At the top of my head, I can think of more than a dozen physical therapists who have transformed themselves. It seems the clinical timeline for those who transform themselves is anywhere from 10-20 years. Our abilities are even more heterogeneous than the patients we treat.I had the pleasure of meeting a physical therapist who transformed his career. He started his career as many of us do: practicing in the clinical world and working with patients. His transformation probably began in 1993. This was the year he was the only physical therapist in the nation appointed by President Clinton to the Health Professions Review Group which reviewed the Health Security Act as it was being developed.
Jerry Connolly was an invited speaker at FOTO's Outcome's Conference this last April. His passion was palpable as he spoke about health care. Jerry's passion for health care and politics led him to found Connolly Strategies and Initiatives. He has been a national voice that strongly advocates for physical therapists and for patients since 1993. (Maybe even earlier than that...)
FOTO recognized Jerry's talent many years ago. Jerry helped pave the way legislatively for physical therapists to be included in value over volume payment arrangements. His loyalty, belief in physical therapists, belief in value and tenacity resulted in endorsement of 7 FOTO functional measures by National Quality Forum.
Congratulations, Jerry! The recognition for your work is well-deserved. You have a pulse on what's going on in national affairs, especially in the health care world. When lobbying for physical therapists, you strategically plan the who, how and when around all messages so messages will gain the most impact. Your world is a bit different - in the clinical world we attain results within an expected duration of time. For you... it can take years before a desired outcome is achieved. The legislative world is not easy. Thank you for your tireless tenacity.
The Private Practice Section Annual Conference is this week. Take time to meet Jerry. The awards ceremony is on November 1st from 5:15 - 8 pm. When I spoke with Jerry this spring, he mentioned that Centers for Medicare and Medicaid are all ears when it comes to pilot projects that will improve value. If you've had a burning idea, yet had no idea who to speak to, you have the perfect person in attendance. I'm sure he'd be willing to listen to your idea. If you aren't in attendance, you can keep up with Jerry's thoughts via his twitter account.
Enjoy the conference! The FOTO Team will be at booth 213. Stop by and say hi!
Until next time,