Armstrong Introduces Bill to Support Occupational Therapists

For Immediate Release: January 28, 2015                                              

Armstrong Introduces Bill
to Support Occupational Therapists

Legislation Would Expand OT Definitions


Rep. Deborah Armstrong, a long-time health care advocate and member of the House Health Committee, has introduced HB 192, a bill that amends the Occupational Therapy Act to more clearly delineate the important work done by occupational therapists.


“Occupational therapy is a critical part of helping patients learn or re-learn how to do the everyday things many of us take for granted – like taking a bath or preparing a meal,” Armstrong said. “HB 192 makes sure that state law truly reflects the extent of occupational therapists’ important work.”


Specifically, HB 192 amends the Occupational Therapy Act to include a more thorough definition of the preventative and remediating practices of occupational therapy. The bill also defines the roles of those who assist certified occupational therapists.


“In addition to helping patients recover or learn to live productively with a disability, occupational therapy offers unique opportunities to actually prevent hospital stays,” Armstrong said. “Fall prevention, in particular, can help the elderly, stroke survivors and other at-risk populations avoid the kind of injuries that could otherwise put them in the hospital.”


The bill, which has the support of the New Mexico Occupational Therapy Association, has been referred to the House Regulatory and Public Affairs Committee and the House Health Committee.




About Rep. Armstrong: Debbie is a long-time health care advocate. Having started her career as a physical therapist, she has worked extensively as a health care administrator, working 10 years with Presbyterian Medical Services in Santa Fe. Prior to serving as Secretary of New Mexico’s Aging and Long-Terms Services Department, she oversaw the department’s Consumer and Elder Rights Division. Debbie is the mother of three adult children. She lives in Albuquerque’s North Valley.  Follow her on Twitter @NMRepArmstrong and on Facebook, and sign up for email and text updates.

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