Reasons for Optimism in 2016

Posted by Barbara Winthrop, OTR, MA, CVE, CHT, FAOTA on 01/03/2016

As we enter 2016, I am most humbled to be at the helm of a society that I have been involved in for more than 25 years, and one that has played such an important role in my professional development. I’ve reflected on how far ASHT has come and what a meaningful professional community it has been to me. Working in partnership with your dedicated and forward-thinking Board of Directors and committee volunteers, I am filled with optimism and enthusiasm at all that is yet to come for hand therapy in 2016 and beyond. And much of the credit goes to YOU, my ASHT colleagues. 
Each of you who took the time to participate in surveys, focus groups and virtual town hall meetings deserve our appreciation. Your collective feedback voiced several themes of relevance to hand therapy’s future. The result, in part, was the importance to continue to build and strengthen hand therapy’s visibility and influence with the public and policymakers. YOU have played a vital role in opening the door for ASHT to have an incredible opportunity to partner with one of our parent organizations, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).
Each year, for more than 25 years, AOTA has held its Capitol Hill Day in Washington DC in the fall. This year, AOTA will hold its Hill Day on September 19, the day immediately following the ASHT Annual Meeting (September 15-18). The timing of these two important events has opened the door for ASHT to collaborate with AOTA, and join forces to hold a combined Capitol Hill Day!
Collaborative relationships such as these, made up of like-minded people and groups who share a common denominator of our professional future’s potential, is one example of our capacity to work together for hand therapy and ASHT’s bright future. For this and many other reasons, I look forward to serving you as the 2016 ASHT President. My heartfelt wishes to each of you for a meaningful and fulfilling year ahead!