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inTeRlink

Therapeutic Recreation News & Articles- 2005
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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12-6-05 Therapeutic Recreation Directory Supports ATRA's Recreation Therapy Medicare Project

Charlie Dixon, webmaster and owner of the Therapeutic Recreation Directory recently contributed $1000.00 towards the Recreation Therapy Medicare Project. Charlie believes that this project is essential in the continued provision of recreation therapy as a service.

Charlie encourages and invites all recreation therapists to send whatever you can to this project.

For more information about ATRA's Recreation Therapy Medicare Project go to www.atra-tr.org/medicareproject/

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NEWS RELEASE

December 6, 2005

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

Foundation Announces Funding for Efficacy Research

(Alexandria, VA) The American Therapeutic Recreation Foundation (ATRF) is dedicated to advancing the field of recreational therapy and improving the quality of recreational therapy services through the sponsorship of efficacy research grants. ATRF is proud to announce the availability of funding through the Bernard E. Thorn Efficacy Research Fund. Grants under this Fund will be awarded biannually. Deadlines for application are January 2 for grant awards to be announced at the ATRA Mid-Year Professional Issues Forum, and June 15 for grant awards to be announced at the ATRA Annual Conference. Details for submission can be found on the ATRF section of the ATRA website at http://www.atra-tr.org/RFP2005.htm. Proposals will be subjected to a blind peer review process. Past grants have studied a variety of areas including the effectiveness of aquatic therapy and using recreational therapy interventions for preventing falls.

The American Therapeutic Recreation Foundation is a non-profit foundation established in 1992 by the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA). The founding principles of the American Therapeutic Recreation Foundation are to develop and promote opportunities for education and research. Gifts to the American Therapeutic Recreation Foundation support the advancement of the recreational therapy profession. 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
Ann Huston, ATRA Executive Director
Phone: (703) 683-9420

ATRA Partners with Alliance for Accessible golf to Create Players Toolkit

(Alexandria, VA) The American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) is pleased to announce it has joined with the National Alliance for Accessible Golf to create a "Players Toolkit", designed to provide basic information and resources about the game of golf for persons with disabilities, who may be interested in the game. The very popular "Toolkit for Golf Course Owners" has also been reformatted and updated. Both are available for viewing on the Alliance website at www.accessgolf.org.

The ATRA members who helped to write the document were: Nancy McFarlane, CTRS - professional member Pam Cauley, CTRS - professional member Emily Goodson - student member Gus Bernardoni, PGA - supporting member Mary Lou Crocker, LPGA - supporting member Leah Berst, PGA - supporting member Dana Dempsey, CTRS - professional member. ATRA President Bryan McCormack commented, “ATRA is proud of the contribution of our members to increasing accessibility for golfers with disabilities. We hope that this toolkit will aid all persons who wish to play the popular game of golf.”

To obtain more information about the Players Toolkit; visit the National Alliance for Accessible Golf website at: www.accessgolf.org . For more information about ATRA or the field of recreational therapy, please contact the ATRA National Office at (703) 683-9420.

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NEWS RELEASE
November 14, 2005

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

ATRA member Awarded Prestigious Fulbright Scholarship

(Alexandria, VA) The American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) is pleased to announce that Linda Levine Madori, P.h. D., CTRS, ATR-BC a member of ATRA, was recently awarded a Senior Specialist Fulbright Scholarship Award to teach Therapeutic Recreation in Australia and New Zealand. Madori, currently a Tenured Associate Professor at St. Thomas Aquinas College in New York, explained that she was awarded the scholarship to teach a therapeutic recreation program that she has written called The TTAP Method, Therapeutic Thematic Arts Programming, which will be released in Feb, 2005 by Heath Professionals Press. Midori has presented over 60 papers and lectures at both national and international conferences and was also recently accepted for the 2005-2006 Leadership ATRA program. .
The Fulbright Senior Specialist Scholarship is a two to six week educational scholarship and/or research grant in a specific field of study for a five year period, which is undertaken in a different host country for five consecutive years. Academicians and Professionals, with established reputations in their respective fields, and who have attained the position of at least Associate Professor, have taught at the college level for at least 10 years, and hold a Ph.D. are eligible to apply.

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NEWS RELEASE
November 14, 2005

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

ATRA Approves New Chair for Research Foundation

(Alexandria, VA) Melinda Conway Callahan was recently appointed to head the efforts of the American Therapeutic Recreation Foundation. She will be serving as the Chair of the Foundation for the upcoming year. Callahan, from Rochester MI, has been actively involved with the American Therapeutic Recreation Foundation since 1991 serving previously as Chair and serving as Vice Chair from 2004-2005. Nancy McFarlane, CTRS, will be serving as the new Vice-Chair. Callahan and McFarlane worked together previously, both having served as past presidents of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association. Glen, ‘GT’ Thompson will be serving as Treasurer, Rebecca Stackhouse will be serving as Secretary and Debbie Robinson will be serving as at large member to the board.

The American Therapeutic Recreation Foundation (ATRF) is a non-profit foundation established in 1992 by the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA), to provide funding for education, research and activities to promote the advancement of the recreational therapy profession. In its twelve years of operation the Foundation has financed a number of efficacy grants and funded important ATRA projects such as the ATRA Annual in Therapeutic Recreation.

ATRF has been proud to continue to provide the availability of funding through the Bernard E. Thorn Efficacy Research Fund for the past twelve years. Named in honor of a true visionary in the recreational therapy field, these funds are awarded to recreational therapy researchers on an annual basis.

Priority consideration is given to efficacy research projects related to topics that provide evidence as to the effectiveness of recreational therapy interventions, and that examine outcomes and cost effectiveness of recreational therapy protocols. Past grants have studied a variety of areas including the effectiveness of aquatic therapy and using recreational therapy interventions for preventing falls among elderly clients.

Gifts to the American Therapeutic Recreation Foundation support the advancement of the recreational therapy profession. You can learn more about the ATRF and donate online at http://www.atra-tr.org/foundation.htm . For more information, contact the ATRA National Office at (703) 683-9420.

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NEWS RELEASE
November 14, 2005

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


ATRA Participates in Health Professions Network Fall Meeting

(Alexandria, VA) ATRA members Laurie Jake and Diane Baumann brought the concerns of recreational therapists to key stakeholders attending the fall meeting of the Health Professions Network (HPN), held in Louisville, Kentucky, September 22-25. The focus for the fall HPN meeting in Louisville was "New Initiatives in Allied Health."
The speakers began with Richard Lewis discussing "Organizational Behavior Meets Gen X and Y: A practical approach for recruiting students and workers." Mr. Lewis explained how traditional recruitment and retention techniques may not be effective for today’s students. Gina King of the Department of Labor and Young Song, Department of Health Resources and Services Administration, joined to present a panel discussion on "Federal Initiatives Regarding Health Care Workforce Development". Ms. Song discussed upcoming allied health grant opportunities and the difficulties of defining who is considered allied health on the federal level. Ms. King summarized several DOL initiatives to increase the allied health workforce, including grant programs and the Career Voyages Web site. HPN has plans to continue discussions with these federal leaders to discover more ways we can work together to increase awareness of allied health.
Other presentations included; Pat Munzer, "Are we Graduating Enough Health Care Providers to Meet Current and Future Needs?", Hazel Hacker, "Employee/Student Retention: Got Them? Keep Them", and Ann Peton, "How GIS Mapping Can Support Allied Health Professionals".

The Health Professions Network (HPN) is a gathering of health care provider organizations, educators, accreditors and administrators all concerned with exploring current issues and advancing allied health professions. This organization was established as an interactive, cooperative group where the needs of allied health in general are put before the needs of any individual organization. HPN convenes twice annually to discuss issues essential to the allied health community, which represents over 60 percent of the entire U.S. health care workforce that deliver health care in the country.

In addition to presentations, attendees focused on the work of HPN including plans for the Advocacy Team of HPN to develop a grassroots network to promote the Allied Health Reinvestment Act in Jan-Mar 2006; the Consumer Marketing Team will be adding several missing allied health professions to the NIH and DOL websites; and the Coordinating Team is considering a national campaign to promote allied health careers and educate consumers.

Jake summed up the importance of the meeting stating, “This was a tremendous opportunity for ATRA to ensure that recreational therapists are included in the important discussions affecting Allied Health. I was extremely proud to represent ATRA and offer our input into the many discussions held during the meeting.”

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Congratulations to the 2005 ATRA Awards Winners

(10-28-05) 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 Salt Lake City, Utah during the ATRA Annual conference.

The ATRA Distinguished Fellow Award for 2005 was presented to Joanne Finegan, MSA, CTRS. This is the highest award granted by ATRA. Finegan was recognized for considerable contributions to the field of recreational therapy through her many professional involvements, most notably her leadership of NCTRC and the CARF board.

The Outstanding Professional Award was presented to Sharon Nichols, CTRS. Nichols was recognized for her outstanding work in the area of public policy, her leadership with the new ATRA Pain Management Clinical Practice guidelines and her lengthy history of leadership and service to ATRA and her local chapter NETRA.

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

The Member of the Year Award was presented to Lisa Jo Morgan, CTRS for significant efforts in the area of public policy and her efforts with the RT Medicare Project.

The Scholarly Achievement Award was presented to Judith Voelkl, PhD, CTRS 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 RecCare LLC, for efforts in supporting and promoting recreational therapy in the private practice arena.

The Excellence in Education Award was presented to Slippery Rock for their efforts to advance the profession and promote student involvement in professional activities.

An Individual Citation Award was presented to Yong Kyeom Yoo, MS, CTRS for his work with the ATRA International Relations Team and the International Relations team website.

ATRA Certificates of Recognition were presented to members David Howard, PhD, CTRS, Fran Stanat, PhD, Jean Folkerth, Re.D, CTRS, Heather Sedletzeck, CTRS, Mary Ann Aquadro, M.S., CTRS, John Mikula, CTRS, Lylian Melendez, CTRS, and Douglas Boleyn, CTRS.
ATRA President Nancy McFarlane recognized several individuals with Presidential awards. Receiving recognition for their support of Recreational Therapy were the Portland VA Medical Center Managers, Peter Hauser, MD, Jack Heims, CHE, and James Sardo, PhD. In addition Presidential awards were presented to John Jacobson, Dr. Don Lollar, Dr. Jean Folkerth, Dr. Marcia Carter, and the TREC planning committee of Dr. Nancy Navar, Dr. Debbi Hutchins, Dr. Cathy O’Keefe and Dr. Jeff Witman. Presidential Certificates of Recognition were also given to the individuals who provided concept papers for the TREC conference; Marcia Jean Carter Re.D., CPRP, CTRS, Ramon B. Zabriskie Ph.D., CTRS, Jane K. Broida, Richard Williams, Ed.D., TRS/CTRS, Lou Powell, Re.D., CTRS and Janet Sable, Ed.D., CTRS, Joanne Finegan, MSA, CTRS, Lynn Anderson, Ph.D., CTRS, CPRP, Leandra Bedini, Ph.D., CTRS, Barb Wilhite, Ed.D., CTRS, Bob Riley, Ph.D., CTRS and Peg Connolly, Ph.D., CTRS, Kenneth Mobily, Ph.D., CTRS, Deborah Getz, Re.D., CTRS, Tim Passmore, Ed.D., CTRS, Judy S. Kinney, Ph.D., CTRS, Terry Kinney, Ph.D., CTRS, Jeff Witman, Ed.D., CTRS, AND Frank M. Brasile, Ph.D., CTRS
The ATRA Chapter of the Year was presented to the New Jersey/Eastern PA TR Association for their advocacy efforts on behalf of the profession and their support of the ATRA Medicare Project and the American Therapeutic Recreation Foundation.

NEWS RELEASE 10-16-05
Contact: Laurie Jake, ATRA Communications Coordinator
Phone (480) 460-1525 or
Ann D Huston MPA, CTRS, ATRA Executive Director
Phone: (703) 683-9420

North Carolina Recreational Therapy Licensure 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 North Carolina Recreational Therapy Licensure Act passed in The General Assembly of North Carolina and became effective October 5, 2005.

With the passage of the North Carolina Recreational Therapy Licensure Act, recreational therapists in both Utah and North Carolina are required to be licensed to provide recreational therapy services. Several other states have registration or certification programs for recreational therapy professionals in addition to the national certification provided by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC). NCTRC is the nationally recognized credentialing organization for the profession of therapeutic recreation.

ATRA President Dr. Bryan McCormick shared, “This is a huge victory for the clients in North Carolina that will be assured greater access and higher quality recreational therapy services". From North Carolina, ATRA member and past president Thomas K. Skalko, Ph.D., stated, “This is a milestone for recreational therapy in NC and a contemporary starting point for the field nationally.”

According to ATRA’s Executive Director, Ann Huston, “Recognition of the therapeutic recreation profession can be valuable to the public interest and the protection of consumers of services.” For more information, please contact the ATRA National Office at (703) 683-9420 or at www.atra-tr.org.

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NEWS RELEASE

Contact: Laurie Jake, ATRA Communications Coordinator
Phone (480) 460-1525 or

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

ATRA responds to Hurricane Katrina

(Alexandria, VA) The American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) announced a wide range of plans to support its members and others who have been affected by Hurricane Katrina.

ATRA has established a communication bulletin board for ATRA members and other Recreational Therapy professionals displaced or affected by Hurricane Katrina. The online bulletin board was designed to allow members from across the country to communicate with fellow professionals in the affected areas and allow those members the ability to connect with fellow professions in the gulf area, as well as across the nation.

ATRA has been working to help recreational therapy students that may have been displaced by the storm. ATRA has been sharing information about several charitable offers from various universities throughout the country who have indicated generous options for placement of students displaced by Katrina. These have been shared with Therapeutic Recreation education professionals in the region and across the country.

ATRA has also worked to facilitate individual universities or patient/client programs to request their individual need for books or supplies for university RT students OR recreation supplies for clinical programs or shelters via the online communication bulletin board. This has enabled many generous ATRA members to respond directly to the needs by donating supplies, directly to the individuals. ATRA has also been encouraging its members to donate funds to existing organizations, and provided a link directly to the American Red Cross.

ATRA has offered to extend association memberships to those in the effected areas as well as offering complimentary support for re-creation of ATRA Continuing Education files for professional recertification that may have been lost or damaged to individuals in the effected area.

Working with the American Medical Association, ATRA encouraged its members to consider volunteering to serve in relief efforts through the Office of the Surgeon General and the Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness.

ATRA’s Executive Director Ann Huston stated, “Many of our members in the affected areas will have disrupted lives for many months, many may be looking for jobs, students looking for new courses, and others just trying to find a peaceful shelter. We join the country in sending our best wishes and thoughts to our members devastated by Katrina.”

For more information about 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

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

ATRA Recreational Therapists to Lead Research at NIH

(Alexandria, VA) ATRA Member Carmen Russoniello will be seeking to further understand the healing benefits of fun with investigators at the National Institutes of Health. Recreational Therapy Clinicians at the NIH Clinical Center and researchers at East Carolina University will collaborate on the Recreational Therapy efficacy study. Dr. George Patrick, Chief of Recreational Therapy at NIH and Lead researcher Carmen Russoniello from East Carolina University will head a team of investigators for a study entitled: A Randomized Controlled Study of the Efficacy of Recreational Therapy in reducing Stress and Improving Mood conducted with the National Cancer Institute.

Russoniello, a former President and current team leader for ATRA will spend two months as a guest researcher at the Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center in Bethesda, Maryland, to further the findings of his doctoral dissertation, which found links between recreational activity and improvements in the participants’ physical and psychological symptoms. By examining shifts in participants’ brain chemistry, hormone levels, and perceived mood before and after sessions, Russoniello hopes to expand the study and track how recreational activity can affect symptoms caused from depression, stress and pain.

Russoniello, an East Carolina University recreation and leisure studies professor explains “It’s hard to be worried when your mind is occupied with doing something especially when it is something you enjoy. While we intuitively know that it is impossible to have fun and be depressed at the same time, researchers had never looked at what biochemical changes occur when people engage in activities they enjoy. In previous work Russoniello found that physiological changes such as cortisol (a stress hormone) levels had decreased and positive mood states had increased after participation in recreational activities.” During his time at NIH, Russoniello will be looking at these and other biochemical changes, such as levels of dopamine and catecholamines.

Participants will be assigned in random order to participate in one of three conditions: Recreation therapy, sedentary recreational activity without a therapist and stress management video. The goal is to determine the mood and stress effects of the recreational activity by itself, the recreational activity when directed by a therapist, and to then compare both to a control group that will watch a video on stress management. “By doing so we hope to further understand the processes that underlie enjoyment and how they affect dysfunctional conditions such as depression. We also want to determine the effect of the recreational activity and that of the therapist in reducing stress and improving mood” Russoniello explains.

ATRA President Nancy McFarlane shares the importance of this research, “This study could help further establish the beneficial effects of recreational therapy intervention” Russoniello describes how an important aspect in the study is the participant’s enjoyment of the activity. “Establishing a link between recreational activity and feeling better could someday provide a “prescription” for fun where a person could reliably engage in certain kinds of activity in order to boost desirable chemical and hormone levels”.

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

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NEWS RELEASE
June15, 2005 

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

ATRA members Conduct Quality of Life study for NIH

(Alexandria, VA) ATRA members Dr. Ann Kolanowski, Principal Investigator, and Dr. Linda Buettner, Co-Principal Investigator have been awarded a considerable grant for a four year project to examine how to “prescribe RT interventions” for behavioral problems in residents with dementia. The project will be Interdisciplinary: including both nursing and recreational therapy in its approach. The 4-year, $1.2 million project is titled: “A Prescription for Enhancing Resident Quality of Life” and will take place in nursing homes across Pennsylvania.

Former ATRA board member Dr. Buettner explained the importance of the research, “This (research) is particularly relevant since so many of the behavioral medications have been recognized as detrimental to people with dementia, making it vital to try non-pharmacological treatments first. People don't have a logical and evidence based way to do this. Dr. Kolanowski and I will be designing and testing these methods to assist providers. We hope the findings will lead to consistency in long term care interdisciplinary practice in the treatment of behavioral disturbances. This is the logical next step in the research process to study non-pharmacological interventions and how they can be most effectively prescribed to improve quality of life in nursing homes across the nation.”

The NINR-funded grant will test the efficacy of theory-based activities for responding to the behavioral symptoms of nursing home residents with dementia. According to Dr. Buettner, “This is a very important break through for our profession, the funding and the title. We are thrilled to do this work and hope it will influence practice and policy”. ATRA provided letters of support for the project.

Findings from the project will be reported over the next several years. Dr. Kolanowski, a professor of Nursing at the Penn State University School of Nursing stated, “This project is a wonderful example of interdisciplinary work that NIH is encouraging, and hopefully will be a template for practice in the field.”

ATRA President Nancy McFarlane explains, “This project represents an exciting advancement in the management of dementia. I believe the scope and interdisciplinary nature of this grant can lead to advancements that will make a marked difference in the quality of life for a person living with dementia”.

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Mid-East Symposium Call of Papers
5-27-05

The Mideastern Symposium on Therapeutic Recreation announces it's 30th annual conference at Ocean Place Resort and Spa in Long Branch, NJ May 7-9, 2006. Speakers in all areas and populations are sought to create a diverse and quality conference. Call for Papers can be obtained via email at tudor@email.chop.edu or via the Mideastern Symposium website at www.mideastsymposium.com. Deadline for Call for Papers is September 1, 2005.

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NEWS RELEASE
May 4, 2005

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

ATRA Releases Annual in Therapeutic Recreation Volume 13

(Alexandria, VA) The American Therapeutic Recreation Association is pleased to announce the release of ATRA's Annual in Therapeutic Recreation Volume 13, Edited by Bryan McCormick, Ed.D, CTRS and Youngkhill Lee, Ed.D, CTRS. Volume 13 includes a variety of topical and research approaches to understanding the preparation, organization, and practice of recreational therapy. Volume 13, includes research-based and program-oriented articles including: Strength Training and Falls Among Older Adults: A Community-Based TR Intervention, Effects of a Computerized Therapeutic Recreation Program on Knowledge of Social Skills of Male Youth with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, A National Study of Therapeutic Recreation Field Work and Internships, Developing Age Appropriate Playground Skills in Children with Developmental Disabilities: An Application of the Model for Movement Confidence Combined with Precision Teaching Methodology, Therapeutic Recreation Modalities and Facilitation Techniques: A National Study, Application of Problem-Based Learning Techniques to Therapeutic Recreation Education, Benefits and Barriers of Membership in TR Professional Associations: A Comparison of Two States.

Contributing Authors include many prominent researchers in the therapeutic recreation field. The Annual in Therapeutic Recreation was created to provide current and relevant empirical research findings to advance the practice of recreational therapy in various health care and human service settings.

According to Nancy McFarlane, President of ATRA, "Building a base of knowledge is the foundation of our professional association. Providing journals and publications continues to strengthen our professional practice and provides necessary data and information to provide improved services for the clients we serve."

The journal also contains the ATRA Continuing Education Correspondence Program for continuing education units. The latest volume of The American Therapeutic Recreation Association’s Annual in Therapeutic Recreation is available for purchase through the association’s online bookstore, http://www.atra-tr.org/bookstore.htm and is available on-line, complimentary for ATRA members.

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

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NEWS RELEASE
April 18, 2005

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

Tennessee Recreational Therapy Association (TRTA) Accepted as Affiliate Member of the Tennessee Hospital Association

(Alexandria, VA) The American Therapeutic Recreation Association is pleased to announce that the Tennessee Recreational Therapy Association (TRTA), a chapter affiliate of ATRA, has been accepted as an Affiliate Member of the Tennessee Hospital Association (THA). The Tennessee Hospital Association serves as an advocate for hospitals, health systems and other healthcare organizations and the patients they serve, providing education and information for its members, and working to inform the public about hospitals and healthcare issues at the state and national levels.

According to TRTA member John Mikula, CTRS, “It has taken us almost a year to accomplish this goal.” Mikula and Melissa Cook, the current TRTA President were invited to participate in an upcoming leadership meeting with the THA and 20 other Affiliate Members in Nashville. ATRA President Nancy McFarlane acknowledged, “We are extremely proud of these members, I have already congratulated them for being accepted to this prestigious organization in Tennessee that promotes and represents the interests of all health careers, hospitals and health systems. This is a tremendous opportunity to ensure that recreational therapists are included in the important discussions affecting health care in the state of Tennessee. I hope this achievement will encourage more recreational therapists to advocate and share their knowledge in the future”.

The American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) is the national membership organization representing the interests and need of recreational therapists. 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
April 5, 2005

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

ATRA Announces its 31st Chapter Affiliate – North Texas

(Alexandria, VA) The American Therapeutic Recreation is pleased to announce the newest addition to the association’s strong grassroots organization. The ATRA Board of Directors officially approved the North Texas Therapeutic Recreation Association, during the American Therapeutic Recreation Association’s Mid-Year Professional Issues Forum held March 5-9, 2005 in Washington DC.

ATRA President Nancy McFarlane identifies chapters as the "backbone" of the Association. “Chapters provide an essential way for ATRA members to receive and disseminate information on a local level.” The new chapter covers the general Dallas/Ft Worth metropolitan area. The new officers President: Dana Dempsey, President Elect: Faith Stoppelmoor, Secretary: Edwina Cadwalader, Treasurer: Sharon (Shani) McKenzie, Member at Large: Bill Pratt and Theresa Shields are excited to lead the chapter in many important efforts to support the profession, including helping to host the upcoming ATRA 2006 Professional Issues Mid-Year forum planned for March 17 - 20, 2006 in Plano, Texas. Board member Theresa Shields describes the new chapter as a group of TR professionals who she could connect with and rely upon for support “The creation of the North Texas chapter is very exciting to me. The chapters will open doors for everyone in the area, providing support, networking and education. I have become involved in this chapter because I'm passionate about the profession and want to see it grow. I encourage everyone to be an active member in their chapter.”

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

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NEWS RELEASE
March 2, 2005 

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

Dr. Frank Brasile selected for National Award

(Alexandria, VA) The American Therapeutic Recreation is pleased to announce that past ATRA President Dr. Frank Brasile of the University of Nebraska at Omaha, has been selected by the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA)

Hall of Fame committee for induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

The induction ceremonies with take place April 9, 2005, as a part of the awards banquet at the National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament in Phoenix, Arizona. Dr. Brasile is being recognized for his considered contributions to the development, growth, support and advancement of wheelchair basketball and for his involvement in the sport as a coach, administrator, and educator/researcher.

Dr. Brasile has coached wheelchair basketball at the intercollegiate, community and international levels since 1972. He was one of the founders of the Central Intercollegiate Conference (CIC) of the NWBA and served as the CIC commissioner for 15 years from 1978-1993. He coached the University of Illinois to the 1978 National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament Championship. In 2001 the CIC named their sportsmanship award after Dr. Brasile in recognition of his outstanding contribution, dedication and service to the Central Intercollegiate Conference, wheelchair basketball and the field of therapeutic recreation.

Dr. Brasile served as head coach of the 2000 USA Women's Team which won the two international championships (The Walker Cup and The Roosevelt Challenge) and also finished 4-2 at the Paralympic games in Sydney, Australia.

Dr. Brasile is the creator of the first wheelchair basketball skills test, a skill assessment instrument that has been used throughout the world for research and coaching purposes and this instrument has also served as model for other wheelchair sports skills tests that have followed. He has also served as a teacher and staff member at various wheelchair basketball camps and workshops throughout the world. He was a member of the coaching staff for the 1st National Wheelchair Basketball Camp held in 1982 and has been a dependable member of the staff for numerous years since then.

ATRA President Nancy McFarlane stated, Dr. Brasile believes in teaching by example and has modeled an exceptional level of professional involvement for his students and fellow recreational therapy professionals. ATRA is extremely proud of Dr. Brasile and I personally applaud the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) Hall of Fame committee for their decision to recognize Dr. Brasile.

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

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NEWS RELEASE
February 28, 2005 Contact: Laurie Jake, ATRA Communications Coordinator
Phone (480) 460-1525 or
Ann D Huston, ATRA Executive Director
Phone: (703) 683-9420

ATRA Academy Announces New Teleconference Replay Service

(Alexandria, VA) The American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) is pleased to announce an exciting addition to the existing teleconference program, the new Teleconference Replay service. In its sixth year, the Teleconference program is designed to provide additional continuing education opportunities to recreational therapists and other health care professionals. The 2005 ATRA Academy Teleconference Series features a variety of topics ranging from pain management in long term care, to substance abuse, to self-esteem education. Presenters for these topics are well known experts in the profession who will consistently provide the most up-to-date trends on the identified topics.

This new replay service was designed to be a clinical practice resource for recreational therapists interested in an upcoming teleconference topic but unable to participate due to schedule, conflicts. Beginning in February, 2005 all scheduled ATRA Academy teleconferences will be available for replay at any time (24 hours per day) during the full week following the session. Participants will register, receive dial in details and information on accessing handouts, dial into the call at their convenience during the identified week, and listen to a recorded version of the teleconference.

The ATRA Academy audio program provides an additional continuing education opportunity. This program includes audiotape and CD recordings of teleconferences from past years along with accompanying handouts. Sessions feature an excellent variety of pertinent and innovative topics related to recreational therapy and a collection of health care issues. According to ATRA President Nancy McFarlane “Building a base of knowledge is the foundation of our professional association. Providing vital continuing education services 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
January 15, 2005 
Contact: Ann D Huston MPA, CTRS
Phone: (703) 683-9420

Student Scholarship Announcement for the 2005 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, ATRA’s first president and former Executive Director of the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification, this program provides a tremendous experience for students. Eight stipends are available to attend ATRA’s Annual Conference, including conference registration, lodging accommodations and meal stipend. Students are responsible for their transportation to/from the conference. The 2005 Annual Conference will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah on October 7 – 11, 2005.

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. 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 April 30, 2005. Full details and an application form can be found at http://www..atra-tr.org/conference/pegannouncement.htm

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 vital leadership roles within our profession.

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

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NEWS RELEASE
January 5, 2005
Contact: Ann D Huston MPA, CTRS
Phone: (703) 683-9420 

ATRA Announces the Establishment of ATRA TR Global Village

(Alexandria, VA) The American Therapeutic Recreation Association is pleased to announce an exciting addition to their highly informative website, the new ATRA TR Global Village. In an effort to foster global relations in the profession, the ATRA International Relations Team has developed an International Website in order to encourage networking and the exchange of information to promote recreational therapy around the world.

The results you see on the web site are from many hours of time spent by ATRA members Dr. Youngkhill Lee, Dr. Heewon Yang, and Yongkyeom Yoo. Former ATRA Board Liaison Dana Dempsey states, “I am very proud of their work and felt honored to work with them.” According to Dr. Lee and Dr. Yang, “With the advance of high technology, we are able to engage in networking with each other around the world and exchange information to promote recreation therapy everywhere in the world.”

The new TR Global Village website enables ATRA members to easily locate TR professionals in many countries around the world, including International contacts from Canada, New Zealand, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Spain and Puerto Rico. Each of these professionals has volunteered to serve as a contact in his/her own region. The site also includes a listing of International Conferences and Related Conferences, and a detailed ‘Frequently asked Questions’ section to answer many of the basic questions about professional organizations and certification for the recreational therapy profession.

The International relations team, currently led by ATRA members Dr. Heewon Yang and Dr. Marjorie Malkin, continues to work toward their mission to support and coordinate international inquires regarding ATRA and the recreational therapy profession. To view the website, please visit http://www.atra-tr.org/international/index.htm

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2005 ATRA Awards Program

It’s that time again; time to start thinking about which of your colleagues are most deserving of some recognition. Its never too early to start your nominations. The ATRA Awards Team is seeking nominations from the membership for the Association's awards program. The Award Categories are:

> Distinguished Fellow Award- This is the highest recognition award given by ATRA. This award recognizes exceptional accomplishments within the field of TR.
> Outstanding Professional Award- This is the second most prestigious award of ATRA given to an individual that has demonstrated significant leadership and service to ATRA and the profession
> Member of the Year Award- This award is made annually to one member of ATRA for outstanding contributions to the organization
> Individual Citation- This citation is given to one non-member of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association for unique contributions to ATRA and/or to the Therapeutic Recreation Profession
> Organization or Institution Citation This award is given to an agency or organization that supports or promotes the profession.
> Frank N. Brasile Clinician of the Year Award- This award recognizes outstanding contribution to Therapeutic Recreation through creative and innovative programming in a clinical setting, promotion of the profession, and service to developing professionals.
> Excellence in Education Award- Awarded to a clinical agency or institution of higher education that has distinguished itself through outstanding contribution(s) to the TR profession in the area of education.
> Scholarly Achievement Award- Awarded to one member of ATRA who has contributed significantly to the field of knowledge of Therapeutic Recreation
> Chapter Affiliate of the Year Award- This award is given to recognize an outstanding chapter affiliate of ATRA.
> Certificate of Recognition- This Award is given to ATRA members for meritorious service that promotes, develops, or implements innovations, expansions, or improvements to TR programs, services, and education.

Nomination material must be postmarked by June 1, 2005. Full details are available on the ATRA website, www.atra-tr.org

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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 Make Plans to march on Capitol Hill

(Alexandria, VA) The 2005 Mid-Year Professional Issues Forum of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association will be held March 6-9, 2005 in the Washington DC Metro area at the Crystal City-Doubletree in Arlington, Virginia, located across from the Pentagon, close to Pentagon City Mall and overlooking the National Mall and the Potomac River. Conference participants will have incredible view of Washington, DC's unforgettable skyline, dominated by some of the world's most celebrated monuments. March is the perfect time of year to visit DC with its early springtime weather and numerous events.

Washington DC provides unique opportunities for the ATRA conference attendees to be actively involved in an empowering experience in our Nation’s Capital “Shaping the Future of Recreational Therapy”. Conference participants from across the country will enjoy our nation’s capitol as they gather for the largest national conference of recreational therapy professionals. The focus of the ATRA conference will be on public policy issues, in particular the Recreational Therapy Medicare Project to assure that Medicare beneficiaries have access to recreational therapy. Recreational therapists will have the opportunity to spend a day on Capital Hill, visiting with representatives and senators to discuss and educate them about the practice of recreational therapy and the vital need to support these services for our nation’s healthcare consumers. Extensive training and support will be provided to all those attending the conference, so that advocacy can occur in DC and in each state.

In addition to the advocacy efforts and activities, educational sessions will be provided to address clinical practice issues in mental health, rehabilitation, geriatrics, pediatrics, the community and the schools. Recreational therapists and DC area experts will be sharing their experiences and information to advance daily practice for recreational therapists.

ATRA has always had a strong commitment to Advocacy and our nation’s capitol offers conference participants the opportunity to participate in the heart and soul of our government in a way like no other. Plan on attending the 2005 Mid-Year Professional Issues Forum and make a difference in shaping the future of the recreational therapy profession!

For more information about the conference or the field of recreational therapy please check the ATRA website at www.atra-tr.org or contact the ATRA National Office at (703) 683-9420.

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