November 2018 President's Message

Published: November 13, 2018

Happy Fall to all of you!

We have had a very good 2018.

April
In April we had our Annual Meeting with the morning Ethics class. As a thank you to our members, we gave you that day at no charge and it even included lunch! You voted me in to be your President for another term (2 years), Nichole Cross as a Board Member, Brenda Thibault as Secretary, and Roxanne Cunningham to fill in as our Financial Administrator.

June
In June Katie Adams and Nichole Cross attend the National AMTA’s Presidents meetings. We are continuing to go over the material and suggestions they have brought back. We want to best see how we can serve you, the members.

August
August brought the AMTA National Convention and the brand new Assembly of Delegates (AOD). We represented you well at both the AOD and at the Chapter Volunteer Orientation Program (CVOP). We have so many ideas as to how we can better help all of you. We are working on action plans to make these happen. For example, if you would like to host a Meet Up, please let us know. A Meet Up is simply that; a time and place for massage therapists to get together and go over topics of your choice!

Assembly of Delegates

Two Statements were presented:

  • Massage and Osteoarthritis of the Knee
  • Pediatric Massage in a Hospital Setting

Both Position Statement Topic proposals passed the AOD and now they will now be forwarded on to the National Board of Directors in the form of an agenda item with a motion that these topics be considered for assignment to a workgroup that will determine if there is enough research to support a statement on the respective topic.

A discussion also ensued on insurance reimbursement and the underlying theme seemed to be how we can, as an organization, support massage therapists being reimbursed by insurance for providing massage in the same manner as other professionals who bill for massage services on a regular basis.

It was announced at this meeting that AMTA and our national lobbyist have been working with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in an effort to improve their understanding of the value of massage therapy provided by a qualified massage therapist.

Awards and Recognition

2018 National Sports Massage Achiever Award
Robert Vinson, who has helped to organize and run the massage therapy team for the Pan Mass Challenge for many years was given this award. Thank you to the AMTA-MA Board Member, Katie Adams, for her work on submitting his name and completing the application. Bob earned the AMTA-MA Chapter’s Distinguished Service Award in April.

Chapter Meritorious Award
Roxanne Cunningham was recognized at National for being our Meritorious Award winner.

25 Year Member
Debbie Baker was recognized for being a member of the AMTA for 25 years!

If you want to see a list of National AMTA Award winners, click here.

September
Sports Class - John Combe was wondeful and we are so excited to have more classes like this again.

October
Happy Halloween!

November
Fun Fact! Orpheus in the Underworld, a comical operetta put on by the Longwood Opera in Needham, MA. Our own Debbie Baker played the violin. I got to see this. It was funny and the singers were incredible. Debbie was quite excellent as the solo violinist!

December
Your Board and Committees will meet to map out the next couple years.

We will also be looking at awards for next year. Do you know anyone who should be awarded? We have the Distinguished Service, Meritorious, Volunteer of the Year, and Humanitarian awards. If you know anyone you would like to nominate, please email me at greghurdlmt@gmail.com.

Here's What’s to Come in 2019!

Save the dates in Needham, MA!
Saturday, April 6 - Clients with Diabetes/Fibromyalgia/Skin Cancer – Julie Goodwin
Sunday, April 7 - AMTA-MA Chapter Annual Meeting with Ethics class – Julie Goodwin

We’ve got more lined up. Another sports massage class is just one of the classes we are looking at. We are also planning for a class in Springfield!

Legislative Issues

Opioid Bill
Governor Charlie Baker was joined by members of the administration, the legislature and the health care community for the ceremonial signing of H4742, An Act for prevention and access to appropriate care and treatment of addiction. This bill is the Baker-Polito Administration’s second major legislative action to address the opioid crisis since taking office in 2015 and expands the Commonwealth’s prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery strategies. Click here for that story.
In this bill, there is the opening for discussion on non-pharmacological treatment of pain. With some suggestions from National AMTA Government & Industry Relations Director, James Specker and our lobbyist, Mark Molloy, I put together a letter to the Massachusetts Division of Insurance and the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission suggesting that massage therapy to be considered as one of the non-pharmacological treatments for pain.

Bodywork Legislation
Yes, we are watching this. The bill is still before the House Committee on Ways and Means.

Mass Board of Massage
They are working on developing a sample multi-establishment license to post on mass.gov. Mark and I have been working with them on this. Mark and I met with one of the Commissioners and we are urging them to improve the process of a therapist applying for an individual and solo establishment license. We would like a therapist to be able to apply for both at the same time.

Elections
Technically speaking, there are 30 folks occupying new seats with the Massachusetts legislature. This essentially means that 15% of the body is new, sitting in new seats, or returning to the legislature after an absence. The AMTA National has a link for people to access information for information about their elected officials. Check it out here.

One final mention...

Leon Chaitow
Leon Chaitow, clinician, author and instructor, passed away on September 20, 2018. He has been influential in the world of massage, neuromuscular therapy, myofascial therapy, and much more. He was able to complete his final book. Massage Today has a nice write-up about him. Click here to read that piece. I had the good fortune of attending one of his presentations at an AMTA National Convention. He was a dynamic leader and has left an amazing legacy. 

Your Chapter President,
Greg Hurd