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.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Bush Signs ADA Amendments Act

ADA Amendments Act of 2008

On Thursday, September 25, 2008, President George W. Bush signed into law S.3406, the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. This new law clarifies and broadens the definition of disability, and expands the population eligible for protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. For more information about the law visit ADA.gov

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Student Opportunties at ATRA

I just received this information from Melissa Zahl, MTRS, CTRS, who is a doctoral candidate at the University of Utah:

Jen Piatt and myself, co-team leaders for student development, were hoping you would encourage students that are attending ATRA's annual conference to participate in the student sessions and the student social.

The student social is Tuesday Sept 30 from 12-2:00PM. This is their opportunity to be recognized for their contribution to ATRA and to meet with the ATRA board members. A nice lunch will be provided.

There will be two sessions that are specific to students. These are both on Wed Oct. 1. Both sessions are facilitated by amazing practioners and advocates for the field. I am very fortunate they were willing to assist this committee.

Session 1:
Wed. Oct. 1 8:30-10 a
In the beginning...Starting your Professional Life
Sandy Negley, MS, MTRS,CTRS and Steve Bell, PhD, TRS
This session is intended to engage students and new professionals in answering the question, "How do I become a professional?"

Session 2:
Wed Oct. 1 2-3:30 p
NCTRC Certification: All you need to know
Representatives from NCTRC will discuss and answer questions about the application process.
Robyn McNeal, CTRS and Susan Kaufer, CTRS

Thank you!

RTI Nominations Due Friday

From Laurie Lee, RTI President:

Just a reminder that nominations are being accepted for the RTI Board of Directors 2008-2009. Please consider becoming more involved with RTI. There are many ways! We'd be happy to let you know the many opportunities available. We also need student members to represent their Universities! This is an excellent way to get to know others.

Nominations for others or yourself are due by September 26, 2008.

Send nominations to Laurie.Lee@fssa.in.gov

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Friendship, Social Support, & Health

An article appeared in today’s Indianapolis Star on the positive effects of friendships on health. The article talked about how friends can provide “a security blanket,” particularly for women.

In reading the article, I could not help but think about work by Seppo Iso-Ahola and Denis Coleman that was published in the Journal of Leisure Research in 1993. This article was “Leisure and Health: Social Support and Self-Determination.” The article discussed research and theory on how social support and self-determined activities positively affected health.

More recently, my colleague at Indiana University, Bryan McCormick has written and researched on the effects of friendship and social support in the lives of persons with mental illness. Bryan’s work has clearly shown the importance of building social skills to the success of those with problems in mental health.

I would hope that RTs see the importance of helping their clients to establish friendship skills and building social networks. There certainly is research to suggest the importance these play in both mental and physical heatlh.

This morning’s Star article listed “Six Ways to be a Good Friend” (attributed to Laurie Pawlik-Klenlen, health/psychology writer, www.suite101.com). I thought these were good enough to pass on – so RTs might help their clients using these tips. Here they are:

1. Spend time together. Do things with friends – walks, fitness classes, going out to dinner, talking on the phone and emailing.
2. Make friends a priority. Give attention to your friendships.
3. Be there for the good and bad. Funerals, weddings, surgeries, and celebrations are all important.
4. Don’t keep score
. Don’t worry about who called who last or who spent the most on gifts.
5. Notice the little stuff. Stay in touch with the day-to-day happenings in your friends’ lives.
6. Focus on the positive. Focus on your friends’ strengths and good qualities.

A Time for Action by Universities?

The number of this fall’s RT faculty openings is growing. So far we have East Carolina, New Hampshire, Temple, and Utah. There are sure to be several openings announced in the days to come.

Even though there are a growing number of faculty openings, I wonder if we have well prepared individuals to fill these positions. I really worry about whether universities are producing enough high caliber Ph.D.’s to assume roles as scholars and leaders for our profession.

I would like to suggest that Ph.D. granting institutions meet during the upcoming ATRA Annual Conference in Reno, September 29 – October 2, to discuss the situation with the preparation of Ph.D.’s.

It may be time to form a consortium of Ph.D. granting universities to advance the quality and quantity of Ph.D.’s being prepared to assume critical faculty roles.

500 Posts!

It hardly seems possible but the RT Blog has had 500 posts to date. This is the 500th post since the blog began in April of 2006.

I can't tell you the number of people who tell me that they regularly read the RT Blog. This,of course, reinforces me and encourages me to keep the RT Blog going.

I just wish that more individuals would comment on the items posted on the RT Blog. It would be great to receive more feedback so we could all know what readers think.

Please consider commenting the next time you have a reaction (positive or negative) to a post.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

RTI Conference Announcement

It was a nice surprise to receive the September issue of the RTI Newsletter and to see that RTI President Laurie Lee had given "front page coverage" to RTI inviting me to give the Keynote Address for the 2008 RTI Conference to be held in Evansville on November 13 and 14. My topic will be "This I Believe about RT."

I am proud to be a Founding Member of RTI and I feel honored to be asked to Keynote the RTI Conference. It should be fun.

Friday, September 19, 2008

New Medicare Website

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today launched Ask Medicare, a new initiative to help family caregivers, those who are family members or friends who help people with Medicare, access valuable healthcare information, services and resources. More than 44 million Americans, more than one in five adults, provide care to a loved one, friend or neighbor, valued in economic terms at $350 billion annually.

The address for Ask Medicare is http://www.medicare.gov/caregivers/

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Utah Too

My colleagues at IU recently reminded me that in addition to New Hampshire, East Carolina, and Temple, that Utah also is advertising a faculty opening. All four of these positions have been posted on the RT Blog.

Opportunity to Support GT in His Run for Congress

I was one of a number of individual who recently received an email message from Thom and Diane Skalko reminding us that Glenn "GT" Thompson is running for the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennyslvania's Fifth District.

I have previously posted information about GT's run for Congress. It has been my pleasure to get to know GT through his hard work on behalf of our profession through his service as an ATRA officer. He is one of our best and a fine person. Thus I am passing on some of the information sent to me by Thom and Diane in this post -- with the hope that others will learn about GT's run and support him in it.

GT is the first CTRS to ever run for a Congressional seat. So if GT would be elected, he would be the first from our profession ever to serve in Congress.

Thom and Diane wrote to ask me and others to consider contributing $100.00 to GT’s campaign ("or whatever you can make happen"). I have personally already contributed more than once to GT's campaign but, based on the Skalkos' appeal, I am thinking about writing another check.

The Skalkos also announced a breakfast is being hosted in GT's honor on Tuesday, September 23, 2008, 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. This breakfast is sponsored by Power, Pyles, Sutter, and Verville, through ATRA’s Legislative Council Peter Thomas and Adam Chrisney. Senator Arlen Specter will be a special guest.

Those able to attend the event, should RSVP to Nathan Wurtzel at (202) 589-0720 or
Nathan@catalystgroupllc.com. The event will be at:

Powers, Pyles, Sutter & Verville, PC (PPSV)
1501 M St., NW, 7th Floor
Washington, DC

Those who cannot attend the breakfast are encouraged to make a contribution to GT's campaign. Checks may be made payable to:
Friends of Glenn Thompson
P.O. Box 1112
State College, PA 16804

Thom and Diane Skalko concluded their message by stating that: "On behalf of GT and all the work he has contributed to our profession, we hope we can count on you for a contribution of any amount to support this historic moment. Please make your commitment by Tuesday, September 23 so we can share the success with GT."

Thom may be contacted at:

Pub on Physical Activity for Persons with Disabilities

There is a new publication available online from the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sport. It is a Research Digest titled Promoting Inclusive Physical Activity Communities for People with Disabilities, Series 9, No. 2, June/July, 2008.

The publication certainly has implications for RTs. The author concludes: "Health and fitness professionals have a unique opportunity to improve the health and well-being of millions of people with disabilities who are not engaging in moderate, health-enhancing physical activity."

The guest author is Dr. James H. Rimmer. It is co-edited by: Dr. Barbara Ainsworth, Dr. Deborah R. Young, and Dr. Michael La Monte.

Here is the abstract from the online publication:
People with disabilities face substantial health risks associated with a physically inactive lifestyle. Unfortunately, even when individuals with disabilities want to increase their physical activity levels, they are often confronted with many more barriers than the general population. This limits or restricts their opportunities to improve their own health. With the impending growth of older individuals entering their 60s and 70s, many of whom will enter the ranks of disability as a result of acquiring one or more physical, cognitive, or sensory impairments, health and fitness professionals must redirect part of their efforts at providing accessible facilities, programs, and services to members in their community who have a disability. The participation of younger and older individuals with disabilities in physical activity must become one of the highest priorities for public and private organizations responsible for improving the health of every citizen in this nation.

To access this publication, go to http://www.presidentschallenge.org/misc/news_research/research_digests/june2008.pdf

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

World Alzheimer's Day

From Alzheimer's Disease International:
World Alzheimer's Day, September 21, 2008

A resource on Alzheimer’s Disease from the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (NCPAD):

Alzheimer's Disease and Exercise

Faculty Positions Available

This would seem to be a great time to be a Ph.D. prepared CTRS as faculty openings have recently been announced for Temple University, East Carolina University, and the University of New Hampshire.

I have posted information on the RT Blog on each of these faculty position openings.

These faculty openings are the first to be announced this fall. My guess is that others will follow shortly.

Physical Activities Boost Cognitive Functioning

Considering that participants engaged in only moderate physical activity (3 50 minute sessions per week), researchers have found significant progress in congnitive functioning in older persons. Thus, the research suggests that RTs should program physical activities for their older clients.

Here is the abstract of the article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association:

"Effect of Physical Activity on Cognitive Function in Older Adults at Risk for Alzheimer Disease: A Randomized Trial"
Nicola T. Lautenschlager, MD; Kay L. Cox, PhD; Leon Flicker, MBBS, PhD; Jonathan K. Foster, DPhil; Frank M. van Bockxmeer, PhD; Jianguo Xiao, MD, PhD; Kathryn R. Greenop, PhD; Osvaldo P. Almeida, MD, PhD

JAMA. 2008;300(9):1027-1037

Context Many observational studies have shown that physical activity reduces the risk of cognitive decline; however, evidence from randomized trials is lacking.
Objective To determine whether physical activity reduces the rate of cognitive decline among older adults at risk.
Design and Setting Randomized controlled trial of a 24-week physical activity intervention conducted between 2004 and 2007 in metropolitan Perth, Western Australia. Assessors of cognitive function were blinded to group membership.
Participants We recruited volunteers who reported memory problems but did not meet criteria for dementia. Three hundred eleven individuals aged 50 years or older were screened for eligibility, 89 were not eligible, and 52 refused to participate. A total of 170 participants were randomized and 138 participants completed the 18-month assessment.
Intervention Participants were randomly allocated to an education and usual care group or to a 24-week home-based program of physical activity.
Main Outcome Measure Change in Alzheimer Disease Assessment Scale–Cognitive Subscale (ADAS-Cog) scores (possible range, 0-70) over 18 months.
Results In an intent-to-treat analysis, participants in the intervention group improved 0.26 points (95% confidence interval, –0.89 to 0.54) and those in the usual care group deteriorated 1.04 points (95% confidence interval, 0.32to 1.82) on the ADAS-Cog at the end of the intervention. The absolute difference of the outcome measure between the intervention and control groups was –1.3 points (95% confidence interval,–2.38 to –0.22) at the end of the intervention. At 18 months, participants in the intervention group improved 0.73 points (95% confidence interval, –1.27 to 0.03) on the ADAS-Cog, and those in the usual care group improved 0.04 points (95% confidence interval, –0.46 to 0.88). Word list delayed recall and Clinical Dementia Rating sum of boxes improved modestly as well, whereas word list total immediate recall, digit symbol coding, verbal fluency, Beck depression score, and Medical Outcomes 36-Item Short-Form physical and mental component summaries did not change significantly.
Conclusions In this study of adults with subjective memory impairment, a 6-month program of physical activity provided a modest improvement in cognition over an 18-month follow-up period.

Active Aging Week This Month

From the International Council of Active Again (ICAA):
Active Aging Week, September 22-28, 2008

International Council of Active Aging (ICAA)

Look for local events that encourage physical, intellectual, and social well-being for guests over the age of 50 by visiting the consumer section of the ICAA website at http://www.icaa.cc/activeagingweek/aaw-public.htm.

Monday, September 15, 2008

RTI Seeking Nominations for Board

Laurie Lee,President of the Recreation Therapists of Indiana, has announced that RTI is seeking nominations for the upcoming 2008-2009 board.

To nominate contact Laurie at Llee@fssa.state.in.us or Julie Foster at ctrsjulie@embarqmail.com

Temple University Faculty Opening

From John Shank at Temple:

Temple University's Department of Therapeutic Recreation is searching for a tenure-track Assistant/Associate professor who can contribute to the department's undergraduate and graduate curricula, and complement the department's research focus on active living for persons with illnesses and disabilities across the life span.

We are one of 8 departments in the College of Health Professions. We have 8 full-time faculty and 6 part-time adjunct faculty. There are approximately 140 bachelor (BS) and 15 master's students. Our PhD in Health Studies is being restructured into an interdisciplinary PhD in Health and Human Ecology Studies with admissions expected to resume for Fall 2009.

The tenure-track position announcment is attached. Please excuse any cross-listings. The start of application reviews has been moved to November 10, 2008.

The department also anticipates an additional Clinical Faculty position for Fall 2009which has primary responsibilities for teaching/clinical instruction. It is expected to be offically announced next month.

Together, these positions will help the department further strengthen research, teaching, and service-learning in recreation therapy especially in the areas of gerontological, adult, and/or pediatric health promotion and rehabilitation.

I will be attending the ATRA conference in Reno and would be pleased to discuss these positions, the department and Temple University with you or anyone who may be interested.Inquiries can also be made by phone or electronically.

Dr. Yoshi Iwasaki, search chair, will be at the NRPA Congress and would be happy to meet with anyone interested in learning more about the position described in the attached annoucment.

I hope to see many of you at ATRA - Reno.

John Shank, EdD, CTRS
Professor & Chair
Therapeutic Recreation Dept.
College of Health Professions
1700 N. Broad St., Suite 313
Temple University
Philadelphia, PA 19122
(215) 204-6278
FAX (215) 204-1386

You May Want to Contact Judi Voelkl

In my last post I discussed my experience in speaking in Professor Judi Voelkl's class at Clemson University. I want you to know that following some very serious health problems, Judi seems to be doing extremely well.

Judi is a top scholar and one of the top people in our entire profession. We are so blessed to have her as "one of us." Judi is also a former student of mine (She received her M.S. in TR from Indiana.) I have a great deal of pride in knowing that one of my former students has achieved so much and has risen to a level of national and international prominence.

I know that Judi's recovery has been difficult. She is still in the process of getting back to normal. If you know Judi, now might be a good time to send her a note or a card to wish her well.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Judi Voelkl's Clemson Students

Last Thursday I had the priviledge of speaking in Professor Judi Voelkl's TR class at Clemson University. I can't tell you how impressed I was with Judi's students.

The students' comments showed they were extremely bright and articulate. They also seemed highly motivated to learn about the body of knowledge of their profession. In short, they were a wonderful group of young students.

Had you been there with me, I think you too would have been proud of having students like those at Clemson as a part of our profession. Just to be with these students gave me great hope for the future of our profession.

The topic of the presentation/discussion was my Health Protection/Health Promotion Model of Practice. As a part of the discussion I asked the students to evaluate my model. They generally liked it but presented some interesting questions -- particilarly about whether the model is a good match for application in long-term care facilities. When one of the students brought this up, I wasn't really sure if my model could readily be applied in such facilities. I think it can but I need to expliciately state how it may be used to guide practice in long-term care.

I must admit it was good to be back in a classroom. If you haven't spoken recently to a university class, I would suggest you think about doing so. I believe it will give you hope for the future of our profession, just as it did for me!

RT Faculty Position at East Carolina

From Professor David Loy at East Carolina University:

The Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies at East Carolina University is pleased to announce a nine month, tenure track open rank position in recreational therapy. The ideal candidate will complement or build upon at least one program area including: aquatic therapy, psychophysiology, gerontology, mental health, adapted sports, or youth development. Candidates expected to complete a doctoral degree by December, 2009 will be considered.

The East Carolina Recreational Therapy Program offers some unique characteristics including:

· seven certified and licensed Recreational Therapy faculty

· separate B.S. degree in Recreational Therapy and M.S. degree in Recreational Therapy Administration

· biofeedback and aquatic therapy certificate programs

· planning for an interdisciplinary PhD program

· approximately 150 undergraduates, 65 undergraduate pre-majors, and 15-20 Graduate students

· three teaching/research laboratories including Psychophysiology & Biofeedback Clinic, the Sensory and Observation Lab (with 1 way mirror & observational ceiling cameras), & Motor Development

Recreational Therapy faculty will be well-represented at the upcoming American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) conference in Reno, NV; the North Carolina Recreation Therapy Association (NCRTA) conference in Greensboro, NC; and the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) conference in Baltimore, MD. Please come by and see us at our departmental booth. We would love to talk to interested candidates about our University, department, and program. Feel free to visit us at www.ecu.edu/rcls.

Application screening begins October 22, 2008 and will continue until the position is filled. Candidates are asked to apply online at www.jobs.ecu.edu. The on-line application should include the following supporting information: application letter, vita, three letters of recommendation specific to the position, and copies of transcripts. For questions regarding the application process, please contact Ms. Eileen McInerney, Department Budget Administrator, (252) 737-1374, mcinerneye@ecu.edu.

For specific questions concerning the position, contact Dr. David Loy, Search Chair, (252)328-2718; loyd@ecu.edu.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Meta-Analysis & Evidence-Based Practice

The August/September, 2008, issue of the Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (Vol. 14, No. 4, pp. 326 - 328) has an interesting article explaining the use of meta-analysis in evidence-based practice. The title is: “Meta-Analysis as a Basis for Evidence-Based Practice. The Question Is, Why Not?”

This would be a good article for RT faculty to read and to share with their students – especially senior level students and graduate students.

Friday, September 05, 2008

RTI Call for Presentations

Recreation Therapists of Indiana (RTI)
Annual Conference

November 13-14, 2008
Evansville Executive Inn
Evansville, 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

SESSION LENGTH 60 minutes, 90 minutes

AUDIOVISUAL EQUIPMENT: Please list only the equipment that you are sure you will need.
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: LLee@fssa.state.in.us . If you prefer, you may mail your proposal to RTI, PO Box 22095, Indpls, IN 46222

Need Strong RT Faculty

The post on Lou Powell's retirement made me think about the real shortage of Ph.D. prepared RT faculty. Our profession really needs well prepared individuals to fulfill faculty roles -- but today far too few are being produced.

If we do not have a strong pool of RT faculty, our profession will suffer greatly. University faculty provide the research and scholarlship so badly needed in this day of evidence-based practice. University faculty have also traditionally provided national leadership for our profession. In short, it is vital to our profession that we maintain a strong group of RT university faculty.

If you have thought about going back for your Ph.D., this is a great time. There has always been a shortage of RT faculty but with pending retirements employment opportuities will be even better.

I would challenge universities to step up their recruitment of Ph.D. students. RT faculty should realize the dire need for well prepared RT faculty better than anyone -- and should therefore work harder than ever to recruit top Ph.D. students.

Lou Powell Retiring

Yesterday I received an email message from Professor Lou Powell, of the University of New Hampshire, in which she informed me that she was retiring at the end of the school year. This hardly seems possible. How can that be? Lou just seems too young to be retiring.

Lou worked with me, at IU, on Project INSPIRE years ago before she completed her doctorate and went on to New Hampshire. She has had a highly successful career at the University of New Hampshire. I'm sure Lou will be missed there and by those across the USA who have gotten to know her.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Faculty Opening at New Hampshire

Department of Recreation Management & Policy announces an opening for:
Assistant/Associate or Full Professor in Therapeutic Recreation

The Department of Recreation Management and Policy at the University of New Hampshire invites applications and nominations for a tenure-track Assistant/Associate/Full Professor position in Recreation Management (Therapeutic Recreation Option) beginning in August 2009.

The successful candidate will be someone who has a strong background in therapeutic recreation. Duties include teaching courses in the undergraduate and graduate core, as well as teaching courses in both the undergraduate and graduate therapeutic recreation Options; advising both undergraduate and graduate student majors; conducting research and publishing in peer-reviewed journals; serving on Department, School, and University committees; overseeing graduate student research projects and theses; and engaging in professional and public service.

An earned doctorate is required by August 2009, with at least one academic degree in recreation therapy, recreation, and/or leisure studies. Candidates should have experience teaching recreation therapy and leisure studies courses at the college level. Teaching expertise in undergraduate courses such as Foundations of Therapeutic Recreation, Principles of Therapeutic Recreation, Assessment and Treatment Planning in Therapeutic Recreation and/or Therapeutic Communication and Facilitation Techniques in Therapeutic Recreation is highly desired. The ability to teach graduate-level therapeutic recreation courses and core courses, such as research methods, is also desired. Professional work experience, including a demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with diverse communities is preferred. The applicant must have effective interpersonal skills and must be able to provide evidence of the ability to engage in scholarly activity, research, peer-reviewed publication, and grant writing.

Application Procedures and Deadlines:
To apply, please submit a letter of application, vita, three current letters of reference and copies of transcripts to: Dr. Lou Powell, Search Committee Chair, Department of Recreation Management & Policy, University of New Hampshire, 108 Hewitt Hall, 4 Library Way, Durham, NH, 03824-3563. Questions or other correspondence regarding the position should be directed to Dr. Lou Powell at (603) 862-2710, or by e-mail to lgp@unh.edu. Candidates are encouraged to visit the Department’s website at http://www.unh.edu/rmp.

Preference will be given to candidates whose completed applications are received by Friday, November 7, 2008. Review of applications will begin on Monday, November 10, 2008 and will continue until the position is filled.

New Hampshire faculty, Drs. Lou Powell and Janet Sable, welcome potential applicants to discuss the opening with them during the ATRA Annual Conference in Reno.

On a personal note, a few years ago I had the pleasure of visiting the University of New Hampshire. I can tell you that UNH has a beautiful campus along with a long history in therapeutic recreation -- and that Drs. Powell and Sable are highly regarded faculty. This opening looks like a great opportunity for someone.

Fellows Can Now Use FDRT After Their Names

The ATRA Board of Directors has decided that the designation for those who are ATRA Distinguished Fellows should be Fellow Distinguished in Recreational Therapy (FDRT).

This designation does not change the name of the award. It will continue to be the ATRA Distinguished Fellow Award. This decision simply adds a designation for recipients of the Distinguished Fellow Award.

Could this decision be an indication that ATRA is warming to the idea of a name change to ARTA?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Position Opening in Indiana

Meaningful Day Services, Inc. now has a new position for a Recreation Therapist to serve individuals of all ages with developmental disabilities.

Seeking therapist to serve Marion and Hamilton Counties in Indiana. Must have CTRS credentials or scheduled to take certification exam in October 2008 or January 2009.

Job responsibilities:
Interview with families and case managers to introduce Recreation Therapy services.
Conduct individualized assessments for each client.
Write treatment plans and complete progress notes regularly.
Implement therapy interventions with client's 1:1 in their homes or in the community.
Attend interdisciplinary team meetings.
Attend company staff meetings or trainings.

Medical insurance
Flexible schedule
Reimbursement for therapy expenses
1 paid conference annually
CEU's for company trainings
Moving assistance for out-of-state hires
Travel pay

For more information regarding the position, please contact Mandy McQueeney at

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

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

WV Licensure Rule Update

Charlie Dixon, MS, CTRS, and the ATRA Public Policy Committee were largely resposible for getting RTs to respond to oppose the proposed rule to remove CTRSs as being qualified to serve as activity directors in long-term care facilities in West Virginia. Charlie passed along this important information in his recent newsletter:

The proposal to remove Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists from the West Virginia Nursing Home Licensure Rule did not pass. Due overwhelming response to the proposed rule change the licensure office has decided to include CTRS as a qualified professional. Here is an excert of a letter from Deanna Kramer of the WV Office of Health Care Facility Licensure and Certification:

Of the 400+ individual written communications received during the public posting period, approximately 130 letters, faxes, and emails expressed concerns related to the qualifications of the activity director (and the activity consultant).

As a direct result of the feedback received during the public comment period, the CTRS credential has been restored to the list of acceptable qualifications for the activity director position in a licensed nursing home.

Way to go, Charlie, ATRA, and all who responded! By the way, I wrote one of those letters expressing my objection to not including CTRSs. This response shows the power of RTs when they communicate and respond to maintain or better our profession.

WVTRA Conference Nov. 5 - 7

From Charlie Dixon comes this announcement:

West Virginia Therapeutic Recreation Association Conference
November 5, 6 and 7, 2008
Cacapon State Park
Berkeley Springs, WV
1 1/2 hours from Baltimore and Washington DC

GO TO www.WVTRA.org/conference for more information.

By the way, it was my honor to speak at the WVTRA Conference a few years ago. I really enjoyed being with the West Virginia RTs. They are a great group of people. If you are close enough to attend the WVTRA Conference, I can tell you that you will have a good time interacting with fellow participants.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Enjoy the Day!

Hope you enjoy Labor Day!