My name is Luiz Mileto Allemand. In July 2023, I had an opportunity to travel to Washington DC as a physical therapist assistant student and attend the APTA Capitol Hill Day. My purpose was to engage in direct discussions with Congress members and their aides, aiming to promote the field of physical therapy.
But I was not alone. During this event, hundreds of physical therapists, assistants, and students studying physical therapy gathered at Capitol Hill to establish connections and enlighten congressional members about physical therapy’s significant role in our healthcare system. We addressed the obstacles that we have encountered on a daily basis, which hinder our capacity to deliver optimal patient care. Moreover, we discussed the benefits of physical therapy and its impact on individuals and our communities.
If you have an interest in contributing, but you’re a student or just starting in this field, don’t feel disheartened. I know how all of this can feel really daunting. Believe me, I’ve been in your shoes. However, what stood out the most for me was the fact that as soon as I set foot in DC, I had a group of mentors by my side, guiding me and getting me ready for this incredible journey. We had rides from the hotel to Capitol Hill, learned about security steps, and got familiar with all the key legislative topics. They even helped us with what to wear.
The essence of my message revolves around the idea that taking part in APTA Capitol Hill Day might come across as a daunting process, but it is a task made significantly more manageable due to the extensive support that is readily accessible by our assigned mentors. The importance of this event lies in the potential it holds to bring about a change in the trajectory of our profession. By lending your voice and active involvement, you contribute to a collective effort that has the power to reshape the very foundations upon which the future of Physical Therapy rests.
Participating in this substantial event was a privilege. I played a role in shaping the future of our profession, established valuable connections, deepened my understanding of Physical Therapy advocacy, and forged friendships that will last a lifetime. I extend my gratitude to the FPTA and all those who supported me and provided me with this incredible chance.
Luiz Mileto Allemand is a dedicated individual who has immersed himself in a diverse range of physical disciplines. From martial arts to Polynesian dancing, Samoan Fire Knife, gymnastics, paddle boarding, windsurfing, and weight training, Mileto has cultivated a deep appreciation for movement and personal growth. Recently, he embarked on a fulfilling path as a physical therapist assistant, driven by his desire to help others heal and regain their strength. With a humble spirit and a commitment to lifelong learning, Mileto seeks to make a positive impact on the lives of those he encounters, combining his passion for physical pursuits with his newfound expertise in rehabilitation.