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San Diego, site of last week’s AOTA conference,  always brings an oversized grin to my face.  Perhaps its the dazzling blue skies or the equally dazzling blue water,  which is strikingly visible from the moment your plane lands.  It has a convention center perfectly situated for social outings, with scores of restaurants and a beautiful ballpark steps away.  So yes, returning to San Diego for the 2nd time this year(APTA was here in January) proved a rousing success both in the convention halls and in the festive environment outside those walls.


The kickoff event featuring the farewell address of AOTA president Florence Clark and keynoted by famed climber Aaron Ralston of 127 Hours fame was the most compelling opening event I have attended in regards to a national convention.  With thousands packed into the Hall, the USC marching band lit up the room with “Tusk” the 1979 Fleetwood Mac classic.  Florence Clark gave an impassioned and often humorous goodbye speech while introducing other AOTA dignitaries.  Then it was time for Mr. Ralston, the stranded outdoorsman who survived a 127 hour ordeal in which he took his own arm and hiked miles to safety.  His talk was emotional, gritty, and often funny. Making it all the more poignant and relevant was the appearance of his OT that worked to rehab him back to both physical and emotional health.  The conference had over 7k in attendance, making it the 2nd largest OT gathering in history.


At the Advanced Medical booth we were thrilled to be accompanied by one of our New Grad Mentors: Elissa Kurk.  Elissa was a terrific resource for the many students wanting to learn about travel therapy jobs. Elissa was able to relay her travels, including stops in Texas, Florida, and Minnesota, with clarity and advice.   It was a pleasure to see numerous friends, including our sponsored OT program at TWU and the fine folks from the University of St Augustine.  The event’s success could be foretold by our baseball outing; where the hometown, and last place Padres, beat the world series champs and in-state rival the San Francisco Giants.  In fact, they swept the series.


On saturday morning a 5k run was held along the waterfront and was sponsored by Image Sport and saturday night featured  a “star spangled” celebration put on by AOTPAC celebrating its 35th year of advocacy.  Advanced Medical would like to thank everyone who came by to visit our team and we look forward to continuing the conversation.  We also encourage everyone to follow the AOTA slogan by “Living life to its fullest.” Until next time…

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