AASPT Member Update

September 1, 2020

Academy Members,

We hope you are doing well! Before providing you with various AASPT updates, we would like to thank you for the opportunity to serve as your Executive Committee. It has been and continues to be an honor to represent the membership within and outside AASPT.

Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic
Much has happened since we were last together at CSM in Denver. No one could have predicted the happenings of the last 7 months. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected and continues to affect all aspects of our lives. It has influenced AASPT in several ways including:

  • Summer travel to annual meetings and conferences were canceled this year. As a
    result, we were limited in our efforts to meet with various partner organizations
    including APTA, AOSSM, AMSSM, and NATA.
  • Team Concept Conference will be held in a virtual format this December. You can expect an exciting virtual program centered on “The Female Athlete”. A full program announcement will be released after the Labor Day holiday.
  • AASPT meeting revenue will be significantly reduced in 2020 and 2021 due to TCC 2020 and CSM 2021 moving to virtual formats.
  • Membership numbers have decreased by approximately 10% since March 2020.
  • The combined decrease in TCC, CSM, and membership revenue will impact our annual budget for the next several years. 

AASPT Home Office Update
Early in 2019, we engaged Talbot Talent, LLC of Carmel, Indiana, a firm specializing in nonprofit organizational effectiveness. Talbott Talent was tasked with assessing all aspects of the AASPT home office organization including current and future staffing needs as well as overall operational effectiveness.

Based on Talbot Talent consultancy results and membership input seeking a greater level of service from our home office, we moved forward with a significant overhaul of our home office staffing.

The first step of the home office reorganization was to improve membership services. In December 2019, with Talbott Talent’s assistance with the search, we invested in a new position for AASPT – Director of Membership Engagement.

Jayme Little was hired in January 2020 to fill this important role. Jayme comes to us
with extensive experience in the nonprofit sector. Since starting with AASPT, Jayme has been active in expanding member services including:

  • Researched and developed a new website that was rolled out in March 2020
  • Developed a new learning management system – (Academy Learning Center)
  • Developed a new online community for Sports Physical Therapists – website to increase communication and services between SIGs and recently formed AASPT
    Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Early Career Professionals task forces, and the AASPT Practice, Research, and Education committees.
  • Began hosting virtual programming including monthly “Happy Hours” and virtual SIG programming, all of which is archived on the AASPT Academy Learning Center
  • Planning virtual TCC 2020

In March 2020 Mary Wilkinson, our long-time and valued Marketing Director decided to pursue other interests. Thus, with Talbott Talent’s assistance, we hired Liv Martin as the Marketing Director in April 2020. Liv has been an outstanding hire. She is a marketing specialist with ties to nonprofit organizations. She is helping us in a variety of ways including:

  • Upgrading our email communications software
  • Increased our following and presence on social media
  • Updated AASPT branding, improved email and social media graphics
  • Working with our corporate sponsors in improving their experience with AASPT
  • Planning virtual TCC 2020

Since hiring Jayme and Liv there has been a great deal of positive communication between the home office, our Executive Committee, APTA, and our membership; especially among the SIGs. Secondary to the positive feedback our Executive Committee believes we are trending in a positive direction with the changes we have made to our home office.

International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy
In August 2020 we met for our annual strategic planning meeting. There were several realities we had to consider. First, although we have a “rainy day” capital reserve, our annual budget has been and continues to be stressed by the economics from the COVID- 19 pandemic. Second, we were forced to see the fiscal realities of what services and benefits to provide for our members. Third, we are unable to sustain the number of journals we currently provide to the members. This led to the difficult decision of suspending the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy (IJSPT). IJSPT Editorial Board and AASPT membership were notified of this decision on August 14, 2020.

Although the final decision to suspend IJSPT was made in August 2020 the AASPT The Executive Committee had been working on how to approach our long-term budget and member benefits over the last several years. There were multiple factors considered when making the decision to suspend IJSPT operations:

  • Sustainability of three journals as a “member benefit”
  • Feedback from our membership including the 2017 member-survey regarding member benefits and AASPT journal offerings
  • Our external relationships with AMSSM, AOSSM and NATA to publish Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach
  • Our internal relationship with the Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy in publishing JOPST
  • Input from Kaufman Willis and Fusting (KWF), a firm specializing in publishing business consulting and editorial office services. KWF was retained to conduct a review of the editorial and financial aspects of IJSPT and to provide an assessment of the current publishing climate.
  • Executive Committee meetings with the IJSPT Editor and Associate Editor
  • Current challenges to sustaining a quality publication (predatory journals, open access publishing.

​To be as equitable as possible to our authors who submitted a manuscript, to mitigate problems, and to most efficiently suspend journal operations by December 2020, AASPT asked the IJSPT staff to complete the following steps:

  • Immediately stop accepting new submissions into the manuscript tracking system.
  • Have journal staff conduct an inventory of articles that are currently in the process including those under review, those that have been rejected but not yet notified, and those that have been accepted for publication.
  • Upon completion of the manuscript inventory, Journal staff were to notify authors of accepted but not published articles and authors of articles currently under review to inform them that IJSPT will be suspending operations and to provide them with the opportunity to withdraw their article from further consideration.
  • Expand the October 2020 and December 2020 IJSPT issues as necessary in order to publish all remaining articles accepted for publication.

Future of the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy
Following notification of our decision to suspend operations, the IJSPT editor-in-chief notified the AASPT Executive Committee that he was interested in taking over the publication of IJSPT. Both parties recently signed a memorandum of understanding allowing the AASPT Executive Committee to negotiate the details of the proposed transfer of IJSPT. The IJSPT Editorial Board and staff will continue to fulfill their responsibilities in publishing the remaining two issues of Vol. 15 – 2020. As valued members of AASPT, we will keep you apprised of our negotiations and the future of IJSPT.

These times are challenging AASPT in all aspects of our operations. Despite these
challenges, our Executive Committee and staff remain dedicated to providing the membership with quality service and sustainable benefits. Please bear with us as we work through this transition in these uncertain times. We welcome your feedback and your input.

Sincerely,
AASPT Executive Committee

Walt Jenkins
President

Blaise Williams
Vice President

Mitch Rauh
Secretary

Jill Thein-Nissenbaum
Treasurer

Erik Meira
Representative at Large