Strategic Planning Overview

Strategic Planning Overview

Background Paper

Strategic Planning Overview

On February 2, 2013, the New York Physical Therapy Association (NYPTA) conducted a Strategic Planning Session at the Albany Marriott Hotel in Albany, New York. The purpose of the session was to provide a forum for NYPTA leaders to brainstorm ideas, share concerns and plan for the future. Capitol Hill Management Services of Albany, New York provided the facilitation for the session.

In preparation for this session, NYPTA’s Strategic Planning Task Force met to create the framework for the process. In addition, an extensive survey on the profession and membership services was thoroughly promoted across the state. 653 physical therapy professionals completed the survey, which provided NYPTA leadership with useful information that assisted in the strategic planning deliberations.

The following report outlines the content of the Strategic Planning Session and provides the draft outline of a Strategic Plan. The contents will be reviewed by NYPTA leaders in order to gain constructive feedback before being finalized for adoption and action by the Delegate Assembly.

The following leaders took part in the long-range planning process:


Matt Hyland: President

Jenny Collins: Vice President

Scott Minor: Treasurer and Finance Chair

Jeremy Crow: Secretary


Dave Sofer: Brooklyn/Staten Island

Keri Gill-Smith: Catskill

Michael Tisbe: Central

Dolores Montero: Eastern

Jeremy Bittel: Finger Lakes

Debra Engel: Greater NY

Kathleen Birnbaum: Hudson Valley

William O’Keefe: Long Island

Joel Van Slyke: Southern Tier

Mark Basile: Western


Archivist: Linda Scheuer

Awards: Mary Alice Minor

Ethics: Andrew Opett

Judicial/Reference: Gabe Yankowitz

Leadership: Jeremy Crow (designee)

Legislative: Michael Mattia

Minority Affairs: Clarence Chan

Payment: Dave Sofer

PTA Caucus Representative: Carrie Gatlin-Fuller

Practice: Melanie Gillar

Program: J.J. Mowder-Tinney

Public Relations: Tracy Sawyer

Research: Sara Gombatto

Task Forces

Dave Sofer, Social Media Task Force

Jennifer Collins, Strategic Plan Task Force

Special Interest Groups

Jennifer Collins, AASIG

Denise Buher, AIPT (designee)


Nan Hyland, Strategic Planning Task Force

Nate Mosher, Eastern District Chair

Fernanco Arias, Member, GNY District

Mark Amir

Aimee Alexander

Alison Synakowski

Deborah Bohren, Communication Consultant

Directors’ Interns:

Jessica Agostino, Herkimer CC

Mark Denesha, SUNY Downstate

Bridget Denicola, Nazareth College

Cali DeSanto, Ithaca College

Meredith Lynds, Sage College

Avery McLemore, Herkimer CC

Samantha Schock, Sage College

Chapter Office Staff

Leslie Wood, Executive Director

Kelly Garceau, Assistant Director

Brian Buff, Vice President for Association Management at Capitol Hill Management Services, facilitated the session.

This background paper is composed of the following sections, corresponding to the session’s structure:

  • A Brief History of Physical Therapy & NYPTA
  • “Where’s NYPTA?” What is the Current State of the Association?
  • Strategic Planning Definitions
  • Possible Strategies for NYPTA’s Goals and Objectives

A Brief History of
Physical Therapy & NYPTA

The following brief history is offered as a context to the contents of this report.

The origin of physical therapy goes back to World War I, when the concept of physical therapy began on the battleground of our fallen patriots. Hands on physical therapy developed into new hope for the injured as science and technical advancements were developed through practice and research. The encumbering priorities of World War II delayed the assembly of physical therapists as a unified, statewide chapter until 1952.

We celebrated 50 years in 2002 and took a look back in time, remembering that while doctors were still making home visits, physical therapists were also making home visits and still do! Now, physical therapists and physical therapist assistants, through years of education, patient care and research have forever changed the once dreaded lifestyle that so many injured patients endured.

Without NYPTA, the physical therapy profession in New York State would be drastically different. The Association serves as a watchdog to protect the profession of physical therapy and works to promote quality healthcare for the citizens of New York. We have come a long way since 1952; science and technology has changed. Nonetheless, the same art of caring on which the profession was founded is evident in the work that physical therapists and physical therapists assistants perform today.

The New York Physical Therapy Association (NYPTA) is a non-profit professional organization composed of almost 6,000 licensed physical therapists (PTs), physical therapist assistants (PTAs) and PT/PTA students. The NYPTA is dedicated to serving the public's health interests, improving the standard of health for people of all ages, and advancing the interests of physical therapists in the State of New York.

Where’s NYPTA?

What is the Current State
of the Association?

The work of the Strategic Planning Session began with a simple “taking of the pulse” of NYPTA leaders. The group was asked to share its initial thoughts regarding the current state of the association. This was a “gut reaction” exercise. The group offered the following:


  • Has its finger on the pulse of the profession
  • Is trying to increase awareness within the profession and with the public
  • Is exploring the expansion of the profession’s scope of practice
  • Is a leader on the national stage
  • Offers outstanding learning and networking opportunities; is a resource
  • Is relevant
  • Is attempting to unify many voices from many different settings
  • Continues to work to promote our mission
  • Is led by dedicated volunteers – but we need more
  • Part of a national network of state associations
  • Is inclusive of PTs, PTAs and students
  • Is investing in our future
  • Is advancing clinical practice
  • Is developing alliances/strategic partnerships
  • Advocates for its patients’ benefits
  • Is trying to stay abreast in the constantly changing healthcare system
  • Is working to make wise financial decisions for the association and profession
  • Always takes pride in being a membership organization and has a challenge to reaching all who are practicing
  • Constantly adopts to meet the needs of our members and profession

Most of these statements or descriptions illustrate an association that is taking a serious look at itself, feels very positive of what it has accomplished and is optimistically looking to its future.

Strategic Planning definitions

To assist in the understanding of the heart of NYPTA’s Strategic Plan, we offer the following definitions for the key components to be found on the following pages.

Core Ideology

Describes NYPTA’s consistent identity that transcends all changes related to its relevant environment; consists of two elements—core purpose and core values.

Core Purpose/Mission

NYPTA’s reason for being; its mission

Core Values

The essential and enduring tenets of NYPTA; set of timeless principles

Envisioned Future

Conveys a concrete, yet unrealized, vision for NYPTA’s future.


Explicitly state the conditions or attributes an organization wants to achieve and define what will constitute success; the achievement of each goal will move NYPTA toward realization of its envisioned future


Describe the desired direction in which NYPTA needs to move in order to accomplish its goals; defines what constitutes success for each goal in observable or measurable terms.


Specific actions/activities to make progress on objectives.

Possible Strategies for
NYPTA Goals and Objectives

The following possible strategies were synthesized from the deliberations at the Strategic Planning Session and are being provided as background information and to assist NYPTA leaders in setting the association’s specific strategies for the next 3 years.

Goal #1: Ensure that the needs of our association, members and their practices continue to be successfully met


  1. Develop and secure a strong cadre of leaders at all levels of NYPTA’s operation.
  2. Review and update, as necessary, all governing and administrative functions of the association to ensure that the mission is met and in the most cost-effective and efficient manner possible.
  3. Secure NYPTA’s financial future through sound financial management and planned growth.

Possible Strategies

  1. Create direct, personal connections between NYPTA statewide, regional, committee leaders and staff—in order to promote communication.
  2. Complete governance review in order to review if structure precludes volunteerism and is too complicated; implement any streamlining that could make structure easier to understand
  3. Evaluate the necessity of each NYPTA Committee in order to maximize efficiency and use of volunteer time.
  4. Develop a “How-To Guide” and “Who’s Who” in order to assist current and potential volunteers in learning the association’s governance structure and to know who is a resource in their work.
  5. Conduct annual review of by-laws to ensure that the governance and operational needs of the association are being met.
  6. Continue to position NYPTA to be a leader within APTA and among other state Chapters.
  7. Enhance effective outreach with all District operations.
  8. Create Board Development Program, in order to enhance the recruitment, training and retention of association leaders and to ensure proper succession planning; utilize technology in recruitment of volunteer leaders; develop “hit list” of potential leaders at all levels.
  9. Enhance/expand internship program.
  10. Promote and increase membership; study alternative dues structure
  11. Develop “financial education” outreach program for members in order to show them how the association is spending its resources; this will help reinforce the value of membership. This could be an annual document or “factoids” included in newsletters—“Did you know that…”
  12. Build additional revenue streams through increased marketing sponsorship efforts
  13. Review Benchmarking – Determine appropriate benchmarking tools to fully evaluate NYPTA events and activities to determine success; track all attendees, number of member companies represented, etc.; produce annual report to guide leadership in future decision making.

Goal #2: Execute strategies required to sustain critical mass needed to be the unified voice for the profession


  1. Increase PT and PTA Membership by __% annually.
    Please note: The most recent strategic plan had a goal of 5% annual increase.
  2. Develop new outreach initiative to the schools where faculty members, students and alumni can be proactively involved with the association.
  3. Leverage APTA National programs and services to the fullest extent in the advancement of NYPTA.

Possible Strategies

  1. NYPTA membership stands now at #. __% anticipated growth per year would translate into the following goals:
    2013 – #
    2014 – #
    2015 – #
  2. Review/enhance annual membership drive, including:
    a) follow-up on all events & activities
    b) personal invitations to join from current NYPTA leaders
    c) Develop some renewal/join incentives; give out a top recruiter
  3. Review/enhance retention efforts, including:
    a) Develop “hit list” of all lapsed/inactive members and have active
    members personally invite back to full membership
    b) District Chairs to be responsible for new members in their area,
    answering questions and encouraging participation
    c) Send out membership packet with thank you for joining,
    membership sticker, etc.
  4. Recognizing work and personal schedules, develop a series of webinars where specific topics can be addressed in a timely manner; this would allow members to more easily participate and help them to feel more connected to NYPTA.
  5. Develop outreach program to physical therapists in neighboring states that may hold dual licensure in order to leverage advantages of membership with NYPTA.
  6. Build up library of learning modules that all stakeholders can utilize.

Goal #3: Anticipate and respond to the evolving physical therapy profession and healthcare environment in new york state


  1. Increase perception of NYPTA and its members by policy makers and the general public as the preeminent providers and voice of the physical therapy profession in New York State.
  2. NYPTA advocates for improved payment for services provided by physical therapy professionals.
  3. Establish mechanisms to supplement, promote and disseminate scholarship to advance the science of physical therapy and the clinical practice of the physical therapist.

Possible Strategies

  1. Measure effectiveness of legislative program by reporting total number of bills NYPTA exerts influence on, bills impacted by lobbying.
  2. Reach out and coordinate with other NYS licensed professions to advocate for greater resources at the Office of Professional Discipline/ State Education Department in order to crack down on unlicensed/”black mark” therapists and practices.
  3. Support gathering of research/evidence to show a) the value of physical therapy; and b) major issues impacting the profession, including the impact of illegal practice on profession.
  4. Identify funding opportunities to support such research.
  5. Increase awareness of the unique issues /challenges to practicing physical therapy in New York State to elected officials and colleagues across the country.
  6. Continue to promote the role of association’s PAC and increase solicitations in order to further legislative exposure and needs.
  7. Create a network of resources for members involved in professional and regulatory issues.

Goal #4: Develop programs and outreach that will be of interest to existing members and may be of interest to other stakeholders, and that are likely to generate revenue or demonstrate a reasonable benefit


  1. Create innovative, convenient methods by which physical therapists and physical therapists assistants can acquire and integrate knowledge of the profession.
  2. Increase partnerships with PT/PTA educational programs and other strategic allies in forwarding the mission of the NYPTA.
  3. Increase promotion of the NYPTA and the profession, including the value of membership.

Possible Strategies

  1. Become a leading source of information on the issues. Educate members on the particulars of the issues, pros/cons, etc. before they solidify their individual positions.
  2. Create new programs and processes to support the association’s role as the facilitator of dialogue; these should be based on past successes; promote though a NYPTA “Roadshow” at district venues across state
  3. Increase NYPTA representation at regional education, school, and strategic partnership offerings—“show the flag” events, thereby increasing recognition of the association, its mission and work
  4. Conduct an annual review of media coverage across the state to assess how to better leverage the media in promoting association’s mission
  5. Develop public service announcement campaign that can be distributed to members to air on local media, i.e. “What is good PT”, etc.
  6. Provide members with article content that they can distribute through their local media—but features involvement of local PT professionals in NYPTA
  7. Develop a “Rapid Response Force” that can draft appropriate responses to negative or inaccurate reports about the profession and association
  8. Reinvigorate the association’s efforts in National Physical Therapy Awareness Month and use event to promote membership and public awareness
  9. NYPTA leaders should identify themselves by the association’s logo and their title within NYPTA on their business email signature line; “fly the colors” whenever possible. It builds prestige and profile for NYPTA and the member’s practice.
  10. Develop a NYPTA marketing campaign that solicits testimonials from those impacted by the association throughout its history; use these testimonials for recruitment ads and videos.
  11. Develop an annual editorial schedule of story topics, i.e. making a difference in profession/community; individual member success; special skill or talent. These can be used as general press releases, newsletter article and member features on the website.
  12. Continue to improve and expand communication to a) members b) sponsors and vendors, c) other state Chapters, and d) amongst Board of Directors and staff.
  13. Encourage NYPTA leaders and members to publish in relevant professional publications and other outlets.

Goal #5: be ready to increase resources of the association if it is necessary to advance the mission.


  1. Prioritize new and existing opportunities for NYPTA.
  2. Leverage volunteer and staff capabilities and increase strategic partnerships wherever possible.
  3. Investigate the development of an oversight/professional development staff position with the focus of marshalling technical knowledge, professional resources and increased research opportunities for the association.

Possible Strategies

  1. Review Benchmarking – Determine appropriate benchmarking tools to fully evaluate all NYPTA events and activities to determine success; track all attendees, number of members represented, etc.; produce annual report to guide leadership in future decision making on events and programs.
  2. Develop “wish list” in order to identify programs/initiatives that will advance the work of the association/profession and can be supported by drawing from the association’s reserves
  3. Increase available resources to manage information flow and make it available to members
  4. Become involved with affiliated professional organizations to promote NYPTA.

NYPTA Strategic Planning Motion/Background Paper for DA/Draft Page 1