Centennial Vision Journal Entry
By Penny Moyers, EdD, OTR/L, BCMH, FAOTA
I began the extraordinary journey of pursuing our Centennial Vision strategic directions and priorities with all of you at AOTA’s 87th Annual Conference & Expo. Within this short period of 3 months, I have met talented students, faculty, and fieldwork supervisors at the University of West Virginia, the University of Indianapolis, and the College of St. Catherine’s. The accomplishments of the graduates certainly nurture the spirit as they begin their careers, and in the case of postprofessional students, as they go on to pursue career advancement. Our Vision has captured not only their energy, but also my own to such an unexpected degree.
Our progress as an organization along this extraordinary journey has begun with small steps that clearly illustrate openness to change and a willingness to express creativity. With the help of AOTA members and staff, our new Board of Directors is oriented, up-to-date, and already working on task forces and projects, such as hiring Breakwhitelight, Inc., a PR firm from Los Angeles, CA, to start the public awareness efforts. Through the encouragement of our new AOTPAC chair, Amy Lamb, the Board of Directors in June unanimously voted that the 14 board members would personally contribute the equivalent of $365 per board member (dollar-a-day program) to AOTPAC. We lobbied Capitol Hill on Medicare, research, and mental health issues. Tim Nanof (AOTA staff) and I attended a summit at the Pentagon, jointly sponsored by the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs, on the care management of returning wounded soldiers. You see, we are actively modeling the Centennial Vision strategic direction for increasing advocacy. Florence Clark, our vice president, represented AOTA at the Canadian Occupational Therapy Association, an illustration of our focus on the globalization of occupational therapy.
The speaker of the Representative Assembly, Brent Braveman, and his leadership team are helping volunteer groups to focus their work on the priorities of the Centennial Vision. Our staff members have a work plan to do the same. You will see Board members, staff, and your representatives to AOTA’s Representative Assembly out and about during state association fall conferences to discuss the Centennial Vision and the process of its implementation. The journey is exciting because we learn every day and we combine this new learning with what we know to create new opportunities to advance our Vision. We are honing our organization’s ability to align with the important purpose of improving in society the participation of everyone in daily life activities regardless of impairments, limitations, or restrictions.