Michigan Occupational Therapy Association

MiOTA

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Kimberly Ganzevoort Photo MiOTA Member Spotlight: KAITLIN GRAF, OTR

Kaitlin is a newly minted OTR. She graduated with her Master’s in Occupational Therapy from Eastern Michigan University (EMU) in this eventful year. She was recognized an Outstanding Student for the 2019-2020 academic year by the College of Health and Human Services and the EMU OT Program.

She comes from a rehabilitation family with her mom being a PT and her aunt being an OT. However, her decision to become an OT was influenced by her experience with Cheley Colorado Camps, located just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park. She spent three summers as a camp counselor. Cheley hosts a specialty summer camp for burn survivors (https://www.cheley.com/about/specialty-camps) in collaboration with the Children’s Hospital Colorado Burn Camps Programs (https://noordinarycamps.org/). This program is led by a team of pediatric OTs along with other professionals who manage the camp. Kaitlin connected with these children and was moved to see them learn to play, interact again and experience success at things that were meaningful to them. She was encouraged by the team to consider OT as a career.

Outside schoolwork, Kaitlin says, “I enjoy being outside with friends and love hiking”. She also loves the thrill of shopping at second hand stores.

When asked about a unique experience in OT school, Kaitlin describes her non-traditional Level II placement with a refugee resettlement program in Salt Lake City, Utah. This program is a collaboration between the University of Utah and the not-for-profit International Rescue Committee (https://health.utah.edu/occupational-recreational-therapies/fieldwork/community-outreach/immigration-resettlement ). She says, “It was a very interesting experience. The goal was to assist refugees to adapt and successfully adjust to life in the US. There were refugees from different parts of the world who had experienced severe trauma and occupational injustice throughout their lives. This center accepted the most difficult cases because they had developed good support systems”.

Kaitlin strongly believes in giving back to the profession. She is the website manager of EMU’s Annual Spelbring Lectureship (https://www.spelbringlecture.com/) and was a student liaison on their committee. She says, “It is a cool experience to meet a wide variety of OTs, get an opportunity to meet the who’s who in OT and to interact with OTs of different generations.”

She was also a student ambassador for the 2018 MiOTA conference and virtually presented at MiOTA this year. She believes MiOTA provides students an opportunity to be a part of a larger OT organization, beyond their school, but not so large that they get lost. It gives them an opportunity to network and build an OT circle. It also gives students a platform to present their research and their expertise.

If you would like to be highlighted or would like to nominate a MiOTA member, please email us at: website@miota.org or Ray Roche (renukaroche@gmail.com).

MiOTA's Statement on Inclusion and Diversity

Amidst the suffering that the state of Michigan has experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we now join the nation in grieving the deaths of Amaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. Most recently, the murder of George Floyd by four police officers in Minneapolis has revealed the virus of racism that has been present through our society largely unseen and unaddressed for decades. The murders of Ms. Taylor, Mr. Arbery, and Mr. Floyd have unleashed a massive protest movement across the country. These protests are the expression of years of pent-up frustration with racism and inequality.

As an association and members of a profession that espouses the ideals of inclusion, diversity, and occupational justice we cannot remain silent regarding the events of the past week. Our actions and inactions send a strong message about what we think and what we believe. The structural violence and systemic racism that has existed for years within our nation has once again been brought to light with the unnecessary killings of Mr. Arbery, Ms. Taylor, and  Mr. Floyd. In addition, over the past two and half months, in the State of Michigan and across the nation, we have been witness to the disparities and equities as African Americans die in greater numbers due to COVID-19.

We must openly denounce the attitudes and beliefs that result in yet another person of color being killed at the hands of those who are charged with serving and protecting. We must also work to address the medical and economic crisis that exists in marginalized communities of color. Our professional commitment to inclusion, diversity, and occupational justice requires that we not only have conversations about occupational justice but that we act to address the social conditions that restrict what people can do and what they can be. As occupational therapy professionals, we must be agents of healing for individual bodies, for our communities, for our state, and for our society.


MiOTA's Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

MiOTA is aware of the concerns many of you have regarding the impact of COVID-19 on your personal and professional life.  Since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Michigan, many questions and concerns have been submitted to our association. This is a difficult time for all of us and rest assured your professional association volunteer leadership in collaboration with our lobbyist, Bret Marr and the AOTA Regulatory Affairs committee have been collaborating to answer questions and provide resources.

We are actively working with AOTA and our state legislators to support our profession and, by extension, our clients during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Information is frequently changing so our volunteer team is doing our best to fully review all of it for accuracy before we share it with you. 

Additional COVID-19 resources are located for MiOTA members and non-members alike under the Advocacy Updates webpage.

General information on professional responses to COVID-19 can be found on AOTA’s website for members and non-members alike: https://www.aota.org/Practice/Health-Wellness/COVID19.aspx.

The American Congress for Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) is offering a series of free educational webinar resources featuring "experts from the Tele-Medicine industry to provide clear and up-to-date information regarding telemedicine and remote monitoring in the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation during the COVID-19 crisis": https://acrm.org/resources/coronavirus-pandemic/acrm-pandemic-webinar-series/?fbclid=IwAR06yrGS5RSIAimR3zBakDXwpOFRsRJEpJnfrrIHyNHwmlp-ld2mRTFZAis

If you are currently practicing or transitioning to telehealth therapies, please make sure to verify telehealth benefits with each insurance providers.    

For additional information on telehealth, please log into your MiOTA account and visit the COVID-19 & Telehealth webpage.

 

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