House of Delegates Report

October 2021

House of Delegates Takes Significant Actions and Grants Voting Rights to PTA Delegates 

Once again, your Oregon delegation to the APTA House of Delegates (HOD) was fully engaged in an instrumental motion.  At its recent annual meeting, the HOD adopted a bylaw amendment that grants full voting rights to 2 delegates from the Physical Therapist Assistant Caucus (PTAC).  This was an evolutionary action and culminated 10 months of extensive and at times intensive efforts by the four co-makers of the amendment: Texas, Oregon, and Washington Chapters, and the PTAC.  The efforts were justified by the substantial support of the HOD – the motion was adopted by a margin of 74% of delegates voting in the affirmative. Indirectly related to this, our Oregon PTAC Representative, Jeannie Thompson, was elected by the PTAC to fill a 1-year vacancy in one of the current 5 PTAC delegates.  As the PTAC reorganizes its leadership to 2 voting delegates in the HOD, Jeannie may be exercising those new voting rights next year! We are excited for this bylaw amendment and offer Jeannie our heartfelt congratulations in the election. 

This amendment was only one part of a 2-year comprehensive revision of the APTA Bylaws led by a Special Committee on Bylaws.  Other significant amendments included: clarification of the authority of the HOD and Board of Directors (BOD); moved procedural language to the purview of BOD or to the Standing Rules; provided more access to and engagement of the Ethics and Judicial Committee; at the component level, confirmed full vote for the PTA and removed counting PTAs as half; clarified categorization of member groups; added the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee to the bylaws; and modernized language throughout the document.

It is also important to note an amendment that was not adopted: a motion to grant voting rights to the 2 delegates from the Student Assembly (SA).  Similar to the motion to grant voting rights to 2 PTAC delegates, this was evolutionary in nature; however, unlike that other motion, this was the first time it had been considered by the HOD.  The vote represented substantial support, with 49% voting in favor of the amendment.  The SA will consider reintroducing a similar motion in the next year for bylaw amendments, which is 2025.

In addition to the significant work on updating APTA’s bylaws, delegates considered several motions dealing with subjects important to both the physical therapy community and the society that we serve.  House members had a bold discussion about the importance of addressing systemic racism within our Association and our profession and passed RC 9-21, which states that the APTA is “committed to being an anti-racist organization” and calls on members to act to address policies and practices that perpetuate racism and inequity.  The delegates also added the value of “Inclusion” to the Core Values for the Physical Therapist and Physical Therapist Assistant document, stating that “inclusion occurs when the PT and PTA create a welcoming and equitable environment for all,” which includes “providing a safe space, elevating diverse and minority voices, acknowledging personal biases that may impact patient care, and taking a position of anti-discrimination.”

The issue of productivity standards within PT practice was another important discussion point with two motions addressing the balance between providing quality clinical care and avoiding clinician burnout with business sustainability. RC 7-21 states that “the APTA supports productivity standards that balance the patient experience and outcome, respect clinical judgement, adhere to the APTA Code of Ethics, consider the economics of care delivery models and improves the work experience of the providers.”  RC 8-21 in contrast charged the APTA with developing resources “that prioritize professional ethical standards and clinician well-being” with the goal of empowering individual practitioners to fight back against unreasonable and unethical productivity practices.  Both motions passed.

Another timely motion was RC 11-21, which charged the APTA to promote physical therapy services as “essential and integral providers in the interprofessional team” in managing those affected by COVID-19 and post-acute sequelae of SARS CoV-2.  The motion specifically calls on the APTA to promote this within the physical therapy profession and to outside stakeholders with a media campaign and to collaborate with APTA sections/academies to distribute evidence-based resources relating to the treatment of those with COVID-19 and its long-term effects.

Beyond considering motions, the 2021 HOD also elected several APTA BOD positions, including President and Vice President.  Previous APTA secretary, Roger Herr, was elected as APTA’s next President, and current Board member Susan Appling was elected Vice President. Cindy Armstrong was reelected to a second term on the Board, and Zopher Kapasi and Kim Nixon-Cave were elected as first-time Board members.  Stephanie Weyrauch was elected to the Nominating Committee.

This year’s meeting was unique in that it blended virtual and in-person meetings to complete the work of the House, all while celebrating the 100th anniversary of APTA. For those interested in additional information about the work of the 2021 APTA HOD, please visit

Respectfully submitted,

Michael Pagliarulo and Leigh Reece


July 2021

Elections for APTA Board of Directors and Nominating Committee 

As many of you know, the Oregon delegation serves as your voice in the APTA House of Delegates (“House”), which will occur in August and September this year. One major, but less well-known duty of the House is to elect candidates running for open positions of the APTA Board of Directors and Nominating Committee. This is critical in choosing the right voices to represent our profession and move us forward. 

There is an extensive process by which the APTA slates and elects the candidates. The candidates are first vetted and slated by the Nominating Committee. Candidate statements and CVs are posted publicly (link is included below) and each candidate then goes through informal interviews with members of chapters and sections. 

The Oregon delegation involves all its members, including voting delegates, non-voting members including the alternate delegate, PTA Caucus Rep, and alternate PTA Caucus Rep, and the PT and PTA Emerging Student Leader representatives in the informal interviews. We divide the list of candidates and interview them in small groups. Each group then reports back to the collective delegation for discussion. In the first meeting of the House of Delegates in August, there is a round of formal interviews followed by voting. 

Open Positions

  • President: 1 position, 2 candidates
    • Roger Herr and Matthew Hyland
  • Vice President: 1 position, 2 candidates
    • Susan Appling and Heather Jennings
  • Director: 3 positions, 7 candidates
    • Cindy Johnson Armstrong, LeeAnne Carrothers, Emmanuel Babatunde John, Zoher Kapasi, Kim Nixon-Cave, Tracy Porter, and Michael Shoemaker
  • Nominating Committee: 1 position, 2 candidates
    • Stephanie Weyrauch and Cheryl Wisinski 

Running for any national position requires considerable dedication of time and energy. We are fortunate to have such an excellent slate of candidates and thank Derek Fenwick, former APTA-Oregon chapter president and current member of the national Nominating Committee, for his hard work! 

Please visit this website to review the full personal statement and curriculum vitae for each candidate: 

And as always, please contact your Oregon delegation with any questions or comments at [email protected] 

Respectfully submitted,

Nicole Biltz, Alternate Delegate

April 2021

Oregon at the Forefront

The House of Delegates (HOD) is the American Physical Therapy Association’s highest governing body. It is composed of delegates who represent 51 chapters and the 18 sections. It sets policy and direction for the profession. Many of the greatest changes in the physical therapy profession have emerged from the work of the House.

The Oregon delegation has been instrumental in creating, modifying, and advocating for motions during the HOD that directly impact all of our constituents. Here are a few of the most impactful ones from the past decade.

Vision statement: In 2013, the Oregon delegation was a strong voice in the creation of the Association’s current vision statement “Transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience.” The vision has inspired the Association and House of Delegates in their work to better serve society’s needs.

Student loan debt: After being approached by an Oregon member about the high cost of physical therapy education, the Oregon delegation crafted a motion that addressed rising student loan debt of physical therapy students. The motion, which passed unanimously, required APTA to collect data and explore solutions to this ever-increasing burden on our profession. Student debt has since become a key target of APTA’s strategic plan.

Best practice for clinical education: Working together with the California delegation in 2014, the Oregon delegation helped to write a motion that addressed best practice in physical therapist clinical education. The motion charged APTA to “identify best practice for physical therapist clinical education, from professional level through postgraduate clinical training, and propose potential courses of action for a doctoring profession to move toward practice that best meets the evolving needs of society.” A task force explored the issues and made comprehensive recommendations.

Policy on sexual harassment: In 2018, the Oregon delegation was instrumental in strengthening the language of a motion on the negative effects of sexual harassment in the clinic. The motion not only stated that sexual harassment was not acceptable in the clinic and profession, but also advocated for the protection of the rights of the victims of sexual harassment. This motion passed unanimously.

Core values: In 2019, a collaboration of the delegations from OR, WA and the PTA Caucus, resulted in the merging of the core values for the physical therapist and physical therapist assistant. This action acknowledges that all members of our association are guided by the same values: accountability, altruism, collaboration, compassion and caring, duty, excellence, integrity, and social responsibility.

Environmental stewardship: Oregon collaborated with New Jersey to update the language of APTA’s position on environmental stewardship.

Resolution on impact and response to Covid-19: Written by an Oregon delegate and read before the House of Delegates by all the members of the Oregon delegation, this resolution acknowledged the impact of Covid-19 on the health and wellbeing of society, our patients, and healthcare providers, including those in the physical therapy profession. It also recognized the efforts of all members of the Association in their response to the pandemic.

As members of APTA and APTA-Oregon, you elect the 7 Oregon delegates, the PTA Caucus Rep, and the alternates. Your delegation is proud to serve as your voice in the House of Delegates, and we will continue to strive for excellence. Please contact us with any questions or comments at [email protected].

Respectfully submitted,

Jeannie Thompson, PTA Representative and
Nicole Biltz, Alternate Delegate


March 2021

Your Oregon delegation to the APTA House of Delegates (HOD) has been meeting regularly since late Fall in preparation for the 2021 HOD. Please note, the HOD this year will occur in September, not June, in conjunction with the APTA Centennial Celebration.

Of particular interest this year is a major review and revision of the APTA Bylaws. A special committee of the HOD was created last June to conduct a comprehensive review and suggest changes to bring the bylaws up to date in order to help the Association meet the needs of the profession and society. Examples of proposals they are bringing forward include clarifying the description of the HOD as a representative body, streamlining APTA membership categories, dividing the Finance & Audit Committee into two committees, and possible creation of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee as a standing committee of the Association. They are also addressing and clarifying PTA voting rights and representation. Our delegation is collaborating with TX, WA, and the PTA Caucus on this issue to construct bylaw amendments to provide voting rights for the PTA in the HOD. Further motions are expected to come from components of the Association as well.

The bylaws review follows on the heels of the work of the previous special committee, which undertook a review of all current documents ever passed by the HOD. They made recommendations to rescind, amend, and update the policies and positions of the House. They also helped clarify which positions were primarily operational, and therefore under the purview of the Board of Directors, and which were under the purview of the House.

Your Oregon delegation is under new leadership this year with Tasha Macilveen serving as Chief Delegate. She brings with her a wealth of experience, having served since 2009 in both the Delegate and Chief Delegate roles. We would also like to take a moment to thank Michael Pagliarulo, our outgoing Chief Delegate, who continues on in the role of Delegate this year. He serves with great passion and knowledge, and we are incredibly grateful to work alongside him. Additionally, we are excited to announce our two recipients of the APTA OR Emerging Student Leader awards: Mason Flores, SPT from George Fox University and Rebekkah Jolliff, SPTA from Lane Community College. They both demonstrate strong leadership skills and an interest in advocacy, and we are honored to work with them.

Please do not hesitate to contact Tasha, Michael, or any of the following members of the delegation to discuss any issues regarding the HOD. Delegates: Annie Bargmann, Lisa Flexner, Tabitha Galindo, Tiffany King, Leigh Reece; Alternate Delegate: Nicole Biltz; PTA Rep: Jeannie Thompson; Alternate PTA Rep: Julie Buker; SPT: Mason Flores; SPTA: Rebekkah Jolliff. We can be reached at [email protected]

Respectfully submitted,

Nicole Biltz
Alternate Delegate


December 2020

I am pleased to provide this update on the activities of the Oregon delegation to the APTA House of Delegates.   First and foremost, we congratulate and welcome the recipients of the Emerging Student Leader Award: Mason Flores, SPT, and Rebekkah Jolliff, SPTA.  They demonstrate excellence in leadership activities, and we look forward to their input on the delegation.  We also welcome other new members: Nicole Biltz (alternate delegate), and Julie Buker (alternate PTA Caucus Representative).  Other delegates who were reelected were Annie Bargmann, Lisa Flexner, Tabitha Galindo, Tiffany King, and Leigh Reece.  I reached the term limit to serve as Chief Delegate, but was elected as a delegate, and Tasha Macilveen was elected to serve as the Chief Delegate. Jeannie Thompson was also reelected as PTA Caucus Representative.  We offer our sincere gratitude to Keaton Ray who has provided outstanding service to the delegation for several years.  She did not seek reelection as a delegate in order to manage her expanding business, which is working to improve the physical therapy experience for patients nationwide. We wish her well. 

The typical schedule of activities throughout the governance year is changing as we transition to a new meeting date for the House of Delegates.  Beginning in 2021, it will shift from June to September.  Consequently, some of the activities that normally occur in the fall, such as 2 national Virtual Town Halls, have not yet been scheduled.  Nonetheless, we continue to address the comprehensive revision of the APTA Bylaws under the direction of the Special Committee on Bylaws (SCB).  They have created a Bylaws Concepts Document that includes 38 Concepts for consideration.  Several virtual listening sessions were conducted with targeted audiences in September, and further opportunities for written feedback continued into October. We now await proposals to be presented by the SCB based upon that feedback.

Individuals in the delegation provided input throughout that phase of the process.  As a delegation, we are currently focused on the potential expansion of the rights and privileges of the PTA within the APTA.  We are collaborating with the TX and WA delegations, as well as the PTA Caucus, to monitor these issues, including voting rights within components and the House of Delegates, and the right to hold office on the APTA Board of Directors.  We are prepared to draft motions depending upon the proposals forthcoming from the SCB.

It has been a true honor and pleasure to serve as the Chief Delegate for the past 3 years. This delegation is dedicated to serve the best interests of our profession, and is fully engaged in achieving this through the governance process and interaction with colleagues across the country.  I look forward to continuing to serve with them as a delegate.

Respectfully submitted,

Michael A Pagliarulo, PT, MA, EdD
Chief Delegate, Oregon


July 2020

APTA House of Delegates adopts Oregon Resolution on Impact and Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

Once again, the Oregon delegation to the APTA House of Delegates (HOD) was fully engaged throughout the governance cycle that concluded with the annual HOD meeting in June.  This included posts and comments by nearly every member of the delegation prior to and during the HOD.  The COVID-19 pandemic has had an extraordinary impact on our professional and personal lives, which necessitated an unprecedented virtual meeting of the HOD using the Zoom platform.  To acknowledge the impact of the pandemic and the response of our profession and association, our delegation drafted a Resolution that was refined and adopted by the House by a 99% affirmative vote. The formal version will be posted in the minutes of the HOD in August, so here is the draft version:

Resolution: Acknowledgement of Impact and Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

Whereas, The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and its members grieve the loss of life and significant impact on health and well-being associated with the COVID-19 pandemic;

Whereas, This pandemic has further exposed the influence of social determinants of health and the disparities that negatively impact health, movement, and wellness;

Whereas, Physical therapists and physical therapist assistants have continued to provide essential health services to optimize movement under extraordinary circumstances, while continuing to demonstrate their core values of duty, compassion and caring, excellence, and social responsibility;

Whereas, For some physical therapists and physical therapist assistants the impact of the pandemic has resulted in diminished work hours, furlough, or termination;

Whereas, Faculty and students in physical therapy education programs have rapidly shifted to on-line instruction and accommodated significant changes in both academic and clinical education; and

Whereas, The APTA has continued to address the impact of the pandemic on society by continuing to provide guidance and assistance to the members of our profession, the public, and our interprofessional colleagues through the services and actions of staff, components, the Board of Directors, and an unprecedented virtual House of Delegates;

Resolved, That physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students have a responsibility to address inequities as heightened during this pandemic; and

Resolved, That the APTA stands in solidarity with its members and the society they serve, and pledges its continued support and efforts to restore workforce opportunities and equitable access to physical therapist services; and

Resolved, That the delegates of the House of Delegates honor the commitment of APTA staff, leaders of our association, and members of our profession in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and offer our deepest gratitude and support as we work together to achieve the mission of our association and vision of our profession to build a community and transform society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience.

The HOD also adopted another motion presented by our delegation, which amended an existing position on environmental stewardship to make it broader in scope. Other motions addressed professional issues, charges for action, and bylaw amendments.  Adopted motions on professional issues included support of efforts to ensure patient safety, financial transparency in physical therapy education, interprofessional collaboration on behavioral and mental health, and for emergency physical therapy practice; expansion of the definition of underrepresented minority populations in physical therapy education to include those individuals with disabilities; and opposition to decisions by the World Confederation for Physical Therapy that do not align with its policies on diversity and inclusion. Charges included creating a database on the supply of PTs and PTAs for workforce planning, identification of barriers and opportunities for emergency physical therapist services, explore the scope of uncompensated physical therapist services, and to develop best practice strategies in telehealth in physical therapist services.  Significant among the adopted bylaw amendments was approval of voting rights for the sections, which had been a multi-year effort.  A proposed amendment to a Standing Rule that described categories of HOD documents evolved into a potentially evolutionary decision on shared governance between the HOD and Board of Directors.  The motion was referred to a Special Committee on Bylaws for consideration with recommendations next year. 

The 3-day virtual HOD was very well designed and successful…yet exhausting!  A few weeks after the event, our delegation met to debrief, and is already busy considering issues to share for the next governance cycle.  We are also considering means to be in communication with you, the APTA Oregon members, to provide opportunities for your input, and ensure we represent your interests.  We wish you all good health, and are grateful for your service during these difficult times.

Respectfully submitted,

Michael A Pagliarulo, PT, MA, Ed
Chief Delegate, Oregon

January 2020

Oregon Developing Amendment to Broaden Impact on APTA Position on Environmental Stewardship

Your Oregon delegation to the APTA House of Delegates (HOD) is already busy with activities in preparation of the 2020 HOD this June.  We have drafted language to amend an APTA position titled Support Of Environmentally Responsible Practice By The American Physical Therapy Association And Its Members, so that it is broader in scope.  The current language limits the target to APTA members, and focuses the activity to use of “alternatives to environmentally harmful substances.”  Our concern is that environmental stewardship is much broader.  As of this writing, the language of the motion is, For the health of individuals, communities, and society, the American Physical Therapy Association supports environmental stewardship and a commitment to environmental sustainability.”  This is deliberately broad in the target audience and activities, and includes everything from choosing not to use plastic straws, to promoting international agreements to address the impact of climate change.  The NJ delegation has proposed a similar motion on this issue, which focuses on the impact of climate change, “The APTA supports public awareness of the impact of climate change on the health and safety of individuals, communities, and society.”  We have collaborated to construct a 3rd version that combines both concepts and posted them for comments by delegates. We will keep you updated on the language of this issue as we continue through this governance cycle. 

A major consideration for the HOD over the next 2 years will be a revision of the APTA bylaws.  A special committee of the HOD was approved last June for this task.  The process with begin with some broad considerations for the HOD in 2020. Decisions on those considerations will then direct the committee to develop more specific language for consideration in 2021. 

Several motions from chapters and sections are already under development for consideration in 2020. For this reason, our delegation had 2 meetings this fall, and the newly elected members joined them – even before their terms began on January 1st!  This demonstrates how the APTA governance cycle continues to move toward “year-round governance,” and how we need to reconsider the start date of terms for the members of our delegation. We have considered this issue, and provided input to an OPTA task force that is currently reviewing our bylaws for updates and amendments on a suggested mechanism to move up the start date.

It is a pleasure and honor to continue to work with the dedicated members of our delegation, including the 2 student recipients of the OPTA Emerging Student Leader award, who joined us in January.   Do not hesitate to contact any of these individuals to discuss any of the issues regarding the HOD:  Delegates: Tabitha Galindo, Tiffany King, Tasha Macilveen, Keaton Ray, Leigh Reece, Luke Snelling; Alternate Delegate: Lisa Flexner; PTA Rep: Jeannie Thompson; Alternate PTA Rep: Terin Hill; SPT: Gavin McBride; SPTA: Michelle Spindler.

Respectfully submitted, 

Michael A Pagliarulo, Chief Delegate