Your Vote Counts! AMTA 2013 National Election

AMTANatl2013Elections-bannerBe among the professional members that shape our association. Vote for our national leaders. AMTA is the premier professional organization and needs top leadership to be a strong voice and guide us to the future. Your vote is needed to ensure that AMTA remains on top and continues to be well represented.

Get to know the candidates. Read each of their biographical sketches. You can find these candidate links, or if they established any Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Blog sites by accessing the AMTA official election website. Don’t be shy, ask them questions or read what someone else asked.  Find out what their vision and goals are for the future of AMTA and the massage profession.

Your voice counts in this organization. Make a decision to support one of our core values, ‘to be a membership driven organization’ and vote. That is what ‘member driven’ means. Join in.  Become a more informed voter and cast your vote by December 1!

2013 Election Timeline

November 1-5: A link to the online ballot will be sent via electronic mail to all voting members.

December 1: Completed ballots are due.

January 1: Results will be announced no later than January 1 on the AMTA website.

March 1: New officers assume office.

 

Please contact Colleen Leeders, at 877-905-2700 x150 or email hidden; JavaScript is required  if you have questions.

AMTA’s Health Care Relationships – Advancing the Massage Therapy Profession

AMTA’s Health Care Relationships 2013
An Update of the Association’s Relationships
and their Impact on the Massage Therapy Profession

The American Massage Therapy Association® (AMTA®) continues to be involved in ongoing interactions with health care, wellness and medical organizations with several goals and objectives in mind:

  • To influence the health care community so it acknowledges the value of massage therapy and professional massage therapists;
  • To educate all in the health care and wellness industries about the benefits of massage therapy and the growing body of research that supports its value;
  • To increase collaboration between AMTA, its members and other health care and      wellness industry leaders;
  • To enhance the potential for massage therapists to practice in collaboration with other health care providers  and in integrative care; and,
  • To increase the overall acceptance of massage therapy and advance professional opportunities for all massage therapists.

AMTA’s Health Care Relationships

Massage is increasingly accepted by consumers as an important component of their health and wellness.  Meanwhile, new clinical massage research is also getting the attention of more people in the medical community.  The health care situation in the U.S. is constantly changing and is even more complex in light of the Affordable Care Act.

“We have gained the respect of many in health care and they recognize AMTA as the best resource for information about massage therapy,” says AMTA President Winona Bontrager.  “They appreciate AMTA’s approach to massage therapy and health care and look to us for input to better understand how massage therapy and massage therapists can continue to be more integrated into health and wellness care.”

Involvement in National and International Health Care Meetings

As part of its involvement with leading health care organizations, AMTA has been an active participant in several industry meetings in 2012-13.  These have included the International Research Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health; the International Medical Program’s Integrative Oncology Healthcare Professional Training Conference; the Annual Integrative Healthcare Symposium; the International Congress for Educators in Complementary and Integrative Medicine; and, the Third International Fascia Research CongressThese meetings continued to validate that leaders in health care are acknowledging that health care in our country needs change; and integrative approaches for patient care are important trends that need cultivation.  They also provided opportunities for AMTA to forge new relationships with many leaders in health care who can influence the further acceptance of massage therapy.

For example, AMTA’s participation in the International Medicine Program’s 1st Annual Integrative Oncology Healthcare Professional Training Conference in February 2013 allowed AMTA to gain valuable insight and perspective from one of the foremost integrative oncology programs in the country. This perspective will assist AMTA as it continues its approaches to healthcare.  The goal of the conference was to review the principles and disciplines of integrative oncology and to identify indications and contraindications for complementary therapies within the cancer population. The conference was designed for physicians, nurses, social workers, dieticians and other healthcare professionals who care for cancer patients and have an interest in better understanding integrative oncology.

The networking connections made at this conference will also help reinforce AMTA’s commitment to quality massage education and our willingness to be collaborative partners in projects that will help advance the art, science and practice of massage therapy.

AMTA Relations with the American Medical Association (AMA)

Susan Rosen of Washington State continues to serve as AMTA’s representative to the AMA’s Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) Health Care Professionals Advisory Committee (HCPAC).  As AMTA’s Primary Advisor to HCPAC, she is the massage therapy representative on the committee. HCPAC serves in an advisory capacity to the AMA CPT Editorial Panel. This relationship gives AMTA and the massage therapy profession input on review of CPT codes associated with massage therapy.

AMTA also continues to provide the AMA with an updated description of the massage therapy profession for its Health Care Career Directory. This directory provides information on recognized health care fields and is also used as a resource by those in a variety of health care professions.

Massage Therapy and the Affordable Care Act

AMTA has been actively engaged with federal agencies and U.S. congressional offices, since the Affordable Care Act was introduced more than three years ago, about its impact on massage therapists and those they serve.  AMTA is approaching the ACA in a very practical and systematic way, which will promote and protect the best interests of massage therapists and avoids jumping in too quickly and making assumptions that might prove counter-productive.

The association is moving forward with a plan for vetted research to make the case for massage as an integrated part of health care.  This will provide a foundation for all we do at the national level and what we will pursue in each state.  This also will ensure that what we bring forward is valid and relevant to the process of achieving acceptance within the framework of the ACA.

Anyone following the evolution of the ACA is likely aware that dates for implementation, as well as interpretations of its meanings and legal decisions, are still very much in a state of flux.  Therefore, AMTA is continuing to directly engage both the congressional offices of those who developed the legislation and the government agencies that will be implementing the new law.

Public Education and Engagement with Health Care Centers

  • Since spring 2012, AMTA has issued three Research Roundups that summarize a variety of research on the health benefits of massage therapy.  These Roundups were distributed to health and medical publications, as well as consumer media outlets.  Excerpts from them and the research they cite has been published by several medical and health care publications and online sources with a total audience reach of well over 100 million.
  • AMTA’s 2013 Massage Therapy Tour, which primarily reaches out to consumers to educate them on the health benefits of massage therapy included educational stops at the American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting and offices of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.  AMTA members engaged these health care professionals in discussions about the growing body of research on massage therapy, how to find qualified massage therapists and how massage therapy is being integrated into health care in a variety of settings.
  • Through a collaboration of relationship building and communications, AMTA is engaged in ongoing conversations with major medical centers about integration of massage therapy into patient care

 

What Does All of This Mean for Massage Therapists?

The American Massage Therapy Association is actively engaged every day in advancing the profession.  These relationships with the health care/medical communities provide a strong voice for those massage therapists who seek to work within health care, while recognizing and protecting the rights of those massage therapists who practice in other sectors of the massage therapy profession.

Further acceptance of massage therapy as a viable part of health care and wellness will benefit all in the profession.  Not only will it present new potential for those who want to work within health care, it will provide all massage therapists with confirming support for what they do, whether it is in private practice, in a spa or health club, a massage therapy franchise, or with a sports team.

As the body of research on the efficacy of massage therapy is expanded and results published, AMTA will continue to use the research and its relationships in health care to advance the massage therapy profession in the eyes of the medical profession and the public.

[Even] Higher Standards in the New NCBTMB Board-certified Credential

Being a massage therapist professional for a number of years in Nevada, I have seen many changes that have affected the direction of our profession, our passion, and ultimately affect the way the public perceives massage therapy.

Last year, the AMTA began its Consumer Awareness Program (CAP) which has been wildly successful, for both the public and members.  Check out some of the video, member stories, and news stories that have come out of this well-planned, multi-year project.  Your dollars are at work in promoting massage and its benefits to large gatherings of people, like at races and social events of magnitude around the U.S.

This is one way that our organization makes well-known the benefits of regular massage.

Search Provider #407142-00 @ ncbtmb.orgThe National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) has done the same types of promotion over the years – through a short-lived “certified spa” program (where, when all the LMTs on staff were Nationally-certified, the spa is listed and promoted as an NCBTMB-approved spa/employer), member self-promotion with materials supplied by the NCBTMB (article copy for publication, use of logos, website resource for the public, Find A Certified Massage Therapist listing service, etc), and support of a credential that has long-established the competency and possibly proficiency of a certified practitioner.

As of January 1st, 2013, things again have changed for NCTM/Bs.

Just when you were getting used to the title… Since the establishment, in 2005, of a competency exam for licensing purposes by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) – the MBLEx – the NCBTMB has revamped their program.  Now, the NCBTMB also has a [rebranded] competency exam for licensing (formerly, the National Certification Exam (NCE)), now called the NCBTMB Licensing Exam.  These two tests by two different organizations are considered (by at least 39 states) to be the standard test to which the states’ Applicants [for licensure] must pass.  Nevada is one of those states where either test is accepted for license application.

Polaroid: Nevada [the Nevada State Board of Massage Therapists (NSBMT)] never required that an Applicant or Licensee “be” Nationally-certified…and still does not – just to pass the NCBTMB’s entry level exam (and, now, the MBLEx is an added, optional exam accepted).  When a professional massage therapist is Nationally-certified, it is a credential separate from “being” competent.  National certification is a professional’s commitment to a standard that exceeds basic competency.  In the past, that Nationally-certified standard included (mainly): 500 hours of classroom education, an earned number of Continuing Education Hours (CEHs) every 4-year renewal period and an agreement to a Standard of Practice and Code of Ethics outlined by the NCBTMB (to which all Certificants agree to uphold).

Instagram:  Today, under the newly-termed “Board-certified” title that Certificants are using that have already renewed with the new requirements, the additional requirements will include: 750 (total) hours (minimum) of classroom education (was “500-hour core massage program” prior), 250 hours of professional hands-on experience, CPR certification of the NCBTMB Certificant, national background check (every application/renewal), agreement to an anti-Human Trafficking statement.  These new requirements apply to new applicants AND any currently-Nationally-certified massage therapist that wishes to renew their NCBTMB certification.

With that said (and “new” way of doing things at the NCBTMB having hit the ground running), the AMTA-Nevada Chapter supports our members who are and will be NCBTMB Board-certified.  We continue to, as an AMTA Chapter, be a source for NCBTMB-approved course credits.  We also have a great relationship with some staff members at the NCBTMB – while we encourage Nationally-certified chapter members to contact the NCBTMB directly for individual assistance (specific, case-by-case), we will certainly do our best to answer your questions and send you in the right direction, when you find a challenge.

New Requirements, New Friends  We are in the process of allying, in Southern Nevada, with a couple of offices that offer CPR programs – back in my day, class was “all day” and cost a little more than the current programs.  The programs we’re working with (one of which is an American Heart Association CPR training/certification course) are designed for concise and complete education and cost less, time-wise and dollar-wise, and are very promising to utilize as a source for your Board-certification and any other purposes.  If you are in the Northern Nevada and know of a program that may fulfill the NCBTMB’s Board-certified requirement of “CPR certified”, please let us know!  We’d like to start informing all our members about the potential relationship, making things easier for every member.

Should I renew?  This is really a question based on your perceived value in the NCBTMB.  I renew to stay active in my profession.  I also volunteer for the NCBTMB as an exam Item Reviewer – there are plenty of ways to “be” in the profession, with whichever organization you find value.  The NCBTMB has been there for us as a profession, through thick and thin, and they are changing with our profession to make it the best for everyone: practitioners and public alike.  For as long as I have been a massage therapist, the integrity of the NCBTMB has always been noble, their Standards and Codes of high regard when adhered to, and I appreciate the distinction that the credential brings to my profession and what I love doing most for my clients: massage therapy.  I believe that without the organizations that are represented by the mere numbers of professionals who populate them, the organization loses identity and the ability to be accessible by the public, news outlets, allied professionals, and the regulatory bodies that also strive to seek the right model or advice on how to apply laws for the safety of the public we all serve.

The diligence of “claiming a profession” and being professional exists, in my opinion, in the members of professional associations like the AMTA, and certificants of a program that strives to create “better” massage therapists at every turn.  If the organizations are left unmanned, from where will credibility and efficacy come?

My word alone is not enough for today’s massage therapy client and massage therapy market – the clients are toooooo educated now 😉

The AMTA Nevada Chapter is here to support your decisions: to renew, to apply, to be active in your profession.

If you have any questions or need clarification, please give us a call at our new phone number: (775) 556-0300 or drop us a message at email hidden; JavaScript is required

Our newsletter is coming out soon with information about our Annual Member Meeting and Convention – stay tuned for some excellent ways to distinguish yourself as a professional with continuing education courses (NCBTMB-approved!), effective networking opportunities, and…FOOD!

Be Well,

David-fnamesign

 

 

 

AMTA-NV Chapter President

the First 90-days…

Hello Members!

David OttoI am truly honored to be writing today in the President’s Blog – there have been many years that I have served where the chapter did not have such an efficient, fast way for the members to connect; specifically, with the commentary and updates from the chapter President.  I am happy to say: all the Nevada Chapter Board of Directors volunteers, chapter volunteers and Delegates are available via email and that you may post publicly or email me privately regarding the [future] topics in this forum!

Now, on with this month’s blog…

I was elected to serve as a chapter leader, first as 1st Vice President back in 2010, with the intention of running for another leadership office, but not really the presidency.

Billie Shea (who has served several terms as President, now Immediate Past President) had other plans than my “just” participating in a fully-engaging and wonderfully-satisfying position as a volunteer.  She knew that, over my years of service in media outlets, out in the population of the membership and non-members of professionals in the Las Vegas area, being active in my professional goals as well as association goals, I had a little more potential.  And I guess I have to say: I thought so, too.

I suspect, from the get-go, Billie was looking for the right person, a willing person, an established professional and personality in the massage therapist community, and I had worked hard to be in that position, but didn’t realize the gravity of my situation until someone told me I should run for President.

When I joined the AMTA & Nevada chapter back in 2001, during my last weeks of school, I really had no idea that the AMTA would be an opportunity that grew me both professionally and personally – was starting with a solid liability insurance policy, as far as I was concerned.  I had and have a passion for massage therapy, and that passion to do what was right for me, back in the day; and now, my passion has developed into a purpose to do what is right for the profession in Nevada.  I can think of no stronger, prominent, or active group of massage therapy professionals than those who are members of the AMTA – in Nevada and across the U.S.!

^^^ check out what AMTA’s doing in its new Consumer Awareness Program! ^^^

I have had, even before I was elected chapter President, more positive & growth experiences in my management skills, massage therapy skills, interpersonal skills, marketing skills, and entrepreneurial drive than I can ever imagine would have happened had it not been for the tried, true, and structured resource of the humans that make up the AMTA.  From the National office to the newest Student Member, I count on every person who professes to support and practice massage therapy in its truest form to contribute to the success of the organization. And, as in a recent interview that I participated in for the national promotion of the AMTA, “I am David Otto.  I am AMTA.”

And so is every member.

If you believe in supporting massage therapy research, the development of the field and profession, and providing massage therapy clients with the “best massage ever,” you have found a friend, mentor, and inspiration in the AMTA.  Times can be turbulent and hard to comprehend, but by keeping the Mission in mind and participating, everyone comes out ahead.

Thank you for trusting me as one of the many talented leaders of the Nevada Chapter that you will come across.  I encourage you to get to know one other member this year.  By the end of 2012, we are organizing a couple of member events coming up in Southern Nevada and there are several continuing education courses in Northern Nevada where you will likely meet a fellow AMTA member – but if not, recognize the “member” in the professional with whom you are talking.

There will be more updates about things YOU and/or your colleagues find interesting and may want to participate in as an Attendee.  If you have any ideas, questions, or comments about your membership or participating in affecting an awesome membership of professionals in Nevada, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Yours in Service,

 

 

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