Issue Date: November/December 2016
Published Online: November 17, 2016
Updated: January 01, 2021
The AOTA 2016 Annual Business Meeting
Article Information
Advocacy / Assistive Technology / Cardiopulmonary Conditions / Centennial Vision / Early Intervention / Ethics / Evidence-Based Practice / Education of OTs and OTAs / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Professional Issues / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / School-Based Practice / Sensory Integration and Processing / The Association
Other   |   November 17, 2016
The AOTA 2016 Annual Business Meeting
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November 2016, Vol. 70, 7012420030.
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November 2016, Vol. 70, 7012420030.
The meeting was called to order by President Virginia “Ginny” Stoffel at 12:04 p.m.
  • The President introduced those sitting on the dais: Fred Somers, Executive Director; Nicholas Hantzes, Legal Counsel; Debra Young, Director; Mollie Verdier, Director; Kimberly Hartmann, Director; Kristina Finnel, Consumer Advisor; Denise Chisholm, Director; Wendy Hildenbrand, Director; Timothy Wolf, Director; Wendy Coster, President, American Occupational Therapy Foundation (AOTF); Amy Lamb, President-Elect; Mary Frances Baxter, Speaker, Representative Assembly; Patrick Bloom, Treasurer; Shawn Phipps, Vice President; and Brent Braveman, Secretary.

  • President Stoffel welcomed the audience and honored guests.

  • Secretary Braveman called the roll of the states and announced that a quorum of more than 100 members was reached and would remain in place for the duration of the meeting. Forty-four election areas were represented at the meeting.

  • Secretary Braveman announced the volunteer members of the Minutes Review Committee. The Committee consisted of the following individuals: Ashley Fecht (NV), Jessica Boulduc (ME), Jaclyn Schwartz (FL), and Laurel Cargill Radley (NC).

  • Secretary Braveman moved for adoption of the agenda. President Stoffel asked for any changes or additions to the agenda; there being no opposition, the motion was adopted.

  • Secretary Braveman announced that the minutes from the 2015 Annual Business Meeting were published in the November/December 2015 issue of the American Journal of Occupational Therapy.

  • Written reports from the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer were submitted and included in the Annual Business Meeting Report Booklet. Written reports from the Commission on Practice (COP); Commission on Education (COE); Ethics Commission (EC); Commission on Continuing Competence and Professional Development (CCCPD); Bylaws, Policies, and Procedures Committee (BPPC); Volunteer Leadership Development Committee (VLDC); Special Interest Sections Council (SISC); Affiliated State Association Presidents; Assembly of Student Delegates; American Occupational Therapy Political Action Committee; Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education; World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) Delegate; Speaker of the Representative Assembly; and AOTF were submitted and posted on the Association website.

  • The following questions were asked by members:

    • – Thomas Fisher (IN) asked about AOTF funds for research, and Wendy Coster responded.
    • – Reggie Campbell (TX) inquired whether members were notified of the revised definition of cause in the proposed Bylaws revisions and, if so, where this notification was published. Executive Director Somers responded that AOTA members were notified and the final draft was published on the Association website, which is an official publication of the Association.
  • The following individuals gave brief verbal reports:

    • – Shawn Phipps, Vice President, reported on the Centennial Vision accomplishments, including new efforts to promote evidence-based practice, ethics, and documentation resources through official AOTA publications; development of Distinct Value Statements and resources; launch of an online leadership development course; and collaborations with AOTF to support research. The floor was opened for questions and comments:
      • ▪ Kay Broder (IL) asked whether the Distinct Value Statements will be published. President Stoffel noted that these will be published online.
      • ▪ Cristina Reyes-Smith (SC) asked whether consideration had been given to diversity and underserved populations in the Vision 2025. Vice President Phipps responded that the Vision 2025 guideposts speak to “accessible” occupational therapy, which includes culturally responsive and customized services.
    • – Patrick Bloom, Treasurer, gave an update on the financial status of the Association through fiscal year 2015. Highlights included continued growth in membership revenue and the sixth consecutive year of record positive overall growth in finances, indicating the Association’s stability despite poor performance of the financial markets. Membership as an area of core revenue experienced its 12th consecutive year of positive growth, with 53,686 members, while membership fees have remained unchanged during this period. There were no questions for Treasurer Bloom.
    • – Mary Frances Baxter, Speaker of the Representative Assembly, gave a summary of the activities of the Representative Assembly, including the fall online and face-to-face meeting just prior to the Conference. Highlights included adoption of revised governance documents, including Enforcement Procedures for the Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics, Ethics Commission Standard Operating Procedures, Representative Assembly Coordinating Committee Attachment A (levels and process of review for official documents), Association policies related to professional standards and practice such as assistive technology and complex rehabilitation technology, and Standards of Practice for Occupational Therapy. Motions adopted included formation of an ad hoc committee on seating and wheeled mobility, durable medical equipment, and complex rehabilitation technology; a resolution supporting state licensure portability; investigation of policy and practice issues related to telehealth; and development of an official document, online discussion forum, and letter of support for continuing education on the role of occupational therapy in case management to meet state licensure renewal requirements. There were no questions for Speaker Baxter.
    • – Fred Somers, Executive Director, announced that Conference registration was approximately 10,819, including exhibitors, and represented the largest paid attendance in Association history. This was followed by highlights of Association activities over the past year:
      • ▪ Advocacy successes with Medicare, the Mental Health Reform Act, the Impact Act (which includes occupational therapy’s role in evaluating cognition), the CONNECT for Health Act (which expands telehealth in Medicare), and CPT™ evaluation codes
      • ▪ Licensure for occupational therapy assistants in New York, the 50th state to enact licensure
      • ▪ Increased public awareness through high visibility of occupational therapy, including more than 200 appearances in news, television, print, and social media sources with a circulation of 5 million or more
      • ▪ Acceptance of AOTA’s Practice Guidelines Series (12 in total) by the federal National Guideline Clearinghouse
      • ▪ Launch of AOTA’s continuing education digital badging program, which provides evidence of members’ learning achievements
      • ▪ Launch of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Centralized Application System (OTACAS) in Fall 2016
      • ▪ Improvements in building accessibility at Association headquarters
      • ▪ Increased membership, with a 6% increase in the past year to 53,686, the first time in the 99-year history of AOTA that membership has grown for 11 consecutive years.
    • – Members had the following questions and comments, which were responded to by the Executive Director:
      • ▪ Carla Chase (MI) asked how support will be provided to members as influencers of change for Vision 2025. Both Mr. Somers and President Stoffel responded regarding the process.
  • President Stoffel recognized Dawn Sonnier, Chairperson of the BPPC, to present a summary of the proposed Bylaws revisions. Chairperson Sonnier moved to adopt the revised Association Bylaws. President Stoffel opened the floor for discussion. The following members rose to speak to the motion:

    • – Reggie Campbell (TX) spoke in opposition. Nicholas Hantzes, Legal Counsel, clarified the definition of cause for revocation of membership.
    • – Carolyn Baum (MO) asked that the BPPC provide an opportunity to adopt each proposed revision separately. Legal Counsel clarified the process.
    • – Mary Evert (CA) requested extension of time for voting based on member concerns, and Chair Sonnier outlined the extensive communication methods and timelines used for member feedback on the proposed revisions.
    • – Barbara Hemphill (MI) spoke against the motion and requested that the revisions be voted on separately. Legal Counsel clarified that the rules of the day prohibited such a vote.
    • – Marc Schaeffer (OH) called the question to close debate. The motion was unanimously adopted.
    • – Director Hildenbrand provided a point of clarification that electronic and other recording devices are not permissible during the meeting.
    • – The motion to adopt the Bylaws revisions passed by hand vote 57 to 54.

  • President Stoffel called on Debi Hinerfeld, Chairperson of the VLDC, to give the results of the 2016 general election. Results were as follows: Kathleen T. Foley, Secretary; Gloria Frolek-Clark, Board Director; Melissa Tilton, Board Director; Virginia Stoffel, WFOT Alternate Delegate; Steven Taff, COE Chairperson; Marla Robinson, CCCPD Chairperson-Elect; Andrew Persch, SISC Chairperson-Elect; Timothy Wolf, VLDC Chairperson; David Merlo, OTA Representative to the Representative Assembly; Lenin Grajo, Education Special Interest Section (SIS) Chairperson; and Elena Espiritu, Physical Disabilities SIS Chairperson.

  • Chairperson Hinerfeld announced the 2017 Call for Nominations, which includes the positions of Treasurer, Board Director (2), COP Chairperson-Elect, EC Chairperson-Elect, Administration & Management SIS Chairperson, Developmental Disabilities SIS Chairperson, Sensory Integration SIS Chairperson, and Work & Industry SIS Chairperson.

  • President Stoffel opened the floor to new business, comments, and questions. The following members rose to speak:

    • – Catherine Brady (IL) moved that AOTA reinstate the tradition of presentation of the colors at the Annual Conference opening ceremony; Barbara Hemphill (MI) seconded the motion. The motion passed and was referred to the Board for consideration.
    • – Kay Broder (IL) thanked AOTA for having the app available for conference this year.
    • – Alyssa Concha (TX) commented that the Annual Business Meeting is poorly attended and that academic curricula should teach students about its importance.
    • – Jeffrey Tomlinson (NY) expressed concern with access to early intervention (EI) services in New York and moved to charge the Executive Director to contact the American Speech and Hearing Association and American Physical Therapy Association to discuss access to EI services under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act. The motion was passed and referred to the Board for consideration.

  • President Stoffel called the newly elected board members to the stage and administered the oath of office to them.

  • Robin Clearman of Texas won the drawing for a year of free membership.

  • President Stoffel adjourned the meeting at 1:49 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Brent Braveman, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA