There will be a new face running the membership meeting this fall. Christian Appel, will start his term that day as the incoming president. He is a good friend and and someone I respect as a leader, clinician, and professional. MAPTA is in good hands.
There are many aspects of the organization that will make the transition easy. We are an active organization with a steady increase in membership each year. Montana has traditionally had one of the highest rates of membership in APTA, and we strive to get more PT’s involved.
We continue to be financially stable, due in part to the growth of our membership, but also due to our continuing excellent continuing education classes. Over the last eight years, programming chairs Adena Carter, Carissa Benjamin and Kimberly Raynovich have brought in local and national leaders in our profession.
He will have ample opportunity to communicate with members and others important to our organization. The newsletter will continue, although paper free as MAPTA works to decrease waste. Spearheaded by Beth Nordstrom, MAPTA has begun telecommunication with the eastern side of our state, improving our ability to get input to those who live too far away to attend all of the business meetings. Christian will continue the tradition of 7 AM meetings when important topics arise that don’t fit into the business meeting time frame. Business meetings will continue to follow state statutes that call for a 10 day notice of agenda items to ensure that everyone has a chance to understand the agenda prior to the meetings. He will have input from the licensing board through our liaison Brianna Irion and will benefit from open communication lines with other areas of interest including BCBS, MMA, MTSBA and the Montana Chiropractic Association.
Legislation issues will be an easy transition. Christian has headed the legislation committee in the past, and Ashley McDonald is currently doing an excellent job. Our lobbyists, Strategies 360, have been outstanding. Together, with helpful input to legislators from our grassroots organization, we have seen numerous bills related to PT pass over the last eight years, while none of the bills we have sponsored have been defeated.
Public relations? We are in great hands with Mike Tran working with his task force to educate health care professional and the public about PT’s role in chronic pain and how PT’s can be players in helping control the opiod epidemic.
Christian will have the support of our house of delegates. Montana was represented by Marybeth Wilson our chief delegate Adena Carter and Joseph carter in Chicago represented and Adena be working through the year to make sure that rural areas are represented fairly in all of APTA’s issues, particularly those related to self-referral. Although Lori Graybil was unable to attend, she continues to be a leader for PTA’s thought the state.
Many challenges will face Christian during his term. We are part of a changing health care system, and as with any any change there will be pitfalls but also opportunity. PT’s will always have to fight to have a better seat at the table in the medical arena. I will always believe that no one can get better results at a lower cost with excellent patient satisfaction, but we need to make our voices heard. That means being active in legislative issues, both state and federal.
We need to have the hard data that supports our place in medicine. That means the use of registries by all PT’s, and using that data to advocate for the fair reimbursement benefits that we deserve.
Christian is the right person to help guide the chapter through the next few years, and I know he will have the full support of MAPTA. I would like to thank all members who have spoken out on issues, volunteered for committees, and especially those who have given up their time to sit on the BOD, and of course, the glue that keeps us all together, Gail. It will be a nice change to sit on the sidelines, knowing that MAPTA will continue to lead our profession with members that are not afraid to speak out setting the bar high for all rural states.