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Therapeutic Recreation News & Articles- 2000
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News Archives

"inTeRlink" is an on-line therapeutic recreation newsletter featuring links to articles on & related to recreation therapy and therapeutic recreation on the Internet. Send news items and links to Charlie Dixon. Date shown on each article reflect the date link/item was added to this page and not necessary the date the article was written. It is quite possible that linked articles are no longer available.


(12-14-00) CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University researchers are seeking volunteers for a new nationwide study on physical activity and access to fitness programs for persons with disabilities.

This study is part of a national project called the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Health and Wellness for Individuals with Long-term Disabilities. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Education's National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitative Research.

In the study, OSU researchers will survey adults with disabilities from around the country to find out how active they are physically, if there are physical, psychological or socio-economic factors preventing them from seeking physical activity, and what their feelings are about fitness and related activities. "One of the goals is to see what factors may influence behavioral change to help persons with disabilities become more active and, ultimately, enjoy a higher degree of health and wellness," said Jeff McCubbin, a professor of exercise and sport science at OSU and a nationally recognized expert in movement studies in disability.

Study volunteers will be asked to complete a survey, by mail or on the Web, that will address a number of fitness-related issues. Volunteers should be adults of all fitness levels - including inactive - with a disability that limits mobility. Those disabilities may include multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, amputation, cerebral palsy, post-polio syndrome and others.

Brad Cardinal, an assistant professor of exercise and sport science at OSU, has studied the "roller coaster" effect of individuals beginning workout regimens and said the principals may apply to persons with disabilities. "There are some key steps in changing behavior that begin with thinking about the process, followed by preparation, commitment and action," Cardinal said. "Recognizing the stages of behavioral change is important to the long-term success of activity so that first effort is not an all-or-nothing thing." Data from the study will be used to develop an education and activity model for promoting fitness in persons with disabilities.

To participate in the study or to receive more information, contact Brad Cardinal by telephone (541-737-2506), e-mail ( or mail (Department of Exercise and Sport Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331).



On 11/3/2000, the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) published proposed regulations for inpatient rehabilitation facilities. The NCTRC Board is very concerned that the proposed regulations do not acknowledge the abilities of a CTRS to provide assessment and documentation services. The proposed regulations can be found at
<> (See Section C "III The Minimum Data Set for Post Acute Care Patient MDS PAC Assessment Instrument. Then "click" on 1069pc.pdf). These regulations govern who may complete and sign the proposed MDS-PAC Assessment. Of particular concern are the distinctions of professions identified on pages 106-109. Although CTRSs may be permitted to complete some portions of the MDS-PAC Assessment, under the
proposed regulations, only physicians, RNs, PTs, and OTs will be allowed to complete and sign a significant portion of the MDS-PAC Assessment, particularly Item AB1a of the MDS-PAC Assessment.

To address these concerns and help ensure recognition of the NCTRC CTRS credential, NCTRC is taking the following actions:

1. Sending official comments regarding our concerns with the proposed regulations to HCFA. NCTRC's comments specifically address concerns raised by some CTRSs and some employers. NCTRC's comments highlight the qualifications of CTRSs to conduct assessments and how doing so has traditionally been a part of the job description for many CTRSs. Our
comments also briefly discuss the fact that some rehabilitation facilities consider assessment duties (similar to completion of the MDS-PAC) to be among the job functions best performed by CTRSs. NCTRC's comments are, however, appropriately limited to notifying HCFA of the unique qualifications of CTRSs to perform assessments. NCTRC's comments primarily
discuss the CTRS job analysis categories relating to assessment duties. NCTRC also identifies the qualifications of CTRSs, including the educational, experiential, examination, continuing education and disciplinary standards that must be met by CTRSs.

2. Educating CTRSs through a broadcast email to over 7,000 CTRSs so that they and/or their employers comment, should they wish to do so, on how these regulations will impact on their individual CTRS job functions and agency practices. Please note: the deadline for providing feedback to HCFA is January 3, 2001. NCTRC is very sensitive to the fact that implementation
of the proposed regulations, without revision, could substantially limit the reimbursable services provided by CTRSs in inpatient rehabilitation facilities. In some cases, the reduction of duties of the CTRS (through elimination of reimbursable assessment duties) could result in job shifting or elimination of CTRS reimbursable services. NCTRC is also sensitive to
concerns of some employers that they be allowed to select their staff members who are best qualified to complete and sign documentation of the type included in the MDS-PAC Assessment. As you know, unlike other health care professions that may be limited in the physical or mental assessments conducted, CTRSs are trained and tested on their ability to comprehensively conduct and document assessments.

3. Communicating with ATRA and NTRS to ensure a comprehensive effort in responding to these proposed regulations on behalf of CTRS professionals. You may soon find more information on this issue at the ATRA web site ( and at the NTRS web site ( Both ATRA and NTRS are working on
this important matter for the profession.

As always, NCTRC is very interested in sharing your comments and concerns about recognition of the CTRS credential. Please do not hesitate to contact NCTRC if you have any questions about NCTRC's comments to the HCFA proposed regulations.

If you would like to comment to HCFA, please review the proposed regulations at <> your comments must be sent in writing to HCFA. To find out how to send your comments see Section A "I Background. Then "click" on 1069pa.pdf and look at pages 1 to 3.

NOTICE: HCFA has moved its web site to


ATRA Award Winners for 2000

(September 14, 2000) The ATRA Distinguished Fellow Award for 2000 was presented to Ann James, a founding member of ATRA who currently serves the role of ATRA Historian. Excellence in Education was awarded to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Scholarly Achievement Award was presented to Dr. Leandra Bedini for her tremendous work in the area of research in TR. ATRA Member of the Year for 2000 was presented to Joanne Finnegan for her outstanding leadership representing ATRA at CARF. An Individual Citation was awarded to Debbie Drayton of Wake-Forest Baptist University Medical Center for her continued support and assistance to the association. The Chapter Affiliate of the Year was presented to RTI (Recreation Therapists of Indiana). The Outstanding Professional of the Year award was presented to Nancy McFarlane for her outstanding leadership of the Ethics Team and most recently leading the Student Development Team for ATRA. The Frank M Brasile Clinician Of the Year Award was given to Rebecca Stackhouse for excellence in clinical practice. The Organization/Institution Citation was awarded to New Hampshire Hospital for their support of their recreation therapy service. A Special Recognition was presented to Mike Hasl for his dedicated service to ATRA as the Exhibitor Specialist. Certificates of Recognition were given to Deborah Getz for her leadership of the ATRA Diversity Team, Cathi McMahan and Becki Chilcote-McGrath for their work on the Public Relations team, and Jonathan Crew for his effort and leadership in working to establish a new chapter affiliate in his home state. Presidential Awards for this year were given to:Karen Wensel and Sharon Nichols for their work in laying the foundation for the Alliance in Therapeutic Recreation. Nancy Beckley for her years of service and devotion to ATRA and the profession, Janet Turner for her leadership with the LTC Think Tank, and Pam Wilson for her efforts this year in ATRA.


Educational Group Participant Drowns on Upper Delaware River During Outdoor Adventure Outing
from the Outdoor Network

(July 11, 2000) A 14-year-old boy, who was part a New York educational foundation's outdoor adventure outing, drowned while swimming in the Delaware River near the town of Hancock, DE, on June 30th. According to the National Park Service, a group of eight (8) students and seven (7) counselors from the South Bronx Educational Foundation (SBEF) of New Rochelle, NY, were on a canoe trip when they banked their canoes south of Hancock in order to go swimming. The victim, who was not wearing a personal flotation device (pfd) while swimming, was observed going underwater and was brought to shore almost immediately by a counselor where CPR was administered by SBEF's director. Local fire and EMS units responded to the scene and transported the boy to a hospital in Walton, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

The South Bronx Educational Foundation had frequently visited the Delaware River over the years, according to the NPS. The students, all of whom were enrolled in SBEF's Crotona Leadership and Culture Club, were participants in the outing as a result of their good behavior and progress in meeting the Club's stated goals and objectives. According to an SBEF spokesperson, less than 2% of the Foundation and Club's programming is outdoor- or adventure –related.

The non-commercially guided canoes used by the group were rented from the Wild Rainbow Lodge, an NPs Incidental Business Permit holder located in Deposit, NY. Representative of the Wild Rainbow Lodge were not available for comment.

As a result of these types of incidents, the NPs is reemphasizing and refocusing on the dangers associated with swimming in rivers. "In this case, the victim had a pfd on while boating, but removed it before swimming," said NPs spokesperson Alan Henry. "The NPs urges all river users to use personal flotation devices at all times while on rivers, both in vessels and while swimming."

The drowning is the first on the Upper Delaware in four years, and the first ever in connection with the Foundation's outdoor and adventure programming component.

According to an SBEF spokesperson, the cause of death was determined to be hemorrhaging of the lungs.


Linda Buettner wins Zenith Award for Cutting Edge Research

(8-11-00) Congratulations to Dr. Linda Buettner. The National Alzheimer's Association is going to fund recreation therapy research proposed by Dr. Buettner using biofeedback to measure outcomes in people with advanced stage dementia, "Therapeutic recreation interventions for need-driven dementia-compromised behaviors in persons with dementia". The Zenith Awards are reserved for "cutting edge science that is likely to make a substantial contribution to Alzheimer's research".

Only 31 scientists have received this fellowship since it started in 1991. According to the National Alzheimer's Association, "The Zenith Awards, the Association’s largest and most prestigious research grants, are given to researchers with proven track records in Alzheimer research to enable them to pioneer new territory. Zenith Award recipients are some of the brightest minds in science tackling questions central to Alzheimer’s disease, The answers they discover may lead to the development of methods to treat, and possibly prevent, this terrible disease.”

The full information about the Zenith Award is on their web page under research at Linda Buettner is currently the Chair for ATRA's Treatment Networks and has served in the past as the Coordinator for the Gerontology Treatment Network.

ATRA is extremely proud to have Dr. Buettner as an active member of the leadership team.



New TR and Technology Web Site
Tom Gushiken

(6-22-00) Dear Colleagues:

Some of you are aware that I have been working on a web site dedicated to technology and therapeutic recreation. The first phase of this web site is now complete in that I have presented the concept at a couple of conferences and have gotten feedback from practitioners out in the field. The initial draft has been up during my presentations so I could get feedback from those who attended my presentations.

I now have the page up for public viewing and I want you to be the first to visit this site. During my presentations, I kept hearing from practitioners that they want to have access to practitoners and educators who can assist them in learning technology and just answering questions. This is why we need you input and assistance.

Please visit TREAT (Therapeutic Recreation Educational Access to Technology) at the following URL:

I invite you to be a participant on this webpage. If you would like to be listed as having expertise in a specific area of technology, please provide me with the following:

Your name:
Your title and agency affiliation:
e-mail address:
your area of expertise in technology:

I will then be glad to post the information at this web site. In addition, if you have other information that can be shared, please let me know.

Thomas T. Gushiken, Ph.D., C.T.R.S., Professor
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse


Funderburk to be Visiting Lecturer at I.U.
submitted by David Austin 

(5-3-00) Indiana University has announced that Janet Funderburk, CTRS, will join the faculty as a Visiting Lecturer in Therapeutic Recreation. The appointment will be begin in the fall of 2000. Visiting Lecturers hold three-year appointments faculty appointments while working on their Ph.D. degrees. Ms. Funderburk holds degrees from East Carolina University where she is currently serving as a Graduate Assistant. Funderbuck will replace Ramon Zabriskie, CTRS, who has accepted a faculty position at Brigham Young University.



(4-10-00) ATRA wants to congratulate Joanne Finnegan MSA, CTRS who was recently appointed as the Chair of the Medical Rehabilitation Subcommittee of the Standards committee for C.A.R.F. Joanne is currently the Team leader for ATRA's CARF team, representing ATRA and it's members to the CARF Board. ATRA is a member of the CARF Board of Trustees. This is great news for ATRA members, and all recreational therapists, because Joanne will now have even more opportunity to include recreational therapy in discussions of standards for Rehabilitation facilities.


Need those last few CEU's to Re-certify?

(4-10-00) For those of you who have procrastinated or miscounted somewhere along the way and you are just a few CEP's short of your 50 contact hours, there is an answer. The ATRA Annual offers a unique way to stay current in research and practice issues in the TR field while providing an opportunity to earn some valuable continuing education points needed for re- certification. The ATRA Annuals that offer this special feature are Volume VI, Volume VII, and Volume VIII. The CEU's will cost $10 per article, plus a $10 transcript fee. There is an average of 6-7 articles per issue, so you can increase your contact hours quickly. Limited copies of past ATRA's Annuals are available for sale through the ATRA office. Contact the ATRA office @ (703) 683-9420, or for more information.



(3-24-00) Since you first took the CTRS exam, have you wondered how the exam was developed? Wonder no more; items are developed by CTRSs across the country in conjunction with NCTRC and The Chauncey Group International, a subsidiary of the Educational Testing Services. With the movement to computer based testing in November 2001, NCTRC needs to generate new items each year to keep the exam up-to-date.

If you are actively certified as a CTRS, have been practicing therapeutic recreation for at least 5 years and have email, consider joining the Item Writing Workshop to be held immediately prior to the start of the MidEastern Symposium on Therapeutic Recreation at the Adams Mark Hotel in Philadelphia on May 7, 2000. The workshop is 3.5 hours in length and provides you with a training session on how to write standardized exam questions. Participants will then have the opportunity to practice writing a few exam questions for the NCTRC National Certification Exam. At the conclusion of the workshop, you will be given an item writing assignment to complete at home on your own with email support from NCTRC.

CTRSs who participate in the workshop and complete their homework assignment will be awarded four continuing education points by The Chauncey Group International. There is no charge to attend this workshop. To participate, however, you must complete an application. Each workshop is limited to 20 participants. Participants who meet the requirements for the workshop will be selected on a first come basis. No one who has been involved with item writing since 1997 is eligible to participate. This is an excellent continuing education opportunity for you as well as a way for you to contribute to the profession. To receive an application and/or further discuss this opportunity, email Jo-Ellen Ross, PhD, CTRS at

Please note, if you are unable to attend this workshop and are interested in participating in an item writing workshop, the next one will be held in conjunction with the NRPA Congress in Phoenix in October 2000. Email now for an application for that workshop also.

Jo-Ellen Ross, Ph.D., CTRS, Credentialing Specialist
NCTRC (National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification)
7 Elmwood Drive
New City, NY 10956
Phone (914) 639-1439
Fax (914) 639-1471


Call for Presentations: ATRA International Institute on Therapeutic Recreation

(1-8-00) Call for presentations for the the Annual Conference of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association, Omi Netherland Plaza Hotel, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA September 8 - 12, 2000.

Proposing a Presentation:

Presentations will be 30 or 60 minutes in length. Proposals should

1. An overview of your proposal to include:
a. The title of your presentation
b. The length of your presentation (i.e., 30 or 60 min.)
c. A 250 word overview of your proposed presentation (one-page double
spaced) that presents the content area you wish to address and its
relevance to the International Institute (e.g., programs or interventions
conducted outside the US; TR professional preparation programs outside the
US; international training opportunities for professionals).
d. Mailing address, phone, fax, and/or e-mail address.

2. A bibgraphical description for you that includes previous experiences
in making conference presentations (maximum of 2 pages; short CV will do).

3. Anticipated audio-visual equipment.

Deadline: April 15, 2000

Send to:
Dr. David Austin
ATRA International Institute
133 HPER
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN 47407
fax (812) 855-3998




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