A new post for director of physical therapy service and a new fellowship program for PTs would be established at the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) under legislation recently introduced in the House of Representatives.
The Veterans Physical Therapy Services Improvement Act of 2008, HR 6792, aims to recruit and retain the most qualified PTs for physical therapy and rehabilitative care for veterans.
The new post, which would report to the undersecretary of health of VHA, would ensure the agency is kept abreast of issues related to the physical therapy profession’s education, qualifications, clinical privileges, and scope of practice. The fellowship program would focus on geriatrics, amputee rehabilitation, polytrauma, and rehabilitation research.
R Scott Ward, PT, PhD, and president of the American Physical Therapy Association, says his organization’s top priority is meeting veterans’ growing rehabilitation needs, and the legislation would help the VHA meet challenges faced by aging veterans and the complicated injuries experienced by this generation.