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Physical Therapists Back Legislation to Advance Rehabilitation Research

If signed into law, The Rehabilitation Improvement Act (S. 1027) would help advance rehabilitation research within the government’s National Institutes of Health. The American Physical Therapy Association, which is the national association representing physical therapists in the U.S., supports the Act’s introduction.

This new legislation, introduced by Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) on May 23, 2013, builds on recommendations contained in a report published by the Blue Ribbon Panel on Medical Rehabilitation Research. Senators Kirk and Johnson are both stroke survivors. They know, firsthand, how important post-stroke rehabilitative care is to recovery.

“We look forward to working with Senators Kirk and Johnson to advance this legislation,” said American Physical Therapy Association President Paul A. Rockar, PT, DPT, MS, in a May 29 press release. “This is an important step towards better coordinating research efforts and shining a spotlight on the outcomes and benefits of rehabilitation research. This ultimately helps individuals who require rehabilitation to regain and maintain function and mobility necessary for a better quality of life.”

The Blue Ribbon Panel’s report found that rehabilitation research needs greater investment, coordination, and strategy to meet the growing need for rehabilitation services, including physical therapy.

“After my stroke, I faced the prospect of never walking again,” said Sen. Kirk, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pension Committee. “Thanks to recent advances in rehabilitation and my participation in the walking research trial at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, I have made an incredible recovery. Every stroke victim should have that same opportunity, which is why I have teamed up with Senator Johnson to introduce the Rehabilitation Improvement Act.”

For more about how physical therapists help to rehabilitate people whose mobility and independence have been compromised by injury, surgery or illness, contact A Physical Therapist, Inc.

A Physical Therapist, Inc., is a one-on-one physical therapy clinic in Delray Beach, Fla., and Harrisburg, Penn. For patients in Palm Beach County, A Physical Therapist, Inc., is easily accessible from Boca Raton or Boynton Beach. For patients in Dauphin County, A Physical Therapist, Inc., is easily accessible from Hershey and Marysville.

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