My name is Evan Buhrow and I am Physical Therapist Assistant. I graduated from Anoka-Ramsey Community College in the spring of 2021. Last year I was supposed to attend Day on Capitol Hill as a student but COVID changed everything. I am incredibly grateful and honored to be awarded a scholarship to attend Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill as a new graduate and new professional.
APTA Advocacy Training on Monday September 13th:
This is the time to learn more about the issues, ask questions, and create a plan on who will be speaking about what issues during each meeting with their representatives. I was already feeling nervous and anxious as I have never participated or spoke directly to any of my state or local representatives. It was nice to be with hundreds of other APTA members all there to advocate for our profession and to be face to face with people you have been zooming with for the past couple of years. After this training, I was feeling a little more nervous as I would be telling my story of how the 15% PTA differential will impact my facility and the patients residing there. A game plan was quickly developed and even with this game plan in place I was still unsure and confused about the following day but was reassured by many others that this is a normal feeling, especially for the first time. At that point, the smart thing to do would be to go prep and practice for tomorrow before the PTPAC Reception but instead it was time to get dinner and relax.
This was a fun event for everyone to relax before the big day. There was food, drinks, and of course a DJ. This event allowed me to meet many other professionals and students from across the country, along with getting to know those from Minnesota better.
APTA Advocacy Day (Tuesday Sept. 14th):
This day was a sweltering day to be in professional dress as it was sunny and in the 90s. Walking from the bus up to the Capitol is exciting, especially knowing we were there for an important purpose. Our group got there around 8:00 AM and my first meeting was not until 11:30 AM so I had time to work on what I would say.
The first meeting at 11:30 AM with Senator Amy Klobuchar’s team was fast approaching along with increasingly nervousness. I just kept reminding myself to keep the story short and concise and I that I will only be speaking for a couple minutes so it will not be as bad as I am making it. Again, I spoke to the issue of 15% PTA differential and immediately afterward I thought, well that was not bad at all, and in fact was quite exciting. So, during the next meeting with House Rep. Betty McCollum’s team, I was much more confident and a lot less nervous. Our final meeting was with Senator Tina Smith and got to introduce myself to the Senator. Even though all my meetings were virtual, it was really empowering to be advocating for my profession on Capitol Hill.
Being in person allows you to feel the energy of the group and makes it a lot easier to get excited for what you are working towards. Learning to effectively communicate with representatives was a wonderful experience and knowing my voice was heard made it even better. Moving forward I want to continue to make my voice heard by participating in more events, especially to make it back to Advocacy on Capitol Hill. Thank you again to the APTA MN chapter for the scholarship which made it possible for me to attend such fulfilling and awesome event.
Evan Buhrow attended Anoka-Ramsey Community College for Physical Therapist Assistant and graduated in May of 2021. During his time in school, he became a member of APTA, was MN APTA SSIG liaison, Co-Chair of the MN APTA SSIG Spring Conference Committee, and was voted to by his classmates to be the class president. He currently works for Remedy Therapy in a skilled nursing facility in St. Paul, MN.