News & Announcements

The SoWH Name Change Journey

SoWH Name Change Voting Results Announced

Posted May 10, 2019

We are announcing that the results of the 2019 SoWH Name Change vote is the following:

  • 65.3% (457 votes) of eligible SoWH Members voted: “YES – I approve this name change”
  • 33.1% (232 votes) of eligible SoWH Members voted: “NO – I do not approve this name change”
  • 1.6% (11 votes) of eligible SoWH Members voted: “ABSTAIN – I abstain from voting”
  • One (1) SoWH Member submitted a blank ballot without selecting any of the options (YES, NO, or ABSTAIN) which was counted as an invalid vote.

The full name change voting results are available to view on this link.

This vote is considered valid according to the SoWH Bylaws standards as at least 5% of eligible voting member participation must occur.  As we reported during the SoWH Town Hall Q&A, there were 3,070 eligible voting members, and 5% participation required at least 154 eligible voting members to cast a vote.  The final vote count was 700 (457+232+11) eligible votes/voters which confirms that the Bylaws standard has been met.

With nearly two-thirds of support on the name change voting ballot, the name of the association will change to the Academy of Pelvic Health Physical Therapy.

The next question is what happens next?  

The SoWH HQ Team and SoWH Board of Directors will next file paperwork to amend our name change.  For those in our community during the 1995 name change to the Section on Women’s Health may remember that this name change has to be registered with Articles of Incorporation.  The Articles of Incorporation is the birth certificate for an association. Just as a person needs to register a new name with the state government after a change in marital status, or during a legal adoption, an association must do the same with a name change.  We also submit a copy of that paperwork to the APTA Board of Directors in a tandem process. After the submission we will wait for the state government to confirm that our Articles of Incorporation have been updated to reflect the name change. This process can take a few weeks or several months, as it depends on how quickly the state government is available to complete this administrative process.

In the interim, our domain name will remain, and our email addresses will also be  All correspondence should still be sent to Section on Women’s Health or SoWH as we await confirmation from the state government.

In the background, the SoWH HQ Team will select among the available new domain names to reflect the name change, and assess the edits that would be needed to be made to the website when we are ready to activate the new name.

“Our first activation of the name change will be to update our internet domain (e.g. . Once a new domain name has been chosen, we will communicate this to all members and customers via email, newsletter, and various social media platforms.”  The colors, design, branding, etc. will not be changed during the first activation. The SoWH Board and SoWH HQ Team have elected to refrain from making branding and design changes until after APTA confirms the new branding recommendations for APTA and the APTA Component/Section communities.

This Name Change Journey has been five years in the making, and now we as a community are moving forward with a new name.  Perhaps it is fortuitous that the government processing can take a few months (or more) to complete to give the entire community time to prepare and welcome this new name and how we adopt it into our narrative.

As always, you are welcome to share your feedback through the Member Care and Share Form. We hope you are ready to move forward as trailblazers together.

In sincerity and service,

Carrie Pagliano, SoWH President

SoWH Name Change Vote is Open

April 15-30, 2019 (closed at 11:59pm EST)

After 4 years, it’s finally time to vote on our proposed name change to Academy of Pelvic Health Physical Therapy! We hope you were able to participate in our Name Change Town Hall on Monday, April 8, 2019 (if you missed the Town Hall, we highly encourage you to view the recording below). We thank all of our members who have taken the time to write in their questions and voice their comments through the YouTube Live feed, our Member Care & Share form and the town hall question submission form. If you missed the town hall, please join us for the replay on YouTube.

Voting Eligibility

Eligible voters are SoWH PT and PTA members in good standing. Voting will be open from 4/15-4/30 closing at 11:59pm EST. The voting process will be conducted by Survey & Ballot, a 3rd party company SoWH uses to conducts its elections and the past Bylaws vote. All eligible voters will receive an email with a link to vote on April 15, 2019. If the vote doesn’t pass the requirement of (5% of eligible voting member participation /3070 eligible voters -> 5% = 153.5 -> 154 eligible votes must be cast) then the Name Change process will be discontinued. A simple majority is required for the name to be accepted.

Voting is now closed. Results will be announced on May 10, 2019.

Instructions for casting your vote electronically:

  • username: your email address (you use for your SoWH membership account)
  • password: LastnameAPTAID# (i.e. Smith123456)
  • If you wish to receive a paper ballot and mail in your vote, please Request a Paper Ballot (Voting is now closed)

Student Members

Voting is not open to Student members. If you are a student member, please stay tuned for a survey email in your inbox on April 15! Although students do not get to vote, we will have an unofficial survey to gauge how students feel about the SoWH Name Change.

Key Announcements and Upcoming Events

The Section on Women’s Health, APTA, Inc. is seeking a name change to the Academy of Pelvic Health Physical Therapy. Please watch the full video announcement below that was sent last July 2018 to our membership and scroll down to explore our latest name change journey timeline and background information below. The official proposal as it relates to bylaws change and impact to the Articles of Incorporation will be forthcoming. We will be sure to walk you through all of the critical steps in this journey that we will travel together. We believe in the importance to respect the intensity of this moment and its context in our history, while providing our community with the time and space to absorb this proposal and encourage dialogue.


  • January 2019 – APTA Board of Directors Approve SoWH’s Name Change Proposal and SoWH Board presented the update to the membership at the General Business Meeting at CSM 2019 in Washington, D.C.
  • March 15, 2019 – Save-the-date notification to membership about Name Change Voting
  • April 8, 2019 – Virtual Town Hall on Name Change (8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time)
  • April 15-30, 2019 – Membership to vote on the Proposed Name Change “Academy of Pelvic Health Physical Therapy”
  • May 2019 – Results announced to membership and additional steps (as appropriate) announced.

Virtual Name Change Town Hall 

8:00 PM EST | Monday, April 8, 2019

The virtual Name Change Town Hall was streamed live on YouTube and was open to the SoWH members and the public. Click below on the “View Live Questions & Answers” to see a list of our already answered questions (more to be added soon). This is a live document that will be updated frequently so we invite you to regularly check back for newly added questions and answers. Some of these questions have been addressed at the town hall for additional clarity and newly submitted questions will be added as a recap of questions asked during the town hall.

Submit Your Question

View Live Questions & Answers


The APTA vision statement adopted in the 2013 APTA House of Delegates, “transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience,” is reflective of a more external view of the healthcare environment and its relationship with the entire human experience. The Section hopes to make a more external statement as well, beginning with our name change. The name change aligns with our mission and vision statements, as detailed below:

  • Mission: Our mission is to advance global excellence in abdominal and pelvic health through evidence-based practice, innovative education, research and social responsibility.
  • Vision: As a global authority in abdominal and pelvic health, we transform society by empowering professionals and people everywhere.

This name change clarifies the Section’s identity, branding and recognition within outside stakeholder interactions and collaborations. APTA Sections are well recognized internally within the APTA curated PT and PTA communities, however, brand recognition outside of the APTA universe is not currently resonating.

The Section’s strategic plan is directed at building community both domestically and globally to deliver multi-level professional education that is excellent, relevant and diverse. The title “Academy” in this context is more easily linked with those outside the physical therapy profession and will better explain to external stakeholders (referring physicians, patient community, industry partners, etc.) what we do and coincide with the practice, education and research goals of the Section.

Description and Purpose of an Academy

An academy is an APTA membership group focused on the science, advancement and practice of physical therapy in a clearly defined clinical practice arena. Academies support the vision of the profession and the mission of the association.

Primary Functions of an Academy:

  • Serve as content experts for the association and advance clinical practice with a specific patient population
  • Develop the evidence base for the content area
  • Establish best practices in the content area
  • Propose, develop and advance specialization/sub-specialization activities through new proposals and support for ABPTS and residency and fellowship activities

Responsibilities of an Academy:

  • Represent the interests of its members to the APTA Board of Directors, House of Delegates, chapters and other governance entities and in collaboration with APTA to external groups
  • Provide education and develop educational resources for members
  • Develop and propose changes to APTA policies and procedures that enhance the position of the profession


The Section on Women’s Health, founded in 1977 as the Section on Obstetrics and Gynecology, has a long and rich history of practitioners unafraid to break new ground in patient care and advocacy. These trailblazers were champions for women PTs and PTAs, seeking more research on the female anatomy and an increase in representation by women as content leaders, faculty, article writers and researchers in APTA’s leadership communities. This trailblazing legacy is the foundation for the bond all our members share today.

The name change represents an evolution of the Section on Women’s Health. The passion, vision and willingness to forge new paths inherent in women’s health physical therapists allowed our specialty to grow and thrive. This next part of our journey embraces those same characteristics, and ensures our core value of inclusiveness is apparent to both practitioners and patients. By placing the focus on what we treat, we will help reduce barriers to access.

What will not change is our commitments to education, excellence and advocacy in support of women’s health. The Section will provide cutting-edge content, best practices, residency and fellowship program support and tools for continued advancement in prevention and treatment.

The term “academy” is also a better descriptor for the organization’s current role as an expert body in healthcare provider issues related to healthcare and payment reform. It also embodies how we serve as liaisons to various external groups. The time is now to make the name change that better reflects the Section’s role internally and externally and that better aligns with the mission, vision and strategic plan of the Section.

Name Change Update Mentions

The Section on Women’s Health has been consistently sharing Name Change progress updates with the membership through The Weekly Update Newsletter issues. Below is a collection of the name change mentions. If you are a new SoWH member or about to join, please subscribe to us to gain access to our latest news, resources and events.

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