Hello everyone! I hope that your fall season is off to a safe and healthy start. It is a great honor to send my first message as your president as there are so many exciting things happening for our profession and organization.
The WATA is working toward our goals we set in the new strategic plan introduced this past April to the membership. The document can be viewed by clicking here. We have partnered with Wisconsin Association Management, LLC (WAM) to help us achieve our strategic goals, improve efficiencies, investment strategies and many other programs. To learn more about WAM, visit their website at: http://wamllc.net/. The integration process is continuing to progress well and we are pleased with this partnership.
Please watch your email for updates from GLATA with continued communication regarding the governance proposals. This is a good step in increasing our member representation at the national level and increase leadership/volunteer opportunities at district levels.
The BOD voted to move to a new website format and the process of transition has started and will be rolled out within the next 3 months. This new format will allow improved platforms for submitting award and scholarship nominations, voting, symposium registration, and research submissions. We have had a great partnership with our current provider but anxious to move to the next step.
We are looking to get you involved! There are 2 BOD and 2 regional representative positions open this spring. If you or your colleagues are interested, nominations will be open soon. We would love to have you involved.
Have a great fall sports season!
Heidi Gutschow, LAT, PT
Legislative Committee Update
Hello and I hope everyone is off to a good start to the new school year. I wanted to take a minute to provide everyone with a quick update as to the status of our practice act changes. As you are likely aware, we are working to modernize our practice act by proposing a few changes. Specifically, we want to:
redefine “physical activity” to remove the word “vigorous” from description
eliminate requirement that ATs have protocol signed by a consulting physician
create insurance parity – by specifying that no insurer may refuse to provide coverage for services provided by an AT if the insurer covers those same services if provided by a different type of health care provider
Currently, we are in the process of discussing these changes with other interested parties to facilitate a smooth legislative process once the bill is introduced. Earlier this summer, myself, WATA President Heidi Gutschow, a couple of other WATA members and our lobbying team meet with the Physical Therapist’s Association and their lobby team to discuss our proposal and address potential concerns they have. These discussions with continue, as well as with other interested parties. Our next step is to begin meeting with Legislators around the state to further educate them on what it is that we do, as well as discuss the changes that are needed. Our intent is to set up a number of regional meetings, perhaps including a facility tour with the discussion. If you are interested in participating in one of these events, please feel free to contact me at MVanVeghel@uwhealth.org.
Another way you can help advance out profession is through participating in the WATA PAC. Earlier this session, WATA converted our political giving Conduit Fund into a Political Action Committee, which are easier to administer and less time consuming. It is important for WATA members to build and foster relationships with their Legislators, and political giving during the campaign season is one way to do that. It is important for WATA to help elect Legislators who are supportive of our profession, and having a strong and active PAC is one way to do that. If you have not already given to our PAC, please consider doing so today. You can access a WATA-PAC contribution form here.
This fall, voters across Wisconsin will head to the polls to elect a Governor, a US Senator, Representatives in all 8 Congressional seats, as well as State Legislators. While Republicans currently hold majorities in both the State Senate and State Assembly, as well as the Governorship, the cyclical nature of politics traditionally benefits the opposing party in the mid-term elections. Republican Governor Scott Walker is being challenged by Democrat Tony Evers, the current State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and recent polling suggests a very close race. Republicans hold a 18-15 majority in the State Senate, where 17 of the 33 seats are up for election. In the State Assembly, all 99 seats are up for election this fall, where Republicans currently hold a 64-35 majority. Take time to contact your Legislator and find out where he or she stands on issues important to the AT profession, and get involved in their campaign.
Call for Information
It has come to the attention of the Governmental Affairs and Reimbursement committees that a few of our members who practice in clinical rehabilitation settings have had some issues arise regarding insurance and reimbursement. Issues include not authorizing post-operative care and denial of reimbursement among insurers who have previously approved AT services in these settings. It is imperative that we are made aware of these situations so we may appreciate the prevalence, scope and nature of these occurrences.
If you or any colleagues have experienced these issues please contact GAC chair Mike Van Veghel at MVanveghel@uwhealth.org or Reimbursement committee chair Mark Husen at: firstname.lastname@example.org
WATA Call for Proposals
The Wisconsin Athletic Trainers’ Association Education Committee is inviting proposals for professional presentations at the 2019 Annual Meeting and Symposium in Stevens Point, WI, April 4 – 6, 2019. Athletic Trainers and affiliated professionals are encouraged to submit proposals for both general sessions and those that may qualify for the BOC’s Evidence-based Practice (EBP) continuing education units (CEUs).
EBP Presentation topics should address athletic training domain(s) beyond entry-level knowledge or address a topic that would make a valuable contribution to the understanding of the practice or pedagogy of athletic training. EBP foundational presentations should enhance the athletic trainer’s understanding and implementation of EBP, while EBP clinical presentation should address the presentation topic using the best available evidence. There is a separate application and proposal format for an EBP presentation, which the presenter and the WATA Continuing Education Committee will submit to the Board of Certification after acceptance of the initial proposal.
Individuals interested in presenting must complete the online application indicating the presentation title, a structured abstract (200 word limit to include rationale, overall objective, and description), measureable learning objectives (BOC resource for assistance), and desired presentation type. All proposals must be submitted electronically through the application link below.
Please contact Holly Schmies, WATA Continuing Education Committee Co-chair (Hschmies@uwsp.edu) regarding any questions. Each submission will undergo review by the WATA Continuing Education Committee.
WATA is looking for Committee Volunteers
Looking to Connect, Share, and Grow with WATA? Getting involved on one of the committees is a great way to do that plus give back a little in support of the organization. The time commitment is minimal but the reward is tremendous so let us know how we can get you connected!
WATA Research Committee is looking for two new members to serve on the committee. If interested, please send the letter of interest and curriculum vitae to Naoko Aminaka, PhD, ATC, via email@example.com.
Board of Directors Election
Interested in serving on the WATA Board of Directors? The open board positions will be Vice-President, Treasurer, Northeast Regional Representative and Southwest Regional Representative. Submitting your interest is simple at this link and denote what board position: