Practice and Research Committee

The Practice and Research Committee assist the membership in understanding, complying with, and utilizing the PA Physical Therapy Practice Act and serves as a resource for research activities, processes, and education for the membership. Also, the committee serves as a resource to the board of directors and the membership in providing assistance to support best clinical practice within the state of Pennsylvania. We are made up of committee members chosen by the board of a directors with a chair appointed with representation from members across the APTA Pennsylvania chapter.

If you have a clinical practice related question, please contact the Practice and Research Committee Chair, Mary Ann Wharton, and your question will be forwarded to the appropriate resource person by the committee. The practice Committee may, at times, post questions and responses on the web site or in the newsletter when a topic seems particularly relevant or has been asked multiple times. The questioner's identity would not be revealed in such a format.



    All Pennsylvania licensed physical therapists and certified physical therapist assistants received an email notification from K. Kalonji Johnson, Commissioner of the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, regarding licensing waivers that will begin to expire when the COVID-19 pandemic disaster declaration officially ends in Pennsylvania, beginning Aug. 17. This action is in response to Act 21 of 2021 legislation passed into law and signed by Governor Wolf on June 11, 2021.

    The following is a summary of expiring waivers that effect physical therapy practice in the Commonwealth that will be expiring in a phased approach. All licensees must comply with the requirements no later than the relevant expiration dates:

    Waivers expiring Aug. 17, 2021
    - Expedited reactivations for retired healthcare practitioners & licensees who went inactive or allowed their license to expire or lapse.
    Physical Therapists & Physical Therapist Assistants waiver that allows students about to graduate to take licensure examination prior to graduation.

    Waivers expiring Aug. 31, 2021
    - Physical Therapy waiver that expands the scope of practice that calls for “face-to-Face,” “In-Person,” or “On-Site” interaction.

    Waivers expiring Sept. 30, 2021
    - Waiver allowing pharmacists to delegate authority to administer COVID-19 Vaccinations: Waiver allows pharmacists to delegate the authority to administer COVID-19 vaccines to other licensed health care practitioners …who have otherwise been authorized or made eligible to administer COVID-19 vaccinations by way of federal or state government action including but not limited to the PREP Act Declaration and its amendments.
    - Licensed Health Care Practitioners providing Telemedicine Services: This waiver allows health care professionals licensed under any of the Department of State’s BPOA licensing boards to provide services to patients via telemedicine during the coronavirus emergency.*
    - Supervision Requirements for Physical Therapists: This waiver suspends all statutory and regulatory requirements for physical therapist licensees that* call for direct supervision or require contact/interaction that is “in-person,” “face-to-face,” “on-site,” “on the premise” or the like.

    Suspension of the above waivers requires that licensed physical therapists and certified physical therapist assistants must return to abiding by the regulations in the Physical Therapy Practice Act 110 and Chapter 40.

    APTA Pennsylvania will continue to monitor updates and provide additional information and/or clarification as it becomes available.

NEWPractice Spotlights

The APTA Pennsylvania Practice & Research Committee is launching "Practice Spotlights," a new member benefit. These one-page handouts and short videos will address various clinical topics, and will be released throughout 2021. The spotlights will be featured in the weekly APTA Pennsylvania event emails on Monday afternoons, and available to view here on the Practice Spotlight page (please note: member login required).

Practice Updates

The Practice & Research Committee is transitioning to reporting practice-related information to keep PTs, PTAs, and students informed of important information pertaining to physical therapy practice. Information related to COVID that needs to be communicated will be reported here. The updates will be announced in the APTA PA Weekly, with more detailed information linked as a member service on the Practice Updates page.

Review the Practice Update Archive for older articles/resources.

COVID-19 Updates

Review all COVID-19 updates on the APTA Pennsylvania COVID-19 FAQ & Resource page.

Research Participation Opportunities



Committee Members

Mary Ann Wharton
Practice & Research Committee Chair
Term ends: 12/31/22

Pam Pologruto
Brooke Klatt
Alexis Del Palazzo
  Mark Drnach

Kimberly Wynarczuk
Tammy Frey, PTA
Melissa Myers, SPT