REVITALIZE made its return back to the Q Center in St. Charles. REVITALIZE was a blow-out event that brought together professionals, students and educators from across Illinois – and the surrounding states. This year’s conference and expo included two power-packed days of CE courses, networking and governance events. For those who missed out on all the action this year – let’s take a look at some of the conference highlights.


Appreciating our Leaders!

Leaders of the IPTA kicked off REVITALIZE Thursday evening with their Board of Directors Meeting. Agenda items included: appointments to the Telehealth Work Group, Public Relations Work Group, and the Leadership Development Task Force; IPTA Legislative Updates, and various membership recruitment and retention initiatives.

Following the meeting, IPTA staff held a Leadership Appreciation Dinner for our wonderful volunteers! We are so thankful for the wonderful leadership we have and appreciate their time, service, and talent throughout the year!

Getting Schooled

WOW! This year’s CE course lineup was one of the best! With so many various course options to choose from attendees has a hard time deciding which ones to choose!

Some course highlights:

  • One of the many sold out REVITALIZE courses included PAYMENT REFORM: IT’s HAPPENING presented by Lynn Steffes, PT. This presentation & discussion addressed the major areas of healthcare system updates as they effect physical therapy in everyday practice!
  • Those who attended Holly Benjamin, MD & Sara Buxton, MA, LPC course on THE NEW WEEKEND WARRIOR: EVALUATION & TREATMENT STRATEGIES were introduced to the training rigors for the weekend warrior athlete as well as emerging ways to evaluate, treat, and consult with these clients.
  • Mary Rahlin, PT returned to teach another at REVITALIZE with an all-day (6 CE) Friday course on PERCEPTION-ACTION APPROACH: AN INTRODUCTORY WORKSHOP which included demonstrations and introduced participants to the Perception-Action Approach, which is supported by current research into the role of variability, complexity and adaptability in the developmental process.
  • Jeffrey Damaschke, PT, DPT shared his knowledge and expertise in PREVENTION AND HEALTH PROMOTION: TRICKS TO TIP THE SCALE TOWARDS WELLNESS. Attendees learned how to implement prevention and health promotion programs into practice, and  different aspects of health promotion programs that can be utilized by Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants.
  • Kevin Cronin, PT, ATC, JSCC demonstrated to PT professionals hands-on practice identifying Fascial Counterstrain tender points, and successfully treating fascial dysfunction in his presentation of FASCIAL COUNTERSTRAIN FOR THE CERVICAL SPINE: INDIRECT MANUAL THERAPY TECHNIQUE.
  • Anne Bierman, PT, DPT, SCS joined with Sports Medicine Specialist Dr. Mark Bowen to present NFL COMBINE: THE ULTIMATE PRE-PARTICIPATION PHYSICAL PLUS MANUAL THERAPY & EXERCISE PROGRESSION S/P HIP ARTHROSCOPY. Dr. Bowen knows what it takes to get to the pros. He takes physical therapists through the process and points out the most accurate evaluation tools to determine if a player is expected to have a successful NFL career.
  • Cindy Krafft, PT shared her expertise and experiences in REACHING ACROSS THE AISLE: CARE REDESIGN IN POST ACUTE CARE.
  • Staffing is the highest operating cost of any business. In the course titled PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT AND THE LINK TO PROFESSIONAL ADVANCEMENT, Sally Taylor, PT, DPT, NCS presented on the review the details of a job description, the steps to effective performance appraisals, articulate the components of an annual performance review and educate participants on how they can use their annual performance reviews to facilitate their professional advancement.
  • Physical therapists and physical therapist assistants currently treating or hoping to treat patients with vestibular conditions ranging from BPPV and beyond attended Mickey Shaw, PT, DSC, OCS course on CLINICAL DECISION MAKING IN TREATMENT OF VESTIBULAR DISORDERS: THERE IS MORE TO VESTIBULAR REHAB THAN BPPV.
  • The members of IPTA’s Ethics Committee presented their course on GOT ETHICS? which allowed many PTs and PTAs to take advantage of learning more about fraud and abuse laws, the many ethics resources available to the physical therapy professional– and fulfill their new continuing education in ethics requirement.

  • A popular Saturday morning course proved to be Teresa Elliott- Burke, PT and Thomas Dillion, PT discussion on SACROILIAC JOINT STABILITY: AN ORTHOPEDIC & PELVIC HEALTH APPROACH TO DISFUNCTION.
  • In Cassie Anderson, PT; Christina Zeiss, PT; and Vanessa Flaherty, PT’s presentation of USE OF A ROBOTIC ASSISTED EXOSKELETON WITH ACUTE REHABILITATION PATIENTS PTs and PTAs were able to explore robotic assisted mobility devices and their incorporation into treatment for improving patient outcomes.
  • Working as a team! Fran Wedge, PT; Lisa Zemaitis, PTA; and Tina Jonas, PT presented on IT’S THE A TEAM: A LOOK AT THE PT-PTA TEAM PLUS PROGRESSION EXERCISE IN DIFFERENT POPULATIONS.
  • Attendees were tested on their knowledge of PROMOTING PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IN PHYSICAL THERAPY SETTINGS by instructors Miriam Rafferty, PT; Daniel Pinto, PT; and Carmen Capo-Lugo, PT.
  • Saturday afternoon courses also included: Anthony Mikla, PT’s presentation on INSTRUMENT ASSISTED SOFT TISSUE MOBILIZATION WITH MOVEMENT and Aaron Keil, PT’s courses on IMPLEMENTATION OF HOSPITAL- BASED DIRECT ACCESS.


Researchers sharing Research!

IPTA’s Poster Hall was open both Friday and Saturday. Attendees were able to earn CE credits for visiting any of the 18 informative and educational poster presentations which ringed through the hall.

The poster’s authors were available to discuss their research and answer any questions attendees may have of their findings.



Recognizing our AWESOME Members!

After a full day of classes, attendees were welcomed to cocktails and appetizers on Friday during the IPTA Awards Ceremony. IPTA President Mike Riley, PT presented several awards and recognized those members celebrating membership anniversaries!

  • Erin DeMarco, SPT was named this year’s Outstanding Physical Therapist Student. Erin is a 3rd year DPT student at Rosalind Franklin University. Her nominators recognize her ability to excel in multiple areas by earning a 3.9 GPA on a 4 point scale, co- authoring a paper with her research advisor and presenting this research at the APTA Combined Section meeting and participating in a variety of service activities.
  • Emily Pisani, PT, DPT was the recipient of this year’s Emerging Leader Award. Dr. Pisani, is currently practicing in orthopedics in the outpatient setting. Her leadership development began while she was a student member serving as a Bradley University Student Rep. Since graduating she has continued her involvement with IPTA as an IPTA Assembly representative for the Central district and by serving first as the Central District Vice Chairperson and now serving as Central District Chair and on the IPTA Board of Directors.
  • The Clinical Educator of the Year Award went to Dr. Christopher Meachem, PT, DPT, GCS. Dr. Meachem has been the Center Coordinator of Clinical Education at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center since 2010 and serves as an associated faculty member for Northwestern University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. Dr. Meachem’s nominators state that he has been an active advocate for physical therapist clinical education at the VA since he arrived both by serving as a clinical instructor and by building a strong clinical education program that provides full time clinical experiences to a large number of students using a collaborative model of student supervision.
  • Julie Schwertfeger, PT, DPT took home the Babette Sanders Leadership & Service Award.Julie is currently a faculty member at Rosalind Franklin University where she teaches clinical neurology and professional government content. Dr. Schwertfeger’s nominators cite her contributions to the APTA Section on Research for which she serves as Federal Affairs Liaison and her service to IPTA in the role of Delegate-at-Large to the APTA House of Delegates, Vice President of the IPTA, Research Committee Chair and her current service as the first President of the Illinois Physical Therapy Foundation.
  • Dr. K Michael Welch, MB, ChB, FRCP was awarded the John Maselter Friend of Physical Therapy Award. Dr. Welch is President and Chief Executive Officer of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. After a distinguished international career as a neurologist and researcher he arrived at Rosalind Franklin in 2002 and he has been a consistent champion for the ongoing development of the University’s Physical Therapy Department for the past 14 years. His nominators spoke passionately about his early support for the transition of the entry level PT curriculum to the doctoral level and of his great resourcefulness and innovation in ensuring that the Physical Therapy program has had the resources needed to continue to grow and develop as a premier program at Rosalind Franklin.


Congratulations to these awesome winners who are doing their part to REVITALIZE the practice of physical therapy. You may read more about this year’s award winners by clicking here.

Also being recognized at REVITALIZE was our wonderful volunteers for taking on leadership roles and dedicating their time and service, and recognition of IPTA/APTA members for their years of membership ranging from five up to 65 years! These members received pins upon checking in which were proudly worn during the REVITALIZE weekend. Click here to see who is celebrating a membership anniversary!

IPT-PAC Appreciation Dinner

Our IPT-PAC Appreciation Dinner was held in celebration of its most dedicated benefactors. It was a special evening of honoring individuals and businesses for their generosity and support of IPT-PAC. Honored guests were invited in gratitude for their annual gift of at least $250 or for their continual monthly gift.

The intimate, semi-formal evening began with a chauffeur to Riverside Receptions where our guest had a mystery surprise in store when they arrived!

It was a classic case of “who done it?” as guest had to figure out among them who was the culprit in our mystery murder.
Move over Emma Stone & Casey Affleck – for the IPTA has some hidden best actors and actresses. Members embraced their assigned character roles which made for some great laughs and memories.

IPT-PAC District Challenge

IPT- PAC remains ever important as we continue making strides in the profession of physical therapy. Thank you to all those that gave to IPT- PAC during REVITALIZE. Over $4,000 was raised! Every gift makes a difference.

Our Second Annual District Challenge was a huge success! The premise was that the district with the highest percentage of representatives to donate at least $25 to the IPT-PAC by the end of the Assembly meeting would win. A $25 or more donation also allowed the contributors to receive an awesome IPT-PAC Phone Bank Charger—always handy to give your phone that needed charge!

Well the bragging rights go to THREE districts. Congratulations to the Southern, North Central, and new this year—the Western Districts for getting 100% of their reps to participate! These districts will not only get to brag about this accomplishment until next year, but they will also enjoy a catered dinner at their next District Meeting.

Many thanks to all of you who contributed to our IPT-PAC. Your generosity truly makes a difference. Special thanks to the District Chairs for leading the effort to motivate your members to donate and to help make the District Challenge a great success.


SSIG Business Meeting

Student members & guests that attended the Student Special Interest Group (SSIG) Annual Business Meeting were caught up to speed on all of the exciting initiatives the SSIG has taken on over the past 12 months – and a look at what is planned for the future.

Current President of the SSIG, James Babana, SPT took the lead and moderated the meeting with reports from the other student leaders regarding – opportunities for student to attend national conferences, the SSIG’s MASQUERADE Banquet, and a look the growing involvement of

student membership in the IPTA.

Your student leaders were also excited to announce the slate of candidates for their upcoming elections.

Thank you to all of the current SSIG Executive Committee & Leadership members for planning this meeting – James Babana, SPT; Gina Martorana, SPT; Katie Budz, SPT; Brittany Sikora, SPT; Julia Janicek, SPTA; Samantha Newhouse, SPT; Kris Lopardo, SPT; and Mariya Denisenko, SPT.



Saturday’s lunch was all about networking – Whether attendees used this time to catch up with an old friend over lunch, make new connections with IPTA leaders at the REVITALIZE Central booths, or visit with the returning and new exhibitors inside the EXPO Hall.

The EXPO seemed jam-packed with attendees visiting any- and all- of the 28 partners and exhibitors who showcased the latest they have to offer. Attendees were even encouraged to visit booths to collect stylish IPTA pins to be entered into the REVITALIZE raffle for some great prizes!

A special shout-out to all our partners and exhibitors at REVITALIZE 2017, we’d love to have you back in 2018: Athletico Physical Therapy, ATI Physical Therapy, DuPage Medical Group, Body Gears Physical Therapy, Northwestern Medicine, Professional Therapy Services (PTS), Team Rehabilitation, SI- Bone, Inc; Advocate Healthcare, Van Matre Healthsouth Rehab Hospital, ProTec Spine, UltraFlex Systems Inc, TheraOffice, Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy, Health Connection, VGM Advantage, Palos Health, Spinal Cord Injury Association of Illinois, Alzheimer’s Association, Greater IL Chapter, Evidence CEU, Allard USA, Real Time Pain Relief and LuLaRoe!


Annual Governance Meeting

Representatives from across the state convened to take care of business during the Annual Assembly of Representatives meeting. Assembly members voted on several items impacting not only the future of the IPTA but also the PT profession.

From the meeting, came the voting rights of PTA members in Chapter and District Elections. The elimination of the office of IPTA President-Elect, the change of the Ethics Committee to an appointed committee of the IPTA and eliminated from Chapter elections, and the addition of duties to the IPTA Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary. Also representatives voted on a statement on Diversity brought forth by the Diversity Task force which ensures that the IPTA is committed to improve underrepresented minority physical therapists and physical therapists membership and participation.

Representatives voted to eliminate the Chapter Officers and District Chairs from having a vote during the Assembly, and also charged the Board of Directors to consider assigning Vice Chairs of Districts the role of senior representatives to the Assembly.

Special thanks to all of the Assembly Representatives and guest who attended.