This is the Year: The Name Change Journey

Posted By: Carrie Pagliano Academy News,

By Carrie Pagliano, PT, DPT, OCS, WCS

For those of you who asked. For those of you wondering. For those of you curious …THIS is the year.

The “i’s” have been dotted; the “t’s” have been crossed. We have listened. We have learned. We have debated and pondered. We have reached across the globe. At the Combined Sections Meeting this year, we celebrated 40 years of the Section on Women’s Health, honoring the achievements of those who came before us.

We attended your presentations and saw they were filled with male clinicians and students. We listened to your clinical conversations about pediatrics, advances in male pelvic health, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning, and intersex patient populations. You have been loud and clear. You have been heard. Change is here. It’s coming …THIS is the year!

The Name Change Task Force met this week to discuss feedback from the American Physical Therapy Association’s Combined Sections Meeting; the updated mission, vision, and strategic plan rollout; and outcomes from my recent conversation with the Section on Women’s Health’s sister organization in Australia. The Australians changed their group’s name this year to Women’s, Men’s and Pelvic Health, Physiotherapy Australia, following in the footsteps of the Pelvic, Women’s and Men’s Special Interest Group in New Zealand. A representative from the International Organization of Physical Therapy Women’s Health also attended the meeting, since it, too, is exploring a name change.

The Section’s task force has thoroughly researched relevant APTA guidelines regarding the name change process and accompanying bylaws change. The process requires APTA and component approval of a name. Changing a component name requires a bylaw change. Bylaws changes require a one-month notification period and in-person voting at CSM. In February 2018, that bylaws vote will be presented at the SOWH Business Meeting in New Orleans, La. If you weren’t planning to attend CSM, start making your plans to join us! We want you there both to be part of the transformation and progress you started and to witness the changes you requested come to fruition. We especially want you there to be a part of the two-third required vote for passage!

The Name Change Task Force, in conjunction with Navigate Strategies Consulting, has created the following timeline for 2017-2018 to coincide with the APTA name-change process.


April/May             Recommended name submission from Name Change Task Force to SOWH Board of Directors

May 17                 Board Spring Conference Call–discussion/approval to submit to membership

August                  Submit request and proposed revisions to the Articles of Incorporation and to the SOWH bylaws to APTA (legal and parliamentarian review)

September 1       Initiate required 21-day window for all APTA Section presidents to comment on proposed change

September 26     Deadline to finalize agenda for October or November call of APTA Board of Directors

December           SOWH Board approves sending changes to members 


 Jan. 23, 2018      Deadline for notification of vote to members

 Feb. 23, 2018      Formal member vote at CSM (name/bylaws change)

After 2018 CSM  Submit revised Articles of Incorporation to state of Illinois; send copy to APTA when approved. Submit revised bylaws to APTA for final approval.

What We Need From Each SOWH Member

We appreciate your feedback and stories during the past two years and couldn’t have gotten this far without you. Please stay tuned for more updates on our progress and for opportunities to continue your involvement in this process.

AUTHOR: SOWH Vice President Carrie Pagliano, PT, DPT, OCS, WCS, is chair of the Name Change Task Force. She can be reached at vicepresident@womenshealthapta.ora.