As I type from a coffee shop next to the Berklee School of Music, I can't help but inflict a musical theme or two. So for the non-music buffs, that's an increase in tempo with a decrease in volume. I think it's an apt description of the end of the House. Things began to move very, very quickly but then many of the "hot topic" motions were withdrawn prior to a vote. In fact, the House ended hours earlier than expected. Contrast that to last year when there was speed reading and a frenetic pace up to the last minute. But for now I'll move to the coda and share my thoughts.
While the House process always leaves behind some frustrations and lingering questions, there was at least one common theme that I found encouraging... mostly. There were two groups seeking to "find their voice". One was the PTAs as they continue to push for greater voting rights within the States. And the second was New Professionals. To me, "voice" was the central theme of essentially every bylaw amendment before the House. While it was more explicit in the PTA initiative, the 'block' of bylaws addressing APTA executive leadership related, both directly and rhetorically, to New Professionals.
If you weren't there, I'll spare you a description of the 150+ possible combinations of new rules the APTA almost had. I say almost, because none of them went to a vote and thus, nothing changed. Three different states brought forth initiatives to facilitate more rapid turnover of APTA leadership. Again, I'm oversimplifying to spare you the minutiae. Discussion went on but the entire issue (transcripts attached) was punted to the Governance Review Task Force, a group which probably didn't expect to take center stage in House activities this year. Best of luck to them as they try not to step on any toes now...
Good things that came from this year's House: APTA will be guiding us to better address the obesity epidemic. (Even if it's peds alone, we have to start somewhere.) APTA is more explicitly saying that torture is bad. (Despite it being inherent in our Code of Ethics, if our governing body wants it spelled out, so be it.) Extender language was discretely withdrawn. (I applaud the Private Practice folks for rousing a little rabble in the process.) And my personal favorite, the APTA is going to try to do a bit more of the "League Building" which I'm such a big fan of with other primary care provider organizations. (And I would like to politely take a little credit for that "other" being in there.)
Cheers to all!
ps~ Wish me luck being a mentor tonight at the Student Assembly mixer! And please, please, PLEASE, share with me what you all want this blog to be about!!! Coming soon: Passing the OCS, prepping for the NCS, Why lobbying is more effective if you're under 30, and a New Professional asking why we aren't on the APTA board yet! New Energy, new authors, and your topics!! (if you just email me them)