AOTA President Appoints Two to Board of Directors

Bethesda, Md. (Sept 30, 2013) — The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) is pleased to announce the appointment of two members to its Board of Directors by President Ginny Stoffel, PhD, OT, BCMH, FAOTA.

  • Susan B. Parker, MSW, MSP, continues for a second term as the Public Advisor. Throughout her career, Parker has been a strong advocate of inclusion of those with disability, both domestically and internationally. Since 2002, she has been the Director of Policy and Research at the Office of Disability Employment+69 Policy for the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, DC. In that role she established and directly manages five policy and research teams developing products helpful to employers (public and private) who hire, recruit, and retain workers with disabilities. She also coordinates international disability activities within the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in partnership with DOL’s international bureau, and she provides direct leadership in the execution of the bilateral Transatlantic Agreement with the European Union. She lives in both Greenland, N.H., and Alexandria, Va.
  • Kristina Finnel, MSW, APSW, is AOTA’s new Consumer Advisor. Since 2006 she has worked for Mental Health America of Wisconsin, holding the positions of Program Manager of Strong Families in Healthy Homes, Director of Programs/Chief Operating Officer, and her current role as President and Chief Executive Officer. During her tenure she has chaired community initiatives (she is currently Action Team Chair of the county’s mental health redesign); advocated on local, state, and federal levels; been the media spokesperson for issues relevant to mental health issues; coordinated program evaluation; and maintained relationships with local foundations, coalitions, individual and corporate funders, and state and county mental health systems, among many other duties. She lives in Milwaukee, Wisc.

The Public and Consumer Advisors will serve the Board of Directors as non-voting members with a voice. Both will help formulate and approve Association policies, and carry out the duties of the associated advisory commissions and committees, among other responsibilities. Both will serve three-year terms through 2016.

“Having such accomplished advocates for others as part of our Board of Directors supports the core values of our profession,” said Stoffel, who made the appointments. “They both value interprofessional collaboration and partnering with those who have the lived experience of overcoming disability and living life to its fullest. These inclusive efforts result in stronger organizations through best practices.”

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.

To learn more about AOTA or how occupational therapy helps people live life to its fullest, visit www.

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


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