aota77American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) president Ginny Stoffel, PhD, OT, BCMH, FAOTA, has appointed Susan B. Parker, MSW, MSP, and Kristina Finnel, MSW, APSW, to its Board of Directors, according to a recent news release.

Stoffel articulates the organization’s excitement in, “Having such accomplished advocates for others as part of our Board of Directors supports the core values of our profession. They both value interprofessional collaboration and partnering with those who have the lived experience of overcoming disability and living life to the fullest.”

The release notes Parker will continue for a second term as Public Advisor and has a career-long history of advocating for the inclusion of individuals with disabilities, both domestically and internationally. Parker has reportedly served as the director of Policy and Research at the Office of Disability Employment+69 Policy for the US Department of Labor in Washington, DC since 2002. During her time there, the AOTA says, she established and directly manages five policy and research teams developing products helpful to employers (public and private) who hire, recruit, and retain workers with disabilities. The AOTA reports that in partnership US Department of Labor’s international bureau, Parker is also tasked with coordinating international disability activities within the US Department of Labor.

The AOTA notes that Finnel is its new Consumer Advisor. Finnel has worked for Mental Health America of Wisconsin since 2006, serving as program manager of Strong Families in Healthy Homes, director of programs/chief operating officer, and in her current role as president and chief executive officer. Finnel has chaired community initiatives, advocated on local, state, and federal levels, and served the media spokesperson for issues relevant to mental health issues. The release states that Finnel also coordinated program evaluation and maintained relationships with local foundations, coalitions, individual and corporate funders, and state and county mental health systems, among other duties.

According to the release, the Public and Consumer Advisors are set to serve the Board of Directors as non-voting members with a voice, serving 3-year terms through 2016. Parker and Finnel will also assist in formulating and approving Association Policies, and carry out the duties of the associated advisory commissions and committees, among other responsibilities.

Source: AOTA