"Physical therapy is not a subspecialty of the medical profession and physical therapists are not medical doctors; we are a separate profession that provides a unique service that physicians are unable and untrained to provide."

Letter to the AMA from the APTA, Dec 2009

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Nancy Garland, physical therapy advocate, wins 20th District in Ohio

Democrat Nancy Garland won her hotly contested seat Tuesday November 2nd for her second term in Ohio's 20th legislative district.

At a recent national meeting of physical therapists Nancy said that her race was being watched closely by national leaders on both sides of the political spectrum. Ohio is an important state for both parties since it will figure prominently in the 2012 presidential campaign.

According to the Columbus Dispatch...
"House Democrats tried to use a 2-1 money advantage to hold back the GOP wave.
The national party and a handful of independent groups also pumped millions into legislative races on behalf of Democrats."
I met Nancy Garland, JD at the APTA State Government Affairs meeting in Portland, Oregon from September 26th-28th, 2010.

Nancy presented her ideas on running for public office in a very practical, "here's-how-it-affects-you" manner for physical therapists who might consider running for public office.

The rehabilitation community needs people like Nancy, former CEO of the Ohio state chapter, in public office. Many other professions have their advocates in state legislatures: chiropractors, orthopedic surgeons, attorneys and land developers.

Physical therapists also need advocates in politics.  Nancy is not a physical therapist but, before becoming an Ohio state legislator in 2008, she ran her state physical therapists' association for seven years.

Nancy is also a clinical assistant professor at The Ohio State University School of Allied Medical Professions where she teaches Health Policy in the physical therapy doctoral program.

Nancy has passed many health care related bills while working as the State Representative for Ohio's 20th District. Furthermore, her actions in her first term improved opportunities for physical therapists and their patients:
  • Fixed the educational funding system that was unconstitutional and have begun the educational reform needed to prepare Ohio students for the 21st century
  • Expanded health care to more Ohio citizens
  • Passed legislation to require insurance companies to cover treatment of Autism-Spectrum Disorders
Nancy is known as the "The Listening Legislator" and has held numerous town hall meetings, coffees, and community meetings to hear the concerns of the citizens of the 20th District.

Nancy's statements on healthcare are consistent with physical therapists' goals and issues:
"I want to create an environment where citizens have access to primary care while also focusing on prevention and wellness."
Congratulations on your win, Nancy!

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Tim Richardson, PT owns a private practice at Medical Arts Rehabilitation, Inc in Palmetto, Florida. The clinic website is at MedicalArtsRehab.com.

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