Image by Anupam Mahapatra

Letter From the President:

January 10, 2021

Welcome to the BAPT 2020-2022!

        When the BAPT executive officers were confirmed and we started our first meeting in July 2020, we knew this would be a quarter like no other.  COVID-19 has changed the way the world lives, works and communicates.  As with any effective association, BAPT leadership has had to make swift decisions based on the response of our government officials to advocate for our members and I hope the BAPT executive team is still meeting the needs of our members as we forge into 2021.  

In some countries, Physiotherapists are working specifically in the COVID-19 ICU setting, whereas in others, Physiotherapists are in contact with patients in the homecare environment exclusively. Globally, however, the needs of the profession are the same - accessible and appropriate training, approved guidelines and protocols, professional leadership for safe environments and personal, protective equipment (PPE).  The Bahamas has seen many of us having to pivot from clinic to homecare, reduce staff hours, go virtual or “Rob Peter in order to pay Paul” to keep our practices afloat.

        The BAPT is focused on maintaining stability during these ever-changing times and we continue to work in support of our members’ professional needs.  Since July 2020, we have worked hard to be a vital resource. To date, we have:

  • Created the approved national standard for the guidelines for COVID -19 facility preparedness.

  • Maintained full access to Physiopedia clinical resources.

  • communicated the need for virtual Physiotherapy reimbursement to public and private insurance providers.

  • Communicated with our local government on the need for affordable access to PPE for Physiotherapists.

  • Collaborated with other medical professionals in protest of licensure fee increases.

  • Engaged sporting associations on more proactive approaches to injury prevention for our young athletes.

  • Provided monthly virtual meetings with clinically relevant Physiotherapist speakers.

  • Met with the World Physiotherapy leaders as one of our resources in the final stages of the BAPT Professional Policies and Procedures submission.

  • Invited partnership with local businesses for our BAPT discount program.

  • Gave our time and talents for the PT Day of Service and World Physiotherapy Day 2020.

        In 2021, through the recent addition of our professional association website, it is my hope that we continue to highlight the important work of the Bahamas Association of Physiotherapists with local news, publications and professional partnerships further strengthening the position of our organization, and in turn, our profession. Please continue to support your association by sharing your goodwill through photos and videos using the hashtag #bapt242, connecting with us regularly on social media, attending BAPT meetings and volunteering.

        Working from home has created more time for family, the need for boundaries and the constant expectation of being efficient. Now more than ever, this is the time to recognize your personal self-care and mental health routine in order to avoid burnout.  As we push forward, “breathing in 2021 and breathing out 2020,” I hope that we can increase membership and continue to unify as a proactive voice focused on the things we can change for the betterment of our profession.  

Fifty-four (54) years since January 10th, 1967 (Majority Rule Day) we are still committed to the fight for economic empowerment and social justice across all facets of Bahamian life, including healthcare. Thank you for your commitment to the association and let’s continue to keep ourselves and our communities safe! 

 

Sincerely, 

DeVonnia Bonimy-Lee, PT,

DPT, WCS, CLT-LANA

President, BAPT

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