Summer Updates

From the President: Summer 2018 -- From the FOCUS Newsletter

Hello and Happy Summer!


Pictured Left to Right are our voting board members and President-elect. Cathy Peirce, Ric Carrasco, Douglene Jackson, Tia Hughes, Kathy Frahm, Brent Cheyne, Elise Bloch, Debbie Misrahi, and Kelly Uanino.

Annual Board Meeting   

June 16th, at Nova Southeastern University in Tampa, the FOTA board met for its annual face-to-face board meeting. Thanks to all that attended and for the board member’s reports. We had a very productive meeting including the approval of a budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year and the approval of several policies including an update to our association Bylaws. The updated Bylaws will be distributed to the membership for voting approval in August 2018. A special thanks to Janine Silvaroli for another year of excellent service as our Administrative Assistant. Janine has been re-titled the Association Coordinator as of June, 2018. A big thanks to Nova Southeastern University for hosting our June board meeting!

President's Board Report BLOG HERE


The State of the State Association

As the fiscal year draws to a close, I submitted my report to the board outlining the activities of the President and an update on actions, initiatives, needs and goals for the coming year. You can read about my specific activities in the BLOG:

Strengths:  In short, the strength of FOTA continues to come from the active participation of select members volunteering, serving, and developing as leaders through our various committees and officer roles. It comes from the fresh ideas and perspectives brought to us in our interactions. Strength also comes in the form of the long-term commitment of our seasoned board members to make FOTA successful.

Challenges: We need more members in FOTA. The challenges for FOTA are to build a much larger and diverse community of practitioners and to articulate the value of membership in our community, thereby increasing our power to support practice, educate, and advocate. The challenge is to motivate and inspire OTs to be members, and then to serve, and then to lead.


Where are we headed? Here are the plans that emerged from our board meeting:


  1. 1.    Leadership – We plan to continue to advance our efforts in leadership development through our program of education and mentoring of new leaders into roles with FOTA to make it stronger and incorporate new and diverse ideas. We will continue to offer our Leadership Development Program Events throughout the state.


  1. 2.    Advocacy – We plan to develop a more proactive strategy in advocating for OT in our state by recruiting various expert advisors from our membership who can provide knowledge and guidance to our Governmental Affairs Coordinators, and Lobbyists on special issues and policies, including reimbursement, emerging practice, and regulations that affect OT practitioners and their clients. From this advisory team, specific concerns and strategies can be developed well in advance of the Florida legislative session for potential meetings and testimony or Hill Day Activities. Pending best availability of Legislators, our Hill Day will be either January  22nd or February  19th this year.


  1. 3.    Conference -- We plan to make the Annual Conference more meaningful and valuable to OT practitioners. Our goal is to significantly increase the numbers of OT clinicians attending conference and joining FOTA. The conference theme: Translating Knowledge Faster, is all about providing clinicians with new knowledge for application to the clinic immediately after attending our conference. We plan to publicize the types of courses and topic areas to potential attendees as early as possible so people can plan to attend. We hope everyone joins us at the conference hotel where your accommodation booking also helps FOTA financially as part of our venue arrangement.  #FOTA18: The 2018 Conference is October 26-27, Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld® 6677 Sea Harbor Drive Orlando, Florida 32821


  1. 4.    Membership – This is our biggest area of concern for growth for FOTA. We need more members. Less than 3% of licensed OT professionals in Florida are members of our state association. We plan to engage prospective members and students transitioning from students to working in the field. We will reach out through electronic and social media, and offer local live events to make connections with members and with prospects. Incentives such as CEU benefits and time-limited membership discounts are in the works. FOTA must develop a better “case in support of membership” which includes expanding the tangible benefits and incentives to become a FOTA member especially as practicing clinician post-graduation. The professional community needs more information about the threats to our practice, issues of policy and reimbursement, and resources to act in support of our practice. People want an effective means to improve their own practice, and bring more meaning to their work. Our challenge is to spread the message about FOTA and connect with all Florida OTs – then deliver on promises.



Other Board meeting information will be available on your membership landing page on the website in the weeks to come.


Welcome to the FOTA Board, President-elect Douglene Jackson, PhD, OTR/L! Her President-elect term begins July 2018, and her term as

 President of FOTA begins July 1st, 2019


Our FOTA Board Meeting Attendees: Here’s to Success in 2018-19 Fiscal Year!

Thanks to all that contribute to the success of FOTA by board service, volunteering and membership!

Take care,

Brent Cheyne, OTD, OTR/L

FOTA President

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