By Kate Hunger
Michael Geelhoed, PT, DPT, Associate Professor and Director of Clinical Education was elected President of the Texas Physical Therapy Association (TPTA) in October.
Geelhoed previously has served TPTA as vice president, delegate-at-large and chief delegate, and he is president of the Texas PT Foundation. The election coincided with National PT Month.
“I chose to become a PT because I have always believed in healing the body through exercise,” he said.
Geelhoed’s goals for his term include increasing access to physical therapy and obtaining fair payment for physical therapy services; increasing membership in TPTA, particularly by retaining new graduates; and promoting physical therapy as an optimal healthcare solution that decreases costs, increases access and improves outcomes.
“The most pressing issues for PT are in those three goals—especially making sure that we are paid fairly for our services and promoting the value and power of PT to make people move better,” he said.
In his candidacy statement, Geelhoed described his record of advocacy on behalf of the profession, including working toward the recently enacted state law allowing Texans to receive physical therapy without a referral. Geelhoed also has led efforts to bring physical therapy services to underserved populations, both on international trips as well as via student-run free clinics in San Antonio at Haven for Hope, the city of San Antonio’s center for shelter and services for people experiencing homelessness, and at Alpha Home, a nonprofit long-term substance abuse recovery center.
“I am a tireless advocate and role model for physical and mental health and wellness, and I challenge all PTs and PTAs to adopt optimal health behaviors in their own lives so their patients, family, and others can see the transformational power of PT,” Geelhoed wrote.
The TPTA has more than 7,500 members.