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American Physical Therapy Association

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is the official member organization of the profession in the United States.

American Physical Therapy Association
Apta logo.jpg
Motto "Move Forward. Physical Therapy Brings Motion to Life."
Formation 1921
Type Professional association
Headquarters Virginia
>95,000 (as of 2017)
Official language
Sharon L. Dunn, PT, PhD, OCS
Key people
CEO: Justin Moore, PT, DPT



American physical therapists formed their first professional association in 1921, called the American Women's Physical Therapeutic Association. Led by President Mary McMillan, an executive committee of elected officers governed the Association, which included 274 charter members. In 1922, the Association changed its name to the American Physiotherapy Association, and men were admitted. Membership grew to just under 1,000 in the late 1930s.

With the advent of World War II and a nationwide polio epidemic during the 1940s and 1950s, physical therapists were in greater demand than ever before. The Association's membership swelled to 8,000, and the number of physical therapy education programs across the US increased from 16 to 39.

By the late 1940s, the Association had changed its name to the American Physical Therapy Association, hired a full-time staff, and opened its first office in New York City. A House of Delegates representing chapter members was established to set APTA policies. The House elected a Board of Directors, previously the Executive Committee, to manage the Association. In addition, Sections were created to promote and develop specific objectives of the profession. The first two Sections were the School and Private Practice sections.

In the 1960s, APTA membership reached 15,000, and the number of education programs nationwide grew to 52. Now headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, APTA represents more than 95,000 members throughout the United States. A national professional organization, APTA's goal is to foster advancements in physical therapy practice, research, and education. Currently 199 institutions offer physical therapy education programs and 234 institutions offer physical therapist assistant education programs in the United States. These numbers will change significantly in the coming years to encompass 9 developing PT programs and 43 developing PTA programs.

Lobby workEdit

The APTA advocates on behalf of the profession and for issues which impact the health and well being of society such as; funding for health research, funding for an adequate health care workforce and for health care reform to improve access to health care and ensure adequate funding for the provision of physical therapy.[1]

Combined Sections MeetingEdit

In 1976, the Association launched an annual Combined Sections Meeting that is attended by physical therapists from around the United States. Informally known as "CSM", it is named the Combined Sections Meeting because all of the sections of the APTA come together to meet at this time.

Previous and future CSM meetingsEdit

Year Dates Venue
2009 February 9–12 Las Vegas, NV
2010 February 17–20 San Diego, CA
2011 February 9–12 New Orleans, LA
2012 February 8–11 Chicago, IL
2013 January 21–24 San Diego, CA
2014 February 3–6 Las Vegas, NV
2015 February 4–7 Indianapolis, IN
2016 February 17–20 Anaheim, CA
2017 February 15–18 San Antonio, TX
2018 February 21–28 New Orleans, LA
2019 January 23–26 Washington, DC

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit