Physical Therapy Students Participate in PT Day on Capitol Hill

More than 25 students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Simmons were in Washington, DC earlier this summer for PT Day on Capitol Hill and the NEXT Conference and Exposition hosted by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

The event featured networking opportunities and educational sessions led by seasoned professionals. Students also learned about the bills and important issues facing the profession and how to effectively advocate for PTs and the patients they serve. One focus was the permanent repeal of the Medicare therapy cap.

Simmons students joined more than 1,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and other students at a Rally on Washington, where the rallying cry was Physical Therapy Transforms. During the visits to house and senate offices, Simmons students took the lead in advocating for their profession.

George Coggeshall, Associate Professor of Practice at Simmons and member of the APTA of Massachusetts House Delegation, also participated in the events with the students. He said “I am glad that SNHS and the PT Faculty encourage and support students’ participation in national events. These opportunities are truly transformational and help to show our students that they are the profession’s leaders of tomorrow.”

Students collectively praised the valuable experience of being in Washington, DC together as leaders in Physical Therapy.

Leah Lyons ‘17HSD said, “Speaking with Senator Markey’s senior staff about an important bill was a great learning experience and it showed the effect I can have for the PT profession even as a student. After getting the chance to speak directly with a U.S. Senator's office about the importance of PT and the impact PTs have on patients, I will absolutely continue advocating for our profession. Feeling the energy and the passion at the Rally on Washington, I thought ‘This is why I want to be a Physical Therapist.’”

Jillian Haney ‘17HSD added, “The conference itself was a bonding experience with my fellow classmates, one that I know we'll talk about during the rest of our time at Simmons.”

“Our students were a force on Capitol Hill and the conference - very professional, articulate and carried themselves with seasoned poise.” Coggeshall revealed. “I had many colleagues and national leaders tell me they were once again impressed with Simmons students.”

Top photo: Simmons students at the Rally on Washington, courtesy of Alison Carr
Bottom left photo: Meeting with Congressman Joe Kennedy III, courtesy of George Coggeshall
Bottom right photo: Simmons students, faculty and leaders from MA Chapter of APTA, courtesy of George Coggeshall

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