News & Press: Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight on Pat Benz, PT

Thursday, June 8, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Carla Rosenbaum
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                   Pat Benz, PT                        
     Kindred at Home Full-time PT                   








June 2017

If you haven't met this month's member spotlight, now is the time! Upon meeting Pat Benz, it is immediately evident the passion and excitement she has for the association and physical therapy industry. During Pat's time in two leadership roles for the NYPTA, she has revitalized the regional student conclaves, energized New York Students, and managed district meetings, special events, and continuing education events in Long Island. Get to know Pat, this month's member spotlight!


Most recently, you have been wearing two hats – as Long Island District Chair person, and Chair of the Leadership Committee. As outgoing chair of the leadership committee, can you tell us what this experience meant to you?


Becoming Chair of the Leadership Committee was my first experience working at the Chapter level. During my tenure, I had the opportunity to work closely with the Executive Committee BOD, other Committee Chairs and the Chapter Staff. This experience gave me a firsthand view of how committed the NYPTA is to their membership striving daily to represent our professional interest on the national, state and local levels.  With today’s technology, I was amazed at how easily and fluid our meetings and interactions flowed. As a new comer at the Chapter level every individual I reached out to was always gracious and willing to help and most of all making me feel welcomed and supported. Working with my committee members I truly appreciated having the opportunity to organize the annual Leadership Development Workshop where PT’s PTA’s and students have an opportunity to learn and experience first-hand how both the NYPTA and APTA work to both protect and advance our professional interests in a very fluid and changing healthcare environment. Most of all being Committee Chair gave me the opportunity to meet and work closely with current student’s through our Director Intern Program and to organize and run several Regional Student Conclaves. I have met and worked with so many enthusiastic, dedicate and passionate individuals who are our professional future. I’ve been honored.


Tell us a little about your background, any accomplishes you wish to share, and how your path lead you to where you are in your career today.


As of June, I will have been a practicing Physical Therapist for forty-one years. Throughout the years I have always worked in some capacity. My primary area of specialization has been Pediatrics. I have been a staff therapist, administrator, contract therapist having the opportunity to work in every aspect of pediatric practice from the neonatal unit, pediatric rehab units, inpatient, outpatient, Early Intervention, preschool and with School Age children. In recent years, I decided to switch my area of concentration and I’m now working in home care with a very dynamic and team oriented Home Care company. As professionals, we are so fortunate that our educational foundation provides us the knowledge and opportunity to work within many different areas of interest. Though initially the transition to home care did have its challenges but no more than starting any new job. What amazes me is though I’ve been practicing for now over forty years I find myself still as excited about evaluating and treating patients and passionate about what I do as when I was a new graduate.


How long have you been an active member of the NYPTA? Can you tell us how membership in your professional association, as well as in leadership roles, has enhanced your career? 

Except for an occasional year here and there I have been a member of the APTA for thirty-six years. When I graduated the entry level degree was a Bachelors, then Masters and today a Doctorate. As a new graduate, I could work in a hospital, nursing home, private practice office or a special school setting like UCP/AHRC with few areas of specialization. Today Physical Therapists have so many dynamic and challenging settings to work in. There are nineteen specialized sections in the APTA including Sport’s, Aquatic’s, Orthopedics’, Pediatrics’, Women’s Health, Geriatric’s, Cardiovasular and Pulmonary, Hand and Upper Extremity to name only a few. Today there is direct access for Physical Therapy in all fifty states. Though I have only recently been able to volunteer within my local district and at the chapter level the APTA/NYPTA has never wavered in its commitment to represent all PT’s and PTA’s. Now having the years behind me to reflect I can honestly say by being a member of this association I felt I supported those who at the time could serve committed to protect the growth and advancement of the profession on both the state and national level.


How is technology helping or changing your experience in the physical therapy industry? What is your favorite new technology or device?  


From a practical perspective working in a home care setting I have and I-pad, It’s amazing!! I can access electronic medical records, complete staff communications, fax reports to physicians, complete all patient documentation and respond to emails in real time from a patient’s home, my car or working from home. It’s generally all through cellular data but when there is a problem for instance bad weather I just use WIFI with little no interruption to my work day. Absolutely amazing my car is literally my office!


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


Looking back when I graduated from school over forty years ago I never thought that I would have had such a fulfilling career! In whatever capacity, I have worked weather a staff therapist or an administrator, Physical Therapy has offered me an opportunity to impact and change the lives for so many individuals. I have worked with and been inspired by hundreds of patients from the tiniest neonate to today individuals as old as 102, faced with acute or lifelong health issues. Today I feel as passionate about my profession as I did the day I graduated and cannot believe that I am looking forward to doing this for many more years to come. With Physical Therapy as both your career and profession you make a real impact on the lives of individuals all round you. Be passionate and know you are instrumental in changing lives every day. Stay active and involved in your professional organization if all this occurred during my career I can’t imagine what the future holds for you. Through the APTA/NYPTA you absolutely have a say in the course and direction of your career and profession!


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