Senate Healthcare Bill Threatens Medicaid

The following is a statement from the American Occupational Therapy Association. While ALOTA works to support access to essential healthcare and occupational therapy services, it is your voice that is needed to protect healthcare services in the State of Alabama. 

Contact Senators Shelby and Strange today!

Heather Parsons

On Thursday June 22, the United States Senate released a discussion draft of their health care reform bill, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA). While much of the healthcare reform discussion has been about fixing or repealing the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare), the major provisions of the bill released yesterday relate to Medicaid. After careful analysis, AOTA is deeply concerned that BCRA would undermine the Medicaid program and put the millions of children and adults with serious disabilities, students receiving special education support services, people receiving home and community based services, individuals with mental health needs, those in nursing homes, and many others at grave risk of reduced or lost benefits.

BCRA would change Medicaid from a system where the federal government “matches” payments for all medically necessary services a state chooses to provide to beneficiaries, to one that provides states with a capped amount of money to spend for all beneficiaries. This will require hard choices by the states and inevitable cuts to Medicaid programs and services. Over time, the Federal government will pay less and less for Medicaid services and State Medicaid programs will have to make up the difference, or diminish services. As states are faced with difficult financial decisions they will have to reduce benefits such as rehabilitation benefits for adults and home and community based services, reduce reimbursement to providers, or find ways decrease or slow Medicaid enrollment. States may eventually be pressured to reduce services to children from the current broad mandate of Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment services (EPSDT) which protects all children on Medicaid.

From early intervention and schools, to skilled nursing facilities, to community mental health programs these proposed changes will negatively affect occupational therapy practitioners and the people who are in need of our services. We urge you to call your Senate offices today (yes, even on the weekend!) and ask that they reject these dramatic changes to Medicaid.

AOTA’s legislative action center will walk you through the steps. You can call or write, but you need to take action before next week’s vote.

Please check back next week for AOTA’s analysis of the Senate bill.  Until then we recommend this detailed analysis by the experts at the non-partisan Health Affairs Blog.

AOTA Award Winners

AOTA Award Winners

American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
2017 Awards & Recognitions Winners


Congratulations to the recipients of the 2017 AOTA Awards & Recognitions winners. Alabama was well-represented, with many of the recipients being from our state! The awards ceremony was held at the 2017 AOTA Annual Conference & Centennial Celebration on Saturday April 1st in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


AOTA Roster of Fellows

Dr. Gwendolyn Gray, MA, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Pioneering Pediatric Practices in Rural School Systems

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Dr. Angela Thomas-Davis, EdD, MPA, OTR/L, FAOTA
Academic Leadership, Professional Advocacy and Collaboration

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AOTA Roster of Honor

Tara Franks Bailey, BS, COTA
Passionate Role Model Inspiring Action & Commitment



Emerging & Innovative Practice Award

Dr. Jan Rowe, DrOT, OTR/L, FAOTA
Advancement of Innovative Treatment by Occupational Therapists

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2017 AOTA Service Commendations

Valley Osborne McCurry, MBA, OTR/L

ASAP Representative, Representative Assembly, 2014 – 2017
Vice-Chairperson, Affiliated State Association Presidents (ASAP), 2014 – 2017



Awards and Scholarships!

Submissions for OT Awards and Student Scholarships has ended.

Winners will be announced at the ALOTA Fall Conference in Orange Beach, AL.


Student Scholarships

We award a total of four $500.00 scholarships throughout the year, two at our fall conference and two at our spring conference. We would like to encourage all student members to apply by downloading the ALOTA Student Scholarship 2017 application and submitting it to our Recognition Chairperson, Tracy O’Connor at toconnor@health.southalabama.edu.

Application deadline is September 6, 2017!!

Student Scholarship Application


Elsie Holmes McKibbin Award

Honors an occupational therapist who has made considerable contributions to the body of knowledge of the profession. The award receives agency sponsorship to assist in the research expenses of the award recipient. The Elsie Holmes McKibbin Lecture (EHML) will be presented by the previous year’s recipient at the ALOTA Fall Conference.

Nominees for the EHML must have a minimum of ten (10) years’ experience. The recipient must have shared their knowledge through written and oral presentations. Nominees must be members of ALOTA.

Ann Cosby Service Award

Recognizes an advocate, member or non-member, who has made contributions to the advancement of occupational therapy and/or health care over a period of time.

OTR Award of Excellence

Demonstrates excellence in professional skills through a range of experience and depth of knowledge in OT theory, practice and association involvement. The award recipient must have demonstrated excellence in professional skills through a range of experience and depth of knowledge in OT theory, practice and association involvement. All nominees must be members of the ALOTA and have a minimum of five years’ experience.

OTA Award of Excellence

Recognizes COTAs who have contributed to the education and professional development of the members of the Alabama Occupational Therapy Association, particularly fellow COTAs. The award recipient must have demonstrated excellence in professional skills through a range of experience and depth of knowledge in OT theory, practice and association involvement. All nominees must be members of ALOTA and have a minimum of five years’ experience.



Please nominate your peers for the awards that are presented annually at Fall Conference. This is a great way to recognize professionals in our state who are making a difference every day. Please submit the nomination form to our Recognition Chairperson, Tracy O’Connor at toconnor@health.southalabama.edu no later than September 6, 2017.

Application deadline September 6, 2017!

ALOTA Awards Application 2017


2016 RA Meeting Chicago

Representative Assembly (RA) Meeting in Chicago, IL April 6-7, 2016

An AOTA Update from YOUR Alabama Representative!

Dear Colleagues,

Representative Assembly (RA) Meeting in Chicago, IL – April 6-7, 2016

The RA Spring Meeting is rapidly approaching. Be sure to check out the AOTA Web site to read the reports and motions/action items.

Go to . . . About AOTA – Volunteer Leadership – Representative Assembly – RA Spring Meeting 2016


I encourage you to read the reports by your AOTA leaders to learn about the excellent work they are doing to support and advance our profession. Also, I want your feedback – let me know what you think about the motions and issues by contacting me (see below for my contact information).

AOTA members can provide feedback on the RA motions at this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/S83Z8KB

THANK YOU for being a member of AOTA and for your continued support of our profession.

Hope to see you in Chicago!
Best regards,

Angela Thomas-Davis
Dr. Angela Thomas-Davis, MPA, OTR/L
Professor of Occupational Therapy
Department of Occupational Therapy
Alabama State University
P. O. Box 271
Montgomery, AL 36101-0271
334.229-5883 (office)
334.229-5882 (FAX)



Fall Conference 2014: Over But Not Forgotten!

If you made it down, you already know that it was another stellar conference this year at the beach.  The event was well attended, the speakers did a phenomenal job, the vendors were of excellent quality and quantity, and the price of the event was virtually unbeatable.  Oh, and the beach wasn’t too bad either 🙂

If you were not able to make it, there is always next year, but even before that, our Spring Conference is going to be held in Birmingham this year.  It is a one day event, and we will have more details about this soon, so please check back.



ALOTA in Washington, DC in 2014

ALOTA Goes to Washington!

ALOTA Vice-President, Amy Woodward, recently attended the AOTA Affiliated State Association Presidents (ASAP) Meeting in Baltimore, MD, where she had the opportunity to advocate for occupational therapy with lawmakers and staff during Hill Day.   Kudos to Amy for spreading the word about our great profession.


RA Message to Alabama OT Practitioners!

Greetings! My name is Angela Thomas Davis and I am the State of Alabama Representative to the Representative Assembly (RA) of the American Occupational Therapy Association. It is a privilege and honor to represent us as occupational therapy practitioners in our great state.

Continue reading

Fall Conference Registration Deadlines!

With over 200 already registered, this is shaping up to be a huge fall conference!  We look forward to seeing all of you.

Online registration will be closed effective Monday, 9/9/13 at 12:00 p.m.

Mail-in registration is closed immediately (9/6/2013), but you can register on-site if your seat is reserved by contacting membership@alota.org

Thank you for helping us to plan and make this an excellent conference for everyone.