IPTA’s State Key Contacts influence the policy process at the state level by developing relationships with elected officials.
Imagine the impact of having every member of the Illinois General Assembly hearing from a constituent -- someone in his or her district (or state) -- who can provide informed guidance on matters relating to improving peoples’ health, wellness and quality of life through the adoption of healthy lifestyle and rehabilitative interventions guided by licensed physical therapists. This strategy, with a Key Contact in each of the 59 senate districts (and 118 house districts), can go a long way toward advancing the IPTA policy agenda.
Your Role as a Key Contact
As a busy professional, you may not have much time to devote to policy work. Fortunately, being a Key Contact needn’t be a burden. Essentially, we’re asking you to:
- Agree to be the IPTA Key Contact in your legislative district.
- Send an occasional message to your elected officials when prompted to by a grassroots alert from IPTA. Provide feedback to the IPTA on any responses received from officials (or their staff).
- Introduce yourself to your member of the General Assembly, including their designated staff members. This can be done through a phone call, email message and/or a visit to their home district offices. The ultimate goal is to have them consider you a resource on matters relating to your professional interests. Members and staff welcome (and rely on) your ideas, suggestions and perspectives.
- Familiarize yourself with your legislator's political views, interests, committee assignments, and preferred means of interaction with constituents.
- Understand the legislative process.
- Serve as a conduit for issues in your district, alerting IPTA staff about issues in your area.
Remember that you are a representative of the IPTA in interactions with legislators and that personal opinions in opposition to the IPTA's position should never be expressed in these interactions.
You can do a great service to the cause by telling colleagues about the opportunity to advocate on behalf of physical therapy. Your efforts to recruit fellow Advocates and Key Contacts can help us reach the goal of ensuring that we are represented in every legislative district.
Qualifications: Must be an IPTA PT, Retired PT, or Life PT, PTA, Retired PT or Life PTA, or student member in good standing. Many of your assignments will be time sensitive; it is important to be organized and able to meet deadlines.
Training and Support: The Chapter office provides annual volunteer orientation as well as ongoing administrative and clerical support for the committee. Access to resource documents and information is available through www.IPTA.org.