Voter Turnout 2014
How we can all make a difference.
By Marc Rubenstein, PT, DPT, OCS
It was interesting how I came to attend my first Private Practice Section (PPS) annual conference in Vancouver in 2002 just before I was to open my first practice in central New Jersey. I wrote to the section and asked if they provided any opportunities for new owners to go on “scholarship.” The section responded “yes,” if in exchange for my registration fee being waived, I would work the PPS booth and help in the educational sessions. This experience paved the way for me to become a loyal, active, and involved PPS member. The connections I have made through PPS have been invaluable both personally and professionally.
Currently, I am the owner of three outpatient clinics with a home care division and a satellite in a low-income senior housing community. We have been in business for 12 years and have 30 employees. I love being a physical therapist, and I love being an owner/entrepreneur and want it to continue for years to come. Like many colleagues, each year in practice has provided its own successes and challenges. Unfortunately, payment has declined steadily, physician-owned practices are on the rise, and managed care has become more burdensome. It is of the utmost importance that we as a section identify tomorrow’s future leaders today, and assist in their leadership development. We must also continue to have a strong board of directors that are visionary and can lead us, so we not only survive but also thrive. Our leadership must be strong, especially through these transitional times. My point here is to emphasize the importance of voting, and the impact it has on our section leadership and profession.
This past year kudos have to go out to the past Nominating Committee chair, Ed Ramsey, as well as Nominating Committee executive director, Laurie Kendall-Ellis, and the past board of directors for the amazing job they did in terms of our voter turnout, which was above 70 percent! There was a large amount of absentee ballots, paper ballots, and electronic ballots, which all contributed to this amazing percentage (a huge increase from prior years). This tells me our members are actively engaged on multiple levels and that we indeed have a healthy section.
We cannot be complacent and satisfied with the 70 percent. (Just as an aside, in the United States about 60 percent of the population vote during presidential elections.) Our goal is 100 percent member participation in voting. We want our section members to select our future leaders. These are important choices that will impact our section and our profession.
We are currently taking nominations for the positions of treasurer, secretary, two members of the board of directors, and one position on the Nominating Committee. Once the slate is announced to the membership in early June, absentee ballots will be available through October. Finally, registration is now open for our Annual Conference 2015, which will be held at Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Florida, from November 11 to November 14, 2015. Please attend the Annual Conference, speak to our outstanding candidates, and vote for whom you feel will best serve our section and profession for years to come.
Marc Rubenstein, PT, DPT, OCS, is the president and co-founder of Jersey Physical Therapy. He can be reached at email@example.com.