Alan Jette, professor of health policy and management at the Boston University School of Public Health, discussed a rapidly changing environment in the profession of physical therapy on Oct. 24 on the Health Sciences Campus.
Jette, an internationally recognized expert in the measurement of function and disability, noted in his lecture that increasing longevity, declining fertility and the aging of baby boomers are triggering an unsustainable cost escalation in health care services at a time when 91 million people in the United States have inadequate or no health care coverage.
To respond to this evolving demographic, Jette said that the physical therapy profession should develop three critical “system skills.”
First, he said, physical therapists need to become interested in data. Second, they must develop the ability to devise solutions for the systemic problems uncovered by data. Third, physical therapists must work together to determine which interventions best improve the health of individuals and communities.
The talk was a reprise of Jeffe’s Mary McMillan Lecture delivered in June at the annual conference of the American Physical Therapy Association.
“Alan Jette is a true leader of the physical therapy profession,” said James Gordon, associate dean and chair of the USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, which presented the event. “He has a compelling vision of current and future societal needs, and he challenges us to move in directions that will address those needs.”