June 8, 2007

Minnesota joined 37 other states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico in licensing physical therapist assistants (PTAs) when Gov Tim Pawlenty signed into law a major health care bill May 24.

Physical therapists are now able to delegate patient treatment procedures to qualified licensed physical therapist assistants as a result of language from the state’s house and senate legislation, filed by Rep Kim Norton and Sen Patricia Torres Ray.

"Our members have worked alongside lawmakers and other groups to demonstrate the need for this legislation, and that hard work has paid off," Joan Purrington, PT, MA, says. Purrington is president of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association. "Minnesota physical therapy patients will benefit from this much-needed measure."

Licensure for physical therapist assistants is intended to guarantee a high degree of public protection and ensures that PTAs will have the necessary education and training.

"The APTA congratulates our Minnesota members for seeing this legislation through to fruition," American Physical Therapy Association President R Scott Ward, PT, PhD, says. "Physical therapist assistants are vital contributors of physical therapy services, and physical therapist assistant licensure provides needed recognition and regulation of their efforts."

Learn more about the APTA at www.apta.org