News & Press: Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight on Jake McPherson, PT, DPT, NCS, MSCS

Thursday, May 25, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Carla Rosenbaum
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Jake McPherson, PT, DPT, NCS, MSCS 








May 2017


Jake McPherson has been a member of the association since he was a student, and has been the legislative committee leader for several years. Recently, Jake was also the recipient of the Doreen Frank Legislative Award at the Spring Delegate Assembly Meeting. Read a little about Jake here - his experience in the NYPTA as he transitioned from student to professional, just how he got so involved in the legislative arena, and what differences he sees in the industry since he first began practicing. Get to know Jake McPherson, this month's member spotlight!

Congratulations on another successful lobby day in Albany this past April, Jake. You have been involved in the legislative activities of the NYPTA for many years now. Can you share with us how you became interested in the legislative arena, and the impact you hope to make on the industry?


My first plunge into legislative activities happened as a first-year DPT student attending Lobby Day. A faculty mentor invited me to attend and made it a point to ensure that I understood the importance of legislation and policy in PT practice. From there I was hooked. After attending Lobby Day for another year or two I learned the ropes and started leading meetings and recruiting colleagues to attend as well. Eventually I was appointed to the Advisory Panel on Legislation and after serving for three years I was asked to serve as committee chairperson. Since that time we have transformed our legislative efforts as a team. We are on a mission to ensure that PT is recognized as THE leader in practice and policy when it comes to rehabilitation and wellness. I will work to have an impact as part of the team that secures necessary legislative changes to ensure that patients have access to our care when needed, that we are able to practice to the fullest extent of our training, and that we are paid fairly for our services and expertise.


You have been a member of the NYPTA since you were a student. Can you tell us how membership in your professional associations has enhanced your career?


My membership in NYPTA and APTA have been absolutely invaluable as I’ve progressed from DPT student to new professional and now to new roles in practice and leadership. I am grateful for the colleagues and mentors who have offered their knowledge, support, and encouragement as I’ve grown into this association. Our professional organizations provide a network of support and camaraderie which have continued to enhance my career since my early involvement. I’ve been able to take advantage of unique clinical experiences, build skills in public policy and practice management, and perhaps most importantly I am part of a large group of motivated professionals who share in my passion for physical therapy.


What is one of the biggest differences between now, and the time you first started practicing physical therapy?


Since I began practicing in 2011 I have been exposed to many changes related to payment for our services. I have seen the implementation of Medicare’s functional limitation reporting, the come and go of PQRS for PT’s, and new insurance authorization procedures continually increasing the need for PTs to justify the need for our services.  All of these are setting the stage for us to be paid based on patient outcomes and our performance. The good thing is that I am optimistic about where this will take our profession. We have known for years that our services are less expensive and more effective and many other interventions currently available. There has been a monumental transition toward therapists utilizing best practices in patient management based on currently available evidence. As we move forward we need to continue to ensure that we can show our value to the healthcare system in reducing costs and improving outcomes.


What advice would you give to a young professional, or a student of physical therapy as they embark on this career path?


Keep an open mind and try everything. The physical therapy profession has an incredible breadth and you will have many paths to consider early in your career. You will have so many opportunities to explore new areas of clinical practice, professional involvement, and continuing education. I would encourage you to take that clinical affiliation in an unfamiliar setting, volunteer at a district meeting or NYPTA event, and register for that CEU course to learn something new. As you gain knowledge and confidence from these different experiences early on you’ll have many tools at your disposal for charting your professional course into the future. 


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