FOTA... Who We Are


Who We Are

The Florida Occupational Therapy Association (FOTA) is an all volunteer organization with the exception of one paid employee. That one employee, which many of you who have contacted the organization already know, is named Janine. She is fantastic at what she does for the organization, handling many of the day to day tasks that administratively need to be addressed. FOTA proudly represents the interest of over 16,000+ occupational therapy practitioners (occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants, and students). Currently, membership in our organization is approximately 1,000 total members, with half of those members being students (our future practitioners). Of the 500 approximate practitioners, we have 50 or so practitioners who are tasked with running the organization and the scope of its reach. So, you might ask, why all the honesty? Because FOTA believes in transparency and we feel it is important you know who we are and what we do. We also need to be honest in expressing how necessary you are to that definition, as we are all simultaneously co-evolving.

Simply put, we need you and your contribution to FOTA; it is valued. This starts though, with your membership, and is followed by your participation in the organization in whatever way you can. This article you are currently reading, the social media potentially you follow, the website you have possibly viewed, the meetings with state representatives arranged at FOTA Hill Day, discussions with insurance providers in regards to services, annual conferences, and continuing education opportunities offered…. these are all executed by literally 50 or so people with the help of volunteers in this organization.

Think about that for a minute.

500 practitioners contributing, in any way they can, to maintain, foster, and advance the field we all love and practice…. when we have 16,000+.

Potentially some are thinking right now, “Well you didn’t respond with immediacy to my question”, or “I do not agree with your stance on a particular issue” , or “I did not even know FOTA did all these things”. We understand that but, we are not perfect and yes, perhaps we have made mistakes, but we continue to represent our Florida practitioners to the best of our ability. You know what else? Regardless, if you are part of the organization or not, we are the recognized face of occupational therapy in Florida. We want you to be a part of it because you are the actual face of occupational therapy in Florida; you should have a voice on all issues, and be recognized and respected for the things you do. We understand perhaps you cannot give much time, or that it is difficult to attend events and/or volunteer, but your membership alone helps tremendously to protect & advance our field in the state of Florida!

Healthcare and our profession faces many challenges, currently and in the future. That’s the truth and we all know this. Is there a way that we can potentially weather these challenges? Yes there is! That lies in the hands of our lobbyist firm with guidance from FOTA President Douglene Jackson & our amazing Government Affairs team of Sharon Rosenburg & Carlos Martoral (Kelly Uanino & Barbara Ingram Rice thank you as well for your contributions over the years.) which is critical in combating reimbursement issues, protecting our scope of practice, and opening new avenues for our profession by having a seat at the table with decision makers. Having a lobbying firm though comes with a heavy cost that largely is paid by membership dues. Some might be thinking right now “Well I’m an AOTA member”. That’s a wonderful thing and we encourage you to continue your membership with AOTA, but remember issues happen on many levels - locally, state wide, and nationally. That means FOTA handles, and is responsible for, your local and state specific issues to protect occupational therapy. If you have or had an issue with Medicaid or a managed care plan that means you. This means it is critical that every single Florida practitioner is accountable and is part of this organization. If you believe our OT community matters; it is necessary you are part of FOTA.

We urge you to consider this and take action; your membership alone is a huge first step. Ninety dollars annually for occupational therapists & sixty dollars for occupational therapy assistants annually is a great return on investment for protection of what you love to do daily. Help ensure we can continue helping the patients and communities we all love simply by going to and taking that first step.

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