October 04, 2017
On September 25, 2017, students and faculty from UNE’s Occupational Therapy program traveled to Washington, D.C. for Centennial Hill Day. Organized by the American Occupational Therapy Association, this annual event incorporates both action and training to advocate for those who receive occupational therapy (OT).
Kathryn Loukas, O.T.D., M.S., OTR/L, clinical professor of Occupational Therapy and Maine LEND Training Director, represented the Maine contingent. Loukas, along with other occupational therapists from the state, met with Senator Susan Collins to discuss the impact of the proposed Graham-Cassidy Health Care Bill on individuals with disabilities. In addition, the Maine team met with the staff of Representative Chellie Pingree and Senator Angus King.
Also in attendance from UNE were Morgan Mitchell (MSOT ‘19), who was on the Massachusetts team, and Leslie Barton, M.S., OTR/L (MSOT ‘17), who was the sole advocate to the Vermont legislators.
In addition to the Graham-Cassidy Health Care Bill, other issues brought forward included repealing the Medicare Therapy Cap, supporting occupational therapy in home health, and the support of full funding for health workforce training.
Following the event, ten UNE occupational therapy students from the newly-formed Ability Advocacy Committee participated in Virtual Hill Day by contacting their legislators.
To learn more about the University of New England’s Westbrook College of Health Professions visit www.une.edu/wchp
To apply, visit www.une.edu/admissions