Students, Supporters, and Researchers Connect at APTA CSM

The American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) returned to in-person and hands-on as thousands of physical therapists traveled to Texas on February 2-5, 2022. The national conference shifted to a virtual platform in 2021 due to COVID-19. APTA was able to host the event in San Antonio recently in consistency with CDC guidelines, reconnecting many in the community who had not attended a national conference since the CSM event held in Denver, Colorado, in February of 2020.

The in-person conference created an opportunity for the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research (FPTR) to once again host two popular in-person events – the annual Donor Reception and Legacy Breakfast. At the Donor Reception, FPTR President Paul Rockar, Jr., PT, DPT, MS, FAPTA, recognized the 2022 Service Award recipients along with the 22 recent FPTR grant, scholarship, and fellowship awardees.

FPTR also hosted a student event for future PTs and PTAs on Friday, February 4. Students connected with FPTR-funded researchers who have received the Marquette Challenge award and other FPTR funding to further their research. Jacob Capin, PT, DPT, PhD, MS, and Eric Anson, PhD, attended the meet and greet, along with high-profile leaders in the community who serve on the FPTR Board of Trustees. Several new schools – including Northwestern Illinois University – joined “the List” of fundraising schools by making an on-site donation in honor of their PT program. Since 1989, students have raised more than $4.5 million for research through the Marquette Challenge.

Among other highlights from this year’s CSM was the volume of FPTR-funded researchers and funding alumni presenting platform and poster presentations. Emma Beisheim-Ryan, PT, DPT, PhD, a 2019 and 2020 FPTR scholarship recipient, presented research on lower-limb loss and targeting impairments to improve phantom limb intensity. FPTR-funded researcher Kara Boynewics, PT, DPT, ATC, presented two sessions on the impact of opioid exposure in newborns. Bryant Seamon, PT, DPT, presented his research on the Berg Balance Scale for persons with stroke. Recent FPTR-funded researcher Rachel Prusynski, PT, DPT, NCS, PhD(c), presented several submissions on her research on skilled nursing facilities. Kevin McLaughlin, PT, DPT, the recipient of the 2020 Moffat Geriatric Research Grant, presented research that suggests that providing home health physical therapy in the week following hospital discharge may reduce re-admissions.

FPTR’s multi-year Center on Health Services Training and Research (CoHSTAR) grant also yielded popular presentations. Recent CoHSTAR fellow Daniel Young, PT, DPT, PhD, and colleagues discussed the relationship between perceptions of value and prioritization for physical therapists. Past-fellow Carmen Capó-Lugo, PT, PhD, and colleagues presented research that shows that nursing assessment of function may be a useful measure in choosing hospital rehabilitation.

“It was great to reconnect with FPTR-funded researchers and the donors who make our funding possible, “said FPTR CEO Barbara Malm, MBA. “We are seeing a lot of excitement in our community for research and evidence-based practice.”

FPTR’s Board of Trustees also connected in San Antonio. Among the developments coming out of FPTR’s Board meeting was the designation of the bequest made by Colonel Dorothy (Dot) Pinkston, US Army Retired, PhD, a longstanding FPTR donor and Legacy Society member. The gift from Pinkston’s estate will be directed to the Education Endowment Fund in honor of Pinkston’s contributions to physical therapy education.

The winner for the FPTR APTA CSM booth giveaway was also announced. Chanae Pitts Richardson, a student at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center was the winner of the free iPad.

CSM 2023 will take place in San Diego, California on February 22-25, 2023. Calls for abstracts and session proposals are now open. Registrants who missed the in-person event in San Antonio can attend on-demand from March 1-31.