ASHT: The First 20 Years

Posted by Ginger Clark, OTR, CHT on 02/06/2014

It was my honor to serve as ASHT’s Historian during our 20th Anniversary in 1997. During that time, I had the opportunity to put together a scrapbook of pictures and remembrances from our first 20 years. I was struck by the incredible progress our society had made during those years – from the six original therapists to more than 3,000, and from a budget of $1,000 to one of $1.5 million. This progress is a credit to not only the founding members, but also to the current members who continue to strive to promote our association and profession. 
Over the last 15 years, ASHT remains the leader in hand therapy. Through continuing education, research, networking and the promotion of our profession, ASHT has provided its members and our patients with the support needed for excellence in therapy. 
In the spirit of that progress, ASHT has added a new online photo resource where you can peruse photos and articles from the last 35 years. Many of the remembrances were written by those instrumental in the evolution of ASHT, including original leaders from the Journal of Hand Therapy, Hand Therapy Certification Commission, and American Hand Therapy Foundation. Our hairdos might have changed a little, but our passion for hand therapy remains strong.
I hope you find pride and inspiration in what we have accomplished.
Ginger Clark, OTR, CHT
View the entire album: ASHT - The First 20 Years

  ASHT Organizational Committee
Mary Kasch, Karen Kingsley (Lauckhardt), Judy Bell (Krotoski),
Bonnie Olivett, Pegge Carter (Wilson) and Evelyn Mackin


I became an associate member in 1982 when I completed a full dossier that was reviewed by a membership committee at that time. I had to have a sponsor, and a letter from a hand surgeon as part of the review process along with completing two case presentations of two different patients about their history, and their treatment. This was done again with more detail a few years later as I became a full member of ASHT. Those of us who were members prior to 1990 became "Charter" members of ASHT. Then we took the first HTCC exam to become certified hand therapists and be able to add "CHT" after our name. This was so significant but at the time I am not sure we knew just how important it would become many years later. I was also on the board of directors in varying capacities including following Ginger Clark for two terms as historian. We don't have that position anymore but I can tell you it was revealing when I went through the history of ASHT sitting at the Central office for a couple days going through the papers collected related to the development and the work of ASHT to build ourselves a strong and viable organization setting the important foundation that made ASHT what it is today. I was proud to be president in 2005 and proud of accomplishments we made during that year. Things have changed and projects have evolved but I continue to be proud of this organization and what it has become. I will look for and post pictures soon.