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Media Advisory: Hundreds of Occupational Therapy Practitioners to Offer Health Care Solutions on Capitol Hill

Washington, D.C. (Aug. 27, 2014) — Hundreds of occupational therapy clinicians, educators, and students from across the U.S. will meet with elected officials on Capitol Hill on Sept. 15, to discuss key legislative issues affecting the profession and the state of health care.

Organized by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), Hill Day is an opportunity for health care professionals to bring their concerns straight to their state’s lawmakers, offer solutions, ask questions, and listen to guest speakers on the topics that affect their work. Last year, a record-breaking 750 occupational therapy practitioners and students from across the U.S. visited Capitol Hill to make their voices heard. To date, more than 450 have registered for the 2014 event.

“This Hill Day comes at an important time for the profession. With the help of occupational therapy practitioners’ grassroots advocacy, momentum has gained throughout Congress in favor of repealing the Medicare Outpatient Therapy Cap and we are close to reaching our goal of 218 House co-sponsors by Sept. 18 (218 by 9/18),” said Heather Parsons, AOTA’s Director of Legislative Advocacy. “Additionally, Hill Day attendees will focus on creating new policies to provide quality mental health and substance abuse care that should include occupational therapy services. We are excited to have hundreds of occupational therapy practitioners, educators, and students come to Capitol Hill to talk to lawmakers about occupational therapy.”

Nationwide, more than 140,000 occupational therapy practitioners help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Legislation supporting access to occupational therapy can reduce overall health care costs by facilitating independence among patients.

Where: The Capitol Visitor Center Congressional Auditorium and Atrium, connected to the Capitol Building at First and East Capitol St., Washington, D.C.

When: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday, Sept. 15, 2014 (There will be two briefing sessions this year: 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. and 10 to 11 a.m., followed by Congressional office visits between 11:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.)

Get Connected: For Hill Day updates, follow @AOTAEvents on Twitter or visit AOTA’s Hill Day website.

To learn more: E-mail hillday@aota.org or visit www.aota.org. To interview a member of AOTA’s legislative affairs staff or an occupational therapy practitioner about AOTA’s legislative efforts, contact AOTA Media Relations Manager Katie Riley at 301-652-6611, ext. 2963, or kriley@aota.org.

Founded in 1917, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) represents the professional interests and concerns of more than 140,000 occupational therapists, assistants, and students nationwide. The Association educates the public and advances the profession of occupational therapy by providing resources, setting standards including accreditations, and serving as an advocate to improve health care. Based in Bethesda, Md., AOTA’s major programs and activities are directed toward promoting the professional development of its members and assuring consumer access to quality services so patients can maximize their individual potential. For more information, go to www.aota.org.