Government Affairs
to contact please email [email protected]

Government Affairs News:  Legislative Report 2018 moving into 2019 Session
Welcome to a report to keep you informed on past and upcoming legislative issues. Part of you membership dues go to ensure that FOTA as skilled advisement from our lobbying firm on strategies to promote and protect OT in Florida.  FOTA relies on membership support to advocate successfully. More members are needed to increase our ability to influence change.

 PDF of report for download 

The following is a brief overview of work done since the last legislative session and legislative priorities we expect to work on throughout the upcoming session. Read more.....


 

OTs Testify in Tallahassee --Session 2018

 As facilitated by our lobbying firm Corcoran & Johnston, and our Governmental Affairs Co-Chairs, Sharon Rosenberg and Kelly Uanino, OT testimony was arranged at Senate and House hearing in Tallahassee the week of Jan 22nd through 26th, 2018. These events follow a successful Hill Day Event in the State's Capitol on January 10th. 

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

 

 

 

  • June 10, 2017: OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY BENEFIT OF STATE EMPLOYEES GROUP HEALTH PLAN: 
    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 techsince 2001 and has aspired to be a hand therapist since 2006 while working with Dori Catalano OT/CHT at Tallahassee Orthopedic Clinic. 



altKelly Uanino, OTR/L, CLT, Government Affairs Co-Coordinator: Kelly Uanino is a registered and licensed occupational therapist who earned a bachelors of arts degree from Rutgers University in 2005 in sociology and a Masters of occupational therapy degree from the University of St. Augustine in 2011. Prior to becoming an occupational therapist Kelly spent several years working as a social worker, special education teacher, and was project manager for an NIMH study on group home care in the state of North Carolina. Since becoming an occupational therapist Kelly has specialized in oncology rehabilitation with certification in lymphedema therapy.  

Kelly and Sharon live and work in Tallahassee, FL. They’ve have been working in conjunction with the former Government Affairs Coordinator, Barbara Ingram-Rice,  to change access to occupational therapy services for State of Florida employees and their families. Kelly and Sharon are excited to continue this effort and all efforts to protect our profession, grow coverage of our services, and to educate our policy makers on the unique role of occupational therapy services across the lifespan. 

FOTA Lobbying Firm

Corcoran & JohnstonFOTA welcomes Corcoran & Johnston as our lobbying firm. They have been recognized as one of Florida’s top lobbyists by Florida Trend Magazine (March 2013) and ranked in the top Florida Lobbyists by Sunshine State News in October 2013 and June 2014. With offices in Miami and Tampa, and several lobbyists in the firm, we look forward to lots of attention to FOTA advocacy and a very productive relationship. 

 

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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Click Here: To Find about your State Representatives

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To Find out about your State Senator

 

Advocacy Links you should know and use

 


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