State of Oncology Town Hall Discussion at AOTA Conference in Baltimore

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Thoughts about occupational therapy, interdisciplinary management and living live to its fullest!

State of Oncology Town Hall Discussion at AOTA Conference in Baltimore

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I had the honor of co-facilitating a Town Hall discussion on the state of oncology rehabilitative practice in occupational therapy at the recent AOTA Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.

My co-facilitators were Dr. Tim Wolf and Pat Nellis, both of Washington University. The town hall was part of the actions taken by a Board of Directors' Ad Hoc that is examining occupational therapy practice in the area of oncology in order to make recommendations about actions that can be taken to support practitioners in this area. Here are the learning objectives and abstract.

Learning Objective 1: Describe the current state of occupational therapy practice in oncology.
Learning Objective 2: Identify current resources to support occupational therapy practice in oncology.
Learning Objective 3: Describe actions that can be taken by individual practitioners, educators and researchers as well as the American Occupational Therapy Association to further practice in oncology.
Abstract Synopsis: This session will describe the current state of occupational therapy practice in oncology across the full spectrum of oncology care. Future directions and actions that can be taken to further the state of practice will be explored.

I would be interested in hearing from practitioners who are working in oncology and any concerns you have, what resources you have used to further your practice and any ideas you have about what could be done to support your development.

We had an active group of about 100 attendees who shared experiences, concerns and insights into how they have developed their practice.

Watch here for further updates as the Ad Hoc pulls together a summary of current practice and recommendations.

  • Several Occupational Therapists from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York City attended the State of Oncology Town Hall discussion. Since you and I have been in communications over the past couple of years as OT leaders in our respective Cancer Institutions, I encouraged my staff to attend. The MSKCC OT’s are clinical leaders in the field, and presented at AOTA Conference in Baltimore. From their account of the Town Hall, they had an overwhelming rush of questions and comments directed to them after the Town Hall, which often occurs when we speak locally or nationally. As clinical experts, they know their stuff. I encourage you and AOTA to reach out to the true oncology occupational therapy specialists/leaders in this field; the clinical experts in oncology should be the voice for AOTA with respect to the state of oncology rehab.


    Claudine Campbell, MOT, OTR/L, CLT

  • Thanks Claudine, that is certainly our plan, we will post, distribute any summary and recommendations for feedback before it goes back to the Board of Directors.


  • The town hall was an excellent start to developing better networking.  One of the suggestions that was made was to get involved with more of the cancer organizations.  There is a workshop for health care providers working with Young Women With Breast Cancer in Baltimore on May 27th.  On the sign up form our profession is not even listed.  I am planning to attend but wanted to let others who may be local to Baltimore that his conference is happening. Here is the link.

    Ann Marie Potter, MA, OTR/l

  • Thank you Ann Marie. I am glad you had a positive experience at the town hall.

    I emailed the organizers of the provider conference and introduced myself, congratulated them and thanked them for offering the conference. I also explained the critical role that occupational therapists plays with young women with breast cancer and provided a list of the areas we address. I offered to follow up if they had any questions and suggested they add OT to the drop down list of providers in their registration.



  • Ann Marie (and all),

    I got a very positive response back from the "Living Beyond Breast Cancer" group and they were very open to more involvement of occupational therapy practitioners in future events and asked if I could be a resource. I said of course!