Michigan Occupational Therapy Association

MiOTA

Welcome to MiOTA

MiOTA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: SHARON HOLT, MHS, OTR/L
 
Sharon Holt is a Full-time Lecturer and Admissions Coordinator with the OT Program at Eastern Michigan University. She also works per diem for the Hope Network, an organization that specializes in neurorehabilitation and behavioral health. She graduated from Western Michigan University, in 1999, with a double major in Occupational Therapy and Dance. She then went on to do her post-professional degree in OT from the University of Indianapolis. Outside work, Sharon enjoys running races, kayaking, weightlifting, reading books and creating Pysanky (beautiful Ukrainian Easter Eggs). She loves spending time with her family and camping, hiking and vacationing together.
 
She decided that OT was her calling at age 16, when she shadowed an OT in an outpatient / work hardening clinic. The clients and OTs seemed to have so much fun together and what they were doing appealed to her artistic side. She loves bringing this artistry to those she works by creating opportunities to engage in meaningful and productive occupations. However, the area of OT specialization that Sharon most enjoys is addressing vision. Sharon says, “I strive to advance thinking around vision and its impact on occupation in every setting I have worked in. It has and continues to be an integral part of my practice”. As the Admissions Coordinator at EMU’s OT Program, she has developed a transparent and efficient system that helps students be successful in putting together a strong application packet, even if they are not accepted into the program. Sharon loves being a part of MiOTA. She says that MiOTA offers continuing education opportunities that are relevant, and keep her connected to colleagues and practice. She also believes that MiOTA keeps her updated about changes in the profession at the local, state and national level. “Where else can you get all of these opportunities for such an affordable cost?!”, Sharon exclaims!
 
If you would like to be highlighted or would like to nominate a MiOTA member, please email us at:website@miota.org (Attn: Renuka Roche) or renukaroche@gmail.com                

MiOTA Updates

AOTA’s Position on Vaccination of the Occupational Therapy Workforce 12/9/2020

It is the position of AOTA that occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants working as essential personnel in settings with the potential for COVID-19 exposure should be included in the first round of vaccinations. Furthermore, because the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s definition of health care personnel includes “unpaid persons,” students providing services during fieldwork should be included if their fieldwork is in settings with exposure risk.  

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued recommendations on December 1 as to who should receive Phase 1 COVID-19 vaccinations. The recommendations included health care personnel, defined as “paid and unpaid persons serving in health care settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials.” The recommendations go on to state that if there are limitations to the number of vaccine doses available, “jurisdictions might consider first offering vaccination to residents and health care personnel in skilled nursing facilities because of high medical acuity and COVID-19–associated mortality among residents in these settings.”   

In its Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce: Ensuring Community and National Resilience in COVID-19 Response, the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recognizes occupational therapists and assistants as essential critical infrastructure workers. Based on the ACIP recommendations, this position supports that occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants who work in settings with potential for exposure should be included in the first round of vaccinations.  At this time, the situation is fluid and continues to evolve. AOTA will update this article as we receive additional information.
 



MiOTA's Statement on Inclusion, Diversity, and Occupational Justice

Amidst the suffering that the state of Michigan has experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we now join the nation in grieving the deaths of Amaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. Most recently, the murder of George Floyd by four police officers in Minneapolis has revealed the virus of racism that has been present through our society largely unseen and unaddressed for decades. The murders of Ms. Taylor, Mr. Arbery, and Mr. Floyd have unleashed a massive protest movement across the country. These protests are the expression of years of pent-up frustration with racism and inequality.

As an association and members of a profession that espouses the ideals of inclusion, diversity, and occupational justice we cannot remain silent regarding the events of the past week. Our actions and inactions send a strong message about what we think and what we believe. The structural violence and systemic racism that has existed for years within our nation has once again been brought to light with the unnecessary killings of Mr. Arbery, Ms. Taylor, and  Mr. Floyd. In addition, over the past two and half months, in the State of Michigan and across the nation, we have been witness to the disparities and equities as African Americans die in greater numbers due to COVID-19.

We must openly denounce the attitudes and beliefs that result in yet another person of color being killed at the hands of those who are charged with serving and protecting. We must also work to address the medical and economic crisis that exists in marginalized communities of color. Our professional commitment to inclusion, diversity, and occupational justice requires that we not only have conversations about occupational justice but that we act to address the social conditions that restrict what people can do and what they can be. As occupational therapy professionals, we must be agents of healing for individual bodies, for our communities, for our state, and for our society.


MiOTA's Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

MiOTA is aware of the concerns many of you have regarding the impact of COVID-19 on your personal and professional life.  Since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Michigan, many questions and concerns have been submitted to our association. This is a difficult time for all of us and rest assured your professional association volunteer leadership in collaboration with our lobbyist, Bret Marr and the AOTA Regulatory Affairs committee have been collaborating to answer questions and provide resources.

We are actively working with AOTA and our state legislators to support our profession and, by extension, our clients during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Information is frequently changing so our volunteer team is doing our best to fully review all of it for accuracy before we share it with you. 

Additional COVID-19 resources are located for MiOTA members and non-members alike under the Advocacy Updates webpage.

General information on professional responses to COVID-19 can be found on AOTA’s website for members and non-members alike: https://www.aota.org/Practice/Health-Wellness/COVID19.aspx.

The American Congress for Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) is offering a series of free educational webinar resources featuring "experts from the Tele-Medicine industry to provide clear and up-to-date information regarding telemedicine and remote monitoring in the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation during the COVID-19 crisis": https://acrm.org/resources/coronavirus-pandemic/acrm-pandemic-webinar-series/?fbclid=IwAR06yrGS5RSIAimR3zBakDXwpOFRsRJEpJnfrrIHyNHwmlp-ld2mRTFZAis

If you are currently practicing or transitioning to telehealth therapies, please make sure to verify telehealth benefits with each insurance providers.    

For additional information on telehealth, please log into your MiOTA account and visit the COVID-19 & Telehealth webpage.

 

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