2011 AMTA National Convention Opening Session Speech

AMTA President Glenath E. Moyle and Executive Director Shelly Johnson

October 20, 2011

Glenath Moyle

Kia Ora. Welcome to Portland, Oregon and the 2011 AMTA National Convention

I am originally from New Zealand, came to Portland 34 years ago with my husband on sabbatical leave and stayed here. Portland is a terrific city with plenty of sightseeing opportunities and tax-free shopping.  It’s a great city for our great association to have our annual meeting. It’s even better now, because the Governor has proclaimed this week American Massage Therapy Association Week in Oregon. 

Let’s thank President Michael Blackmore, John Combe and our Oregon Chapter for getting that done and for being our hosts this week.

Well, let’s get started.  AMTA is an association made up of massage therapists, massage schools and massage students.  That’s you and me.  I was introduced to massage therapy 50 years ago as a student nurse in New Zealand.  29 years later, I received a license to practice in Oregon and I am still passionate about it. I’m also passionate about our association and all it is doing for us.

We have a vision for our profession and we come together to move our association and our profession forward.  We also have an amazing staff who partner with us to work to make our vision a reality.  This partnership is very important to all of us and especially for me as your president.  Our Executive Director, Shelly Johnson Johnson, and I head up our team this year.  So, we decided to partner in making our presentation to you this morning.  Everyone, please welcome our Executive Director Shelly Johnson Johnson.

Shelly Johnson

Thank you Glen and thank you everyone for being here in Portland.  We have a lot to share with you this morning and there is a terrific convention ahead for all of us.  First, Glen and I want to thank some people who are playing especially important roles for AMTA and for you.

We want to start with those AMTA volunteer members who chart the association's direction – our board of directors.  Please hold your applause as we announce each person. And, board members please stand as we recognize you and give everyone who doesn’t know you a chance to see you. As Glen thanks you, I want you to know how much we appreciate the collaboration we have in carrying out our mission.

Glenath Moyle

Thank you my fellow national board members.  Immediate-Past President Kathleen Miller-Read, President-elect Cynthia Ribeiro, VPs Winona Bontrager, Nancy Porambo and Jeff Smoot, Board Members at Large Kathy Lee, Rachel Mann, Maureen Moon, Joan Nichols, Ed Sansbury and Dolly Wallace.  Let’s all thank your board members for their great service.

Shelly Johnson

We also want to recognize and thank other national volunteers, starting with our national standing committee chairs. 
Bylaws Chair - Cheryl Siniakin, Chapter Relations Chair - Chris Voltarel and Governance Chair - Dan Barrow. Thank you!

Glenath Moyle

Our Commissions and Council Chairs – House of Delegates Operations Maureen Hoock, Candidacy Barbara Lis, Elections Chris Ryder, Grievance Charlie Behm and Chapter Presidents Moderator Richard Wedegartner.
 
Thanks to all of you.

I have the great privilege to stand on the shoulders of AMTA’s past national presidents.  Will all AMTA national past presidents here please stand?  Thank you all for your great work for our association, our chapters and our members.

I want to ask all of us to thank our chapter presidents who are often the first connection with our members.

And, we definitely want to thank all our chapter volunteers for their invaluable contributions to AMTA and our members.

Shelly Johnson

This next thank you is something we'll do together.

Together

All AMTA staff, thank you for all you do for us.

Glenath Moyle

And, the most important shout out of all from our leadership …

Together 

Thank you, AMTA members.

Glenath Moyle

Together, we are all AMTA.  Together we embrace our past, experience the present and envision the future. Our mission is about serving our members and the profession.

Let’s look at some of our accomplishments in the past year, how we are serving that mission, and things we are doing now.

Shelly Johnson

I want to start by telling you that even in this difficult economy, AMTA continues to be a very financially sound association.  That allows us to keep our commitment to serve our members and the profession. 

In the last year, we've enhanced and added several new benefits for our members.  For example, for our practitioner and student members, we looked at ways to help you be better equipped to have a successful practice. That includes providing  you with even more options for quality, trustworthy continuing education. We launched a fascial therapy continuing education program, with a home study and hands on portion. We enhanced our online education system to provide for a better learning experience, and we expanded the number of free webinars available to members.

We launched our very successful mentoring program.  Already more than 370 members have requested to be mentors or mentees; and we've confirmed more than 160 relationships. If you'd like to learn more about becoming a mentor or about finding a mentor, talk with our staff at the AMTA booth in the exhibit hall.

Another great new benefit was our offering you a free mobile credit card reader designed by Square.  It's been a big hit.

We've also been providing important information to our school members, so they will know when government regulations could affect them and their students.  We continue to represent their interests in the profession.  We have an ongoing dialog with our school members which reaches its peak at our Schools Summit in February.  This meeting is becoming a vibrant and interactive resource for our school members and the association.  In fact, for the last several years, we've given participants the first opportunity to see our annual industry report.  This report is of great value to all our members, because you need to know what is really happening in the marketplace. We've also added online courses geared toward teachers, expanded our webinars for teachers, and held our first knowledge forum for educators yesterday.

Glenath Moyle

And, I have the pleasure to announce a new enhancement to AMTA’s Find a Massage Therapist national locator service.  We are optimizing it for mobile access.  So, people can more easily access the locator service and find our members through their smart phones and IPads.

Shelly Johnson

Today, we also are releasing to the media the results of our annual consumer survey.  In the last year, consumer use remained unchanged at 18% of the adult population.  We know not all massage therapists have seen stability, but overall for consumers, that seems to be the case.  Another example of that stability is that people who receive massage are continuing to get fewer massages than they did three years ago. If you would like to get our new fact sheet on the latest consumer survey, please check it out on our website.

Glenath Moyle

Overall, the state of our profession is that it is still evolving, both for us as practitioners and schools, and for the public.  As a profession, we still need to build more acceptance of massage therapy and massage therapists.  And, most of us still need more new business. 

But, let’s look at some exciting news in the past few months.  In its September issue, Consumer Reports showed broad acceptance among consumers for the value of massage.  People understand from experience that massage can help them in many ways.  This report reached millions of people and told those who don’t get regular massage that they are missing something. If you saw the article, I hope you noticed they also told consumers to contact AMTA to find a massage therapist.

Also in September, the American Hospital Association/Health Forum released their research on use of a variety of therapies in hospitals.  AMTA has worked with them for several years and it was exciting to see them document that 62% of hospitals now include massage therapy as part of outpatient care, 44% in inpatient care.  This is one reason AMTA has been working so hard to prepare massage therapists for this opportunity in health care.

Shelly Johnson

Meanwhile, AMTA has continued to expand and improve our Industry relationships and collaborations. Glen and I both participated in an excellent meeting last month with other massage organizations. This was a healthy exchange with others in the profession and we will continue to dialog and collaborate with them to represent our members, and the profession as a whole.  We have some common goals and we are looking at how to do what is best for all in massage therapy. 

Glenath Moyle

In that spirit, I want to welcome visitors from the various massage organizations.  We welcome their representatives, including Alexa Zaledonis from the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork; Debra Persinger from the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards; Kate Zulaski of the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation; Pete Whitridge and Rick Rosen from the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education; and Les Sweeney and Leslie Young of Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals, all here with us today.  Please stand so we can welcome all of you. 

We also welcome Colleen MacDougall, executive director of the Natural Health Practitioners of Canada Association.

AMTA has a vision for massage therapy and a commitment to help you be successful in your practice.  So, we have goals to enhance areas of the massage therapy profession, massage therapy practice and education to build for your future.  That includes building relationships with spas and other employers of massage therapists.  We massage therapists practice in many environments and have different types of business relationships in all of them.  AMTA continues to meet with those businesses to find ways to improve your business environment and employment options. 

Shelly Johnson

AMTA has a particular commitment to research-informed practice.  You have probably noticed the special focus on this at this convention and at last year’s convention.  There are education sessions and discussions throughout this meeting.  One of those is the research poster session area co-sponsored by the Massage Therapy Foundation. Please check it out.  All of this is meant to help increase your research literacy.

Glenath Moyle

Research-informed practice is the future.  And, the future is here.  It enhances our profession and our ability to practice with more knowledge.  And, of course, it makes others take more notice of massage therapy.

Shelly Johnson

In April, we announced a new relationship with the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  This is the first time AMTA has developed a relationship that involves us helping to fund a research analyses of the effectiveness of therapeutic massage.  We are delighted to share a summary of those results with you. 

Our collaboration with the Penny George Institute focuses on research analyses of the effectiveness of therapeutic massage in care provided to hospital inpatients..  At this point, we have preliminary results for 2010.  Two thousand one hundred ninety-one unique inpatients received massage therapy, involving approximately 4,500 total massage therapy visits, either alone or combined with other therapies such as aromatherapy. 

Using a pain scale, patients said their pain was reduced from a level 5 to a level 2.8 by massage therapy.  They reported anxiety dropping from 5.3 to 2.7.

What is important about this research is that it involved such a large number of people.  Most studies are much smaller groups and most previous ones were not of hospital inpatients.  When we look at this data and remember that 44% of hospitals are reporting that they include massage for inpatient care, this is a leap forward in demonstrating the value of massage therapy in a medical environment.

Glenath Moyle

And, that is something we can all use to attract clients who may be unsure about how massage can help them.  Research, its release to the public and its adoption by massage therapists and educators will benefit all and help foster an increased awareness of the great value of massage therapy for health.  It doesn’t matter if you practice in a spa or a Massage Envy or in private practice.  This is another confirmation for the public of what we and they know – massage therapy works.

Shelly Johnson

As I mentioned, we have a focus on research and massage in health care at this convention.  And, we are delighted to include at our convention a presentation by a representative of one of the most prestigious health care centers in the world – Dr. Brent Bauer of the Mayo Clinic, who will be on a panel about the importance of evidence-informed research.  

Glenath Moyle

Those who attend this presentation and the research track we developed with the Massage Therapy Foundation will be glad you did.  Our relationships with top research centers are indicators of what AMTA is going to continue to do to advance our profession.  This is a step in addition to our ongoing support as the primary benefactor for the Massage Therapy Foundation. 

We all need to see the future and understand how we can make the most of it to be successful.  Our profession is very broad and we are beginning to see how we as professionals can practice in new ways and how we will have the research to support what we experience with our clients.

Shelly Johnson

And, we are also going to look at new ways to promote our members to consumers and those in health care as the best choice for massage therapy.  AMTA members are committed to being professionals and that shows in your commitment to continuing education, ethics and standards.  That makes AMTA members stand out in the crowd.  That is what AMTA will continue to reinforce with consumers. 

Glenath Moyle

We could talk for hours about all the things AMTA is doing for our members.  But, we have a convention to enjoy.  And, we want to honor more of our wonderful volunteers.

So, I encourage you to talk with me during the convention.  Talk with our board members and other volunteers. 

Shelly Johnson

Visit the AMTA area of the exhibit hall and discuss your benefits and AMTA’s work for you with our staff.

Glenath Moyle

Please take advantage of all the opportunities to learn at convention, make new friends and enjoy Portland.  Our convention has fun, education, networking, news and you.  It’s our convention.  So, I look forward to meeting you this week.

Together

Thank you for being part of AMTA!

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Satu F., AMTA member since 2003

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