OTAO Legislative Day February 9th, 2016: A Productive Day for Occupational Therapy Advocacy - Press Release
A group of occupational therapy practitioners from across Oregon descended onto Capitol Square in Salem, Oregon (OR) to raise awareness for the OT profession. The OT practitioners in attendance represented a variety of settings including acute care, long term acute care, skilled nursing, pediatrics, and school based therapy as they met with their Senate and House Representatives. While speaking with each legislator, conversations were sparked about the importance and benefits of OT across all settings in order to maximize outcomes and provide cost effective services so that all individuals can be independent and productive members of society. As guided by the OTAO Legislative Committee Co-chairs, Katie Shuler and Lara Lee-Reavis, OT practitioners highlighted OT’s most pressing legislative priorities in Oregon including access to rural health care, upcoming health care changes (CCO’s), school-based OT caseloads, and OT education costs.
As a result of these conversations, OTAO received several offers from legislators to sponsor bills related to the above issues affecting OT practice in Oregon for the 2017 session. What exciting outcomes for 15 minute meetings with legislators! See below for the list of House Reps and Senators that we met with on OTAO legislative day. Please join us next year so that we can meet with your legislators and add them to the list of OT supporters!
In addition to direct legislative advocacy through meeting with legislators, participants earned 6 CEU credits by completing objectives to learn (a) strategies to raise awareness and understanding of the OT profession; (b) steps in the legislative process; (c) current legislative issues affecting OT practice in OR; and (d) resources provided by OTAO for legislative advocacy in OR.
We look forward to next year’s legislative day during the 2017 legislative session. If you have a specific interest in Rural Loan repayment for OT practitioners or OT school caseload size, please contact Katie Shuler, OTAO Legislative Committee co-chair, as planning for 2017 begins this March!
Meetings occurred with:House Reps:
Susan McClain Rob Nosse Barbara Smith Warner Julie Parrish Bill Kennemer Senators: Chuck Riley Diane Rosenbaum Michael Dembrow Richard Devlin Alan Olsen