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Therapeutic Recreation News & Articles- 2006
Click here for articles

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 at charlie * (change * to @ before emailing).

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.


(12-7-06) Activity Professional Week, we are having a contest for the best original tribute to Activity Professionals. Must be a minimum of 12 lines but no longer than 8 1/2 by 11. Contest deadline is January 2nd 2007. Winner will receive 100.00 for party supplies. Must include name, email address, name of facility and phone number. The tributes will all be posted on our web site at Submissions need to be emailed by January 2nd to Residents are welcome to also write one as well and will be judged with the rest of the submissions.

October 16, 2006 

Contact: Ann D Huston, ATRA Executive Director
Phone: (703) 683-9420


(ALEXANDRIA, VA) The American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) officially welcomed Sandra Negley MTRS, CTRS of Salt Lake City as the new President of the 2006-2007 ATRA Board of Directors. Negley was inducted on September 16, 2006, during the annual membership meeting at the Annual ATRA conference in Orlando, FL

Negley, who is Clinical Instructor and Manger of Expressive Therapies with University of Utah Parks, Recreation and Tourism and Universities Neuropsychiatric Institute, is a long time member of ATRA and has served previously on the Board of Directors. A graduate of the University of Utah, Negley has been working in the recreational therapy field for over 28 years.

Negley identified three key presidential initiatives for this upcoming year; continuing to work on the RT Medicare Project, focusing on professionalism and what that means for recreational therapists, and increasing member awareness of ATRA and its valuable professional services.

Also inducted were Marcia Smith MA, CTRS, H/FI as President Elect; Missy Armstrong, MS, CTRS of Seattle, WA as Secretary; Mary Ann Aquatro of Murfreesboro, TN; Judith Voelkl, Ph.D., CTRS of Clemson, SC; and Charles W. Bond, MS, CTRS of Washington, DC as members at large. They will be joining Kelly Parker, CTRS of Mena, AR currently serving as Treasurer and Carla Carmichael, CTRS of Baltimore, MD and Vicki Scott, MS, CTRS of Indianapolis, IN currently serving as members at large. As the new Chair of ATRA’s Chapter Affiliate Council, Karla Belzer of Rock Falls, Illinois will be serving as an ad hoc member of the Board representing the chapter affiliates.


October 7, 2006

Contact: Laurie Jake, ATRA Communications Coordinator
Phone (480) 460-1525 or
Ann D Huston MPA, CTRS
Phone: (703) 683-9420

ATRA Participates in Health Professions Network Fall Meeting

(Alexandria, VA) ATRA was once again represented to the Healthcare community, as member Laurie Jake brought the concerns of recreational therapists to key stakeholders attending the fall meeting of the Health Professions Network (HPN). The Health Professions Network (HPN), representing nearly 200 health care professional organizations, educators, regulators, and government agencies interested in advancing allied health, held its fall 2006 meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, September 28-30. Patient safety was a key focus of the meeting, with speakers representing the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, National Patient Safety Foundation, and the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association's Safe and Sound initiative. In addition to presentations, attendees focused on the work of HPN including plans for advocacy and marketing efforts for Allied health professionals. At this meeting the HPN passed bylaws and became formally incorporated, which will help it obtain grant funding for promoting allied health careers. The HPN will hold its spring meeting on April 26-29, 2007 in Minneapolis, MN.

The Health Professions Network (HPN) was established as an interactive, cooperative group where the needs of allied health in general are put before the needs of any individual organization. HPN convenes twice annually to discuss issues essential to the allied health community, which represents over 60 percent of the entire U.S. health care workforce that deliver health care in the country. Jake summed up the importance of the meeting stating, “This was a tremendous opportunity for ATRA to ensure that recreational therapists are included in the important discussions affecting Allied Health. I was extremely proud to represent ATRA and offer our input into the many discussions held during the meeting.”



(8-21-06) The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the availability of $218 million for up to 10 state Medicaid programs to provide community-based alternatives to Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities (PRFT) for children. This funding opportunity is an integral piece of the President’s New Freedom Initiative and will allow young people who need psychiatric care to live at home while receiving that care.

To view the entire press release, please click here:

CTRSs Threatened in Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has given local authority to their contractors (also known as Fiscal Intermediaries) to make local coverage decisions.

Current Issue
The Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company, Part A Fiscal Intermediary has issued a draft Local Coverage Determination (LCD) that could be detrimental to the coverage of recreational therapy and/or any other services not provided by licensed therapists.

ATRA Action
ATRA issues this call to action for all Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists (CTRSs), other health care providers that support recreational therapy and the general public to object to this requirement in the draft LCD.

To review the specific LCD, go to:

Mutual of Omaha, as a Part A Fiscal Intermediary covers a broad range of states including

California - Entire State
Missouri - Entire State
North Carolina
North Dakota
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia

ATRA has prepared a draft response and encourage all interested individuals to mail a hard copy to the Medical Director of Mutual of Omaha NO LATER THAN AUGUST 11, 2006. (see attached draft letter). Please do not email your letter as they will not be read or impact our response.

ATRA Talking Points:

  • Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) requires a stringent credentialing process that includes rigorous demonstration of competency as well as qualifications of health care providers.
  • JCAHO Definitions (January 2006)

    competence or competency - A determination of an individual's skills, knowledge, and capability to meet defined expectations. (CAMH, January 2006, p. GL-4).

    qualified individual - An individual or staff member who is qualified to provide care, treatment, and services by virtue of the following: education, training, experience, competence, registration, certification, or applicable licensure law or regulation. Examples of qualified individuals can include the following: activities coordinator, administrator, audiologist, child psychiatrist, creative arts therapist, dietetic services supervisor, dietitian, registered dietitian, health information administrator, health information technician, licensed practical nurse (LPN), medical radiation physician, medical technologist, music therapist, occupational therapist, occupational therapy assistant, physiatrist, physical therapist assistant, physical therapist, psychiatric nurse, psychologist, radiological technologist, recreational therapist, recreational therapist assistant or technician, respiratory care technician, respiratory therapist, respiratory therapy technician, social work assistant, social worker, and speech-language pathologist. (CAMH, January 2006, p. GL-18 and 19)

  • It is ATRA’s position that CMS and specifically the Mutual of Omaha adopt the JCAHO definitions of qualified individual to reflect current state of the art in credentialing practices. Without this language, access to important rehabilitation services will be denied without benefit of medical necessity review and medical determination.

Please email a copy of your letter to ATRA so we may follow up with the Mutual of Omaha. Please send your letter via attachment to

The deadline to this response is August 11, 2006 (postmarked no later than August 11, 2006).

Use your personal stationary for your personal response. Please ask your administrators to submit a letter on our behalf using facility letterhead.


Manuel Pubillones, M.D.
Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company
P.O. Box 1602
Omaha, NE 68101

Subject: LCD for Inpatient Rehabilitation (DL19890)

Dear Dr. Pubillones,

(please feel free to modify this paragraph)
I am a qualified recreational therapist practicing in XX city and XX state. My work as a recreational therapist has proven to be an effective skilled rehabilitation modality when supervised by a physician; has a reasonable expectation to improve the patient’s function; and the recreational therapy interventions are designed through frequency, scope and duration.

I am concerned with the Mutual of Omaha’s LCD for Inpatient Rehabilitation (DL19890) that requires state licensure for the provision of therapy services. This change conflicts with previous active policies, CMS Medicare Benefit Policies and current practices in inpatient rehabilitation. I am writing to support the positions and requests made by the American Therapeutic Recreation Association in their letter to you dated August 1, 2006.

Elimination of recreational therapy as a potential therapeutic intervention in inpatient rehabilitation is not reflective of current practices in inpatient rehabilitation and not consistent with CMS policy on medical necessity and judgment based on the physician.

Please consider my comments to include recreational therapy as a skilled modality in the proposed LCD for Inpatient Rehabilitation. It is an issue of access for patients to the most appropriate rehabilitation service based on prescription and supervision of the physician.

Please contact me directly if I can be of further assistance.


Your name
Mailing Address
City, State, Zip
Telephone number

A focus on abilities, not disabilities

Richard Kenney
Special for The Arizona Republic
Apr. 21, 2006 12:00 AM

Kelly Ramella helps people focus on their abilities, not their disabilities.

When they enroll in her Foundations of Therapeutic Recreation course at Arizona State University in Tempe, they quickly learn her message.

"Unfortunately, we live in a society where it's harder to see the strengths of a person with a disability because we're so stuck on the disability we can see," Ramella said. "So I teach the students to focus on ability, not disability."

To illustrate the concept, the two-year ASU lecturer likes to show her class the film Murder Ball, a movie about rugby-playing individuals who are quadriplegic. The students cannot fathom how anyone can play rugby with limitations in four limbs.

"They just don't get it," she said. "But after they watch the film they agree anything is possible."




Janet Pomeroy Proclaimed "A Foremost World Leader of Community Play and Recreation for People with Disabilities of the 20th Century and A Model for the 21st Century,"
by Disability International Foundation at the " Celebration of the Life of Janet Pomeroy, 1912-2005,"
Friday, January 20, 2006 at 1:00pm, Janet Pomeroy Center, 207 Skyline Drive, San Francisco, CA

LONGVIEW, WA -- Mrs. Janet Pomeroy, 1912-2005, Founding Director of The Janet Pomeroy Center has been "Proclaimed A Foremost World Leader of Community Play and Recreation for People with Disabilities of The 20th Century and A Model for The 21st Century" by Disability International Foundation (DIF), according to DIF President Mrs. Grace Demmery Reynolds, Longview, Washington.

Mrs. Pomeroy, who died November 26, 2005, is being honored for her advocacy and contributions to play and recreation for people with disabilities. She started in 1952 with six children with Cerebral Palsy and two volunteers. Fifty years later, in 2002, the Janet Pomeroy Center served 2,000 participants with 75 types of disabilities, ages five to seniors. The Center employed 200 professionally skilled personnel, providing 20 distinct program areas, serving 40,000 meals a year, employing 45 drivers of 48 vans serving participants needing travel service to and from the Center, and recruited 400 volunteers who contributed 20,000 hours of service. The Center operated a $7,000,000 annual budget.
DIF President Mrs. Reynolds said that Mr. Michael S. Watters, Board Member of Special Recreations for disABLED International (SRDI) and President, Play, Recreation and Leisure Management of West Linn, OR, will present the Proclamation and an article, "In Praise of Janet Pomeroy..." on behalf of Disability International Foundation at the "Celebration of the Life of Janet Pomeroy," Jan. 20, 2006, Friday at 1:00 pm, Janet Pomeroy Center, 207 Skyline Blvd., San Francisco, CA 94132.

Disability International Foundation expertise includes: aquatics, fitness, faith based programming, recreation, and youth service. Mrs. Reynolds is a Board Member of SRDI and Chair, SRDI International Committee on Aquatics and Recreation (SRDI-DICAR).

Mr. Watters, a former Program Director of The Janet Pomeroy Center, is an SRDI Board Member, and Chair, SRDI "International Play, Recreation, and Leisure Management Committee," (SRDI-IPRLMC).
The article, "In Praise of Janet Pomeroy...." was written by Professor Emeritus John Arthur Nesbitt, University of Iowa; DIF Board Member; and, President/CEO, Special Recreation for disABLED International (SRDI).

NOTE: "The Janet Pomeroy Memorial Fund" has been established to support the ongoing program; donations may be made payable to the Janet Pomeroy Center designating the Janet Pomeroy Memorial Fund.
NOTE: Messages to the "Janet Pomeroy Celebration" should be sent to Center Executive Director Mr. Henry Woo.

See "Proclamation" below, by Disability International Foundation.
See Article below, "In Praise of Janet Pomeroy ...," by Professor Nesbitt.

Contacts for Information:
* The Janet Pomeroy Center, San Francisco, CA (formerly "RCH, Inc., Recreation Center for the Handicapped")
* Disability International Foundation, Longview, WA
* Play, Recreator, and Leisure Management, West Linn, OR
* Special Recreating for disABLED International, Iowa City, IA

* The Janet Pomeroy Center
(formerly, RCH, Inc., Recreation Center for the Handicapped, San Francisco)
Mr. Henry Woo, Executive Director,
Ms. Cindy Blackstone, Director of Recreation Services,
Ms. Ola Kupka, Celebration Coordinator,
207 Skyline Blvd., San Francisco, CA 94132
Telephone: (415) 665-4100 Fax: (415) 665-7543
NOTE: "The Janet Pomeroy Memorial Fund has been established to support the ongoing program; donations may be made payable to the Janet Pomeroy Center designating the Janet Pomeroy Memorial Fund.
NOTE: Messages to the "Janet Pomeroy Celebration" should be sent to The Janet Pomeroy Center Executive Director, Mr. Henry Woo.

* Disability International Foundation (DIF)
Mrs. Grace Demmery Reynolds, President
also, SRDI Board Member and Chair, SRDI "Disability International Committee on Aquatics and Recreation," SRDI-ICAR)
" Taking the 'dis' Out of Disability"
4007 Rosewood, Longview, WA 98632
CONTACT: E-mail: Fax 360/577-1114 Email: <> Site: 75 articles, 300 pp.

* Play, Recreation, and Leisure Management (PRLM)
(Mr. Michael S. Watters, MTRS, ACC, MS, PRLM President and
SRDI Board Member and Chair, SRDI "International PRLM Committee," SRDI-IPRLMC)
1447 Holly St., West Linn, OR 97068
Office: 503 557 7529 Fax: 503 557 9328 Cell: 503 891 4665 75 articles, 300pp. Email: <>

* Special Recreation for disABLED International (SRDI)
(Professor John A. Nesbitt, Ed.D., CTRS, SRDI President/CEO)
" Play and Recreation for ALL disABLED Globally"
701 Oaknoll Drive, Iowa City, IA 52246-5168 USA
Telephone 319/466-3192 ------------------- Receptionist 319/351-1720
Email <> ----- Fax--319/351-6772 ATT NESBITT
* WEB: Global Vision of Rehabilitation and Recreation for People with Disabilities, Email: <> Site: 75 articles, 300 pp.
* WEBSITE: ERIC: Special Recreation for disABLED. , search using
keywords, "Nesbitt, John A." for 22 documents, 2,892 pp.
* WEBSITE: American Stop Fireworks Victimization and Ban Common Fireworks Campaign.

Disability International Foundation
Mrs. Grace Demmery Reynolds, President
4007 Rosewood, Longview, WA 98632
CONTACT: E-mail: Fax 360/577-1114
" Taking the 'dis' Out of Disability"

PROCLAMATION: Janet Pomeroy Is Proclaimed
A Foremost World Leader of Community Play and Recreation for
People with Disability of The 20th Century
and A Model for the 21st Century, Disability International Foundation.

Whereas Mrs. Janet Pomeroy has achieved global recognition for the establishment in 1952 and the development and continuing operation of the The Janet Pomeroy Center of San Francisco, California, USA; and,

Whereas Janet Pomeroy has performed with dedication and excellence as:
* Academic/lecturer at the university level,
* Activity, recreation, and program developer for adaptation and modification of 40 recreation pursuits including:
aquatics, arts and crafts, camping and outdoor recreation, cultural recreation, dance, drama, entertainment, games, hobbies, leisure recreation, mental and literary recreation, music, nature recreation, play, social recreation, special events recreation, sports and athletics, tourism, and voluntary service,
* Administrator of a multi-million dollar organization,
* Adviser in international technical assistance,
* Advocate, lecturer, and spokesperson from local to international levels for people with disabilities with educational, governmental and non-governmental, foundation, health and medical, private and public, professional play and recreation, rehabilitation amd treatment, and voluntary organizations,
* Author of influential professional articles, papers, and a professional university textbook,
* Barriers removal innovator: physical, sensory, social, and transportation,
* Curriculum designer in the pre-service and in-service training for professional personnel,
* Face to face leader with participants: one on one, small group, and large group,
* Facilities development manager for aquatics center/therapeutic pool, (day) care, classrooms, garden, gymnasium, recreation center, and respite quarters,
* Fund raiser for the center: administration, equipment/materials, facilities, food, ongoing program, personnel, and vehicles,
* Host to observers at the Center from throughout the United States and 50 foreign nations,
* Master of interpersonal relations working with Board Members and committees, staff and volunteers, parents and participants, drivers, foundations, officials of private and public organizations, and volunteers,
* Mentor and inspiration to hundreds of personnel entering the field who have gone on to leadership roles and functions,
* Publisher of activity and program guides, conference reports, curricula, manuals, professional papers, and web site, and
* Researcher, applied and basic: recreation activities, administration, evaluation, leadership, program, and supervision; and

Whereas Janet Pomeroy has achieved a unparalleled level of creation, demonstration, discovery, invention, and innovation in community play and recreation for people with disabilities as demonstrated of the operation of The Janet Pomeroy Center,

Therefore It Is Proclaimed That Janet Pomeroy Is
A Foremost World Leader of
Community Play and Recreation for People with Disabilities of the
20th Century and A Model for the 21st Century
By the Disability International Foundation, Board of Directors:
Robert Arnsdorf, MD; Mr. Robert Chace, C.P.A.; Mr. David Collins, M.A.;
Mrs. Mary Essert, B.A., ATRIC; Mr. Daryl Jenkins, M.A.; Professor Jane Katz, Ed.D.;
Mrs. Caroline Feasey Kirlpatrick, B.A.; Professor John Arthur Nesbitt, Ed.D.;
Mr. Ron Ivanick, F.C., Mrs. Grace Demmery Reynolds, DIF President;
Professor Julian Stein, Ed.D.; and Mrs. Faye Dulcy Weinstein, MMSC-PT.

" In Praise of Janet Pomeroy, 1912-2005;
Founder and Director of the World's Foremost Recreation Center for People with Disabilities:
The Janet Pomeroy Center, San Francisco, USA."
by Professor Emeritus John Arthur Nesbitt, Ed.D., University of Iowa and
President/CEO, Special Recreation for disABLED International, Inc.

I. Denial of Play and Recreation Opportunity
The Societal Problem. Throughout the history of the "Organized American Play and Recreation Movement," starting in the early 1900s, there have been negative societal values and attitudes that have caused major barriers to play and recreation participation for people with disabilities. Some of the public at large and some medical, educational, health, social, and others specialties serving people with disabilities have been limited by:
* Indifference. Indifference to the denial and failure to provide play and recreation to people with disabilities, which impacts all people with disability whether disabled by birth, by illness, by accident, or by age;
* Uninformed. Uninformed of the necessity of play and recreation for growth, development, health, and social well being and as the necessity of play and recreation in treatment and rehabilitation of all people with disabilities if they are to achieve happiness, health, and rehabilitation;
* Ill-informed on Rights. Unawareness of or disinterested in the rights of people with disabilities to play and recreation (forty pursuits), at par with the non-disabled, especially in the USA where there is massive play and recreation consumption in the general population and which embraces the principle that people "are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness ...," Declaration of Independence, 1776; and,
* Bias. Bias against providing funds, personnel, equipment, facilities, supplies, programs, and services for play and recreation for people with disabilities possibly because funds for play and recreation are considered frivolous, or not deserved by disabled, or not appropriate for disabled, or not having sufficient advocacy, or not having political clout, or not yielding education, fitness, health, treatment and rehabilitation, and social participation. Bias may be caused by the guilt, revulsion, or shame that some people "feel" when they first come in contact with people with disabilities.
Challenges. These "limitations" result in many people with disabilities being hidden away at home, or being hidden away in institutions since childhood and youth, or being warehoused in institutions and residencies, or being relegated to convalescent care without play and recreation. These "limitations" were only a few of the barriers, and challenges, and problems that Janet Pomeroy confronted in her over fifty years of championing the cause of play and recreation for people with disabilities.
For many people with disabilities their educational, vocational, and social lives may be limited. But, they are not limited in play and recreation potential, achievement, and fulfillment. All people with disabilities have the right and should have the opportunity for play and recreation to be a lifelong source of the highest possible level of happiness and satisfaction. Because a person does not achieve high level goals and experiences in educational, vocational, or social activities does not mean that the person can not archive the highest possible levels of satisfaction in play and recreation.
"Did a lot." Many people witnessed the "limitations" cited above and responded by thinking, "So what!" -- and doing little or nothing. Janet Pomeroy saw these limitations and responded by thinking, "Why not play and recreation for people with disabilities" -- and she did a lot!

II. Janet Pomeroy: The Beginning
Janet Pomeroy was born Esther Janet Akers in Charlotte, Texas, one of ten children. At five years of age Janet sensed a calling to serve people. That sense of calling became, ultimately, a calling to serve people with disability through play and recreation.

In her late teens Janet contracted polio and spent a year in bed, convalescing. Consequently, Janet had a stiffened arm throughout her life. She married the late Morris Pomeroy.

In San Francisco, Janet volunteered to work with children who were disabled. As she learned about people with disabilities, Janet was appalled that they were denied participation in play and recreation by commercial, community, cultural, public and private hospitals, institutions, public parks and recreation, playgrounds and school playgrounds, recreation centers, and religious organizations.

From the youngest to the oldest, people with disabilities were put out of sight, out of mind, and out of the play and recreation life of their communities. Janet determined to provide play and recreation to, for, and with people with disabilities.

1952. On November 18, 1952, Janet "first turned the key to a space" in San Francisco's Freishhacker Pool. Janet started the service that would become known globally as the "The Janet Pomeroy Center." She started with six teenagers disabled by Cerebral Palsy, two volunteers, and a coat closet of games, supplies, and toys.
In her book, Recreation for the Physically Handicapped Janet Pomeroy cites the goals of recreation as "personal fulfillment, democratic human relations, leisure skills and interests, health and fitness, creative expression, and aesthetic appreciation."

The Person. Understanding Janet Pomeroy -- the person -- starts with an understanding that she was a woman of profound faith. The deeds that she performed were demonstration of her faith. Beyond her faith, Janet had an extraordinary ability to dream dreams that became real life visions of the possible. Joined together, Janet's faith and Janet's dreams and vision produced Janet's commitment and dedication to the cause of play and recreation to an extant that made her a foremost leader of play and recreation for people with disabilities of the 20th Century in the United States and the World.

" ... but she did." Janet was a master "leader" with participants in play and recreation. Janet's first effort would have collapsed within weeks if she:
* Had not inspired her participants to attempt play and recreation, but Janet did;
* Had not taught play and recreation skills, but Janet did;
* Had not adapted or modified play and recreation pursuits to make them feasible, but Janet did;
* Had not provided encouragement and praise, but Janet did;
* Had not sent participants off glowing with the joy of the play and recreation, but Janet did; and,
* Had not motivated her participants to want to return to again and again and again, millions of participants for many millions of times, but Janet did.
Janet's Skills. Janet was a humble person which caused her to give credit for achievements and successes to colleagues, staff, volunteers, donors and all who helped any project. Janet was also:
* An astute business manager -- managing tens of millions of dollars;
* An extraordinary administrator-manager -- managing thousands of people and projects over the years;
* A brilliant programmer-supervisor -- providing an amazing range of play and recreation activities; and,
* A master program designer -- giving the impetus to hundreds of innovations and demonstrations.

While Janet was a master manager of the nuts and bolts of budget, personnel, operations and transportation -- Janet's heart was always with the participants in the playroom, the crafts room, at camp, the pool, the gymnasium, and on the playing field. She never lost touch with her participants. Janet's criteria for an activity or program were: will the participants find the adapted activity or equipment workable? And, fun to do? And, challenging? And, beneficial?

III. The Center -- Model for the World
World's Foremost. Within the framework of the experience of three international organizations, Rehabilitation [of disabled] International (75 nations), World Leisure and Recreation Association (35 nations), and Jaycees International (58 nations), The Janet Pomeroy Center is the world's foremost play and recreation service for people with disabilities based on:
* Serving the largest number of people with disabilities at a single center in the world,
* Serving the widest range of disabilities in a single play and recreation center in the world,
* Providing the largest range of the highest quality recreation programs and services at a single center in the world,
* Employing the largest number of skilled recreation workers at a single center in the world,
* Providing the largest single complex of adapted, accessible play and recreation facilities in the world,
* Providing the foremost metropolitan area transportation service for play and recreation for disabled in the world, and
* Providing the largest single recreation for disabled center operational budget in the world.
Milestones. Some of Janet's and the Center's innovations and milestones since 1952 include:
1953: Saturday Program.
1955: Outdoor Day Camp.
1956: Six vans for pickup/return service.
1962: Girl Scout Camp.
1963: Children's Day Recreation.
1965: Cultural Club.
1969: Performing Arts Program.
1970: Leisure/Outreach Program.
1972: Center buildings expands to 80,000 sq. ft. on 5.5 acres with access to
the San Francisco Zoo, Lake Merced, and the Pacific Coast.
1976 Herbst "Model Therapeutic Aquatics Pool."
1977: Theater Unlimited.
1978: Gymnasium.
1980: Casino Night.
1981: Daycare, Aquatics, and Adult Outreach.
1982: Leisure on Wheels.
1986" Herbst Training and Development Center.
1989: Children's Wing.
1991: Children's Playground and Teepee.
1992: Vocational Rehabilitation Program.
1995: Senior Citizen Program.
1996: Computer Lab, Adapted.
2001: Brain Injury Network and Greenhouse.
2002: 50th Anniversary.
Members, Programs, and Services. In one year, 2002, The Janet Pomeroy Center:
* Served 2,000 members with 75 types of disability, age five to seniors,
* Provided 20 distinct professional programs and services,
* Operated 7 days a week, 12 hours a day, including weekend 24-hour respite,
* Served 3 meals a day, 40,000 meals a year,
* Employed 200 professionally skilled personnel,
* Employed 45 personnel driving 48 vans over 600,000 miles,
* Recruited 400 volunteers who contributed 20,000 hours, and
* Managed an annual budget of $7 million.

Based on information reviewed over the last 45 years on play and recreation for people with disabilities The Janet Pomeroy Center is the foremost play and recreation center for people with disabilities in the USA, or in any nation in the world in richness, range, magnitude, and impact.

Welcome. The Janet Pomeroy Center Staff welcome participants of all ages, all nationalities and races, all creeds and religions, all economic and social levels, all types and levels of disability, and all levels of function and mobility, . The Janet Pomeroy Center is the most inclusive single play and recreation center for people with disabilities in the world. Everyone is invited to the continuing grand party that the Janet Pomeroy Center Staff hosts.

Quality of Program -- Outdoor. The richness of just one of the Center's 20 programs, the Outdoor Education Program, suggests the richness of all the recreation programs. Since 1980 the Outdoor Education has included: Backpacking, Camping, Cross Country Skiing, Fishing, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Hostelling, Kayaking, River Rafting, Sailing, Snow Shoeing, and Wilderness Camping. Typically, this program calls forth the best from Center Staff and Center Participants in creating the adaptations and modifications of equipment, of procedures, and of participation that are necessary to deliver enriched outdoor play and recreation experience.

Program Innovation. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program, started in 1991, is an example of another major Janet Pomeroy Center innovation, one that can be replicated throughout the USA and in other nations. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program demonstrates "recreational rehabilitation" and "vocational rehabilitation" in concert, working together. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program provides Assessment, Training, and Placement. The Training Service includes situational assessment, work adjustment, Able Gardeners, travel training, social adjustment, and integrated work. The Placement Service provides supported employment, job placement, and job coaching.

Computer Lab. Another innovation/demonstration that can be implemented nationally in the USA and globally is the The Center's use of contemporary technology in its Adaptive Computer Lab. The Computer Lab enhances literacy and lifetime learning among children and adults by:
* Reinforcing educational goals and enhancing vocational and life skills,
* Promoting and improving self confidence, self worth, and decision making skills,
* Enhancing concentration, fine and gross motor abilities, and eye-hand coordination,
* Supporting adult cognitive functions through reading phonics, spelling, keyboarding, leisure games, and memory stimulation.

Accepting Doubly Rejected. Just one measure of Center's dedication and effectiveness is that over the years Janet and the Center Staff have accepted participants that public schools, public park and recreation departments, and public and private social agencies and organization did not accept because of the difficulty or severity of their disabilities. The participants had been rejected by society in general and by special services in particular, thus being doubly rejected. The "doubly-rejected" were accepted by the Center and became some of the very happiest Janet Pomeroy Center participants. Some of the "doubly rejected" Center participants gained sufficient skills at the Center to be accepted by institutions that previously had rejected them.

The Families. Families of participants in the Janet Pomeroy Center bring extra measures of courage and devotion to the support of their family members. Playing "special catch" or "taking a special swim" requires a bit extra from the special child or youth and the family member or family or friends. It means that "thrower" and "catcher" must work together to adapt or modify the activity making it feasible but keeping the challenge and fun. It means special kinds of courage and encouragement on both sides of the "ball." Without the support of families and friends there could not be 2,000 participants.

The Participants. From the first, the Participants in The Janet Pomeroy Center have exhibited "world class" courage, desire, and enthusiasm to participate in play and recreation -- just like other people. For Janet and The Janet Pomeroy Center Staff, the participants have been and are a continuing source of challenge, encouragement, motivation, stimulation, and satisfaction.

IV. Professionalism and the Janet Pomeroy Center
Professional Model. The Janet Pomeroy story is also the story of a quintessential professional. She received three degrees from San Francisco State University: a BA in Recreation Service, an MA in Therapeutic Recreation, and an Honorary Degree in recognition of her extraordinary contributions.
Janet published three books:
* Recreation for the Physically Handicapped in 1953;
* Camp Spindrift: Day Camping for Retarded and Handicapped in 1967; and,
* Among the Roses, a Memoir in 1993.
Professional Standards. Janet worked to advance the professional standards in terms of individual professional performance, professional organizations, professional education, professional service standards, and professional research toward the aim of professional practice delivering the highest possible success of participants. This aim of providing the highest professional performance possible serves to advance the participants' play and recreation achievements, levels of performance, health status, and rehabilitation.

Throughout her career Janet supported the development of professional standards for:
* Curricula: pre-service (higher education students) and in-service (working professionals),
* Personnel: profession training, professionally supervised experienced, and professional certification,
* Standards: evaluative criteria for delivery of service by worker, agency, organization, program, or service, and
* Development: professional organizations at the state, national and international levels.

Professional Sharing. Janet Pomeroy and the Center Staff are the source of literally hundreds of innovations in play, recreation, and leisure for people with disabilities. Many of these innovations resulted from donations and grants from civic and community organizations; from voluntary health organizations; from corporations and foundations; and from government -- local, state, and Federal. These donations and grants required extensive formal applications, documentation, and reporting. In turn, one of Janet's and Center Staff''s professional satisfactions was sharing grant applications, reports, administrative materials, and program/service innovation documents.

Janet would show a visitor a grant-funded operation and say, "Here's our new service and please take this copy of our grant application. It may be helpful to you in preparing your application." Any person who wrote The Janet Pomeroy Center about a Government grant would find their incoming mail filled with photocopies of Janet Pomeroy grant applications and protocols whose pages numbered 25 to 250.

Professional Outreach. Over the years Janet Pomeroy presented lectures, papers, and panel presentations at over a hundred professional conferences and meetings -- from local to international. One aim was to share new knowledge and insights that had been gained on adaptations and services that were being provided, for example, access, equipment, facilities, support services, and transportation. A second aim was to share new adaptations, methods, and modifications of recreation activities in relation to different impairments: developmental, emotional, physical, social, speaking, hearing, and visual.

Professional Regard. Janet was highly regarded by over 40 professional education, health, medical, rehabilitation, and therapy organizations including:
* American Camping Association,
* American Therapeutic Recreation Association,
* American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance,
* American Leisure and Recreation Association,
* California Park and Recreation Society,
* Disability International Foundation,
* Rational Recreation and Park Association,
* National Therapeutic Recreation Society,
* People to People Committee on Disability,
* Rehabilitation [of people with disabilities] International,and
* Special Recreation for disABLED International.

The Janet Pomeroy Center "College." Janet and the Center Staff have, over the years, functioned as a mini-college providing educational conferences, courses, laboratory experience, lectures, practica, seminars, and workshops. The Janet Pomeroy Center provided many types of educational and in-service training welcoming:
* Administrators, managers, supervisors, and leaders volunteers, donors,for observation and study,
* American and overseas college and university interns,
* Consultants, researchers, professors, and writers who conducted studies and research,
* Participants in professional conferences hosted by the Center, and
* Students (pre-degree undergraduate and graduate students) and trainees (professional in-service trainees).

The Center's "students" learned the Janet Pomeroy Center methods. They gained inspiration from the miracles in joy and happiness that they witnessed. These visitors to the Center took away with them technical skills and inspiration as they went on with their professional educations and careers. They took with them a model of what a community play and recreation program could be and should be.

National Model. In 1975 The National Institute on Community Special Recreation for the Handicapped, funded by the U.S. Bureau of Education for the Handicapped, conducted national research, program analysis, curricula development, training, standards development, and dissemination of new knowledge. The Janet Pomeroy Center was designated a "National Model" by the National Institute. In turn, the National Institute included The Janet Pomeroy Center "Model" in training provided to 3,250 professional personnel from 48 states at 40 training sessions.

Professional Staff Development. Janet took pride in grooming Center Staff and following their careers. They learned "on the job" and went on to serve with other agencies, institutions, and organizations in the roles of director, supervisor, leader, consultants and teacher/trainers. Staff carried with them remembrances of the Center's camaraderie among staff, of Janet Pomeroy -- the model of a master manager -- and gratitude for Janet's and the Center's contribution to their personal and professional lives.

Professional Colleagues and Friends. Over the last 50 years Janet's dreams have been embraced by literally thousands of her dedicated and skilled staff, participants and parents, volunteers and donors, the Center's Board of Directors, and professional colleagues in the USA and around the world. They have embraced Janet's Pomeroy's dreams and revered her professionalism. They have adopted, adapted, and developed variations on the Janet Pomeroy Center's activities, programs, management, and methods. They have worked to make Janet Pomeroy's and their own dreams and visions come true.

V. A Model Person, A Model Center -- for the 21st Century
Model Person. In private, Janet was a person of deep and abiding faith -- expressed through deeds. By no means was the Center ever an outlet for personal aggrandizement nor gain; she never -- never -- accepted a salary. Her faith through deeds and her dreams and visions generated within Janet a realization of what is possible in the quality of life of people with disabilities through play and recreation. And, Janet's faith gave her the courage to undertake an impossible mission -- the mission of play and recreation for people with disabilities.

Janet can be our personal "model." Janet was always soft-spoken, self-effacing, and modest. She always gave credit to others -- staff, colleagues, volunteers, donors, and friends. On the job, she evoked Herculean efforts by staff, volunteers, and Board Members to make Janet's dreams happen. They all accepted the challenge "to do the impossible" and to do it in the largest numbers possible, sooner than possible, and better than the best that it can be done.
There are special legacies that Janet has given us as a model:
* Janet is a model of what one person can achieve against "10,000 to 1" odds,
* Janet is a model for any person called to serve the play and recreation needs of people with disabilities, and
* Janet is a model for people who wish, individually and collectively, to change lives that are bleak, boring, demeaned, dull, fearful, ignored, isolated, lonely, meaningless, pointless, rejected, sad, unfulfilled, and unhealthy -- into lives of play and recreation and happiness.

We can be like Janet in the way she was with people -- accepting, generous, gracious, optimistic, and supportive.
As Janet did through play and recreation, we can displace dark, empty, negative lives and replace them with lives filled with happiness, fulfillment, joy, usefulness, and health. Janet serves now as a model of what we can do through the force of our dedication and hard work. We can behave the way Janet behaved. We can even expand, increase, and improve on Janet's dreams.

Model Center. The Janet Pomeroy Center is a model of how much can be done to enhance and enrich the lives of people with disabilities through play and recreation. All the roles, functions, organization, and processes are there in plain sight to be adopted or adapted or modified to fit any of America's 2000 local communities and tens of thousands of local communities around the world. Janet used every part of her being to forward the dream of the "Janet Pomeroy Center" and the Center stands as a model of what can be.
Even when the world might seem to have conspired to deny happiness, Janet left the world the archetype, the paradigm, the working model of how to bring happiness through play and recreation to children, youth, adults, and seniors with disabilities.

VI. Janet's Challenge in the 21st Century
21st Century. There are many years remaining in this new 21st Century during which we can take up Janet's banner. We can strive individually to emulate the "Janet Pomeroy Person Model" in our individual lives. And, we can strive through our deeds to achieve the "Janet Pomeroy Dream Recreation Center Model" -- throughout America and throughout the world. This is the quiet, personal challenge that Janet Pomeroy has left to us. Janet proved it could happen; it can be done.

Janet's Challenge. In Janet Pomeroy's words, "Disabled individuals ... needs ... [include] ... the needs for recreation are the responsibility of their communities ... programming for disabled is limited only by the imagination and convictions of the recreation providers ... recreation is a need and a right for all individuals ...."
Our response to the needs and rights of people with disabilities" is limited only by our faith, our dreams and vision, our commitment and dedication, our professionalism, and our courage:
* In being as much like Janet Pomeroy as we can be; and,
* In doing the best we can to create many Janet Pomeroy Centers -- in America and around the world.


From the early 1960s I was privileged to work with Mrs. Janet Pomeroy and The Janet Pomeroy Center Staff on professional advocacy, pre-service education, in-service training of professionals, and research -- from local to international. In particular, I wish to thank the following for their help with this article: Center Staff: Ms. Henry Woo, Ms. Mary Ann Hart, Ms. Cindy Blackstone, and Ms. Ola Kupka; and, DIF and SRDI Board Members: Mrs. Elizabeth McKray, Mrs. Grade D. Reynolds,and Mr. Michael S. Watters (former Program Director, The Janet Pomeroy Center).









WASHINGTON -- (October 18, 2006) -- The Bubel/Aiken Foundation and Youth Service America (YSA) are pleased to announce grants of up to $1,000 to support youth-led service projects in which youth with and without disabilities serve their communities together.

These grants support youth (ages 5-25), teachers, youth-leaders, youth-serving organizations, or organizations that serve people with disabilities in implementing service projects for National and Global Youth Service Day, April 20-22, 2007. Projects can address themes such as the environment, disaster relief, public health and awareness, community education, hunger, and literacy, and any issues youth identify as a community need. The receipt deadline is Thursday, November 30.

To download an application and grant guidelines, please go to: To accompany the grant program, Youth Service America has produced an Effective Practices Guide To Creating Inclusive and Accessible Days of Service that can be downloaded at:

The Bubel/Aiken Foundation provides services and financial assistance to promote the full integration of children with disabilities into the life environment of those without. The Foundation strives to create awareness about the diversity of individuals with disabilities and the possibilities that inclusion can bring. To learn more about The Bubel/Aiken Foundation or ways to get involved visit their Web site at

National & Global Youth Service Day, the largest service event in the world, mobilizes young people to identify and address community needs through service, supports youth on a life-long path of service and civic engagement, and educates the public about the role of youth as leaders and community assets. Planning Tool Kits, Service-Learning Curriculum Guides, classroom posters, grants, and more are available for youth, parents, teachers, and organizations, at:

Youth Service America (YSA) is a national resource center that partners with thousands of organizations committed to increasing the quality and quantity of volunteer opportunities for young people, ages 5-25, to serve locally, nationally, and globally. Founded in 1986, YSA’s mission is to expand the impact of the youth service movement with communities, schools, corporations, and governments. YSA envisions a global culture of engaged youth who are committed to a lifetime of service, learning, leadership, and achievement.

In addition to National & Global Youth Service Day, which take place concurrently each April, YSA also hosts SERVEnet (, providing the largest database of volunteer opportunities in America. For more information, visit:

-- Christina Wessell

Christina Wessell - Manager of Communications

Youth Service America (YSA)
Phone: 202-296-2992 x 28 | Fax: 202-296-4030 |
1101 15th Street, NW, Suite 200 | Washington, DC | 20005 |

For the Media Room:\news.

*19th annual National & Global Youth Service Day events take place in the United States on April 20-22, 2007 –

*8th annual Global Youth Service Day events take place in more than 115 countries April 20-22, 2007 –


Contact: Laurie Jake, ATRA Communications Coordinator
Phone (480) 460-1525 or
Ann D Huston, ATRA Executive Director
Phone: (703) 683-9420

ATRA Releases Annual in Therapeutic Recreation Volume 14

(Alexandria, VA) The American Therapeutic Recreation Association is pleased to announce the release of ATRA's Annual in Therapeutic Recreation Volume 14, edited by Bryan McCormick, Ph.D, CTRS and Youngkhill Lee, Ph.D, CTRS. Volume 14 includes a variety of topical and research approaches to understanding the preparation, organization, and practice of recreational therapy. According to the Editors, Volume 14 includes various manuscripts that embraced theory-driven approaches in therapeutic recreation practice. Contributing authors to this Volume include many prominent researchers in the therapeutic recreation field. The Annual in Therapeutic Recreation was created to provide current and relevant empirical research findings to advance the practice of recreational therapy in various health care and human service settings.

According to ATRA’s Executive Director, Ann Huston, "Building a base of knowledge is the foundation of our professional association. Providing journals and publications continues to strengthen our professional practice and provides necessary research data and information to continue to improve services for the many clients who benefit from recreational therapy services."

The journal also contains the ATRA Continuing Education Correspondence Program for continuing education units. The latest volume of The American Therapeutic Recreation Association’s Annual in Therapeutic Recreation is available for purchase through the association’s online bookstore, and is available on-line, complimentary for ATRA members.

For more information, please contact the ATRA National Office at (703) 683-9420.

(8-21-06) 2007 Grant Announcement: Community Alternatives to Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities Demonstration Grant Program (PRTF) enacted by the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) of 2005. CMS has announced that $218 million in demonstration grants will be awarded to up to 10 States to help provide community alternatives to psychiatric residential treatment facilities for children. These demonstration grants, available over a five year period, will also assists States in their efforts to adopt strategic approaches for improving quality as they work to maintain and improve each child's functional level in the community. The demonstration will also test the cost-effectiveness of providing home and community-based care as compared to the cost of institutional care.  An applicants' informational teleconference is scheduled for September 19, 2006, and proposals are due October 18, 2006. The solicitation can be found at the following web address.

Applicants' Teleconference for Community Alternatives to Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities Demonstration Grant Program (PRTF): CMS will sponsor an Applicant's Teleconference for those interested in the Community Alternatives to Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities Demonstration Grant Program.  After a brief overview of the demonstration, interested persons will be able to ask questions and to receive clarification concerning the PRTF Demonstration. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2006
3:00 PM ET until 4:30 PM
TOLL FREE #:   1-888-469-1072
Additional Guidance on the Community Alternatives to Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities Demonstration Grant Announcement: To further assist applicants in submitting grant applications, we have developed additional guidance that can be accessed at the following web address.

 Additional Guidance on PRTF Grant Announcement [ZIP, 99KB]

Questions concerning this solicitation can be sent to the following email address; CMS (make sure there is a space between CMS and PRTF

Possible Grants

(posted 5-30-06)
HHS – specific to states: Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and West Virginia

Department of Health and Human Services
Aging and Disability Resource Center Initiative: Building Upon Success Grant

HHS (includes funding for interventions to treat and prevent reoccurrence)
Department of Health and Human Services
Early Identification and Treatment of Mental Disorders in Children and Adolescents (R01)

USAID – specific to the Philippines
US Agency for International Development
Health Promotion and Communication Program Modification 1

Department of Labor
Self-Employment for Adults and Youth With Disabilities Research Grant

NCTRC Celebrates 25 years of service!

(5-27-06) NCTRC has been pround to serve as the professional credentialing organization for Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists, achieving 25 years of setting quality standards for practice.

Marcia Rhodes/VSA arts (202) 628-2800 ext. 3883 

VSA arts and Volkswagen of America Call for Entries:

“Destination Anywhere” a national exhibit for young artists with disabilities
Postmarked deadline: July 14, 2006

VSA arts and Volkswagen of America are seeking artwork from young artists with disabilities, ages 16-25, living within the U.S. “Destination Anywhere” challenges artists to consider the picture plan as a destination, a place where the viewer might take a trip they never expected. Fifteen finalists will be awarded a total of $60,000 during an awards ceremony on Capitol Hill and artwork will be displayed in a nation-wide touring exhibit that will debut at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Artwork may illustrate a destination. Abstract work that relates to feelings or emotions, or an experience of living with a disability and its role in shaping or transforming the destination is also encouraged. Art must be an original work that has been completed in the last 3 years. Eligible media includes: paintings, drawings, fine art prints, photography, computer generated prints, and mixed media. Artwork must be presented in two dimensions and should not exceed 60 inches in either direction. There is no fee to apply.

Visit for additional information and entry instructions or contact Jennifer Colaguori, visual arts coordinator, at or 800-933-8721 ext. 3885. Alternative formats of the call for entries are available upon request.

VSA arts is an international nonprofit organization founded in 1974 by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith to create a society where all people with disabilities learn through, participate in and enjoy the arts. VSA arts provides educators, parents, and artists with resources and the tools to support arts programming in schools and communities. VSA arts showcases the accomplishments of artists with disabilities and promotes increased access to the arts for people with disabilities. Each year millions of people participate in VSA arts programs through a nationwide network of affiliates and in more than 60 countries around the world. VSA arts is an affiliate of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

New Hampshire becomes the 3rd state in the US to achieve licensure for Recreational Therapists!
by Sharon Nichols and Debbie Robinson, NETRA

(5-16-06) Yes, you heard right! Starting July 1, 2007, Recreational Therapists will be eligible for licensure in New Hampshire. What an accomplishment! Only Utah and North Carolina have licensure for RT, so we join an elite group.

On May 11, 2006 the NH Sentate completed a lengthy process of approval for Senate Bill 305, an act relative to the licensure of recreational therapists. The last step, which we anticipate to go smoothly, is to have NH Governor John Lynch sign the act into law this summer.

Special thanks are owed to our legislative sponsors, Senator Estabrook and Representative Powers. In addition we received significant assistance from Ed DuPont, a longtime Northeast Passage supporter who also has important political influence in the NH Legislature.

The team of CTRS’ that shepherded this bill through the process was coordinated by Jill Gravink of Northeast Passage and included Sharon Nichols of Genesis Health Care, Debbie Robinson of NH Hospital, Geoff Garfinkle of Crotched Mountain Center, Pam Ayotte of Northeast Rehabilitation Healthcare Network and Lou Powell and Janet Sable of the University of New Hampshire.

It is important to note that all major employers of CTRS’ in NH were part of the process, and a tremendous effort was made to convince legislators that licensure of recreational therapists in New Hampshire was the right thing to do to protect consumers from harm that could arise from unqualified people acting or presenting themselves as Recreational Therapists or Therapeutic Recreation Specialists.

What does this mean for you if you are a CTRS who practices in NH? It means you will need to apply for licensure through the New Hampshire Office of Licensed Allied Health Professionals. That process will begin in July 2007. Any person currently a CTRS in good standing will be eligible for licensure. You will fill out an application, pay a fee, and be taking an amazing step forward for RT practice. Maintaining licensure will require obtaining a certain amount of CEUs within a specified time period, acting ethically, paying biannual fees and maintaining your CTRS credential.

People who wish to practice RT in NH will need to be licensed. The days of someone claiming to be an RT who is not will be over. The bill protects our language (Recreational Therapist, Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, CTRS) and reserves it for those with the appropriate credentials. This is good news for us, and even better news for consumers of our services.

Having licensed recreational therapists in NH may also have tremendous implications for reimbursement opportunities through Medicare and Medicaid. We need to continue to work with local managed care organizations, and other insurance payers. In addition, having licensure in NH adds more clout to ATRA’s work with CMS on the RT Medicare Project. So in essence, this is “one small step for NH and one giant leap for the recreational therapy profession”.


Nadine Baker, Marketing Manager
718-548-1700, X311

Schervier Nursing Care Center Employee Wins 2006 NYSTRA Presidential Award for Dedication to the Disabled

RIVERDALE, NY (March 17, 2006) Peekskill resident Charles Sourby, Coordinator of Special Projects for Bon Secours New York Health System, is being honored by the New York State Therapeutic Recreation Association (NYSTRA). He has been named the recipient of NYSTRA's 2006 Presidential Award for his hard work and dedication to NYSTRA and to persons with disabilities. Sourby receives the award on March 26, 2006 at NYSTRA's 11th Annual Conference in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Sourby, who led Schervier Nursing Care Center's therapeutic recreation program for five years, is also a Registered Horticultural Therapist. In 2001, he helped designed Schervier Nursing Care Center's Monsignor Murray Therapeutic Sensory Garden.

A Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, Sourby received his MS in Education from Lehman College, and his BS in Environmental Science from Empire State College. He has been working in therapeutic recreation since 1982 with a wide range of special needs groups. Even though Mr. Sourby has Multiple Sclerosis, he continues to provide therapeutic recreational services and teaches at the New York Botanical Gardens.

NYSTRA supports and promotes the highest standards of Therapeutic Recreation practice in New York State and is based on the belief that the provision of therapeutic recreation services are essential to the quality of life and care of individuals receiving health and human services.

Jim Higgins, CEO of Bon Secours New York Health System, states, "We are grateful to NYSTRA for recognizing Charles Sourby's talents and contributions to the elderly and disabled using therapeutic recreational activities. We congratulate him wholeheartedly."

Bon Secours New York Health System includes Schervier Nursing Care Center, the Burke at Schervier Short-Term Rehabilitation Program, Schervier Long Term Home Health Care Program and the Schervier Apartments. Bon Secours New York is one of 15 local health care systems in nine states that comprise the Bon Secours Health System, a nonprofit, Catholic healthcare organization.

Information about Schervier Nursing Care Center may be obtained from the Center's Business Development Office at 2975 Independence Avenue, Riverdale, NY 10463 or toll-free at 1-800-260-5006.


(2-27-06) The International Paralympic Committee is proud to introduce the new global internet television channel where you can watch all your favourite Paralympic sport.

ParalympicSport.TV will bring you interesting and previously unseen footage from various Paralympic Games and competitions. From 10 to 19 March 2006 the internet channel will also broadcast live from various competitions of the Torino 2006 Paralympic Winter Games.

Torino 2006 Paralympic Games: 10 - 19 March.

Watch the Games live and "on demand" on


Contact: Laurie Jake, ATRA Communications Coordinator
Phone (480) 460-1525 or
Ann D Huston MPA, CTRS
Phone: (703) 683-9420

ATRA Affirms Support for ICF
(Alexandria, VA) At the recent Annual Conference of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA), held October 7 – 11, 2005, in Salt Lake City, the ATRA Board of Directors approved a position statement regarding the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). The ICF was published by the World Health Organization in 2001.

The ATRA position statement, which reads: The concepts and terminology of the ICF are compatible with recreational therapy practice.

ATRA supports, the use of ICF language and terminology in recreational therapy practice guidelines, standards of practice, curriculum development, public policy, international relations, and research. ATRA also acknowledges the significance of the use of the ICF classification and coding system as a vehicle to clarify and enhance practice and research in recreational therapy. ATRA President Dr. Bryan McCormack stated, “Our association is pleased to endorse the International Classification of Function and see it as a valuable tool in our treatment services.”

At the recent ATRA conference in October, a three-hour session titled, “The W.H.O. and its ICF Model: Application for RT Practice, Research & Education” was presented by ATRA members David Howard, John Jacobson, Bryan McCormack and Sharon Nichols from the ATRA WHO/ICF Public Health team. This session provided information on the ICF model, applications of the ICF, and practice and research implications of the ICF for recreational therapists. A highlight for the participants was a review of coding and qualifiers with time allowed for actual coding exercises.

The American Therapeutic Recreation Association is the national association of recreational therapists. Recreational therapy is a health care and human service discipline that delivers treatment services designed to restore, remediate and/or rehabilitate with a focus on restoring and improving the functional capacity for persons with injuries, chronic illnesses, or disabilities.

For more information, please contact the ATRA National Office at (703) 683-9420.

We need your assistance in advocating for recreational therapy in inpatient rehabilitation settings.

The Fiscal Intermediary (a Medicare contractor) for New Hampshire/Vermont and Maine/Massachusetts (there are two different contractors each covering the two respective states) has issued a Local Coverage Determination (LCD) deleting recreational therapy entirely from inpatient rehabilitation. Of course ATRA is very concerned about this and is the antithesis of the ATRA Recreational Therapy Medicare Project!

The attached ATRA Action Alert (shown below) was designed to help you in responding to this proposed LCD and you can personalize the letter to fit your specific situation. Please send us a courtesy copy so we may track responses to the FI.

Please send this alert out to others in these four states that would be willing to send letters on our behalf. Most importantly, we need MDs, PTs, OTs, STs, RNs, etc. to speak out on our behalf. Please ask your colleagues to support our positions.

CTRSs working in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire or Vermont

The Fiscal Intermediary (local contractor for Medicare) has proposed to eliminate recreational therapy as a skilled modality from inpatient rehabilitation.

Whether you work in inpatient rehabilitation or not it does not matter, we need letters of support from CTRSs, PTs, OTs, STs, MDs, RNs, and other providers in the four states to support our position.

See the attached draft letter (shown below). Please add your personal information in the beginning paragraph. Your letter must arrive via mail no later than April 7, 2006. If you can fax or email ATRA a copy we would appreciate tracking the responses (email or fax 703-683-9431).

Use your personal stationary for your personal response. Please ask your administrators to submit a letter on our behalf using facility letterhead.

If you work in NH/VT:

Gary Weaver, M.D., FACP
Medical Director
Anthem Health Plans of New Hampshire-Vermont
3000 Goffs Falls Road
Manchester, NH 03111-001

Subj: LCD for Inpatient Rehabilitation (D16557)

Or if you work in ME/MA:

Gary Weaver, M.D., FACP
Medical Director
Associated Hospital Services
2 Gannett Drive
South Portland, ME 04106-6911

Subj: LCD for Inpatient Rehabilitation (D16559)

Dear Dr. Weaver,

(please feel free to modify this paragraph)
I am a recreational therapist practicing in XX city and XX state. My work as a recreational therapist has proven to be an effective skilled rehabilitation modality when supervised by a physician; has a reasonable expectation to improve the patient’s function; and the recreational therapy interventions are designed through frequency, scope and duration.

I am concerned with the LCD for Inpatient Rehabilitation (insert appropriate code from above LCD above) that deletes recreational therapy entirely from the active policy. This deletion is inconsistent with previous active policies, CMS Medicare Benefit Policies and current practices in inpatient rehabilitation. I am writing to support the positions and requests made by the American Therapeutic Recreation Association in their letter to you dated April 3, 2006.

I am aware of several CMS communications with my professional association, ATRA, which recognizes recreational therapy as a covered service in inpatient settings. These communications are posted to the ATRA website and I can provide you copies of these documents upon request.

The deletion of recreational therapy from the LCD for Inpatient Rehabilitation directly conflicts with previous CMS guidance regarding a covered service. Recreational therapy has long been recognized by CMS as a covered and skilled modality and should not be deleted as a skilled modality in the LCD.

Elimination of recreational therapy as a potential therapeutic intervention in inpatient rehabilitation is not reflective of current practices in inpatient rehabilitation and not consistent with CMS policy on medical necessity and judgment based on the physician.

Please consider my comments to include recreational therapy as a skilled modality in the proposed LCD for Inpatient Rehabilitation. It is an issue of access for patients to the most appropriate rehabilitation service based on prescription and supervision of the physician. Please do not delete recreational therapy services from this LCD.

Please contact me directly if I can be of further assistance.


Your name
Mailing Address
City, State, Zip
Telephone number

cc: ATRA National Office











































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