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Sunset Florida 2017“I am what I am because of who we all are.” Ubuntu, a South African philosophy, accepts that we are all part of something larger. It’s time to embrace the challenge of helping individuals, families and caregivers whose lives are impacted by a chronic health condition get access to the resources they need. Now. Yesterday.

Disabling short-and long-term conditions cross all social and economic demographics. Every individual and family deserves support and access to resources that help ease the burden of living with or caring for someone with a disabling medical diagnosis.

We have to step up our efforts to figure out how we can assist people and caregiving families with getting help when they are faced with the challenges created by a loved one’s declining health status.

Many of our communities, including where I live, do not have the resources in place to connect individuals and families to a network of experts and professionals who will help them maintain independence and dignity as they address the medical, economic, social and emotional challenges of managing someone’s health.

Alan Jette, PT, PhD argues that it is crucial that caregivers and caregiving families be given information and support to fulfill their roles and responsibilities while also maintaining their own health, financial security and well-being.

He also highlights that “while we must acknowledge that there is the potential for economic and emotional hardship on family caregivers, there are many positive outcomes, too. These include enhanced confidence on the part of the caregiver, lessons in how to deal with difficult situations, and closer personal relationships with the care recipient.”

Jette enlightened me with the alarming fact that one in 7 Americans has a disability when I read his editorial in the February 2017 Journal of the American Physical Therapy Association. That knowledge, combined with the fact that  20% of the population (72.8 million people) in the U.S. will be 65 years of age or older in 2030, means that the number of people living with a disability will continue to grow.

The scenario that lies ahead is not all bad. If we commit to the challenge, sense of satisfaction and purpose associated with helping individuals and caregivers find solutions to their difficult situations, we all benefit. Interconnectedness. Ubuntu. It’s a good thing.




Plants to End Polio is a web-based initiative to raise awareness about Rotary International’s participation in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and the goal to end the spread of this vaccine-preventable virus by 2018.

This is my mother’s story about her memory of a childhood friend who had polio in the 1950s: The Chaplain’s Daughter, by Ann Burruss.

Gardeners and plant lovers can order bulbs from Brent & Becky’s Bulbs  for both Spring (late summer blooms) and Fall planting (think daffodils!).

At no extra cost to the buyer, 25% of the purchase is donated to End Polio Now when Gloucester Point Rotary Charitable Foundation is selected.  That donation is matched 2:1 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  An $80 purchase results in a $60 contribution to help eradicate polio.  And to think the purchaser was going to order bulbs anyhow!

Photo by Jack Cast


NASA SpaceX Rocket Launch

The strategies for recruiting patients to your clinic are similar to those used by professionals who identify and secure potential donors in fundraising efforts. Brenda Cressey, in an article about capital campaign funding for The Rotarian, mentioned these key points:

Identify potential consumers of your service in your geographic area: who may need physical therapy?

  1. Cultivate a relationship: get in front of potential patients (who also have family, friends and acquaintances) who may need physical therapy. Let them know what is unique and special about your clinic: immediate scheduling of appointments, robust exercise programs, individually tailored treatment plans, and specialty services.
  2. Solicit those prospective patients and referral sources: request that they ask for you or a colleague, specifically, to be their physical therapist. Ask that they recommend you personally. Be bold in reminding consumers that in most cases they do have a choice in who they select as their physical therapy provider.
  3. Remember to thank the patients that chose you to be their provider of physical therapy services. Thank the folks who refer patients to you. Remember that every relationship has played a role in where you are today as a successful clinic manager and physical therapist.

So, like successful fundraising campaigns, physical therapy practice management demands vigilance in recognizing that potential consumers have many choices. And what will set them apart, much like what sets capital donors apart in the organizations to which they donate and support, will likely come down to a relationship that the patient, or potential patient values: you and your skills as a physical therapist and practice manager.

Photo from NASA SpaceX 



Konnie Huq in Lucknow during the November Immunization days in Northern India..India has been engaged in a campaign to eradicate polio in India which target the high-risk area of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar with polio immunization drives every 2 month (photo Jean-Marc Giboux)

Meet Colleen, polio activist, Rotarian, front-line team member who has traveled to India & Nigeria to vaccinate children to protect them from the devastating polio virus: Colleen Bonadonna.

Plants to End Polio supports Rotary International efforts to eradicate polio.  When you designate Gloucester Point Rotary Charitable Foundation through Bloomin’ Bucks, 25% of your purchase will help End Polio Now.   For every dollar we raise, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation doubles its contribution to the cause.

Plant plants.  End polio.  It’s that simple with this partnership with the internationally acclaimed Brent & Becky’s Bulbs.


To learn more about post-polio syndrome, read this blog from a physical therapist.

Plants to End Polio is a Gloucester Point Virginia Rotary Club project to raise awareness and funds to help eradicate polio as it lurks in just two nations: Afghanistan and Pakistan.

We partnered with Brent & Becky’s Bulbs Bloomin’ Bucks program so that when you select Gloucester Point Rotary Charitable Foundation, 25% of your sale is donated to End Polio Now.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will match every dollar donated to End Polio Now 2:1.

Check out this post for hints on growing beautiful bulbs indoors any time of the year!



Photo from the Roosevelt library collection.

“We must fear a resurgence of this dreaded disease.”~ Peggy Bowditch

Read Peggy’s story here.

Join Gloucester Point Virginia Rotary Club as we raise awareness and funds to help eradicate polio as it lurks in just two nations: Afghanistan and Pakistan.   Plants to End Polio is a project where we partnered with Brent & Becky’s Bulbs Bloomin’ Bucks program so that when you select Gloucester Point Rotary Charitable Foundation, 25% of your sale is donated to End Polio Now.  Unfortunately, the “shop” is closed for the season but will re-open in January.  In the meantime, please help us spread the word.  The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will match every dollar donated to End Polio Now 2:1.

Check out this post for hints on growing beautiful bulbs during the dreary winter months.

Cycling pace lineIf the rest of the world is allowing drafting during the bike portion of triathlon, why is it such a big deal in the U.S.? From all that I have read, the biggest grievance is that up until now, triathlon has been considered an individual, not a team sport. USA Triathlon, the national governing body, held its first draft legal sprint age group championship this year in Florida.

Triathlon’s history lies in the crowning of the world champion at the Ironman distance event in legendary Kona. It is not about working together; it is about which individual can cover the distance the fastest without any help out on the course.

Triathlon is historically about digging deep to find personal strength and not being able to rely on the work or effort done by anyone else. For now, let’s overlook the fact that it is completely legal and advantageous to swim on the heels of a competitor during the first leg of the event.

Another concern has to do with safety when a large group of people not used to cycling together is now riding in a pack or pace line. It is not a question of “will someone crash?” but “when will someone crash?” and wondering how many others will literally be brought down.

Riding in a pace line requires extreme focus and excellent bike handling skills, unfortunately not a prerequisite for entering a triathlon. This likely has an impact on the medical teams and coverage necessary to provide adequate emergency help at a triathlon. Will race directors and event sponsors be taking on more liability?

Aero bars, known to give individual riders an advantage, are not allowed in draft-legal racing. They are too dangerous when cyclists are riding that close to each other. What about the athlete who has financially invested in a time trial type bike? This may actually put cyclists on a more even level, at least from an equipment perspective.

Pace line riding will certainly make for faster events and likely even more exciting races as the cyclists work together and take turns pulling at the front. The strong riders who are not such good runners will lose their advantage as individuals come into the second transition closer together.

Both non-drafting and draft-legal events will continue for now. Participants wary of pace lines and the sport of triathlon losing its identity as an individual contest will find that most races in the U.S. will look and feel like they always have, at least for now. Athletes looking to compete at a different level will be provided with yet another challege in the new format.

If you want to learn more about the new draft-legal triathlon format, plan to attend the panel discussion at the 3rd annual Richmond Endurance Athlete Symposium & Expo, January 23, 2016 at the Richmond Westin. Karen Kovacs, PT is a Clinical Director at Tidewater Physical Therapy, Inc.’s Gloucester Point location. She is board certified in orthopedics and a USA Triathlon certified coach.  Photo by Ethan Lofton.