Happy New Year from your AMTA-MA Chapter team! While we are glad 2020 is over; we also look forward to better days in 2021.
We haven’t been very loud over the last few months, but we have still been getting work done. As National AMTA has asked that we do not set up in person meetings until fall of 2021, we have gotten approval for GoToWebinar classes. These will be live classes that are not simply recordings. In an effort to meet our profession’s desire for more resources, we plan on offerings on different subjects throughout the year. We think the new model of being able to provide classes virtually will allow a lot more people to have access to continuing education and more. To that end, our annual meeting, which will be virtual this year, will include a free ethics class. Save the Date – Sunday, May 9th.
In addition to ensuring our members have the resources they need, the Massachusetts chapter of the AMTA continues to be vigilant about any new changes impacting massage therapists. As you may know from previous updates, the Massachusetts Board of Registration for Massage Therapy (Board) and the Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure (DPL) have been discussing potential changes to the state regulations. Among the changes being discussed:
- Implementing a new exam requirement for new license applicants;
- Requiring continuing education for renewing a license;
- Strengthening the oversight and role of compliance officers;
- Improving the reporting requirements in the event a licensee commits a crime before a renewal period;
As well, the DPL has been hearing our concerns about the time it takes to get a response from the agency. Accordingly, the DPL has been working on ways to improve their internal processes. We are hopeful that we will see the benefits of many of these changes in 2021. In the meantime, we will continue to work with the DPL and the Board to balance the needs of massage therapists and the general public.
Finally, we are continuing to work to ensure that our profession continues to be heard during this time of COVID. With our businesses subject to public health restrictions, and potential closure due to the increasing spread of COVID, we want to make sure that key policymakers know of the importance of our chosen profession. Accordingly, we recently sent a letter to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services highlighting the role that massage therapy plays in providing people health benefits every day. Click here to read the letter. We will continue to work with these agencies and the Massachusetts legislature to fight for our profession.
While many of us will not be sad to see 2020 end, we have many challenges ahead in 2021. I look forward to seeing you all online and, eventually, in person. In a year of great uncertainty, our profession has continued to march forward – providing a valuable service to the people who count on us every day. Here’s to a healthy, happy and successful new year for all members of the Massachusetts chapter of the AMTA!