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Occupational Therapy Program Student Activities
SUNY Downstate's Occupational Therapy Student Activities club is dedicated to serving the OT student body by running a variety of events throughout the year that are educational, extracurricular, and benefit the community, such as:
Studying and reaching out to the community.
National Backpack Awareness Day - September
Backpack Awareness Day! Pack it Light, Wear it Right!
On Wednesday, September 15, 2010, SUNY Downstate Medical Center's Occupational Therapy Program students, Janice Marie Knight School PS 235, Parkside Preparatory School MS 2 participated in the annual Backpack Awareness Day. Over sixty 1st and 2nd year SUNY Downstate Occupational Therapy students celebrated this day, by volunteering their time to hold a school backpack "weigh-in," encouraging students to practice safe backpack use. OT students visited the classrooms of 5th and 6th graders educating the children about the proper ways to pack and wear their backpacks through fun and interactive trivia games, skits, and fashion shows.
In attendance at Backpack Awareness Day were faculty members Dr. Joyce Sabari and Professor Suzanne White.The event included an assembly in honor and support of Backpack Awareness Day. Michael Harrell, Assistant Vice President for Governmental and Community Affairs of SUNY Downstate Medical Center coordinated the participation of two local governmental officials, Yvonne Graham, Brooklyn Deputy Borough President and Hon. Karim Camara, NYS Assembly Member. These officials were presented with certificates of appreciation by the OT Club. They in turn presented the schools and SUNY Downstate OT Program with a proclamation declaring September 15th as official Backpack Awareness Day in Brooklyn, USA. This local effort is part of National School Backpack Awareness Dayevents sponsored by the American Occupational Therapy Associationand held around the country, to educate children, parents, teachers, and communities about the serious health effects from backpacks that are too heavy or worn improperly.
For more information, vist the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) National School Backpack Awareness Day web site »
National Backpack Awareness Day - September
The National Backpack Awareness Day took place at PS 235 in Brooklyn, New York.
Over 60 students from both the 1st and 2nd year Occupational Therapy (OT) class at SUNY Downstate Medical Center reserved the entire morning to educating and promoting healthy backpack use to 4th and 5th graders.
The event began with a morning ceremony with a warm welcome from the principal of the elementary school, Janice Knight. Michael Harrell, SUNY Downstate's Public Service Coordinator, led the presentation of an official proclamation issued by the President of the Bureau of Brooklyn in honor of PS 235's first Backpack Awareness Day. Faculty members in attendance from the OT department at SUNY Downstate included Dr. Joyce Sabari, Suzanne White, and Richard Sabel. Following the ceremony, groups of 4 to 5 OT students spent time in an assigned classroom. Weigh-ins were done for each child, and various activities including skits, crossword puzzles, and fashion shows were used to teach the children proper ways to pack and wear their backpacks. Backpack Awareness Day stickers and tattoos were given out to the children who were active participators and answered questions correctly, and each child was given a special pencil as a simple reminder to remember who we were and why we were there. In addition, each classroom held a fun raffle drawing for a backpack filled with art supplies. The day ended with a closing ceremony during which the children shared what they learned and the AOTA "Pack It Light, Wear It Right" poster was presented to the school. With a total of twelve 4th and 5th grade classrooms that participated, and an estimated 300 children, this year's event was a huge success.
Although National Backpack Awareness Day is over, extra efforts are still being made to raise awareness. In October, the OT class President, Toni Sheridan, and Vice President, Julie Lee, will be interviewed by Dr. Gerald Deas for Downstate's cable access television program, Healthwatch. A half hour program devoted to backpack awareness will be broadcasted. In addition, a presentation will be made on November 20th during a PTA meeting at PS 235. Parents of the children, not only of the 4th and 5th graders that participated in the event but to all the students at the school, will be educated on what they can do at home to help ease the load of heavy backpacks.
Capitol Hill Day
Second Year OT students participated in this event.
On September 17th, four SUNY Downstate Medical Center Occupational Therapy students attended AOTA Capital Hill Day in Washington D.C. The day is reserved to educate local Representatives about Occupational Therapy and to discuss relative issues of concern for the profession. The day was hosted by AOTA Federal Affairs staff in the Canon House Office Building. A briefing included an overview of the day, how to educate local Representatives about Occupational Therapy and the concerns of the profession. We were given materials detailing these issues to leave behind. Hawaii Senator Daniel Kahikina Akaka then spoke. He expressed his devotion and appreciation for the profession of Occupational Therapy. With representation from over 15 states and 120 participants, AOTA Capital Hill Day 2007 proved to be the largest and most successful yet!
As students, we were exposed to the invaluable work that is being done by AOTA and our state legislative representatives. We accompanied Jeff Tomlinson (Downstate OT Class of '80), NYSOTA Legislative & Government Relations Coordinator, to meet with NY Representatives/or their staff to discuss pertinent issues as the Medicare Part B Outpatient Therapy Caps, Medicaid and Occupational Therapy (ensuring access to OT for Medicaid Beneficiaries), and the "75% Rule Implementation for Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities." We also visited the offices of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Representative Nita M. Lowey, and Representative Edolphus Towns.
Upon our return we presented our experience to our classmates and faculty. We strongly encouraged our classmates to attend to the next AOTA Capital Hill Day, and to become actively part of our professional organization.
NYSOTA Annual Conference : “Give a HAND to OT” (Help and Nurture Development)
November 13th and 14th the Metropolitan District (MNYD) will be hosting the annual NYSOTA Conference at Columbia University Medical Center Health Sciences Campus.
TheNew York State Occupational Therapy Association (NYSOTA) is the only professional organization for Occupational Therapy in New York State working to promote the profession of occupational therapy and represent the occupational therapy practitioners who work and live in New York State.
Visit the NYSOTA Conference 2010 web site for more information.
This year several SUNY Downstate faculty and students are being given the privilege to present posters and presentations at the NYSOTA Conference:
NYSOTA Special Student Section:
At NYSOTA we believe active involvement begins as a student! Did you know, we offer reduced membership rates and incentives with at least 75% enrollment? We, also, have the "Pay It Forward" program where current members sponsor a student membership. This year’s conference will take place at Columbia University and is hosted by the Metropolitan New York District (MNYD). The MNYD region represents the largest concentration of Occupational Therapy programs in the Northeast, which is why we are launching a "Student Track" for the Sunday Conference.
We are pleased to announce the 1st ANNUAL STUDENT MIXER to be held at Saturday night from 8:30-10. Reduced conference rates are available for students with valid ID.
Fees for the conference: