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ADVANCE Outlook: OT

Farewell Address from AOTA President

Published April 9, 2016 11:17 AM by Katherine Bortz

CHICAGO -- Virginia (Ginny) Stoffel gave her Farewell Presidential Address on Friday afternoon at the 2016 Annual AOTA Conference and Expo. The theme of her address, “Coming Home to Family: Now is the Time!,” focused on how occupational therapy practitioners are a family and how AOTA is their home. She stressed how connected occupational therapists feel with each other compared to other professions, and how it is “undeniably authentic.”

She urged the audience to understand that they can “create the same safe haven for one another which, in turn, gives us all the empowerment we need as occupational therapists.” 

Family should not only be considered in terms of other practitioners; Stoffel wants occupational therapists to take a look at their own family roots and connections to one another when dealing with clients. Culture must be taken into consideration for effective treatment. She stated that the idea is not original, but “one that deserves time and attention.”

Stoffel took the time to point out positive changes in AOTA during her term, including the new Vision 2025. In order to create this change, the perspectives of AOTA members and leaders, students and members of the international occupational therapy community were asked for their input. She hopes that the new vision can connect those who work in various settings, including hospitals, school settings, academia and more. 

The future of AOTA was also addressed. In terms of membership, Stoffel is hoping to reach a 100,000 membership goal in the near future.

Stoffel thanked AOTA conference attendees for support and growth opportunities; Amy Lamb, future AOTA president and current vice president; officers and members of the Board of Directors; members of the AOTA Management Team; past presidents; and family.

“It has been my honor to serve as your president,” Stoffel said. “I ask you to extend the same love and support as [Lamb] approaches her presidency.”

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