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inTeRlink

Therapeutic Recreation News & Articles- 2004
Click here for articles

News Archives

"inTeRlink" is an on-line therapeutic recreation newsletter featuring links to articles on & related to recreation therapy and therapeutic recreation on the Internet. Send news items and links to Charlie Dixon at charlie * recreationtherapy.com (change * to @ before emailing).

Date shown on each article reflect the date link/item was added to this page and not necessary the date the article was written. It is quite possible that linked articles are no longer available.

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(7-15-05) For students who are tired of being in the classroom, a semester living in the wilderness of northern Arizona may be just the answer.

Ancient Pathways, a Flagstaff-based wilderness company, puts a new twist on academic studies by mentoring students in the traditional survival skills of the Southwest while spending time with Native elders and learning how to live closely with the land. During the 90-day outdoor program, students practice skills such as making fire without matches, collecting edible plants, constructing shelters, and apply their knowledge on primitive walkabouts. Students may take the semester for college credit or just for the experience.

“This is such a unique program since it is held in a region where three different natural settings converge– the Painted Desert, Grand Canyon, and San Francisco Mountains,” said Tony Nester, the founder of the program. “Plus the close proximity to native American tribal lands and numerous archeological sites, make this an incredible learning environment. We also have a world-renowned group of lecturers and field researchers from the Southwest who join us throughout the semester to share their expertise and knowledge,” said Nester.

For more information, visit southwestsemester.com or call Tony Nester at 928/774-7522.

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NEWS RELEASE
July 12, 2005
Contact: Laurie Jake, ATRA Communications Coordinator
Phone (480) 460-1525 or
Dawn DeVries, ATRA Conferences Coordinator
Phone: (703) 683-9420

Recreational Therapists Continue a Legacy Way out West

(Alexandria, VA) The 2005 Annual Conference of American Therapeutic Recreation Association will be held October 7-11, 2005, in downtown Salt Lake City. Known for its beautiful mountains and rich history, Utah is a perfect location for recreational therapists to celebrate their heritage and look toward the future of the profession.

Recreational therapists from all over the world will be in Salt Lake City, Utah for the 2005 ATRA Annual Conference Continuing the Legacy. Planned for October 7-11th, the conference will be held at the Salt Lake City Marriott, and will enable participants to experience the vibrant fall season in Utah’s capital city, set against the towering Wasatch Mountains. Salt Lake City is a beautiful conference location with restaurants, parks and mountain activities all within a few miles, surrounded by mountains and the Great Salt Lake providing breathtaking scenery.

Opening Keynote Phil Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee will set the tone for the conference as he shares about promoting the health and human rights of individuals with disabilities through the Paralympic movement. The conference will offer top rated education with presenters sharing about new interventions, programs, research and advocacy to promote professional development and enhance clinical skills for professional recreational therapists. Session topics will include; Expressive art activities, Standards of Practice for recreational therapists, World Health Organization(WHO) and International Classification of Function (ICF), aquatic therapy techniques, sensory integration, Inclusion and many others. For excitement away from the conference, attendees can visit one of fifteen national parks and monuments all within a one-day drive from Salt Lake.

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NEWS RELEASE
December 6, 2004

Contact: Laurie Jake, ATRA Communications Coordinator
Phone (480) 460-1525 or
Ann D Huston, ATRA Executive Director
Phone: (703) 683-9420

ATRA Releases New Long-Term Care Monograph Series

(Alexandria, VA) In continuing efforts to advance the care of individuals in Long Term Care Facilities, the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) is pleased to announce the release of the new Long Term Care Monograph Series entitled, “Enhancing Your Practice in Long Term Care”.

This series of monographs was designed to be a clinical practice resource for recreational therapists working in long term care settings, and encompasses a variety of topics that impact recreational therapy in this clinical setting. These monographs also assist in encouraging the practice of recreational therapy in long term care settings, and aides in the transitioning from activity programs to the practice of quality recreational therapy. There are a total of 18 topics planned for this monograph series. Topics in this series will include: assessment, MDS, documentation, treatment protocols, short term stay patients, survey process, reimbursement and LTC trends and issues. An additional bonus to this series is the availability of continuing education credit for the monograph.

This document is one of the many resources available through the American Therapeutic Recreation Association to support recreational therapists employed in long term care settings. According to ATRA President Nancy McFarlane “Building a base of knowledge is the foundation of our professional association. Providing vital publications like this continues to strengthen our professional practice and provides necessary data and information to provide improved services for the clients we serve."

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ATRA Seeks Board Nominations for Year 2005-2007

“True leaders are not those who strive to be first but those who are first to strive and who give their all for the success of the team. True leaders are first to see the need, envision the plan, and empower the team for action. By the strength of the leader's commitment, the power of the team is unleashed."

The ATRA Nominations/Elections Team is seeking nominations from members who would be willing to serve on the ATRA Board of Directors. If you have considered being involved in ATRA’s leadership, or you have a colleague who is a qualified candidate, interested and willing to serve, there has never been a better time to get involved in ATRA’s leadership team. If you have served in a leadership capacity at the team, network or chapter level and wish to expand the scope of your professional involvement, please consider running for one of the ATRA positions open during 2005-2007. Positions available include President-Elect, Treasurer and Member-At-Large. Board members direct the affairs of the Association, serve as liaisons to committees and also assist with special projects furthering the mission of ATRA. Individuals must be willing to attend and participate in board meetings at the Mid-Year/Annual Conferences and at the annual budget meeting. Individuals with a Professional membership in the Association are eligible to apply for the President-Elect and Secretary positions and individuals with either a Professional or Associate membership are eligible to apply for the Member-At-Large positions.

For more information please visit http://www.atra-tr.org/pressrelease/04-11-30.htm

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NEWS RELEASE
November 10, 2004

Contact: Laurie Jake, ATRA Communications Coordinator
Phone (480) 460-1525 or
Ann D Huston, ATRA Executive Director
Phone: (703) 683-9420

CDC’s Dr. Don Lollar to serve as Ad Hoc Board Member

(ALEXANDRIA, VA) Nancy McFarlane, CTRS President of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) recently announced that the 2004-2005 ATRA Ad Hoc Board Member will be Don Lollar, Ed.D, a Senior Research Scientist, for the Division for Human Development and Disability at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. McFarlane stated, “We are honored this year to have Dr. Don Lollar as our Consumer Advisor.”

Dr. Lollar spoke at the 2003 ATRA Annual Conference in Atlanta, GA and challenged recreational therapy professionals to address the need for intervention on the growing epidemic of obesity in this county. As the Consumer advisor, Dr. Lollar will be able to offer insight to the ATRA Board of Directors, specifically related to healthcare policy. Lollar currently serves as the co-lead of the HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010 workgroup on Disability and Secondary Conditions and is the CDC representative to the advisory committee for the Child and Adolescent Measurement of Health Initiative and the Surgeon General's Task Force on Children's Mental Health. Dr. Lollar is an initiator and member of the World Health Organization task force to adapt the international classification (ICF) for children and youth with disabilities. According to the CDC, Dr. Lollar has spent the past seven years developing public health science and programs to increase participation in society among people with disabilities by promoting health and preventing secondary conditions. According to McFarlane, Dr. Lollar is a leading advocate on health issues in the United States. McFarlane states, “We are very excited to have him join our Board in this advisory capacity.”

The American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) is the national membership organization representing the interests and need of recreational therapists. ATRA has a long history of active involvement with healthcare policy issues and the entire Board of Directors is very excited at the prospect of working closely with Dr. Lollar in the upcoming year.

For more information, please contact the ATRA National Office at (703) 683-9420 or access the ATRA website at www.atra-tr.org

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PRESS RELEASE

Grace Demmery Reynolds Receives World Leader Proclamation at ATRI Symposium

Las Vegas, Nevada -- At the Awards Luncheon of the "Aquatic Therapy Rehabilitation Institute" Symposium a "Proclamation -- Grace Demmery Reynolds Is Proclaimed A Foremost World Leader of Aquatics and Recreation for Special Populations of the 20th Century" was presented to Mrs. Reynolds by Mary Essert on behalf of the Recognition Committee. The proclamation recognized service since 1958 at the local, state, national and world levels. Mrs. Reynolds was attending the Symposium to Chair a special session on "From Clinic to Community." Individuals may contact Mrs. Grace Demmery Reynolds at 4007 Rosewood Street, Longview, WA, 98632 -- TEL 360/414-8715 FAX 360/577-1114 EMAIL <dif@adelphia.net>. SEE BELOW FOR PRESS CONTACT AND ACCESS TO ARTICLES, PUBLICATIONS BY MRS. REYNOLDS.
____
Proclamation -- Grace Demmery Reynolds Is Proclaimed A Foremost World Leader Of Aquatics And Recreation For Special Populations Of The 20th Century

Whereas, Grace Demmery Reynolds Has,
From 1958 To The Present, Provided Global Pioneering Inspiration, Leadership, And
Service For Special Populations As Follows:

* Teacher/Leader/Programmer for special programs and services for thousands of children, youth, and adults;

* Director: YMCA Special Populations Programs at the Local Southwest Washington-YMCA and YMCA of the USA (national), Chicago; and, Chair, World Alliance of YMCAs Committee on Youth and Disability, Geneva, Switzerland;

* Activator at the Community, City, State, National and Global Levels for Progress in Rehabilitation of People with Disabilities, All Disease and Disability Conditions, All Age Levels, All Socio-Economic Levels -- in Institutions, Hospitals, Care Services and in the local and wider Community Facilities and Services;

* Advocate for Special Populations for Opportunity for Activity, Accessibility (physical, program, service, social), Access to Faith Participation, Aquatics (special and therapeutic), Camping, Employment, Health Promotion, Human Rights, Physical Activity and Fitness, Recreation (special and therapeutic), and Youth Service;

* Author, Editor, and Publisher of Professional Curricula, Guides, Manuals, Newsletters, Papers, Research, and Web Sites in the USA and Globally;

* Trainer for Thousands of Professional In-service Personnel in Access, Aquatics, Faith Participation, Fitness, Physical Education, and Recreation;

* Researcher and Innovator (under Contracts with the U.S. Bureau of Education for the Handicapped) of New Methods, Programs, Services, and Training for Professional Service to Special Populations through YMCA PROJECTS: MAY-- Mainstreaming Activities for Youth; Project Aquatics; and, PAM--Project Aquatics Mainstreaming. Also, Fitness -- Fitness for Youth with Disabilities funded by the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, YMCA of the USA, and Disability International Foundation;

* Adviser to the U.S. President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, U.S. President's Council of Physical Fitness and Sport, and U.S. Americans with Disabilities Act -- variously serving Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and G.H.W. Bush;

* Contributor as adviser, clinician, member, trainer, and collaborator to and with: American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance; American Red Cross; Aquatic Therapy and Rehabilitation Institute; Council for National Cooperation in Aquatics; International Council on Disability; Kennedy Foundation and Special Olympics; National Organization on Disability; National Parks and Recreation Association, National Therapeutic Recreation Society; People to People Committee on Disability; Rehabilitation [people with disabilities] International, Special Recreation for disABLED International, USA Water Fitness Association, and other organizations;

* Founding President and CEO of Disability International Foundation (DIF) providing services from local to global. DIF posted a "recognition winning" Website;and, DIF and Special Recreation for disABLED International (SRDI) posted a Website, "Global Vision of Rehabilitation and Recreation for People with Disabilities in the 21st Century" (75 articles, 300 pp.); DIF Co-Sponsored "Exchange, Lecture, and Seminars on Special Recreation Tours": 1998: China-Chengdu, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, and Tibet; 1999: China-Beijing, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam; and, 2000: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela; and, conducted conference and other services;

* Friend and Collaborator with All People with Disabilities, All Professionals, and All Volunteers in Rehabilitation Service Globally Who Strive for the Highest Possible Fulfillment in the Quality of Life for Every Person with Disability -- Creatively, Economically, Educationally, Physically, Recreationally, Spiritually, Socially, and Vocationally -- in All Nations of the World; AND

* Standard for the 21st Century for Personnel, Professional and Volunteer, of Dedication and Service To, For, and With People Who Are Disabled, Convalescent, Ill, Disadvantaged, and Disenfranchised.

Therefore, Be It Resolved That ...

Proclamation -- Grace Demmery Reynolds Is Proclaimed A Foremost World Leader
Of Aquatics And Recreation For Special Populations Of The 20st Century

Recognition Committee:
Kathy Bateman; Bruce Becker, MD; Mary B. Essert, ATRIC; Ann Holladay; Carolyn Feasey Kirkpatrick;
Professor Jane Katz, Ed.D.; Doug Kinnard, ATRIC; Dori Maxon, P.T.; Bess Maxwell, Ph.D., P.T.; Sue and Mick Nelson; Professor John A. Nesbitt, Ed.D.; Alison Osinski; Ph.D.; Professor Julian U. Stein, Ed.D.; Ruth Sova, M.S., ATRIC;
John Spannuth; John K. Williams; Faye Dulcey Weinstein, P.T; and, Mary Wykle, Ph.D.

August 12, 2004

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NEWS RELEASE

Contact: Laurie Jake, ATRA Communications Coordinator
Phone (480) 460-1525 or
Ann D Huston, ATRA Executive Director
Phone: (703) 683-9420

ATRA ANNOUNCES OFFICERS FOR 2004-2005 BOARD OF DIRECTORS

(ALEXANDRIA, VA) The American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) officially welcomed Nancy McFarlane, CTRS as the new President of the 2004-2005 ATRA Board of Directors. McFarlane was inducted on October3rd during the annual membership meeting at the Annual ATRA conference in Kansas City, MO

McFarlane, the Acting Clinical Manager for the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center is a long time member of ATRA and has served previously on the Board of Directors. A graduate of the University of Northern Colorado, McFarlane has been working in the recreational therapy field for over 25 years.

McFarlane has been actively involved in the ATRA leadership team for several years, most recently providing leadership to the ATRA Ethics and Student Development teams. McFarlane identified three key presidential initiatives for this upcoming year; increasing and strengthening professional membership, continuing to lead and support the ATRA Recreational Therapy Medicare Project, and continuing to further develop ATRA’s Clinical Practice Guidelines which link practice to outcomes.

Also inducted were Bryan McCormick, PhD., CTRS of Bloomington, IN as President Elect, Missy Armstrong, MS, CTRS of Seattle, WA as Secretary, Nancy Richeson, Ph.D., CTRS of Alfred, ME, Ben Curti, CTRS of Pikeville, MD and Mary Ann Keogh Hoss, Ph.D., CTRS of Spokane, WA as members at large. They will be joining Diane Baumann, MA, CTRS of Floyds Knob, IN currently serving as Treasurer and Becki Chilcote-McGrath, CTRS of Scottsdale, AZ and Sharon Ballard CTRS of Alexandria, VA currently serving as members at large. As the new Chair of ATRA’s Chapter Affiliate Council, Kelly Parker, CTRS of Mena, AR will be serving as an ad hoc member of the Board. McFarlane described, “This year’s Board of Directors is a unique balance of educators, practitioners, and managers. It is the perfect balance to lead our membership into the next twenty years.”

The American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) is the national membership organization representing the interests and needs of recreational therapists. ATRA leads the profession with nationally recognized professional standards of practice, code of ethics and competency guidelines. For more information, please contact the ATRA National Office at (703) 683-9420 or access the ATRA website at www.atra-tr.org.


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Congratulations to the 2004 ATRA Awards Winners
The Annual ATRA Awards program recognizes many of the individuals who have worked diligently to advance the profession of therapeutic recreation. ATRA would like to congratulate the following individuals who were recognized at the Awards ceremony in Kansas City, MO during the ATRA Annual conference.

The ATRA Distinguished Fellow Award for 2004 was presented to John Jacobson. This is the highest award granted by ATRA. Jacobson was recognized for considerable contributions in professional ethics, leadership and his current work with the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Function.

The Outstanding Professional Awards were presented to Vicky Scott and Laurie Jake. Scott was recognized for her outstanding work in the area of public policy and her lengthy history of leadership and service to ATRA and her local chapter RTI. Jake was recognized for her efforts in communication and her leadership of the ATRF and her role as chair of this past year’s Mid-year professional issues forum in Albuquerque, NM.

The Frank N. Brasile Clinician of the Year Award was presented to Amy Demay, along with a monetary award by the American Therapeutic Recreation Foundation (ATRF) for supporting students and fellow professionals in the mental health treatment area.

The Member of the Year Award was presented to Kelly Parker for significant efforts in the ATRA State Public Policy team as well as his active involvement with the ATRA Coverage & Reimbursement, Marketing, and Public Policy teams, as well as his leadership of the Chapter Affiliate Council.

The Scholarly Achievement Award was presented to Jean Folkerth to recognize her scholarly contributions to the field of therapeutic recreation, specifically in the areas of higher education and professional preparation and her history of leadership to the profession.

The Organization or Institution Award was presented to TR Directory website, for efforts in supporting and promoting therapeutic recreation.

The Excellence in Education Award was presented to Eastern WA University and Dr. John Cogley for early contributions to the field in providing distance education and paving the way for cutting edge distance education opportunities.

ATRA Certificates of Recognition were presented to members Colleen Cooke, Erin Ferguson, Karla Belzer, Kim Clarke, and Sandra Negley.

Presidential awards were given to Peg Connolly, Glen Van Andel, Dick Beckley, Ray West, and David Park in recognition of their support and service on the first ATRA board twenty years ago, Larry Long and Carla Carmichael of the VA for their active support of ATRA within the VA system & and Joanne Finnegan for her incredible leadership as Chair of the CARF board of Trustees. In addition, ATRA’s Executive Director, Ann Huston was recognized for 10 years of service.

The ATRA Chapter of the Year was presented to the Tennessee recreational Therapy Association (TRTA) for their advocacy efforts on behalf of the profession

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American Therapeutic Recreation Association
founded in 1984
NEWS RELEASE

Contact: Laurie Jake, ATRA Communications Coordinator
Phone (480) 460-1525 or
Ann D Huston MPA, CTRS, ATRA Executive Director
Phone: (703) 683-9420

Utah Recreational Therapy Practice Act Passes

(Alexandria, VA) The American Therapeutic Recreation Association is excited to announce the successful achievement of another milestone recognition for the recreational therapy profession. The Utah Recreational Therapy Practice Act passed in both the Utah House of Representatives and Senate. For the past 8 years Utah recreational therapists have prepared for the 2005 sunset review of the Utah Recreational Therapy Practice Act, under the direction of legislative chair, Trish DeYoung. The Utah Recreation Therapy Association decided to present changes to the practice act this past legislative year prior to the Acts scheduled review. According to ATRA Member Sandy Negley of Utah, “This was no easy feat and the professionals in Utah were amazing.”

In March the bill was passed with the changes to the Practice Act and with an extension of the next Sunset Review until 2013. At the current time the Department of Professional Licensing is the processes of taking comments on the rules. The rules will be amended and then presented in public hearing.

While there continues to be a great deal of legislative work for the recreational therapists in Utah, maintaining licensure for 30 years is an amazing accomplishment. Negley commented, “It is so unbelievable what can happen when people come together for the common good.”

ATRA President Melinda Conway Callahan "applauds the recreational therapists in the state of Utah that worked so hard for this review and extension of the state license for recreational therapists. Recognition of recreational therapists by the state of Utah via this licensure act is confirmation to the value and benefit of recreational therapy services to health care consumers"

This is a huge victory for the clients that will be assured greater access and more qualified recreational therapy services. According to ATRA’s Executive Director, Ann Huston, “This is the first of many successes to come. Recognition of the therapeutic recreation profession can be valuable to the public interest and the protection of consumers of services.” Huston further explains, “It is important for all therapeutic recreation specialists to possess maximum competency, and not just satisfy minimum standards of expertise. Since the ultimate goal of any national and/or state recognition effort in therapeutic recreation is the protection of the consumer.”

For more information, please contact the ATRA National Office at (703) 683-9420 or at www.atra-tr.org.

Highlighted Provisions of the Utah Recreational Therapy practice Act:
- provides a definition for assessment and modifies the definitions of practice recreational therapy, treatment plan, and unprofessional conduct;
- modifies licensing requirements for master therapeutic recreational specialists, therapeutic recreational specialists, and therapeutic recreational technicians;
- modifies the scope of practice of master therapeutic specialists and therapeutic recreational technicians;
- modifies the content of a recreational therapy treatment or intervention plan; and
- repeals exemptions from licensure to engage in the practice of recreational therapy
(http://www.le.state.ut.us/~code/TITLE58/58_18.htm)
(http://www.dopl.utah.gov/licensing/recreational_therapy_sub_page.html)

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8-17-04 Proclamation -- Grace Demmery Reynolds Is Proclaimed A Foremost World Leader Of Aquatics And Recreation For Special Populations Of The 20th Centuries

Whereas, Grace Demmery Reynolds Has,
From 1958 To The Present, Provided Global Pioneering Inspiration, Leadership, And Service For Special Populations As Follows:

* Teacher/Leader/Programmer for special programs and services for thousands of children, youth, and adults;
* Director for YMCA Special Populations Programs at the Local-YMCA, National-YMCA, and World-YMCA levels;
* Activator at the Community, City, State, National and Global Levels for Progress in Rehabilitation of People with Disabilities, All Disease and Disability Conditions, All Age Levels, All Socio-Economic Levels -- in Institutions, Hospitals, Care Services and in the local and wider Community Facilities and Services;
* Advocate for Special Populations for Opportunity for Activity, Accessibility (physical, program, service, social), Access to Faith Participation, Aquatics (special and therapeutic), Employment, Human Rights, Physical Activity and Fitness, Recreation (special and therapeutic), and Youth Service;
* Author, Editor, and Publisher of Professional Curricula, Guides, Manuals, Newsletters, Papers, Research, and Web Sites in the USA and Globally;
* Trainer for Thousands of Professional In-service Personnel in Access, Aquatics, Faith Participation, Fitness, Physical Education, and Recreation.
* Researcher and Innovator (under Contracts with the U.S. Bureau of Education for the Handicapped) of New Methods, Programs, Services, and Training for Professional Service to Special Populations through
PROJECTS: Aquatics; FIT--Fitness for Youth with Disabilities; MAY--Mainstreaming Activities for Youth; and, PAM--Project Aquatics Mainstreaming.
* Adviser to the U.S. President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, U.S. President's Council of Physical Fitness and Sport, and U.S. Americans with Disabilities Act -- variously serving Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and GHW Bush.
* Contributor as adviser, clinician, member, trainer, and collaborator to and with: American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance; American Red Cross; Aquatic Therapy and Rehabilitation Institute; Council for National Cooperation in Aquatics; International Council on Disability; Kennedy Foundation and Special Olympics; National Organization on Disability; National Therapeutic Recreation Society; People to People Committee on Disability; Rehabilitations [people with disabilities] International, Special Recreation for disABLED International, USA Water Fitness Association, and other organizations.
* Founding President and CEO of Disability International Foundation (DIF) providing services from local to global. DIF posted a "recognition winning"
Website;and, DIF and Special Recreation for disABLED International (SRDI) posted a Website, "Global Vision of Rehabilitation and Recreation for People with Disabilities in the 21st Century" (75 articles, 300 pp.); DIF Co-Sponsored "Exchange, Lecture, and Seminars on Special Recreation
Tours": 1998: China-Chengdu, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, and Tibet; 1999: China-Beijing, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam; and, 2000: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela; and, conducted conference and other services.
* Friend and Collaborator with All People with Disabilities, All Professionals, and All Volunteers in Rehabilitation Service Globally Who Strive for the Highest Possible Fulfillment in the Quality of Life for Every Person with Disability -- Creatively, Economically, Educationally, Physically, Recreationally, Spiritually, Socially, and Vocationally -- in All Nations of the World; AND
* Standard for the 21st Century for Personnel, Professional and Volunteer, of Dedication and Service To, For, and With People Who Are Disabled, Convalescent, Ill, Disadvantaged, and Disenfranchised.

Therefore, Be It Resolved That ...

Proclamation -- Grace Demmery Reynolds Is Proclaimed A Foremost World Leader Of Aquatics And Recreation For Special Populations Of The 20st Century

Recognition Committee:

Patsy Bateman; Dr. Bruce Becker, MD; Mary B. Essert; Carolyn Feasey; Aquatic Specialist; Professor Jane Katz, Ph.D.; Doug Kinnard; Dr. Bess Maxwell; Sue and Mick Nelson; Professor John A. Nesbitt, Ed.D.; Dr.
Alison Osinski; Ph.D.; Professor Julian U. Stein, Ed.D.; Ruth Sova; John Spannuth; John K. Williams; Dulcey Weinstein; Dr. Mary Wykle.

August 12, 2004

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NEWS RELEASE
July 28, 2004

Contact: Laurie Jake, ATRA Communications Coordinator
Phone (480) 460-1525 or
Ann D Huston MPA, CTRS
Phone: (703) 683-9420

ATRA Joins HHS National Initiative Supporting Physical Activity For Children And Youth With Disabilities, I Can Do It, You Can Do It

(Alexandria, VA) The American Therapeutic Recreation Association is excited to announce its involvement in a program of national significance to mentor, motivate and assist youth with all disabilities to engage in increased levels of physical activity. The initiative, which originated in the Office of Disability of HHS and in collaboration with the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sport (PCPFS), is based on two key strategies. To encourage an increase in physical activity among youth with disabilities using the PCPFS Presidential Awards program, and the establishment of a national mentoring program.

HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson launched the new program to support good health and physical activity for the 6 million American children and youth who have disabilities. “Everyone knows that physical activity is one of the essential keys to good health, and anyone who has ever seen the Paralympic Games knows that people with disabilities can be capable of remarkable physical achievements,” Secretary Thompson said. “This initiative will be an important step in helping young Americans with disabilities develop the same lifelong good habit of physical activity that we wish for all Americans.”

On May 26, ATRA members, Ann Huston, Marcia Smith, Allison Zwanzig, Pam Cauley, and Angie Kiger participated in the National Initiative kick off event in the Great Hall at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, DC. Special activity exhibits, including a climbing wall with adaptive equipment, an obstacle course for wheelchair users, table tennis, golf and bowling were some of the activities that children with various disabilities participated in at the roll out event.

ATRA is one of nearly 50 national organizations that are participating in this presidential initiative, and one of nine organization that have volunteered to pilot the starting the program. ATRA member Marcia Smith, MA., CTRS., H/FI is the association’s official representative to the national initiative. Smith, who works as the Clinical Coordinator of Recreational Therapy at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda MD, is a past ATRA board member. According to Smith, “"ATRA's involvement in this very significant program cannot be underemphasized. The commitment of recreational therapists working with children with disabilities is paramount to provide the skills and abilities for these children and their families to fully participate in life's activities. The HHS initiative is clearly a path to this goal".

The “I Can Do It, You Can Do It” campaign to encourage youth with disabilities to engage in more physical activity, thus improving their health and well-being is based on a mentor ship concept. Under the initiative, ATRA and other partner organizations will help bring together physically fit mentors with young people who have a disability to help increase appropriate physical activity and good nutritional habits as an important part of their lives. Mentors can be adults with and without disabilities. Participants will be eligible for physical activity awards from the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Young athletes can earn the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) by meeting a daily activity goal at least five days a week for six weeks. The program will involve incremental activity and tailoring to individual requirements. The Presidential Champion Award (PCA) is awarded to athletes with disabilities who are already active and are seeking a new challenge. After earning a certain amount of points, the young athletes earn either a Bronze, Silver or Gold medal.

This a great way for Recreational Therapist to get involved in promoting fitness and well being for children with disabilities. For more information, please contact the ATRA National Office at (703) 683-9420.

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American Therapeutic Recreation Association
founded in 1984
NEWS RELEASE

Contact: Laurie Jake, ATRA Communications Coordinator
Phone (480) 460-1525 or
Ann Huston, ATRA Executive Director
Phone: (703) 683-9420

Recreational Therapist Invited to Address 10th Annual North American Collaborating Center Conference on ICF

(Alexandria, VA) ATRA Members Bryan McCormack, Youngkhill Lee and John Jacobson were recently invited to present at the prestigious 10th Annual North American Collaborating Center (NACC) Conference on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) from June 1-4, 2004, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The meeting focused on developing a comprehensive North American research agenda for ICF. The ICF is a new and multi-dimensional classification, encompassing both a medical and a social model of disability, and has not been used extensively in its current structure. The theme for the conference was "Advancing a Research Agenda for ICF." Participants came from Canada, the United States, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Australia, Brazil, Egypt, Finland, France, Guinea, Japan, Nigeria, and South Africa.

Rehabilitation professional organizations, including ATRA, are involved in implementation of the ICF, with regard to scope of practice, models of service, curriculum development, as well as clinical applications. The American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) has joined the implementation efforts and three members of ATRA’s ICF Team, Bryan McCormick, Youngkhill Lee, and John Jacobson, presented on the topic “Operationalizing Community Integration via the ICF”. The research, focused on understanding the underlying psychophysiological processes evoked by recreation participation and the relationship of these processes to health.

Within the United States, the ICF is being embraced by federal agencies, major professional health organizations, leading research centers and rehabilitation leaders. The disability community is moving away from the medical model and the ICF is bridging the social and medical model of health care. The ICF is conducive with, and supports recreational therapy philosophy and practice.
ATRA is recognized by the American Psychological Association as a contributor in the drafting of “ICF for clinical practice: procedural manual and guide for standardized application of ICF”, which is due for publication in 2005. Jacobson, McCormack and Lee, currently head up this APA/WHO project on the International Classification of Function for ATRA’s WHO-ICF Team.

ATRA President Melinda Conway Callahan shared, “We are extremely proud of these members, I have already congratulated them for being selected to present at such a prestigious and important event. This is very impressive and I appreciate their work and contribution to the ICF conference. I hope this achievement will encourage more recreational therapists to apply and share their knowledge in the future”.

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NEWS RELEASE
July 6, 2004

Contact: Laurie Jake, ATRA Communications Coordinator
Phone (480) 460-1525 or
Ann D Huston MPA, CTRS
Phone: (703) 683-9420

ATRA Announces Student Scholarship Recipients for the 2004 ATRA Annual Conference

(Alexandria, VA) The American Therapeutic Recreation Association’s Office of Continuing Education is pleased to announce the 2004 Recipients of the Peg Connolly Scholarship. Named in honor of Dr. Peg Connolly, the first President of the Association and former Executive Director of the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification, this program provides a tremendous experience for students. Eight stipends have been awarded to deserving students to attend ATRA’s 2004 Annual Conference held in Kansas City.

Recipients will assist in various aspects of implementing the conference such as room hosting, registration and monitoring social events. This program has tremendous personal and professional benefits and rewards. Not only do students gain professional knowledge from sessions, they have the opportunity to network with professionals from around the country. ATRA believes the future of our field depends on the continuing growth of students. Today, many former scholarship recipients prove this belief by serving vital roles within the recreational therapy profession.

Students were chosen based on exceptional competence in the field of therapeutic recreation academic achievement, personal and professional philosophy, leadership skills and other occupational achievements. Scholarship recipients for 2004 are:
Emily Bean Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

Jabeth Coachman Pittsburgh State University, Pittsburgh, KS

Rosemarie Hindes California State University Northridge

Tara MacCaughelty Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA

Lauren McPartlin University of Southern Maine, Portland, Maine

Danny Pettry II Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

Beth Sibert Eastern Washington University, Spokane, WA

Deborah Silver Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY

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NEWS RELEASE
July 1, 2004

Contact: Laurie Jake, ATRA Communications Coordinator
Phone (480) 460-1525 or
Ann D. Huston, ATRA Executive Director
Phone: (703) 683-9420

Recreational Therapy Recognized as Allied Health Profession of the Month

(Alexandria, VA) Recreational Therapy has been recognized as the Allied Health Profession of the Month for the month of July. The Allied Health Profession of the Month is a program coordinated through the Health Professions Network (HPN). For the direct link to the Recreational Therapy profession’s recognition go to http://www.healthpronet.org/ahp_month/07_04.html

Recognition as the Allied Health Profession of the Month is an honor for the recreational therapy profession and coincides with the nationally recognized month of July to celebrate the profession. The official celebration for recreational therapy is the week of July 11-18, 2004 however many recreational therapy professionals chose to celebrate the entire month of July.
The American Therapeutic Recreation Association has many promotional items available on their website to recognize the profession during the month of July at http://www.atra-tr.org/promotions/index.htm

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NEWS RELEASE

Contact: Ann D Huston MPA, CTRS, ATRA Executive Director
Phone: (703) 683-9420

ATRA Announces New Community Inclusion Treatment Network

(Alexandria, VA) The American Therapeutic Recreation is pleased to announce an addition to the highly successful ATRA treatment networks, the new ATRA Community Inclusion Treatment Network. The ATRA Board of Directors officially approved the new treatment network during the American Therapeutic Recreation Association’s Mid-Year Professional Issues Forum held March 27-30, 2004 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and the new Netwo0rk will kick-off with its first official meeting during ATRA’s Annual Conference held September 30- October 4, 2004, at the Crowne Center Hyatt in Kansas City, MO.

With a grassroots effort, ATRA members identified their support of the segment of TR treatment services that includes community-based care. Through the efforts of a dedicated formation group, led by ATRA members Lynda Mitchell, Alayne Kazin, Valerie Romeo, and Cindy Covey, the group was able to demonstrate not only an interest in the new network by gathering over 30 letters or e-mails of support, but the group also demonstrated the unique body of knowledge or expertise through a detailed reference list composed of articles, research and continuing education

ATRA Board Liaison Sharon Ballard, became aware that there was a need for such a network based on verbal comments & requests from several ATRA members – but states, “ it was so gratifying to have this formally confirmed by the gathering of signatures and by the calls I received after the network was approved. It is very exciting to have this new network available to therapists who work in the community. I look forward to this first year as the group begins to form and work together.”

The Community Inclusion Treatment Network will have Interim Leadership by Alayne Kazin, M.A., CTRS of Cincinnati, OH, Lynda Mitchell, Ed.D., CTRS, CPRP of Philadelphia, PA, Valerie Romeo, CTRS of Kalamazoo, MI and in a Supportive Role, Cindy Covey, CTRS of Little Rock, AR. The ATRA Board will accept formal applications for the Network’s coordinator position.

For more information, please contact the ATRA National Office at (703) 683-9420.

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NEWS RELEASE

Contact: Laurie Jake, ATRA Communications Coordinator
Phone (480) 460-1525 or
Dawn DeVries, ATRA Conferences Coordinator
Phone: (703) 683-9420

Recreational Therapists Celebrate 20 Successful Years

(Alexandria, VA) The 2004 Annual Conference of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association will be held September 30- October 4, 2004, at the Crowne Center Hyatt in Kansas City, MO. This year’s theme: “Celebrating the Past, Growing For The Future” truly reflects the vibrant nature of this conference addressing the dynamic history and advancements in the therapeutic recreation field, as well as exciting new interventions and current healthcare and public policy issues that impact practice. Conference participants from across the country will enjoy the unique sights and sounds of Kansas City as they gather for the largest national conference of recreational therapy professionals.

This conference marks ATRA’s 20th Anniversary, and ATRA is excited to come back to Kansas City, the city where it all started. Kansas City is not only the birthplace of ATRA, but within a short drive of downtown Kansas City, people can visit the birthplace of the Pony Express or of Amelia Earhart. Kansas City played a major role in history as a gateway for pioneers heading west along the Oregon, California and Santa Fe trails and conference participants can immerse themselves in Civil War history or explore some of the nation's top antique shops.

The conference will be bursting at the seams with five days of educational sessions covering a wide array of topics from Aquatic therapy and Pain Management to current public policy and health care issues including the latest changes with JCAHO and CARF that affect recreational therapy services. This year’s conference features sessions designed to help recreational therapy professionals look toward their own future, including presentations covering how to get published and how to get involved with research. During this year’s conference ATRA is launching an evening of Non-CEU Intervention learning opportunities for recreational therapists to explore and gain skills in activity based interventions like Aromatherapy, Tai Chi and Kin Ball.

From start to finish, the conference will focus on celebrating ATRA’s 20 incredible years. ATRA is excited to host Keynote Speaker, Randy Snow, well known for his success in international wheelchair sports. Highlights of the conference include ATRA’s Dementia Clinical Practice Guideline Training, an Educators Institute, a special all day Institute for Recreational therapists working in the Veterans Administration, an all day Institute on Inclusion, an all day Institute on Clinical Supervision and members can participate in pre and post conference offerings.

Recreational therapists love to have fun so Kansas City will offer plenty of that too. Barbecue is a way of life in Kansas City, and you can bet an evening of authentic KC Barbeque will be on the schedule. The American Therapeutic Recreation Foundation has big plans for a truly Kansas City style celebration to honor researchers and past leaders in the recreational therapy field.

For more information about the conference or the field of recreational therapy please contact the American Therapeutic Recreation Association.

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NEWS RELEASE
April 27, 2004

Contact: Ann Huston, ATRA Executive Director
Phone: (703) 683-9420

Recreational Therapists Invited to Address 9th International Conference on Alzheimer’s disease and Related Disorders

(Alexandria, VA) ATRA Member Dr. Linda Buettner, of the Florida Gulf Coast University has been invited to present her abstract, “"Community of cognitive health: normalized services for families with dementia” at The Alzheimer’s Association 9th International Conference on Alzheimer’s disease and Related Disorders. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, this conference will be the largest gathering of Alzheimer researchers in history. As many as 5,000 scientists from around the world will present and discuss the findings of 2,000 studies showcasing the newest treatment advances in Alzheimer’s disease and steps toward prevention. The Conference will be held July 17-22, 2004, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA. In addition, Buettner, along with fellow ATRA members Dr. Nancy Richeson from the University of Southern Maine and Marcia Shalek from Massachusetts, were accepted to do poster presentation sessions at the National Alzheimer’s conference entitled, “Air Mat Therapy for the Treatment of Agitated Wandering: An Evidence-Based Recreational Therapy Intervention.”

ATRA has secured exhibit space at the National conference with the goal of reaching an international audience of decision-making health care professionals. According to association leaders, “Exhibiting at this conference provides the opportunity to share the exciting work that ATRA has been doing in the area of treatment for dementia”. Richeson states, “It is my hope that exposure to recreational therapy interventions by other health care professionals working with older adults with dementia will help them begin to recognize the importance of recreational therapy and its contribution to the healthcare team.”

Recently Richeson wrote a book review for the ATRA Dementia Practice Guidelines that was accepted for publication by the American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and the American Journal of Recreation Therapy. Richeson, who participated in part of the development of the guidelines, shared her enthusiasm of the publication, authored by principle investigators Buettner and Sue Fitzsimmons, also from Florida Gulf Coast University.

According to ATRA President Melinda Conway Callahan “Dr Richeson & Dr. Buettner have been dynamic leaders for innovative research and treatment techniques for recreational therapy. They have a long history of providing leadership and identifying critical outcome indicators for our profession”.

When asked about her upcoming presentations and the attention that the Dementia Practice Guidelines have received in the Geriatric field, Richeson explains, “People are interested in what we are doing in recreational therapy”

For more information about recreational therapy, or ATRA’s new Dementia Practice Guidelines, please contact the ATRA National Office at (703) 683-9420 or at www.atra-tr.org.

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DEADLINE APRIL 30,2004

The New Jersey /Eastern Pennsylvania Therapeutic Recreation Association, an Affiliate of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association and the Therapeutic Advisory Council of the New Jersey Recreation and Park Association need your assistance.

If you are a Recreational Therapist working in New Jersey please act upon the following instructions to provide feedback on new regulations proposed by the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services. These regulations as proposed list art therapy, music therapy and play therapy but DO NOT list Recreational Therapy as a professional service for children requiring mental health rehabilitation services under a new community-based model of service delivery. In addition, the regulations state that professional services must be provided by someone with a master's degree. These regulations have the potential to restrict client access to Recreational Therapy services based in the community.

Please forward this Action Alert to any Recreational Therapists you know in New Jersey. In addition, if you know any mental health professionals who would be willing to write a letter of support please involve them. If you know of clients and/or families of clients who would write a letter of support please involve them as well. It is important that the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services receives as many comment letters as possible by APRIL 30th.

If you have any questions regarding the following instructions please direct them to Fran Daly @ fdaly@cougar.kean.edu; Pam Griffin @pgriff31@aol.com; Dina Trunzo @ DMTrunzo@parks.co.somerset.nj.us Janet Turner @ turnerjjc@aol.com; or Dionne Beaman @ DBeaman339@aol.com.

1. Review the attached "Sample Letter" and personalize it as appropriate (red text).
2. Paste the letter on company letterhead if possible or on personal letterhead.
3. Submit to Jean Cary, Administrative Practice Officer by one of the methods listed below. THE DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS IS APRIL 30, 2004.
4. Send a copy of your letter via email to pgriff31@aol.com.

Send via the postal service to:
Jean Cary
Administrative Practice Officer
Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services
PO Box 712, Mail Code #26
Trenton, NJ 08625-0712

Send by FAX to (609)588-7672

Send via email to Jean.Cary@dhs.state.nj.us

Hand deliver to 6 Quakerbridge Plaza, Mercerville, NJ


Thank you for your assistance in the effort!

NEWS RELEASE
April 27, 2004

Contact: Laurie Jake, ATRA Communications Coordinator
Phone (480) 460-1525 or
Ann D Huston, ATRA Executive Director
Phone: (703) 683-9420

ATRA Releases New Tool for Implementing Recreational Therapy in Long-Term Care Facilities

(Alexandria, VA) In continuing efforts to advance the care of individuals in Long Term Care Facilities, the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) is pleased to announce the release of a ground-breaking new document, Recreational Therapy Services in Skilled Nursing Facilities, designed to educate Administrators, Medical Directors, Directors of Nursing, and all members of the interdisciplinary team, including CTRS ’s, on the delivery of recreational therapy services.

This document is one of the many resources available through the American Therapeutic Recreation Association to support recreational therapists employed in long term care settings. Recognition of recreational therapy services within long term care settings is not new, recreational therapy services have been recognized by the Center of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) even prior to the implementation of the Omnibus Reconciliation Budget Act of 1987 (OBRA ‘87). In the 1998 SNF PPS regulations and RAI Manual, CMS provided a definition of recreational therapy services in skilled nursing facilities. Despite this regulatory direction, many long term care facilities and professionals struggle with implementing recreational therapy services for a variety of reasons.

(more) NEWS RELEASE
April 27, 2004

Contact: Laurie Jake, ATRA Communications Coordinator
Phone (480) 460-1525 or
Ann D Huston, ATRA Executive Director
Phone: (703) 683-9420

ATRA Releases New Tool for Implementing Recreational Therapy in Long-Term Care Facilities


(Alexandria, VA) In continuing efforts to advance the care of individuals in Long Term Care Facilities, the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) is pleased to announce the release of a ground-breaking new document, Recreational Therapy Services in Skilled Nursing Facilities, designed to educate Administrators, Medical Directors, Directors of Nursing, and all members of the interdisciplinary team, including CTRS ’s, on the delivery of recreational therapy services.

This document is one of the many resources available through the American Therapeutic Recreation Association to support recreational therapists employed in long term care settings. Recognition of recreational therapy services within long term care settings is not new, recreational therapy services have been recognized by the Center of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) even prior to the implementation of the Omnibus Reconciliation Budget Act of 1987 (OBRA ‘87). In the 1998 SNF PPS regulations and RAI Manual, CMS provided a definition of recreational therapy services in skilled nursing facilities. Despite this regulatory direction, many long term care facilities and professionals struggle with implementing recreational therapy services for a variety of reasons.

This publication is designed to assist recreational therapists to implement their practice in long-term care settings. The publication outlines a definition of services, the financial impact, scope and purpose of recreational therapy services in SNFs and the steps involved in transitioning from simply activity services to a more comprehensive recreational therapy program. Details about recreational therapy in the Case Mix Index and the Low Resource Utilization Groups (RUG) Rehabilitation Groupings will be very valuable as facilities seek to expand and improve their recreational therapy services. Developed by the ATRA Geriatric Treatment Network as well as ATRA’s Coverage and Reimbursement team the publication is available to current members of the association. In addition, ATRA members have access to highly valuable information sharing with other professionals who have already successfully completed a transition to recreational therapy services in their facilities or agencies.

According to ATRA President Melinda Conway Callahan “Building a base of knowledge is the foundation of our professional association. Providing vital publications like this continues to strengthen our professional practice and provides necessary data and information to provide improved services for the clients we serve."

This publication is designed to assist recreational therapists to implement their practice in long-term care settings. The publication outlines a definition of services, the financial impact, scope and purpose of recreational therapy services in SNFs and the steps involved in transitioning from simply activity services to a more comprehensive recreational therapy program. Details about recreational therapy in the Case Mix Index and the Low Resource Utilization Groups (RUG) Rehabilitation Groupings will be very valuable as facilities seek to expand and improve their recreational therapy services. Developed by the ATRA Geriatric Treatment Network as well as ATRA’s Coverage and Reimbursement team the publication is available to current members of the association. In addition, ATRA members have access to highly valuable information sharing with other professionals who have already successfully completed a transition to recreational therapy services in their facilities or agencies.

According to ATRA President Melinda Conway Callahan “Building a base of knowledge is the foundation of our professional association. Providing vital publications like this continues to strengthen our professional practice and provides necessary data and information to provide improved services for the clients we serve."

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NEWS RELEASE
April 12, 2004

Contact: Ann Huston, ATRA Executive Director
Phone: (703) 683-9420


Leader in Recreational Therapy Field Receives Faculty Senate Research Award

(Alexandria, VA) ATRA Member Dr. Nancy E. Richeson, Assistant Professor at the University of Southern Maine was nominated by her colleagues in the College of Nursing and Health Professions to receive the University of Southern Maine 2004 Faculty Senate Research Award. She was one of seven recipients across the university to receive a scholarship award for research. The awards program is designed to recognize and appreciate the many exceptional efforts of USM faculty members. The awards program recognizes a number of distinct arenas, in which faculty contributions can enhance the university; teaching, scholarship, university service, and community service.

When asked about the award, Richeson explained, “It means that the Recreational Therapy research is respected and valued in health care. I teach in the College of Nursing and Health Professions and to be honored by the college for outstanding research means that other health care professions value what TR can contribute to the health care team”. Richeson went on to state, “I think that the biggest honor is making a contribution to health care.“

Richeson has served as the Treatment Network Coordinator for ATRA’s Geriatric Treatment Network and she participated in the development of the Dementia Practice Guidelines. Richeson was among the first group to attend and successfully pass the training to implement the guidelines. She will receive the award at the University’s Faculty Awards Banquet on May 1, 2004.


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NEWS RELEASE
April 12, 2004

Contact: Ann D Huston MPA, CTRS, ATRA Executive Director
Phone: (703) 683-9420

2004 ATRA Advocate of the Year Award

(Alexandria, VA) ATRA member GT Thompson recently received special recognition as the ATRA Advocate of the Year at the American Therapeutic Recreation Association’s Mid-Year Professional Issues Forum held March 27-30, 2004 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Glenn (GT) Thompson of Howard, PA, was chosen for this recognition for exceptional contributions in advocating for recreational therapy and his longstanding service to ATRA.

Thompson, the immediate past president of ATRA, is the Rehabilitation Services Manager for the Susquehanna Health System in Williamsport, PA. Thompson has a deep-rooted history of significant efforts in the areas of Advocacy and Public Policy and has contributed to the drafting of ATRA’s Public Policy Agenda and Platform Statements for many years.

Thompson continues to actively serve ATRA in a variety of leadership roles including the development of the prestigious new Leadership ATRA program. ATRA President Melinda Conway Callahan states, “GT is a dynamic leader moving us forward in the legislative arena.” Callahan shared, “ He has made a greater impact on the public policy process than any other recreational therapy professional”.

ATRA has established an Advocate Award fund in honor of the Advocacy Award recipient to give individuals who have been personally touched by the recipient’s leadership an opportunity to recognize his contributions to the profession by making contributions to Association’s Advocacy Fund. The Advocacy Fund is utilized to assure access for Medicare beneficiaries to medically necessary Recreational Therapy Services, while raising public policy recognition of the profession. If you would like to make a contribution to this fund, please send your check, payable to ATRA, indicate ‘ATRA Advocacy Fund’ in the memo section of the check, and mail to ATRA, 1414 Prince Street, Suite 204, Alexandria, VA 22314.

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2005 Dixie Games Competition

(3-16-04) Departments, Cities, Universities, etc., in the Southeast interested in hosting the 2005 Dixie Games Competition for athletes with disbilities both ambulatory and wheelchair users are encourage to contact me for an information packet. These games are qualifying event competitions for national and international competitions including the paralympics and are conducted in May of each year.

Larry Zehnder, CPRP
Site selection Committee
820 Broad Street
Chattanooga, TN 37402

423 756-3025

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Medicaid cuts

(3-11-04) NCRTA feels that this is an important issue that can effect us all. The North Carolina Health Care Facilities Association just sent out a legislative alert fax concerning Medicaid cuts. The Issue is as follows: During this week, the U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on a budget resolution for fiscal year 2005 that calls for an $11 Billion cut in federal Medicaid funding over the next five years. This will affect the entire LTC spectrum - AL, Nursing Home, Home Health, etc. NCHCFA and NCRTA is asking that as many people as possible email their senators to tell them to oppose any cuts in Medicaid. This issue will quickly come to a vote soon. PLEASE take a moment and email. Your input does count. For Elizabeth Dole go to http://dole.senate.gov - click on CONTACT INFORMATION and then CONTACT FORM. For John Edwards go to http://edwards.senate.gov -click on CONTACT INFORMATION and then click on E-MAIL THE SENATOR. We need to do all we can to prevent further cuts in our reimbursements! Thanks for your assistance.

Thanks,
Paula Brown
NCRTA Legislative Chair

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NEWS RELEASE
February 25, 2004

Contact: Laurie Jake, ATRA Communications Coordinator
Phone (480) 460-1525 or
Ann Huston, ATRA Executive Director
Phone: (703) 683-9420

Recreational Therapist Invited to Address 2nd National Steps to a Healthier US Prevention Summit

(Alexandria, VA) ATRA Member and Past President Carmen Russoniello, Ph.D., CTRS has been invited to present at the prestigious 2nd National Steps to a Healthier US Summit ” April 29–30, 2004, in Baltimore Maryland. His abstract, “The Use of Recreational Activity to Promote Health and Prevent Disease”, has been accepted for oral presentation. His research is focused on understanding the underlying psychophysiological processes evoked by recreation participation and the relationship of these processes to health.

The April national summit will focus on President Bush’s Healthier US Pillars, which encourages Americans to make healthy choices including chronic disease prevention and health promotion, as well as lifestyle choices, including nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco use. The Steps initiative is committed to bringing policymakers, the health, education, and business communities, and the public together to establish model programs and policies that foster healthy behavior changes, encourage healthier lifestyle choices, and reduce disparities in health care. According to Dr. Russoniello “Recreational activities encompass a wide array of benefits that are positively perceived by the participant, In addition, there is growing evidence that ‘positive perception’ of a physical activity enhances the positive biochemical benefits”. Dr. Russoniello‘s session will highlight more than 10 years of research measuring cortisol levels, heart rate variability and psychological measurements to determine the benefits of recreational activity in preventing and/or reducing alcohol abuse and alcoholism, childhood obesity and childhood posttraumatic stress disorder. Russoniello declared, “This is a great opportunity for RT.”

Dr. Russoniello, currently the Team Leader for ATRA’s Healthy people 2010 Team, is a faculty member at East Carolina University. ATRA President Melinda Conway Callahan shared, “We are extremely proud to have Dr. Russoniello as an active member of our leadership team, I have already congratulated Carmen for being selected to present his abstract and I hope his achievement will encourage more recreational therapists to apply and share their knowledge in the future”.

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February 2004
Professional Organisation for Therapeutic Recreation Established in New Zealand

In 1999, the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) in Napier, New Zealand, initiated a Bachelor of Therapeutic Recreation degree. Two years later, the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) in Invercargill followed suit. EIT has graduated two cohorts of Therapeutic Recreation Specialists with another cohort scheduled to graduate in March 2004. SIT had their first graduates earlier this month. These graduates are finding employment in a variety of areas including educational, human and health service agencies.

A professional organisation was needed to support the new graduates as they become professionals in this new field. Students, graduates and staff at both EIT and SIT put countless hours of work in the development of the organisation. In July 2003, the New Zealand Therapeutic Recreation Association Incorporated (NZTRA) was established with a primary mission to promote the therapeutic recreation profession and to ensure the delivery of quality therapeutic recreation services in New Zealand. The first Annual General Meeting was held December 15th, 2003, with an audio conference linking sites at both EIT and SIT. At this first meeting an executive committee was elected which will seek to guide NZTRA in carrying out its mission.

The executive committee consists of 8 members with 4 holding specific positions. They are: Ringa Brown, Chairperson; Shawn Watts, Vice-chairperson; Nicola Booth, Secretary; Faye Smith, Treasurer; Joel Brown, Shirley Forde, Linda Johnson and Audrey Newsome. In addition, Dr. Fran Stanat, Head of School of Health, Exercise and Recreation from SIT, and Randy Wyble, Senior Lecturer from EIT, serve as official advisors to the committee.

For more information about the New Zealand Therapeutic Recreation Association please contact Nicola Booth, Secretary, at nickyfly@ihug.co.nz

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NEWS RELEASE

Contact: Laurie Jake, ATRA Communications Coordinator
Phone (480) 460-1525 or
Ann D Huston, ATRA Executive Director
Phone: (703) 683-9420

Foundation Approves Grant Proposals for Funding

(Alexandria, VA) The American Therapeutic Recreation Foundation (ATRF) recently announced the approval of funds for two new research grants. The American Therapeutic Recreation Foundation (ATRF) is dedicated to advancing the field of therapeutic recreation and improving the quality of therapeutic recreation services through the sponsorship of efficacy research grants. Past grants have studied a variety of areas including the effectiveness of aquatic therapy and using recreational therapy interventions for preventing falls.

The first proposal, "Magic as a Therapeutic Intervention" proposed by Leandra A. Bedini, PhD, CTRS explores the use of magic tricks as a therapeutic intervention that will address rehabilitation goals. According to Dr. Bedini, "The field of Recreational Therapy is unusual in that it uses myriad interventions to address therapeutic goals in physical, social, cognitive, and emotional domains. Sometimes, however, it is difficult to find an intervention that is engaging and effective at the same time. The use of magic tricks as a therapeutic intervention that will address rehabilitation goals in all domains has great potential to be a technique that is not only unique and engaging, but also easy to learn for both therapist and client, inexpensive, and most of all, effective in addressing a wide variety of goals."

The second proposal, "The Use of Relaxation Techniques for Management of Pain and Blood Pressure" proposed by Carol Graziano-Perez, CTRS and Christina Jones, CTRS of Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ will explore how relaxation techniques help to impact patients' well being. Graziano-Perez explains, "At some point in their hospital stay, most patients have to cope with pain and/or stress. Medical interventions usually entail prescribing of medications, but recreational therapists can offer additional, non-medicinal resources. One of these options is relaxation training. These techniques assist patients with the skills they need to cope with various stressors associated with their hospital stay and health status. In addition, patients can carry over these new skills into their daily lives. By measuring pain levels and blood pressure, as well as patients' subjective value of the intervention, this project will demonstrate treatment outcomes and promote value and credibility of TR contributions to patients' care."

The American Therapeutic Recreation Foundation is a non-profit foundation established in 1992 by the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) to develop and promote opportunities for education and research. ATRF has funded a variety of efficacy research projects related to topics that provide evidence as to the effectiveness of recreation therapy interventions, and that examine outcomes and cost effectiveness of recreation therapy protocols.

For more information, please contact Laurie Jake, CTRS, ATRA Communications Coordinator at (480) 460-1525 or the ATRA National Office at (703) 683-9420.

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NEWS RELEASE
February 10, 2004

Contact: Laurie Jake, ATRA Communications Coordinator
Phone (480) 460-1525 or
Ann Huston, ATRA Executive Director
Phone: (703) 683-9420

Recreational Therapist Selected as VA Pre-Doctoral Associated Health Rehabilitation Research Fellow

(Alexandria, VA) ATRA Member Marieke Van Puymbroeck, MS, CTRS, a predoctoral student in Rehabilitation Sciences at University of Florida, has been chosen for a highly prestigious Pre-Doctoral Associated Health Rehabilitation Research Fellowship. The VA Office of Academic Affiliations, in collaboration with Rehabilitation Research and Development Service, sponsors up to six Pre-Doctoral Associated Health Rehabilitation Research Fellowships each year. The awardees receive a sizeable monetary allocation allowing them to work on their dissertations full time. Only six of these awards are given nationwide, so competition is fierce. These fellowships are designed for graduate students who have completed their course work in a rehabilitation healthcare profession and are prepared to execute mentored studies, as well as write their dissertations of relevance to the health care needs of veterans with disabilities.

Van Puymbroeck, who received her Bachelor of Science, at Longwood College, 1994, and her Masters of Science, University of Florida, 2001, will be working with Pam Duncan, a highly respected researcher at the Rehabilitation Outcomes Research Center in Gainesville, Florida. According to Van Puymbroeck, “It is an awesome opportunity and I believe I'm the first RT they have funded with this award!”

Van Puymbroeck has been actively involved with ATRA for several years, including giving presentations at ATRA conferences and she has served as a faculty for the ATRA Academy. ATRA President Melinda Conway Callahan states, “Ms Van Puymbroeck has been an active member of ATRA, providing outstanding education opportunities for our members. She is a deserving recipient of this prestigious award"

At the completion of her doctoral training, Van Puymbroeck will be eligible for associate investigator awards, a more independent mentored award program.

For more information, please contact Laurie Jake, CTRS, ATRA Communications Coordinator at (480) 460-1525 or the ATRA National Office at (703) 683-9420.

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ATRA Leader Chosen for “Gallery of Success” at Temple University

(2-01-04) ATRA Past President GT Thompson was honored for his leadership and service in the “Gallery of Success” at Temple University. Glenn (GT) Thompson, a 1998 graduate of Temple University’s graduate program in Therapeutic Recreation, was chosen as the recent Alumnus of the College of Health Professions for the University’s “Gallery of Success.” The College of Health Professions includes departments of Nursing, Communication Sciences, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Public Health, Therapeutic Recreation, and Health Information Management. Each School or College within the University has two representatives. Their portraits and biographies are on display for the entire year as a way to highlight the profiles of successful Temple University graduates.

GT, the immediate past president of ATRA, is the Rehabilitation Services Manager for the Susquehanna Health System in Williamsport, PA where he manages rehabilitation services in two acute care hospitals, two skilled nursing facilities, and an inpatient mental health facility. His current and prior experience as chief of recreational therapy for nine years at the Williamsport Hospital and Medical Center helped establish him regionally and nationally as one of the most influential leaders in the recreational therapy discipline.

With longstanding service to ATRA, Thompson has guided the Association’s efforts to advocate for health care reform and to adjust to Medicare and Medicaid regulatory changes, particularly the Prospective Payment System. In 1999, GT was the only representative of recreational therapy to be appointed to a 16-member panel providing guidance to the Health Care Financing Administration. More recently, in 2000, he was appointed by the National Stroke Association to a national coalition, which is developing public policy pertaining to the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of strokes.

Credited with organizing and delivering numerous national training institutes for recreational therapy managers on matters related to coverage and reimbursement, and how to advocate for legislative and regulatory changes impacting long term care and rehabilitation, Thompson was described as a tireless “practitioner-educator.”

Thompson continues to actively serve the organization in a variety of leadership roles, including the development of the prestigious new ATRA Leadership program. ATRA’s President Melinda Conway Callahan states, “We are extremely proud to have GT as an active member of our leadership team.”

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NEWS RELEASE
Jan 28, 2004

Student Scholarship Announcement for the 2004 ATRA Annual Conference

(Alexandria, VA) The American Therapeutic Recreation Association is excited to provide the opportunity for students within the field of therapeutic recreation to receive the Peg Connolly Scholarship. Named in honor of Dr. Peg Connolly, former Executive Director of the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification, this program provides a tremendous experience for students in the therapeutic recreation field.

Eight stipends are available to attend ATRA’s Annual Conference in Kansas City, Missouri from Sept 30 - October 4, 2004. This scholarship is a “working scholarship”. Students assist in various aspects of implementing the conference such as room hosting, registration and monitoring social events. This scholarship is available to undergraduate and graduate students who will be enrolled in a therapeutic recreation program during the conference year.

ATRA wishes to reward students who demonstrate exceptional competence in the field of therapeutic recreation on the basis of their academic achievement, personal and professional philosophy, leadership skills and other occupational achievements. This program has tremendous personal and professional benefits and rewards. Not only do students gain professional knowledge from sessions, students have the opportunity to network with professionals from around the country.

ATRA believes the future of our field depends on the continuing growth of students. Today, many former scholarship recipients prove this belief by serving important leadership roles within the therapeutic recreation profession. Due to the competitiveness of this scholarship, students will only be eligible to receive this award one time during their academic pursuits. For consideration, scholarship applications must be completed and postmarked by March 26, 2004.

Full details and an application form can be found at http://www.atra-tr.org/conference/pegannouncement.htm. For more information, please contact the ATRA National Office at (703) 683-9420.

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