Deb Kilty, LMT
RI Chapter President
Upcoming Meeting Dates
All AMTA-RI Chapter Board Meetings are
open to the public.
AMTA RI Board meetings are being held virtually at 7:00 pm on the dates listed below until further notice.
January 5, 2021
Feb. 16, 2021
March 30, 2021
If you are interested in sitting in on any of the upcoming virtual meetings
please contact our Secretary
at (860) 617-1546 or via email
prior to any meeting for
log in information.
Happy Holidays RI Members!
This year has brought many challenges within all aspects of our lives, not the least of which is holiday traditions and the hard decisions made by all of us to forgo some of the those traditions to keep our family and friends safe and healthy. I hope everyone is able to find some joy and peace this holiday season.
A few weeks ago the RI chapter board members reached out to Dr. James McDonald, Chief Administrative Officer, Board of Medical Licensure & Discipline for the RI Department of Health to see if he would answer some questions from our members and he graciously agreed to answer 3-5 questions. The submitted questions were reviewed and compiled according to commonalities to cover as much area as possible. (Please see below for the questions and answers.)
Moving forward with chapter plans has not been an easy task in the world of the Covid-19 pandemic. AMTA national has decided that no chapter will hold in- person events until at least June 2021. Therefore the 2021 annual RI chapter members meeting will take place virtually and elections will be conducted online again next year. (More information on positions available for election and meeting dates are further on in this newsletter.) This also means that there will be no in-person chapter sponsored continuing education events, but our education committee has received information regarding virtual CE workshops that are available. Keep an eye out for information!
I wish all our members a safe and happy holiday season! Continue to follow all safety guidelines at home and within your practices to keep everyone safe and healthy! Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year with high hopes for a better 2021!
RI Chapter Members Questions Answered by Dr. James McDonald, RIDOH
• Member Question: It's been suggested that all close contact workers be tested. Is there a recommendation as to how often we should be tested, where would the massage therapy profession be considered on a priority list for the vaccine considering that our profession is close contact for long periods of time?
Dr. McDonald's response: There was not a specific interval of time, the recommendation came out as we reopened as a way to do more case finding and reassure the public. Testing is certainly more in demand, at present we see almost 20,000 tests a day being completed in Rhode Island. We also see new rapid tests becoming more available. There is still no specific interval. It is very important to wear masks (of highest quality possible) and manage hands with hand sanitizer. Distance is a challenge for a massage therapist which makes the other 2 strategies all the more important.
• Member Question: Does the amount of time spent with a client, and amount of talking during the session, make a difference regarding safety?
Dr. McDonald's response: The virus does have a dose response, so the more time with someone the more risk. That risk is mitigated by mutual masking and appropriate distancing.
• Member Question: Since re-opening back in June with the arrival of Phase 2, COVID-19 protocols have not been altered at all. Coming into our 6th month of working with clients in the COVID-19 era, are there any aspects of the original guidance that should be updated?
Dr. McDonald's response: The main principles are still applicable, we have not updated Ambulatory guidance, it is up to date!
• Member Question: What would the RIDOH recommend to prevent a future shut down within our profession specifically?
Dr. McDonald's response: Right now, we need Team Human to aligned against Team Virus. At present Team Virus is winning ☹, there is way too much community movement and spread of virus. Massage therapists are public health ambassadors and we would appreciate echoing of our messages with your clients.
Government Relations Winter 2020
Cassie Rawcliffe, LMT
AMTA RI Chapter Government Relations Chair/Delegate
As the 2021 legislative session for the RI General Assembly approaches, the Government Relations Committee has been ready to re-introduce our 2020 bill to raise public education and awareness about non-opioid pharmacological alternatives, as well as the many benefits to managing pain with complimentary and rehabilitative therapies. This legislation would require that a licensed health care practitioner, prior to providing anesthesia or ordering, administering, dispensing or prescribing a schedule II opioid drug to a patient in a non-emergency situation to:
1. Inform the patient of available non-opioid alternatives for the treatment of pain
2. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the use of non-opioid alternatives
3. Provide the patient with the educational pamphlet/link
4. Document the non-opioid alternatives considered in the patient’s record
Creation of physical and digital pamphlet would include the following:
• Non-opioid pharmacological alternative medication: their descriptions, advantages/disadvantages, such as Acetaminophen, NS AIDs, nerve pain medications, antidepressants, medicated topicals, interventional pain management, non-opioid anesthesia
• Therapies: their descriptions, advantages/disadvantages, such as Self-care, Complimentary Therapies (Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Osteopathic, Massage Therapy, TENS), Rehabilitative Therapies (Occupational and Physical Therapy) and Behavioral and Mental Health Therapies
• Patient will receive physical pamphlet or digital link at the time of appointment with licensed prescriber/physician
• Licensed prescriber/physician will educate and discuss with patient about complimentary and rehabilitative therapies, as well as non-opioid pharmacological alternatives to help with pain management before prescribing medication
• Licensed prescriber/physicians must document this interaction within patient’s file
• A direct link to the RI DOH and Governor’s Task Force website which displays a digital version of the pamphlet for the public
• Possible development of a provider referral directory
*Please follow the link to Florida’s Department of Health website to view an example of the pamphlet:
This will benefit the public by:
• Provides the public of informed choice
• Reduces consumption of opioid medication, which is currently on the rise here in RI
• Reduces potential addiction/overdose episodes of opioid medication
*Studies have demonstrated the effectiveness that complimentary/rehabilitative therapies have on pain management, as well as the importance of their role in an all -inclusive, integrated health care system
*As competent adults, patients have the right to make their own health care decisions, including the right to refuse treatment with a schedule II opioid controlled substance
*Patients want to take an active role in matters pertaining to their health and recovery
*There is a growing interest in utilizing alternative options for a patient’s health care plan
As things develop, we will keep you informed. I am sure that although there seems to be a plan to convene in 2021, the RI General Assembly may look very different from what we are used to. My belief is that sessions/hearings may be held virtually, but we wait to hear from the powers that be. See you in the New Year!
Stay well and be in good health
AMTA-Rhode Island Chapter
Annual Member Meeting and
Call for Candidates
All Chapter Annual meetings will be conducted virtually again in 2021. No in-person chapters events will be planned until at least June of 2021. The RI Chapter Annual Member meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 7:00 pm. Mark your calendars!
Chapter elections will be conducted online again in 2021!
This is your opportunity to become part of the AMTA-Rhode Island Chapter team!
Ever consider running for office?
Do you know another AMTA Rhode Island Member that would be a valuable member of the team?
The following positions will be up for election in 2021:
Open Positions & Position Descriptions
Please click on the position title to view the entire description
• Professional Member in good standing for at least 1 year
• Completed one term year as a Chapter Board member within the last three years or
• Completed one term year as a Chapter committee chair or member, within the last two years
• Professional Member in good standing for at least 1 year
The official Call for Candidates will be sent via email in February of 2021! Be on the look out and consider joining our dynamic team!
2020 Annual AOD Report
Cassie Rawcliffe, Delegate
This was the third meeting of the AMTA Assembly of Delegates. Due to the social distancing issues presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's Assembly was held virtually on September 15, 2020 using the GoToWebinar platform and conference calling. Seventy-four (74) Delegates initially registered for the meeting and seventy (70) signed in on the meeting date representing 45 chapters. In lieu of the face to face small group discussions held at the national convention, Delegates were divided into seven (7) groups for the small group discussion. Those small group meetings were held via conference calls and each group was assisted by a facilitator that was not a Delegate. Following the small group discussions, Delegates returned to the webinar for report-outs from each group then an open mike discussion from other members of the Assembly was held. One discussion topic (DT) was presented to delegates for discussion, which was submitted by the Governance Committee. This was the first time since the inception of the AOD that an entity outside the general membership submitted something for review by the AOD. This was made possible by the change in format from the HOD (House of Delegates) to the AOD.
Discussion Topic: Training Needs:
What do you think you needed to know that you didn’t coming into your AMTA various volunteer position(s)?
- The Governance Committee submitted the DT with the goal of gathering information from the AOD. This information was provided to Governance via a written report.
- The Discussion Topic was placed on the forum on June 9, 2020 giving Delegates just over three (3) months for review and dialogue.
- A list of thoughts, suggestions, and comments was generated from the forum discussions and used to facilitate both the small and large group discussions at the AOD virtual meeting. This proved to be a useful tool in the overall discussions at the virtual meeting.
- Numerous ideas around volunteer training needs were generated. Three themes were repeated throughout:
- Leadership training is very important.
- Further development of a ‘Mentoring’ program is needed.
- Financial support for training at the Chapter level should be considered.
- In addition to these overall themes a lengthy list of topics that could/should be considered as part of leadership training was generated.
List of training suggestions and ideas from the Assembly of Delegates:
- Leadership trainings: very important; the term “on-boarding” was used frequently
- Hold at both chapter and national Levels
- Job specific trainings with follow-up videos and PowerPoint (PP) that can be accessed for review
- Need to know expectations of a position (both National and chapter expectations)
- Consistency at chapter level
- Best practices
- National leaders that hold or held positions could be a resource for current volunteers in a particular position (see mentoring)
2. Trainings: very important and much of this would fall under the larger category of ‘leadership training’.
- Should have more training opportunities at state conferences; i.e. see succession training below.
- Regional trainings with 2-3 chapters and also within regions of large states
● What would be the financial impact to chapters?
- List of various forms of trainings that will be helpful:
● Video or PP on logistics of various communities found on the forum; i.e.
● Utilize virtual formats for brief trainings: small groups, creates team atmosphere, camaraderie, line of support; i.e.
● Virtual trainings: short, sweet with the follow up of either video or PP presentation that can be reviewed at a later time to reinforce the material or refresh memory
- Templates for various training that can be adapted for use at chapter level.
● Provide training consistency yet allow for customization by chapters
● Include a webinar at the beginning and then have follow-up information by way of handouts or toolkits that are resources for follow-up trainings or refreshers
● Recorded training videos to outline duties, expectations, goals and processes. Could they be done in such a way as to be adaptable to the chapter?
3. Specific topics/trainings in the following areas were discussed and deemed important for consideration.
- Succession planning: what are various ways to set up and establish a succession plan for a chapter?
- Public speaking training
- Listening skills training
- Anti-bias training, including:
● Embracing and creating diversity
● Conflict mediation
● Critical thinking
- CVOP listed as example of good training program
● Make sure these good programs have good follow up material that can be used to refresh, rejuvenate the member that attended
● Can CVOP also be done virtually during the face-to-face meeting in order to allow more people to benefit from the training?
- Committee chair training:
● How to organize a committee meeting
● How to breakdown tasks
● How to delegate tasks
● How to hold people accountable
- Government Relations training:
● Understanding the legal process
- How to use the HUB:
● How to set up your thread access
● Video clips on accessing the various communities
● Video clips on where to find information (libraries, resources)
● Maneuvering through your home page
● Responding to a thread
- Trainings for boards on how to manage volunteers
● What are the small ways that people can get involved?
● How do we break down tasks to get to the small tasks?
● How do we encourage, mentor, show the way?
● How can we promote diversity?
- Long term trainings for programs:
● Promote a sense of ownership: maybe have various parts to ‘becoming a volunteer’ that people could do over time to gain some experience with the organization: like “Want to be a delegate? Watch these videos, read this info and ask questions!!”
- Volunteer Recruitment: Very Important along with how to manage volunteers.
● Vol Recruitment training/video: template for chapters to use; make it editable so that chapters can plug in their people talking to their members; something they can post on website, show at schools or chapter meetings to help recruit
● Market what volunteer positions are available:
● Define who we are targeting as a volunteer, maybe in a broader manner
● Toolkit for learning how to recruit:
● How to establish and set up a chapter mentoring program.
IMPACTED BY THE CORONAVIRUS?
FREE COUNSELING AWAITS YOUR SMALL BUSINESS!
By: Lana M. Glovach, U.S. Small Business Administration (November 2020)
The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) mission is to help small businesses start, grow, expand and, in the event of a disaster, recover. Because the coronavirus pandemic has significantly impacted many small businesses, we at the SBA take this opportunity to remind you that small business training and individualized counseling services are available to you (virtually, at the moment) from experts located here in Rhode Island.
The SBA and its Resource Partners -- independent local organizations that the SBA funds in part -- provide high-quality training (free or at low cost) and confidential, one-on-one counseling (free) tailored to the specific needs of small business owners. Trainings cover a wide variety of topics – basics such as the steps to starting a business, business plan basics, and record-keeping and accounting, as well as specialized subjects like negotiating contracts during COVID-19, marketing and brand building, social media, and financing preparation and strategies. Who are the SBA’s Resource Partners?
· The Center for Women & Enterprise (CWE) (401-277-0800) is the women’s business center here in Rhode Island. To help women build their business skills and create a lifetime network of key resources and contacts, it provides counseling and training to new and existing women business owners on a full range of business topics.
· The Rhode Island Small Business Development Center (SBDC) (401-874-7232) at the University of Rhode Island provides a variety of counseling, workshop, and information services for growing companies and start-ups. Look at the SBDC as a one-stop resource center for assistance in business plan development, market analysis, sources of capital, and other managerial and technical support services.
· The Rhode Island SCORE Chapter (401-266-0077) is a volunteer, non-profit organization. With more than 40 years of experience helping small businesses succeed, SCORE matches volunteer counselors with clients needing expert advice. SCORE has counselors in nearly every area of business management. Whether you are considering starting a business, have a business that is experiencing challenges, or are ready to expand, SCORE can help.
· The Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) Program (844-404-2171) provides entrepreneurial development services such as business training, counseling, and referrals for eligible veterans owning or considering starting a small business. The VBOC of New England is located in Providence.
We invite you to take advantage of these resources by becoming a client of one or more of the organizations listed above and, if you’d like, request free, 1:1 confidential business counseling tailored to your small business’s specific needs.
As Benjamin Franklin observed, “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Let the SBA help your small business plan for success! Assistance is available in languages other than English, including Spanish, and all SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. To learn more about the SBA’s programs and services, please contact Lana Glovach, SBA Economic Development Specialist, at email@example.com or 401-528-4575, or visit www.sba.gov/ri.
The AMTA-RI and the editor reserve the right to edit and/or refuse any submitted article or advertisement, and assume no responsibility for errors, omissions, corrections or modifications in publication.
Neither AMTA-RI nor the AMTA-RI Newsletter guarantees, warrants or endorses any product, service, "Letter to the Editor," or referral advertised herein, nor do they express any opinion in regard to the legality of the use of any product
advertised herein in connection with the practice of massage therapy.
The editor welcomes any and all contributions pertinent to massage therapy and will respond to any suggestions to this publication.
Deadlines: March 30, July 30, November 30
Article Submissions: Send Word or Text documents to
or call 401-339-1041
Front Cover (hands): ©iStockphoto.com/Matthew Scherf