Current GOTA news.
Debi Hinerfeld, MS, OTR/L, AOTA Representative
Georgia Attends Health Care Unscrambled
On Thursday, January 10th, Debi Hinerfeld and Marco Coelho attended the third annual Health Care Unscrambled Legislative Update breakfast. Presentations were aimed at looking ahead at health care issues that will be discussed and voted on during the 2013 Legislative Session. This event was held by Georgians For A Healthy Future, a health advocacy organization, whose mission is to build and mobilize a unified voice, vision and leadership, to achieve a healthy future for all Georgians through outreach and education, building and mobilizing coalitions, and through public policy engagement with key decision makers.
The morning began with a bipartisan panel presentation discussing the state of Georgia’s health care position regarding the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid Expansion. The panel featured Representative Sharon Cooper (R-District 43), the current Chair of the Health and Human Services committee, Representative Pat Gardner (D-District 57), member of the House Appropriations Committee and the Health Subcommittee of Appropriations, and Ralph Hudgens, the Georgia Insurance Commissioner. Following a lively debate regarding each party’s stance on the development of the health insurance exchanges and Medicaid expansion (Georgia has defaulted to the federal government at this time to set up exchanges and Governor Deal has stated that Georgia will not expand Medicaid at this time), the attendees were treated to a presentation by Jonathan Cohn, Senior Editor of The New Republic and author of Sick: The Untold Story of America’s Health Care Crisis—and the People Who Pay the Price. Mr. Cohn covers domestic policy and politics for The New Republic with emphasis on social welfare, labor, and health.
Attending this event were many stakeholders from around the state including providers and non-profit agencies, such as the American Cancer Society, the Georgia Advocacy Office, Coventry Health Care of Georgia, AARP, Novartis, and GOTA.
It was a pleasure to represent GOTA at this event and to be introduced to the key policy makers who will be making decisions about health care in our state in the next few months. As parts of the Affordable Care Act are rolled out in the next year and as our state has decisions to make on behalf of the 1.3 million Georgians who do not have health care, we must keep abreast of the changes that are occurring quickly in the health care environment and how they impact our clients and on our practice as occupational therapists.
Congratulations to Susan Orloff and Dr. Lynn Jaffe on receiving Fellows of the American Occupational Therapy Association
Susan Orloff, OTR/L FAOTA is the author of the recently published book, “Learning Re-enabled: a guide for parents, teachers and therapists”. She is the owner of Children’s Special Services, LLC, a provider of comprehensive therapy services for children aged 3-15.
Orloff graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.S. in special education. She continued graduate studies in occupational therapy at the University of Pennsylvania and has been an occupational therapist for more than 30 years. During that time she has helped develop many programs for children who learn differently.
She participated in the early standardization of Ayres Southern California Sensory Integration Tests, a nationally used test for discerning sensory issues with children.
Her awards include “Outstanding Educator Award” from the South Carolina Occupational Therapy Association in 1981, and “Therapist of the Year” from Advanced Rehabilitation Services, Inc. in 1994 Georgia Woman of Distinction 2004, Georgia OT of the Year 2006, Barbara Grant Merit Award 2008, and Exceptional Parent Magazine’s Models of Excellence in the Education Profession Award 2009.
In addition, she has co-coordinated student internship experiences for various universities, and has served as a mentor for registered occupational therapists wishing to increase their therapy practice skills with children.
Dr. Lynn Jaffe, ScD, OTR/L FAOTA is an Associate Professor in the Colleges of Allied Health Sciences and Graduate Studies. She teaches Evidence Based Practice, Research Process, Project Development, Lifespan Development, and mentors students in research projects. She was the recipient of the 2004 Outstanding Faculty Award for the College of Allied Health and the Governor’s Teaching Fellowship in 2002-03.
Dr. Jaffe serves nationally as a member of the Roster of Accreditation Evaluators with ACOTE, and on the American Journal of Occupational Therapy Editorial Review Board. Locally, she is a collaborator with Project SCEIs (Skilled Credentialed Early Interventionists). Her publications include chapters in a healthcare education textbook, two chapters in occupational therapy textbooks, and several refereed journal articles. In addition, Dr. Jaffe is a wife, mother of twin sons, and professional storyteller.
GOTA Membership Update
Erin Brennan, MS, OTR/L, Membership Chair
Hi to all Georgia OT’s, OTA’s and students! I hope everyone is enjoying springtime! I wanted to give you a quick update on overall GOTA membership numbers. I am so pleased to report that we continue to increase our overall membership and as of May 2013 we now have a total of 216 members. Do you know anyone that is not a member in your region? Please advocate for your professional organization and inform them of all membership benefits with GOTA. We continue to update our website so visit www.gaota.com and take a look! Add this to your “favorites” and become part of the “OT Community” in Georgia.
The current membership in GOTA is as follows: 68 OT/OTA students, 12 OTAs, 134 OTRs, 4 Associate members, and 1 Organizational member. Remember you can earn a free 2014 membership to GOTA if you refer 3 new people or members who have not renewed in 2 or more years. Please seek out your colleagues and students in your respective region to join our association. In this economy, we really need to protect our jobs. Joining GOTA will help us protect OT in Georgia.
Why renew? GOTA is worth your money! For OTs, the cost of membership is 21 cents per day ($75/year). For OTAs, the cost is 14 cents per day ($50/year) As a student, the cost of protecting your future job and paycheck is 7 cents per day ($25/year). The best part of being a new graduate is your membership fees remain at the lower student pricing your first year after graduation. This is just another benefit of being a GOTA member. We want to retain all OT/OTA students in our organization as they graduate and become new practitioners.
Other tangible benefits of GOTA membership include continuing education opportunities at discounted rates across the state, networking with peers, opportunities for volunteering, and periodic email and listerv updates on new information regarding OT in Georgia. Most of all, GOTA assures that your job is protected in Georgia. Remember, we only have strength in numbers, so we need your assistance to gain in strength. Take the opportunity and make it your personal goal to find at least one practitioner to join GOTA.
We are also excited about our “Pay it Forward” Mentoring program, now entering its second year. A tally of the 2011 and 2012 GOTA Membership Survey reported that members wanted more recognition for OTAs and students, opportunities to both network and volunteer for GOTA, as well as gain overall membership in GOTA. This innovative GOTA “Pay It Forward” Partnership agreement strives to meet all the above member generated goals. In a nutshell, OT/OTA professionals join the program to either sponsor a GOTA membership for a student, mentor a student, or both; therefore gifting the student an entry into his or her future professional world. After the student graduates, they are then able to “pay it forward” by joining the program as a practitioner and allowing another student to benefit. Current OT/OTA students will have the opportunity to reap the benefits of GOTA, network with other students, meet future employers at conferences and events, and volunteer in different areas of the profession.
I would like to thank my student liaisons from many of the OT/OTA schools in Georgia (Amy Logue and Cherise Burke from Darton College, Michelle Arrington-Myers from Brown Mackie College, Kathleen Shanahan from GA Regents College, Bryson May from Brenau University, Chris Freeman from Chattahoochee Technical College). These liaisons assist me in promoting GOTA by keeping their schools updated with the latest information.
Stay tuned to the GOTA listserv and the website for upcoming events in your region. Don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook - another way to keep updated regarding OT in Georgia.
As always, if you have any membership questions, concerns, or ideas do not hesitate to contact me via email at:
Greetings from AOTA!
The annual AOTA conference in Indianapolis was a blast! I hope that many of you had the opportunity to enjoy it as much as I did!
One of the biggest decisions of the spring RA meeting was to form the Volunteer Leadership Development Committee (VLDC) as a third body of the AOTA. I am excited to have been appointed by the Speaker of the RA as a member of the VLDC formation task group and we are working hard to create the SOP’s and job descriptions that will be presented at the Fall online RA meeting in November.
Most of the meeting this fall will also concern recent changes to the non-profit laws in the District of Columbia, where AOTA is incorporated as a non-profit, 501 (C) (6) organization. Title 29 Enactment Act of 2010 overhauled the law to strengthen accountability and reduce occurrences of financial abuse within non-profit organizations by holding distinct individuals within the organization, (our Board of Directors), accountable. The BPPC will be working closely with the Speaker of the RA, legal counsel, the Executive Director, and AOTA staff to prepare a draft amendments to both the Articles of Incorporation and the Bylaws in order to be in compliance with this law that went into effect on January 1, 2012. The draft will be available on the AOTA website (www.aota.org) prior to the Annual Business meeting in San Diego in April, 2013. Please see the August 20th OT practice for more details.
The Emerging Leaders Development Committee is shifting 2013 applications to late spring for a late summer start date. Be on the lookout in OT practice and on the website for application deadlines sometime in the spring.
The AOTA Awards and Recognitions Committee is accepting nominations for all of AOTA’s awards now and until October 25, 2012. Please consider nominating a deserving colleague! What an honor!!
I can’t wait until the 2013 annual AOTA conference in San Diego! It will be held April 25-28, 2013. Start saving your money now because it is going to be great!!
Debi Hinerfeld, MS, OTR/L
AOTA Representative Assembly
Mary Shotwell, PhD, OT/L
April marked an important month for us as it was OT month. Hopefully, you participated in some activity within your organization to celebrate your profession. Whether having a party, doing an “inservice” or hosting an information booth, telling people about your profession can be self-affirming.
I’m sure that many of you feel as blessed as I do to have a job that you love and where you feel like you make a difference in the lives of the clients you serve. While it’s important for us to go to annual OT meetings at the regional, state, and national levels, it’s also important for us to interact with other disciplines and community organizations, as it also helps us affirm our uniqueness as a profession.
In the past few months, I have had the pleasure of meeting with the Presidents of both Physical Therapy Association of Georgia (PTAG) and Georgia Speech and Hearing Association (GSHA). During theses meetings, we celebrated each of our uniqueness and discussed ideas where we might collaborate and support each other’s profession as we anticipate the ongoing changes in the healthcare environment. Together, GOTA, GSHA & PTAG, successfully negotiated a compromise with PeachState, (a care management organization CMO) administering Medicaid funding in the state of Georgia.
The three organizations are also in the process of planning a seminar on health care changes where we come together to face our challenges. So not only during OT month, but all year long, celebrate yourselves, and remember to thank those professionals with whom we work so closely, because together we are all stronger!
I am happy to report the results of the Spring AOTA Representative Assembly meeting, which was held April 26th in Indianapolis. The following is a summary of the motions and which ones were adopted or defeated. Please keep in mind that through the task group process, some of the original motions were amended or substituted.
- Motion to develop criteria and a process for motions based on uniformity of procedures and timelines, and for soliciting and accepting motions on an ongoing basis. It was also recommended that the Speaker of the Representative Assembly charge the RALT with developing guidelines for AOTA members to seek support and assistance from their RA Representatives for developing and forwarding motions to the RA. ADOPTED
- Motion to identify, evaluate, and if feasible implement methods of concurrent use of multiple accessible electronic platforms (such as Facebook, NING, Linked-In, apps., etc.) for AOTA members to engage in discussions around motions and the business of the Assembly. An interim report of implementation should be made to the Representative Assembly at the fall on-line meeting with a full report at the spring face-to-face meeting. Report should include but not be limited to necessary changes to the RALT's SOP to ensure that this issue is re-evaluated on an on-going basis to ensure that communication methods remain relevant and utilize current technologies. ADOPTED
- Motion to form an Ad Hoc Committee, to develop a recruitment program for current and past members of ASD and other AOTA members interested in participating in the Representative Assembly. The recruitment program is to include development of resources and materials to be used by RA members and other AOTA members in State Association meetings, conferences, and other national and state venues in which members of the RA have an opportunity to educate and recruit AOTA members to participate in the RA business. Members of the Ad Hoc should be members of the RA and members at large registered on the Coordinated Online Opportunities for Leadership (COOL) database. ADOPTED
- Motion to direct the Recognitions and Nominating Committees in collaboration with BPPC and Emerging Leadership Development Committee to create the Volunteer Leadership Development Committee (VLDC) with respect to the information gathered by the previous Ad Hoc Committees. The purpose of the VLDC will be the proposed integration of the functions of the Recognitions and Nominating Committees to include three main purposes: recognitions, nominations and leadership development. The report, including but not be limited to: Standard Operating Procedures, Job Descriptions and a Transition Plan of the VLDC, and proposed Bylaws amendments will be presented to the Fall RA meeting 2012. ADOPTED
- Motion to eliminate the Alternate Representative position and to establish a Representative–Elect position. DEFEATED
- Motion to charge the RALT to rewrite the job description of the alternate representative to accurately reflect the duties and responsibilities of this position. ADOPTED
- Motion to establish an OTA Representative-Elect position and eliminate the alternate OTA position. Elect positions shall serve for 1 year and assume office July 1 in the year following their election. ADOPTED
- Motion to charge the Speaker of the Representative Assembly to establish regionally based RA Leadership Networking Communities. DEFEATED
The Representative Assembly completed their business in record time this year and the results of this year’s assembly was quite productive. Thank you for your feedback and continued support of AOTA. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time.
Debi Hinerfeld, MS, OTR/L
AOTA Representative Assembly
I hope everyone had a fantastic summer. Congratulations to everyone on a job well done – we have again increased our membership numbers. Thank you so much for promoting membership- we will ultimately have more strength and power to endorse OT in Georgia. We are entering the month of August with 265 members: 188 OT’s, 27 OTA’s, 42 OT/OTA students, 5 Associates, and 3 Organizational members. Looking closely at our regions, Atlanta has 127 members, the East and North region each have 40 members, the South region has 27 and the Middle region has 31. Please spread the word that it is not too late to join this year, make it your personal goal to find a friend/colleague and convince them to join GOTA. Remember, if you can find 3 new colleagues to join GOTA – you earn a free membership!
We have some terrific news for the “budget conscious OT/ OTA”. We are reducing the cost of membership for the rest of the 2012 year, but only if you pay for full price for 2013 at the same time. This reduced pricing is as follows: OTR’s $125, OTA’s $75, OT/OTA Students $35, and Associates $45. These prices would include anyone new to GOTA this year, new students starting their schooling, and new graduates (students who have recently graduated- first year out of school). What a great time to join for the rest of the year – this exciting offer is not only economical but will also enhance your resume/ career!
The Fall Conference in Macon on September 21 and 22 is going to be exciting! There are topics for every facet of OT: reimbursement, documentation, SI, legislative issues, the use of crafts in mental health, creating a stress free transition from home to work, aging in place, comprehensive automobile solutions, rehab for farmers and ranchers with disabilities, handwriting, food aversion in peds, and doctoral education to name a few. Another reason to attend conference is to hear our dynamic keynote speaker, Bobbie Henline, an Army veteran. Listen to his life story and be inspired to continue our great work as OT/OTA’s. Share this info with your colleagues – do not miss this remarkable presentation! Hope to see new faces at conference - come join us for learning, networking, and for FUN!
Quick reminder of the GOTA Pay It Forward Campaign – it is up and running. This new program pairs up students/new grads (mentee) to OT’s/OTA’s (sponsor/mentor) and allows members to sponsor and/or mentor a new student/ graduate in the community. Our gift to the “mentee” is to provide guidance, support, as well as introduce them to the OT/OTA world, provide networking opportunities, and overall increase the sense of belonging to an “OT community”. In the future, the “mentees” become “mentors” - thus completing the Pay It Forward cycle and ultimately benefitting OT in Georgia. Please click here for more information (insert link) or check out www.gaota.com.
Hope to see you at the conference in Macon! Please stop by the GOTA Membership booth – there will be drawings for door prizes including a free membership for 2013! Thank you for your support of GOTA.