Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee Committee

APTA Michigan Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee

Our hope is that one day the PT profession will be more representative of the populations we serve. In order to promote diversity in Physical Therapy, we have to enhance our efforts to recruit the next generation of minority Physical Therapists.

As members of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee, our focus is to bring greater exposure and opportunity of a career in Physical Therapy to underrepresented students. We have committed to providing an annual $2500 student award to a 2nd year Physical Therapist or Physical Therapy Assistant minority student in Michigan. WE ALL can have share in supporting this important initiative.

Please consider making a small donation to APTA Michigan Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Student Award.

Together we can support our future physical therapists and provide financial assistance with student debt! Let’s “Be the change we wish to see in the world”!

View an important message from the first recipient of our DEI Student Award.

Donate now to support the annual DEI Student Award of $2500.   Donate here

For more information about the award application process click here and search for APTA Michigan Institute for Education and Research Awards

The DEI Committee and Centennial Task Force hosted a social with two special guests who shared their experiences. We apologize that the recording was started a bit late, but most of the event was captured Click Here to view the video.
Special Guests:

Trudy Stewart Baggs has been a Physical Therapist for over 40 years and is now retired. Trudy is a graduate of Wayne State University earning a Bachelors of Science in Physical Therapy and a Masters of Arts in Family and Consumer Resources with a certificate in gerontology. Over the course of her career, she has worked in various settings. She has served as Outpatient Supervisor at Sinai Hospital in Detroit, worked as a School Physical Therapist with Wayne County RESA and Detroit Public Schools. She has also served in nursing homes and home health care. Moreover, she briefly worked as an Assistant Professor at Wayne State University, teaching a course in gerontology. For the past 40 years, she has been married to Melvin Baggs, and she is the proud mother of 4 children.

Barbara Gooch is a WSU PT grad and an attendee when the professional school was located on Lafayette and Rivard and Roberta Cottmon was PT. Chair. She has worked primarily in the DMC system finding a home in acute care but enjoying the out pt population that presented with reducible orthopedic problems.  She was granted the privilege of being selected to the Michigan Licensure Board by governor Jim Blanchard and served for three years
Barb presented a paper entitled integration of the foreign physical therapist to the APTAJournal and it was published. She also worked as the director of Rehab at Hutzel for ten years. Barb currently works under the title of Clinal Physical Therapist Specialist at HuH in the DMC but she is also eyeing retirement this year.


Organizational Plan


The American Physical Therapy Association of Michigan (MPTA) supports physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students who work to optimize the health of all people in our communities.

Our goal is to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion within the physical therapy profession to mirror the communities we serve.


  1. Increase diversity within MPTA membership, leadership, and the profession with inclusion of all underrepresented groups.
  2. Educate professionals in Michigan to appreciate our similarities, understand our differences to bridge the gap, and create a harmonious partnership when working with various cultural groups.
  3. Promote engagement with PT professionals, students, and prospective students from minority and underrepresented communities in Michigan.
  4. Identify the barriers of social determinants of health that impact the entry into the profession and affect the equity within the profession.

Action Plan:

  1. Assist the membership team in recruitment and retention of PTs, PTAs, SPTs, and SPTAs of all underrepresented groups to be MPTA members.
  2. Assist in recruiting members of underrepresented groups for leadership roles within the chapter.
  3. Advocate and encourage members of underserved groups to serve on committees including the areas of education, profession development/clinical practice and research.
  4. Increase awareness of physical therapy as a profession for MI citizens in economic and educationally disadvantaged parts of our state and those of minority backgrounds as a choice for care.
  5. Create resources for foreign trained therapist coming to Michigan to practice.
  6. Create resources to educate physical therapists and students on health care disparities among the LGBTQ+ community (history, statistics, why they still persist)
  7. Come up with solutions that can be implemented to make physical therapy experiences more inclusive towards the LGBTQ+ community (more inclusive intake forms, welcoming environment, dialogue, etc.) and improve care; provide resources to help with identifying needs within the community
  8. Engage the Michigan physical therapy community (practicing clinicians and universities) in LGBTQ+ advocacy
  9. Establish a mentorship program for both students and professionals.
  10. Work with APTA’s Minority Affairs division and the Component Member Diversity Committee to increase resources and collaboration at the national membership level


The committee will report to the Board of Directors and the MPTA Vice President will serve as its board contact.


The committee shall consist of at least three members including a chair or co-chairs that are professional members appointed by the Board of Directors.

Committee Records:

The committee will use basecamp as a storage site for all committee resources including meeting minutes.

Committee Meetings:

The committee will be at at least twice yearly and communicate electronically in between meetings.

Committee Roles:

Chair/Co-Chairs: Presides over meeting and directs the members and activities of the committee to ensure that it meets the Mission objectives and action plans are being met.

Secretary: Records minutes of meetings and assists in organizing electronic records stored on basecamp.

Other Areas of Emphasis:

  • Social Media
  • Blog/Podcast development
  • Website
  • Community Outreach
 Committee Leadership

To Become Involved, visit the Volunteer page:

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