Millicent M. McFarland Selected as the APTA Capitol Hill Day Early-Professional Scholar!

Academy News, Practice & Advocacy,

Register for APTA Capitol Hill Day 

The Academy of Pelvic Health Physical Therapy is grateful to all early-professional members who have diligently applied for this great new opportunity to get involved in pelvic and abdominal health physical therapy advocacy. We are excited to share our final selection with our community. 

Millicent Marie McFarland, PT, DPT has been named the APTA Capitol Hill Day Scholarship Recipient by the Academy of Pelvic Health Physical Therapy. In April 2024, Millicent will be in Washington, D.C. from April 14-16, 2024 to connect, advocate, and make an impact alongside the Academy's Federal Affairs Liaison (Gail Zitterkopf) and Director of Practice (Kim Parker-Guerrero), and fellow physical therapy professionals and students on Capitol Hill. This event is for APTA members and provides an opportunity for members to share and amplify their voice with legislators on Capitol Hill. As part of the scholarship program, the Academy is sponsoring Millicent's registration, travel, and lodging costs and look forward to Millicent's advocacy participation! Learn more about this APTA event.

Millicent was born in Monroe, Louisiana, and currently resides in the Destin-Fort Walton Beach area in Florida. She earned her Bachelor of Kinesiology/Pre-Physical Therapy degree from the University of Louisiana-Monroe in May 2019, and her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the illustrious Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in May 2023. After completing her undergraduate internship with a pelvic floor therapist, Millicent's life goal was to be a part of this niche specialty.

Millicent currently practices outpatient orthopedic and pelvic floor therapy in Niceville, FL at PT Solutions Physical Therapy at Twin Cities Hospital. She has begun receiving her education in pelvic health through the APTA Academy of Pelvic Health Physical Therapy and looks forward to continuing to learning more within the specialty as she grows as a clinician.

Millicent enjoys treating male and female pelvic floor dysfunctions, along with treating pre- and post-partum mothers. She is matriculating through an Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency to become an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist and is also a member of the Academy of Pelvic Health Physical Therapy's IDEA committee which is a committee that fosters a positive and inclusive culture that promotes diversity, equity, and access within the academy, the pelvic health physical therapy profession, and the patient community. 

A Message from Millicent

"My cardiopulmonary PT professor would tell my class that we should know the subject very well because everyone has a heart and two lungs. I believe the same for pelvic floor physical therapy, as we all have a pelvis and pelvic floor muscles. To me, pelvic floor physical therapy needs to be accessible to all. Accessibility is important to me, especially as a Black woman, to improve health outcomes for the Black community. 

Accessibility to pelvic floor physical therapy depends on healthcare infrastructure, insurance coverage, and individual provider availability. The future of pelvic health physical therapy lies in the hands of the policy- and lawmakers on Capitol Hill. We MUST advocate for our patients and the profession to ensure longevity. 
The personal and professional goals I hope to accomplish are as follows: 
  1. Learn how to advocate for legislative change by engaging with members of Congress to lobby for APTA-sponsored bills and policy proposals in favor of the advancement of our specialty and profession. 
  2. Provide information and expertise via communication with Congress to share my knowledge on specific issues, such as the Black Maternal Health Crisis. This is also the opportunity to provide data and research findings, and offer insights that can influence legislative decision-making.
  3. Build relationships with members of Congress to gain support for future initiatives and increase the likelihood of having concerns addressed.
  4. Express opinions, ask questions, and seek transparency and accountability from the elected officials who create healthcare policies and laws. 
Addressing the inaccessibility of pelvic floor physical therapy is a long-term endeavor that requires a comprehensive approach. This involves educational institutions, professional organizations, and policymakers. However, by completing prophylactic prevention to reduce barriers and promote accessibility, the Academy should first influence legislative outcomes, shape public policy, and ensure that the voices of constituents are heard and considered to provide more equitable healthcare outcomes."