Early-Professionals, Federal Affairs, Member Highlights, Student

SoWH Announces the 2018 APTA Federal Advocacy Forum Scholarship Recipients

We want to send a big thank you to everyone who submitted an entry to help SoWH find two fantastic representatives to attend the April 29-May 1 2018 APTA Federal Advocacy Forum in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C.

This venture was a success because we were able to find and identify several active students and early-professionals in our membership!

A special congratulations to Student Physical Therapist member, Cara Morrisonof Creighton University (Omaha, NE) and Early-Professional Physical Therapist member, Mackenzie Van Loo (Newberg, OR) for being selected to receive the 2018 SoWH FAF scholarships.


Both Cara and Mackenzie will be attending the forum this month and will be mentored in by Gail Zitterkopf, SoWH Federal Government Affairs Chair. As part of the scholarship benefits, Cara and Mackenzie have free admission to the forum, two hotel nights and travel coverage sponsored by Section on Women’s Health.

Make sure to follow SoWH on Twitter and Facebook to get the latest updates on their experience and the movement!

Cara Morrison, SPT

It didn’t take long in Cara’s DPT education to realize physical therapists require a much larger presence in legislative issues. As a student at Creighton University, there was a lobbyist for the Nebraska Physical Therapy Association (NPTA) who came to speak with students each year about state legislation affecting PT practice and how we can get involved as students and clinicians. The first time he visited, Cara immediately realized her passion to get involved and make her voice heard to further our profession to benefit future patients. Since then, Cara has become the APTA Nebraska Student Core Ambassador, a position they recently added as part of the Nebraska Student Special Interest Group (NSSIG) board. As a part of NSSIG, Cara and other student members host an annual educational event to raise money for PT-PAC. Additionally, Cara has been the recipient of a scholarship sponsored by the NPTA to attend the APTA State Policy & Payment Forum this past September.

Cara has attended CSM the past two years to learn more about emerging research within the specialty. She has completed the first level pelvic floor course and will soon be engaging in ultrasound imaging research for pelvic floor biofeedback at Creighton. She looks forward to attending the International Continence Society conference. As a student intending to apply for women’s health residencies post-DPT, Cara strongly believe there is a great need for advocates to educate our governing bodies and communities about the benefits of pelvic health physical therapy on not only women, but also men and children. Cara strives to continue to advocate for the profession and specialty on both the state and federal levels.

Mackenzie Van Loo, PT, DPT

Mackenzie graduated from Pacific University in May 2017. She has been an active APTA member since 2014 and became a SoWH member in her third year of PT school. Since graduation she has attended continuing education physical therapy courses, gained 6 weeks of mentorship, and grown a pelvic health program for the clinic where she works in rural McMinnville, OR.  She has realized her personal and professional values statement which is: Providing competent, high quality service that is rooted in wisdom, empathy and evidence for righting the physical injustice of this world. In addition to pelvic floor rehab she  is also continuing her education through NAIOMT to further her expertise in orthopedics to complement her service to all her patients on all parts of the age and gender spectrums. When Mackenzie is not treating patients, you can find her at this time of year preparing her organic garden, making kombucha, preserving fruits and veggies or riding her bike.

Mackenzie want to attend the Federal Advocacy Forum because she wants to experience the fullness and ferocity that our profession has all while representing the Section on Women’s Health and advocating for improved service and access to health and wellness for all. She looks forward to the on-on-one mentoring opportunity with Gail Zitterkopf which she thinks will be invaluable to her patients care and for her personal growth.

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