In June of 2022, ACAPT's National Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Commission (NEDIC) hosted a Summit with the following objectives:
- Increase the number of racial and ethnic minorities among faculty and leadership in professional education and in the physical therapy workforce.
- Identify and promulgate policy initiatives, best practices, and resources related to increasing recruitment, enrollment, retention, and graduation of racial and ethnic minority students (Black, Native American or Tribal Groups, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and LatinX) in physical therapist professional education programs.
This invitation-only event brought together representatives from seven health professions including physical and occupational therapy, allopathic and veterinary medicine, pharmacy, athletic training and chiropractic/naturopathy and industries including law, education, business, and engineering to craft the foundation for best practices and resources that will transform the educational experiences of underrepresented minority students and faculty in physical therapy.
With recognition that quality improvement requires the analysis of rich data to best inform change, two members of the Commission engaged in an intentional data collection process and use of varied methods to review data and identify primary themes from the Summit. Using common qualitative analytical methods such as content analysis, textual data collected from the Summit was coded and categorized for the purpose of summarizing and developing primary themes. Frequent debriefing sessions occurred between the two primary members engaged in analysis as well as other members of the Commission.
Based on analysis of data collected from the Summit, several themes were identified as the key drivers which contribute directly to achieving the aim of increasing representation among faculty and students from historically excluded racial and ethnic groups.
In January 2023, four (4) task forces were created and members were appointed for:
- Systemic discrimination & racism mitigation
- Physical therapy education & career enhancement pathways
- Economic resources for students
- Culture of belonging within the profession