A New Year's Blog: From the President

From the President

Brent Cheyne, OTD, OTR/L

Welcome to 2019! Thank you for being a member of FOTA. A new year offers new opportunities for FOTA and for you as a member of our state association.


  • Licensure Deadline Extended by Governor Scott: "Executive Order number 18-276 and Executive Order number 18-277, has therefore extended license expiration deadlines for Occupational Therapist and Occupational Therapy Assistants (February 28, 2019) to midnight on June 30, 2019......O: any CEU's that you complete within the 3/1/19 to 2/28/21 will be applied to that respective renewal period. The only instance where these hours could be applied to the prior cycle is if you enter a new renewal cycle but the prior cycle still needs hours to be complete, but if you've already completed those prior cycle hours ,then they'll apply towards the current renewal cycle that you're currently in at the time. If there is anything else we can assist you with please feel free to email us again or visit our online FAQ at help.cebroker.com  Steven Steven from CE Broker
    Posted in Latest News on December 20, 2018 

  • Conference: The Board is pleased to announce that FOTA Conference 2019 will return to The Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld, Saturday, November 16th, and Sunday, November 17th. Many thanks to all who attended our FOTA 2018 Conference. It was a great success with 570 registered attendees, and 31 exhibitors/advertisers. We thank those that, exhibitors presented posters, educational courses, guest speakers, and award winners for your presence at our event -- see you all again in 2019!


  • Announcements: Congratulations to Cathy Peirce, PhD, OTR/L (Regional Reps Coordinator) on her recent retirement. With Cathy’s departure, please welcome Dana Dixie, OTD, OTR/L as our newly appointed Coordinator of Regional Reps. To further fill Cathy’s shoes at FOTA, also welcome Stephanie Adams, DHSc, OTR/L, as our Continuing Education Sanctioning Program Coordinator.  The third piece of Cathy’s traditional duties is the Coordinator of Student Posters for Conference. Melissa Sevestre, MOT, OTR/L, will be taking over this vital role on the Conference Team for the coming 2019 event.  Another addition to the conference team, Andre Johnson, COTA, BHS, the current Member Concerns Coordinator, has agreed to the appointment as Awards Committee Chair. Thank you to Andre and we look forward to your leadership in the area of Awards and Recognitions.We are excited to start the new year with new leaders and plan to support them in their roles with FOTA.


  • Elections: The Board positions of Treasurer and Vice President will be open for nomination and then elections this year. Nominations for the two positions will open for submission beginning January 22nd through February 16th. Voting FOTA Elections 2019 will occur by online ballots March 4th to 30th.  The elected officers of Treasurer and VP begin their terms on July 1st, 2019 -- orientation and training of new officers occurs March 31st through June 30th. Elections information will be posted beginning in early January including the job descriptions and terms of office, as well as the nomination information. Please contact [email protected] for more information on elections and positions. Thanks to Pauline Kelly, MS, OTR/L, for her work leading the Nominations Committee.


  • Hill Day: Join us for FOTA Hill Day in Tallahassee, FL, on January 22nd at the Capitol Building, 2nd Floor Rotunda beginning at 8am. We will be joined by our lobbying firm, Corcoran & Johnston (C&J), to establish a presence with legislators in the rotunda, promote an awareness OT on the hill, as well as engage in sit-down meetings individually with specifically selected legislators at their offices as arranged C&J. Our objective is raise awareness of the distinct value of OT in serving Floridians, and addressing specific issues of access to care, protection and promotion of OT practice across our state. We hope many OTs join us for Hill Day. Wear your red “I’m for OT” t-shirts. For more information please contact our Governmental Affairs Co-Chairs Sharon Rosenberg [email protected] and Kelly Uanino [email protected]   


  • Florida Legislative Session: The 2019 60-day Legislative Session will begin on March 52019 and is expected to end on May 32019. Our lobbying firm and GA Team are currently making preparations for advocating for OT in Florida. A full report on last year’s    and strategy for this upcoming year is available at: https://fota.memberclicks.net/assets/BLOG_President/FOTA%20Legislaitve%20Update%20-%20%2010-22-18.pdf  Please remember, 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.


  • FPTA/FLASHA/FOTA Collaboration on Medicaid HMOs: On November 28th, 2018, representatives of Florida PT, SLP, and OT associations met on a conference call to address the issue of Florida’s Medicaid HMO plans and third-party administrators and the ongoing problems of these entities not following the Medicaid guidelines on due process rights (and other provisions on standards of care), and the overall problem of reductions in reimbursement and access to rehab services. It is a complicated issue with many layers of administration and governance. Our multi-professional group is currently working on ways to support practitioners and consumers. One initiative currently in the works is to develop and offer educational seminars to clinicians and practice managers –who are association members-- on best practices for navigating the Medicaid system and advising clients on how to proceed to access care and coverage.  One other theme that emerged from the meeting was how important it is for professionals and consumers to continue to file complaints about problems with Medicaid HMOs to the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA). At the current time neither AHCA, nor the MMA/ATA (HMO and intermediaries) claims to have received significant numbers of complaints about the current practices and policies now in place for Florida’s Medicaid recipients.  FOTA encourage more advocacy and education: QUESTIONS? [email protected]

COMPLAINTS OR ISSUES? ONLINE http://ahca.myflorida.com/Medicaid/complaints/| 

 CALL 1-877-254-1055 


  • Leadership Program: Our Leadership Development Committee, headed by Co-Chairs Nadya Ramos, COTA/L, OTDS, and Michael Steinhauer, OTR, MPH, FAOTA, are working on the next offering of our FOTA Leadership Development Seminar (7-hour CE) slated for June 8th, 2019 in Jacksonville, host by Keiser University OTA Program and our own Member Concerns Chair, Andre Johnson, COTA/L, BHS. Nomination for participation in our leadership development program will be open on our website beginning March 1st. For more information, contact Michael Steinhauer [email protected]


  • Strategic Planning: Dr. Ric Carrasco, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, and President-elect Douglene Jackson, PhD, OTR/L are heading up our Ad Hoc Committee to update our FOTA Strategic Plan for 2019-2024. Currently the committee has derived an updated Mission and Vision for FOTA and redefined our list of Core Values. Additionally, an assessment of the current status of our goals from Strategic Plan 2015-2020 are being collected and examined to assist in determining our progress and needs for changes to goals moving forward in the following areas: (1) Finance, (2) Membership, (3) Continuing Education, (4) Governmental Affairs, (5) Leadership Development, (6) Scholarship.  The new strategic plan details our vision for moving forward as an organization, staying financially viable, providing value to members in terms of educational needs, advocacy for the promotion and protection of OT practice, development of new leaders, and exploring new ways to retain our members and expand our professional community for the mutual benefit of all.


  • Congratulations to Becky Piazza, OTD, OTR/L, for her OT Practice Article: ACTIVATE --A Mother's (and OT's) Response to Societal Needs in the Wake of School Shootings. https://www.aota.org/Publications-News/otp.aspx available to AOTA members after login. Becky is former RA Rep to AOTA for Florida, and is the Clinical Coordinator at University of Florida Shands Rehab Hospital, in Gainesville, Florida
  • Presidential Transition: President-elect Douglene Jackson continues in her role and I appreciate her involvement in all the FOTA meetings and processes as part of her “elect” year. In April, she and I will attend the AOTA Conference Association of State Association Presidents (ASAP) meeting where we will attend two days of learning and sharing with state presidents from the 50 states. It is a valuable experience to find out what other states are doing and share our successes and challenges here in Florida. In June 2019, the FOTA Board will meet face-to-face for our annual meeting and the transition of presidency will be completed where Douglene will be President, July 1st, 2019.


  • I look forward to an interesting and effective 2019! Thanks to everyone for your involvement in FOTA!


Warm Regards,


Brent Cheyne, OTD, OTR/L

FOTA President


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