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 29, 2008

Agree with Mike -- Good for NCTRC

Mike Sutherland commented on the actions of the NCTRC Board mentioned in yesterday's post. Mike said that he was I glad to see steps being taken to make the path for eligibility requirements more challenging -- and that he was also glad to hear of possible specialty certification.

I too was glad to learn the NCTRC Board endorsed the continued exploration of Specialty Certification by NCTRC. Specialization is how professions are advanced in their practice. It is time that RT recognized that fact and recognized specialization as a part of the certification system.

I was also pleased that the NCTRC Board also decided to investigate and develop a strategic action plan related to strengthening the eligibility requirements for NCTRC certification based upon the results of the 2007 NCTRC Job Analysis Study. This is a step forward. Perhaps NCTRC can improve RT curricula since university faculty cannot seem to do so.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


The NCTRC Board of Directors conducted its annual meeting on April 24-25, 2008 in Newburgh, NY. Among the many achievements accomplished during the two-day meeting were the following:

Three new members were inducted to the NCTRC Board of Directors. Debbie Robinson, CTRS (NH) and Nancy Richeson, CTRS (ME) were inducted for a three-year term (2008-2011). Janet Turner, CTRS (PA) was inducted as the Employer Representative to the NCTRC Board of Directors and will also serve a three-year term (2008-2011).

Jim Shea, CTRS (CT) was re-elected as Chair of the Board of Directors for the term of 2008-2009.

In a unified vote, the Board endorsed the continued exploration of Specialty Certification by NCTRC. An ad hoc Committee was established to further study the issue and report back to the Board with their recommendations by November 2008.

An ad hoc Committee was also established to investigate and develop a strategic action plan related to strengthening the eligibility requirements for NCTRC certification based upon the results of the 2007 NCTRC Job Analysis Study.

ATRA Continuing Ed Opportunity

From Pam Fleck, MS, CTRS, ATRA Academy Coordinator:

On June 25, Janet Turner presented an interesting and informative teleconference session on the CMS Psychosocial Severity Guidelines for LTC. The session is available on the ATRA replay line now until Saturday July 12 at midnight, 24 hours day/7 days per week. Earn .1 CEUs from the convenience of your job site or home while engaging in a high quality learning experience. For details or information on how to register, visit the atra website at www.atra-online.com and click on the teleconference link.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Southeast RT Symposium, July 16 - 18

Reminder from Pam Wilson, MS, LRT, CTRS and SRTS Board Member:

Just a reminder the Southeast Recreational Therapy Symposium will be held July 16-18 in Gatlinburg, Tenn. With over 40 sessions and nationally renowned keynote speakers this Symposium will offer 15 CEP's for full conference attendance. This year's Symposium will also feature two tracks -"Evidenced-Based Practice and Outcomes for RT"
and "Geriatrics/LTC". For more information regarding the Symposium, including the full conference program and Registration Form, please
visit the SRTS website at www.musc.edu/srts
Early registration deadline is June 30. We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Position Opening in Indy Area

From Mandy D. McQueeney, BS, CTRS, via the RTI listserve:

Meaningful Day Services Inc. has opened up a new position for a part-time Recreation Therapist to serve Marion and Hamilton counties. Applicant must be CTRS and available to work some evenings. There is potential for full-time employment with this position.

Our company is growing rapidly and the demand for Recreation Therapy is increasing. We serve individuals of all ages with developmental disabilities under the Medicaid Waiver. Our therapists have a unique opportunity to work with individuals in their homes and within the community.

If you would like to be considered for this position, you may apply online at www.meaningfuldays.com

For more information regarding position requirements and responsibilities, you may contact me directly at kmms43005@sbcglobal.net

Mandy D. McQueeney, BS, CTRS
Director of Recreational Therapy
Meaningful Day Services, Inc.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Mary Virginia Frye, 1918 - 2008

I recently learned of the death of Mary Virginia Frye. Thanks to Youngkhill Lee for informing me of her death.

Ginny Frye was my TR professor at the University of Illinois. She was a wonderful lady who I was very fond of. I owe her a great deal as she had a great influence on me. Ginny will go down in our history as the coauthor of the first textbook for our discipline.

Here is the obituary from the Ames, Iowa, newspaper:

Mary Virginia Frye

Mary Virginia Frye died Tuesday, June 17, at Green Hills Health Care Center, Ames.

Mary Virginia Frye was born Jan. 26, 1918, in West Bend to Ethel (Henry) and Arnold L. Frye. Known most of her life as Ginny, she grew up and was educated in Illinois, graduating from Bradley University in 1940. Following college, she taught for three years in public school and served 10 years as a Red Cross recreation director in military hospitals. Graduate study brought her to the University of Illinois, where she received master's and doctorate degrees in 1964. She was on the faculty for 15 years. In 1970, she returned to Iowa to develop a program in leisure studies at Iowa State University. She has been published widely in professional journals and authored a book, "Therapeutic Recreation: Its Theory, Philosophy and Practice." In 1981, she retired, moved to Green Hills Retirement Community in Ames and began to enjoy activities of the leisure class. She traveled globally and enjoyed visiting friends and relatives, bridge, concerts, and other community events. She volunteered with Brunnier Art Museum and the Farm House Museum, worked with foreign staff and students at the university and also at Mary Greeley Medical Center. She was a member of Collegiate Presbyterian Church and Chapter HO of P.E.O.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What Has Happened to RT Curriculum Reform?

I just read an editorial on the need for curriculum reform in physical education. Having read it made me ask myself "whatever happened to RT curriculum reform efforts?"

I guess I am getting old and grumpy -- but it seems to me that RT educators have dropped the ball in terms of curriculum reform. This is a sad state of affairs if true.

Perhaps more is going in with RT curriculum reform than I know. If so, I hope someone will share information about what is happening.

If nothing is happening, shame on the current RT educators.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

www.nuelife.com is new website

A Resource for the Care of Your Aging Patients has been established. Here is information from the website:

NuELifePRO.com is the single source of information focused on the increasingly complex care of the older patient. Here you will find the tools, resources, and education to help you with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases in older people as well as information specific to changes that occur in the aging process.

Our goal is to be your resource for senior care. Search by condition or disease and you’ll discover Clinical Practice Guidelines, Continuing Education offerings, Position Statements, and Resources. If you don’t easily find what you need, e-mail the NuELifePRO.com team. Tell us what you need and we’ll find it for you - and we deliver.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Life Expectancy Tops 78

I read in this morning's Indianapolis Star that the life expectancy in the United States has now surpassed 78 years. Of course, living longer means people will have to deal with chronic illnesses. Hopefully, RTs will supply programs to help older persons to have a good quality of life.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Final Reminder on Madison RT Workshop

A reminded that it is still not too late to attend the Madison RT Workshop this Thursday and Friday, June 12 and 13, in Madison, Indiana.

There is no registration fee for RTI members or members of any ATRA Chapters. ATRA CEUs will be available for the processing fee of $10.00.

Those attending may sign-in at the door, although preregistration is encouraged. Please contact Debbie Leland, of the Madison State Hospital staff, who will be glad to register participants and provide directions to the new location for the RT Workshop on the grounds of Madison State Hospital in Madison, Indiana.

Debbie Leland may be reached by calling 812.265.7414 or by email at dleland@fssa.state.in.us

Monday, June 09, 2008

Faculty Position at Grand Valley State

Kari Kensinger, Ph.D., CTRS, sent along this announcment:

Grand Valley State University's TR program is growing. We are currently seeking a full-time, tenure track assistant professor in our Therapeutic Recreation program.

Preference will be given to candidates with a clinical background and/or active affiliation with TR professional organizations. Candidates must be N.C.T.R.C. certified. Persons with a Master's Degree and clinical experience may apply, but will be expected to pursue doctoral degree.

This individual will be resposible for teaching (therapeutic recreation and general recreation), advising and supervising students' clinical experiences in B.S. program in Therapeutic Recreation as well as maintaining an active program of professional development, scholarship and participation in university and community service. They may teach a course in the Health Professions Major.

Apply online at www.gvsujobs.org Include a letter of application, curriculum vitae, and contact information for three references. The online system will allow you to attach these documents electronically. If you need assistance or have questions, call Human Resources at 616-331-2215. Consideration of applications begins immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

For more information contact: Teresa Beck, beckt@gvsu.edu or at (616) 331-2735

An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/American Institution TDD Callers: Call Michigan Relay Center at 1-800-649-3777

Mental Health America has New Chair

June 9, 2008, Mental Health America News Release:

Mental Health America Elects John A. Morris, M.S.W. as New Chair of Board of Directors

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (June 9, 2008)—Mental Health America (formerly the National Mental Health Association) has elected John Morris, M.S.W. as the new Chair of its Board of Directors beginning in June 2008. In this role, Morris will provide direction and leadership to the organization – which celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2009 – and its more than 320 affiliates nationwide. Among the many issues he plans to take on as Chair, Morris’ primary interest is the integration of mental health into general health care practice. He is the Director of the Human Services Practice of the Technical Assistance Collaborative, Inc. and Executive Director of the Annapolis Coalition on the Behavioral Health Workforce.

For Information Contact: Eileen Sexton, 703-837-4783 or esexton@mentalhealthamerica.net

Sunday, June 08, 2008

2008 ATRA Annual Conference

Conference information from ATRA:

Conference Site and Lodging Information

September 29 - October 2, 2008
"Leading the Way"

Conference Site: Peppermill Casino Resort, Neno, Nevada

For reservations please call Central Reservations at 1-800-282-2444 or (775) 826-2121.You must mention the American Therapeutic Recreation Association and provide AATRA08 as our room-block code to qualify for the ATRA room rates.

Single Occupancy $119 Double Occupancy $119

Triple Occupancy $129 Quadruple Occupancy $139
You will also be responsible for the local tax and $3.36 per night resort fee. The hotel provides complimentary parking and a complimentary shuttle from the Reno airport.

Conference Registration Rates:

$325 ATRA Professional Member

$449 Non-Member Professional Package (you will receive a one year


$180 ATRA Student Member

$244 Non-Member Student Package (you will receive a one year ATRA student


$160 Pre-Conference Sessions (each)

CEU Fees $20 for ATRA Members $30 for Non-Members

Friday, June 06, 2008

Reminder: Madison RT Workshop, June 12 & 13

Don't forget the Madison RT Workshop June 12 & 13. The Madison RT Workshop is free for members of RTI and all ATRA Chapters.

Madison State Hospital RT Workshop Program 2008
June 12-13, 2008

Thursday, June 12, 2008
8:15 – 8:45 a.m. Registration

8:45 – 10:15 a.m. Outcome Based Evaluation: Identifying Functional Outcomes of Service.
Dr. Bryan McCormick

10:15 --10:30 a.m. Break

10:30 – noon Co-treatments with Music Therapy
Jenny Branson

Noon – 1:00 Lunch on your own

1:00 – 2:30 p.m. A Better Understanding of Attitude Through the Therapeutic Game “Attitude!”
Robert Krider

2:30 – 2:45 p.m. Break

2:45 – 4:15 p.m. Enabling Gardens and Horticulture Therapy
Heather Robinson

Friday, June 13, 2008

8:45 – 10:15 a.m. Moving Beyond Recreation: Group Processing and Therapeutic Communication in Recreational Therapy.
Gretchen Snethen & Rebecca Gilbert

10:15 – 10:30 a.m. Break

10:30 – noon Playing your heart out: Cardiac disease and treatment considerations for therapeutic recreation practice.
Dr. Marieke van Puymbroeck

Noon – 1:00 p.m. Lunch on your own

1:00 – 2:30 p.m. Using mindfulness meditation in therapeutic recreation practice.
Dr. Marieke van Puymbroeck

2:30 – 2:45 p.m. Break

2:45 – 4:15 p.m. Active Leisure: Pilot testing an intervention for people with schizophrenia.
Dr. Bryan McCormick

4:15 – 4:30 p.m. Evaluation

Registration & Contact Information:

There is no registration fee for RTI members or members of any ATRA Chapters. ATRA CEUs will be available for the processing fee of $10.00.

While those attending may sign-in at the door, preregistration is encouraged. Please contact Debbie Leland, of the Madison State Hospital staff, who will be glad to register participants and provide directions to the new location for the RT Workshop on the grounds of Madison State Hospital in Madison, Indiana.

Debbie Leland may be reached by calling 812.265.7414 or by email at dleland@fssa.state.in.us

ATRA Awards Reminder

ATRA President Marcia Smith recently send out his reminder:

It’s that time of the year to start thinking about those professionals who have made a difference in the last year in the profession. Whether a clinician, ATRA or affiliate member, researcher, organization, institution, college or university, or chapter affiliate, if you feel they should be recognized for their positive contribution to the profession of recreation therapy, NOMINATE! We should recognize those in our profession who are doing exemplary work. Nominations are due by JUNE 30.

The ATRA Awards Program is comprised of 10 awards, provided each year at the ATRA Annual Conference.

Award Categories:

I. Distinguished Fellow Award
II. Outstanding Professional Award
III. Member of the Year Award
IV. Individual Citation
V. Organization or Institution Citation
VI. Certificate of Recognition
VII. Frank N. Brasile Clinician of the Year Award
VIII. Excellence in Education Award
IX. Scholarly Achievement Award
X. Chapter Affiliate of the Year Award

For more information on nomination criteria and official nomination form: www.atra-tr.org/leadershipawards.htm. Thank you and remember to do your part as a member of ATRA and nominate a deserving professional.

Mental Health America Honors Congressman

I received the following announcement from Mental Health America News. Congressman Ramstad seems like the kind of person who would support RT. I wonder if he is a co-sponsor of ATRA's legislation.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (June 5, 2008) Mental Health America today will honor Congressman Jim Ramstad (R-Minn.) with its Career Achievement Award for his invaluable contributions and untiring leadership in championing parity legislation to improve access to mental health and addiction treatment.

Ramstad will be presented the award at the kickoff of the Capitol Hill Advocacy Day of Mental Health America’s Annual Conference and Inaugural Promotion and Prevention Summit, being held in Washington, D.C.

First elected to the House of Representatives in 1990, Ramstad will retire from Congress at the end of this year.

Ramstad has championed the cause of parity for over a decade. The cosponsor of the Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act, his leadership built increasing support for the legislation which led to the historic House passage of the bill in March. The bill outlaws health insurance practices that discriminate against Americans with mental health and substance-use conditions under employer-sponsored health care plans. Lawmakers are currently working to reach a compromise between the House bill and a Senate version.

“Jim Ramstad has been a true profile in courage. Because of his efforts, we stand just a few steps away from winning a major civil rights victory,” said David L. Shern, Ph.D., president and CEO of Mental Health America. “His passion and determination have propelled mental health parity legislation to the forefront. We will greatly miss his leadership, but he will leave Congress with a legacy of action and achievement.”

Last year, Ramstad and Congressman Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) embarked on a nationwide tour through the Campaign to Insure Mental Health and Addiction Equity to highlight the importance of mental health parity. The series of field hearings, which Mental Health America helped to organize, galvanized support for legislative action and brought the voices of Americans to the Congressional debate over equal access to care for mental health and addiction.

Ramstad also co-founded two bipartisan congressional caucuseswhose mission is to educate members of Congress about substanceabuse issues: the Addiction, Treatment, and Recovery (ART) Caucus and the Caucus on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.

In 1999, Mental Health America presented Ramstad its Legislator of the Year Award.

The Mental Health America Annual Conference, which this year carries the theme “No Health Without Mental Health,” is being held at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. It is bringing together from around the country advocates, mental health consumers, policy makers, community leaders, and executives and staff from 320 Mental Health America state and local affiliates to learn about critical issues in the behavioral health field and map strategies for collective action.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

TR Week is July 13 - 20

I recently received information from Charlie Dixon that TR Week is July 13 to 20.

Charlie provided some related websites:

NTRS has samples of press releases you can use for TR Week at http://www.nrpa.org/content/default.aspx?documentId=4842

For a list of 31 ways to celebrate TR Week go to http://www.nrpa.org/content/default.aspx?documentId=7264

ATRA has put together 101 ways to promote RT - http://www.atra-tr.org/101ways.htm

Program Manager Opening in Catonsville, MD

Elizabeth Hall Weybright MS, CTRS, recently sent me this position opening:

Charlestown Retirement Community is seeking a Program Manager to plan and direct recreational and therapeutic programming for residents. Charlestown is located in Catonsville, MD, a community southwest of the city of Baltimore.

RG Program Manager
Create and promote a social, home-like atmosphere for residents to inspire healthy, active living. Plan, organize, and direct an on-going program of therapeutic and recreational activities for residents—assuring their physical, intellectual, social, spiritual and emotional well-being.
Inform staff of residents’ needs and abilities, and designs individualized programs. Ensures staff compliance with government regulations related to program documentation, MDS and Care Plans.
Supports the operation of community programs and seeks out activity events.
Maintains budget records and monitors spending.

Ability to multi-task with exceptional time management skills.
Knowledge of the physical, psychosocial, social and spiritual aspects of the aging process.
Flexible work schedule including weekends and evenings as appropriate.
Good organizational skills and problem solving ability.
Possesses team player attitude and the ability to manage a diverse team.
Two (2) to three (3) years of experience in Activities or related field. Experience with the elderly, and understanding of the dementia process and its impact on activity programming. Qualified as an Activity Director or CTRS, in accordance with state regulations. A B.S. or B.A. degree and three (3) to five (5) years experience as Activity Manager in a geriatric setting.

Apply online at www.Erickson.com/careers. For faster response, attach a resume when applying online. For Charlestown Human Resources information call 410-737-8919.

Monday, June 02, 2008

RT Position Openings in Indiana

Here is an announcement from Heather J. Sedletzeck, CTRS, that was distributed over the Recreation Therapists of Indiana listserve:

RT Solutions, Inc. is growing again!!!

We are seeking to fill both full and part time positions the following areas:
Terre Haute, surrounding area - Full time
Bloomington, surrounding area - Part time

The positions are for home-based therapists to deliver services to clients with developmental disabilities. We serve clients of all ages and abilities!
These positions offer flexible schedules and the opportunity to utilize your skills by providing one to one treatment that is truly person-centered!
We pride ourselves on providing the most cutting edge treatments the clients we serve!

For more information about our company, please check out our website at: www.rtsolutionsinc.com

If you are interested in joining a dynamic team of therapists, please send your resume and references to: Heather Sedletzeck at heatherctrs@bizma.rr.com

Heather J. Sedletzeck, CTRS, President
RT Solutions Inc.
812-917-4529 (o)
812-878-6872 (c)

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Research: Active Social Life Aids Memory

A recently published research study supported by the National Institute on Aging has found that for people over age 50 keeping up a busy social life may ward off memory loss in later life.

Harvard professor, Karen Ertel, the lead researcher in the study has been quoted as saying: "This adds to a body of literature that really is showing pretty strong support that social activity and engagement may have a protective effect on cognitive decline."

Of course, the study has much to say to RTs who may provide social stimulation for clients that may well help them with cognitive functioning.

The study was published in the American Journal of Public Health. Unfortunately, it is not yet available eletronically so I've only been able to read a newspaper account on the research (that appeared in today's Indianapolis Star). I'll see what I can do to find the origional reseach article when it becomes available.