In The News

AOTA Representative Assembly Update

The position of Colorado Representative to the RA will be part of general AOTA elections in January. Please consider running for this important and rewarding [position] (https://www.aota.org/aboutaota/get-involved/leadership/leadership/ra.aspx) to be more involved with your national organization. It is a great way to get involved on a national level, make professional and personal contacts, and learn more about the workings of AOTA. Apply by October 10th on the AOTA website. Please contact Terri Cassidy ([email protected]) with questions.

The fall meeting of the Representative Assembly will be Nov. 12-19th. Please read the proposed motions and give your feedback to Terri! The proposed motions will be available on the [AOTA website] (https://www.aota.org/AboutAOTA/Get-Involved/RA.aspx) by
October 7th .

Visit the AOTA RA Booth at the OTAC conference to learn about current AOTA initiatives, give input on proposed motions, and contribute to the AOTPAC to help support OT Advocacy at the National Level!

Submitted by Terri Cassidy, OTD, OTR/L
AOTA Colorado Representative

 

Student Corner: The Creighton-Regis pathway welcomes 23 OT students for the class of 2022!

President of OTAC, Pam DiPasquale, MS, OTR/L, met the class during orientation week in August. The class of 2021 held a BBQ to welcome the new students to the Creighton-Regis pathway and to celebrate the beginning of the school year.

The Creighton-Regis SOTA (CUSOTA) also welcomed new leadership for the 2019-2020 school year: President, Kyrra Miller and Vice President, Cam Boehm. CUSOTA increased in membership with the newly welcomed class of 2022. CUSOTA is actively searching for additional volunteer opportunities in the Denver Metro Area.

For inquiries or volunteer suggestions, Kyrra can be contacted at [email protected]

Submitted by Heidi Kunugi, OTAC Creighton-Regis Student Representative.

 

From Chair for Professional Development

OTAC’s professional development has been inviting volunteer members to infuse energy, creativity and enthusiasm in order to plan events that are of interest. There are plenty of opportunities to collaborate. I encourage all members to inquire and be part of what could be a very active, informed and invigorating professional experience.

We need volunteers to help run Denver District meetings and organize topics of discussion and select places to meet with interested members.

The PB&J initiate needs volunteers to plan and run these virtual discussions. The special Interest sections also need passionate members to plan and run tailored discussions about specific practice areas
Contact OTAC at https://www.otacco.org/otac-committees and fill out a volunteer application. We thank you in advance!

Our committee has selected some initiatives such as Book Club and Happy Hour events in Fort Collins, suggested a Urinary Incontinence presentation, and creating a documentation group in Denver

Establishing a line of communication with OT, OTA colleges in our state to expand OTAC’s involvement and support to students and educators was another recommendation from a volunteer member and we need you to help us stay informed.

Professional development has partnered with Vita Cura LLC for the upcoming course November 15 &16th , Understanding & Utilizing the Allen Cognitive Disability Model in Everyday Practice: Foundation Course. OTAC members will enjoy a discounted registration fee.

OccupationalTherapy.com has also partnered with OTAC and now offers a discounted fee to OTAC members for their yearly subscription.

We are looking forward to conference in October and honor the valuable role of OTR and OTA practitioners in our state. Consider nominating your outstanding colleagues and mentors whose contribution to the field of Occupational Therapy show their passion for fostering the growth and the development of our profession in their practice settings. Please visit https://www.otacco.org/awards-recognition

Thank you members for your support and look forward to speaking with and meeting many more of you in the upcoming months

Submitted by Carmen Aguirre, OTR/L,
Chair for Professional Development

 

A Seat at the Table, Addressing Opioid Addiction in Colorado

One reason why I love my position as public policy chair of OTAC is the opportunity to empower occupational therapy practitioners to use their voices to advocate for changes they wish to see in practice. Every year at OTAC Capitol Hill Day, it is a privilege to see students and therapists alike meet with legislators, sometimes for the first time, and start the wheels of change through discourse and advocacy. I get caught up in the educational aspect of it all sometimes, and forget to realize the true impact and power our group carries.

Representative Chris Kennedy, however, has not forgotten the impact OTAC Capitol Hill attendees had on him. He remembered the thoughtful questions and responses brought to him by OT practitioners and students and for this reason he knew that OT would be a vital player in future solutions, specifically addressing opioid addiction in Colorado.

This is how I found myself on July 9, 2019 in a large cushioned chair seated below a committee of 10 legislators with an audience behind me, trying not to look nervous. This was the big reason why we work so hard to bring members of the OT profession to the capitol each year. We want to be seen, heard, and to help find solutions to better serve our clients.

Thanks to these efforts, today, we had a literal seat at the table alongside physical therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, and insurers, to present to legislators about barriers we see to having more of an impact on the opioid crisis.

When it was my turn, I did my best to clearly deliver the points I had prepared based on input from experts within OTAC membership. I discussed OT’s role in prevention and treatment of chronic pain and addiction. I shared systemic barriers that have prevented us from reaching as many clients as we could.

Thanks to our presence at these meetings, and to your advocacy at OTAC Capitol Hill Day, we will be included in the bills that this committee drafts. It is also, in large part, thanks to our lobbyists that we have been included. Because it is difficult for myself and working OT practitioners to come to the capitol during the week to participate, they do so on our behalf. When an opportunity arises in which a statement from an OTAC member would be more effective and powerful, they facilitate and coordinate this.

The legislative committee will continue to monitor legislation and advocate for outcomes that support occupational therapy practice. We will continue to meet with the Opioid and Other Substance Use Study Committee to find solutions. However, we simply cannot be as effective without the support of our lobbyists. This is made possible by membership dues and through contributions to OTAC’s legislative fund.

To support these efforts, there is a lot you can do. First and foremost, convince a fellow OT practitioner to join OTAC or make a donation. Second, build a relationship with your state legislators. You can find out who represents you [here]. (https://leg.colorado.gov/find-my-legislator) Third, get involved with OTAC legislative committee! Check the OTAC website for meeting updates or email [email protected] To learn more about the progress of legislation to impact opioid addiction in Colorado, [go here]. (https://leg.colorado.gov/committees/opioid-and-other-substance-use-disorders-study-committee/2019-regular-session)

by Bailey LeBoeuf Johnson, Public Policy Chair, OTAC

 

Student Corner: Pima Medical Institute Update

The Pima Medical Institute of Denver, SOTA students, have been busy hoeing and harvesting produce in a neighboring community garden, by the school. So far, SOTA and staff of the OTA program has donated roughly 45 pounds of produce to Pima students and faculty. Donations are handed out as frequently as every other Thursday. On September 24th SOTA organized an inservice by Handspring Prosthetics, Denver, to talk with OTA and PTA students on the holistic, specialized care in upper extremity prosthetic rehabilitation.

Submitted by Jessica Olah, OTAC PMI Student Representative

 
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