RT Blog

Location: Indiana, United States

I became a Professor Emeritus after serving 29 years as a recreational therapy faculty member at Indiana University. I'm a long-time Hoosier, having grown up in Hanover, Indiana. My RT practitioner work was in psych/mental health. After completing my Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, my first faculty position was at the University of North Texas. RT has been a wonderful profession for me as I have had the opportunity to serve as an author and national leader.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Thanks for Madison RT Workshop

The Madison RT Workshop hosted earlier this month by Judy Gayle, M.S., CTRS, and her staff at Madison State Hospital was a complete success by all reports. Professor Bryan McCormick, from IU, assisted the Madison staff in organizing and conducting the Madison RT Workshop. Thanks to Judy, Bryan, et al. for their contributions.

At the workshop, I enjoyed doing my session on teaching tips and it was great to see old friends, such as Bob Krider. If you are a Hoosier who missed this year's workshop, please do yourself a favor and attend next year.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

"Don't Quit" -- Hep's Poem

IU football coach Terry Hoeppner passed away Tuesday morning. Coach "Hep" always displayed a wonderfully optimistic attitude. This attitude is reflected in Hep's favorite poem, "Don't Quit."

All RTs and their clients can benefit from the words of Coach Hoeppner's poem. It follows:

Don't Quit

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow --
You may succeed with another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out --
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are.
It may be near when it seems so far.
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit --
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.
(author unknown)

AAHD's new Disability and Health Journal

The American Association on Health and Disability has launched a new peer-reviewed journal. The title will be Disability and Health Journal. The first issue is to be out in late 2007 or early in 2008.

It would seem that the new journal may be of interest to RT researchers and practitioners. It would be good to see RT related articles appear in this new journal.

For those not familar with AAHD, I have included the following information from the AAHD website:

The mission of AAHD is to contribute to national, state, and local efforts to prevent additional health complications in people with disabilities, and to identify effective intervention strategies to reduce the incidence of secondary conditions and the health disparities between people with disabilities and the general population. AAHD accomplishes its mission through research, education and advocacy.

AAHD Vision
AAHD is dedicated to the advancement of theory, knowledge and practice in the prevention of secondary disabling conditions and promotion of health and wellness for people with disabilities.
AAHD’s method includes professional and public education, advocacy efforts, and expansion of public awareness on issues related to the prevention of impairments and disabilities. In addition, AAHD plans to 1) establish a national clearinghouse for ideas, information and resources, 2) create an intramural and extramural program of research and development, 3) develop a newsletter for consumers and professionals, and 4) maintain a program of workshops and conferences in order to disseminate new and emerging information about the prevention of additional health complications and health promotion and wellness initiatives for persons with disabilities.

This vision will be accomplished through:
The endeavors of its members at the federal, state and community levels;
A process of continuous information gathering and dissemination;
A commitment to better health services and improved quality of life for persons with disabilities.

Friday, June 08, 2007

ATRA Announces Huston's Resignation

The news release below was put out by ATRA today. The release deals with Ann Huston's resignation as ATRA's ED. I've known Ann for a number of years and have appreciated all she has done for ATRA and our profession. Ann is the only ED that ATRA has ever had. She began when I was ATRA president so I was the first president that Ann worked with. I will miss Ann and wish her the very best.

The news release follows:

(Alexandria, VA) ATRA has announced the resignation of Ann Huston, Executive Director. Ms. Huston will be leaving the Executive Director position as of August 5, 2007. In a statement, ATRA President Sandra K. Negley said, “It is with regret that we accept Ms. Huston’s resignation. We are grateful for her unending commitment to the association.”

In 1994, Ms. Huston was selected as the first Executive Director of ATRA. In the last 13 years she has been instrumental in the growth of ATRA: building a national office with an outstanding national staff in Alexandra, Virginia, securing legislative representation for ATRA on Capitol Hill, developing coalitions with other healthcare organizations, leading the development of many ATRA continuing education and professional development programs including the successful ATRA Academy, and much more. During her tenure, Ms. Huston was responsible for creating a national presence for ATRA and the recreational therapy profession in Washington DC.

The ATRA Recreational Therapy Medicare Project is the result of Ms. Huston’s vision and passion for access of recreational therapy services and her incredible advocacy work. Her greatest desire is to see legislation in the next year making access for thousands of clients a reality.

On behalf of the ATRA Board of Directors and the ATRA membership, President Negley stated, “We wish to thank Ann for her commitment, dedication and on-going sacrifices for ATRA and the profession of recreational therapy. We wish her the very best in her future endeavors.”

July 8 - 14, 2007, is RT/TR Week

I just received Charlie Dixon's Therapeutic Recreation Directory Newsletter. In it was a reminder that National RT/TR Week is scheduled for July 8 - 14 this year.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Elizabeth Hall Weybright, MS, CTRS

Many Hoosiers will remember Elizabeth Hall from Bedford. She is an IU alum who was very active in RTI before moving from Indiana.

Well, Elizabeth is now Elizabeth Hall Weybright -- having become Mrs. Weybright on May 19th. Elizabeth now lives and works in Maryland where she recently received a promotion to the position of program manager. She continues to be an active ATRA member.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Not Too Late to Attend Madison RT Workshop

A final reminder that the Madison RT Workshop will be held tomorrow and Friday (June 7 & 8) at the Madison State Hospital in Madison, Indiana. Remember there is no fee for RTI members and ATRA CEUs will be available.

Preregistration is not required and you may attend either or both days -- so you can decide to attend at the last minute. In past years, there have been signs at the hospital to direct participants to the Workshop. So if you go, just drive onto the Madison State Hospital grounds and look for the signs.

I'm speaking Friday afternoon. I'm really looking forward to it and to seeing friends there. I certainly appreciate Judy Gayle, M.S., CTRS, and her staff for hosting the Madison RT Workshop each year.

RTI Conference Call for Presentations Is Out

"Relax and Reflect"
Recreation Therapists of Indiana
Annual Conference
November 8 - 9, 2007
Waterbird Lakeside Conference Center
Chesterton, Indiana

"Call for Presentations:"

Speakers will be offered a partial waiver of conference registration. Waivers are awarded on the basis of a 60 or 90 minute session, and will be divided among the number of presenters for each session. Speakers will pay for their own meals, lodging, transportation, CEU’s, handouts and registration (minus the waiver). It is requested that speakers provide 50 copies of their session handouts.

Please send the following information to RTI:

TITLE OF SESSION 10 words or less

SPEAKER QUALIFICATIONS Please include a brief bio or resume for each speaker. Should include information on current position and qualifications to present topic(s) listed. Bios should not exceed one page per speaker.

SESSION DESCRIPTION Limit 30 words. If your proposal is accepted, this will be inserted into the program to describe your session.

LEARNING OUTCOMES Please state learning outcomes for each session in measurable terms.
Example: Participants will be able to identify at least three critical issues facing healthcare.

SESSION OUTLINE Please be brief yet descriptive. ATRA must have a detailed session outline in order to determine the number of CEUs to assign.

MODE OF PRESENTATION Please indicate whether the session will be lecture, discussion, interactive, panel, etc.

JOB ANALYSIS CODE A code must be assigned to each conference session.
. Background Diagnostic Groupings
. Assessment Planning the Program
. Implementing the Program/Treatment Documentation and Evaluation
. Organizing/Managing Services Advancement of the Profession

SERIVICE DELIVERY AREA Please indicate which area your session focuses on.
a. Aquatic Therapy b. Community Inclusion
c. Developmental Disabilities d. General Medicine/Oncology
e. Geriatric/Long Term Care f. Mental Health
g. Pediatrics h. Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

SESSION LENGTH 90 minutes or 180 minutes

AUDIOVISUAL EQUIPMENT: Please list only the equipment that you are sure you will need. RTI will provide an overhead projector, VCR/TV, slide projector, flip chart, microphone
Due to costs, RTI does not provide LCD projectors or laptop computers.
Individuals may rent or bring their own, but technical assistance will not be available.

Please submit your proposal and required information as a Microsoft Word attachment via email to: heatherctrs@bizma.rr.com by June 30, 2007 to receive full consideration. Notification will be sent to all individuals submitting a proposal by July 30, 2007.

New ATRA Blog Announced

ATRA just posted a news release on a new blog. It follows...

Advocacy * Treatment * Research * Action – ATRA’s New Blog

(Alexandria, VA) The American Therapeutic Recreation Association is excited to announce it’s new blog. This blog, which can be found at: http://atra-tr.blogspot.com/, will focus on the Association’s advocacy, treatment, research and action.
The ATRA Blog will feature regular postings from the ATRA National Office to address frequently asked questions and update recreational therapy professionals, consumers and allied health professionals about Association activities and happenings. Readers will have the opportunity to offer input and suggestions on ATRA activities and services. ATRA is pleased to offer this new communication tool to keep members informed and engaged.
The American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) Association is the largest professional membership organization representing the recreational therapy profession.

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

Position Opening in Zionsville, Indiana

There was a post today on the RTI listserve in which Laura Sauley, CTRS, announced that her current job is opening up.

Laura currently works at Zionsville Meadows, American Senior Community as the Activity Director. She reports that this is a great job, however a opportunity became available that will be better for her and her newly growing family.

The job is Activity Director for Assisted Living, Healthcare, and
Independent Living. It is a great way to grow in all areas in a geriatric
setting. The job will be posted on www.careerbuilder.com and the company website

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Smoking Increases Risk for Depression

From my practitioner days working with clients with problems in mental health, I can recall that many of my clients were smokers. I would anticipate that even today there is a trend among mental health clients to be smokers. If you work with clients who smoke, you may wish to share the results of the following study with them.

An article by Karla Gale of Reuters Health has reviewed research that shows persistent smokers appear to be at increased risk for becoming depressed compared to never smokers.This is according to results of a long-term study of Finnish twins. On the other hand, this association was not seen in individuals who stopped smoking many years ago.

"Although nicotine in cigarettes has some mood-elevating properties, in the long-run chronic exposure to cigarette smoke may have a more important role in the etiology of depressive symptoms," lead author Dr. Tellervo Korhonen from the University of Helsinki told Reuters Health.

The results are based on 4,000 male and 5,000 female Finnish twins, whose health and health behavior were monitored for 15 years. The results suggest that persistent chronic smoking predicts the development of depressive symptoms.

There was also evidence that smokers who had quit were also at increased risk of depression, but only in the short term. Smokers who quit and remained off cigarettes in the long run did not have an increased risk for depression compared with never smokers. "This may reflect a relatively long recovery process from the adverse effects of cigarette smoking," Korhonen said in a statement.

"When people start smoking, the immediate effects of nicotine in the brain are rewarding and pleasurable," Korhonen explained. "This suggests self-medication, where a person who has mood problems seeks relief via cigarette."

Because addiction to nicotine is as strong as an addiction to heroin, abstinence is difficult.

"Smokers who are vulnerable to depression may need specific pharmacological treatment and behavioral support to overcome the earlier phase of abstinence," Korhonen said. After that, "their chances to quit successfully improve."

SOURCE: Psychological Medicine, May 2007.