Dear SoWH Members, Vendors, Sponsors, and website visitors,
We are thrilled to announce the promotion of Aika Barzhaxynova to Director of Marketing and Business Development and Shanee Hunter to Manager of Education & Technology.
Aika joined the SoWH 3+ years ago and has advanced progressively in the education department as Program Manager followed by Manager of Education & Technology. She has played a key role during past staff transitions and expanding and standardizing the education program of the Section while wearing multiple hats where she handled marketing, communications, events management, volunteer management and other aspects of SoWH operations. Aika’s passion and skills in creative design, marketing and business development have surfaced and flourished during her work in the education realm which made the next step clear for her to pursue marketing and business development full-time.
Shanee joined the SoWH in November of 2016 as Association Administrator during the months leading up to CSM 2017 in San Antonio, Texas. She has proven herself to be a great team player with a positive attitude which was greatly needed as we headed to Texas for the annual meeting and began a new year with 40+ courses ahead of us. Shanee handled many education-related activities from processing registration applications to handling course shipments and communicating with instructors and lab assistants which made her promotion to Manager of Education & Technology the most logical step.
We are excited about Aika’s and Shanee’s new roles. The reasoning behind these changes was to incorporate titles that more accurately reflected the duties and responsibilities and the growth of the responsibilities under the SoWH staff
Please join us in welcoming Aika Barzhaxynova to the Director of Marketing & Business Development position and Shanee Hunter to the Manager of Education & Technology position and congratulating them on their promotions.
Please make a note of these title and e-mail changes in your contact records
Position: Director of Marketing & Business Development
Use E-mail: [email protected]
Position: Manager of Education & Technology
Use E-mail: [email protected]
You will note that we are also working on sun-setting the e-mail address “[email protected]
The Section on Women’s Health sponsors one student each year to go to CSM. One student physical therapist with an interest in the women’s health field will be selected to receive full payment of registration for CSM. (Travel and lodging not included.)
The Elizabeth Noble Award is Section on Women’s Health’s highest honor, and is given to a member in good standing of the Section on Women´s Health of the APTA providing extraordinary and exemplary service to the field of physical therapy for women, or to the Section on Women´s Health of the American Physical Therapy Association.
The award may be, but is not necessarily, presented on an annual basis. When awarded, the recipient is presented with the award at the Section´s Annual Business Meeting, at the APTA Combined Sections Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, in February 2018.
Attn: Elizabeth Noble Award
Section on Women’s Health APTA
8400 Westpark Drive, 2nd Floor
McLean, VA 22101
* If you plan to mail your application, please note that it must be delivered to the above address by the due date and time listed above.
Evolution is a natural part of all publications, especially those dedicated to sharing the latest research. As the Section on Women’s Health celebrates its 40th anniversary, change is underway for SOWH’s popular Journal for Women’s Health Physical Therapy.
Leading an effort to update the journal’s long-term strategy is new Editor-in-Chief Cynthia Chiarello, PT, Ph.D., MS, an assistant professor of clinical rehabilitation and regenerative medicine at Columbia University Medical Center Program in Physical Therapy. She is supported in this work by an impressive team of four women’s men’s, and pelvic health physical therapists who are generously volunteering as associate editors.
Here, Chiarello talks about the transformation process and the status of evidence-based research in this specialized area of physical therapy.
SOWH: What are some of the challenges for PT researchers today?
Chiarello: The biggest barriers to PT research are the interrelated issues of funding, time and qualified researchers. There is a tremendous need for greater funding of the type of projects needed to advance the profession of physical therapy.
Many physical therapists pursue research in addition to a full academic workload or a full clinical schedule. Accomplishing meaningful research requires the dedicated efforts of qualified researchers with the necessary amount of time and personnel to achieve the goals of the project.
As an academic at a prestigious university, you help prepare the next generation of physical therapists by arming them with the latest knowledge to care for their patients’ diverse needs. What trends or special areas of emphasis do you see emerging from America’s PT schools? Are they adjusting course content and skill competencies to reflect changing demographics, higher numbers of complex cases, a volatile health care system, etc.?
I am continually amazed at the transformation of PT students from their entry into the curriculum to graduation as they become capable, independent clinicians we are proud to have as colleagues.
All entry-level PT curricula are jam-packed with courses for basic and clinical science, as well as professional socialization and clinical education. With our packed curricula, not much room is available for additional fields of study or extras.
With the demanding accreditation requirements of physical therapist education, it is remarkable that each program is able to place its own special signature on its graduates. I do see increasing attention to intra-professional education and service learning, and greater emphasis on clinical reasoning.
Why did you become involved in women’s and men’s health physical therapy?
As an orthopedic clinician and researcher, I have always been interested in low back pain and lumbo-pelvic dysfunction. Pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy and post-partum has been delineated as a specific classification facilitating diagnosis and research investigation.
Once it was known I was researching perinatal back pain, some of my graduate students brought issues of diastasis rectus abdominis to my attention. We then began a series of studies on this interesting musculoskeletal impairment.
Chiarello welcomes all submissions for the Journal for Women’s Health Physical Therapy, and author guidelines are here[LINK TO X] Also needed are manuscript reviewers. If you are interested, please email [email protected].
AUTHOR: Cynthia Chiarello, PT, PhD, MS, is assistant professor of clinical rehabilitation & regenerative medicine at Columbia University Medical Center Program in Physical Therapy.
Section on Women’s Health-APTA seeks a physical therapist it can independently contract for a long-term commitment of 10 hours a week to help create and conduct strategies that deliver and grow pelvic and abdominal PT educational courses nationwide. The contractor will help recruit and deliver new SOWH “collaborative courses,” as well as help manage contract negotiations for Certificate of Achievement-Pelvic Health/OB courses.
He or she also will schedule instructors, coordinate and share course evaluations, handle peer evaluations, and oversee and conduct annual instructor reviews. Other duties will include building relationships with and providing feedback to host sites, co-leading a certification-to-credential development process, and onboarding and training instructors/lab assistants. The contractor also may help coordinate and market several international courses and will answer occasional PT-related member questions sent to SOWH headquarters.
Compensation: $41/hour for 10 hours, 49-50 weeks a year. This position is virtual. Hours are negotiable but must be regularly scheduled and during the business hours of Monday throughFriday 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST.
Please submit CV and cover letter to [email protected]
Just six years ago, Section on Women’s Health leaders and members committed $100,000 to be pioneers and establish the SOWH Endowment for Research Excellence through the Foundation for Physical Therapy.
While other sections have developed funds previously, yours stood apart in its enthusiasm to continuously raise money to increase the size of the SOWH fund to support new investigators and facilitate research and evaluation of physical therapist interventions in women’s and men’s health.
The SOWH should be commended that in a very short time, your fund balance is nearly $150,000. SOWH members have on numerous occasions proven their commitment to the profession:
In our 37-year history and through the generous support of donors, we have provided more than $17 million in scholarships, fellowships, and grants—enough to jumpstart the careers of 500-plus leading physical therapists. Of those, 17 SOWH members who are researchers have received 10 scholarships and seven grants totaling $148,464.
Our researchers have gone on to receive $755 million in follow-on funding from the National Institutes of Health and other funders. In addition, they have published more than 9,000 scholarly journal articles.
SOWH grant and scholarship recipients are successfully working to improve physical functioning and health in the lives of countless men and women. To name a few, Drs. Meryl Alappattu and Lori Tuttle are striving to improve the level and quality of care in the lives of those affected by pelvic pain, pelvic floor dysfunction, and urinary incontinence.
Dr. Alappattu, PT, DPT, Ph.D., is SOWH director of research and research assistant professor at University of Florida’s Department of Physical Therapy. She received four foundation scholarships to assist her efforts to understand the neurobiological and psychological influences on female pelvic pain and the effects of interventions and rehabilitation.
Today, she is working to help patients struggling with vulvodynia, chronic pain affecting the vulvar area with no identifiable cause.
Dr. Tuttle, PT, Ph.D., is director of Pelvic Health and Rehabilitation Laboratory and assistant professor at San Diego State University School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences. She focuses on the aging process and women’s health, and is working to understand the role of muscle and other support structures on pelvic floor dysfunction, as well as the role of rehabilitation on the area. Dr. Tuttle also is a four-time foundation scholarship recipient.
Of all of our accomplishments, 2015 and 2016 have been the most fiscally groundbreaking. Not only have we budgeted to award more than $1 million in 2016 for the first time in foundation history, but last year we also awarded our largest grant ever–$2.5 million–to Linda Resnik, Ph.D., of Brown University to establish CoHSTAR, a multi-institutional center dedicated to advancing health services and health policy research in physical therapy.
Through the support and commitment of donors and APTA sections and chapters, the foundation has assembled a cadre of high-quality researchers to forward the important research needed in the physical therapy profession. Together, we will continue to fund and publicize physical therapy research in the hopes of changing the face of healthcare.
To donate to the SOWH fund, please click here: https://8928.thankyou4caring.org/WomensHealth.
Author: Barbara Connolly, PT, DPT, Ed.D, FAPTA, is president of the Foundation for Physical Therapy. She also is professor emeritus at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, where she chaired the Physical Therapy Department for 24 years. To learn more about the foundation, visit Foundation4pt.org.
In my previous post, I introduced the history and culture of transgender patients. Here, I offer some steps to begin creating an inclusive environment for your transgender patients:
Investigate your implicit bias. Taking an honest and realistic inventory of your personal bias toward members of the LGBTQ community can be profoundly informative, allowing you to recognize the potential impact on your patient’s experience. As extensive research has shown, the implicit bias of medical providers harms the quality of care minority patients receive.
Understand and recognize that gender is a social construct, and sex is a biological status (chromosomes and genitals). Just like sexual orientation, gender identity is on a spectrum and is quite variable. Recognize that gender identity and expression are not the same thing.
Implement an anti-discrimination policy in your department or your private practice that includes sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression.
Have a basic awareness of discrimination laws in your state and/or city. This will help inform you about both the micro-aggressions and macro-aggressions that your patients are up against on a daily basis that can be a barrier to participating in and responding to healthcare interventions and prevention. Check your local ACLU chapter or The National Center for Transgender Equality (www.transequality.org).
Build a network of providers who have experience working with transgender clients. Lack of physical and emotional safety is a common barrier to accessing healthcare for transgender individuals. Many patients have had negative experiences with their healthcare providers, which discourages regular healthcare visits.
Formally collect data about sexual orientation and gender identity (recommended by the National Institute of Health and Joint Commissions). Adjust your forms and clinic environment. On your forms, differentiate between “sex” and “gender.” Under “gender,” include a space for “other” or “gender non-conforming.” Train your front desk staff to ask about preferred name and adjust patient greetings to exclude gender.
Do not accidentally “out” your patients. Be careful how you address this patient population in public and in your documentation. Even if you have forms that are gender-inclusive, your patients may not feel safe enough to answer honestly, and/or they may not be “out” to family, friends, or employer.
Ask. If you are not sure how to address your patient or handle certain situations, simply ask.
Do not assume that your patients are gay or straight. Sexual orientation and gender identity do not necessarily go hand-in-hand.
Do not ignore the underlying anatomy. Continue to do a thorough past medical and surgical history for effective preventative healthcare screening.
References for Parts 1 and 2
Author: Uchenna Ossai is treasurer of the Section on Women’s Health-APTA. She can be reached at [email protected]
By Kelly Huestis, PT, MPT
The Section on Women’s Health receives many payment reimbursement questions from physical therapists providing a range of services. Here is one of the most common, according to the SOWH Reimbursement Committee:
Question: Our physical therapists do internal vaginal biofeedback and/or electrical stimulation. The electrode probes we use are $40 each, and we want to ensure we are using the most appropriate CPT codes to charge for this intervention. Do you have any advice for us? “90911” seems like an appropriate code. Is anyone else using it?
Answer: The Reimbursement Committee regularly receives questions regarding proper billing for incontinence patients and how to maximize payment to cover the cost of equipment, probes, and electrodes. Recapturing the cost of the intra-vaginal probes can be a huge expense issue for many outpatient clinics.
Regarding this question, yes, some clinics are still using the “90911” CPT code (biofeedback services and procedures) for biofeedback. However, I would caution you since many payers do not reimburse for that code, and coverage determinations can vary by state. Talk to each individual payer about what they allow. Several stipulations and criteria must still be met for billing Medicare, and you also should look at your state’s local coverage determinations as related to biofeedback billing.
See the following link for Medicare guidelines and National Coverage Determinations (section 30.1.1 and section 230.8): https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Guidance/Transmittals/downloads/r10ncd.pdf.
Other clinics use EMG feedback as a tool to assist with neuromuscular re-education or therapeutic exercise and to document and bill as such. If a clinic believes these charges are not adequate to compensate for the cost of the probe, here are other options:
Stay tuned this year to the Section on Women’s Health’s Payment, Policy, and Advocacy webpage for regular updates on billing for pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. For more payment questions, email the Reimbursement Committee at [email protected].
AUTHOR: Kelly Huestis, PT, MPT, is chair of the Section on Women’s Health Reimbursement Committee. She can be reached at [email protected]