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The Florida Occupational Therapy Association (FOTA) is proud to continue its service to members and consumers of OT during the 2021 Florida Legislative Session.  Thus far we have spoken to at least eight different legislators directly involved in the examination and vetting of our proposed updates to the Occupational Therapy Scope of Practice (Scope). Your FOTA representatives have also met with other relevant stakeholders such as The Florida Board of OT and the Florida Department of Health to solicit feedback and support of these essential updates to our Scope.

Now it’s your turn!

Your FOTA Government Affairs (GA) team is inviting all members to review the proposed draft (available here: ) and contact their legislative representatives. We believe that awareness is key to achieving FOTA’s mission of supporting members and consumers both now and in the future. Easy ways we can achieve this awareness might include:

  • Writing a letter to your Representative. 
  • Post a blog in support of updates on your site.
  • Create an assignment for your students to contact representatives.
  • Create an Instagram or Facebook post.
  • Hash Tag your support of House Bill HB543 and/or Senate Bill SB990.
    • #ImforOT, #SupportHB543, #SupportSB990
  • Like and share FOTA social media posts.

To make it easy, here is guidance on crafting a letter to Senate Health Policy Committee members who are directly responsible for reviewing and deciding how our Bill should proceed. Filling in the information and emailing to a senator would take no time at all and is a strong indicator of support from our community.

On April 7th, 2021, at 7pm, we will be hosting an online discussion with the GA team to recap our efforts and to answer questions from membership. FOTA thrives on the involvement of its members and we look forward to your continued support.

Your Government Affairs Team  


  Senate Health Policy Committee :

Manny Diaz:  [email protected]
Jason Brodeur:  [email protected]
Ben Albritton:  [email protected]
Dennis Baxley [email protected]
AaronBean  [email protected]
Lauren Book  [email protected]
Janet Cruz  [email protected]
Gary Farmer, Jr.  [email protected]
IleanaGarcia  [email protected]
Shevrin ''Shev''Jones   [email protected]

 Legislative Reports & Hill Day Recaps: 


Government Affairs News:

A big thank you and shout out to Jian Jones Stewart, an OT professor and Fieldwork Coordinator at FAMU for testifying for the senate Committee meeting today at The Capitol. Here is what she said...

“My name is Jian Jones and I help transform lives as an Occupational Therapist. Occupational therapy helps individuals participate in meaningful activities independently. We evaluate and treat people from birth to the aging population in their ability to engage in everyday tasks such as bathing, dressing, grooming, and feeding. More complex skills in which we facilitate improvements include returning to work, engagement within the community, the ability to parent and addressing psychosocial needs for mental health. Occupational therapist view each individual as a WHOLE person using a holistic approach. As occupational therapist, we are asking the legislature to consider programs that encourage non-use of opioids such as occupational therapy. Why? Because OT’s change lives. We change lives by examining habits, behaviors and thoughts that revolve around drugs which leads to dependency. We change lives by working with the individual to create and implement a daily routine that provides meaning and joy WITHOUT the use of drugs. Any program or protocol addressing drug dependency must include evaluating and treating the WHOLE person AND the void a person leaves behind when the substance abuse is discontinued. OT’s change lives because we specialize in /nding voids and replacing said void with meaning, purpose and fulllment so that the WHOLE person can reengage into society in a productive way. Strategies for change include addressing ergonomics in the workplace that lead to pain, teaching energy conservation techniques, fatigue management, pain distraction techniques, establishing better sleep patterns , and using psychotherapeutic approaches for pain management. And because OT’s change lives using these strategies, we encourage the legislature to consider programs like occupational therapy that incorporate non-pharmacological treatment for opioid abuse. Thank y

 Occupational Therapist Tammy McKenzie Testifies on behalf of FOTA at the House Appropriations Committee met on January 22, 2018 to discuss HB 21 --Controlled Substances.

Tammy McKenzie, Florida Occupation Therapy Association, spoke to provide information. As an occupational therapist, it is their job to teach skills needed throughout life. When looking with their clients on how to do that, they have to provide meaning in life. When treating those that have/had an addiction, they can lose their way. They examine how these addictions can cause loss of identity and drive for independence success. These losses create increased dependency, which is a burden to our society, secondary to the burden of dependency to drug and alcohol. They encourage the legislature to include non-pharmaceutical treatments, such things as occupational therapy.

HB 21, Controlled Substances, by Representative Boyd

Bill Summary
“HB 21 limits the prescription for a Schedule II opioid to alleviate acute pain to a three-day supply, or a seven-day supply if deemed medically necessary by the prescriber. The bill requires Department of Health (DOH) to adopt rules establishing guidelines for prescribing controlled substances for acute pain, similar to those for chronic pain. The bill also requires a health care practitioner authorized to prescribe controlled substances to complete a board-approved 2-hour continuing education course on safely and effectively prescribing controlled substances, and to review a patient's PDMP history prior to prescribing or dispensing a controlled substance.”

Hill Day 2018 Slideshow



    A Legislative Achievement for Florida Occupational Therapists.   TALLAHASSEE – After more than 20 years of advocacy, State of Florida employees now can access occupational therapy services through the state group health insurance plan. The Florida Occupational Therapy Association (FOTA) led the efforts to include the added benefit for state employees in the 2017 General Appropriations Act passed by the Florida Legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Scott.  Read more....

About FOTA Government Affairs

We are closely watching for ways OT will both be impacted and for opportunities for OT to be included, perhaps in ways we have not been included in the past. While the ACA is a Federal program, FOTA is working closely with AOTA to follow the trends and keep you informed.

Government Affairs Co-Coordinators: to contact please email [email protected]

altSharon Rosenberg OTR/L Government Affairs Co-Coordinator: Sharon Rosenberg earned her undergraduate degree in Health Science and Rehabilitation Services at the University of Florida in 2006 and Master of Science in Occupational Therapy at Florida A&M University in 2011. Sharon has worked in the outpatient setting as a rehab tech since 2001 and has aspired to be a hand therapist since 2006 while working with Dori Catalano OT/CHT at Tallahassee Orthopedic Clinic.


Carlos Martoral Carlos C. Martoral OTD, JD Government Affairs Co-Coordinator



FOTA Lobbying Firm

At Johnston & Stewart Government Strategies, we have mastered the arena of Florida politics.
Every single move we make is strategic and backed by decades of experience.


What the FOTA Board Watches ALL the Time:

  •  BC/BS reimbursement for OT for state workers
  • Medicaid reimbursement
  • Opportunities to add OT as a recognized Mental Health Provider
  • Opportunities for inculsion ie: OT was there at the rules making table to get language re: OTA supervision in the Home Health Agency Rules
  • Monitor threats to our scope of practice by other professions


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