Amy Jo Lamb, OTD, OTRL, FAOTA
AOTA Vice President
Dr. Lamb is the Vice President of the American Occupational Therapy Association, Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy at Eastern Michigan University, and owner of AJLamb Consulting. She is the immediate past chair of the American Occupational Therapy Political Action Committee (AOTPAC). She brings with her the valuable combination of clinical practice as a registered occupational therapist combined together with health care policy experience at the state and federal levels. Dr. Lamb’s expertise includes health policy, prevention and wellness, and occupational therapy as a career.
Dr. Lamb received both her Bachelors of Science in Occupational Therapy and her post professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.
Dr. Lamb got her policy start in the Minnesota House of Representatives working with the Health Policy committee. She was the paid lobbyist for the Nebraska Occupational Therapy Association from 2000-2008.
Dr. Lamb’s clinical practice spans from private practice, school based pediatrics, acute care, and elders. Prior to her current position she was an Outpatient Director with Brookdale Senior Living managing the outpatient therapy clinics and home health rehabilitation services in assisted living and independent living communities in the Denver Colorado area.
In 2012, Dr. Lamb was selected to join the AOTA Roster of Fellows. In 2011, she received the Lindy Boggs advocacy award from the American Occupational Therapy Association for her leadership in advocacy and political action in the profession of occupational therapy. Therapy Times included her on their Most Influential list for 2007 for her contributions at the state and federal level in advocacy and health policy development.
In her volunteer leadership positions, Dr. Lamb is part of the team that helps occupational therapy professionals understand the policy agenda of the association and the role they as health care professionals play in advocacy, she organizes the grassroots, educates others on issues, and spends time on the hill with members of Congress to meet the needs of the Association. Dr. Lamb speaks regularly to groups on health policy issues impacting practice and benefits of consumers and provides participants with practical ways to get involved in the process and make their voices heard. She currently resides outside of Dexter, Michigan with her husband Nathan and their two children Gabby (11) and Josh (9).
Voting for the 2012 AOTA Elections will be open on January 17th...just two weeks away! I wanted to post my official position statement here and invite questions from the membership. I welcome dialogue and invite any questions you have for me. I am thankful the opportunity to share my thoughts and ideas with all of you and hope that we see record breaking voting records in this election cycle. Thanks for taking a minute to follow my blog...
Official Position Statement:
The reconstruction of our health care system presents a tremendous opportunity for AOTA. Health reform makes strategic planning critical as we position the profession for the future. We must confidently answer the question: where will occupational therapy go after 2017? To ensure the vitality of the profession, AOTA must increase its focus on federal, state and grassroots advocacy. As implementation of reform shifts to the states it is essential that our state affiliates and members are prepared to take on the advocacy challenge. AOTA must invest resources in and support for our affiliates and members; motivating and empowering them to forge an extraordinary future. In addition, streamlining volunteer opportunities for meaningful participation and making leadership realistic for all members will help drive increased membership and power for the association.
I am inspired by what the future could hold for occupational therapy. I have served AOTA members in a variety of volunteer capacities over the last decade, most recently as AOTPAC Chair. My organizational involvement, proven leadership, innovative problem solving and strategic planning skills position me well to serve as Vice President of AOTA. I am ready to lead AOTA into the bright future I see before us.
I like what you said about grassroot advocacy. I think my diagnosis taught me a really good lesson- "If I am not an advocate for myself, how can I be an advocate for my clients?" I said this to a level 1 student who was in my recent FW site, she was in awe of what I said... as I believe have taught her something outside of what she learned from her textbooks!
I think one way would really help in regards to grassroot advocacy is clearly define what we can say to caregivers and clients (if they are cognitively able) on the Internet, especially on Internet forums. Once we got that defined, I think AOTA can create a fact sheet on how we can advocate about the OT profession on the Internet. Despite what I have been doing, I have been really scared about "crossing the line". So, I from time to time will make posts like this to caregivers and consumers who might read about what I said on the Internet- "I said this a while back and I am going to say it again... please DO NOT consider what I said as professional opinion. All I am giving you are possible things that you might want to discuss with a licensed OT professional. I am just saying this because I want to protect myself in regards to the rules and regulations regarding the American Telehealth Association."
First off I commend you for how you follow OT Connections. You and your peers truly excel in using technology. Your generation has something special and we need to make sure we provide you avenues to do what you do best.
You are right and I am proud of you for speaking up about advocacy. I do see your generation as a difference maker for our field. You are excited by advocacy opportunities, ready to engage and it is up to AOTA, state associations and the clinics you practice in to plug you into avenues where you can be successful.
Thanks again Bill for your comments and thoughts.
Thanks for the compliments. I follow really well because I am a frequent blogger on here. Whenever something I think is interesting in related to autism that I want to share to OT community, I will definitely blog about it, as I know students and professionals can benefit from knowing how I see autism.
Of course, then there's the ASD elections going on now. I pledged to the SOTA at USC that I will update all the candidates info and have it available for students at USC. I did a similar thing for my graduating class in the 2011 ASD elections and the candidates liked it. So, I expanded it and made the information available to the student body at USC's OT department. Like last year, the candidates liked what I am doing this year. It's a rewarding experience because I got to connect with future leaders in the OT profession as well... or "competitors" I will competing with in future OT endeavors, using Dr. Clark's terms.
I might not have the flashiest list of titles in related to my esteemed OT peers are concerned. But one thing I am showing them is my tenacity and my competitive fire. Even if I don't succeed, I want to send a message loud and clear to the OT community that my enthusiasm to move the profession forward is for real and that I should deserve my fair share of opportunities in OT. All I need are people who are willing to give me a chance to mentor me and so that I can prove myself.
Of course, for me the avenue for me to succeed in local or national association level will be in autism. Once there is a right mentor who is willing to mentor me along, I believe I could blossom into a leader in OT in autism. When this happens, I believe it will add a lot of credibility to our profession in the eyes of the autism community... especially when they discover that someone in the autism spectrum is helping to make a difference for them from within!