Centennial Vision Journal Entry
By Penny Moyers, EdD, OTR/L, BCMH, FAOTA
I continue my weekly traveling experiences that bring me to the grassroots level to become aware of how the Centennial Vision has captured the hearts of our members. I was in Landers, Wyoming on September 21-22 and in Phoenix, Arizona on September 27-28. Wow! Caption: OT students from Casper, Wyoming, who attend the University of North Dakota satellite program.
Students in large numbers attended both state conference programs and were actively interacting with the occupational therapy practitioners. The Wyoming conference was so successful that the Board, under the leadership of their President Sarah King, decided to fund two students to AOTA’s Student Conclave upcoming in November, 16-17 in Pittsburgh. This is a wonderful example of an important way to support and mentor young leaders as a part of capacity building.
Many of the Wyoming therapy practitioners were practicing in school systems and early intervention, as were the practitioners in Arizona. What impressed me about Wyoming was the amount of driving the therapists undertake because of long distances between school systems and few numbers of practitioners in the state. Frontier therapy is so different from what this city girl has experienced! Imagine getting off the small prop-plane in Riverton, Wyoming and entering the airport and feeling like I had just entered a mini Natural Science Museum. What a great way to be introduced to the culture!
Caption: Frontier Art at Riverton Airport
The occupational therapy practitioners in Arizona were a highly motivated group, under the apt leadership of their President, Nina Castillo, who had many ideas on how to locally embody the Centennial Vision. Programming ranged from burn rehabilitation, autism, vision development, fall prevention, constraint induced therapy, IDEA, and leadership skills, just to name a few. It was stimulating to listen to the integration of evidence and research into practice, yet again, another Centennial Vision priority.
Caption: OT students from Arizona Occupational Therapy Conference
Fred Somers, AOTA’s Executive Director and Maureen Peterson, our Chief Professional Affairs Officer continue their travels talking about the Centennial Vision, as well. They conducted two Town Meetings at the University of Pittsburgh in September. They tell me they were thrilled to be able to have a Town Meeting dedicated to students; the university had invited students from the 4 neighboring academic programs to attend....over 100 students participated! Later in the evening, Fred and Maureen spoke to a group of practitioners from POTA District II. In both cases, the questions, dialog and ideas about the Vision and AOTA were really thoughtful. Fred and Maureen also had the opportunity to spend time with Joan Rogers, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA and her faculty to discuss their research efforts.
Well, that’s all for now, until next time...