedBear, SPT; and Mike Reing, PT, MSPT, appear in the video.

This is the fourth PSA APTA has produced in 2016. As in previous PSAs, the newest announcement is clearly branded as a product of APTA, and urges viewers and listeners to visit, the association's consumer-facing website, for more information and to locate a physical therapist through the site's Find a PT locator. And if previous APTA PSAs are any indication, the impact will be wide: The association's previous PSA on the importance of physical activity received 895 airings across the country, reaching an estimated 76 million people. During that same time, set a new record for web traffic, with 5 million visitors during 2022.

Combined, the PSAs,, and other outreach efforts such as the series of full-page ads published in the New York Times in 2022, are contributing to a marked increase in the public's understanding of physical therapy and the expertise of PTs and PTAs. A 2022 APTA report on consumer attitudes showed a deepening knowledge of the role PTs can play in injury prevention, pain reduction, recovery from surgery, and improved range of motion, among other positive trends.

APTA CEO Justin Moore, PT, DPT, believes the PSAs aren't just a wise investment — they're also a needed public service.

"Increasing the public's access to and understanding of physical therapy is central to our mission, and PSAs like the one we've just released do an excellent job of delivering that message in a compelling way," Moore said. "But just as important is reaching people who may feel hopeless and alone in their health struggles to let them know that PTs and PTAs are there to help."

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Scope of COVID-19 Funding Cuts Emerges as Debt Limit Flashpoint

Roll Call | By Aidan Quigley
Veterans health care funding clawback becomes a top Democratic talking point; GOP denies plan to cut benefits
​Democrats are jumping on the House GOP plan to recoup unspent pandemic aid in their debt limit bill, charging that the move will harm agencies counting on that funding, including the Department of Veterans Affairs. 
The bill, which Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is hoping to get on the floor this week, would rescind $72 billion in unobligated pandemic relief aid.
A new analysis compiled by House Appropriations Committee Democrats tallied up the major sources of untapped COVID-19 cash.
Nearly $17 billion is sitting in Department of Health and Human Services coffers for things like research and testing of vaccines and therapeutics, payments to hospitals and nursing homes, and genomic sequencing of COVID-19 samples to identify variants. Almost $6 billion would come out of unspent Transportation Department funds for highway, aviation and transit agencies.
“Rescinding this funding would eliminate critical resources for mayors and governors to keep their airports open, trains running, and buses operating to get their essential workers to and from their jobs to keep our economy and people alive,” the Democrats' memo states. 
But few issues carry the political resonance as potential cuts to veterans benefits, and Democrats have been aiming their fire particularly at over $2 billion sitting in VA health accounts that the debt limit bill would cancel.
Rescinding that money would “dramatically limit the ability for VA to provide healthcare services both within and outside of VA by clawing back needed funding for medical care,” according to the Democrats' memo.
“I do not understand what my House Republican colleagues are doing, and I am not sure they do either,” House Appropriations ranking member Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., said in a statement.
Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, D-Wash., introduced an amendment to the debt limit bill Tuesday that would exempt VA funds from the rescission. Under her amendment, the funding would remain available through September 2024.
Perez is a freshman who flipped a GOP-held seat last November, winning the heavily contested race by less than 1 percentage point in a district former President Donald Trump carried by about 4 points two years earlier. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates her 2024 reelection bid a "Toss-up."
Republicans, however, see recouping the money as a layup opportunity to cut spending.
House Appropriations Chairwoman Kay Granger, R-Texas, said during the Rules Committee’s consideration of the debt limit bill that the pandemic spending is not needed and should be directed to other priorities.
“Now that the national emergency is officially over, we should be able to take back those resources,” Granger said.
'Serious questions'
Republicans are pushing back, vowing that veterans health care will be protected in the appropriations process despite the bill’s tight spending caps. They say they already had concerns about the VA’s handling of remaining pandemic funds, which were appropriated in 2020 and 2021. 
House Republicans “have serious questions about VA’s spending of this money in the first place,” House Veterans’ Affairs GOP spokeswoman Kathleen McCarthy said. . .

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Using Intelligent Neuroprostheses to Treat Motor Disorders

By University of Montreal

Scientists have long studied neurostimulation to treat paralysis and sensory deficits caused by strokes and spinal cord injuries, which in Canada affect some 380,000 people across the country.

A new study published in the journal Cell Reports Medicine demonstrates the possibility of autonomously optimizing the stimulation parameters of prostheses implanted in the brains of animals, without human intervention.

The work was done at Université de Montréal by neuroscience professors Marco Bonizzato, Numa Dancause and Marina Martinez, in collaboration with mathematics professor and Mila researcher Guillaume Lajoie.

The study grew out of an important interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers who combine expertise in neuroscience and artificial intelligence, two fields of expertise in which the UdeM stands out internationally.

'A very promising phase'

"Neuroprostheses—devices designed to restore connections between neurons following a loss of motor function—are entering a very promising phase of their development," said Lajoie. "We are demonstrating the benefits obtained by autonomously optimizing their parameters."

If the performance of these prostheses has increased, it's thanks to the autonomous learning algorithms put forward by the researchers, added Bonizzato. "Optimization algorithms allow us to design very refined neurostimulation protocols and personalize treatments according to the condition of each patient."

For his part, Dancause believes that although "there are several ways of stimulating the brain, the contribution of artificial intelligence is essential to make the most of the data collected and anticipate conditions that do not yet exist."

With these technological advances, scientists are closer to finding new neuroprosthetic solutions to improve the treatment of pathologies such as spinal cord injuries and strokes, or deep brain stimulation through neuromodulation to treat conditions such as Parkinson's disease.


The Potential Risks of ChatGPT and Other Generative AI

JDSpura | By Baker Hostetler

Shall we play a game?” Those innocuous words “spoken” by Matthew Broderick’s computer in John Badham’s sci-fi techno-thriller War Games stunned audiences at the time. A computer that could “talk” and “think” and engage in conversation?!? This was the height of science fiction. Well, with the recent release of generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools, specifically in the form of ChatGPT and other predictive natural language processing (NLP) algorithms, science fiction has once again become reality.

Companies from Microsoft to Google and Instacart to Kayak have begun to incorporate and build upon this technology, originally developed by OpenAI. These tools can be incredibly beneficial to businesses, but they also carry risks.

Before we dive in to how generative AI can assist brands and companies, let’s first peel back the layers and understand – at a basic level – what ChatGPT is.

ChatGPT stands for Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer. Let’s break that down:

  • Chat refers to the interface that allows for interaction with the model using natural language prompts.
  • Generative refers to a category of AI model that produces new output based on a given input. In practice this means that the “input” of a user query can generate the “output” of text, images, and audio answers.
  • Pre-trained refers to the fact that the model has already been trained on a vast data set to teach it to predict the next word in a given sequence.
  • Transformer refers to the architecture of the neural network (machine learning algorithms) upon which ChatGPT is based. It is this architecture that allows the computer to process natural language.

Importantly, ChatGPT and other generative AI are not omniscient; they cannot think, understand, or feel. They are merely software – lines of computer code – programmed to generate natural language replies in response to text and image prompts. They work by predicting the next word in a given text string based on patterns “learned” from the data on which they have been trained.

In late March, OpenAI released an API (application programming interface) to select businesses to allow them to incorporate the AI technology into their own websites and apps via plugins. Using these plugins, brands have been able to harness the power of ChatGPT to help consumers book travelmake restaurant reservations, and create curated product recommendations.

Currently, the ChatGPT plugins have been tasked with relatively basic functions – essentially providing high-level search tools in the form of an interactive chatbot. See, for example, the video Expedia released on Twitter to show how its ChatGPT plugin operates.

Brands have also begun to use generative AI tools to help with:

  • Coding – generating and building source code and analyzing mistakes within the code
  • Content Creation – generating blog posts, social media posts, targeted email campaigns and video scripts
  • Data Analysis – analyzing large data sets and synthesizing the information into easily digestible bullet points
  • Market Research – generating a list of key players in any industry along with products and services
  • Product Descriptions – generating bulk descriptions for e-commerce sites where product catalogs are frequently updated
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – generating copy that includes keywords and meta descriptions that search engines can look for when ranking pages

ChatGPT and other generative AI tools come with risks, and any business use of them should be done carefully and cautiously.

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