Posted by vanessa on April 27, 2017
On Friday evening, April 21st, the Columbia University Department of Physical Therapy hosted their first annual APTA National Advocacy Dinner. The event was organized by Columbia DPT students Katie Schmitt (DPT’18), Tasha Connolly (DPT ’19) Ashley Barnas (DPT ’18), and Jenna Kantor (DPT ’18).
Students from CUMC, Hunter, Stony Brook, LaGuardia Community College, LIU and NYU were among the attendees.
For the National Advocacy Dinner, PT and PTA leaders conducted a panel discussion. Intervention specialist Dr. Theresa Marko, key contact for congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, spoke about what it is like to be in Washington, DC and how to get involved. Dr. Debra Engel, NYPTA Member at Large for Greater New York, spoke about local advocacy and the importance of being a constituent. Co-Founder of Velocity Physiotherapy, Erica Meloe, PT, talked about advocating with your patients and building grassroots support through social media as well as lobbying. Carrie Fuller, PTA, talked about building momentum and showed us all how easy it is to log on to APTA and advocate with a simple app.
After a panel discussion and Q&A with the guests, students took the stage. Jenna Kantor (CUDPT 2018) and Emily Rubin (DPT Hunter College) talked about the Student Special Interest Group, Washington, DC, Albany and the importance of getting active on the student level. They provided information, pamphlets and energy. Everyone was engaged.
Katie Schmitt, CUDPT 2018, summed up the evening. “Not only do we know how important #PTFirst and #ChoosePT are, but we learned that a simple phone call, email or tap on the APTA Action App can make a difference. The energy in the room on Friday evening was palpable. We are excited for the future of PT, and the future is now.“
|Event organizers: Katie Schmitt (DPT’18), Tasha Connolly (DPT ’19) Ashley Barnas (DPT ’18) Jenna Kantor (DPT ’18)||Speakers for the evening: Theresa Marko, Erica Meloe, Debra Engel, Carrie Fuller|
|The evening’s speakers with Program Director Dr. Debra Krasinski (far left), Jenna Kantor, Ashley Barnas and Tasha Connolly||SSIG Members with speakers|