Chatham University

Innovation & Research

Occupational Therapy students climb Capitol Hill to advocate action

Twenty-one Chatham University Master of Occupational Therapy students, along with faculty members Dr. Joyce Salls and Dr. Cathy Dolhi attended the American Occupational Therapy Association's (AOTA) 2010 Capitol Hill Day in Washington, D.C., on September 20, 2010 to advocate for the profession and for the clients they serve. More than 400 politically active occupational therapy practitioners and students from around the United States took part in the annual event. Chatham University students and faculty met with staff from the offices of Pennsylvania leaders Senator Bob Casey, Congressman Michael Doyle, and Congressman Jason Altmire. Students from Ohio also had the opportunity to meet with staff from the offices of Congressman John Boccieri and Senator Sherrod Brown. The Chatham group put advocacy into action as they shared their concerns regarding legislative issues that potentially limit consumer access to needed therapy services. Specific topics included the eliminating of the Medicare Outpatient Therapy Cap, protecting occupational therapy reimbursement, and educating Congress regarding occupational therapy as part of the health care solution.

"Eliminating the caps on outpatient rehabilitation remains one of the top legislative concerns for AOTA," explains Joyce Salls, OTD, OTR/L, BCP, Chatham University's OT Program Director. AOTA supports elimination of these caps because they are arbitrary, inappropriate and potentially harmful to the most vulnerable Medicare beneficiaries.

Founded in 1917, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) represents the professional interests and concerns of more than 140,000 occupational therapists, assistants and students nationwide. The Association educates the public and advances the profession of occupational therapy by providing resources, setting standards, including accreditation and serving as an advocate to improve health care. Based in Bethesda, Md., AOTA's major programs and activities are directed toward promoting the professional development of its members and assuring consumer access to quality services so patients can maximize their individual potential.


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