Smiling through Capital Hill Lobbying

Have you ever wanted to stand up for what you believe in? Did you know who to talk to? Did you have the support of others to even speak your mind?

Well this past week I journeyed with 9 other SRU students to the Mid- Annual American Therapeutic Recreation Association conference! Located in the beautiful Baltimore Inner Harbor, this conference taught me so much about what it means to be a TR in the clinical field. Sunday and Monday looked similar to any conference, with lots of sessions and snack breaks throughout the day. I personally enjoyed the free coffee at every break- that sure kept me on my toes!

It was not until Sunday when the group of over 250 TR professionals and students headed off to D.C. that I really understood the main purpose of this conference. You see, the CMS insurance company is not clearly stating TR as a reimpursable service and because of that we brought a letter to other Congressmen to see if they could support us. Walking around the halls of the Congress buildings is a maze in itself and I only got 7 people to smile back at me all day… talk about a tense place! However, we did speak with 6 Congressmen from PA and thankfully all 6 of them agreed to look into our letter and sign it soon! It was intimidating at first to speak to such “important” people, but you come to realize that they are just like us in many ways!

Overall this trip was a great opportunity to network in my field and show love on Congressmen and their assistants who just needed a break in their day to stop and smile!

All for now…
Keep shining friends!
Kaitlin

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