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THE SOUTHWESTERN REGION OF THE AMERICAN MUSIC THERAPY ASSOCIATION


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Red River Valley                                                  Summer 2016
A publication of the Southwestern Region of the American Music Therapy Association                                                                                             

Music Therapy Advocacy and Government Relations

This position is currently vacant.  The following report was prepared by Antoinette Neff, MT-BC.

The SWAMTA conference featured many important events related to government relations, advocacy, and state recognition work.  Our keynote speaker, AMTA President Jennifer Geiger, commented on recognition efforts.  In addition, Kimberly Sena-Moore, Regulatory Affairs Associate for CBMT, also spoke at the opening session, regarding state recognition efforts.  The Advocacy Breakfast honored legislators, staffers, and administrative supporters of music therapy, as well as students who competed in an advocacy essay contest.  An Advocacy Booth was open during exhibits, encouraging advocacy efforts through “Take Ten for Ten,” the same event that AMTA held at their booth at the recent national conference. 

State Updates:  Oklahoma’s HB 2820, the Music Therapy Practice Act was passed and signed by the Governor! The Oklahoma State Task Force has worked around the clock with AMTA and CBMT. Thank you to the OKMT’s and our leaders in AMTA and CBMT for thier assistance and support.

The Texas State Task Force is continuing its advocacy efforts in many ways.  The Task Force is building relationships with the music therapy higher education programs across the state, forming relationships with professors and students because they are a crucial part of this process.  Last month, task force members submitted public testimony in relation to an agenda item concerning service provision for children in the foster care system.  In February, task force members traveled to the state capital and met with an aide to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee to request that a music therapy study be conducted in the interim between legislative sessions.  Music therapists across the state and across the Region participated in #showusyourshirts on Texas Music Therapy Day, February 3.  The task force will continue to work to be best prepared for the next legislative session in January 2017. 

Music and Memory Update:  Texas now has a formal relationship with the state Music and Memory Coordinator, Stephanie Hoffman.  Our Texas music therapy contact is Meredith Hamons, MT-BC and owner of North Austin Music Therapy Services. Antoinette Neff, MT-BC, owner of Nizhoni Music Therapy, will be the New Mexico music therapy contact.

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