Candidates for AOTA office were asked to answer questions on CommunOT, AOTA's social media platform. I'll be sharing the questions and my answers. First up, a question on AOTA's strategic priorities:
Question: What recommendations do you offer for advancing AOTA's strategic priorities to ensure viability of the profession in a rapidly changing environment?
Thank you for this question related to AOTA's strategic priorities!
First and foremost, if issues truly are strategic AND a priority, we need to put them front and center; they must be visible! To advance our strategic priorities they need to be part of our everyday language and our everyday work. During our pursuit of the Centennial Vision, we did an amazing job putting the vision statement in front of AOTA members and non-members. I saw it and repeated it so often I knew it from memory! The core concepts of occupational therapy being a powerful, widely recognized, science-driven and evidenced based profession, with a globally connected and diverse workforce serving society's occupational needs was on the tips of tongues!
Today it is difficult to locate information on our strategic priorities and strategic plan on the AOTA website. After some exploration, of if you know to search for just the right phrase, you might be lucky enough to come across the AOTA Strategic Framework that includes our mission, Vision 2025, three strategic principles and goals/strategies and our core values (https://www.aota.org/-/media/Corporate/Files/AboutAOTA/BOD/AOTA-Strategic-Framework-2020.pdf). We must do better at making our strategic priorities highly visible and easily found and accessible.
Advancing the strategic priorities (principles) requires a set of strategies to excite and interest internal and external audiences about the distinct value of occupational therapy. These audiences include occupational therapy practitioners and students, but they also include consumers, payers, federal and state agencies, health related professional associations and other healthcare providers. We need separate strategies to reach and engage each stakeholder group.
We can advance our strategic priorities by translating the strategic principles into language and specific examples that full-time practitioners, educators and students will understand and will connect to their daily lives. We must make the priorities sing loudly and clearly to those with their boots on the ground. I am especially excited to see the strategic principle of "Lead the profession by becoming inclusive, agile, proactive, responsive and approachable." Getting occupational therapy practitioners and students involved and helping them to gain a sense of ownership of our shared future will amplify our grassroots message and together we can be a force to be reckoned with!
Ten specific recommendations for advancing AOTA's strategic priorities to ensure visibility of the profession in a rapidly changing environment:
I have many years of experience and success with strategic planning in educational and clinical settings and on the Boards of Directors for AOTA, a community non-profit organization serving people living with HIV/AIDS and a LGBTQ oriented professional and philanthropic organization. One responsibility of the Vice-President is to be a steward of efforts to achieve our Vision. I was honored to have participated in leadership retreats and visioning activities for both the Centennial Vision and Vision 2025 and I have worked hard to help achieve both. If elected as Vice-President, I am well suited to guide our efforts to achieve Vision 2025. Nothing gets me more excited than collaborating with other OT practitioners to imagine and create our future!
The opinions expressed in my blog are personal and neither represent the views of my employer nor any organization.