Members of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) recently elected Florence A. Clark, professor and chair of the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, as vice president of the organization.
She will serve a three-year term starting in April and will be charged with fulfilling presidential duties in the absence of the president and will assume a key leadership role.
In a position statement, Clark pledged to provide stability and continuity in leadership of the organization and promised to maintain its focus on key issues including: expanding its membership; expanding its advocacy, public awareness and marketing activities; facilitating research and emphasizing the cost-effectiveness of occupational therapies; and positioning occupational therapy as a major component of health and wellness.
Clark joined USC as an assistant professor of occupational science and occupational therapy in 1976 and rose to become professor and chair of the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy in 1989, a position she has held since. In 2004 she received the USC Presidential Medallion, one of the university’s most prestigious awards offered to an academician.
Clark joined the AOTA as a member in 1970 and has served on its Board of Directors since 2003. She received an Award of Merit and a Service Award from the AOTA in 1999.
The AOTA, a national professional association, represents about 35,000 occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants, and students of occupational therapy.
Practitioners work with people experiencing health problems such as stroke, spinal cord injuries, cancer, congenital conditions, developmental problems and mental illness. Occupational therapy helps people regain, develop and build skills that are essential for independent functioning, health and wellbeing.