Research Article
Issue Date: November 22, 2019
Published Online: December 09, 2019
Updated: December 10, 2019
Let’s Start Here: Relationships, Resilience, Relevance
Author Affiliations
  • Wendy C. Hildenbrand, PhD, MPH, OTR/L, FAOTA, is President, American Occupational Therapy Association, Bethesda, MD, and Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City; whildenbrand@aotaboard.org or whildenb@kumc.edu
Article Information
Health and Wellness / Professional Issues / Inaugural Presidential Address
Research Article   |   November 22, 2019
Let’s Start Here: Relationships, Resilience, Relevance
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November 2019, Vol. 73, 7306130010. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2019.736004
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November 2019, Vol. 73, 7306130010. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2019.736004
Abstract

The occupational therapy profession has been experiencing substantial growing pains, and the environment presents uncertainty and opportunities. The profession has experienced the swing from the celebratory high of the American Occupational Therapy Association’s (AOTA’s) 2017 Centennial Celebration to the reality of internal and external challenges related to entry-level professional preparation, payment and practice shifts, and new service delivery directives—all during a contentious political, economic, and societal climate. Three Rs—relationships, resilience, and relevance—can guide the profession in a focus on restoring and creating meaningful yet strategic relationships, embracing a collective strength and capacity for personal and professional resilience, and committing to innovative action to ensure occupational therapy’s relevance as a health and human services profession. This Inaugural Presidential Address offers a message of simplicity and hope for the occupational therapy profession as well as a declaration of the AOTA president’s own grounding values and focus.