OTA Students Take Messages to Washington, D.C.
Second year students in the occupational therapy assistant (OTA) program at Kent State East Liverpool participated in the annual American Occupational Therapy Assistant Hill Day in Washington, D.C., taking messages straight to the doorsteps of their state representatives.
For weeks preceding the conference, students in the Kent East Liverpool OTA program called to schedule appointments with individual senators and representatives from Ohio and Pennsylvania. Once in Washington, D.C., the students met in the offices of Ohio Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman; and with Ohio Representatives Bob Gibbs, Bill Johnson, Marcy Kaptur and James Renacci; as well as with Pennsylvania Senators Robert Casey and Pat Toomey and Representatives Keith Rothfus and Tim Murphey.
The students, along with faculty and staff, discussed the importance of occupational therapy and rehabilitation services and ensuring that people have full access to these services. This year, AOTA partnered with the American Society of Hand Therapy.
The focus of their lobbying included legislation to enhance the stature and visibility of medical rehabilitation research, as well as continued discussions about Medicare access to rehabilitation and advocating for occupational therapy in home health settings.
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Photo: Kent State East Liverpool students from the occupational therapy assistant program attended Hill Day in Washington, D.C. They included (front, from left) Taylar Jordan, Desiree Morgan, Amanda Duckworth, Kelsey Parker, Renee Burnett, Paris Yanno, Andreea Lang and Alycia Nicholson; (middle, from left) Kathryn Dendinger, Chelsea McCourt, Shannda Todd, Melissa Benfer, Marisa Miner, Jackie Johnson, Mary Kenney; and (back, from left) Amanda Lankford, Julian Bellamy, Allie Smith, Jeff Igleheart, Amber Affagato, Matt McLaughlin and Brian Betha.
Cover photo: OTA students at the Washington Monument