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Advocacy Committee

ACAPT's Advocacy Committee was formed in the summer of 2021 and is designed to ensure that ACAPT plays an active and effective role in influencing outcomes that contribute to the achievement of academic excellence for all physical therapist education programs and their clinical partners.

The Committee should help position ACAPT as the representative body of all physical therapist education programs and their clinical affiliates. Share your ideas with the committee.

ACAPT is also proud to announce its affiliate membership with the Federation of Associations of Schools of the Health Professions (FASHP).

The advocacy committee presented at the 2022 Physical Therapy Education Leadership Conference (ELC) and provided the PowerPoint slides as a resource. Click here to view Becoming a Change Agent: Academic Role in Teaching Advocacy to the Next Generation.

The Advocacy Committee reports to the ACAPT board of directors and includes one member each from the following nine (9) regions of ACAPT, which are:

  • Advocacy Committee Chair  (position vacant) - West Mountain (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA)
  • David Morris - West South Central (TX, LA)
  • Bob Nithman - Pacific (CA, HI)
  • Jill Heitzman - West North Central (AR, IA, KS, MN, MO, ND, NE, OK, SD)
  • Laurie Neely - South Atlantic (AL, FL, GA, MS, NC, Puerto Rico, SC, TN)
  • (position vacant) - Great Lakes (IN, IL, KY, MI, OH, WI)
  • Randy Kolodny - New York/New Jersey (NJ, NY)
  • Linda Horn - Middle Atlantic (DE, DC, MD, PA, VA, WV)
  • (position vacant) - North East Coast (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT)

If you are interested in serving in a vacant positions, please email us.


The Committee’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to:


  • Continuously scan the physical therapy education environment for policy discussions (including the APTA House of Delegates) and decisions (state, federal, and international policy or standards initiatives), and pending legislation or legal decisions that may impact ACAPT members.
  • Survey institutions to better understand current and anticipated issues.
  • Collect research and data.


  • Identify key stakeholders and maintain communication, exchange information, and pursue partnerships with other relevant groups to leverage ACAPT members’ influence in policy-making.
  • Bring together members representing business, policy, communications, and data, to discuss and advise on existing strategies and development of a network and alignment of systems and information; Leverage these established relationships to drive meaningful actions.
  • Liaison with APTA on legislative issues, presenting issues of concern, gaining their recommendations and support where possible.
  • Grow the number and level of engagement of advocacy participants, connecting them to decision-makers/influencers, and facilitate their communication and collaboration.

Recommend & lead

  • Identify opportunities and challenges, design strategies, and recommend positions and/or action.
  • Develop policies, write letters, collect signatures, craft position papers, etc.
  • Develop and implement annual Committee priorities that align with ACAPT’s strategic plan and yearly organizational priorities.
  • Provide written Committee reports to the Board of Directors on recent activities, challenges, and opportunities.
  • Make recommendations to the Board of Directors for appointment of Committee members as needed.
  • Develop and propose a budget by date requested by ACAPT’s Treasurer to accomplish goals and objectives.


  • Promote ACAPT’s advocacy efforts to increase participation, success, and, where possible, revenue.
  • Work with ACAPT’s communications staff to establish a clearing-house for major documents, position papers, and other relevant resources, and to share success stories with members via newsletters, social media, and the website.
  • Develop or provide resources and education for ACAPT members to help them serve as partners in advocating on issues for their institution and those that may impact all stakeholders in PT education.
  • Help strengthen, promote, and better connect a network that will add value for members and their programs and clinical affiliates.

What this Committee cannot do: The Advocacy Committee cannot lobby on behalf of ACAPT nor encourage ACAPT member organizations to lobby on behalf of ACAPT.

Evaluation:  The Board of Directors will have an opportunity to evaluate the committee yearly.  The goal of the evaluation process is to assure the functionality of the committee and that the goals and objectives are always relevant to ACAPT’s strategic initiatives.

Committee members: The Committee is comprised of individuals representing diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives from ACAPT member institutions.  The chair also serves as the liaison to the APTA departments focused on federal and state advocacy, and liaison to APTA’s Political Action Committee (PT-PAC).  The Chair may encourage individual members to donate to the PT-PAC to support ACAPT legislative efforts. The committee will also have an ACAPT board member liaison. 

Term: The terms of service are for three years, with the opportunity to serve two consecutive terms without board approval. In the initial formation of the committee, the chair and one-half of the committee will serve a three-year term, and the remaining appointed members will serve a 2-year term. This will help to facilitate staggered terms so that historical knowledge will not be lost between appointments.


Check out the Center for Excellence in Academic Physical Therapy


ACAPT welcomes ideas & solutions to help meet the needs of DPT programs. Submit your suggestions for continuing education, professional development, guidelines, tools, best practices and more.

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