Michigan Occupational Therapy Association


Welcome to MiOTA

MiOTA Member Spotlight:

Happy New Year to our members!
Our member spotlight this month is Ms. Mary Ellen East, MS, COTAL, ROH. Mary Ellen is now a retired member of MiOTA. She was part of the Faculty at Baker College at Allen Park. She also served as the Academic Fieldwork coordinator of that program. She also instructed part time at Mott Community College for 15 years. She has also taught at Macomb County College and Wayne County Community College District. As a clinician, she has worked both in mental health and long term care settings.
Mary Ellen earned her Occupational Therapy Assistant Degree from Schoolcraft College located in Livonia, Michigan. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree from Siena Heights University and her Master of Science Degree from Madonna University.
She enjoys reading, traveling, and shopping. She, currently, is a caregiver for a 90-year-old individual at an independent living facility.
Mary Ellen was drawn to the field on a recommendation for a friend who was a nurse. However, once she joined the program, she says, “I knew I was in the right place, the fact that I might be able to help someone regain function or establish a new normal was what I wanted to do.” She hopes that she has influenced / helped others, but believes that “every client, former student, colleague and mentors have helped me become the COTA I am today!”
Mary Ellen has contributed to several projects both nationally and internationally. She was part of a Therapy Mission Program to serve the people of Honduras. It was a fulfilling project which she says, “It was one of the highlights of my career”. Currently, she is working with the MOT students from WSU on research related to caregivers and how they perceive their role. She has presented on several topics at Annual conference of MiOTA conference including OT/OTA collaborations, putting occupation back into practice.
Mary Ellen has been very active in both AOTA and MiOTA. She was on the AOTA Board of Directors (2010-2013). She has actively contributed to the AOTA for several years, being on several committees including the “member recognition committee” and being reviewer for conference abstracts. She served on the ACOTE for 7 years. She has been involved with MiOTA since she was as student. She has chaired several committees and co-chaired the Annual conference of MiOTA Committee. She believes, “While membership is voluntary, I believe it is a professional responsibility to belong to both National and State associations. It is a way to stay updated on health care changes, network, and obtain PDUs”.  
If you would like to be highlighted or would like to nominate a MiOTA member, please email us at website@miota.org or to Ray Roche at renukaroche@gmail.com

MiOTA Updates



You are invited to learn about the value of MiOTA membership! In July 2021, MiOTA's Leader of the Executive Committee, Cathleen Johnson, OTD, OTRL, FMiOTA recorded the informative presentation 

State Associations: Professional Responsibility & Practice Protection

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.


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.


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