Education Committee Chair Letter

By Jason Sanders, PT, DPT

When PPS members are surveyed, the number one reason for membership is their desire for education.

Members’ desire for education takes shape in a broad range of arenas within our profession including PR and marketing, finance, government affairs, technology, and payment policy. It is with this in mind that the PPS Board develops its strategic plan and tasks its volunteer-based committees in meeting the needs of the organization and its membership. The portions of the strategic plan tasked to the Education Committee span several realms important to the PPS membership, and require both independent development of projects within our committee as well as collaboration across multiple other committees striving to develop content that will meet the needs of our membership.

This year the committee continues to develop and manage our ongoing initiatives to provide and promote educational opportunities that advance the business aptitude for physical therapist-owned businesses. This effort has likely never been more important to the private practitioner/small business owner than in the past few months. We continue to work in conjunction with PPS staff to mine and offer monthly webinars on topics pertinent to the private practitioner. Each of these webinars are offered live, but are also recorded and available in the Learning Center for on-demand learning. We also continue to coordinate the “Kick Starting Your Private Practice” course being offered as a pre-conference course at CSM.

In an effort to broaden the reach of PPS as the go-to source for physical therapy business education, we are working with PPS staff to refine onboarding of new PPS members to maximize engagement through awareness and access to PPS resources. Additionally, we are continuing with our efforts to develop a curriculum and multi-modal educational package that can used by physical therapy schools to educate students on the fundamental aspects of managing physical therapy businesses. In 2018-2019 we worked with representatives from APTA’s American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT) to ensure our content will meet the required standards, and developed additional content to ensure a comprehensive educational package. Now in 2020, we are in the process of the formal development and rollout of that comprehensive educational package that can be used to fill the void of business education for the next generation of physical therapists.

In past years, we were able to develop a “101” series that was launched with videos on PR and marketing, finance, and an operations-based video on key performance indicators (KPIs) and their role in a successful practice. This year we released additional video content (including human resources and compliance) as well as an additional operations video focused on KPI interpretation and management. All of these videos are part of the Private Practice Essentials, which are all free to PPS members and available in the PPS Learning Center.

One of our more exciting and successful initiatives remains the development of the Peer 2 Peer Advisory Groups which are similar to Mastermind groups found around the country and serve a broad range of professions. The groups of similar businesses from noncompeting markets meet twice each year to discuss hot topics and share expertise, analyze operations, build life-long friendships, and work toward helping each other improve their bottom line. As of the writing of this summary, more than 170 PPS members are participating in Peer2Peer NetWorks.

These initiatives, in addition to our ongoing efforts to assist in the management of the PPS learning platform and its content, as well as our efforts to engage and retain our members via the various PPS platforms, have kept our committee busy in 2019 with the promise of a productive 2020. My thanks to committee members Amy Gulledge, Yogi Matharu, Thomas Carlton, Tim Vidale, and Ira Gorman. Additional thanks to Rob Worth as our PPS Board Liaison and Carrie Stankiewicz as the education and programs manager for PPS, both of whom work tirelessly to move our section and our profession forward.