Hello to all!!!
Let’s begin with a big Thank You to all who helped make our IDEA Conference and Annual Meeting the success that it was.
- All of those who attended.
- All of the Presenters and Exhibitors.
- Your Chapter Board of Directors, committee members, and volunteers were, to put it mildly, totally amazing! Debbie Baker was fantastic in putting together all the presenters, the schedule, and arranging everything at the hotel. Sue Cormier put together the Exhibitors. Kristen Lutz did the online scheduling, the emails, the website, and more. Gail Dobinski and Katie Adams were great in helping to organize the event and to be there for us onsite in so many ways. Volunteers Christine, Merrill, Ernie, and Sue’s daughter were all there to help registration and other parts of the conference go as smoothly as it went.
- The hotel staff were particularly helpful. If there was any confusion, they fixed it as quickly as possible. They really wanted us to enjoy our stay there.
We had an interesting and productive Annual Meeting. We greatly appreciated the Executive Director from the DPL (Department of Professional Licensure), Ana Garcia, speaking to our membership. Our Chapter Lobbyist, Mark Molloy, was fantastic and energizing as he explained the many legal challenges and issues with which we are working on.
It was fun to hand out awards to our deserving recipients.
- Meritorious Award – Kristen Lutz
The behind-the-scenes work makes all the difference in how a Chapter runs. Kristen’s work on our website, with communications, and registrations for classes have been vital to our success on so many levels. Kristen also has a fantastic mind for design, wording, and approach. These skills have been tremendously helpful as we put together our marketing for the IDEA Conference and our work with the mailings in which we worked with Elements. Kristen support is so very important for us in the AMTA-MA Chapter and it is great to have such a talented person helping us to put all this together.
- Humanitarian Award – Kate Peck
As written in her website, Kate Peck specializes in craniosacral therapy, myofascial release, burn scar therapy, and therapeutic massage. There is more written about her in the Bodywork Education Project. Kate has founded the Massage and Burn Scar Therapy Foundation. Its mission is to improve the quality of life of all burn survivors through the use of effective & compassionate massage and Burn Scar Therapy. Kate is making great connections in the hospital setting and is bringing awareness of her work to the medical community. It sounds good but when you get to know her and learn the extent of what she does, one discovers just what an amazing person she is. She has given people hope when they may have given up or wondered where help would come from. Her passion for the work with burn scar therapy is evident when one hears the stories from her clients. One of the best things about Kate is that she feels she is the fortunate one for being able to help people. She is amazed by the kindness of her clients and with the power of the work that she does. She is a well-respected educator, therapist and person. She so very much deserves the award for which she received a standing ovation at the Annual Meeting.
- Distinguished Service Award – Patty Jaworski
This award is frequently given to someone who has been in the Chapter for years of service and volunteering. However, this year I adapted the award for Patty. In her 6 years as a Massage Therapist, Patty had been on the Chapter Board for 5 years; first as Secretary and then Treasurer. She worked with the Chapter and National AMTA as we transitioned from no longer having Chapter dues as part of a member becoming or renewing as a member of the AMTA. (Fortunately, Chapter dues are still allowed as an option for members.) Patty stayed focused and clear. She made the very complicated clear for the rest of us. She works great with National AMTA and is highly respected. She also promised me that she is still available for any help and questions that I may have. She is the best! A big part of why the AMTA-MA Chapter is doing so well is directly related to the work that Patty has done. As she noted in the Annual Meeting, the AMTA-MA Chapter is in very good shape financially. Thank you so much Patty!!
- Volunteer of the Year – Karen Buck
Karen has worked with us for years. She has brought life to our Chapter Facebook page and to our Twitter posts. I am so impressed with the number of posts and tweets that she brings to the Chapter. Where does she find all these studies and news about massage therapy? Recent Twitter posts include: Effects of Tuina on Circulation, Tips for Keeping Ticks off you, Trigger Points for Headaches, Free Resources, and many more! Karen is another person who has been so very important to our Chapter. Be sure to follow the Chapter on Facebook and Twitter! Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/amtamass/, Twitter - @massamta.
- President’s Award – Charles Gaudette
The President’s Award is personal to the President. One of the best parts of choosing this award this year is that there are so many choices I was considering! The President's Award honors recipients who have contributed to the massage profession in an outstanding manner. It is nominated and given annually by the current Chapter President. It is also given to an individual who has been a pillar of support to the President, in some remarkable way. Charles would laugh to think that he is remarkable but he is! It is difficult to describe how much he has helped me through the years with massage therapy, understanding how the body works from his physical therapy assistant mindset, reviewing AMTA issues and concerns, and even helping me with my bicycle! He works with Kelly Dalbec (former President’s Award recipient from Lisa Parenteau) on the Committee for the Dianne Polseno Scholarship. Charles has such a clear vision and speaks candidly with me regarding concerns about massage therapy. How is “medical massage” really defined? Should we be taking insurance? What is the direction of massage therapy? These are typical conversations with us when we talk about massage. Charles is a source of support. I hope all of you have a “Charles” for support, ideas, conversation, and other ways in which he truly is a pillar of support in some remarkable ways.
What else have we been doing to be the member-driven Chapter that we are?
Law and Legislation
Our next primary focus is in the area of law, legislation, and the Massachusetts Board of Massage Therapy.
Board of Massage Therapy
We work closely with our lobbyist and with the Board of Massage. We attend the Board meetings on a regular basis. If you want to attend a Board meeting, you can do that! Go to http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/licensee/dpl-boards/mt/ for details about the Board and their calendar of meetings.
In January, the Board passed amendments to the massage regulations. For details on the changes, you can go to two different sets of FAQs.
- Mass Board of Massage - http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/docs/dpl/boards/mt/mt-faq-new-regs.pdf
- FAQs that our lobbyist and I put together - http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/docs/dpl/boards/mt/mt-faq-new-regs.pdf
At the Annual Meeting, our lobbyist, Mark Molloy, talked about our efforts to reduce the cost of licensing for Massage Therapists. We would like continuing education to be required and the cost of licensing to go down. The DPL does not set the fees. It is a different government committee that does that. So we are looking at this from many sides.
Mark Molloy, and his associate Kim Sullivan, are closely following the efforts for the state to create regulations for Bodywork as bodywork is not currently regulated in Massachusetts. We are also working hard to make sure that licensed massage therapists are protected with any regulations regarding bodywork.
We have two more classes coming this year. Our website will have details soon.
September 9th and 10th @ the Sheraton Framingham. Joe Muscolino will be teaching 9am to 6pm both days. December 3rd @ Cape Codder in Hyannis. Katie Adams will be teaching a 7-hour course on Neuromuscular Therapy.
The AMTA National Convention is in Pasadena, California this year – September 14-16, 2017. We hope to see you there!
Thank you to all of you. If any of you have any questions, comments, concerns and/or would like to volunteer for anything, please contact me at email@example.com.