From Our Print Archives

Focus on Affairs

Vol. 17 •Issue 23 • Page 29
Focus on Affairs

WFOT EB Meets in Italy to Conduct Business

The executive board of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT), which represents occupational therapists in 55 member countries around the globe, met for a week in Verona, Italy, earlier this year to plan for the 13th World Congress of Occupational Therapists, to be held in Stockholm, Sweden, next June. The event will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the world federation. Prior to the congress, the WFOT Council–delegates from the 55 member countries–will meet for a week to conduct business. AOTA Delegate Dr. Terry K. Crowe of the University of New Mexico will represent the United States.

The World Congress occurs every four years, but the council meets every other year; it last met in Sapporo, Japan, in May 2000. In the years that the council does not meet, the executive board comes together to conduct WFOT business. The board includes the president, 1st and 2nd vice presidents, secretary, treasurer and coordinators of WFOT's four major programs: education and research, international cooperation, promotion and development, and standard and quality.

Anne Spencer from the United States, in her final term as 1st vice president, attended the spring meeting, which was hosted by local Italian occupational therapists and set in the beauty of the vineyards surrounding the city. The executive board spent one day in Venice, meeting with Italian government officials and joining OTs there for an evening forum. Business at the WFOT meeting included strategic planning, reviewing the progress of WFOT's new management system, and accepting reports on activity in its five regions and from its four program representatives. Spencer discussed the WFOT Americas newsletter, encouraging articles and news of WFOT member countries there and developing programs in the region. Contact her at if you wish to receive a copy of the Americas newsletter.

WFOT continues to work to increase visibility of occupational therapy worldwide. Countries with well-developed programs provide educational and organizational assistance to new WFOT member countries and to those countries where there are few and isolated occupational therapists. The emphasis is on raising standards, promoting OT throughout the world, increasing individual memberships, creating educational programs, and providing a network of members that will enhance the development of occupational therapy at a global level.

AOTA members can make a significant contribution by becoming individual members when they renew their AOTA memberships. Funding is crucial to meet the aims of WFOT project groups.

• For more information on the 13th World Congress, contact Dr. Crowe at tcrowe@, or log on to the Congress web site,

Euro-Peds Treatment Helps Children Walk

Alec Cunningham, like many other children, has cerebral palsy. The disorder limited his movement so much that the 3-year-old boy was unable to pick up his head. After participating in Euro-Peds therapy, he gained enough strength to sit independently for a few seconds at a time–a remarkable accomplishment.

Based on European techniques and incorporating cutting-edge equipment and processes from around the world, Euro-Peds is changing children's lives. And it's accomplishing all that from a sunny clinic in a small Pontiac, MI, hospital.

In just two years, Euro-Peds has treated 450 children and has become a recognized leader in cerebral palsy treatment around the world. Richard and Izabela Koscielny, physical therapists who came to the United States in 1994 from their native Poland, founded the program at North Oakland Medical Centers in October 1999, in search of better medical care for their daughter, Kaya, who has CP. After seeing remarkable improvements in Kaya after her participation in a Polish cerebral palsy program, the Koscielnys sought to establish a similar clinic in the U.S.

Euro-Peds offers a range of cutting-edge therapies, including a unique therapeutic device known in the cerebral palsy community as a "spacesuit," which is used to help improve posture and encourage independent movement in children who previously were unable to control isolated muscle groups.

OT Wellness Program Launched by NJ-based Housing Provider

New Jersey-based Presbyterian Homes & Services Inc. has named Barbara Gigliello director of a newly-launched occupational therapy program that will benefit residents of its affordable housing communities.

The innovative new program uses traditional occupational therapy in non-traditional ways to maintain a high quality of life for seniors, keeping them independent, healthy, mobile, and self-sufficient. The program throws out the old notion of occupational therapy as a purely rehabilitative program used after an illness or accident.

"This is breaking new ground," said Dr. Gigliello, who comes to PHS with extensive experience and education, including a doctoral degree in education from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and a master's degree in applied psychology from the University of Santa Monica.

"We're moving away from the medical model and using [OT] to promote wholeness, wellness, and a high quality of life."

The program is based currently at the Crossroads at Howell, in Howell, NJ; at Allaire Crossing in Wall, NJ; and at Portland Pointe in Atlantic Highlands, NJ. If successful, PHS expects to ultimately expand the program to all 14 of its affordable housing communities.

• For more information on PHS, visit the PHS web site at www.

Kieserman Offering Free Books on Private Practice

Former therapy private practice consultant Bob Kieserman recently announced the liquidation of his company library and is offering free how-to books to occupational therapists who would like to go out on their own.

Kieserman, whose business started with on-site seminars in the late 1980s and progressed to online consultation several years ago, is now on the faculty at Arcadia University in Pennsylvania. He still has about 400 copies of the three books he wrote, each of which offers a unique perspective on how to survive in private practice.

Out There on Your Own: The Survival Guide for the Subcontracting Therapist takes the reader completely through the process of starting a subcontracting practice. It explains in easy-to-understand terms how the laws of independent contracting work, how to work with agencies, how to get your own contracts, how to negotiate a contract, and how to legally and financially set up your new practice.

Another Tomorrow: A Therapist's Guide to Cash-based Practice explains the entire concept of cash-based practice and provides hundreds of ideas for how your practice can successfully offer services and programs where the patient pays by cash, check or credit card, and insurance is not accepted.

Sunday in Manhattan, Monday in L.A.: The Business of Presenting and Sponsoring Seminars and Workshops is drawn from Kieserman's 15 years as operator of a popular seminar company serving the allied health professions. In this unique book, he explains the entire seminar business, both from the perspective of how to become a speaker hired by established seminar companies and from the perspective of starting a seminar company of your own.

The only cost of these books is $2.50 each for shipping and handling. Requests should be sent to Robert Kieserman, PMB 163, 600 North Kings Highway, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034.

Tile Project Honors Victims of Pentagon, WTC Attacks

On Oct. 1, ADVANCE reported on a special project that LTC. Bobbi Amaker, chief OT at Walter Reed Army Hospital, was doing in her department. OT patients and staff were working on a tile project to be hung on the wall, denoting OT. After the Sept. 11 attack, the group decided to focus the mosaic on patriotism and add a flag to it. They asked for red, white and blue tile donations and particularly needed star tiles for the flag. Above is the entire project in mid-creation. Photo inset shows the OT department staff at Walter Reed. (photos/courtesy Bobbi Amaker)

Motocross Champ Needs Plenty of Support

Motocross World Champion Grant Langston has signed on to promote the DonJoy eXtreme® Brace that he wears as a best-product for athletes who practice physically demanding or high-contact sports such as motocross and skiing. The brace is manufactured by djOrthopedics of Vista, CA. Langston, who wears the brace bi-laterally, will make appearances at several industry trade shows and be featured in company ads. "djOrtho's motto, 'Never stop getting better,' is a philosophy I live by," he says. (photo/courtesy djOrthopedics)


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