Kent State East Liverpool Students Take Messages to Washington, D.C.
Second-year students in the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Kent State University at East Liverpool participated in the annual American Occupational Therapy Assistant Association’s Hill Day in Washington, D.C., last month, taking messages straight to the doorsteps of their state representatives.
For weeks preceding the conference, students in the occupational therapy assistant 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 U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman, both from Ohio; U.S. Reps. Bob Gibbs, Bill Johnson, Marcy Kaptur and Jim Renacci, all from Ohio; U.S. Sens. Bob Casey and Pat Toomey, both from Pennsylvania; and U.S. Representatives Keith Rothfus and Tim Murphy, both from Pennsylvania.
The Kent State East Liverpool 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, the American Occupational Therapy Association 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.