AOTA Board of Directors October 2012 Meeting Highlights
When AOTA’s Board of Directors met in Bethesda, Maryland, on October 19 and 20, 2012, they welcomed three new members: Vice President Amy Lamb, and Board Directors Shawn Phipps and Pam Toto.
The meeting was preceded by the Audit Committee receiving a clean (unqualified) audit from the Association’s independent audit firm of Tate & Tryon, then began with reports from the President, President-Elect, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Speaker of the Representative Assembly, and Executive Director. Secretary Paul Fontana’s report included a presentation from Rebecca E. Argabrite Grove, Chair of the Bylaws, Policies, and Procedures Committee (BPPC), about draft bylaws created in response to the requirements of the new DC NonProfit Corporation Act, which went into effect January 1, 2012. (AOTA is incorporated in the District of Columbia and must abide by its laws—for an overview of the proposed bylaws changes, click here.)
Carolyn Baum presented a report from a subgroup of the Ad Hoc Committee for the Future of OT Education, which was established by the Board. The report offered 14 recommendations in 4 categories focusing on increasing access to federally funded research and building the infrastructure to support mid-career scientists and their mentees, which the Board unanimously endorsed. The Executive Directors of AOTA and the American Occupational Therapy Foundation (AOTF) were tasked with developing an implementation plan for these recommendations.
The Board received updates on the progress of the Association’s legislative and regulatory activities, including the development of a draft proposal that will update and consolidate codes used for billing occupational therapy services under the American Medical Association’s Common Procedural Terminology (CPT) coding structure. The Board also discussed international collaboration with World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) Delegate Susan Coppola, as well as how to become better connected with WFOT. Others providing reports to the Board included Ellen McLaughlin, Chair of the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE); Gail Fisher, Chair of AOTPAC; and Janice Burke and Claudia Miller, Chairs of the OT and OTA Program Directors Councils.
Sharon A. Gutman, editor of the American Journal of Occupational Therapy (AJOT) presented an annual report on the journal, noting that it is now ranked as the number one occupational therapy journal in Journal Citation Reports and 14th of 64 in the rehabilitation section. AJOT’s impact factor has steadily improved, and has more than doubled since 2007, and the number of published articles per volume has increased, promoting the dissemination of occupational therapy research.
The Chair of the Board-appointed Consumer Ad Hoc Committee (created following an RA resolution), Stephen Kern, presented a series of Committee recommendations to enhance collaboration with consumers and consumer groups, and better utilize consumers for input in AOTA policies and standards setting.
At the October meeting President Florence Clark announced a new Diversity Ad Hoc Committee to explore how the Association can have an impact on increasing the diversity of the occupational therapy workforce and enhancing the cultural competence of occupational therapy practitioners. The Board asked the Diversity Committee to address four specific questions addressing ways in which AOTA policies, position statements, professional standards, and actions can promote a more diverse, culturally competent workforce.
These recommendations will be formulated in the context of the Association’s mission, Centennial Vision, and strategic plan.
The Board also had productive discussions with AOTF around collaborative research efforts and priorities in the context of a changing health care environment, and initiatives around research to support occupational therapy practice, with an emphasis on intervention research.
The full minutes of the meeting will be available as soon as they are approved.