Opportunities to Give Back and Make a Difference
I feel very blessed to have found a vocation that has developed into a passion. I love to help people with an injured hand or upper extremity that affects their quality of life regain a level of independence they thought they may never have again. But we all know that to do this, we have to stay on top of current literature, research, treatment techniques and legislation that impacts our profession. I don’t know about you, but I don’t enjoy trying to stay aware of legislative issues, and my research skills are not as honed as I would like! It’s a good thing for me that ASHT exists. ASHT and its talented volunteers have been pivotal in supporting the field of hand therapy, and work non-stop to keep members updated in all of these areas. As I began to realize everything ASHT accomplishes for the field of hand and upper extremity therapy, I asked myself how I could give back, or make a difference.
Although I have been a member of ASHT for 25 years, for most of that time, I was unaware there were funds established by ASHT to be used for member benefits to meet specific purposes. Once I understood the purpose of the funds, and that they exist and are supported only by donation, I found it a perfect way to give back and help support the field of hand therapy.
The Vision Fund supports the advancement of ASHT’s strategic initiatives in advocacy, education, practice and research.
- In response to member feedback, ASHT will be holding Capitol Hill Day in collaboration with AOTA this year, for which most of the expenses are being funded from the Vision Fund.
The Annual Meeting Sessions Fund supports evidence-based programming and learning opportunities to help meet the demands of clinical practice.
- The 2016 Annual Meeting will include a live cadaver session in a plenary session that all can attend. This is only possible by funding from the Annual Meeting Sessions Fund for the additional cost of the cadaver arm.
The Awards and Scholarship Fund supports training and continuing education for the next generation of hand therapy professionals.
- ASHT, as the largest member country of the International Federation of Societies for Hand Therapy, will be assisting therapist(s) from a developing country to attend the 2016 IFSHT Triennial Congress. In addition to supporting training and continuing education of hand therapy professionals, this initiative supports ASHT’s strategic plan to contribute to the global hand therapy community for the purpose of advancing hand health.
Going forward, there are many more initiatives ASHT would like to develop to improve members’ knowledge base, engagement in the profession and broaden our horizons; however additional funds will be needed. These great opportunities to give back will make a difference by building the funds to be used for development of our ASHT members and the hand therapy profession. Your generous gesture of any amount would be greatly appreciated!
Linda Klein, OTR, CHT
ASHT Secretary Treasurer