News & Press: Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight on Kathy Birnbaum, PT

Friday, February 23, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Carla Rosenbaum
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Kathy Birnbaum, PT

February 2018

Kathy Birnbaum, NYPTA Awards committee chair, has an important job - highlighting the accomplishments of all our members. Fortunately, Kathy's 41 years of experience in the association have prepared her, and she is more than up to the task! Read insights from Kathy's career, and learn how she stays involved in the profession and association as a retired PT.


Take a few minutes and get to know this month's member spotlight! 

How long have you been a member of the NYPTA? What is your best experience thus far?


I have been a member of NYPTA since I was a student at Ithaca College, making this my
41st year of membership! I would say that being a part of the governance of the
association has been interesting, and educational over the years. My first active
participation was as Continuing Education Coordinator for Hudson Valley District. I am
honored to say that the Outstanding Service to District was created to recognize Liz
Gaynor and I, as co-chairs of the CE committee.It is a very exciting feeling to know that
the award continues today and the nominees are well known at a district level. I have
participated on district, chapter and nationals level, and always learn something about
organizations, this association and myself.

Tell us a little about your background, and how your path led you to where you are in your career today. What’s your favorite moment of your career so far?

I have a sister who is developmentally disabled, my maternal grandfather had polio and my paternal grandmother had severe arthritis--she used to travel from Albany to
Yonkers for gold injections! Those first hand experiences with ability challenges and a
volunteer opportunity at my sister’s residence led me to the profession of PT. There are
so many favorite moments of my career, and the common theme is seeing former
“patients” in the community and hearing the positive feedback of their experience with
PT. We all like positive reinforcement of what we do--and that is why being Chair of the
Awards Committee is important to me. It is an opportunity to give someone a favorite
moment in their profession.


What is a typical day like for you?

In my “retired” days, I continue to visit my mother, a nursing home resident, explore my
long time hobbies of sewing and embroidery, and keep active at the district and chapter

What is a favorite tip you have that you could share with others in our industry?


There are so many resources available through the APTA, and I think networking with
peers is so valuable. At times the weight of the daily tasks can keep our blinders on, and
meeting with colleagues across the spectrum can reinvigorate us. I firmly believe
membership in the professional association is inherent in being a member of the
profession. Active membership--participation of any amount is always welcome- can
only strengthen the association and by extension the profession.


What are you passionate about?


Sharing joyful moments is always top on my list, whether I am sending a comic to a
friend that reminds me of something we did together, or calling my children to tell them
to go out and look at the beautiful full moon.


What else would you like your fellow NYPTA Members to know about you?

For inside information, meet me at the Delegate Assembly for the presentation of the
Awards!!! And before that, send in nominations for your colleagues. (Link to award nominations is HERE!) 

What is your favorite app or social media outlet?
I recently joined Facebook...and I think that’s as far as I can go.


What is your guilty pleasure (TV show, sweet treat, etc)
My husband Ken and I have daily competitions for The Jumble and Jeopardy.


 Know someone who should be a member spotlight? Email


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