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January 2023

A message from Joel Desautels, MPT, ATC, the VT APTA Chair for the Education Committee:

Happy New Year!  I hope 2023 has started well for everyone!  Have faith… Winter is coming!  So I’ve heard…

The APTA VT Chapter held our annual conference and business meeting on November 5th, 2022.  In- person and virtual attendants were able to network and learn from a great group of presenters with topics including Pain Neuroscience Education, updates on Long COVID, and several great presentations from local Orthopedic surgeons and researchers on topics regarding the knee, foot, and recent advances in running biomechanics and equipment.

As Chair of the Committee, I would like to again thank our local experts for attending our event and sharing their knowledge and expertise.  I’d also like to thank all of those who attended.  It was extraordinary to see and speak with everyone, particularly after having a hiatus over the last few years in our conference meetings and networking opportunities given COVID precautions.  It was also a great opportunity for our Board and many new committee members to introduce themselves, interact with colleagues, and present valuable information during the business meeting, which was led by Heidi Wilhelm, PT, DPT, our APTA VT President.

One of our goals throughout the last year has been to increase networking opportunities through activities such as Pub Night and the annual conference.  VT is a terrific place to live and work, as we all know, and there are many physical therapists in practice, academia, and research in our area.  APTA VT would like to encourage and invite more VT Physical Therapists to come and join us at APTA VT events and perhaps find a place on a committee or as a Board member to continue to strengthen our community for each other professionally and for those that we serve.  There are many options to get involved.  The Education Committee will be ramping up efforts to provide more opportunities this year for our next conference and I would love to add to the committee as I know there are excellent PTs with invaluable resources.  I am also new to this position and after sitting on the sidelines for far too long, I decided it was time to get in the game and continue to grow personally and be able to give back to the hard working professionals that have put in work over many previous years to make our profession strong and to continue to advocate for improvements locally and nationally.

Thanks again to our current APTA VT leaders and committee members for all that has been done over the last year.  2022 was a tremendous success with a lot of changes and I’m encouraged and excited to see what 2023 will bring.  For those wanting to get involved or ask questions about where you might fit, please reach out to us.  Check out for more information and ways to get involved and feel free to reach out me or any other Board member, committee member, or State delegate.  There is a lot that we can do together!



Joel Desautels, MPT, ATC is a Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Sports Physical Therapy currently working at Northwestern Medical Center evaluating and treating orthopedic and sports patients and athletes of all ages.  He is a graduate of Castleton State College with a degree in Athletic Training ’98, the University of Delaware with a Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy ‘03, and will be graduating Spring 2023 from Northeastern University with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy.  He is passionate about ongoing education and leads a Journal Club for the NMC Rehab Department, acts as a Clinical Instructor for the University of Vermont DPT program, and has taken the role as the APTA VT Education Committee Chair to continue efforts to learn personally from others and to help provide learning opportunities for members and students.  Joel is active with his family of 2 boys (Gabe 14, Jonah 12) and ever supporting wife Jennifer, trekking all over the place it seems for soccer and luge events.  He enjoys coaching both soccer and basketball for Georgia Middle School.

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