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National Advocacy Dinner 2018 Recap

Monday, May 7, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Matthew Nicholas
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National Advocacy Dinner Recap

By: Megan Lamphere, SPT, SSIG Communications Liaison

On April 25th, Northwestern University hosted the 2nd National Advocacy for the state of Illinois. There were 73 total participants from 5 different schools. Following the Combined Sections Meeting (CSM), Katie McLeland, SPT; Lindsay Ardiff, SPT;  Aayush Shah, SPT; and myself (Megan Lamphere, SPT) worked diligently to plan an Advocacy Dinner that would both inform students in Illinois and give them opportunity to take action in the profession regarding advocacy. We began to develop an agenda filled with experienced speakers that have been a part of advocacy for many years, very much paving the way for us as future clinicians. We were also privileged to hear from Athletico Regional Manager, Justin Novinger, PT, DPT

Justin began the evening with an insight into how Athletico assists with advocacy efforts in Springfield and in the clinic. It was inspiring to hear how much a large company cared about PT advocacy and took action to better the profession. Babette Sanders, PT, DPT, MS, FAPTA was the next to speak. She captured the audience by explaining the value of membership, giving examples of how the IPTA and APTA has shaped her professional and personal life. Jen Ryan, PT, DPT, MS, CCS then took the mic to share how she uses her "PT brain" out in the community. She explained how valuable we are to our community and the voice we can have to make positive changes in other associations and local programs by being a volunteer. Following Jen, Peter McMenamin, PT, DPT, MS, OCS took us through the definition of a citizen. He gave multiple examples of times in his life where taking a leadership position lead to something more than he ever expected. He left the students with this thought, "If not now, when?" We then asked the students to take out their phones and send a letter to their representatives encouraging them to support HB 4643. Linda Griffith, IPTA Operations & Special Programs Manager assisted with the explanation of the bill and the action that still needs to be taken in the coming weeks. We were even privileged to have the announcement of the bill passing out of committee during the dinner! It was a special moment for everyone in the room, especially those that had been working for direct access for many years. 

I ended the night by illustrating what it looks likes to be an active citizen as a student. And I encouraged students to start early, get out of your comfort zone, be a part of a team, and bring people along for the ride. I hope I inspired at least one student to get involved and make a difference for PT and the patients we serve. I want to thank the whole team of students that helped set up and take down, our sponsors that supported us financially and our speakers. But I especially want to thank  Kaite, Lindsay, and Aayush for working so hard to make this dinner happen, turning a dinner of 7 attendees from 2017 to 73 for 2018. Thank you, you have inspired me. 

To find out more about National Advocacy Dinners, visit


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