By Terry C. Brown, PT, DPT
As my term as your president begins to wind down, I find myself reflecting on the past few years and all that has transpired. I’m not feeling so much nostalgic as grateful; this position has been a gift that has been given to me that no one really knew they were giving. I have had the pleasure of serving on the Private Practice Section (PPS) board of directors for the past 10 years: one year as a director, six as vice president, and now in my third year as president. As you can imagine and many of you have witnessed, much has changed over this time. The organization has grown and prospered, bringing new programs, ideas, and solutions to private practitioners in an ever-changing environment. The focus of PPS has broadened and become more inclusive, engaging nontraditional practices and entrepreneurs who are blazing new pathways. We as a Section have taken our place as leaders in vision and policy in the American Physical Therapy Association. We have come a long way in 10 years and we have just begun. I look forward to where you, our future leaders, will take us.
Let’s get back to this gift I have been given, that people were unaware they had given, for this is what has been the most gratifying part of my tenure. It is simply the gift of friendship that has been poured out from every individual who has served with me on the board and staff for the past 10 years. I am humbled by this gift and treasure it. Each of you has served as my teacher. I have learned to listen, even when I have been predisposed to think I am right. I have learned to understand and learn from another’s point of view even when it differed with my own. I have learned that first impressions are often wrong, and with honest dialogue friendship blooms where few believed it could. I have learned that open, honest communication results in consensus that serves the greater good of our profession. Most of all I have learned the character of the women and men who step up to serve this association. You have given the best of yourselves, and it has been my honor and privilege to serve with each and every one of you. Thank you!
To the rest of my colleagues: I challenge you to step up and serve. There is never a better time than now. Our profession needs the best and brightest in leadership positions. That is you! I assure you the gifts you receive will far outweigh the time and effort you put forth.