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Important updates and timely information for FSBPT members and stakeholders.

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In this News Brief:

Karen Donahue

Karen Donahue, Executive Director of the Arizona Board of Physical Therapy, passed away suddenly on August 30, 2021. Prior to becoming the Executive Director in 2018, Karen served as the investigator for the board for nine years.

She actively shared her knowledge, presenting locally and nationally on topics in clinical physical therapy and legal compliance. At the 2019 FSBPT Annual Meeting, she led a presentation on data analysis, helping her fellow members better understand the importance of data for public protection. Karen also volunteered with FSBPT, serving on the Education Committee and the Ethics & Legislation Committee.

According to her obituary, "Karen devoted her life to her family, friends and community. She helped anyone who needed help. She always said that God gave her the gift to physically help people to achieve a healthy life and she would see anyone no matter their financial situation. She has helped so many people no matter what was needed, she was always there to help. She was an avid contributor to St. Mary’s Food Bank, St. Vincent de Paul and the wildlife conservation. She was an avid hiker and loved National Parks especially the Grand Canyon."

We extend our condolences to all who knew her. You can read her full obituary and plant a tree in Karen's honor via Heritage Funeral Chapels.

Is the Language on Your Website a Barrier to Complainants?

FSBPT formed the Boundary Violation Task Force in 2020. One of the task force’s goals is to identify potential barriers for reporting violations to regulatory boards. To help accomplish this, task force members reviewed jurisdictions’ websites. The task force members only reviewed websites they were unfamiliar with, and they tried to view them via the lens of someone who had experienced sexual misconduct during physical therapy and was contemplating filing a complaint with the board.

In reviewing the language of the website and the complaint form, the task force members were asked to identify any language they felt might be intimidating or a barrier to a complainant of a sexual boundary violation. Here are examples of language they found:

The task force feels that language on the website might be a barrier to an individual who is already dealing with trauma and may be hesitant to report it. The task force encourages jurisdictions to review the language of their websites and make changes as necessary to decrease any unnecessary barrier to reporting a complaint.

Takeaway tip: Review language and discuss wording such as “complaint” “uncomfortable” “inappropriate”.

Prepare for the Delegate Assembly

This year, the Delegate Assembly will be held virtually. We recently sent invitations to Voting Delegates, Selected Administrators, and Alternate Delegates. If you did not receive this invitation but think you should have, please reach out to

  • CBA Forum: October 21, 2:00-4:00 p.m. ET
  • Candidate Forum 2: October 21, 7:00-8:00 p.m. ET
  • Delegate Workshop: October 23, 2:00-3:15 p.m. ET
  • Delegate Assembly: October 23, 4:00-5:15 p.m. ET
  • PT Compact: October 24, 3:00-6:00 p.m. ET

Motions for the 2021 Delegate Assembly are available for review. If you have any questions about the motions, please contact

Delegate Handbook
The 2021 Delegate Handbook is available in the Member's Area. The handbook provides members with reports from FSBPT committees, financial audits, and other information.

Meet with the Resolutions Committee
Please email if you’d like to meet with the Resolutions Committee to discuss the 2021 motions. The committee will be available 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET on Monday, October 18, and Tuesday, October 19. These meetings will be canceled if the committee does not receive any requests by Monday, October 11.

2021 Candidate Statements for the Council of Board Administrators (CBA)
We are pleased to announce that Michelle Sigmund-Gaines will be running for this year’s 2021 CBA Chair. We encourage you to read her candidate statement.

The Slate for the 2021 Delegate Assembly Elections
Candidates for this year’s elected positions for the Board of Directors and Nominating Committee have prepared statements you can review with your board before elections take place on Saturday, October 23, 2021. We encourage you to take some time to review their submissions.

Candidates will also speak about their experience and answer questions at the virtual Candidate Forum on Thursday, October 21, 2021, at 7:00 p.m. ET. Further, the Nominating Committee will be seeking candidates interested in being slated for the 2022 elections. These positions will include President and Vice President. The qualifications for these positions can be found in the Board and Committee Job Descriptions.

Please join FSBPT in thanking the 2021 Nominating Committee Members, Sherri Paru (Chair), Debbie Kubota, and Joseph Shanley, for their work this year.

Secretary: Tina Baum (SD) Secretary: Cynthia Potter (PA) Treasurer: Ruggie Canizares (OR) Treasurer: Steven Scherger (MN)
Director I: Ellen Donald (FL) Director I: Elizabeth Locke (VA) Nominating Committee: Ron Barredo (TN) Nominating Committee: Deborah Richardson Peter (VI)

Serve on an FSBPT Committee!

Are you interested in serving on one of the committees below beginning January 1, 2022?

  • Continuing Competence
  • Education
  • Ethics and Legislation
  • Finance
  • Resolutions 

Learn more about volunteering and read the detailed committee descriptions. Then submit your name for consideration. The survey will close on October 28, 2021. The Board of Directors will make appointments in late 2021.

Share Your Webinar Ideas!

We are seeking presentation ideas and proposals for webinars we will be hosting throughout 2021. You can watch recent webinars and register for upcoming sessions on the new FSBPT events platform.

If you have a specific idea, please submit a proposal. However, we are also interested in learning about jurisdictions' experiences with regulatory topics and your general ideas on what issues we should examine. We encourage all board members, board administrators, and other stakeholders to please share topics and ideas with us.

FSBPT Forum: It's Not Burnout! It is Moral Injury: Why Should Regulators be Concerned?

The concept of Moral Injury is relatively new to health care but closely related to the notions of burnout and moral distress. This article is based on a 2020 Annual Meeting Webinar presented by Nancy Kirsch. Read the article.

Spotlight on Member Resources: Regulatory Hour Recordings

Want to catch up on Regulatory Hours that you may have missed? You can find these in the "Replays" section of FSBPT's event platform. You can filter the list by clicking "Refine" and putting "Regulatory Hour" under the "Topic" dropdown.

Our Gratitude for Volunteers

This month, we thank the generous volunteer members of these groups for their support of our mission:

  • Exam Development Committees
  • Item Writers

Webinar Clip: Webinar Compilation

See a sampling of recent FSBPT webinars. You can also watch the full webinar recordings and register for upcoming webinars.You can watch the watch these webinars and register for upcoming webinars.

In the News

"Telehealth: A quarter-trillion-dollar post-COVID-19 reality?," McKinsey, July 9, 2021

"Strong continued uptake, favorable consumer perception, and tangible investment into this space are all contributing to the continued growth of telehealth in 2021. New analysis indicates telehealth use has increased 38X from the pre-COVID-19 baseline."

"$250B of all healthcare spend could be digitized, McKinsey estimates," Rebecca Piker, Healthcare Dive, June 4, 2020

"Up to $250 billion in healthcare spending could be digitized, according to a new brief from consultancy McKinsey & Company. That's roughly 20% of all estimated Medicare, Medicaid and commercial outpatient, office and home health spending for 2020."

"Mirror, Mirror 2021: Reflecting Poorly: Health Care in the U.S. Compared to Other High-Income Countries," The Commonwealth Fun, August 4, 2021

"Four features distinguish top performing countries from the United States: 1) they provide for universal coverage and remove cost barriers; 2) they invest in primary care systems to ensure that high-value services are equitably available in all communities to all people; 3) they reduce administrative burdens that divert time, efforts, and spending from health improvement efforts; and 4) they invest in social services, especially for children and working-age adults."

"Can Hospitals Learn About Safety From Airlines?" Andy Pasztor, Wall Street Journal, September 2, 2021

"A new proposal for a National Patient Safety Board aims to reduce medical errors by using strategies that have almost eliminated fatal airplane crashes."

"This Doctor Spread False Information About COVID. She Still Kept Her Medical License," Geoff Brumfiel, NPR, September 14, 2021

"Despite more than a year spent spreading misinformation about a pandemic that has killed more than 650,000 Americans, she has what might be considered a professional clean bill of health with no complaints, disciplinary actions or malpractice lawsuits on her record. The California Medical Board, which oversees her license, told NPR it expects doctors to "follow the standard of care when treating patients at all times." But the medical board declined to say whether it was investigating Gold, citing reasons of confidentiality."

"Physio grads, professionals question validity of national licensing exam after latest glitches," Joel Ballard, Eva Uguen-Csenge, CBC News, September 12, 2021

"After multiple cancellations and system failures, many in the industry — including graduates and professionals — say they have lost faith in CAPR's ability to offer the exam. They also question the validity of the exam altogether."

"Can apps manage our chronic health conditions?" Maddy Savage, BBC, September 19, 2021

"The app, called Joint Academy, launched in 2014 with the goal of improving treatment for osteoarthritis....Joint Academy is a licensed physiotherapy provider in Sweden. It makes its money from regional healthcare authorities who pick up the bill for placing patients on its digital physiotherapy programmes."

"California Medical Board member says agency fails to root out negligent doctors: 'No question that it costs patients' lives,'" Jm Axelrod, Jessica Kegu, Andrew Bast, CBS News, September 21, 2021

"A 54-page board ruling from 2018 details a laundry list of misconduct by Helliwell including a 'sexual relationship' with a patient, administering 'toxic dosage[s]' of lidocaine, and 'gross negligence' in the treatment of four patients. Investigators concluded Helliwell's care of one patient 'showed a fundamental lack of knowledge.'

"But the California Medical Board did not revoke Helliwell's medical license. Instead, they placed him on 42 months' probation and put limits on his practice. They also ordered him to take an ethics course, a clinical competence assessment program and required a chaperone be present while treating female patients."

Board Liaisons to Jurisdictions

Members of the Board of Directors serve as liaisons to multiple jurisdictions. Current liaison relationships are listed here for your reference.

Tom Caldwell
Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas

Ruggie Canizares
Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Utah

Ellen Donald
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina

Joni Kalis
Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming

Nancy Kirsch
Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont

Adrienne Price
Delaware, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia

David Relling
Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands

Charles E. Reiter
The public member of the board does not serve as a liaison to jurisdictions.

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Staff Contact Information

Staff Contact Information
If you have questions, challenges or ideas, we want to hear from you!
(703) 299-3100




Point of Contact/Email Address

ADA accommodations

Christine Sousa

Assessment or examination development questions

Lorin Mueller
Susan Newman

Continuing competence

Jeffrey M. Rosa

Credentials review

Jaime Nolan, FCCPT

ELDD- Exam, Licensure and Disciplinary Database participation

Exam registration processing

Christine Sousa

Foreign educated issues

Leslie Adrian


Jamie Nolan

JAM- Jurisprudence Assessment Module

Legislation or Model Practice Act

Leslie Adrian

Meeting arrangements

Paul Delaney

NPDB reports/questions

Angela Burnham

PTC- Physical Therapy Compact

PEAT®- Practice Exam & Assessment Tool

Reimbursement of expenses
Other financial matters

Linda Michelsen

School reports

Score transfer & reporting

Christine Sousa

SCP PET- Supervised Clinical Practice Performance Evaluation Tool

Security issues

Susan Newman

Anything else, including news to share with members

William A. Hatherill
Caitlin Jennings



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