Tuesday, June 13, 2017


  1. WEEK 3 was spent in Philadelphia at the National AOTA Convention. It was pretty amazing to be at a conference with 15,000 other Occupational Therapists celebrating 100 years of our profession.  

Some highlights from my time at the conference were....
      • Having an opportunity to catch up with many OT friends from Haiti, from college, friends I made since working, etc. Had many wonderful conversations. 

      • Having hundreds of opportunities to share about the work I do in Haiti with other occupational therapists I crossed paths with during the conference.  
      • I got to attend a variety of poster presentation involving international  OT work. I loved spending time talking to each of these presenters and learning more about what they were doing or did.  

      • I got to attend a variety of classes/presentations to learn new information that I can take back to Haiti and apply. These classes also counted towards the CEU credits I need to keep my liscensure active. I got to take 2 different vision classes. 1 was an all day pre-conference class on low-vision and was at the eye institute of Philadephia. It was very interesting and I learned a lot. The second was on Cortical Visual Impairments which many of the children I work with have. I learned many new treatment techniques I want to try when I get back. 
      • I sat in on a class put on by some of my OT Associates who have worked hard to develop and open the new 4 year bachelors OT and PT program in Leogane. I went to the presentation to support them. It was so AWSOME at the end of the presentation 1 of the OTs  in attendance stood up and shared how much the presentation impacted her. That she was Haitian American and had a heart to do something with her OT in Haiti but had no idea there was anything related to therapy happening in her home country. After she sat down we asked if their were any other Haitians in the room and 5 stood up! 5 new Haitian American OTs who now want to take part in getting nationals trained in their home country.  I got to spend an hour after the presentation talking to them. It was definitely a God moment of making connections. All 5 of them want to join the national OT society now as well!.   

      • Seeing and catching up with my World Federation Of Occupational Therapy (WFOT) Family who were at the conference.  I had good moments of reflecting back on how 2 years ago at this conference is when I first learned about WFOT and would never have dreamed I would be so involved with them or have opened a national OT society for Haiti. It is truly AMAZING and kinda CRAZY what God has done over the last 2 years to further OT in Haiti. I really enjoyed attending the international breakfast 1 morning which had attendees from around the world, many of which I recognized from when I was at the council meetings in Columbia last March. 

      • I spent 6 hours over a 2 day period walking the Expo hall that had hundreds of vendors. I stopped at every table that related to the work I did in Haiti. I shared my story and asked if they would consider donating therapy supplies to my work in Haiti. I collected around 60-80 business cards which I have been busy emailing and following up with. Many of them have generously  agreed to make donations!

OT's SURE know how to PARTY and CELEBRATE. Really enjoyed the 100 year celebration party!!!

One of the AMAZING Connections that came out of conference was with the Philadelphia school for children with Cerebral Palsy. I made the connection at the Expo hall at the AOTA Convention. I was able to go the Monday after the convention and discovered an entire basement of equipment that was free for the taking if I could get it into Hait. So many AMAZING and useful items!!!!! I left with 2 vehicles full of equipment and adult small diapers. The diapers I mailed into Haiti using MFI but the final cost was more expensive than buying in Haiti :-( but want to try 1 other way which is shipping them by boat. Also if we end up filling a container we can pack the nooks and cranny's with diapers :-) This is an AMAZING connection that has so much potential to bring help to so many in Haiti. Join me in praying for a way to raise the funds to send a container full of this equipment to Haiti :-) A HUGE HUGE thank you to my dear friend Joyce Werkman who went with me. Help mail the boxes of diapers and helped transport a van full of equipment to a church in IN to carry in this October. What a blessing

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