The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), Alexandria, Va, applauds the recent introduction of the Veterans Physical Therapy Services Improvement Act of 2009 (HR 1036) by Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD), which is expected to improve the recruitment and retention of physical therapists in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).

The legislation would establish a director of physical therapy service position who would report to the Under Secretary of Health, ensuring that as the profession advances, the VHA remains current with issues related to the physical therapy profession’s education, qualifications, clinical privileges, and scope of practice. It also will create a new fellowship program for PTs in the areas of geriatrics, amputee rehabilitation, polytrauma, and rehabilitation research.

"With an aging veteran population and men and women returning every day from Iraq and Afghanistan with injuries unlike any sustained in previous conflicts, attracting highly qualified PTs to the VA is important now more than ever," Herseth Sandlin says. "Those who have bravely served our country in uniform deserve access to superior health care and by improving physical therapy services at the VA, we are better equipped to provide that care and ultimately make good on the promise our country made to its veterans."

[Source: APTA]