Physical therapy third-year student Cara Morrison was selected for the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Section on Women’s Health 2018 APTA Federal Advocacy Forum Scholarship. Recipients of the scholarship also are given conference registration for the Federal Advocacy Forum, including hotel, travel and dining expenses, as well as mentoring from the Section on Women’s Health Federal Government Affairs Chair.
Morrison discovered her passion for advocacy after a lobbyist for the Nebraska Physical Therapy Association (NPTA) came to speak to Creighton students about state legislation affecting physical therapy practice. Morrison realized during the presentation that she wanted to get involved and make her voice heard to further her profession and benefit her future patients.
Since then, Morrison has become the APTA Nebraska Student Core Ambassador, a position recently added as part of the Nebraska Student Special Interest Group (NSSIG) board. Through NSSIG, she and other student members host an annual educational event to raise money for the Physical Therapy Political Action Committee (PT-PAC). Additionally, Morrison received a scholarship sponsored by the NPTA to attend the APTA State Policy and Payment Forum last September.
Morrison’s specific interest concerns pelvic floor health. She has completed the first-level pelvic floor course and will soon begin research using ultrasound imaging for pelvic floor biofeedback.
“I strongly believe there is a great need for advocates to educate our governing bodies and communities about the benefits of pelvic health physical therapy on not only women, but also men and children,” says Morrison. “I will continue to advocate for the profession and specialty on both the state and federal levels.”
The Federal Advocacy Forum took place recently in Washington, D.C., on Capitol Hill. The purpose of the annual conference is to bring together physical therapists from around the country to discuss federal legislation how it would affect the practice of physical therapy and patients. On the third day, Morrison met with members of Congress or their staff in support of physical therapy. “We want Congress to know that physical therapy has a strong presence in legislative advocacy. For example, in the past, physical therapists successfully advocated repealing the Medicare therapy cap,” Morrison says.