Summary of Virtual Annual Meeting
Held on May 1, 2020
President – Greg Hurd
Member – Nichole Cross
Member – Patty Jaworski
Financial Administrator – Roxanne Cunningham
Secretary – Brenda Thibault
Social Media and Communications – Caressa Moy
Education – Debbie Baker
Online elections – Jennifer Savage
Membership – Tonya Brooks and Alan Jacobson
Website and Newsletter Editor – Kristen Lutz
We work closely with our lobbyist, Mark Molloy, of Tenax Strategies, on all matters related to government relations and law and legislation. He is invaluable to the chapter.
Here are some of the issues we are following. Of course, matters to COVID 19 and as to when we can reopen are our top priority. I’ll start with a few issues that we are looking at and then say some of what we are doing regarding the COVID 19 issues. I have been communicating with our lobbyist, Mark Molloy, and we have this to tell you:
(1). Economic recovery opportunities for massage therapy practitioners (employer-employee/independent contractor).
(2). Ensuring that any legislation governing bodywork does not adversely impact Massachusetts massage therapists.
(3). Given recent scrutiny relative to the Massachusetts Board of Registration for Massage Therapy, ensuring that the licensing and regulation of massage therapists does not become onerous for massage therapists.
The Board, apart from the investigatory response, has been working to develop and release continuing education requirements for licensees seeking to renew their license as well as the implementation, for first-time licensees, of a requirement for passage of the MBLEx examination. The AMTA-MA Chapter, as it has been, plans to continue its work closely monitoring and advocating with the Board and the DPL.
We know that COVID 19 is uppermost on your mind. I spoke with National AMTA’s chair of Government Relations this morning. Government Relations are working with all chapters and are dealing with the specifics of each state and Washington DC chapter.
It is clear that each state will decide on their own protocols for massage practices opening up again. In working with our lobbyist, Mark Molloy, we will strategize together as to working with the MA Board of Massage and the newly formed Governor’s Advisory Board. We are also looking at the impact of the pandemic on massage schools. National worked hard with chapters across the country to allow distance education to be accepted by the different states. In MA, massage schools can offer distance education, but schools are still required to have a certain number of actual hands-on training.
As we continue to deal with the COVID19 pandemic, the MA Chapter has been in communication with a variety of state agencies within Massachusetts government.
As you know, the decision as to when massage therapy establishments will be allowed to reopen will be made by the Governor. To assist in his efforts to initiate a staggered “opening” of the Massachusetts economy, the Governor, earlier this week, created a 17-person Advisory Board to develop a plan for businesses to re-open and the protocols businesses must use in doing so. Please know that the MA Chapter, in consultation with the National AMTA, will be submitting comments to the Advisory Board in the coming days.
Second, the MA Chapter has continued to stay in contact with the Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure (DPL) and the Massachusetts Board of Registration for Massage Therapy. As massage therapists return to work, there will be massage specific considerations that we will need to consider. In short, it is our goal to work with the variety of government agencies to develop protocols for a work environment that protects both practitioners and clients.
Finally, the MA Chapter will continue to provide information to you about government programs – state or federal – that will help massage therapists bridge this current situation.
Thank you for those who have sent us their concerns and ideas for reopening massage therapy practices. There are many aspects to reopening that we are considering. We look forward to working in partnership with our members, state agencies and national AMTA to ensure that our profession not only survives the new “normal” but thrives as we regain our balance.
We have had around 3000 members for some time now and we so appreciate all of you!
Membership Chairs, Tonya Brooks and Alan Jacobson have been in touch with me and here are some of their plans for membership:
Gain better understanding of the challenges around attracting and retaining members
Match members with community and volunteer opportunities
Most membership committees are fully staffed right now with volunteers
They are looking for 1 volunteer to serve on Membership Experience Workgroup as Regional Key Contact for Cape & Islands subregion
They will Implement new Membership Experience organizational structure, with focus on Regional Key Contacts (RKC) and the delivery of local type events1
Regional Key Contacts have been assigned in five regions
Western – Brenda Thibault
Central – Daniele Sarkisian
Northeast – Jessica Ferrer
Metro-Boston – Vivian Howell
Southeast – Jennifer Savage
These contacts have been reaching out to new members through emails and phone calls on monthly basis.
Co-Chairs have been mailing out monthly welcome packets to new members.
Local Meetup-type events were scheduled to start this year but are on hold due to COVID-19
School visits are on hold due to COVID-19
We are hoping this can happen – Sunday, September 13. James Mally will present his class Massage Strategies for Shoulder Pain. The venue is the Sturbridge Host Hotel and Conference Center in Sturbridge. The class is 8 CEs. We will post details when we get them.
In December- We are working with George Russell to present Rhythms of the Body, a 7 -hour CE class on Sunday, December 6th. Again, details will be posted when we know them. George was the presenter we had planned for our Annual Meeting weekend in March.
Debbie wants me to remind you that National AMTA offers several great online classes and is currently offering FREE massage CE credits in:
Business & Marketing
Master the Classroom for Massage Educators
Financial Administrator Report – The AMTA MA Chapter is in solid financial shape.
Chapter Meritorious – Gordon Pilotte
Dianne Polseno Scholarship
Miguel A. Aragoncillo - $1000
Shannon Luongo - $500
Leigh Salvage - $500
$1000 and $500 winner sponsored by Massage Envy
$500 supported by AMTA MA Chapter
President Nichole Cross
Board Member Gordon Pilotte
Board Member Brenda Thibault
Financial Admin Patty Jaworski
Secretary Roxanne Cunningham
Newly Elected Delegate Christopher Jones
Returning Delegate Sarah Ernst-Edwards