OTAO Legislative Committee
Your OT Advocates
The Legislative Committee is composed of three board members, the Legislative Chairs. The Legislative Committee works directly with our OTAO Lobbyist, Niki. They meet on a monthly basis to discuss all matters that may impact OTs and OT services from a legislative perspective. The Legislative Committee also reports back to the Board on all legislative updates. Most importantly, the Legislative Committee is YOUR mode of communication to the Board, to your Lobbyist, and to begin developing conversations around any concerns you may have revolving the therapy services you provide.
Who Are We?
Brooke Gentle, OTR/L
Brooke graduated from the University of Puget Sound Occupational Therapy Program in 2007. She has experience working as an occupational therapist in long term care, acute care, home health, outpatient pediatrics, early intervention, and schools. She has been working for the Linn Benton Lincoln Education Service District for the past 6 years, where she specializes in early intervention, feeding, and school based consultation. Brooke serves as a representative for her district’s OEA local union, and she represents region #4 on the statewide Regional Services for Orthopedic Impairment Professional Learning Team.
Occupational Profile: Brooke was born and raised in Oregon, She is the mother of a delightful 11 year old boy. She highly values integrity, equality, kindness, and community. She enjoys hiking, backpacking, yoga, reading, writing, and learning.
Lori Taylor, OTR/L, MBA
Lori Taylor, OTR/L, MBA is a 2000 graduate of the Occupational Therapy program at Maryville University in St. Louis. Lori has worked in the hospital setting, outpatient hand therapy, and in post-acute care. She is most passionate about OT Life Balance Model and working to achieve that balance both personally and with others. Lori enjoys running, volunteering with Krayon Kids Children’s Theater, and spending time with her adventurous family. In her practice, Lori oversees 10 therapy post-acute care therapy programs. Being a board member of OTAO fulfills her dedication for life-long advocacy for her profession.
Michael Falcon, OTD, OTR/L, MHA, BS
Michael received his Doctorate degree in Occupational Therapy, along with a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration, from Pacific University. He currently works with pediatrics in the school setting and serves on the Legislative Committee in the Occupational Therapy Association of Oregon (OTAO). Currently, he also holds a seat on the Presidential Task Force on the Global Alliance of Pain Patient Advocates, through the International Association for the Study of Pain. (IASP).
Michael has a passion for international OT and program development. His previous work includes program development for children with socialization deficits in Ecuador, training to local medical communities in Ibarra, Ecuador, and humanitarian work in Haiti.
His most recent projects include training Occupational Therapy students in Haiti and consulting with a local Oregon school district in developing pain and opioid curriculum for High School programs. He has also presented at conferences such as AOTA 2016 in Chicago, WFOT 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa and OTAO 2019 in Lincoln City, Oregon.
What's planned for 2020?
Conversations on a number of hot topics continue, and have been developing as we begin the new year. Topics include:
- Caseloads vs Workload in the school setting
- Loan Forgiveness for rural OTs
- OT Licensure Compact Initiative
- Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM)
If there are conversations you would like to begin having, be sure to reach out to the Legislative Committee at OTAOLegislativeCommittee@gmail.com. And to keep up with all updates, notifications, and to stay involved in all of the new developments that are important to you, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
Interested in volunteering?
- Creating and carrying out action plans to defend or assist OT practice in Oregon,
- Collaborating with the Oregon Occupational Therapy Licensing Board for both legislative and licensing issues,
- Collaborating with AOTA on both state and federal legislative issues that affect OT practice in Oregon,
- Planning and carrying out one occupational therapy legislative day in Salem each year, and
- Submitting articles to newsletters and/or emails outlining current state and federal legislation that affects OT practice when in session.