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Maine Occupational Therapy Association promotes advocacy with help from UNE students, faculty and alumni

Jessica Bolduc, Senator Angus King, and current MeOTA President Tracey Falla

November 06, 2017

Cassandra Lyons and Norah Brennan present at MeOTA conference
Cassandra Lyons and Norah Brennan present at MeOTA conference
Paxton Arsenault, Lauren Bartholomew, Regi Robnett and Morgan Mitchell
Paxton Arsenault, Lauren Bartholomew, Regi Robnett and Morgan Mitchell

On October 28, 2017 the Maine Occupational Therapy Association (MeOTA) welcomed Senator Angus King to jump start a day of advocacy education for occupational therapy practitioners in the state of Maine. University of New England Alumna Jessica Bolduc Dr.O.T., M.S.O.T. ’05, took the helm as the incoming president of MeOTA. 

The conference also included a presentation by a faculty-student team including Regi Robnett, Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA, and M.S.O.T. 2018 students Lauren Bartholomew, Paxton Arsenault, and Morgan Mitchell. The team is associated with the SAMHSA Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) Grant. The group presented a well-attended 90 minute workshop titled, “Substance Abuse Screening Tools and Techniques for Practitioners who work with Adolescents and Adults.”

In addition, Leanne Quackenbush (M.S.O.T. 2018), the UNE OT student representative to MeOTA, attended the event and networked effectively with the leaders and speakers on advocacy as she also represented the newly formed Ability Advocacy Committee of the UNE Student OT Association (UNESOTA).

Finally, Norah Brennan, M.S.O.T. ’15, and Cassandra Lyons who both completed the Leadership Education for people with Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program in 2017, presented their LEND experience in a presentation titled, “Occupational Therapy ‘LENDs’ a hand to Maine Families.” The pair presented their experiences and projects which reflected the core concepts of LEND including family-centered practice, inclusive community participation and interprofessional teamwork. Kathryn Loukas, O.T.D., M.S., OTR/L, FAOTA, was a supporting presenter as the LEND Training Director. 

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