Celebrate 2017 PT Month!

Stacy Hite
Posted by Stacy Hite, PT, DPT, MS, CHT on 10/02/2017

"Diversity is the one true thing we all have in common. Celebrate it every day." - Anonymous

Every April and October, hand therapists have the opportunity to celebrate our roots and our diversity. This past April was the centennial celebration for occupational therapy. October is National Physical Therapy Month.

National Physical Therapy Month gives us the opportunity to reflect on how far the profession of physical therapy has come. We began as a group of women who served in supportive roles to physicians during World War I, working to restore physical function to injured soldiers. In 1921, our national organization, consisting entirely of women, was born. It didn’t take us long to begin to diversify. The next year, men were allowed to join the American Physiotherapy Association.

This August, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) achieved a major membership milestone of 100,000 members. Our goal is to "transform society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience." Physical therapists serve as an entry point for the healthcare system through some form of direct access in every state and the U.S. Virgin Islands. A little more than a year ago, APTA launched its public education campaign, #Choose PT, in response to the national public health epidemic of opioid misuse and abuse. Physical therapy is considered an effective alternative for pain management.

How do we celebrate? By doing what we do best…service. October 14, 2017 is Global PT Day of Service. Whether we serve in soup kitchens, work at an SPCA, treat pro bono or hold a community educational event, PTs around the world will be serving our communities using our diverse skills to make a better world. 

Maya Angelou said “In diversity, there is beauty and there is strength.” The diversity of the members of ASHT truly makes our organization strong and beautiful. Let’s celebrate!