Join Us For the
2021 Educational Leadership Conference


A Collaborative Effort By


Putting Your Health and Safety First


We are excited to welcome our attendees to the Educational Leadership Conference 2021 in Atlanta, GA, from Oct. 22-24, 2021.

ELC 2021 organizers are following the safety guidelines and protocols of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the State of GeorgiaAtlanta, Georgia, and the Hyatt Regency Atlanta

The APTA Academy of Education (The Academy) and American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT) ask for your help to ensure the safety of all attendees at this event, which will operate consistent with CDC, state, and venue guidance and restrictions related to COVID-19. Participants will receive a logistics email on October 7 with this and additional information.

These are our expectations for participation based on existing rules and best practices:

  • Vaccines: ACAPT and the Academy strongly recommends that attendees are vaccinated or have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of participation. Proof of vaccination or a negative test within 72 hours will be required at registration in order for participants to claim their required participation badge. A photo of a vaccination card or negative test result on your phone is sufficient as proof.
  • Masks: Regardless of vaccination status, masks will be required for all indoor events, except when speaking at a microphone as part of event proceedings or when in the act of eating or drinking. This includes exhibitors in the exhibit hall.
  • Personal responsibility: If you are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. or believe you encountered someone with COVID-19, please get a test. 
  • Sanitizing Stations: Will be available throughout the Hyatt Regency Atlanta Hotel center, especially in high touch point areas.
  • Meeting Room Set: The Hyatt Regency Atlanta Hotel will set all meeting rooms in two thirds of the room's capacity. The meeting room set is a theatre-style set, non-interlocking. The meeting set will allow those who would like to move their chair against an air wall and out of traffic patterns if desired.  
  • Space to Collaborate and Social Distance: Our meeting space at the Hyatt Atlanta Regency Hotel is located on three separate floors. Attendees will have plenty of room to network safely. Click Here for the Floor Plan.
  • Food and Beverage: Meal functions will have a buffet set up one-sided with a plexus glass between the workers and the attendees. The Hyatt staff will be masked and serve our attendees for all meals except our grab-and-go menu options.

In addition to the above, the Academy and ACAPT will take the following actions:

  • Complimentary masks: Face masks will be provided to any attendee that needs one at the registration desk.
  • Indicator lanyards/wristbands: At registration, attendees may pick up lanyards or wristbands for their badges to indicate if they would prefer elbow bumps to handshakes or would prefer to avoid physical contact altogether.


The above approach is consistent with current guidelines.

We are looking forward to seeing you in October, and we thank you for your cooperation to enable everyone to have a healthy experience.


Pamela Levangie
APTA Academy of Education
(The Academy)

Mark Reinking
American Council of Academic Physical Therapy

GRJ Forum

Cultivating the Habits at the Heart of Patient Care: Compassion, Vulnerability, & Imagination

The best clinicians know that caring well for patients requires more than technical skill. Yet, too often this “something more” is reduced to ideas about “soft skills” or “bedside manner.” As a result, qualities like empathy, vulnerability, and connection—that is, habits of the heart—are seen as extraneous to the “real” work of patient care. This talk aims to show how habits of the heart are not mere “add ons” to clinical care but are essential to the everyday practice of assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients—and asks us to consider whether and how these habits can be cultivated among current and future clinicians.

IGNITE talks:

  • Chad Jackson, PT, DPT, EdD - Director, Professional Practice Education, University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, TX
    • Having 'Heart' is Good, Now What?
  • Natalie Weeks O'Neal, PT, DPT - Program Director, PTA program, Pima Medical Institute, Las Vegas, NV
    • Compassion & Empathy - Walk a Mile in my Moccasins
  • Sarah Blanton, PT, DPT - faculty and Editor in Chief, J Humanities in Rehab, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
    • Navigating the Inner Landscape: Can Humanities Be a Compass?


  • Gail Jensen, PT, PhD, FAPTA, FNAP, Creighton University, Omaha, NE
  • Bruce Greenfield, PT, PhD, FNAP, FAPTA, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
  • Steven Chesbro, PT, DPT, EdD, FNAP, Vice President of Education, APTA

GRJ Forum Lecturer: Nicole Piemonte, PhD

Nicole Piemonte, PhD is the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and a faculty member in the Department of Medical Humanities at Creighton University School of Medicine, Phoenix Regional Campus. She also holds the Peekie Nash Carpenter Endowed Chair in Medicine at Creighton University. Nicole received her PhD in Medical Humanities from The University of Texas Medical Branch where she studied continental philosophy, medical ethics, literature and medicine, and medical pedagogy. Her current teaching and research focus on incorporating the humanities into medical education in order to cultivate future physicians who are attuned to suffering, mortality, vulnerability, and social justice. Her first book, Afflicted: How Vulnerability Can Heal Medical Education and Practice, was published in January 2018 with The MIT Press, and her second book with The MIT Press, Death and Dying, will be released in September 2021.

Hotel Information


Sponsorship and Exhibitors
Thank you to our ELC 2021 Sponsors and Exhibitors!

Please contact Jamil Tadlaoui at

if you have any questions or are interested in sponsorships.



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