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OPTA Conference and Advocacy Day

What a busy time of year in the lives of DCEs! We have finals, graduation, clinical placements, request forms coming in, the OPTA annual conference – and that’s just at work!! A couple of weeks ago I attended the OPTA Advocacy Day and then the annual conference. I always leave from those events energized and motivated! This year was no exception. We had a wonderful group of professionals and students at Advocacy Day and it was great to hear the stories of people interacting with their legislators and educating them about physical therapy. Each year I attend this I feel more and more passionate about how important advocacy is to our profession and our future direction. In my small group, I had students from both PT and PTA programs who were all very mature, professional and articulate. They did a great job and I hope to see all of them and many professionals at future events.

At annual conference, the theme for all programming and events centered around wellness and fitness. The highlight for me was listening to the keynote speaker, Dr. Joan Vernikos. Her presentation regarding movement and how sitting and inactivity is detrimental to our health really impacted me! I am definitely finding more fun in movement and not sitting all day! Look her up – she does research for NASA and has a book out called “Sitting Kills.”

A few congratulations are in order from the awards component of the conference. The 2014 winners are:

Outstanding PT: Lynn Czup, PT, DPT (wonderful PT, CI and role model for all of us!);

Outstanding PTA: John Rebic, PTA (has been fantastic since his days involved with the SSIG!);

Meritorious Service: Ron Kleinman, PT (so deserving from all of his contributions to the profession with OPTA and the OT/PT/AT Board);

Clinical Educator: Karoline Lubbeck, PT, DPT (always such a strong supporter of students and a great advocate for clinical education at the Cleveland Clinic);

Outstanding Student: Jeffrey Swiers, PT, DPT (graduate from Cleveland State with honors and a very bright future)

Emerging Leader: Chris Wilson, PT, DPT, CHES (Doing great things with his involvement in advocacy efforts and involvement in OPTA)

Congratulations to all of the winners!

As our students complete their final practicum experience and get ready to graduate in a week, I am so excited to hear their desire to make a difference not only in the lives of their patients but in the entire healthcare system to deliver excellent, evidence based care with high integrity and a dedication to push themselves and their peers to strive higher and higher. I wish all of our graduates across Ohio and Kentucky well and hope they will also pursue excellence, never settle for less, and strive for ways to transform lives through movement. And to our clinical educators, thank you for your vital role in their development and your dedication to the profession. Happy spring!

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